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what's too long for a fixed gear ride? (distance)(9 posts)

what's too long for a fixed gear ride? (distance)maurizio
Sep 30, 2003 8:05 AM
I'm looking to ride my fixed gear once a week during the winter here in AZ (prime riding weather).
I commute to work twice a week, 52 miles round trip.
The route is relatively flat, but is this too much time on a fixed gear?
For the speed that I will be spinning on that bike, it will equate to 3 hours in the saddle.
OUCH! my aching legs.
just work up to it and you'll be fineDougSloan
Sep 30, 2003 8:09 AM
Also, don't plan on sprinting away from every intersection. That will take a toll on your knees.

Gear so that you are not mashing or spinning so fast you wear a hole in your shorts.

Sep 30, 2003 9:28 AM
Starting from intersections can be very tough on the knees. Listen to them. If your legs feel OK, but your knees are hurting, change the gearing. You can even change both the chainring and the cog to get a 1/2 step gearing change.

Any distance is do-able. I got my fixie in May and rode my first fixed century a couple weeks ago, a day after an 80 mile, 7000' fixie day.

If the distance feels hard on a fixie, you can always consider single-speed.
Agreed and solutions that work for my knees...dzrider
Oct 1, 2003 4:40 AM
I try to accelerate and climb with a pronounced pull up the back of the pedal stroke, kind of like a leg curl. This feels like more exertion while I'm doing it, but leaves my knees pain free. My upstroke is strong enough now that if I don't keep my butt back, I lift the back wheel off the road.

When back-pedaling to slow down I flex my feet and pull up with the foot that's on the down stroke. It was very awkward at first and feels like it will tear your cleat off your shoe, but so far it hasn't and there's no sensation of the pedal driving my lower leg up against my knee cap.
Agreed and solutions that work for my knees...Humma Hah
Oct 1, 2003 9:25 AM
Aside from experimenting with seat height to keep my knees comfortable, I find concentrating on smoothness is the most important thing.

It's great to blast up a little hill using momentum, but on a long ride with long hills, that ain't gonna cut it, and you simply have to take the hill at a sustainable pace. What works the best for me is to slow down, establish a sustainable pace just below my AT (I'll often use the speedo to hold myself to this pace), stand up, and pedal the smoothest circles I can manage. Absolutely avoid sudden downward pressure.
With just 260 miles on mine since I got it ...Humma Hah
Sep 30, 2003 8:30 AM
... and never having ridden it more than 30 miles at a time, I did a rolling century on it this weekend. I did ride my singlespeed on an 85/100 miler three weekends earlier, but had no base miles since. I'm slightly sore, was ravenously hungry for beef after the ride, and last night, in the mirror, I noticed a couple of muscles in my thighs that didn't show up before.

52 miles sounds like a very good fixed-gear distance, to me, and they'll probably be a great base for centuries, maybe even a double century.
Thanks for the input...moremaurizio
Sep 30, 2003 10:20 AM
Thanks for the input. I usually ride a fixed right after weights or the day after to force my legs to turn in circles again. But that has never exceeded an hour or so.
I may try the single speed first and really work on my spin.
Our team sponsorship is taking a ten fold jump next year so I really want to prepare well and I think 52 miles on a fixed once a week will teach my body quite a bit of discipline to work the gear rather than always upshifting.
Keep the rubber side down!
I find longer rides easier on the fixte...timfire
Sep 30, 2003 7:46 PM
While it took me a while to get use to ss & fixed riding, now that I am I find riding the fixed on long rides to be easier than on the geared bike, something about the simplified drive train. Also there's something about always keeping my legs moving that seem to keep my legs feeling fresher.

Of course, I live in Chicago, where the land is flat. I can't comment on how hills affect things. I also ride a low-ish gear, 41x16.

re: what's too long for a fixed gear ride? (distance)SmogRider
Oct 9, 2003 10:10 AM
I did a 70 mile fun ride in L.A. (to Long Beach) with a rest stop at the halfway/turnaround point.

the only thing that got to me was my sore ass and not being able to easily stand to change things up. I was praying for a climb so I could get out of the saddle.

I figure a better saddle, maybe a Brooks would help out there.