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Sheldon Brown has a good post on Fixed Gear versus Single Speed, in that one you can coast and the other, the pedals constantly spin as long as the bike is in motion.


When we talk about Single Speed Cyclocross, which are we are talking about and why?


And how prevalent is Single Speed Cyclocross?  Many dedicated races?  is it really true that you are the defacto 'fan favorite'?


Any advantages to Single Speed, outside of a lighter bike and not having to choose between gears?


Single Speed really appeals to my simpler aesthetics.  Thanks!

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For cross, Single Speed is not Fixed! - It is very popular up here in Oregon & well worth it. Cross Crusade has a Single Speed division for there races & it is pretty hard racing. Racing Single Speed for the last several years, there are some advantages, here are the main ones:

No derailleurs to clog or break!
Less weight
Simpler set up - pedal or run, only two choices
can't drop a chain on re-mount or through bumpy trails

Did I mention no derailleurs to clog or break

One Major disadvantage I have had is a rear flat with track style dropouts(rear entry) usually take a larger wrench to remove the wheel & adjusting chain tension after repair takes time.

I am sure the list could go on & on but in my opinion it boils down to riding style. Single speed fits how I ride, I am faster on SS, smother, & get less tired during a race.

I think this thread could get quite a bit of discussion, so feel free to keep going everyone, likes & dislikes
I just got a SS cross bike and will be riding it in a race for first time this weekend (

It' s not a real cyclocross race - more like a Euro-style one-day classic that combines gravel roads, farm lanes and single track.

So far my training has been fun and I really love the bike. Maybe the best part is not having to think about changing gears. Just go with the flow...
On that "fan favorite" thing - you definitely will get comments - mostly supportive - from fans and other riders, who basically wonder if we are all crazy.

Just respond by singing Bob Marley's classic line "one love - one gear - lets get together and feel all right"
I know two guys who do fixed gear cyclocross. They're both nuts. Unless you feel like the races are just way too easy, there's no reason to attempt a fixed cross race. Where I am, there is a dedicated single speed category, which is really nice. The ss guys tend to be a little less serious and have a little more fun.
When I started racing, I went straight to singlespeed because it was the closest thing to the BMX bikes I rode as a kid. It IS hard, and I mostly finish last or near-last, but it's also SO much more fun to ride a bike in the dirt and mud without worrying about fumbling a shift. The key is to pick a good gearing for the conditions. (I've got weenie legs so I usually run something like a 32x19 -- 32 x20 if it's especially gummy-muddy out there.)
Singlespeed is the best!
i wouldn't even think about this unless there were a separate ss cat. think about the late laps in a race going uphill and everyone else shifts up and easily passes you by while you're pushing your bike uphill. i have a fixed gear, but it has a flip hub with a freewheel as well and yes they are simpler and cheaper but gears are much better. ss gets old fast. and the part about changing a rear flat will kill you. i need my rear wheel perfectly in the middle and chain tensioned right on, and even with chain tugs it takes me over 5 minutes and you cant do that in a race.


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