So what does make an SS'er?

On another cycling forum, someone was PM’ed some abuse with the line

you do know that calling yourself a single speeder and telling everyone about it does not necessarily make you a single speeder?

So, my question is - what do you think it is that makes someone a ‘single speeder’ if riding one doesn’t? Yeah there is the whole culture thing, courier thing etc and I get all that but what I am after is what you think makes someone a “single speeder”?

Just curious on what people think.

Lisa :slight_smile:

Seems like the other crucial element is being a dickhead?

This a fixed forum, there seem to be a lot of wannabees riding SS want the look without the effort.

I’d have said that the culture of the ‘singlespeeder’ was more of an MTB thing to be honest. I’m not sure how many were riding SS road machines until it became an offshoot of the fixed fashion, but the MTB ‘singlespeeder’ conjures the following:

A person who really couldn’t be stuffed spending lots of time maintaining a bike, nor caring what it looks like, yet loves riding and also loves BEER, is somewhat ‘unlikely’ looking yet is still generally FAST, even without gears. They’ve more than likely BROKEN their previous bikes and the singlespeed is the only thing that will stay in once piece when they’re riding. Perhaps they’re a little simple… but they don’t really care what others think, because lets face it: it’s about riding (and beer).

(Disclaimer - The author wishes to clarify that he has been a singlespeeder in a past life, has competed in the National Singlespeed MTB Championships of Australia and counts singlespeeders as good friends to this day) :wink:

True, SS MTb is different motivation to SS road.

Is not caring what it looks like really a thing? I’ve known a lot of SS MTBs to be damn fine looking machines. Uncluttered cockpits, no derailleurs, straight chainline, etc.

I think this forum needs more beer and monkeys, maybe zombie monkeys, on mini clown bikes, wearing high-heels, or maybe I just need to keep the inner world of me to me?

No, I’m pretty sure we do need zombie monkeys.

But in all serious: does it matter what someone is mentally pidgeon-holed as? Sure it’s easy to make generalisations about people and cultural groups, but every group breaks down into individuals and every individual is beautiful and unique snowflake, except if you watch Fight Club too much.

Oh, and re: road SS - Hehehee, nubs.

See this is what I mean.

But I agree about the zombie monkeys.

it’s an odd one. My first single speed was a hard tail MTB frame with rigid forks, v-brakes and and fucked ultegra mech to keep the chain tensioned. I bought it off my housemate at the time because my commuter, a thoroughly hammered giant rincon, was slow and heavy. It didn’t take me long to realise that you don’t need gears in melbourne and in fact in stop-start traffic gears just become a pain in the arse. Later, the SS became a fully geared MTB. Then I didn’t have a commuter. I wanted a fixie for training purposes to help me with hill climbing and suppleness. If it wasn’t for that I would have just gone SS.

I am SO glad I went fixed because I totally love it. It’s a completely different style of riding from MTBing or endurance road events. There are certainly a lot of posers about on fixies. there’s also the whole old-skool courier thing which to be honest, that I’m not particularly familiar with. To them, I probably come across as a band-wagon jumper, which is probably not entirely untrue I guess. In my mind it’s about mentality. I ride fixed or full stop because I love riding. I’m not doing it because it’s the cool thing to do. And I am looking forward to the hundreds of cheap fixies up for sale when the hipsters decide that Segways are the new cool thing.

I think it’s possible that these posers are frowned upon because it is assumed that they’re not in it for the right reasons or in it for the long haul - they’re just doing it for fashion. That and the fact that nobody wants to think that dickheads are into the same things that they are.

I agree its all in your take.

Way before the classing and pigeonhole mentality, I had stuffed my derailleur on a ride to school and so became my first ever bike with no gears a “Single Speed”.
That was 18 years ago, and I have been riding one discipline or another since. I would not still be riding or have the same huge smile on my face if I did not enjoy it. And one day I might get back in to the SS too…
But no matter what, if I am riding a bike who cares what the type or discipline (exception of recumbents),
Who cares what I call myself,
As long as I get that silly grin on my face that makes everybody wonder what I have been up to, Its all good!

I hadn’t riddin a bike since I was 15 but a cpl years ago I needed a way to get to work so I got a geared MTB. After about 4 weeks I pulled off all the gears because
A: Useless, I never used them.
B: No wait, thats the only reason, that and the fact the bike was heavy as fuck and I thought it might save my back when I got to the ‘carrying it up the stairs’ part of my ride.
After about six months of riding I found an old clubracer frame on the hard rubbish that I thought might make a better commuter. I never really intended to build it up as a fixed gear but when hunting for a cheap wheel set I found a pair with miche track hubs so just went with it. been fixed ever since.

My point is that the only constant in this story is the fact I was on a bike. Call me a single speeder, call me a fixie rider, call me a wanker, whatever. I’m still pusing two wheels around regardless.

I totally agree with John, single speeding is all about Zombie monkeys and beer. And what the fuck is wrong with SS road bikes?

Here we go again …

How’s this for a thought:

If you truely love your bike and the style that you are riding, does it really matter what you are labelled as? If you are happy riding YOUR bike, enjoying YOUR ride, who cares if someone else is a “poser”? If someone else calls me a wanker/poser/fixer/SS’er/whatever does it take away the fact that I enjoy my bikes and my rides?

In case you didn’t know, the answer to all the above is no.

“Bike racism” does not help. Put your time and energy into riding instead.


Ok that was my real reply, here comes a joke reply.

You can tell what kind of bike a person rides by the way they make love.

BMX’rs make love like excited teenage boys. It’s all over the place. Grab that, twist this, turn it round, and after a frenzy of activity it’s all over and you go to McDonalds and tell your friends about it.

Geared riders are like a couple that have been together for ages but are not really sexually compatible. After all these years they have just learned how to push each other buttons on a bland scientific like order. Push push, slow slow, fast fast, slow slow, fast fast, done.

Single Speeders are like a bad one nightstand. The type with no style and no flair. Just pumps fast and has to stop every now and then coz they don’t want to cum to fast.
Push push push coast. push push push coast. push push push coast. And then go limp from all the effort.

And fixed gear riders are like the Casanovas of love making. Smooth transitions between fast and slow. Keeps on going and never gets tired. A skid stop is like when you stop going at it for a second to tease your partner but then dive right back into the game. You can go from missionary to reverse cowgirl to doggie with out breaking pace and with out awkward fumbling about like trying to shift gears.

discussion over! Cellardoor for the win. Close thread now…

GOLD :smiley:

Who knows… but it’s contagious!
This morning on the way in… 1x Fixed gear (actually a full-on, jumbo tubed track bike) white, down near the ferris wheel. And…5x single speeds - road/track frames!

WHy does it always come down to ‘whos the coolest or the most original’?? as long as everyone is having fun and riding bikes shouldnt we all stop being so melodramatic and smile when people wave when were out riding instead of trying to be to cool… just a thaught but alot of cyclist are awfully clicky and its a stupid considering most of them cant ride a bike faster than my 6 year old brother…

Because human beings have an intrinsic need to feel special and better than the other dude.

And yes, it is stupid.


Whoa… I wasn’t calling, “cool”, or “better than the other dude”. I was just pointing out that I saw a heap more SS’s than fixed. It seems there are more people picking up on the SS thing, especially over the last 6 months or so, that I can see anyway. And they seem to be road/track frames and not MTB’s like a year or two ago. Riding SS got me into wanting to ride fixed, as it probably did a lot of others.