single speed

check out my single speed.

 i’ve been monkeying with this over the last 8 months – although i didn’t really touch it over the winter, so really over the last 2 warm months would be more accurate.  anyways.

right as we were moving out of st. paul our neighbors ditched their old schwinn varsity’s so i swiped one of ’em to make it into a single speed – the key was that they had horizontal drop outs.  most geared bikes now have a vertical dropout because it keeps the wheel straight and your derailer takes up the slack, but if you think back to your old dirt bike as a kid you’ll remember loosening the rear wheel and pulling it back to keep the chain tight, and you could do that thanks to a horizontal drop out.  (this is interesting to me because i myself am a two time drop out)

why a single speed?  the ethos and the art.

It’s DIY – you can buy ss frames etc… but by and large it’s the kind of thing you do in your garage with junkers and salvaging parts.  It’s got a punk rock thing going on which feeds my cars r coffins fascination – this idea that we don’t need to be dependant on consumption – it’s pure and simple (like the lightning seeds) – it lets me get grease under my fingernails and paint on my clothes – the mechanics are basic and obvious – less to go wrong.

And riding it is fun.  the gear ratio i’ve got going is a little spinny – helpful for hills but when i get out on the highway my cadence is like that of a 3rd grader riding his little sister’s trike.  super responsive – no slack – as soon as you push you’re going – really zippy – i’m going to love this back in traffic

What next?  well once i’m back in st. paul i’ll probably work on the back wheel a bit and actually take out the extra cogs that are serving as spacers right now.  and i should have a little bit larger tire for the rim, although it works fine the way it is.  but for now it’s pure fun.

ride on.

Posted: April 18th, 2007
Categories: Uncategorized
Comments: No Comments.

Like Nate on Facebook

Purchase Reform Follows Function on iTunes