Bikes: single or multi speed?

Bikes, trikes, personal mobility and getting to/from the event - this is the place to discuss general transportation issues.
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Packoderm
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Bikes: single or multi speed?

Postby Packoderm » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:18 pm

There are some really good deals on craigslist for single speed cruiser bikes - especially ladies cruisers. I really cannot remember if I shifted gears much on the playa. What say you on this matter?

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Postby lucky420 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:26 pm

My cruiser has 3 speeds and on the playa last year the gears seemed to get mucked up. I don't know alot about bikes but I would go with single. Less mechanics to muck up.

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Postby Elderberry » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:28 pm

Single speed cruiser gets my vote.
I take my 10 speed, but i never shift gears. (it's the only bike I have and I hardly ride it anymore except for BM)
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Postby Snow » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:30 pm

single speed works just fine. Gears you probably won't shift much. Get whatever is best deal or fits you best in the end.
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Postby mudpuppy000 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:40 pm

Single speed is probably fine. I use a mountain bike but only shift gears if I want to go fast or if I hit a playa dune. :)

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Postby daft » Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:15 pm

I like to ride around and never use the top end but I use all the other gears. made up some fur covers for the frame.

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Postby oneeyeddick » Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:57 pm

Whatever bike you choose, fat tires are always better!
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Postby EspressoDude » Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:28 pm

gears are nice depending on the wind...if it's blowing the way you want to go..or not
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Postby essjay » Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:29 am

Single speed should be fine, but you'll also be alright if your bike has gears. My playa bike is an 18-speed, and it has made it through six years on the playa. I WD-40 the chain each year and I have had no problem shifting out there.

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Postby gyre » Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:09 am

Bad playa and wind needs more gear.

A low single gear is too low in good conditions.

Hubgear is a great solution, like the rest of the world uses.

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Postby CapSmashy » Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:45 pm

Given the playa updates we have been getting this year, a single speed cruiser should be fine. As mentioned, might be a little daunting in a stiff head wind, but otherwise, you should have no worries.
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Re: Bikes: single or multi speed?

Postby Asherbeez » Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:40 pm

Go with a slack geared (easy to pedal) single speed and big tires ran a little flat. The easier gearing helps with the wind and the random playa dunes. You wont be flying across the playa but what's the rush?
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Re: Bikes: single or multi speed?

Postby Playa+Tom » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:09 am

A single speed should be adequate for all your needs. The playa should be fairly hard this year so there will be less need for higher or lower gearing. Make sure your tires are decent, have a spare tube or two. Do not use WD40 to lube your chain, it will wash out the existing lube in the chain then dry out leaving you with an unlubricated chain. Instead use a dry lube available from bike stores, it is basically parrafin in a liquid carrier, the liquid evaporates leaving the wax to lube your chain and not attracting dust. When you get home hose off the playa dust and use WD40 (which displaces the water) on the moving parts, then use a good lube when things dry.

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Re: Bikes: single or multi speed?

Postby mudpuppy000 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:34 pm

Playa+Tom wrote:A single speed should be adequate for all your needs. The playa should be fairly hard this year so there will be less need for higher or lower gearing. Make sure your tires are decent, have a spare tube or two. Do not use WD40 to lube your chain, it will wash out the existing lube in the chain then dry out leaving you with an unlubricated chain. Instead use a dry lube available from bike stores, it is basically parrafin in a liquid carrier, the liquid evaporates leaving the wax to lube your chain and not attracting dust. When you get home hose off the playa dust and use WD40 (which displaces the water) on the moving parts, then use a good lube when things dry.


Bring some dry lube to the playa also. I usually have to re-apply it every couple of days.

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Korwedge
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Re: Bikes: single or multi speed?

Postby Korwedge » Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:56 pm

Can someone explain which gears to put the chain on when converting an 18-speed bike into a single speed?

3 gears at the pedals and 6 at the rear wheel. Which combination would be best, especially considering there won't be as many dunes as the last couple years.

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gyre
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Re: Bikes: single or multi speed?

Postby gyre » Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:11 pm

Do you know how to do this?

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Korwedge
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Re: Bikes: single or multi speed?

Postby Korwedge » Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:02 pm

gyre wrote:Do you know how to do this?


Yes, I did it with my 18 speed bike last year. I'd like to use a different gear ratio this year.

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Re: Bikes: single or multi speed?

Postby Canoe » Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:43 pm

BRAKES!!!

Don't believe anyone who says you only need one brake as you're only going 5 mph and just stop peddling and you coast to a stop.
That's fine, but many time someone would dart in front of me and with only one brake it was close some times. With the hard playa this year (reports of far less "sand" drifts), highly recommend you have both a front and rear working brake.
The Reno Kiwanis Burn bikes come with only one brake, and two brakes is a premium bike.
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Re: Bikes: single or multi speed?

Postby Hoolie » Sat Aug 20, 2011 4:18 pm

Korwedge wrote:Can someone explain which gears to put the chain on when converting an 18-speed bike into a single speed?

3 gears at the pedals and 6 at the rear wheel. Which combination would be best, especially considering there won't be as many dunes as the last couple years.

If you're talking about gear ratios, it all depends on what size chainrings/cogs are on your bike. Typically, I go with middle chainring up front to middle cog in back. That tends to make a nice, midrange gear. Also, the ideal setup on a single speed bike is for the chainline to be as straight as possible from front to back. Makes for the most efficient pedaling.

As to the thread question, single speed has always been my preference on the playa. The simpler your setup, the less likely you will experience problems.


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