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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 04-23-07, 01:11 PM   #1
JOHN J
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whats better conditioning SS or geared bike

hello everyone,

quick question although Im commuting im trying to get enough conditioning to do a metric in the near future. my normal commute is 19 mile or 13 mile depending on route.

would I get more cardio benifit by riding the SS??, though I seem to spin out and coast alot (69 gear inch , very Hilly) The SS is my old road bike lugged 531 frame /fork Falcon . 1992 nice and light

or should I keep riding my 35 LB 24 speed Full dresser cross check.

many thanks

"John"

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Old 04-23-07, 01:17 PM   #2
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Wow this is gonna bust open a can of worms.

I'd say convert your SS to FG and then use that if you're serious about getting conditioned.
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Old 04-23-07, 01:19 PM   #3
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I would think that cardio-wise a geared bike would be better, because you can switch gears to keep a high cadence at all times.

But if your regularly doing a 19 mile commute, your conditioned well enough to do a metric century.
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Old 04-23-07, 01:41 PM   #4
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without a doubt single speed, i,ve ridden a ss downhill bike with monstor tires and bmx to work and on rides. downhill bike in ss make you strong like hans & franz. you may not get their till halloween but you be strong.
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Old 04-23-07, 01:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eggplant Jeff
Wow this is gonna bust open a can of worms.

I'd say convert your SS to FG and then use that if you're serious about getting conditioned.
+1
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Old 04-23-07, 01:59 PM   #6
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I say fixed gear also. I have been riding fixed for about 2 years and whenever I get on a geared bike or a freewheeling bike I feel like its just cheating.
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Old 04-23-07, 02:08 PM   #7
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Either one will do fine. I've ridden fixed and single speed a lot the last couple of years. The key is variety whether you have one gear or many. What bike will you be doing the metric on? If it is one of these, then I would primarily ride that one on your commutes. I love my Cross-Check so much, that I've stopped riding my fixed & my single speed. So on some days I'll use a small gear & spin & other days a bigger gear & grind at a low cadence. I'll do intervals and some sprints to add variety on my commutes.
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Old 04-23-07, 02:23 PM   #8
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I would be curious what the long-distance and training mavens think about this.

For me, I am convinced, purely anecdotally, no data or background theory to this at all, that all my bike-derived fitness started from spinning low gears and shifting up as my lungs and heart, not leg muscles, permitted.
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Old 04-23-07, 02:47 PM   #9
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I've seen great improvement in my road-cycling ever since I switched from riding my geared commuter to a fixed, to work.
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Old 04-23-07, 02:49 PM   #10
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Geared with discipline or SS/FG with pleasure.

Al
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Old 04-23-07, 02:49 PM   #11
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A SS/Fixed will obviously get you in better shape faster. However, as stated, either will do for your goal of a metric century.

... Brad
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Old 04-23-07, 03:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texasphil
without a doubt single speed, idownhill bike in ss make you strong like hans & franz. .
+100 !
Definately
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Old 04-23-07, 03:23 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg
...
For me, I am convinced, purely anecdotally, no data or background theory to this at all, that all my bike-derived fitness started from spinning low gears and shifting up as my lungs and heart, not leg muscles, permitted.
Also anecdotal, no data or background theory, it seems possible that pushing too hard too soon in the wrong gear might risk knee injury.
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Old 04-23-07, 03:43 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by noisebeam
Geared with discipline or SS/FG with pleasure.

Al
+1 With the SS/FG you don't have to think, just pedal.
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Old 04-23-07, 03:46 PM   #15
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A single speed gives no mercy when the road turns up or into the wind. Eliminate the freewheel and you have the added blessing/curse of no choice but to turn the pedals for every turn of the wheels.

