Quickbeam Single Speeding and its Pleasures

Quickbeam visits the White House

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.

You’re riding that now?

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 good for danger pandas!

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.

Quickbeam visits the Lincoln Memorial

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.


  1. Sadly, I have to clean my own bikes. (Mrs. Rootchopper’s bike is a sewing machine. She’s a quilt-aholic.) After 35 miles on the C&O on Saturday the Sequoia was a mess. I sprayed it with a hose then, to dry it off, I used a leaf blower. It sounds weird but it worked great! No worries about rust at all.


  2. The Quickbeam is really versatile, and I agree w/ freewheel. Options are good. And options that involve Rivendell? Even better!


Comments & questions welcome - moderated for trolls and spam.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s