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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 05-04-05, 09:08 AM   #1
Lividkoi
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46 x 16 for a beginner?

46 x 16 for a newbe to fix gear. does this sounds right? anythoughts on what i should go with . I have a 46 tooth chainring what do you thinkfor cog size?
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Old 05-04-05, 09:10 AM   #2
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is 46x16 difficult for you in multigear?

same dif.
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Old 05-04-05, 09:17 AM   #3
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Start off lower than 46x16, develop your spin. 46x17 or 46x18 maybe. Go down some hills (with a brake) and learn to spin your legs without bouncing in your seat. Ride the low gearing for a few months, then switch up to 46x16.

This all depends on where you're riding and how fast you want to be, of course...
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Old 05-04-05, 09:24 AM   #4
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Thanks, I ride in nyc
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Old 05-04-05, 10:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judah
Start off lower than 46x16, develop your spin. 46x17 or 46x18 maybe. Go down some hills (with a brake) and learn to spin your legs without bouncing in your seat. Ride the low gearing for a few months, then switch up to 46x16.

This all depends on where you're riding and how fast you want to be, of course...
When people talk about spin, what kinda rpms do you mean?
I have very recently started riding a 40x14 on flat roads. I often get up to 30mph, which is about 130rpm, and I wish I had a higher gear to switch into, as I usually settle back down to 120, instead of keeping up 130 for more than a few minutes. But on the flip side I'm finding that starts from lights are slower than I want (and worried about knees) and when there is a strong headwind 40x14 is too high, but I am concerned to go to a lower gear as I feel spun out at my top cruising speeds.

My experience riding a multi-geared bike has always been to ride over 100rpm, I accelerate best in the 100-120 range, even from stops as I started from a low gear.

I guess this is why fixed makes you a stronger rider and it takes a bit to find the happy balance between fast starts and top speed.

Al
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Old 05-04-05, 01:19 PM   #6
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My first (and still only) fixie was/is geared at 48x17. I lived in DC when I bought the bike and the hills killed me in that gearing. I moved to Chicago where it's flat and now I'm golden.

Where are you? What kind of terrain are you riding? That's the answer to what kind of gearing will be best for you.
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Old 05-04-05, 01:21 PM   #7
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How are you guys measuring your RPM? A computer thing? Oh, since Pittsburgh is pretty hilly, what gear should I be using? What ratio is difficult to pedal and what is easy? How is there such a difference between 48x16, 48x17, and 48x18?
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Old 05-04-05, 01:24 PM   #8
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Perfect gear to start off with in NYC.

S/F<
CEYA!
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Old 05-04-05, 05:15 PM   #9
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46X16X23mm represents 75.6 gear inches.
That sounds about right in between where a person riding on relatively level terrain should start and end up.

A month or two ago when I felt in top shape I could comfortably push 78".
Now, during my recovery, I push 70" and it has really helped my technique.

46X17X23mm would give 71.1", and that seems like a good learning and riding ratio.
I could spend my whole life at 71" and enjoy it.
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Old 05-04-05, 05:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Cox
46X16X23mm represents 75.6 gear inches.
That sounds about right in between where a person riding on relatively level terrain should start and end up.

A month or two ago when I felt in top shape I could comfortably push 78".
Now, during my recovery, I push 70" and it has really helped my technique.

46X17X23mm would give 71.1", and that seems like a good learning and riding ratio.
I could spend my whole life at 71" and enjoy it.
whoa...where are you? I am getting my ff wheel in a week, and I was gonna throw a 17 in the back (52 in front) milwaukee is flat...i run 52-16 freewheel right now, and I love it...some hills suck...i am more worried about stopping than going...although since it is a ff i will run a brake...is that a comment or a question? I'm not even sure...

-jason
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Old 05-04-05, 06:57 PM   #11
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I live in Bend, Oregon, a town of 60,000 and a city radius of about five miles, so 10 miles from one side of town to the other.
I have about a 500' gain and loss around town.
When in good shape, 48X16 seems just about right; I could stay in the saddle on my worst hill.
I had gone down to 48X18 because of a month layoff, and it surprised me to discover I could go just about as fast on the level and uphill with 48X18 as I had with 48X16.
I can't go as fast downhill with the 48X18, but I have so much more control going downhill that I consider it an even trade.
Now that I've ridden 48X18 (70.1") for a week, my legs feel stronger and I might go back to 48X16 (78.8") in a day or two.
With a 48t chainring, the next jump to a 15t cog would put me at 84.1", and I don't know if I could do that.
Maybe if I lost 30 pounds.
(I've got it to lose, too.)
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Old 05-04-05, 07:57 PM   #12
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I ride in NYC. So what your saying is I should gow with say 46 x 18???
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Old 05-04-05, 08:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lividkoi
I ride in NYC. So what your saying is I should gow with say 46 x 18???
tell ya what..do this...just don't shift for a week...find the gear that is most comfortable...make sure you don't coast a lot...and pick that one...or even go a little lighter...that is what I did and it works out just peachy..no one is going to be able to tell you what gear to use, you can ask for advice all day, but in the end, you know yourself better than anyone...

