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single speed??

i am just starting out triathlon, buying all the gear etc..... i was looking at single speed road bikes (specialized langstar) just wondering whether they are suitable for triathlon? because i like the look of them etc. but i dont no whether they are suitable SOMEONE HELP ME OUT!!! cheers x


  • BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    If you have a single speed then you have to decide where the compromise should be.... is it low geared enough to get you up a hill, but too low to go above 15 mph on the flat... or is it high enough geared to get you to 25+mph on the flat, which leaves you needing super-human legs to get up a hill.

    In a road bike you would expect to find about x3 or x4 difference between the lowest and highest ratios. This means it goes fast on the flat, and also gets you up a hill quickly. This should give you your answer...[;)]

    I think single speed bikes are great in the right places - flat town riding, people who live in Holland, riding on a track (of course), hill training routines and so on. For most general uses, you probably need cogs.

    I guess the short answer is 'no, not really', not for a beginner, although there's technically nothing stopping you from entering a tri on any single speed bike bike providing it has brakes (as the Langster does, and many other fixies don't).

  • triadtriad Posts: 62
    unless your an expert cyclist, which you may well be, to be frank, it's a no no, you'll regret it , get some great times under your belt then think about single speed......you'll know after doing a flat course and a hill course what you think you think about single speed and whether it is right for you....
  • treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    Single speeds are not suited to triathlon, but they are very suited to triathlon training.

    They are not suitable for tri because geometry and gearing will compromise your speed on the bike, also unless you are a very accomplished rider they can be quite dangerous in group/race situation (draft legal or draft illegal). You must be aware that pure single speeds are fixed wheel making it impossible to coast around bends and most have to be retro fitted with brakes as they don't have any.

    Single speeds are excellent for training (solo or small groups) and commuting. You learn the technique of smooth constant pedalling, of maintaining pace and speed and they force you to become more aggressive in the hills. Also you learn to become more adept at bike handling.

    I have one - Bianchi Pista - and I thoroughly enjoy riding it especially on long solo pre-season rides, but I would not race on it.

  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    The mere thought brings me out in a cold sweat, but I am perversely curious.
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