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  1. #1
    Solo Rider, always DFL
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    Equipment/history question: fixed vs. geared racing?

    I was just checking for something and noticed a photo of Fausto Coppi climbing Alpe D'Huez on a fixed gear...

    When did racing switch from fixed gear to geared bikes? Did everyone convert at about the same time in the professional ranks, or did it transition slowly?

  2. #2
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    Off the top of my head, I seem to remember that when derailleur's were first invented, there were still die hards that raced on single speeds in the TDF. After the guys with ders starting winning, then I think most guys started using ders.
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  3. #3
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    Its common for racers to just fixed gear bikes specifically for climbing.

    Most common on uphill time trials, its easier climb on fixedgears, granted you have the right gear.
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  4. #4
    34x25 FTW! oboeguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho
    Off the top of my head, I seem to remember that when derailleur's were first invented, there were still die hards that raced on single speeds in the TDF. After the guys with ders starting winning, then I think most guys started using ders.
    They were also banned from le Tour for some years. Guys would flip the rear wheels for a more generous cog on the other side.

    TT's on fixed are not that unusual even today, no?

    There's a guy in the NYC area who rides hilly brevets fixed. Dude is amazing -- don't think he even flips the wheel.
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  5. #5
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    I'd read somewhere that quite a few riders on the Mt. Washington race use fixed gears.
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  6. #6
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    I'd love to see that photo of Fausto, if it's possible to post.
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  7. #7
    Seņor Member USAZorro's Avatar
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    I don't think multiple geared bikes were permitted in the TDF until the mid-late 1930's.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Actually there was a time in the TDF where there were different classes of riders. During that phase what we would call pros had to ride what was basically a fixed gear (2 gears as mentioned). However tourists were allow deraillers.

  9. #9
    . bbattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by USAZorro
    I don't think multiple geared bikes were permitted in the TDF until the mid-late 1930's.
    correct.

    While freewheels were in the first TdFs, they were banned early on and it was fixies until the 30's. flip-flops were allowed, though.

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