Singlespeeders often make a big deal about the simplicity and purity of their bikes. No technology contaminates their riding experience, dammit.
Well, actually it does. I know this because I passed the same SS rider three times during one lap in this year's 24 Hours of Kincaid. He was younger, fitter and faster, but he was still riding a device susceptible to mechanical malfunction. And that day, my 9-speed derailleur was working a hell of a lot better than his one gear. Every time he got ahead of me and then had to stop and fix his bike, I felt like my XTR deserved a little tongue action.
But I digress. In a disturbing way. The point is, lately I'm seeing a lot more singlespeeds with disc brakes and suspension forks. Isn't that a bit of a contradiction?
OK, I can understand the brake thing because discs are easier to maintain once they're installed and set up. But suspension forks? They require maintenance. And they make it easier to ride technical terrain, just like gears do. So why is a Rock Shox acceptable, but a shifter isn't?
Seems to me, a true purist and lover of simplicity would ride rigid. Anyone who has a suspension fork and only one gear, well, they're just working too hard to ride up hills.
I don't pretend to be a purist. I'm a technology slut. (Why else would I think of a derailleur and tongue action?)
I give myself to the granny gear and beg for hot, sweaty mercy.