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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 04-22-15, 09:51 AM   #1
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The Age 65+ Singlespeed & Fixed Gear Thread

There is already a thread like this in the 50+ forum, so I decided to try and start one here to complement the 40+ thread. I think there may be enough senior citizens like me who are into SSFG to make a go of this, but we shall see. I chose 65 as the starting age, since it is about one generation separated from the 40's group, and it's the traditional retirement age, at least here in the USA.

I've been racing track bikes for nearly 40 years, and riding fixed gear bikes on the road as well. I'm not so much into single speed bikes, but do have a few that I ride occasionally. I'll repost as few of my favorites to get things going:

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Old 04-22-15, 11:40 AM   #2
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A great idea for a thread. I'm 69 semi retired working 20 hrs a week. I have a Wabi Lightning scandium frame built with good track quality components. Do a lot of longer road rides through rollers. Saturday I rode 3.5 hrs and yesterday 3 hrs on the Wabi and the previous Saturday 4 hrs. I'll build up endurance and do a century before it gets hot. I also have a Lynskey Helix Ti road bike and a Hans Schneider custom steel road bike. I'm trying to ride 10-12 hrs a week with intervals once a week and either a hard (for me) group ride, usually on a geared bike, or a long solo fixed gear ride on Saturday. I've been riding about 25 years and raced 10 years from the mid 80s to mid 90s. Was off the bike 8-9 years getting fat and started again in 2004. I've been riding fixed gear about 3 years. I find I need more recovery. On a consistent basis I can only do two hard rides a week or I dig a hole and I think it takes three hard rides a week to ride well-the price of getting older at least for me. Loosing weight is hard and putting it on far too easy I carrying 7-8 lbs more of me than I need to get up the hills.
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Old 04-22-15, 11:59 AM   #3
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I've been fighting the weight thing all my life, and in fact got into cycling initially to lose weight. Basically, it takes a lot of time and persistence to shed pounds and keep them off. Unless you are competing, it's far more effective to ride daily at a zone 3 aerobic level of effort to get good cardio and maintain low body fat, and use light weights to maintain upper body muscle tone and mass. Also, it's very important to work on core strength with various calisthenics.
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Old 04-22-15, 12:43 PM   #4
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I've been fighting the weight thing all my life, and in fact got into cycling initially to lose weight. Basically, it takes a lot of time and persistence to shed pounds and keep them off. Unless you are competing, it's far more effective to ride daily at a zone 3 aerobic level of effort to get good cardio and maintain low body fat, and use light weights to maintain upper body muscle tone and mass. Also, it's very important to work on core strength with various calisthenics.
agree. got to get back to my core work. I was doing great until I had cataract surgery in January and I had to be a coach potato for 5 weeks.
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Old 04-22-15, 01:34 PM   #5
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agree. got to get back to my core work. I was doing great until I had cataract surgery in January and I had to be a coach potato for 5 weeks.
Back in June of 2012 I had double inguinal hernia surgery, and I wasn't able to do situps or any abdominal exercises for 6 months. When I tried to do some track racing the following year, I had lost so much power and strength that a 12 year old boy racing on junior gears cleaned my clock in a sprint. I haven't done a track race since then.
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I'd like to think i have as much money as brains.
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Old 04-22-15, 04:35 PM   #6
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a month ago we did a hilly ride. I ended up riding with a 72 year old woman who has had double hip replacement and a fat guy and "happy" to be with them! Actually the woman is very strong for her age. but I know the feeling of "no power". same course this Saturday. I'm going to beat up on the old lady and the fat guy. I now set very low goals
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Old 04-22-15, 07:56 PM   #7
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Here's the rest of my SSFG bikes. BF only lets you upload 10 images per post.



Oh, and the chainguard shown on the grey bike (SE Draft Coaster) was transferred to the orange bike (Motobecane Messenger) after that photo was taken.
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I'd like to think i have as much money as brains.
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Old 04-23-15, 03:38 AM   #8
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Back in June of 2012....
Could you please review a PM for me?
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Old 04-23-15, 06:53 AM   #9
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Could you please review a PM for me?
PM sent.
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Old 04-27-15, 10:40 AM   #10
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Scooper fest up and some biking bio.
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Old 04-27-15, 05:15 PM   #11
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Great idea for a thread!

Just turned 67 on April 26th and have been riding and loving bicycles since I was 5. A lot of bikes have gone through my life including some very exotic items, the last being an all-Campagnolo Waterford 753 that left a few years ago because my back, neck and wrists couldn't take the ride. I still have and ride a gorgeous I.C.E. Q-26 recumbent trike decked out with Dura Ace running gear. I love it. But......

Last fall I decided to simplify, and bought a 70's Nishiki mid-line "Olympic" frame and fork on eBay with the idea of building a single speed rain bike. It is a touring style frame with relaxed angles and long wheelbase, plain factory lugs with chrome fork ends and very pedestrian tubing of unknown brand.

I laced up some fairly light 700C wheels and bought solid but inexpensive components to get it on the road, although I did spring for a White Industries freewheel and Whipperman chain and run Speedplay lollipop pedals. The paint is nicked up here and there with very minor surface rust spots, but I heavily waxed it up (rust and all!) because I like the bright blue patina, and it looks aged but elegant. It is set up for my old body with bullhorn bars, and:

It is the most comfortable bicycle I've ever had.

