RoadUno 2021 Grant's working text
WHAT FOR? Flat to rolling roads, all weather, and a change of pace. The RoadUno is a 1-speed with brakes, but it unlike so many one-speeds, the RoadUno didn't start with a track bike foundation. Geometrically and functionally, it's more like a Sam Hillborne or Homer without the shifters and gears. It's comfortable, practical, extremely useful. It's not a freaky ultra-niche-y "seventh bike"; it's closer to a third bike. Fourth at most. The RoadUno is—
ALL WEATHER, as you'd want a single-speed to be. It fits fenders easily, with tires up to 45mm. A perfect winter bike for daily commuting, shopping, and slogging.
ALL PURPOSE, as long as it's. not too hilly. The RoadUno fits racks and tires up to 50mm as long as you don't fender it.
FOR ANY HANDLEBAR. It has enough top tube to work with a huge variety of swept-back handlebars, but not so long as to rule out drops.
IT RIDES LIKE ALL RIVENDELLS.
What it's like to ride a one-speed with a freewheel (coastable 1-speed):
It's relaxing, because the gear determines your pedaling cadence and speed. With the RU's 44x17 top gear, you'll feel perfect on flat roads, you'll muscle up rolling climbs, and you'll be able to pedal a little on medium descents, until you pick up enough speed and can't catch up with the bike's speed. You don't feel dumb for not shifting to a harder gear, because it's not even an option, so you just coast and ride the bike like a magic carpet. On steep climbs, you grunt, traverse, or walk. It's a good way to build strength, and you won't feel bad about walking, because your bike (with the 44 x 16 gear) is clearly unsuitable for climbs.
The bike's gearing determines your speed.
What it's like to ride a one-speed fixed gear (no coasting):
It's easier on level roads and climbs, because as the rear wheel rolls, it's also turning the pedals for you. On a normal bike that lets you coast, the weak parts of the pedal stroke are when the pedals are at their high and low points. (You can't push them between 11:00 and 1:00 on the stroke, but as long as the bike is moving, the bike itself pushes the pedals.)
So all those guys who ride fixed gears on flat roads and think they're cool or tough for doing it--they're actually cheating. As long as the gear isn't clearly too high, fixed gears are easier on hills, because the moving bike is helping you push the pedals.
But fixed gears are harder on descents. The speed of the bike determines the speed of the pedals, and on a long or steep descent, the bike will force the pedals to whirr too fast. This is where brakes can help, and it's why you really should have two brakes on any fixed gear bike. Gymnastic and daring riders can lean to stop fast and even with no brakes, but that's stunt-riding, not normal or practical, and they shouldn't be your role models.
By using both brakes and resisting the automatically moving pedals, you actually can stop sooner and safer, and with less chance of skidding, which is a small advantage on wet roads.
The RU comes with two single-speed freewheels, six teeth apart. If you want to use a fixed cog, take off the larger (22t) cog, and thread on the fixed cog of your choice. This side of the hub also accommodates a lockring, to prevent leg-resistance from unthreading the cog. It's essential when you don't have brakes, but if you have brakes (and use them), it's not totally necessary—once you have cranked it on hard by grunting up a hill in that gear. But we're not saying don't get a lockring. Get one just so we'r
FRAME & FORK: Some TIG-welds, one lug, and a gorgeous crown on the fork. The tubing and build quality are the same as on our most expensive bikes.
We offer it complete, or with frame and fork only.
SHOULD YOU BUY JUST FRAME & FORK AND BUILD IT UP YOURSELF?
You want a project and have the tools and time and patience. The good news is, a one-speed requires less of each than a geared bike. You may have used or spare new bike parts around just begging to go onto a frame, but hold on a sec. The RoadUno frame is good, has tons of potential, and you can mess it all up by putting the wrong parts on it. If you're sure they'll work and won't be bummed if they don't, go for it. Otherwise, buy new parts—either from us or anybody else.
Here are the particulars you have to get:
Seat post: 26.8mm
Rear hub: with 120mm spacing.
Headset: One-inch threaded ISO—30.2mm x 26.4mm
Stem quill: 22.2mm. Bars to fit the stem.
Rims/tires: 650B for the 48cm, 700c for the others. Maximum tire, about 48mm. Don't ride skinnier than 32mm.
Brakes: Canti or V-brake, compatible brake levers, and cable hangers for cantis.
BB shell: BSC(English), 68mm
Bottom bracket: To fit the crank and give a chainline of 43mm to 45mm, which generally means a short BB spindle and something other than a typical mountain bike crank. A Shimano or Tange 102mm spindle and a Silver or Clipper crank driving off the middle ring position will be fine.
Here's how the complete RoadUno comes:
Headset: FSA sealed aluminum, same as we use on everything. It's good.
Stem: Nitto Tallux with 25.4mm clamp
Handlebar: Nitto Albatross
Seat Post: Kalloy, single-bolt, 250mm, 26.8mm
Saddle: None. We have some, you may have one already.
Crank: Silver, with 44t ring and chainring guard.
Bottom Bracket: Tange/IRD 102mm sealed.
Wheels: Front Q/R, rear bolt-on. Novatec sealed hubs, black, 36-hole, on Alex eyeletted aluminum rims.
Pedals: Victor plastic/resin, sealed. Same as we put on CLEMs.
COGS: 15t on one side, 22t on the other. Both freewheels.
GRIPS: None. We have them, or just use bar tape.
BRAZE-ONS: A-plenty. Easy to rack, fender.
LOAD CAPACITY: Enough for books, milk, pumpkins, laptop, and a change of clothes.
RIDER WEIGHT LIMIT?: How's 260lb sound? It's a guess. It won't snap or collapse under a 300lb rider, but if you weigh that and want a one-speed, why not just get a CLEM and remove the shifters? Regular bikes are easy enough to convert to one-speeds.
APPEARANCE: The RoadUno doesn't look as classically gorgeous as our fully lugged frames, because some of the joints are TIG-welded. We do this with a few of our bikes to get the price down, but even on these bikes—the CLEM, Roadini, the odd Rosco Bubbe here and there, and the HubbuHubbuH tandem—we go to great lengths to make them, even by our high standards, cosmetically special. We accomplish this with investment cast head tube rings, a killer seat lug, a flat investment cast fork crown, beautifully bent and slimly tapered fork blades, cream details on the paint, always excellent colors, decals that frankly make most other details look like kindergarten projects, and head badges that bring all the details together like a black hole.
In other words, we put as much into the graphics as we do into the design and construction. A Rivendell always has a certain look, and if you like it, you'll like the RoadUno, too.
TWO COLORS: LimeOlive pearl--close to and almost as good as the old Legnano green; and Dark Gold pearl, kind of a rich, orange-tinted butterscotch. ("Pearl" means it has a fine sparkle that pops in the sun and disappears in the shade.)
We go by PUBIC BONE HEIGHT.
Frame, wheel, min PBH:
48cm 650b xxcm. (typical rider height up to X)
51cm 650b. xxcm (typical rider height up to X)
54cm 700c xxcm (typical rider height up to X)
57cm 700c. xxcm (typical rider height up to X)
61cm 700c xxcm. (typical rider height up to X)