A guide to single speed bicycles with the Pearson "Once More Unto The Breach!"

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Following the recent bout of fixie fever that has struck the nation, we at Pearsons are proud to present out own single speed solution. The Once More Unto The Breach! may be different to its competitors but its development was a marked response to many other manufacturer's failings without overriding their prices.

Why buy a single speed bicycle?

Function, fashion...both? Single speeds have been going through changes.

Back in the 'times of old' cyclists often had one bike for all - racing, track and training. Geared racing bikes were often converted to single speed for track, winter or training purposes. Club training rides would be coordinated so that those involved would be pushing the same size fixed gear to maintain smooth rhythm and a consistent speed of the group.

It has only been in the last few years where the idea of single speed bikes has become mainstream for all sorts of riders.

You can read a great single speed training guide from Outdoor Fitness here

The Commuter

Simple, low maintenance, lightweight and responsive bikes. Most commuting distances are below 15 miles (24km) and if you ask the average commuter how many gears are used on such a journey it is usually under 1/4 available in their range. Ask the average single speed commuter how many gears they think they need and the answer is usually - no more!

No need to worry about wearing out or cleaning rear gears, derailleurs or yourself, the single speed uses a wider chain (1/8" pitch) which is more durable, direct drive, cleaner and keeps maintenance to a minimum.

The Training Cyclist

Use of just one gear especially if it is 'fixed' (where the rider is unable to freewheel) is a sure-fire way of keeping fit. At a time of year when daylight hours are short and weather is not always conducive to staying out for hours on end, a session on the single speed bike, even if only for an hour, can blast away the calories and keep the heart pumping. If your bike is moving your legs are moving! Even when used with a freewheel riders have to try harder. Uphills will usually force a rider out of the saddle, standing on the pedals to hastily dispense with those damned hills.

The Courier/Hipster

It's your opportunity to roll up one trouser leg, grow a 'wildman of the woods' beard and head over to visit the Hoxton massive in East London. Truly amazing bikes reinvented and new have become the ultimate fashion accessory whilst also serving those couriers who doggedly cover hundreds of miles every year, often on a shoestring budget

The Enthusiast

Many will maintain that the single speed never really went away...many an audax ride, sportif and challenge ride have been accomplished on single speeds. Our very one "Once More Unto The Breach!," formerly known as the Touché, has completed journeys like London to Brighton, Lands End to John O'Groats and Paris Brest Paris! These intrepid riders are considered the purists of the cycle world and will stand by their belief that extra gears are surplus to requirement. One of the most famous, Henri Desgrange - inventor of the Tour De France, is quoted in 1902 as saying "Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailleur? We are getting soft...as for me, give me a fixed gear!" Who can argue?

What you can expect from a Pearson bike

Custom Built!

Each bike is lovingly built to each unique customer order. We are not interested in out of the box solutions, everybody is different and has their individual likes. We do this as par for the course and customers are not charged any extra for this attention to detail. Even if you order a 'standard' specification online, one of our customer advisors will be in contact to run through sizing, specification and delivery for every build. We have a range of upgrades and are open to fitting alternative parts to customer specification. Usual turnaround is 7-10 days, however we have been known to build a bike for the time constrained customer within a day (although they do have to pick the right time!)


The key features of the Once More Unto The Breach! are the aluminium smooth weld frame with integrated carbon forks and full mudguard clearance. The bike will take up to 28mm tyres and also features rack and double bottle bosses. The frame geometry has been carefully designed, employing relaxed angles, long wheelbase and a raised bottom bracket to ensure smooth, comfortable miles. Supplied with or without mudguards, our bikes provide a lightweight, very practical, year round solution for all types of cyclists. We are proud to say that customers from Orkney to Auckland are already riding our bikes worldwide!

The Frame

The alloy frame is finished in mightnight blue, with stainless steel rear facing reinforced dropouts, integrated 1 1/8" headset, mudguard clearance, double eyelets on rear stays for designated mudguards and rack mounting points and double bottle cage bosses.

Supplied with a carbon fork for extra vibration damping, strength and weight saving, with mudguard clearance and mudguard eyelets. Fork rake s 50mm offset to reduce toe overlap.

The Wheels and Gearing

Track type wheels with polished brake surfaces are built with stainless steel on large flange sealed bearing hubs and fitted with all-weather road tyres.

The hubs are 'flip flop' meaning that they will take a fixed gear on one side and a freewheel on the other. This means that the wheel can be turned one way or the other in the frame to choose between being able to freewheel (the bike moves, your legs don't have to) or ride fixed (the bike moves, so do your legs, always.) Alternatively, you can have two different gear sizes with double fixed gears.

The 1/8" chain set is available in 172.5, 170 or 165 cranks and chainset with a 48 tooth ring.

Our standard tyres are Vittoria Zafiro all weather on 700x23 but upgrades are always an option.

Bars and Stem

We off two options on the handlebars:

  • Alloy oversized drop bars in a choice of widths and the very comfortable Cane Creek aero levers
  • Upturned courier type bars with time trial brake levers
  • Both are used in conjunction with polished alloy or black long drop dual pivot brakes


    The bike is not supplied with any due to the cast array of different types and preferences on the market. Shimano, SPD, Look, Time, Speedplay and Egg Beater pedals are all available at competitive prices.


    The cost of the standard bike is £799

    Variations on specification can be made post any web order. Although you would have entered card details, we do not authorise your payment until we have fully confirmed the order with our customer.

    The Specification

    Frame Aluminium double butted
    Fork Carbon blades, alloy steerer
    Wheels Alloy rims, 32 steel butted spokes
    Hubs Sealed bearing, flip-flop rear, nutted axles
    Tyres Vittoria Rubino(or similar alternative) 700x23
    Bar and Stem Oversize alloy ahead
    Chainset Alloy 48t 1/8" pitch chainring
    Seat Post Alloy micro adjust
    Saddle Pearson road comfort
    Chain & Sprocket Sram 1/8" & 15-20t alloy fixed, 17 or 18t freewheel


  • Handlebars - Drop or Courier
  • Bar width centre (cm) - 40, 42, 44, 46
  • Stem length (mm) - 80, 90, 100, 110, 120, 130.
  • Upgrades

    Tyres Conti Hardshell +£40
    Ambrosio or Halo wheel upgrade +£95
    Carbon seat post +£50
    SKS Mudguards +£35
    Nickel plated chain +£15
    Rear rack from +£30
    Shimano Ultegra dynamo front hub +£200
    Exposure Flash Flare rechargeable light set +£85


    Frame Size 505254565860
    Top Tube (cm )515354565758
    Seat tube angle 737373737373
    Head tube angle 727272727272

    Cycle To Work

    This is an ideal bike to use your cycle to work voucher on. Coming in well below the £1000 threshold, if you wish to max out your budget the extra left over usually happily goes on the extras and upgrades that prove all too tempting!

    Please contact us for a written quote. If you're filling in an online quote with cyclescheme.co.uk, our shop reference is simply: "Pearsons"

    For further details please call our sales line - 0208 642 2095. For Sutton press option 1 then 2, for Sheen press option 1.

    "Now You See Me..."

    We also make a steel Pearson single speed bike named the 'Now You See Me..."

    Formerly known as the Pearson Hanzo, we use the same principles of the "Once More..." but in four sizes of Reynolds 525 Steel tubed frameset. This has also been a hugely popular model in the past and has undergone rebranding without new Pearson logos and designs.

    Meanwhile, here are some more images of the Once More Unto The Breach