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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 09-17-12, 06:37 AM   #1
AngryScientist 
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fixed gear, credit card touring/rando....

hello all. after a long hiatus from bikeforums, i'm back. as i've mentioned elsewhere, the idea of long distance fixed gear riding really interests me. i've recently built up a columbus steel fixie with an eye towards randoneurring, long rides and very light, credit card touring. i'm looking forward to doing my first overnighters this fall, before the weather in the lower northeast gets too cool. planning a few hundred mile trip around NJ in a few weekends.

anyone else do any rando riding fixed gear?

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Old 09-17-12, 09:25 AM   #2
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They just introduced a type of 600k permanent that can be done either touring or rando. The only requirement is a lot of climbing though. I don't know if you saw this thread about fixed gear.
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Old 09-17-12, 09:48 AM   #3
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Yes it can be done.You just need the right attitude.One of my riding buds has done 6 weeklong bike tours in Oregon which is not flat.( Crater Lake twice ).It is always great fun watching him on long decents
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Old 09-17-12, 09:57 AM   #4
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i did see the fixed gear tips thread. generally speaking, i've got a pretty good base riding fixed, just time to ramp up the mileage.

ultimate goal is PBP fixed, but i've got a lot of work and prep to do before that point....
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Old 09-17-12, 06:51 PM   #5
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PBP fixed seems pretty doable. My thoughts are that you should get the distance down and then start working on hills. New Jersey randos SR series is reportedly fixed gear friendly, I'd start there. A few people have done the Eastern PA brevets on fixed gear, but I have to say they are generally certifiable. The Eastern PA winter 200k's are pretty flat though. I'm laying out a 200k permanent that should be fixed gear friendly, but I'm at the geographic center of Pennsylvania.
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Old 09-17-12, 06:56 PM   #6
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I'm laying out a 200k permanent that should be fixed gear friendly, but I'm at the geographic center of Pennsylvania.
have bike - will travel
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Old 09-17-12, 08:45 PM   #7
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We had at least one rider on a fixed-gear on the Texas Rando Stampede a year ago. I suspect he was overgeared, as we had headwinds 3/4 of the time.
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Old 09-17-12, 08:52 PM   #8
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have bike - will travel
I will let you know when/if I get it approved. I think it might be popular.
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Old 09-18-12, 04:21 AM   #9
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Welcome back!

Wish my knees could still handle fixed.

Too many surgeries on my left knee.

Still ride distances though on my ss Casati Gold Line S.

Did 82 miles two Saturdays ago on a fairly flat (1,100 ' climbing) loop.

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Old 09-18-12, 04:58 AM   #10
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Welcome back!

Wish my knees could still handle fixed.

Too many surgeries on my left knee.

Still ride distances though on my ss Casati Gold Line S.

Did 82 miles two Saturdays ago on a fairly flat (1,100 ' climbing) loop.
nice. i think i may have asked this before, but what front bag is that you have there, i suspect acorn??
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Old 09-18-12, 03:34 PM   #11
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nice. i think i may have asked this before, but what front bag is that you have there, i suspect acorn??
Yep.

Both of them are actually.

I also like Black Rose bags though.

Bout the same thing.

Except you can get Black Rose products.
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Old 09-21-12, 08:14 AM   #12
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Nice looking bike! Hope the fixed riding hasn't caused/exacerbated your knee problems.
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Old 09-21-12, 01:36 PM   #13
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I don't suppose I qualify as to the randonnee part, as the best I can offer from an event point of view is 400km of PBP in 2007. Some issues other than riding the FG resulted in the DNF.

I did do some loaded touring of Europe with Machka after the event, then 12 consecutive Century-a-Month rides. I was relatively low geared for most of that riding, mainly because of the touring load, and the hills in my home region.

For me, it's just simple riding. No decisions about gearing other than standing up to pedal. And I went with the flow downhill, using the brakes to moderate my cadence when things go out of hand.

I prefer riding FG over SS because the momentum you create, even uphill, keeps you pedalling. It's a weird sensation that is very difficult to describe to the naysayers, but it's there and one of the appeals of riding FG for me.

One of the other appeals for me is getting weight down. I am away overseas at the moment, but I have been tossing around buying a light, CF frame, installing a FG set-up (I already have a spare Velocity double-sided hub) and seeing how light I could go.

That said, the FG I have at present is based on a Shogun 400 frame that I stumbled on at a dump. It is quite heavy, but it does ride delightfully with 25C tyres on board. I hadn't ridden it in ages until I got it out and reassembled it just before leaving for overseas, and it didn't take me long to get back in the swing of it.

