It’s been countless discussions with friends and years in the making, but One Gear is finally debuting its English version. You may discover it, but this very website is now twenty years old. I guess embracing English does make sense at this point. When I launched One Gear, it was as much an experiment as my first singlespeed rides. Both activities were started only a few weeks apart and grew together through time and my involvement in the singlespeed community. I can only guess that One Gear “looks like me”. But I know it is a genuine part of my life.
Back in early 2001, I launched a small personal website dedicated to singlespeed. Although I wrote in French, I chose an English name for it: One Gear. It didn’t matter much; the content was poor and personal, and I had no readers. The important part to me was that I had a website I made myself. It enabled me to learn the basics of graphic design, HTML and web hosting. I had fun with a few iterations of One Gear, the content grew and the first readers came. Then in 2005, a singlespeed boom happened in France and my life changed almost immediately, because of the French version of this website.
Fifteen years later, One Gear is still there, although countless issues and accidents happened along the way. But the scenery is now a lot different. Social networks grew to the point of gathering everything and everyone. Video is everywhere, absorbing brains in thirty second formats. Written content is no more a praised content, which does not make a website-turned-magazine easy to justify. In 2020, I took 6 months off the website. It allowed me to find a new motivation and direction for One Gear.
This new English version is the result of this. I hesitated to make the leap for a long time and somehow, Instagram showed me the possibility. On this social network, the small audience of One Gear is much more international. The obvious reason is that the content is based on photos rather than words. But I think there is still room for a website dedicated to off-road singlespeed. There is not much concurrence worldwide, so maybe oldschool written content can find an audience. Let’s try.
As you see, everything is new on this English version of One Gear. It still needs tuning here and there to make both versions of the website to run as flawlessly as I want. However, the basis is here and here is what you can expect in the future: bike features, reviews, event recap (if the global pandemic gives us a break), how-to articles, a small shop, etc. Through time, this new side of the website will become a true global version of the singlespeed magazine I’ve been running for twenty years.
Singlespeed has been a passion for these twenty years and sharing it remains the main motivation for running this web-based magazine. Welcoming new readers on One Gear is a genuine pleasure and I hope you will enjoy its content!