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I wimped out and retired the fixed gear(6 posts)

I wimped out and retired the fixed gearContinental
Sep 3, 2003 8:14 AM
Thanks for all the advice and support from the posters on this board. I built a fixed gear bike last January, but decided to retire it last week. The main reason was that I didn't have confidence in my bike handling skills at critical times, like when meeting cars on a curve with loose gravel. Also, I'm not tough enough to handle the rolling hills of West St. Louis County, even with a 42X17. You guys who do fixed gear centuries have my great respect.
Sorry it didn't work out... but it was fun to try I bet...PdxMark
Sep 3, 2003 10:18 AM
I started riding fixed gear in April. It's been working for me so far, even though I needed to tweek the gearing a bit to keep my knees happy.

My mileage this year has not been what I usually like to do, but the fixed gear has strengthened me up in relatively few miles. Next week I'll be doing a 450-500 mile tour on the fixed gear. One century day (it'll be my first fixed century) and one day with 7000' of climbing (I've done one of those so far).

I'm having lots of fun with it. One fun bit of irony. On those multi-thousand foot climbs, I do OK going up, but find that I like to stop and rest on the descent. I'm also very sensitive to grades of 10% or more, for more than just a couple hundred yards.

Keep the fixie around if you can. It might be fun for some shorter in-town rides. Of maybe convert to singlespeed.
Convert it to a singlespeed ...Humma Hah
Sep 3, 2003 10:21 AM
I can understand fixed gear in traffic being a bit nervous. But a singlespeed should handle as easily as a geared bike. The conversion takes about a minute and cost around $20.

I've got SS rear cogs for the cruiser up to 22T, enough to get me down into SS MTB territory. I'll be running 46:20 in the Tour de Canal next weekend.
Ditto on the single speedB2
Sep 4, 2003 4:47 AM
I've never ridden a fixed gear so I'm not a good canidate to comment on it, but I do have the some of the same fears about fixed gear as you have stated.

My solution was to do the single speed conversion. It has worked out really well with 42/15 gearing. Fast enough (kind of) for the flats and low enough to get me up most any of the hills (we have plenty of em here in Seattle).

Call me a whimp, but it sure feels nice when you crest the top of a hill that nearly blew you up knowing that you can COAST for a few seconds and recover. I admire you fixed guys having to break with your pedal stroke when there's nothing left in your legs!

I'm routinely doing 35 - 40 miles rides with the single speed and really enjoying it. It does make me feel guilty leaving a way too expensive bike hanging in the garage, but that one still gets used more anyway.

Good Luck,
I do adore coasting.Humma Hah
Sep 4, 2003 2:52 PM
I know Sheldon Brown is right, but I DO so love coasting down a big hill I've suffered getting up.

I've never ridden a century on a geared bike. I've done 4 centuries, plus 130, 140, and 152-mile rides on the SS cruiser, and put 90 miles on it Monday. This weekend I expect to put 84 miles on it Saturday, 100 on Sunday, off-road (the C&O towpath).

I hope to do my first fixed-gear century at the end of the month. I doubt I'll enjoy it quite as much as singlespeed, but I'm looking forward to the challenge. I can feel changes in my pedal stroke on the fixie that 45 years of singlespeeding never produced.
Coasting on long descents is delicious....PdxMark
Sep 4, 2003 6:29 PM
I've ridden 80 miles with 6500' of climbing on my fixed gear. Heading off on a trip next week that will include a century (3000' of climbing) and a day of 70 miles 7000'. I find the fixie fun on moderate descents, but long 2000'+ descents can get hard on the fixie. I can do the climbs fine, but want to rest on the descents.

I plan to use the fixed gear mainly for commuting because it is great for getting me into shape. I'm using it on this trip because the terrain is reasonably manageable and it seems like a fun challenge.