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  1. #1
    Newbie Killjoy's Avatar
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    Clydes and Fixed Gears Yeah or Neah

    I'm new to the Club De Clydesdale,,254 this morning But 6'2"/35" inseam is where I measured out. My LBS says stay away from anything over 60cm on a road frame... I've never ridden a fixie .. frame size or gear which should I concern myself with more? I figure to break in on the riverwalk of Bakersfield (flat pavement runs along side irrigation channels)... if all goes well after a month Chugg/Ccrawl the grade from my house in Lebec into Frazier Park ( Elevation 3500+)once a week on my weekends.. I'm considering buying a Fixie ,a Dawes SST found on BD and was hoping one of my more learned fellow Draft Horses could make recommendations .

  2. #2
    Senior Member City_Smasher's Avatar
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    Not a clyde, but I'd say if you're already cycling and thinking of going fixed....go for it. If you're new to cycling and you're looking for a bike to purchase, I'd say get a bike with gears.
    Fixed/SS would be perfect for a flat ride like you describe, but if you're new to cycling you may enjoy being able to use a variety of gears.

    Just my .02
    "You can't change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying about the future"

  3. #3
    Effortless Power ... TboneZX11's Avatar
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    I'm new to forum, and new to SS riding, but been cycling for a long time & at 5'11" & 225lb & 32" inseam, I suppose I qualify as a Clyde. I agree with City Smasher - if you're already cycling & planning to do mostly flatlanding like you described, go with the fixed gear - it's a great workout even at moderate speed/paces & the Dawes & other bikes of that level (the Motobecane, etc.) are a great way to get started without spending a ton of cash. Maybe opt for a flip/flop with fixed & free "just in case" - just another option.

  4. #4
    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    Single speed is one thing...perhaps a reasonable choice for ordinary riding for some people in some environments. But fixed is a toy, a gimmick, usable for stunts, and somewhat dangerous. (Now, I'll probably get some very angry responses from the fixie enthusiasts...)

  5. #5
    surfrider
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    As TBone mentioned above, get a flip-flop hub so you can switch to a freewheelin' single speed if you don't like going 'fixie'. Both will work in the flatlands around Bakersfield.

    If you're regularly planning to ride up the I-5 grad to Frazier Park, you definately want a geared bike. A fixed would be a b**** to ride up that hill unless you changed it to a really low gear, and coming down on a fixie would be almost suicidal (you could coast down on a single speed freewheel if you had a flip-flop hub).

  6. #6
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Your LBS must be a comedian. With your inseam, I would expect you to be over 60cm frame. Do a search of the web on bike sizing. Read up and make your own decision. And find another LBS.

    +1 Fixed gear is a toy, and dangerous, at least in the mountains of the Carolinas where I live.
    Last edited by wrk101; 01-08-09 at 12:34 PM. Reason: clarification

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    Senior Member cyclefreaksix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deraltekluge View Post
    Single speed is one thing...perhaps a reasonable choice for ordinary riding for some people in some environments. But fixed is a toy, a gimmick, usable for stunts, and somewhat dangerous. (Now, I'll probably get some very angry responses from the fixie enthusiasts...)
    Dangerous how exactly? No flames here, but I'm looking at getting a fg/ss as well for commuting and to increase my work out.

  8. #8
    I'm in shape! A round one spacerconrad's Avatar
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    I'm 6'4", and have about the same inseam as you. I ride a 60cm 'cross frame, and more like 62 in a more traditional road frame.

