Last May, hoping to regain fitness, after my hernia op, I added a second hand Mango fixed gear/single speed bike to my stable. I had only ridden fixed once before, on a taster session at the Chris Hoy velodrome in Glasgow, and really enjoyed it.
The bike was set up in fixed when I bought it and I left it in fixed for a short while to try it out. I must admit I just did not feel comfortable riding fixed. A combination of simply forgetting it was fixed and of not having the leg strength to skid to a stop convinced me to flip the rear wheel to the single speed orientation. I am riding a 44/16 which gives me 55 gear inches. Great for getting up to speed quickly not so good on hills which was the whole point.
What is it about SS that floats my boat? Well for a start minimum maintenance is a huge bonus and just the sheer joy of a steel frame and no need to think about gear changes makes the Mango a great bike to ride.
Alas through a combination of work, covid and downright laziness my aspirations of riding SS and improving my fitness just did not materialise. After resting for almost three months after covid in August of last year I began to get out on it more often but always for short commuting type rides and not testing my lungs and legs on hillier routes.
In 2023 so far I have gone out on a 27 miler with 1,355ft of climb and have designed a course in my town of 3.3 miles with 250 ft climbing per lap. I have ridden it once, 3 laps, and really enjoyed it though my lungs and legs really felt it as the climbs are steep. It’s my intention to get out on longer rides a couple of times a month and do the laps once a week or increase the intensity of shorter commuter style rides to make them harder.
Covid has left me with a definite respiratory problem and this is borne out when I do any intense running or biking. Hopefully the SS will help to rid me of this problem.
If you have thought about going SS I would reccommend it!