I converted my bike to single speed. After obsessing over how to do it, I finally decided on a Soulcraft convert, a Salsa 42 front ring, and a couple of Surly cogs (18 and 20). I had a pair of circa 1990 Shimano 105 brake levers kicking around the parts bin so the cockpit is very low profile.
I am going to race single speed for the remaining 3 seasons until I can qualify for the 50+ category. I prefer the middle of the day races since I don’t have to get up terribly early and don’t finish racing after everyone has gone home. The single speed category has a broad spectrum of ability so I’m fairly certain that I won’t be at the back of the pack — something I can’t be sure of in the A+ race.
Today I went out to my semi-private practice facility and tried out the bike. The terrain is mostly flat with lots of soggy ground and heavy grass. The 42×20 was about perfect though I would have liked to have tried out the 18 cog as well. I spun out on sections of hard pack and pavement that were longer than about 20 yards long. Everywhere else I felt great. I was snappy when fresh and it wasn’t too onerous once I got tired. There were even a few times out there that I felt almost fast.
One thing was for sure, it was cyclocross weather. 42 degrees. Light rain changing to steady rain. It was fun nonetheless and I really enjoyed the single speed experience.