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first extended fixed ride(4 posts)

first extended fixed rideJS Haiku Shop
Mar 17, 2003 9:18 AM
Wonderdog and i went out on saturday afternoon for a 45-50 miler (W$=50mi, J=46mi, W$ had longer commute to ride start than J). weather was mid 60s and overcast with very little wind. it was a pre-ride/scouting mission for the commute from our normal ride start to the St. Patty's ride start, which was ~17 miles distant. i'd cued the ride, but my guess at 15 miles ended up being about 24. we shaved 7 off on the return ride. route covered was fairly rolling to gently hilly, with few stops and little traffic.

accompanying us were three riders on geared bikes. two of them are very strong--one we merit with climbing ability and one as a relative "diesel". the other was W$'s friend out for a spin on his Spring legs. as many of us are exclusively cyclists, W$ and his friend are also paddlers.

the biggest surprises for me were speed on climbs and the flats. set for SS, the Steamroller is geared 42x16. fixed, 42x14. none of the lumps had me considering hoofing it, but there were a few legburners. otherwise, staying atop the gear (not getting "bogged down") meant i was flying up hills and inadvertantly dropping the geared folks.

at first i was pretty concerned about getting clipped in and starting, and getting unclipped and stopping, but "just do it" worked pretty well, and now i'm fairly comfy with most aspects. things still to learn are when not to (attempt to) coast, like adjusting your shorts or shoe straps, or when making the euro-pro salute after town line sprints. forgetting about the fixed aspect lasts only milliseeconds, as self-preservation kicks in pretty quick, IME.

bottom speed saturday was something horrific, barely turning the pedals on the steepest of the lumpy roads on the outbound leg. top speed was 35.5 mph, and sheldon's link to a gear calculator says spinning was about 153 rpm at that time. what did i learn at 153 rpm? when you're tired of spinning, you can't coast. :)

i'm hooked, bad.

-J
Now look, I sent you the cog so you get your own camera.MB1
Mar 17, 2003 10:06 AM
And post some pix to go along with your fine ride reports.

BTW it is amazing at first that on a fixte you climb so much faster than geared bikes on short hills. We won't talk about long hills.....
Yup, it feels to me like I keep momentum longer and I'vedzrider
Mar 17, 2003 10:51 AM
always worked at pushing hard over the many little rollers we have in CT. I'm also newly fixed and observations are pretty fresh. I experienced, for the first time on Sunday, a bike wanting to turn my feet faster than I could keep up with. I didn't care for feeling so out of phase with my machine and was grateful for brakes. Guess I'll have to practice.
What I've found...look271
Mar 19, 2003 5:14 PM
If you really try to spin at those horrific rpms it's much smoother than if you just kind-of let your legs along for the ride. Also, if you (ever so slightly) attempt to stand (just lightening your weight on the seat), you can spin faster and more comfortably. You can also make an attempt at slowing down with your legs when you get rolling too fast. It won't stop you, but it keeps you in control.