Lately I’ve been riding my Rivendell Quickbeam around. It started because my Surly got so dirty I just couldn’t take it anymore and I set it aside for a bath. Then I cleaned the Surly and now I still can’t ride it because it’s clean, and riding it will make it dirty again. And since Felkerino and are no longer dating and he is my real life spouse, I have to clean all my own bikes. Sigh. Life is rough.
I did not always ride single speed. I used to have an aluminum Specialized Langster fixed gear.
Have you ever ridden an aluminum fixed gear? Holy cow!
Every time I rode it over the city’s bumpy streets I was sure my teeth would all fall out. Also, even though I had brakes, I could never figure out the synergy or whatever is supposed to exist between you and your fixed gear bike. I just felt like I had no business being on the road with it. Riding fixed was just NOT for me.
Because the Langster’s ride was so rough, I sold it instead of setting it up with a freewheel, and put the money towards the purchase of a Rivendell Quickbeam.
The Quickbeam is one awesome bike for getting around town.
First, I don’t have to worry about it getting dirty because it’s already dirty, although not to the point that I need to wash my hands every time I touch it.
It’s also a fairly springy steed, especially when compared to my Surly. (However, now that the Surly is clean, it is quite possible that it weighs a few pounds less and could be slightly springier than it was.) When I push on the Quickbeam’s pedals, it jumps. I like that feeling. It’s also a great fit. The saddle height, setback, and reach all feel perfect. Rivendell did a nice job with this bike.
The Quickbeam is a simple riding experience. The gear ratio is 40:18. Do you know what that means? It means no commute racing! The mellow gearing eliminates my ability to even compete in those kinds of antics. Yes, I’m totally out of the running, which makes my commutes that much more serene.
In addition, I never have to think about shifting (sort of like stoking the tandem). I ride with the terrain and alter my pedaling accordingly. For riding around the city and gentle rollers, that suits me just fine.
I will be back on the Surly, my go-to commuter, soon enough. In the meantime, the Quickbeam is a nice change of pace. It offers some simplicity and pleasurable riding amid the heat of the summer, the mobs of tourists, and crowded D.C. streets. And I don’t have to worry one bit about riding through a puddle or in the rain because, hey, it’s already dirty.