Triathlon - Fixed or single speed bike
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08-11-10, 12:08 AM
Hey Everyone, just as the title reads I am considering building up a SSFG bike on a cheaper tri frame ( Valdora ) with a TT base bar and extensions. I know it would be fine on flatland, but do you think any hills at all would pose terrible problems in a race for a non-gear bike. Thanks for the input!
08-11-10, 01:20 AM
Depends how good you are! Singles or fixies can help you improve your riding a lot but you'll have to be pretty good to match someone of a similar level who is on a geared bike up a hill. Not impossible ( i've done it on a mountainbike a few times) but tough.
Fixed TTing is popular in the UK so it can't be all bad...
But not sure the benefits for a triathlon though going fixed? I ride a fixed bike for base miles and commuting, and I can't see any benefits in being restricted to the one gear in a tri expecially on a technical course.
In case of winds and hills, not being able to ride your ideal cadence will restrict your bike splits and possibly hamper your run. Plus not being able to take corners coasting means the chances of pedal strike are high, especially when many courses are multi loops with U turns at either end!
Further to this. Having the ability to change gears will allow you to keep your power output close to your FTP (or percentage FTP) you can hold for the length of the bike split. Riding downwind or downhill it will be impossible to keep your power output at the required percentage without changing up.
I've found in those conditions, I've struggled to keep my required power output in the required zone even when having changed to the 53*11! Without extra gears, you will also find yourself spinning with a super high cadence and being passed by all and sundry.
08-11-10, 08:49 AM
Thanks for the tips the reason I was asking is that I've been training with a fixed bike for about a year now and I've noticed its really helped my riding. I have never owned a Tri/TT specific bike and was considering building up a brand new fixed gear with a flip flop hub with tri geometry to train better/maybe race. Guess I will have to bite the bullet and just risk it in a sprint tri.
08-11-10, 05:02 PM
I'll second Dalais comment about spinning at high RPMs - my experience single speeding on MTBs is that its the downhills where you miss the gears, not the uphills.
Nevertheless, if you're already on the fixed journey then a TT bike is just another step. It should certainly be light! And in this era of bare-foot running and low-tech analogue rebellion, its a pure direction to take. Let us know how you go - & don't forget that its more about the rider than the bike.
Not saying it can't be done, just thinking it won't necessarily be the best option. Regardless, when you do please report back.
I look forward to hearing how it went. Best of luck!
08-12-10, 08:58 AM
Unless you're planning to win your age group, go for it. I have a fixed gear that I enjoy riding but I doubt I would ever race on it.
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