I have enough trouble getting around a cyclocross course with 18 speeds, but for some reason I appreciate the simplicity of a singlespeed cross bike. I must confess I’ve experienced some serious bike lust when ogling them online.
Sacha White of Vanilla Bicycles makes some of the sweetest singlepeed cross rides out there and he’s got the four-year waiting list for a frame build to prove it. Here’s his “Speedvagen” displayed at the North American Hand Made Bicycle Show in San Jose last weekend.
Also check out the “white cross” bike on Vanilla’s web site.
Then there’s this beauty from Steelman Cycles…
If there’s a theme here, it’s expensive and hand made, which means I won’t own one of these anytime soon.
Bianchi makes a pair of more affordable singlespeed crossers: San Jose and Roger. The San Jose is a bit heavy and, while the Roger is pretty and disc-braked, it’s geared more like a urban fixie with a 48-tooth crank.
I think it’s far more likely I’ll buy a fixie before I buy a singlespeed cross bike, but I admire them for their simplicity. It would have been the ideal bike at the Urban IX cross race and mud bowl last November in Charlottesville. I missed the race thankfully because many of those I know spent the next week scrambling to buy new rear derailleurs.