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  1. #1
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    Fixed Gear Double Century STP Success--Ride Report

    I can't find much online about fixed gear double centuries, so here goes.

    Gear:
    Surly Steamroller. 48 X 18 gearing. Soma Hwy One handlebars. Road and Cross brake levers. Specialized Romin saddle. MKS GR-9 pedals with MKS Clips and Toshi Straps. One under-saddle pack with tire tubes, CO2, wrenches, sunscreen. Two waterbottles with Vitalyte drink mixed with water. One waterbottle full of Vitalyte powder drink mix (to mix on the ride. I don't like Gatorade). One Timbuk2 'bento box' full of 7 homemade energy bars (approx 300 kcal, 500mg Sodium, 40g Carbs--I'm a dietitian, I can't help it!). New 25mm Gatorskin tires and tubes for the ride. One homemade bike jersey made by my wife.

    Conditions:
    Once the sun came up, it was 90+ degrees the whole way.

    The ride:
    I woke at 3:45am. Ate 4 slices of french toast with syrup and butter, plus 16oz of soy milk.
    I left at 6:15am. Parking is a zoo at the start. It took an hour to park and drop off my finish line bag. I ate a banana at 6am.
    I rode the first 100 miles in pacelines with another fixed gear rider (Sam from Portland, on 48 X 17 gearing) and other people I met along the way. The route is basically flat on the first 100, with the exception of one hill in Puyallup where I had to stand up to make it up. The only high-traffic road that was somewhat dangerous was between the towns of Spanaway and Roy, on Hwy 507. Otherwise I felt relatively safe from vehicles. This is also where the bicycle riders started to spread out, so that you didn't have to pass or be passed so often. I think the only accident I witnessed was on this stretch of road, where a rider rode off of the shoulder (not sure why).
    With the temp starting to heat up, I was averaging about 500mL of water + Vitalyte (80 calories), 1 of my homemade bars, and occasional small Clif Bars per hour during the first 100 miles.
    The first 100 miles took 6.5 total hours, and 5.75 hours of riding time.
    In Centralia, which is 100 miles in, I had an ice cream bar, grapes, watermelon, and oranges. I added some sunscreen, and left.
    Through the town of Centralia, many residents will aim their lawn sprinklers over the roadway to cool cyclists off. Riding through this felt great. However, I veered into one of these, and somehow didn't realize that the pavement would be wet. Down I went. Both knees were bloody, and my left hand had a deep bruise on the palm. The homeowner was nice enough to give me some Neosporin and bandaids. But, those bandaids don't stick well to sweaty skin. So, I had blood streaming down my legs for the rest of the ride, and nice red-brown bloody socks, a la Curt Schilling. Lovely.

    The second 100 miles featured more rolling hills. I only had to stand up and pedal for about 4 hills during this part: The bridge in Longview, the bridge in Portland, and about 2 others. I did stand up a few times, just to give my butt a rest though.
    It was heating up though, so I drank 750-1000mL of Vitalyte + water per hour, plus ~200 calories of Clif Shot Bloks, and occasional grapes and Clif Bars and homemade bars.
    I wasn't able to ride in pacelines as much during this last half of the ride, maybe about 1/3 of the time. Many people declined my invitation to work together. Their loss, I guess. Maybe it was the bloody legs and socks? I just rode behind them, relaxed a bit, and let them do the work.

    Final stats:
    Total ride time: 15 hours. Left Seattle at 6:15am, Arrived in Portland at 9:15pm. I took much longer breaks during the second half of the ride.
    Time on bike: 12.5 hours.
    Average speed on bike: 16.2 mph
    Knees: Still healing after 1.5 weeks. I'm down to one bandaid on each knee now.

    Training:
    4 day/week bike commuter on 48 X 17 gearing, Feb - October.
    1 X 100 mile, 2 X 75, 4 X 50, 10 X 30 mile rides (all solo, aiming for 17+mph avg speed) in the 1.5 months leading up to the ride (48 X 17 gearing). I think the longer rides were all on early Saturday mornings (plus one day when I skipped work!), and I got home by noon. The 30 mile rides were commute rides, in which I rode all the way into work from Kent to Seattle, WA.
    Physical therapy to make sure that I had enough back strength, since my poor posture was causing nerve pain in my knee during May.

    I just wanted to let people know that it's achievable on a fixed gear bicycle. I'm not a burly cyclist, just a 5'7" 35-year old guy who mainly commutes.

  2. #2
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    I was proud of my 100 ride fixed on Sunday. Ate some humble pie reading your post. Great ride you did.

