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Need info on fixed gear(3 posts)

Need info on fixed gearturtlemoye
Dec 20, 2001 4:18 PM
There has been alot of discussions about fixed gears on this forum and it has sparked my curosity. Obviously many of you love it and I'm sure others may view it as a fad or the latest new thing. Help me justify getting one. What are the training benefits? Should I ride the same size as my road bike? I did check the archives but didn't find the answers I was looking for. Please let me know what you think and what I should consider when making my purchase.

Thanks in advance,
--turtle
re: Need info on fixed gear(sorry about the extra post)turtlemoye
Dec 20, 2001 4:19 PM
Sorry for the multiple post
re: Need info on fixed gearRay Sachs
Dec 21, 2001 5:10 AM
Well first, it can't be a fad or the latest new thing - it's been around much longer than freewheels or multi-geared bikes. If anything, it's the essence of simplicity, harkening back to the roots of cycling, the purest form of riding, a Zen experience yada, yada, yada (the yadas don't mean I don't believe it, just kind of funny to keep hearing all of us trying to describe the undesribable).

The training benefit is that it forces you to work on every aspect of your cycling, from smoothing out your spin (a downhill that forces you to spin 160+ rpm WILL do this) to working on your strength (a climb that you can only grunt out at 25 rpm WILL do this).

The main benefit to me, though, and I think this is true of lots of fixie riders, is that it's just plain addictively fun! There is no feeling like the control of speed you have in urban traffic or in a not-too-fast paceline on a fixed gear. A lot of people put together a fixed gear and don't ride much of anything else for a while. I was a fixed junkie for about two years - now I'm in recovery but I do seem to be able to do it in moderation without slipping back into the disease :)

In terms of technical stuff, I'd go for the same size as your road bike - just make sure the bottom bracket isn't too low - pedal strikes on a fixed can be nasty. And be careful with the bike on the workstand - you could lose a finger real easily. You should be able to find an old frame and parts and get a fixed gear together for no more than a couple hundred bucks - another good reason to have one.

For all of the gory details, check out the guru of the fixed gear, Sheldon Brown, at http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed.html.

Have fun,

-Ray