    I have one singlespeed, which works very well where I ride it: the airport tarmac. I wouldn't take it through my hilly neighborhood in my condition, though.
    "I drank WHAT???" -- Socrates

  9. #9
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Your 35" pants inseam is more a 37"-38" crotch to floor inseam. A 62cm frame at least. The Dawes is a road geometry frame. Go for it and have fun. You may want to look at the Motobecane Messenger from BD, as it comes with brakes and a freewheel. Buyer beware, you need to an adequate bike mechanic before you buy anything from BD. Expect to replace the bottom bracket within a month after you start riding the bike.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    If you are thinking of trying fixed gear, then you are probably warped enough to enjoy it. I have a couple of fixed gears and a couple single speeds, and think fixed is more fun for most road rides. I don't understand why the previous posters claim it's dangerous. I have brakes on my bikes and ride fixed off road occasionally also. My avatar is a picture that was taken of me at the Hotter Than Hell Hundred on my track bike.
    Frame size is important, you will probably be on the biggest of the bikes direct frames. Make sure you get a chain whip, so you can experiment with gearing. Familiarize yourself with Sheldon Brown's gearing calculaor and aim for 70 gear inches to start. On flat rides or group rides where you are in a paceline you might be able to use closer to 80", but it is all depends on your legs.
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    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    I assume you're already riding a geared bike now? Pick a gear that feels good, go ride the flats and try that hill, just leaving it in that gear. That should be pretty educational. Just leave the bike in that same gear for a couple of weeks and see how it feels, for that matter.

    What I find is that I can go up a decent little hill on a single speed, but I'm not going up any mountains, either. If you can't pick your grear, it is definitely more tiring.
    Last edited by StephenH; 01-07-09 at 09:00 PM.
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  12. #12
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    My Fixed Gear...



    So yeah, Clyde's and Fixed can go together.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  13. #13
    MAK
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    If you're just starting out, I agree with those above that a geared bike is the way to go. As you gain endurance you'll likely want to do more and go further so the gears give you the flexibility to do so. You may want to join a club and a geared bike will allow you to keep up better. Down the road, you can always add the SS/Fixie flip flop hub bike. Choose your first "adult" bike wisely. I started with a nice Gary Fisher hybrid and soon wished I had bought a road bike. Bought the road bike a year later and a SS/fixie a year after that. I absolutely love the SS/fixie and enjoy the road bike as well. I hardly ever ride the hybrid although I may make it into a bad weather beater some day.

  14. #14
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
    I assume you're already riding a geared bike now? Pick a gear that feels good, go ride the flats and try that hill, just leaving it in that gear. That should be pretty educational. Just leave the bike in that same gear for a couple of weeks and see hot it feels, for that matter.

    What I find is that I can go up a decent little hill on a single speed, but I'm not going up any mountains, either. If you can't pick your grear, it is definitely more tiring.
    Fixed is actually totally different than just picking a gear and trying it out. For one thing, you quickly find out just how much you are gliding and coasting. On a fixed, if you forget and stop pedaling, you're quickly over the bars and on the ground.

    Slippery roads and fixed are great, because you get immediate feedback as to what the drive wheel is doing, by the way.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

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  15. #15
    Senior Member oldbobcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Killjoy View Post
    . . .But 6'2"/35" inseam is where I measured out. My LBS says stay away from anything over 60cm on a road frame... I've never ridden a fixie
    Why the hell not ride fixie? It's a wonderful cardio workout that conditions the legs, improves your pedaling technique, and can leave you pleasantly fatigued but not worn out.

    I've been riding fixed gear intermittently since 1975 so I have a bunch of tips.

    Gear for the mid 60s to low 70s in gear inches (gear inches = chainring teeth/rear cog teeth*27). I'm currently using a 44/17 combination that gets me up and down moderate hills quite nicely.

    If you're using a cleat attachment system on your regular ride, don't be afraid to use it on your fixed gear bike. Part of the training is pedaling round at various cadences and you can't do that if your feet are flying off the pedals. But go slow at first. And if you're using toeclips, leave the straps loose until you know what you're doing.

    Use brakes, at least on the front wheel.

    And at 6'2 with average length legs, I'd be looking at bikes in the 60-62 (c-t) range.

  16. #16
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    The point of picking the gear and trying it out is to find the right gear for the grade in question. Most of us don't coast uphill.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  17. #17
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
    The point of picking the gear and trying it out is to find the right gear for the grade in question. Most of us don't coast uphill.
    True, but with fixed, you don't coast downhill either. Like I said, it's a totally different world.

