Climbing the Pyrenees on a Fixed Gear Track Bike
320km, 6000m of climbing, no brakes. He rides the 1910 TdF route through the mountains.
Video: Riding the 1910 Tour?s 300km Pyrenean stage on a fixie
Here are some pictures of the same route back in 1910. Things were a bit different.
They had some crude "spoon" brakes that pressed down on the tire but the riders often rested their feet on foot pegs on the front fork.
The earliest TdF races weren't too specific about what was allowed and what wasn't. Many bikes had freewheels and at least one Tour was won with a Sturmey-Archer 3-speed hub. But most racers didn't like the SA hub; felt it wasn't efficient. There were often 2 or 2 cogs on each side of the wheel and gear selection as well as the timing of the gear change was a big deal.
Cyclotourists had been climbing the Alps and Pyrenees for several years with derailleur bicycles so Desgranges introduced mountain stages into his race in 1910 to show that singlespeed racers could climb, too.
I read about a modern rider who has a 1930 bicycle that he rides on the TdF routes but I haven't been able to find info. on the internet.
I really enjoyed this book: http://www.amazon.com/Gironimo-Ridin.../dp/0224092073
Period bike and period dress on the 1914 tour of Italy route.
What's really interesting to me is that bikes haven't really changed all that much. At least not the single-speed ones. I mean, sure, they've gotten lighter and more efficient and what not, but the overall shape, geometry and build hasn't evolved too terribly much.
Originally Posted by SquidPuppet