  3. #3
    Senior Member JAG410's Avatar
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    I did the STP in 2 days on a 2x10 speed and thought it was slightly challenging without the help of a group. One day? Doable. One day on a fixed gear? Damn. Nice work! Very impressive. I hope you heal up quick!

  4. #4
    Senior Member steve-in-kville's Avatar
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    I am becoming more and more intrigued with the longer events that are being done on SS/FG rigs. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Best regards - steve
    ****************

  5. #5
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    Five of us in San Francisco rode a full SR series this year.

  6. #6
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    Steve: I honestly think that the last half of the 200 mi is just about hydration, electrolytes, and carbs. Any of you guys/gals could rock this.

  7. #7
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    Hi MetinUz: tell me what a SR series is.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by fortheblvd View Post
    Hi MetinUz: tell me what a SR series is.
    SR, or Super Randonneur is a series of 200K, 300K, 400K and 600K rides in the same year.

  9. #9
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    man, after riding a flat 200k with 3 SS/fixed urban riders from NYC, i really want to get my track bike rando-ready with modern compact drops like your somas. aaaand lose the double-straps for clipless. aaand drill the rear brake bridge. aaaand add bottle cages. aaaand figure out how to strap on luggage....

    the route was fairly flat, with only 3,000ft of climbing. so i am shooting for next year as my first SS brevet. fixed seems too intimidating, as i'd want to give my butt a rest. but maybe in time.

    if a bloody fixed-gear cyclist offered to take pulls, i'd gladly accept. obviously i know they mean business and can crush it!

    good job on the ride, it's confidence-inspiring for us mere mortals

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MetinUz View Post
    SR, or Super Randonneur is a series of 200K, 300K, 400K and 600K rides in the same year.
    I like the sound of this! Nice work!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowzette View Post
    I was proud of my 100 ride fixed on Sunday. Ate some humble pie reading your post. Great ride you did.
    Thanks! But 100 mi on a fixie is always something to brag about.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by seajaye View Post
    man, after riding a flat 200k with 3 SS/fixed urban riders from NYC, i really want to get my track bike rando-ready with modern compact drops like your somas. aaaand lose the double-straps for clipless. aaand drill the rear brake bridge. aaaand add bottle cages. aaaand figure out how to strap on luggage....

    the route was fairly flat, with only 3,000ft of climbing. so i am shooting for next year as my first SS brevet. fixed seems too intimidating, as i'd want to give my butt a rest. but maybe in time.

    if a bloody fixed-gear cyclist offered to take pulls, i'd gladly accept. obviously i know they mean business and can crush it!

    good job on the ride, it's confidence-inspiring for us mere mortals
    Sounds like your track bike will be a mean machine soon. PS: I used the Profile brand bottlecages that mount to your seatpost, since the Surly is only drilled for a single cage.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fortheblvd View Post
    Sounds like your track bike will be a mean machine soon. PS: I used the Profile brand bottlecages that mount to your seatpost, since the Surly is only drilled for a single cage.
    thanks! i would use them now (i used to before when doing road-ish rides on that bike), but i usually use a carradice saddlebag for brevets and such these days. my frame has no mounts for anything, so i'll be using a lot of p-clamps and those weird strap-on bottle cages i suppose.

  14. #14
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    fortheblvd I used the gear calculator on the Wabi site. Looks to me the first day your average cadence was around 80 rpm and overall 76 rpm? Does this look correct? I'm still trying to determine best gear for various rides. Sunday I used 75" which was great when drafting in a group at 20+ mph but 70" would have been better when solo. My cadence average was 82 rpm-like your first day. I could have ridden the same average speed using 70" at an average cadence of 87 rpm and reduced muscle fatigue. My legs are still stiff and sore and maybe minor muscle damage to one leg. Selecting the proper gearing has been a learning curve for me. Generally I use 70" and I think I will stick with that for awhile and just spin faster.

    It would be great to have some other fixed riders sharing experiences of riding 100 mile and longer rides. I've learned a lot about fixed gear bikes reading the SS and Fixed Gear Forum but most are into commuting, urban, tract and short rides. Not many doing even 50 mile road rides.

