Man's Greatest Invention

When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments. Here was a machine of precision and balance for the convenience of man. And (unlike subsequent inventions for man's convenience) the more he used it, the fitter his body became. Here, for once, was a product of man's brain that was entirely beneficial to those who used it, and of no harm or irritation to others. Progress should have stopped when man invented the bicycle. - Elizabeth West

Purpose and Mission

To share our experience and to encourage and inspire others to use a bicycle as a form of year round recreation and transportation. To be an example of living car-free and to help others to make the transition to having a car-light or car-free life style.

Our bodies is the engine that moves us.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Two Speed Bicycle

The simpler a bicycle's drivetrain is the more I want to ride it, given the choice between multi-geared and single speed I will generally pick the single speed.  Riding a single speed bike is a liberating feeling, it relies heavily on the riders ability to produce power with a limited amount of mechanical advantage. Go faster?, push harder!   

There are times though when having one gear simply is not enough and having the versatility and efficiency of a multi geared drivetrain comes in handy.  What generally happens for me is that I end up riding in 2-3 gears even if I have 18-20 gears available.  Having the ability to have 18 different gear ratios and only using 2 of them seems like a very complex and costly way to achieve what is essentially a 2 speed bicycle.

I've installed a Paul Components Melvin tensioner which allows the use of two front chanrings for a simple but effective two speed drivetrain.  I simply change gears with the front derailleur.

Two Speed Conversion

Lots of chain tension and wrap with the Paul Components Melvin tensioner.

The 18 Tooth Cog - 46 Tooth Chainring Combo

The 18 Tooth Cog - 36 Tooth Chainring Combo

Simple Cable Routing, Bar End Friction Shifter.

Riding this bike as a two speed has made the experience much more enjoyable for me. Making it simple and still enjoying the benefits of a multi geared bike. The bike is just as versatile as it was with 18 gears.  It does make the engine work harder, which is a good thing.

It rides and feels lighter without the large rear gear cluster.

Sometimes two is enough.