Since my last review, just a mere two weeks ago, I've changed it up. This bike just, well, SUCKED for mountain bike riding. I am either spoiled with my Specialized Crave or just over-romanticized what riding a single-speed rigid MTB was like. I mean, it was okay. But having gone back to modern standards, I don't know... I think rigid single-speed ended up being kinda "meh". And this is coming from a guy who was "that guy" - you know - the guy who used to claim that riding a rigid single speed is "pure"?
It was while riding my klunker when I thought to myself how slow I was going. The klunker is great for farting around and locking up to go for errand runs, but it is slow - and not a very friendly pedal. For down the street? No problem. For downtown? A little inefficient.
It was then I decided to turn the Gravity 27.5/650b into an "urban" MTB. Simple changes like flat pedals, gearing change (38 X 16; 63.9 gear inches), and most importantly a tire swap. Also, a bell and a light were added.
What I ended up with is a very fast, very efficient, and very FUN urban bike. The Schwalbe Big Ben's are amazing tires. Being a big proponent of the Big Apples (which I still roll on my klunker), I knew the Big Ben tire was going to be a winner, and I was right. Although Schwalbe says you can keep them at low PSI (like 35 psi), for this bike I actually like 60psi. On my klunker, I like 40psi. So one will have to experiment with what feels good.
The biggest issue I've had with 700c urban single speed bikes are the skinny options. While I do have 700 X 45c on my Pake C'Mute, still, just not enough beef for the bunnyhops.
With the high puncture resistance, you do get a weight penalty. But for urban riding, I'd prefer a little weight over sliced tires. I did accidentally ride over a broken bottle, and all was well. I wouldn't make that a habit, but it was confidence building.
And because I hate flats so much, I filled my inner tubes with sealant (Stan's works best). If you've never done that hack, it's a great way to protect yourself against flats from thorns, pins, staples and any other small puncture.
I'm happy I found the right place for this bike, even though it resulted in me dumping a bunch of money into it to make it right. While it's not bad as a MTB, to me, as a gravel grinder/urban bike, this is the bike to do it on. #gravity27fivess, #27fivess #650b, #bikesdirect, #650bsinglespeed, #commuter, #urbanbike, #urbanmountainbike