  15. #15
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    The Octopus has a sticky thread on fixed gear that's full of useful information. I will defer to many on the forum who have a lot more experience, having ridden multiple 1200K's on fixed gear.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowzette View Post
    fortheblvd I used the gear calculator on the Wabi site. Looks to me the first day your average cadence was around 80 rpm and overall 76 rpm? Does this look correct? I'm still trying to determine best gear for various rides. Sunday I used 75" which was great when drafting in a group at 20+ mph but 70" would have been better when solo. My cadence average was 82 rpm-like your first day. I could have ridden the same average speed using 70" at an average cadence of 87 rpm and reduced muscle fatigue. My legs are still stiff and sore and maybe minor muscle damage to one leg. Selecting the proper gearing has been a learning curve for me. Generally I use 70" and I think I will stick with that for awhile and just spin faster.

    It would be great to have some other fixed riders sharing experiences of riding 100 mile and longer rides. I've learned a lot about fixed gear bikes reading the SS and Fixed Gear Forum but most are into commuting, urban, tract and short rides. Not many doing even 50 mile road rides.
    Yes, I was at ~70" on this ride. I trained solo on 75" (48X17), and that would have been fine if I had ridden w/ a group and been guaranteed to ride within a paceline the whole way. But the 70" (48X18) was great when riding solo, and I figured it would at least guarantee that I'd finish. This was a fairly flat ride though, with mainly rolling hills (total elevation gain was ~5500' over 200 miles).

  17. #17
    Member ted_major's Avatar
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    Thanks for the report. I'm looking forward to riding my first metric century tomorrow. I've been riding 48x17 all summer, but I think I'll got to 48x18 for tomorrow to make sure I finish.

  18. #18
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    Bravo! That's a feat!

  19. #19
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    Amazing! I've done several one-day STPs, and seeing you guys on single speed bikes always leaves me in awe.

    I've been thinking about taking my 2x6 C&V bike one of these years, in imitation of the "Classic Bike" division they've started with the Furnace Creek 508, but had been concerned about having enough gears to ride comfortably over 200+ miles. Compared to what you pulled off, having 12 gears would be a luxury! Thanks for the inspiration. (Now, if I can just stop worrying about flatting too many tubular tires...)
    Last edited by ccblunt; 07-31-14 at 04:43 PM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccblunt View Post
    Amazing! I've done several one-day STPs, and seeing you guys on single speed bikes always leaves me in awe.

    I've been thinking about taking my 2x6 C&V bike one of these years, in imitation of the "Classic Bike" division they've started with the Furnace Creek 508, but had been concerned about having enough gears to ride comfortably over 200+ miles. Compared to what you pulled off, having 12 gears would be a luxury! Thanks for the inspiration. (Now, if I can just stop worrying about flatting too many tubular tires...)
    You only need one gear for the FC508...

  21. #21
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    question for century

    Hello how are you. Never i have do century i want try do one. I have road bike aluminum frame cannondale R300. I have crank 53/39 and cassete 9 speeds 12-25. You think is okay for century that setup or i go with crank 52-42 or 52-40 and more wide cassete. like 28 tooth or 30. One man i work with i go ride many gears is tell me the biggest cog used in century is was 21. General how i setup my bike for century what training i have to do, I have stop ride 2 years. I do 2 months ago 30 miles after work on my job. Is big warehouse is half mile around the building i do 60 laps the last 5 miles is was so hard but i do the 30 i not wanted stop in the 25 miles. Maybe the 53 crank i used and 12-25 cassete i use is wrong?
    Quote Originally Posted by fortheblvd View Post
    I can't find much online about fixed gear double centuries, so here goes.

    Gear:
    Surly Steamroller. 48 X 18 gearing. Soma Hwy One handlebars. Road and Cross brake levers. Specialized Romin saddle. MKS GR-9 pedals with MKS Clips and Toshi Straps. One under-saddle pack with tire tubes, CO2, wrenches, sunscreen. Two waterbottles with Vitalyte drink mixed with water. One waterbottle full of Vitalyte powder drink mix (to mix on the ride. I don't like Gatorade). One Timbuk2 'bento box' full of 7 homemade energy bars (approx 300 kcal, 500mg Sodium, 40g Carbs--I'm a dietitian, I can't help it!). New 25mm Gatorskin tires and tubes for the ride. One homemade bike jersey made by my wife.

    Conditions:
    Once the sun came up, it was 90+ degrees the whole way.

