More bike news. I’ve had an old ’98 Specialized S-Works frame hanging in the garage for a while, along with a massive box of random bits and pieces, some old Rockshox, pedals, odd cranks and so on. On closer inspection, it turns out I pretty much had enough old parts to build the S-Works into a complete bike.
Minus the gears.
I can’t read a mountain bike magazine or website these days without coming across someone banging on about how great singlespeed bikes are and how it’s liberated them from the bloat of the modern mountain bike. Lightweight, low maintenance, cheap to run and fun to ride. Sounds good to me – Colin Chapman would be proud. So a couple of evenings later spent spannering in the garage and I have my first singlespeed bike. The only thing I had to buy was a cheap chain tensioner to take up some slack in the chain which cost about a tenner, otherwise it cost me pretty much nothing.
And the verdict? Brilliant! I went for a group ride at the weekend and had no problems whatsoever keeping up on the climbs. In fact if anything the 32/16 ratio forces you keep up a quicker pace than you might otherwise be riding with 27 gears. The bike is surprisingly light and solid – no chain slap or other rattles – and can be hooned about like a complete hooligan, especially with wide bars. Jumping over roots and other small trail obstacles is effortless and the lack of shifters gives the bars a nice uncluttered feel.