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Too much of a good thing(3 posts)

Too much of a good thingOneheart
Dec 16, 2002 11:46 AM
Whew! Just finished my fixed gear project this past week. It's a late 80's Bianchi in a cool purple color (sorry no pics yet). I set it up with a 42X17 for the hills of Tennessee and that seems great. Now to the problem: too much of a good thing means I rode it 25 very hills miles Saturday and 46 hilly miles on Sunday. Consequently today I can barely walk! The climbs were great but the downhills became torturous as I grew increasingly tired. This is such a difference from my geared bike where you do a long climb and then can recover on the downhill... not on a fixed!!!! By the end of the ride I winced at every downhill I approached. I realized in a 50 mile ride I must coast (and get some rest) at least 100 times on my geared bike. Perhaps someday I'll learn moderation, but at 52 years old I doubt it! I wonder if there's some equation that compares fixed gear riding to geared: i.e. if I ride 50 miles on my fixed gear what is the equivalent mileage in energy output for riding my geared bike. Today I'd say it's about 50 miles fixed = 150 miles geared!!! Any ideas??
re: Too much of a good thingfixedgearhead
Dec 16, 2002 12:45 PM
My daily avaerage on a fixed is 50-75 miles of rolling hills and flats. 42/15 gears and 61 years old. Now to the reality check. I have been doing this for quite a few years and exclusively fixed gear riding for the last 3 years. I certaintly didn't start out at that level. I would suggest about 25 miles of good hills and moderate hill decents for the first few weeks/months. You have to build up to a large amount of miles fixed. Your legs need to build up to the constant demands of fixed gear riding. Even messengers who ride all day stop and get off the bike for deliveries. That gives the legs a chance to recover. Even at 52 you have many years yet of riding to go. Don't try to do it all right away. Trying to do to much to soon is like running the Boston Marathon the day after you buy your first pair of running shoes.

Depends on the hillsLC
Dec 16, 2002 12:49 PM
On fairly flats rides I don't think it is much harder unless you are trying to keep up with geared bikes that are pushing it into the mid 20's mph and you swear your pedals are going to wear out just from this one ride. Probally feels like fixed:geared from 1.5:1 to 2:1 depending on the pace and not any harder at all if your just poking along.

In the hills, you find a whole new level of pain that you didn't think even existed. At first I could only do a short ride before I would have to limp home when my legs would feel dead. You do get stronger though, but make sure you allow for extra recovery time when you push it hard like that. I think from 2:1 to 3:1 if there are many hills. I judge it by how long it takes me to recover.