Single Speed Racing

by Morgan700cc   August 24, 2014  

I rode the SkyRide in Leicester today on my single-speed roadie (not fixed) today, and was very pleasantly surprised at how quickly I got round the circuit. It was mainly flat, not that long, and set up for all types of riders, but I had a blast, and kept up a really good speed throughout, even though it wasn't a race.

My question is, are there single speed road/city races in the UK? I've done a quick search, but figure folks on here would know better... After today's 'warm-up', I'd really like to have a go at some proper racing without gears, as I love the purity of single-speed. Any ideas?

11 user comments

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I've read that some people just race crits on singlespeed. Nothing to say you have to have gears

posted by mtbtomo [162 posts]
24th August 2014 - 19:23


what gearing were you using?

ride slow, ride far, ride often

posted by mzungu [40 posts]
24th August 2014 - 21:10


You can do cycle speedway on a single speed, but I can't think of any road races for SS only

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9355 posts]
24th August 2014 - 21:19


A lot of alleycats will allow SS these days, some even gears, but most are still won by guys riding fixed.

posted by drfabulous0 [406 posts]
24th August 2014 - 21:43


Some clubs run medium gear time trials - you can used gears up to 72" but many like to run SS or fixed:

Some hill climb courses are well suited to fixed/SS (though probably somewhat lower than 72"!).

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2372 posts]
24th August 2014 - 23:12


39/18 at the mo, but I need a new front ring and am planning on going a bit bigger. Good idea? Or stay on the same ratio?

posted by Morgan700cc [23 posts]
25th August 2014 - 8:28


On a crit or a time trial you'll need something much bigger than 39/18. I run 44/17 over a 12 mile commute even that's a bit "spinny" on the flat.

You can obviously work out the speed you will generate at a particular rpm.

I think Sheldon Brown's website may even have a calculator.

posted by mtbtomo [162 posts]
25th August 2014 - 13:26


I ride a 46:16 upgraded the front from 42 as i was tired of spinning out. It took a while to get used to the change (i thought my brakes were locked on) but now i am back to whipping along the road.

If you look at the '' website, you may be able to find some rides to suit you.

What bike do you ride? I currently have the Genesis Day One SS.

posted by Binky [115 posts]
25th August 2014 - 14:42


I have a pompino which I had at 48:16 for ages . The hills hurt so I've changed to 44:16. Massively better on hills but spinny on the flats. That's SS. I have a fixed 18 cog which I am going to have to try. 44:18 will be good on the hills I face. I'll keep the back break on for the moment to save my knees.

ride slow, ride far, ride often

posted by mzungu [40 posts]
25th August 2014 - 15:06


Thanks folks. 44/16 it is then! (I have some big hills near me...)

mtbtomo: I'm riding a 1982 French made Peugeot frame and fork which were single speeded and kindly donated to me by my lovely bike buddies a few years back. I have nice Weinmann wheels and Sora brakes on now, which make a huge difference. I hope to get the cogs sorted in the next few weeks... Birthday coming up! (Money is an issue, so upgrades take ages.)

posted by Morgan700cc [23 posts]
25th August 2014 - 17:00


I commute mainly on the flat and manage fine on 48:16 (singlespeed). There are a few lumps in there, but nothing too long/steep. I've also done a few club runs on it, and it was grand over rolly terrain.

I did our clubs' town-centre crit race on it; average speed was 24mph, which was grand, but I couldn't contest the sprint finish. If I was to do it again, I'd stick a 52 on the front.

posted by s_lim [159 posts]
26th August 2014 - 13:31