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How is this possible?(18 posts)

How is this possible?Lone Gunman
Jul 30, 2002 7:00 PM
Or is this the hidden/unspoken value of riding a SS/fixie?

I have had the SS out for about 4 or 5 rides now, average about 25 miles a ride. Tonight I took it out on one of my favorite routes. If you watched the movie Kingpin (it was on FX this evening) where they filmed the Amish scenes, that is where I ride. In fact I rolled up onto a horse and buggy and got behind it and hoped the horse didn't decide to take a dump while I was back there, I would have never missed the piles. Anyway, I looked up at the back of the buggy at the little cutout they have for a window and all I saw was two large pale blue eyes staring back at me, little amish kid.

Back to my question. I rode this familiar route and when done checked my speedo and for average mph ( a figure that I sometimes think is really meaningless) my ave over the same course was 1mph slower than I ave on my Lemond full of gears and riding at about the same intensity. Thats one of the reasons in this case ave is meaningful. Same route and intensity for comparison. Is riding the SS improving my strength that much that I am only slightly slower than my full geared bike? I don't know what to think, was I super slow and riding like a wimp fully geared or have I broken through a physical plateau by going SS? I know the key to having a fast time on a ride(for me) is determined by how quickly I get over the hills. I have always thought that if I was a smart rider I would let the technology of gearing work for me and use my gears alot to not tax my strength and, in theory, ride more efficiently. Riding the SS on that course tonight, I was blowing through hills seated that in the past I had shifted down quite a bit to climb. Granted the SS mechanically is more efficient, I think the hubs are slicker than anything I have ever owned, the bike is somewhat lighter than the Lemond, though not sure of that, and I know I don't have the straight ahead speed of a geared bike on the SS. At times I think my HR is comparable to geared riding but most of the time I am just cruising along and don't seem to be working that hard and suspect that my HR is lower than riding geared. I don't know what to think, I'm gonna shut up and ride. I am loving SS riding. A few years ago I hated climbing and I worked at it and got better. Getting the same feeling about SS riding.
You're discovering the dirty little secret of geared bikes ...Humma Hah
Jul 31, 2002 5:52 AM
... the dirty little secret of geared bikes is, while they are "faster" because they have high top-end gearing available without eliminating the ability to climb, they don't make the RIDER faster! In fact, they make the rider lazy! Overall, it is the rider's power output that matters, and geared and SS bikes operating at the same power level have about the same speed.

The SS does not let you get away with the laziness that gears allow. You have to build strength to climb, and high spin ability to allow you to go fast. The SS forces the RIDER to be better.

With a SS you learn that you CAN climb a hill at 25 RPM cadence, and maybe do so faster than you ever did on a geared bike (on a SS you always climb as fast as you can maintain because you wanna get the suffering over as soon as possible, whereas on a geared bike you can take it easy and suffer less, but use less power, so climb slower.) You also find out you can spin about twice as fast as the conventional gearie wisdom.

Alternately riding SS and geared may be a good strategy. The SS forces you to be powerful, builds your strength. If you are trained to pedal harder and faster, and have gears on top of that to fully exploit the increased strength, you'll ride faster geared.
Noticed the same thing; for all I know, Humma's rightcory
Jul 31, 2002 7:39 AM
I did the same thing when I built my SS last year--I guessed at the gearing, then took it on a 10-mile course I do often, to see how close I was. Mainly I just wanted to be sure I could climb all the hills, including one really steep short blast.
It felt like I was going slower, especially standing and pumping up the hills, but my time was very close to my average geared time. Since I'm pretty well spun out at about 18mph on the SS, I'm still trying to figure out where I'm making up the time....
re: How is this possible?Steve_0
Jul 31, 2002 9:08 AM
HH is right on with the benefits of ss/fix. I doubt, though, whether you would (truly) realize physical benefits in 4 or 5 rides.

More likely, you were amped so you pushed harder than normal. Even more likely, youre gear selection closely matches the ratio you spend most of your time on the lemond (pretty flat out there, isnt it?).

Anyway, go ride.
Not flat at all, Western PA, foothills of the AppalachiansLone Gunman
Jul 31, 2002 12:42 PM
I can choose hilly or not as hilly.
Hey L.G., are you riding anywhere near Route 322,...Djudd
Jul 31, 2002 1:23 PM
I think that's the right number. Me and a few buddies did a ride there two years ago, all of us on fixies. We had a blast even though we got lost at one point. One highlight was the "Farm Equipment Museum" and, of course the horse and buggies. Man the hills came out of nowhere and some were pretty long but it was really balanced, every hill had a nice little drop after it. Great riding.
ahhhh. sorry...Steve_0
Aug 1, 2002 3:23 AM
i was thinkin the lancaster area.
The time it takes ...Humma Hah
Aug 1, 2002 9:07 AM
Hmmm ... I'm not a SS convert. I never bought into that gear nonsense in the FIRST place. I've ridden primarily SS for about 44 years.

