Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Bikes: Bianchi Imola (road), Bianchi Axis (general), Centurion Elite RS (fixed gear), Centurion Elite GS (lunch rides at work), Miyata (work in progress), Trek 7000 (mountain biking)
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Originally Posted by particleman
At the ripened age of 59 (just) and having discovered the fixed gear road bike, the physical question is of course the gear ratio. After a couple of chain ring changes & cog replacements I have decided that a 39 X 16 feels pretty good. Fast rpm's but at 80 cycles per minute and at @ 20 mph I'm there. At a lower cpm I'm just cruisin. Lucky I'm limber (lucky I'm alive). The idea for such a low ratio is zero physical impact from the neck down...........Gear ratio input would be appreciated and hey, try a fixie.
Welcome to the world of fixed-gear bicycles. I am 64 and a newcomer to fixies, having converted an old Centurion road bike into a fixie a few months ago. I kept the larger, 52 tooth, chainring in front, removing the smaller ring and mounting the bigger one in its place for a perfect alignment with either (fixed or freewheel) rear cog. I bicycle almost daily and don't plan on using this bike for serious climbs (and there are plenty of those around here -- Boulder, Colorado), so I went with a 17 tooth cog on both sides of the flip-flop hub. That's about 84 inches and, with 700 rims and 170 mm cranks, it comes out to a gain ratio of a little over 6, i.e. quite high on both scales. So far I have been very happy with my choice, but climbing hills takes both anticipation and endurance.
I am not strong or confident (or is it crazy) enough to go brakeless, like the Denver messengers, so the bike still has both brakes. In fact, I swapped out the original brakes for a set of used Shimano 105s and then added a pair of in-line levers that mount on the upper, straight, part of the drop handlebars. These are wonderful and I highly recommend them, as you don't have to keep going into the drops to brake. They're cheap, too.
Time to bike here. Enjoy.
Last edited by jimshapiro; 03-30-05 at 08:34 PM.