    Riding fixed, I've found 3 basic power bands, flat ground, 100 cadence sitting, Uphill, out of the saddle standing the pedals, and a big, steep uphill, off the bike and walking it.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

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  18. #18
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    OP - I'm 250 pounds and looking to put about 1000 miles in on my fixed gear this year. I checked out the Dawes SST on BD, and if I could make a suggestion: Go with the Motobecane Messenger instead. If I saw the route right, Lebec to Frazier Park is about 5.5 miles. If that 3500' of elevation gain is correct, then I wouldn't want to be doing that on bullhorn bars (especially with the odd reach on those inverse levers) coming back down! The messenger has got drop bars, less of an arsehammer seat tube angle, and an extra 10mm of bottom bracket clearance to allow a higher lean angle before worrying about pedal strike. The only thing I'd change with it is the gearing. 48/16 is pretty tall if you're doing any climbing. I'd go with oldbobcat's suggestion of mid-60s to low-70s for the gearing. I'm running a 44/18 on mine (65.4 inches) because I've got a lot of long steady climbs on all my rides.

    Quote Originally Posted by deraltekluge View Post
    Single speed is one thing...perhaps a reasonable choice for ordinary riding for some people in some environments. But fixed is a toy, a gimmick, usable for stunts, and somewhat dangerous. (Now, I'll probably get some very angry responses from the fixie enthusiasts...)
    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101
    +1 Fixed gear is a toy, and dangerous.
    Tell that to Kent Peterson.

    I'm waiting on parts to finish up my newest gimmicky dangerous toy: A dumpstered 1988 Trek 400 which I've converted (the right way, with a fixed/fixed hub) to a ss/fg commuter rig. Absolutely useless for stunts with its 46cm wide drops, front and rear brakes, and full fenders... not to mention the fact that the frame geometry alone makes it impossible to spin the bars all the way around even if there wasn't a brake cable in the way.
    I put in close to 600 miles last year on my previous fixed gear, and I'll look to split my time 25/75 between my new one and my geared bike.
    You both call fixed gear bikes "toys" and "dangerous", but neither one of you have backed that up with any reason why. A fixed gear bike is a fantastic training tool for smoothing out your spin, increasing your cadence, and boosting your strength. I'm assuming the "dangerous" part is an assumption that everyone riding fixed does so without brakes? Or is it that we're all going to ruin our knees? (Picking a non-knee-wrecking gear isn't that difficult.)
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  19. #19
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deraltekluge View Post
    Single speed is one thing...perhaps a reasonable choice for ordinary riding for some people in some environments. But fixed is a toy, a gimmick, usable for stunts, and somewhat dangerous. (Now, I'll probably get some very angry responses from the fixie enthusiasts...)
    Not an angry response but just a straight up comment that this statement is fairly ignorant and insults those folks who ride fixed without tricks and consider them to be serious transportation and not a toy.

    I have lost track of how many fixed gear bikes I have built up and my clients range from wee little girls to one guy who hits the curb at nearly 400 pounds... he really needed some custom wheels and his fixed gear is an old mtb with 26 inch wheels.

    In any case...they all ride fixed simply because they love it.

    Clifton - Your project sounds like it's gonna be a nice one and I am also a big fan of fenders and brakes on fixed gear bikes.

    Aiming for a gearing range in the mid sixties to seventy is a good idea... the stock gearing on many off the shelf bikes is far too high for every day riding.

    I was running a measly 60 gear inches (my flip side) today as the roads were crap and it was fairly windy... I usually rock 70 - 76 gear inches depending on the bike.

  20. #20
    Senior Member EatMyA**'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deraltekluge View Post
    Single speed is one thing...perhaps a reasonable choice for ordinary riding for some people in some environments. But fixed is a toy, a gimmick, usable for stunts, and somewhat dangerous. (Now, I'll probably get some very angry responses from the fixie enthusiasts...)
    I am with you. Not because I believe anything you said. I JUST HATE THEM! I hate them...I rode them for 10 years straight, had no other choices. I hated putting my feet on the downtube to coast. Grrrrrr!

