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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 05-08-08, 04:12 PM   #1
room203
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Riding Fixed Long Distance. Anyone done it? Advice?

I built up a fixed gear last month on a bottom-rung 80s Centurion frame. Decent bike, but the geo is pretty lazy, and its relatively heavy compared to what's out there now. I'm not a weight freak, just sayin. My gearing is 42:13, about 85 gear inches.

This Sunday I'm going to take it on a 65 mile ride that I have done once before on a '77 Schwinn Typhoon (cruiser). THAT was a little ridiculous, but I made it. If all goes well, I plan do to this a couple more times then take it on a 120 miler.

Just want to see if I can handle my legs moving constantly for that long.

I'm sure someone here has done long rides on a fixed since I've heard of people training on them to improve cadence. Got any advice?


(Of course, I will be properly geared up with everything I'll need for a ride like this.)
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Old 05-08-08, 05:00 PM   #2
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Here's a link from the singlespeed/fixed forum:

Who has rode the furthest distance fixed gear style?

A google search as simple "fixed gear brevet" will yield more hits and ride reports than you can read in a day!

http://www.google.com/search?client=...UTF-8&oe=UTF-8
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Old 05-08-08, 05:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trentschler View Post
A google search as simple "fixed gear brevet" will yield more hits and ride reports than you can read in a day!
...and most of 'em about rides a good bit longer than 65 mi!

SP
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Old 05-08-08, 05:49 PM   #4
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Your gearing sounds way high to me. I ride fixed on some longish (90+) rides at a bit under 70 gear inches.

Other than that, I would be sure you have a tool to remove the back wheel in case you get a flat. (Assuming you aren't using a quick release.) I also have a freewheel on the flip side of my fixie, and sometimes I'll switch over to it if I'm feeling beat on the ride home.
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Old 05-08-08, 06:28 PM   #5
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Talk to RoadFix. He is on BikeForums and is a very good source of information on fixed riding over long distances. He regularly does centuries and doubles fixed.
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Old 05-08-08, 06:34 PM   #6
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I just finished a 240 mile fleche with three other riders, all of whom have ridden fixed for distances of 125 miles or more. Only one of the riders did last weekend's ride on a fixed gear though. I believe his bike was setup for 72 gear inches, but he's also fairly young and his knees are still uneroded.

In general, the one terrain feature that endurance fixie riders seem to dread are long descents. Nobody *****es about having to turn pedals on flat terrain, and even steep climbs don't draw too many complaints, but it's always the long fast descents that inspires folks to pine for a freewheel.
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Old 05-08-08, 06:58 PM   #7
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I've done a couple of 200k brevets and a fleche on fixed gear bikes. I figure if you are used to riding fixed, and can manage the distance on a geared bike, you will probably be fine on a fixed gear bike.

I rode one of the 200ks on a bike geared nearly as high as yours is. Since then I have geared down to about 74". Lower lets you spin a bit more, but limits speed a bit on descents. Higher was fine, but I figure my knees may last longer at the lower gearing.

I prefer to have two brakes on a fixed gear bike. It feels a lot more stable controlling my speed on long descents with the rear brake or both than with just the front brake.
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Old 05-08-08, 09:50 PM   #8
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I did a fixed Super Randonneur series in 2006. Most fixed brevet riders run around 70", give or take. I only know one bloke who regularly turns >80" for brevets but he does quite a lot of them.

Fit at least one brake and two is better. Make sure your gloves, saddle and knicks are worthwhile, you'll be on the bike for a while.
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Old 05-08-08, 10:00 PM   #9
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One of my long distance bikes is a 1955 Lenton that is running a 46 tooth chain ring with 16 and 18 tooth cogs and covering 100 miles on this is a joy... the gearing works out to 67 and 75 gear inches as it runs on 26 inch tyres.

The lower gear is good for when there is more climbing, wind, or when I am travelling with a slower group as I find that when I am spinning that 75 gear inches I find that most folks can't keep up or I have to reduce my cadence to a less than optimal speed.

Just because we're both old does not mean we aren't fast.

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Old 05-09-08, 02:55 PM   #10
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i did back-to-back centuries (the annual Seattle-to-Portland ride) on a pista - 40x14 gearing.

on the 2nd day, my knees were killing me - not from climbing (it's a flat route), but mostly from doing skids. i had a front brake, but rarely if ever used it.

so i suggest:

a) gearing down a bit
b) slapping on a front brake
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Old 05-09-08, 09:23 PM   #11
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Ask Jeff and Kevin, a two man RAAM team that will be going coast to coast on fixies in about a month:

http://www.kaisercycling.com/home.html
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Old 05-09-08, 09:39 PM   #12
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I built this bike up with the intention of doing some doubles and randoneurring... it runs a 40:16 gearing which makes it a little spinny on the flats but great when you are slogging into a headwind or climbing with a bunch of gear.

It is also a favourite on my commute as the weather here can turn on a dime.

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Old 05-11-08, 01:37 PM   #13
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Just park it. Or sell it. Fixie's are dangerous, both to you and those around you, inefficient, and don't make you a better rider, quite the contrary. They will degrade your spin, not improve it. We had a fixie rider die here - couldn't stop and went right under a dump truck. And many other accidents. If you have issues, settle them on a race course.

None of this is true of a single-speed bike with a freewheel and two brakes, BTW. That can be a fine training tool for infrequent training use or commuting, where fewer parts may outweigh the disadvantages.
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Old 05-11-08, 02:16 PM   #14
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Great bit of trollery Carbonfibreboy
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Old 05-12-08, 09:03 PM   #15
room203
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My little ride ended up being 75 miles round trip. Everything was fine. Ended up averaging about 18 there, and 13 on the return trip. My hip joint started hurting pretty bad after I stopped for lunch at my destination so that slowed me down, not to mention going slightly uphill the entire way back.

One thing I forgot and didn't even think about was sunscreen, and I was facing the sun both ways. Worst mistake ever. I'd take sore muscles over this any day.
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