I'm riding it most of the time now, rain or shine, and really dig the "run what you brung" single gear style. Gut out the headwinds, spin out the tailwinds. Slowly upping the gearing as fitness improves (also slowly!) but am presently averaging about 16 mph with a 68 inch gear for fairly flat 25 mile rides on these windy spring days. No, I'm certainly no racer, but I'm enjoying bicycling like the little kid I was on my coaster brake behemoth a half century ago.

Just took this photo today. The essence of single gear--no excuses:

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Old 04-27-15, 05:20 PM   #12
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Welcome. Excellent post!
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Old 04-27-15, 09:28 PM   #13
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I mostly ride a geared bike because we've got a lot of hills around here, but I do have a couple of track bikes. The 1940 Paramount doesn't have brakes so I don't ride it on the street, but the 2010 Schwinn Sprint (Reynolds 853 OS main tubes) has front and rear brakes, and I use it to tool around the SOMA neighborhoods which are pretty flat.

I'll be 73 in June.







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Old 04-27-15, 09:33 PM   #14
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Thanks for joining the thread, Scooper. That 1940 Paramount is a beaut ! Are those wood tubular rims ?
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Old 04-27-15, 10:47 PM   #15
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Thanks for joining the thread, Scooper. That 1940 Paramount is a beaut ! Are those wood tubular rims ?
Thanks; it's nice to be here. The rims are new Ghisallo Corsa tubular rims made from aged Beech. They're laced to original c. 1940 Paramount hubs.
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Old 04-28-15, 07:40 AM   #16
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Thanks; it's nice to be here. The rims are new Ghisallo Corsa tubular rims made from aged Beech. They're laced to original c. 1940 Paramount hubs.
Scooper I've seen your Paramount on RBR and lusted after it! I have a mid 80s Paramount, road frame, I may rebuild one day.
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Old 04-28-15, 10:48 AM   #17
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Thanks; it's nice to be here. The rims are new Ghisallo Corsa tubular rims made from aged Beech. They're laced to original c. 1940 Paramount hubs.
It must be quite a trip to build a wheel with vintage hubs and wooden rims! The creaking of the wood as it's trued would have beads of sweat breaking out on my forehead! I'd be way out of my element having just built up a half dozen with modern hubs and metal rims.

Are the other components Campagnolo? I have no knowledge of vintage track gear, but it is fascinating. Gorgeous bike.
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Old 04-28-15, 11:48 AM   #18
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It must be quite a trip to build a wheel with vintage hubs and wooden rims! The creaking of the wood as it's trued would have beads of sweat breaking out on my forehead! I'd be way out of my element having just built up a half dozen with modern hubs and metal rims.

Are the other components Campagnolo? I have no knowledge of vintage track gear, but it is fascinating. Gorgeous bike.
Thanks.

I bought it as a spray-bombed frame and fork on ebay, and original pre-war Schwinn Paramount hubs, cranksets, and adjustable stems are priced in the stratosphere. I was able to pick up a pair of original hubs, but used a 70s vintage Campy Record pista crankset and a new manufacture LDG stem with adjustable reach similar to the Schwinn original to keep the cost down. I'll continue looking for a reasonably priced original cottered crankset and an original stem.
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Old 04-28-15, 12:43 PM   #19
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Is the crankarm spider on your Campy Pista 151mm BCD ? I have a 1976 Paramount P14 track bike, and that's what it is on mine.
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Old 04-28-15, 01:33 PM   #20
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I'll continue looking for a reasonably priced original cottered crankset and an original stem.
Ha! "Cottered crank" brings to mind the horrible cranks on British 3-speeds back in the day. They had soft crank pins that would last about a year, and then you'd get that ka-chunk flop, especially on the left crank arm. I replaced mine often and it was a common job in the bike shop where I worked as a high school kid during the early 60's.

I'm sure the Paramounts were like fine jewelry by comparison.
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Old 04-28-15, 03:02 PM   #21
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Is the crankarm spider on your Campy Pista 151mm BCD ? I have a 1976 Paramount P14 track bike, and that's what it is on mine.
I didn't know, so I measured it. My chainring has 5 holes and measures 84.6mm between adjacent hole centers, so the BCD is 144mm.



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Old 04-28-15, 03:26 PM   #22
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You must have a late 1970s Campy Pista crank, after the point at which Campy changed the BCD from 151mm to 144mm. The BCD on the road Strada cranks was 144mm at that time, so that it was hard to tell them apart, except for the shoulder on the inside of the spider for the inner chainring on the Strada. I have a Strada double on my vintage Ron Cooper road bike from the same era.
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Old 04-28-15, 03:46 PM   #23
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I'm in, and not just for Social Security and Medicare.....

Here's my '77 road race bike converted to FG a couple of decades ago.



1st FG that I rode was in the Johnson administration, my coaches' wooden rimmed track bike from pre-WWII.
Had a Zeus similar to this pic that was a delight on the track "back when".



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Old 04-28-15, 05:07 PM   #24
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Welcome and thanks for posting more vintage beauty.
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Old 05-30-15, 12:55 PM   #25
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Well, for the first, I tried switching over from S.S. to fixed gear for a day and man, did I suffer! I really liked the feel, but I am used to standing up on the pedals while coasting to stretch the hamstrings, calves and back every ten or fifteen miles, and FG just won't let you do that. I did 30 miles and got such leg cramps I had to slow way down and pedal standing up to get any relief. Maybe the gearing was too low (I was spinning at 96-100 rpm with tailwinds and almost no resistance) or I just went too far the first time. Not fun.

I changed back to S.S. today and had a wonderful 25 miler @ 17.5 mph average. Really hesitant to try it again. Any ideas?
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