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Thread: Riding fixed

  1. #31
    Master wheezing donkey's Avatar
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    14 April 2017 014.jpg14 April 2017 015.jpg

    Simon, this is my 'take' on the genre. Mostly from bits that I've had stashed in the loft for 15 years or so. I've kept it quite conservative for the moment on 59 inches (46x21) but in a month or so I'll swap to 46x20 (62.1 inches). Ridden about 35 miles so far and it handles beautifully.

    Ian.
    I was a bit of an oddball until I was abducted by aliens; but I'm perfectly OK now!

  2. #32
    Master PeteS's Avatar
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    I'm going to dip my toes into riding fixed for my winter commute. It's not too hilly and the bike I'm looking at is a 46/16 gear ratio. Have I bitten off more than I can chew? Its a flip flop hub so can ride it freewheel for a while until I get used the gearing.
    (My road bike is 52/11-28)
    Pete Shakespeare - U/A

    Going downhill fast

  3. #33
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    I found 44/18 just a bit too low for general riding and on the morning commute. Then coming home up hill with a pannier of books after a long day just a bit too much. I’ve gone to a 44 with a 10 speed mech and 23-11 now.
    Tried it, didn’t work for me.

  4. #34
    [QUOTE=Graham Breeze;680440]"not too hilly"?

    Do the route on your 52:18 and see how it feels but spinning lower gears wins Tours (Armstrong) and pushing high gears (Ulrich) doesn't./QUOTE]
    "...as dry as the Atacama desert".

  5. #35
    Senior Member Marco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteS View Post
    I'm going to dip my toes into riding fixed for my winter commute. It's not too hilly and the bike I'm looking at is a 46/16 gear ratio. Have I bitten off more than I can chew?
    It's not just the hills you've got to think about. When the wind is against you the gear will be too big; when it's behind you it will feel like it's too small.

    For what it's worth, my fixed wheel bike has a gear of 44 x 16 on 28mm tyres, (Vittoria Zaffiro Pro with Graphene 2.0, before you ask Graham). I sacked off the flip-flop hub and the rear brake, and ride with Shimano SPD-SL pedals. If you're going to do dangerous, you may as well do it properly

    You may be fitter and stronger than me, but 46 x 16 sounds a bit high for commuting. I would suggest 46 x 17 to start off with.

    If you've never ridden fixed before, I'd recommend lowering your saddle - so you can't 'lock' your leg straight when approaching a bend. Make sure you're wearing a helmet, gloves, and you start on really quiet roads too - because it will throw you over the bars (3 times in my case) before you get used to it.

  6. #36
    Senior Member Marco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by felltrumpet View Post
    I found 44/18 just a bit too low for general riding and on the morning commute. Then coming home up hill with a pannier of books after a long day just a bit too much. I’ve gone to a 44 with a 10 speed mech and 23-11 now.
    Tried it, didn’t work for me.
    A distant memory came back to me last night; I commuted on fixed at one point.

    It was in the 1980s, and I rode from Derby to Heanor and back 5 days a week. Felltrumpet will probably know this road, but for the rest of you I'll say it is not mountainous, and there are no arrows on the OS map, but it is both 'lumpy' and has some exposed level(ish) straights where any wind hits you.

    I thought I'd be ok on 42 x 16, but I gave it up after two weeks and switched to a 5 speed 14-24 freewheel (this is before cassettes) with the same 42t chainring. I found that with a cheap, heavy bike I was bouncing on the saddle on the descents, and then grinding up the ascents.

    I think my problem was that I'd looked at the route on a still, sunny day, when riding fixed was a joy. I hadn't factored in how strong the wind could be in the evening when cycling home tired.

    As with most things, there are things that you can do. The obvious thing to do would be to get a double fixed hub, and put something like a 16t on one side and an 18t on the other. Then, by turning the rear wheel over according to the wind and how fit/tired/weighed down with luggage you were you should have the right gear.

    There is another alternative, that might work out cheaper. Surly used to make, (I'm not sure they still do), a dingle, which is a two cog fixed sprocket. With this you still have to unbolt the rear wheel, but you then switch the chain to the other sprocket before bolting up your rear wheel again.

    Here is a link so you can see what I'm talking about - although this shop doesn't seem to have any

    https://www.tritoncycles.co.uk/compo...ingle-cog-p989
    Last edited by Marco; 27-09-2022 at 01:06 PM.

  7. #37
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    I have toyed with chopping up a cassette to leave 19/17/15, mounting with spacers on a free hub and then use a chain tensioner.
    But…I can’t really find any rational reason to use that much energy and time to do it!

  8. #38
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    [QUOTE=Graham Breeze;680441]
    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Breeze View Post
    "not too hilly"?

    Do the route on your 52:18 and see how it feels but spinning lower gears wins Tours (Armstrong) and pushing high gears (Ulrich) doesn't
    But surely we all know Merckx's (apocryphal) advice on spinning small gears vs pushing big ones?

  9. #39
    [QUOTE=Mud;680458]
    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Breeze View Post

    But surely we all know Merckx's (apocryphal) advice on spinning small gears vs pushing big ones?
    Merckx?

    Was he the old Remco Evenepoel?
    "...as dry as the Atacama desert".

  10. #40
    Master PeteS's Avatar
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    So 52/18 all the way to work this morning which felt comfortable. Admittedly it's a net downhill, but there are a few lumps and bumps, traffic lights etc. along the way. I will take a more circuitous route home and see how it feels along the canal towpaths and a more hills.
    I was actually looking at another bike last night set up with 46/18 and I'm now wondering if that is too low. (I'm definitely on the Merckx end of the scale normally - pushing a big gear fast!)
    Pete Shakespeare - U/A

    Going downhill fast

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