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Tuesday, May 3, 2022

A Dedicated Single Speed

One is the loneliest number
One is the loneliest number
One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do.
One, Harry Nilsson (1969)

Single speed sweetness at the 2019 Black Hills Gravel Series Sugar Shack ride.

In 2014, I built up a Black Mountain Cycles MonsterCross frame into a bike for riding all kinds of roads in all kinds of conditions. An All Road Bike (2015) and A Road Bike By Black Mountain Cycles (2018). A key feature leading me to that particular frame was its old school semi-horizontal dropouts, which allow easy conversion from gears to single speed, even in the field. Make It Single Speed

Over the past 8 years, I have ridden my Black Mountain over 30,000 miles, mostly on gravel and dirt roads. I love to ride that bike, confident that it will take me through anything. See, e.g., Odin's Revenge 2012-2016 and Stretching The Notion Of Rideable. It is the most comfortable road bike I have ever ridden and really shines set up single speed, which I regularly do, just because. Single Speed, It Is.

My 2014 Black Mountain MonsterCross bike, fresh off its 12,000 mile overhaul in 2016.

It all worked well enough, but eventually I realized that did not very often take the time to switch between geared and single speed. Then, a few years ago, Salsa announced the arrival of the Storm Chaser, a single speed gravel bike designed from the ground up for long rides in bad conditions on rough roads. Uffda. I almost bought it to allow the Black Mountain to be a dedicated geared gravel bike. The N+1 Struggle Is Real

But I did not buy that Storm Chaser. Ultimately, I concluded that I really didn't want it, mainly because my Black Mountain is such a sweet single speed. So, I committed to continue to switch back and forth.

Now, I decided to simply dedicate my Black Mountain to full time single speed. That's where it really shines. And I can cruise into single speed bliss on a moment's whim.

A new geared bike is in the works, but it's not N+1. It's more like e to the nth.

One, Three Dog Night (1969)

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