    The ride:
    I woke at 3:45am. Ate 4 slices of french toast with syrup and butter, plus 16oz of soy milk.
    I left at 6:15am. Parking is a zoo at the start. It took an hour to park and drop off my finish line bag. I ate a banana at 6am.
    I rode the first 100 miles in pacelines with another fixed gear rider (Sam from Portland, on 48 X 17 gearing) and other people I met along the way. The route is basically flat on the first 100, with the exception of one hill in Puyallup where I had to stand up to make it up. The only high-traffic road that was somewhat dangerous was between the towns of Spanaway and Roy, on Hwy 507. Otherwise I felt relatively safe from vehicles. This is also where the bicycle riders started to spread out, so that you didn't have to pass or be passed so often. I think the only accident I witnessed was on this stretch of road, where a rider rode off of the shoulder (not sure why).
    With the temp starting to heat up, I was averaging about 500mL of water + Vitalyte (80 calories), 1 of my homemade bars, and occasional small Clif Bars per hour during the first 100 miles.
    The first 100 miles took 6.5 total hours, and 5.75 hours of riding time.
    In Centralia, which is 100 miles in, I had an ice cream bar, grapes, watermelon, and oranges. I added some sunscreen, and left.
    Through the town of Centralia, many residents will aim their lawn sprinklers over the roadway to cool cyclists off. Riding through this felt great. However, I veered into one of these, and somehow didn't realize that the pavement would be wet. Down I went. Both knees were bloody, and my left hand had a deep bruise on the palm. The homeowner was nice enough to give me some Neosporin and bandaids. But, those bandaids don't stick well to sweaty skin. So, I had blood streaming down my legs for the rest of the ride, and nice red-brown bloody socks, a la Curt Schilling. Lovely.

    The second 100 miles featured more rolling hills. I only had to stand up and pedal for about 4 hills during this part: The bridge in Longview, the bridge in Portland, and about 2 others. I did stand up a few times, just to give my butt a rest though.
    It was heating up though, so I drank 750-1000mL of Vitalyte + water per hour, plus ~200 calories of Clif Shot Bloks, and occasional grapes and Clif Bars and homemade bars.
    I wasn't able to ride in pacelines as much during this last half of the ride, maybe about 1/3 of the time. Many people declined my invitation to work together. Their loss, I guess. Maybe it was the bloody legs and socks? I just rode behind them, relaxed a bit, and let them do the work.

    Final stats:
    Total ride time: 15 hours. Left Seattle at 6:15am, Arrived in Portland at 9:15pm. I took much longer breaks during the second half of the ride.
    Time on bike: 12.5 hours.
    Average speed on bike: 16.2 mph
    Knees: Still healing after 1.5 weeks. I'm down to one bandaid on each knee now.

    Training:
    4 day/week bike commuter on 48 X 17 gearing, Feb - October.
    1 X 100 mile, 2 X 75, 4 X 50, 10 X 30 mile rides (all solo, aiming for 17+mph avg speed) in the 1.5 months leading up to the ride (48 X 17 gearing). I think the longer rides were all on early Saturday mornings (plus one day when I skipped work!), and I got home by noon. The 30 mile rides were commute rides, in which I rode all the way into work from Kent to Seattle, WA.
    Physical therapy to make sure that I had enough back strength, since my poor posture was causing nerve pain in my knee during May.

    I just wanted to let people know that it's achievable on a fixed gear bicycle. I'm not a burly cyclist, just a 5'7" 35-year old guy who mainly commutes.

  22. #22
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    What bike you have single gear and you do the double century. If i lived near you and you can find me single gear bike i would liked do the double century with you. If ifound in my size one old steel road bike with 27" wheels how i do single gear bike. I have to found triple crank i take out the two rings i left the 48 and the single cog is screw on the wheel same as example 5 speeds freewheel?

  23. #23
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    Nice job. I haven't done a double yet, but several centuries. I train/ride on 47x17, but for the centuries, I gear down to 48x18. I am, unfortunately, still on the hunt for a good saddle. I'm riding on a Romin 143's now, but starts to hurt after 60 miles or so. I just bought a Cambium, so will test it out on the next big ride.

    Steamrollers are nice bikes. I had one for a couple of years. I loved that I could throw on 38's and go romping off road. I made a switch to a Wabi 2 seasons ago and it has been terrific. Much lighter than the Steamroller and better geo for the long rides.

    Tires--I love the durable and relatively cheap Vittoria Rubino Pro's. They last long and I've rarely flatted. I barely bought some Veloflex Masters and they do ride much better than the Rubino's. Hopefully, they're just as durable.

  24. #24
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    I ride a Wabi with Rubino Pros as well-very pleased. I'm as comfortable as on my geared road bkes.

  25. #25
    Senior Member brockd15's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fortheblvd View Post
    ...full of 7 homemade energy bars (approx 300 kcal, 500mg Sodium, 40g Carbs--I'm a dietitian, I can't help it!).
    I'd love to hear the recipe if you don't mind sharing.

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