Couple of years ago, I bought a gearie to use while the cruiser was laid up to correct years of neglect. Within 2 months I noticed a profound loss of strength in my legs, as I developed a fondness for granny gear on climbs I used to take on equivalent of the big ring. That strength came back over a couple of months once the single was back in service. One year on it with an intensive riding schedule in San Diego and I was able to climb stuff and ride distances I'd never ridden on that bike when it was new, almost 3 decades earlier.

I rode most of 2001 in 2.3:1 gearing, lower than normal. About Dec 23, I switched back to the stock gearing of 46:18. Within 2 months, I noticed a significant gain in strength, climbing ability, and overall speed. I also gaineded several pounds while losing 1% bodyfat, and my legs were visibly different, with better muscle definition.

Yes, it takes more than 4-5 rides, but I'd expect a significant change even with that little riding. Just imagine what 2 years will produce!
I like the Amish ...Humma Hah
Jul 31, 2002 2:01 PM
When I rode the 152-miler with MB1 in St. Mary's Co, MD, we were in Amish country. I saw several Amish men there riding bicycles, and they favor cruisers similar to mine. There's also reportedly a nice vintage bike shop there, although I've never had a chance to visit it.
Speaking of Amish...Lone Gunman
Jul 31, 2002 6:54 PM
Stopped by the Amish cookie store this evening. Legendary 4"x1/2"thick cookies 12 for $3. I got some of the monster cookies (peanut butter, oatmeal, plain m&ms, and whatever else they throw in there, just chewy and soft and fresh as can be) and the tollhouse and choc chip and butterscotch...oh yea some of there cinnamon rolls about the size of a fist and pies.....
Quick, ride a ss century before those set up ...Humma Hah
Aug 1, 2002 5:01 AM
... like concrete on your middle.

I gained a pound just reading that!
Actually, just bought cookiesLone Gunman
Aug 1, 2002 7:50 AM
Passed on the other stuff, but it is all soooo goood. I have only ate 2 since they were bought. Got to space it out so you don't heroin.
I like the Amish ...Go to T-town bike swap!wspokes
Aug 1, 2002 3:58 AM
Come to the Trexlertown Bike Swap in October and you will see the amish and mennonites(sp?) ride in on their bicycles to the swap, buy up multitudes of race frames and wheels and strap it all onto their rigs for the trip home. Really cool to watch and from what I understand they are riding as much as 30 miles to get up to the swap. Also, I live near rt. 322 in Pa and can attest to the variety of hills, steepness, and terrain. Really great riding in some areas!
I've got it penciled in ...Humma Hah
Aug 1, 2002 5:03 AM
... unless I get lucky and find all the parts I need, I'm hoping to get up there. Sounds like a perfect place to find a track crankset and all the other bits the Paramount needs.
you'll find it all...wspokes
Aug 1, 2002 6:32 AM
and bid low...if they say 10, you say 5...and so on. I sell at these events and probably will have a vendor spot. I did well last year clearing out my excess crappe. hopefully I can clear out some more items. I may even have a bike or two heading up there to sell. Maybe my Bianchi or a Newly restored late 80s Mondonico, it depends. You can find everything for nothing at that place!
WHAT!!!???Lone Gunman
Aug 1, 2002 7:48 AM
You haven't even finished the damn project and now you are gonna unload it? What is wrong with it?
it's all about the size man...the size.wspokes
Aug 1, 2002 9:56 AM
Well LG, It's all about the size...I believe this Mondonico frameset has been using those herbal supplements that the email world gets spammed over and has grown 1-3 cm from the original told size. the size in all honesty is what I am afraid is not correct. It was supposed to be a 59.5cm c-t. In which case it would be appropriate...but it measures more like a 61 c-t and when standing over makes me a little skittish. Which is why I say only possibly may be selling. It really depends on how it feels once I get it out and running. Anyone have a spare campy non-splined 175mm crankarms they would like to sell me cheap??? This is the only item I need yet for the full assembly of this bicycle. Then I can ride it and find out if it is going to be Ok or if it needs to go to make room for another steed!
T-town swap meet link ...Humma Hah
Aug 1, 2002 12:02 PM
The Trexlertown swap meet is October 12. The link below should have directions.