Fixed FTW!
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Old 04-23-07, 03:50 PM   #16
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Old school roadies would routinely get the tried-and-true fixed/ss gear for the spring base miles to spin the legs back into form. I'd never see a roadie going faster than a jog until May but their legs would be going a mile a minute.
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Old 04-23-07, 08:04 PM   #17
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I'm just wondering how in the world your cross check is 35 pounds?
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Old 04-24-07, 12:48 PM   #18
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I'm just wondering how in the world your cross check is 35 pounds?
I have to qualify the satement It weighs alot when loaded for my normal commute

but Its a decked out commute/light touring all weather machine so it heavy from all the beefy components.

velocity dyad rims 40 spoke rear 36 spoke front

Triple chain ring

32 cm wide tires with tuffy strips

brooks B17 flyer (sprung) "heavy for a saddle"

full ( spliced 2 fenders, extra long) fenders with very long leather mudflaps (company I work for sells industrial belting.

Nitto 48Cm noodles with cork tape and a layer of cloth shellacked

cross brakes

blackburn expidition rack

carradice saddle bag (nelson long flap)

ortlieb ultimate 4 handlebar bag

tool kit

cable lock

first aid kit

rear hard-wired strobe

front dual halogen lights on 2nd stem..

battery pack (heavy)

heavy 2 legged kickstand. (love the kickstand)

I Also carry rain gear most of the time

its a full dresser commute beast comfy , Comfy, comfy but yes heavy.

Again The 35 LB is fully loaded with bottles clothes ...

"John"

Last edited by JOHN J; 04-24-07 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 04-24-07, 12:55 PM   #19
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Be a cool commuter. Run that thing fixed.
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Old 04-24-07, 01:17 PM   #20
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FG/SS FTW! I tricked -- er, convinced my buddy to convert his old road bike for daily commutes. Yesterday, he pulled into work with dry heaves because he was trying to race some guy on a mtn bike. Riding SS all through the winter has made my legs pretty f-ing strong, and it has paid dividends on my geared road bike. At least, I hope so, since I haven't hooked up my speedometer yet.
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Old 04-24-07, 01:19 PM   #21
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Which ever one is harder.
If you are doing a fixed number of miles the less efficient bike will cause you to work harder to complete those miles.
A fixie is often going to be harder than a similar quality geared bike, however a SS DH bike is going to be a beast.
Craig
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Old 04-24-07, 01:24 PM   #22
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And don't forget the chicks. Chicks dig fixies.
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Old 04-24-07, 01:45 PM   #23
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The answer is fixed gear...and I don't ride one. Hope to build one this spring/summer.

I'd also add that I ride 15 miles RT through hilly terrain for my commute every day. You will have no problem ripping off a metric century (especially if you are already doing 40 mile daily commutes. Your post doesn't say if your milage is one-way or RT). I did my first a few months ago.
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Old 04-24-07, 02:05 PM   #24
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maybe I just have glue for bearing grease, but I actually find myself puffing harder on a geared bike than a fixie.

I just get lazy with my pedalstroke on a fixie when I can let my momentum push my crank around. With a freewheeling bike, I have to haul it up and around all the time. When I transition between the two, I'll have pedaling "gaps" on the freewheel where I've let the fixie momentum do the work. I also tend to go as fast as I can, which on my fixie tops out (43X13), but on the gearie I can almost always be going faster. I guess I could up the gear ratio but then my knees might explode. They are already at the limit.

One thing that riding fixed does well is get you in the habit of always having the pedals in motion.
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Old 04-24-07, 07:02 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHN J
quick question although Im commuting im trying to get enough conditioning to do a metric in the near future. my normal commute is 19 mile or 13 mile depending on route.
Hell, don't even worry about it. I do a 20 mile daily commute, and one day last year they did an off-site breakfast meeting 35 miles from my house. I rode there and back again, 70 miles (112 KM) round trip. I was back by about 1PM including a 2.5 hour meeting in the middle, and it didn't bother me at all. I wasn't sore and I got back in the saddle for my normal commute the next morning without trouble.

I think anyone who's riding 20 miles daily can do 60 miles any time they feel like it and have the time, if they don't try to do it more than once a week or so.

This summer I plan to ride to my mom's house in a day; it's 129 miles, and honestly I'm not really planning on "training" - I'm just going to pack some sandwiches and water and a credit card and phone and just go.
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