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Virgin fixte ride(3 posts)

Virgin fixte rideErik A
Nov 24, 2002 8:55 PM
Well today I completed my first fixed gear ride (not including the bike I learned to ride at the age of 4-5).

An uncle gave me an 83 Schwinn le tour that had been sitting in someone's garage for a looonnngg time in original condition. Seemed like a perfect candidate for a stripdown to the barest essentials. I kept the freewheel hubs and threaded on a 1/8" 15t track cog with some loctite and a lockring, and redished the rear wheel. Also am using an 1/8" SRAM PC7 chain. So far I haven't noticed any problems with using a road (stock) 3/32" chainring (42t). There's a little side to side play on the chainring when you push the chain with a finger, but since the driveline is straight it doesn't seem to be a problem while riding.

The gearing seems to work great for Chicago's mostly flat terrain, although it was a little challenging going into a brisk wind along the lake (coming back was cake). I was a little nervous for the first ride, but didn't have any problems. I kept a front brake on for safety (using a left mountain bike lever - keeps it simple & uncluttered I think), but really didn't have to use it much even in traffic. I am now paying more attention to the full pedal stroke - especiallly when slowing down, and making sure to slow for turns - minor impact of a pedal around a corner reminded me!! Oh yeah - and keep pedaling while going up/over obstacles. All in all it was fun!! I got on my commuter mountain bike tonight and it didn't feel right at first!
If it wasn't "a little challenging", what fun would THAT be?Humma Hah
Nov 25, 2002 6:19 AM
It's that extra challenge that makes fixed-gear scratch the cycling itch a little deeper.

Sounds like you did a slick job on the conversion. Most folks here routinely ride adapted roadbike cranks with the 1/8" chains, and I've never heard of any problems. The few of us holding out for Pista track components are just being obsessive about it. Fixed-gear riding has a tradition going back about 120 years ... true purists want skip-tooth chainwheels, and REAL purists want a penny-farthing high-wheeler.
The hook gets imbedded deeper with each ride!Tig
Nov 25, 2002 8:18 AM
Fun, huh? You'll get the hang of it more with each ride. At first a 20 mile ride felt difficult. The muscles get a complete workout. After a short while, you'll find yourself riding longer. 3 weeks on mine and I've racked up over 300 mile already. Sunday's ride was 54 fairly quick miles, and my legs feel each mile! The fitness gains keep showing up.

I'm also using a 15T cog, but with a 39 in front. I know how challenging a headwind can be, but your gearing is even more of a challenge. Have fun, and watch the fitness build.