-jason
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Old 05-04-05, 08:40 PM   #14
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Before I knew even the first thing about bikes, let alone fixed gears, I started with 48 x 16. If your rides are flat and you have a brake, this gear should not be a problem. It has done great things for my strength, especially noticeable when I hop onto my geared mountain bike.
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Old 05-04-05, 08:44 PM   #15
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yeah, riding brakeless though
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Old 05-04-05, 09:14 PM   #16
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Quote:
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yeah, riding brakeless though
You don't know a thing about bikes, but you want to ride a brakeless fixed gear? Are you high?
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Old 05-04-05, 09:39 PM   #17
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Must be jimbo...
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Old 05-04-05, 09:42 PM   #18
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If you are a new to fixed and it sounds like you are, then maybe you should throw a brake on there till you really get the hang of it. We don't want to lose a newbie so quick. as far as the gearing goes, 48x16 is fine, maybe a 46x16 and if your not in shape or learning to skid/skip then go with something easier.
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Old 06-05-05, 01:20 AM   #19
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i'm running 48x15, because its what the bike came with, and i feel bad spending so much lately

how much would a 17 or 18t cog be? is switching them out the kinda thing i can do myself? or do you need "a special tool", like you do with half of everything else on a bike
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Old 06-05-05, 01:47 AM   #20
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I'm using 48 X 16 and it's tall for me but then I'm not in good shape yet. In a year it might be a good all-around gear. Meanwhile, I guess I'm building strength fast because I'm not building leg speed.
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Old 06-05-05, 02:57 AM   #21
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wow... I feel almost bad for considering a 38/16 given everyone talking about 48t front chainrings. I ride geared on an MTB now and almost never leave my 32t middle ring. Most of the time I ride in between 14-18t on the back. Then again, I try my best to stay @ 100+ cadence.
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Old 06-05-05, 03:37 AM   #22
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I think I really need 48x18. The main problem with new riders or unskilled riders is too low a cadence, and I'm setting a bad example with my 48x16.

On the track is different, no hills and should not be a lot of wind.
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Old 06-05-05, 06:46 AM   #23
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I used to ride 46 x 16 around Boston when my bike was a singlespeed. Now that it's fixed I ride 46 x 15. It took about 2 days to get used to the change, but I find it to be great for around town. There aren't many hills I can't conquer on it, but then...there aren't many hills period. I recently took the bike to NH and went on a 75 mile tour. I had little trouble with it. With a brake you should be fine at 46 x 16. In fact...I recommend it for NYC. Gearing on my new bike 52 x 16 and 52 x 17 on the other side.
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Old 06-05-05, 07:45 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lividkoi
I ride in NYC. So what your saying is I should gow with say 46 x 18???


Lividkoi, I hadn't ridden a bike of any kind in years and took it up in the fall on a fg conversion. I live in Brooklyn. I started off in 44x16, but my knees were really hurting, so I came to the board. Most suggested I lower my gearing to below 70 gear inches. I'm still spinning at 44x19, and it's fine--esp. good for stops and starts, very easy on my knees. Only last night did I think maybe it's time for me to go up. It sounds like you already bike a lot, so you probably can get a better idea of your cadences. Just don't push it: sheldon brown has an article on a starting gear for fixies (written by someone else), and the guy says he started off even lower than me. He points out that since it's your only gear, you probably don't want to go with your highest comfortable gear, because this will be very hard on your legs at starts and stops. I think this advice is sound. I'd say find the gear that you're comfortable with on a road bike, then step it down a few inches. Also, are you going to be riding any bridges on a normal basis? If you normally gear down on any of those, take that into account, also. Finally, are you just going to ride around town, or are you going on long rides with this? Because I ride around town a lot, and I find that I don't often even get the chance to get up to top speeds before I have to stop at an intersection for peds/cars/cross-traffic/etc.
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Old 06-05-05, 08:54 AM   #25
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I just switched my gearing down from 44x16 to 44x18. I loves it now. So much more acceleration power, much better spin. Oh yea, I can also skid really easy, and whip out like 180 fishtails. Sweet!

I also felt that I wasn't really spinning the 44x16 enough, so I will try and develop a spin with the 44x18.
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