Singlespeed vs geared, which is faster?

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  • Singlespeed vs geared, which is faster?
  • ds3000
    Member

    …or does it depend on how fast I pedal.

    Seriously though, overall would a geared road bike cover the same distance quicker than, say, a 42×18 SS?

    ….I do realise the subjective nature of this question, however would just like to hear your thoughts on the matter.

    umop3pisdn
    Member

    Gears should always be faster.

    Premier Icon lunge
    Subscriber

    A racer will be faster with gears as they will pick the gear that makes them go fastest
    A pootler will go fatter single speed as they pick the gear that makes it easiest.

    Off road at least I am faster on a single speed as I have to sprint up hills instead of sitting and spinning.

    qwerty
    Member

    Ever seen a TdF rider competing SS?

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    Riding singlespeed will make you ride gears faster…

    Duffer
    Member

    Faster…? I don’t understand.

    Don’t you mean Funner?

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    Ever seen a TdF rider competing SS?

    Good point, but who won The Puffer and on what?

    Horses for different types of ready meal.

    Premier Icon breadcrumb
    Subscriber

    The winner of the Strathpuffer this year was on a SS, make of that what you will.

    EDIT: beaten by a minute!

    tazzymtb
    Member

    fast riders are fast….regardless of the bike.

    On fastest race lap times I’m quicker geared, but also know on longer endurance races I finish higher on SS as it stops me going absolutely batshitmental on the first few laps and then hurting like a hurty thing and means I can keep a really consistently good time each lap.

    So for me..short xc races= gears

    long enurance things SS

    Muke
    Member

    Yeah but who has most fun ? πŸ˜‰

    tazzymtb
    Member

    Muke- it’s not about fun!! it’s about the deadly earnest business of riding a bicycle…no fun allowed….on puritanicalbicyclemiserytrackworld or you may end up being accused of being a slacker nichewhore πŸ˜€

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    breadcrumb – Member

    The winner of the Strathpuffer this year was on a SS, make of that what you will.

    That’s quite relevant to a question about road bikes.

    chrismac
    Member

    ive always assume that geared are faster which is why SS’ers tend to have a separate class. That said a good rider on a SS will be an average rider with gears.

    Premier Icon takisawa2
    Subscriber

    A pootler will go fatter

    Have you been studying me then…

    I’m faster until I’m spinning out.

    ds3000
    Member

    I haven’t ridden a geared bike for years, one of the reasons I like SS is the fact that you’re forced to attack the hills. I wonder whether I have the mental fortitude to maintain a fast uphill pace when the option of changing down a gear is available. I hang my head 😐

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    I’ve been trying to emulate SS on my gear bike by not changing down beyond the same ratio as my SS. That should give me the best of both worlds, but the temptation is always there.

    ds3000
    Member

    Kryton – so theoretically could I use a single ring up front and a retro-fitted cassette with the smallest cog being 18t?

    Muke
    Member

    slacker yes
    nichewhore not yet

    πŸ˜‰

    Kato
    Member

    Geared. However there’s a Strava segment that I hold KOM on riding a singlespeed. No matter how much I try I can’t get anywhere near the time riding my geared Zesty

    Zesty weighs 10 lbs more than my SS

    Premier Icon bigblackshed
    Subscriber

    tazzymtb – Member

    puritanicalbicyclemiserytrackworld

    I stealing that and putting it on a T-shirt.

    slacker nichewhore

    And that. And I’ll have you know I resemble that remark. πŸ™‚

    IanW
    Member

    Its not about the bike.

    ds3000
    Member

    It’s about the drugs.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    I think so dsa. Don’t get me wrong I’m talking about 2 bikes – one a dedicated SS 32/18, the other a 2x 10 geared. I’m just saying that in order to get up the hills faster I’m resisting the temptation to change up beyond SS ratios.

    I’m not simulating a SS permanently if that’s what you mean.

    Premier Icon breadcrumb
    Subscriber

    Northwind – Member
    breadcrumb – Member
    The winner of the Strathpuffer this year was on a SS, make of that what you will.

    That’s quite relevant to a question about road bikes.

    Doh.

    tazzymtb
    Member

    That said a good rider on a SS will be an average rider with gears.

    noooo a fast SS rider will be faster with gears as they’ve learned how to keep a high cadence, suffer like a dog, sprint all climbs and the special secret of SS maintain flow and momentum.

    see SS makes a man of you, gears are for ….*looking for phrase…it will come to me in a minute*

    tazzymtb
    Member

    got it!

    gears are for weak limbed little lambkins that couldn’t mosh even at a motorhead gig

    πŸ˜€

    Pedantic certainly, but..

    Ever seen a TdF rider competing SS?

    Tdf 1903

    This picture clearly proves that a flat cap is faster than a straw boater.

    All my race wins have been single speed, two were single speed races, two against geary folk.

    umop3pisdn
    Member

    I’ve been riding fixed gear with my road club for about 18 months and hold my own with the fast boys. Just built up a road bike and I struggle to keep up with them now…

    monkeyfudger
    Member

    My well maintained TCR (geared) is about 2mph faster average over my normalish commutes but my fixie Langster with a very dodgy BB/back wheel, rusted chain and worn pedals is faster up the 3 Strava segmented hills that the commute takes in, make of that what you will, I’ll add that’s it’s very frustrating and makes me hate the TCR!

    fodmtbguides
    Member

    That’s a great picture Charlie

    umop3pisdn
    Member

    Tbh I reckon if the ratio is appropriate to the hill, fixed will always be faster.

    c_klein87
    Member

    depends on the conditions but as Tazzy says racing endurance SS helps you not blat off at the start, but unless you’re super human (the singular racing guys/terrahawk) its hard to win stuff overall!

    chris-noble-mtb.blogspot.co.uk

    tinybits
    Member

    Over a long distance, gears should allow you to be more efficient and crucially, keep the same power output going on the flat / downhill as on the ups. However I, as most do, use gears to slack it up hill and cruise along the flat whilst still freewheeling down. Granny gear ftw!

    Premier Icon chrispo
    Subscriber

    A singlespeed bike is lighter so it will be faster

    Assuming the entire ride is uphill πŸ™‚

    rockymerlin
    Member

    On a geared bike i do my 11.86 mile route in roughly 57min (in winter). On my ss bike I do it in roughly 1 hour 2 min. Same route every time. Many factors affect this, wind speed, diet, how much over time i’ve done that week, how much cycling i’ve done. The route is 80% off road with some very tough climbs, one being a river- mostly end up dismounting and running this. I would say gears are faster, s.s much more satisfying.

    ron jeremy
    Member

    tazzymtb – Member
    Muke- it’s not about fun!! it’s about the deadly earnest business of riding a bicycle…no fun allowed….on puritanicalbicyclemiserytrackworld or you may end up being accused of being a slacker nichewhore

    Oh can I be a slacker niche whore, I’ve got my own stick on beard and even more than one pair of sandals..

    maxtorque
    Member

    Surely it depends upon the what your legs power curve looks like?

    If you can only develop peak power at one rotational speed, then you will be quicker when geared (as you can pedal at that speed no matter what your ground speed) or if you can provide the same power (note power, not force/torque!) across multiple rotational speeds then you will be fine on an SS.

    tazzymtb
    Member

    ron- you are a slack whore, I’ve seen you giving love for beer to Belgians at the European championships !!

    PrinceJohn
    Member

    Is the single speed a 29er?!

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