So, this winter, I ended up rebuilding my old Bianchi (steel) road bike. It seemed like a lot of things were broken, or weren't working well, so I ended up converting it to a singlespeed. I was mostly able to use old parts that I had laying around, which means the bike has a strange mix of components.
I rode it briefly a couple weeks ago, but my position was really screwed up so it was uncomfortable to ride for very long. The gearing was also a touch too hard. I went back and checked my position more carefully and took it out again on Sunday. I also swapped in a cog with one extra tooth.
It turned out that the new gearing was just about perfect, at least for February riding. On a slight downhill, I was spinning quickly, but nothing too crazy, and the uphills weren't overly tough. Although, by the end of the ride, I was really feeling the climbs. On a singlespeed, there is nowhere to hide!
The only problem was that my seatpost was slipping. I don't know if it was a thermal expansion problem (steel frame / aluminum seatpost), or that I just didn't tighten it enough, too much grease, or what. It took me awhile to notice, but I eventually did, after it had slipped a lot. After I reset and retightened it, I didn't notice any more slippage.
Anyway, it turned out to be a pretty fun bike to ride. I kind of thought it would bother me to only have one gear on the road, but it really didn't turn out to be a big deal. Like I said before, the only problem was that, after 2+ hours of riding, I was wishing for an easier gear on the hills. Still, it wasn't too bad.