Another thing some of the naysayers won't accept is that FG will improve your style on a geared bike. I did my fastest century on a geared bike a month after finishing the 12 CAMs, and much had to do with the leg strength and stamina that I had developed over the previous year. I wasn't fast by some people's standards, but those standards also don't include hills.

The FG thread here contains my other thoughts. Good to see you join the fold, AngryScientist. You'll have a ball.

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Old 09-21-12, 10:21 PM   #14
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Nice ride you have there. What did you settle on for gearing ?
I am have been increasing my distance this Summer. This is my first year of taking cycling seriously. Earlier this month I broke 60 miles on a sunny day. Speed or intensity has a lot to do with my distance right now. I can get pretty wiped-out doing far fewer miles. 46X17 seems to be a good set-up for longer distances. An 18 cog is nice also.
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Old 09-30-12, 08:03 AM   #15
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getting some good miles in on this thing while the weather is nice here in the NJ area. rode about 80 miles yesterday with some nice hills thrown in. blissful.



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Old 09-30-12, 11:46 AM   #16
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I have some questions about fixed gear riding.. Last time I had one I was 10. Anyway, are there hubs that one could use that would allow only 1 gear, but still allow the ability to coast? or does that not fit the spirit of a fixed gear bike? Seems to me being able to coast would be a huge improvement, and still fit the single gear idea.
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Old 09-30-12, 04:50 PM   #17
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I have some questions about fixed gear riding.. Last time I had one I was 10. Anyway, are there hubs that one could use that would allow only 1 gear, but still allow the ability to coast? or does that not fit the spirit of a fixed gear bike? Seems to me being able to coast would be a huge improvement, and still fit the single gear idea.

sure, single speed riding is pretty popular, as well as fixed gear. same hubs are used, with a single speed freewheel, instead of a fixed cog. it's just a different riding discipline. i prefer the challenge, and the different workout of the fixed gear bike, but single speed has its fun advantages too, mainly going downhill! in the end we all pretty much ride for our own enjoyment, so it's good to have choices.
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Old 09-30-12, 05:06 PM   #18
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We had at least one rider on a fixed-gear on the Texas Rando Stampede a year ago. I suspect he was overgeared, as we had headwinds 3/4 of the time.
Fantastic job on that one BTW. A real test!
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Old 10-02-12, 10:43 AM   #19
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After completing a Cali Triple Crown on a fixie, I would have to say that PBP on a fixed gear is dead simple by comparison. PBP has pretty gentle climbs that are well-spaced out. The longest climb is Roc Trevezel, shortly before and then after Brest, but it's a very gentle grade. The steepest climb on the entire course is at about km 1200, up the steep hill in the Forest of Rambouillet, the one you went down shortly after the start, so you want to remember that initial descent. But it's not a long climb, and the steepest section is not that long. Even after 1200 km, I didn't have to get off and walk in 44x17.

A fixed gear has certain advantages over a freewheel and gears. When you're on a geared bike, the temptation is always to be in a gear that you're just slightly pushing. On a fixie, you are usually either over-geared or under-geared. So on a stiff climb, you are seriously overgeared and creating lots of lactic acid, but on the descent, you are seriously undergeared and forced to spin, but you're flushing out the lactic acid. On a geared bike, most guys just coast the descent, so the lactic acid just sits in the muscles. After about a hundred miles, your legs feel "dead" on the geared bike, while on a fixie, you still feel fresh.

The fixed gear also takes your pedals over top dead center. On a geared bike, the weakest part of your pedal stroke is at TDC. You have to either pull or push your crank over this dead spot. On the fixie, you just float over this point.

You carry speed further up the hills on a fixie. If you're in a group on a climb, you will notice that you'll be easily passing geared riders at the start of the climb, but then they will pass you back as the fixie starts to bog down near the top. Just a different performance envelope.

They say that on a fixie, you have two speeds: sitting (rpm's) and standing (torque). I found at Knoxville that you have a third speed: walking. But on a fixie, you have a certifiable excuse. I'd be ashamed to be walking on a geared bike! I reach my riding limit in 44x17 fixed at about a 15-18% grade. But that's a piece of cake in 39x27!

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Old 10-02-12, 03:56 PM   #20
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I found at Knoxville that you have a third speed: walking.
yea most people think you only have one gear on the fixie, its really two: the one you're riding and your "two foot" gear
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