    If the OP is not traumatized by these bikes like myself, then I guess its no problem. He might even find them enjoyable,fun and a nice change of pace.....but "we" hatez them fixerz!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclefreaksix View Post
    Dangerous how exactly? No flames here, but I'm looking at getting a fg/ss as well for commuting and to increase my work out.
    Remember: fixed-gear and single-speed aren't the same thing. On a single-speed bike you can coast. On a fixed gear bike you can never stop pedaling. Ever!

    I think most people assume that fixed-gear bikes are dangerous because many of them aren't equipped with brakes. Another worry is pedal strike while cornering. And steep descents can also be a problem... especially if your fixed-gear bike doesn't have brakes!

    If you're considering a fixed-gear bike, it's not a bad idea to buy a bike with a "flip flop" rear hub. These typically have a fixed-gear cog on one side of the hub and a single-speed freewheel on the other. If you're buying a single-speed I think you can also get two different freewheels (e.g. one for flats, one for hills). If one setup doesn't work, you reverse the wheel and use the other one.

  22. #22
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    If you're considering a fixed-gear bike, it's not a bad idea to buy a bike with a "flip flop" rear hub. These typically have a fixed-gear cog on one side of the hub and a single-speed freewheel on the other. If you're buying a single-speed I think you can also get two different freewheels (e.g. one for flats, one for hills). If one setup doesn't work, you reverse the wheel and use the other one.
    Flip-flop hubs are nice if you always want to run a fixed cog on one side and a freewheel on the other, but a fixed/fixed hub is the most versatile. You can run 2 fixed cogs since both side have lockring threads, you can run two freewheels since a freewheel threads onto a fixed side just fine, or you can mix 'em up. Unfortunately, not many bikes stock a fixed/fixed hub.

    If you buy a straight up fixed or singlespeed wheel, not all of them use a flippable hub. The obvious ones would be those with disc brakes, but there are a lot of track hubs out there which are single sided, too.
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  23. #23
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    Here in Madison, I see a lot of people riding fixed bikes in winter with brakes, fenders and studded tires. I don't see anything dangerous about that. Sure there are brakeless hipsters, but that is probably on the way out as a dumb trend.

  24. #24
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    I think your LBS is right. I'm 6'3, 34 inch inseam and I ride a 58-60 cm. I say this because not all bike frames are spec'd the same. My Felts are both a 58 cm, the Bianchi I used to have was a 59cm, while my old Trek 5200 fits me better in a 60cm set up. One thing a few people here have failed to remember is eventhough you have the inseam, at your height, you have a shorter torso. If you go over a 60 cm, your biggest concern will be top tube length. Going over 60cm might mean discomfort and the need for a sub 100mm stem. That's when you know that the frame length is too long. The top tube height isn't as important as once believed. If it was, a compact frame would be too small for most riders. Listen to your LBS. If you disagree, go to another. Still, I believe that the 60 cm is your limit.

  25. #25
    Newbie Killjoy's Avatar
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    Thank You All..

    I'm impressed with all Y'all and really happy to be a member of this forum.. I will definitely familiarize myself with the Sheldon Brown Calculator (Thnx CMShooter) . If I do this right ..a fixed /SS hub (Thnx Mak) set up with the suggested 44x18 on the fixed opposite the 48x16 it comes with on the SS side should work out... and it should help me on the climb up..AND the the probable coast down( Thnx OldBobcat&CliftonGK1) also I wanted to correct my OP my house is @about 3500 and the climb up to Frazier Park is about another 800 to 4300 feet its 2 to 3% grade mostly, don't want to mislead anyone I'm no Armstrong..Again thanks for the responses
    ...Based on recommendations (thnx again to Clifton & Oldbobcat) I'm reconsidering The Motobecane and will definitely pay attention to the BB of either bike (thnxWrk101) ..I figure at this price range ($300) I'll be replacing several things after the first month. I I'm concerned about Wheels.. Being a Clydesdale isn't easy on 'em should I plan on having new ones built right away...

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