Truth be told, Iâ€™m new to singlespeed mountain biking. I always thought that gears would make me ride better and faster. If one is good, then 27 should be great. More is better, right?
Then why would anyone want to ride a bike with only one gear around the muddy hills of Western Pennsylvania in the rain? Because itâ€™s pure fun. No chain suck. No finding the right gear. No messing around with shifter levers. All you have to do is pedal and steerâ€¦and brake every once in a while. The Sok carried me through a very muddy day in style and with no complaints.
When I first had the opportunity to test ride a few singlespeeds, this is how my test rides usually went: The first half of the ride I felt great, all the while thinking, â€œI gotta get one of these bikes!â€ The second half of the ride, legs aching, lungs burning, I found myself searching in vain and wishing for a lower gear.
So what changed and why did I spend good money on a bike with only one gear? Maybe Iâ€™m in better shape now. Maybe my inner pragmatist appreciates the low-maintenance and reliability of a singlespeed. Now that I think about it, there are lots of reasons. Add them all together and they made my 4+ hour ride in the mud this last Sunday fun. So thatâ€™s my answer: one gear is fun.