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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 05-15-05, 08:23 PM   #1
flythebike
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The Fixie made you strong - now go racing!

Since February, I've been putting over 100 miles a week on my fixed gear, just commuting 3-4 times a week. I did about four weeks of racing, getting mediocre results (21st, 28th, 26th, 56th, and so forth), but finishing every race. I'm a category four on the road. But, not counting the race I flatted out of yesterday, I've finished top 3 in my last two races, just missing out on the win today - a guy got clear on the backside of the criterium course, and I 'had to settle' for 'winning' the field sprint for second. He made a very strong move! Anyway, that doggone fixie has made me so strong. It has given me so much snap, such phenomenol spin, incredible strength, and improved bike handling. If you're thinking about racing, and you ride your fixie a lot, do it! Get on a road bike, find a race and go do it! I'm living proof of how strong a fixie can make you!

I wonder why I quit riding one for like five years.
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Old 05-15-05, 08:38 PM   #2
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Thanks for the post, this really got me pumped. I bought my fixie in September so I could have a commuter than I would enjoy, but also so I could ride occasionally with my school's cycling club (I'm probably the only person in the club who locks up my road rig outside). I didn't expect to enjoy riding on the road nearly as much as I did, and soon I went from going to rides listed as easy or recovery rides, to skipping class (don't worry, I still do well in school) to go to every ride I could, sometimes putting on as many as 175 miles in a week (that's not typical at all though). When the road racing season began, I was so jealous that I didn't have a road bike to enter with, and I was getting a bunch of encouragement to go race. Now I'm planning a road bike build for when I get home in the summer time and I'm really excited for my new bike and the road season. Also the mountain season since I didn't have my bike to race last year.
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Old 05-15-05, 08:52 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Kennetht638
Thanks for the post, this really got me pumped. I bought my fixie in September so I could have a commuter than I would enjoy, but also so I could ride occasionally with my school's cycling club (I'm probably the only person in the club who locks up my road rig outside). I didn't expect to enjoy riding on the road nearly as much as I did, and soon I went from going to rides listed as easy or recovery rides, to skipping class (don't worry, I still do well in school) to go to every ride I could, sometimes putting on as many as 175 miles in a week (that's not typical at all though). When the road racing season began, I was so jealous that I didn't have a road bike to enter with, and I was getting a bunch of encouragement to go race. Now I'm planning a road bike build for when I get home in the summer time and I'm really excited for my new bike and the road season. Also the mountain season since I didn't have my bike to race last year.
Sounds great Kenneth638, thanks for the reply; good luck!!!!
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Old 05-16-05, 08:12 AM   #4
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This reply is a shameless attempt to keep this thread near the top of the list of topics.
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Old 05-16-05, 08:36 AM   #5
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I do the same thing... my geared bike is almost exclusively used for races these days. I find I shift much less than I did before, and my top speed has noticeably improved. Roadies have been doing this for years, and I think it is even mentioned in Friel's book.

Another great thing about fixed is I can throw a larger cog on and take a nice REAL recovery ride. On my geared bike, it brings out the hammerhead in me, and I usually end up above my recovery zone.

Only "problem" is posengers looking down on me as I ride a conversion and wear lycra (sorry but 40 miles is a short ride for me)... have a frame pump... water bottle... flat kit... Sidis and clipless pedals...
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Old 05-16-05, 08:50 AM   #6
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here here to that. i've probably increased my average speed by about 3mph this spring, just from putting lots of fixed miles on. it's great to feel fast, and it's awesome to get fast by riding something you love instead of "working" for it.

now, if i just didn't drink so damn much beer, i might win something...
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Old 05-16-05, 08:54 AM   #7
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Great post flythebike!

I bought my first fixed/track bike 7 years ago as a training tool. I had read about the benefits of riding fixed and how it irons out problems you may be experiencing with an improper spin technique. Initially, I wanted to work on a better spin for my road racing and also was getting sick of the sos (same ole ****) road training that I was doing at the time. I started riding it once a week and then bumped up to three times a week. After about a month and a half I noticed impressive results in both my spin, explosiveness and overall fitness.

I quit riding and racing 4 years ago when I moved here to NYC. Too much partying and too little interest at the time. Finally, the bug has hit again. I am working on getting back into racing shape with possibly some road racing and track racing in the near future (late summer at the earliest). I have been riding exclusively on my fixed for the past few months with the sole intent of jumpstarting my racing season. flythebike's post has definitely given me the encouragement that I am heading the right direction.
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Old 05-16-05, 08:56 AM   #8
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i see tons of fixie riders all the time who are in fantastic shape, and i know would do well in local races.
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Old 05-16-05, 09:02 AM   #9
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I'll chime in here, road fixed all winter long on an IRO markV that I got. I am WAY more fit now than last year... Im still using it now 2-3times a week on the rollers to keep my spin smooth

cheers guys
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Old 05-16-05, 09:17 AM   #10
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Great to see fixie riders competing in USCF events. I completed my first Cat 5 crit last week and loved it! There's some reeaallly burly hills out here in Jersey, I just wish there were more stage type races. :\
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Old 05-16-05, 09:18 AM   #11
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For me it has taken the fear of getting dropped mostly away, and also made me more aggressive in some ways. The way you have to really pound the pedals on the fixie on hills, it has changed my psyche somewhat. It makes you more committed, I think, because you know you can't bail out into an easy gear.

Enjoy the fixie for what it is, and for its cross-training benefits!
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Old 05-16-05, 09:31 AM   #12
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Oh yes no doubt about it. It really improves your jump and hill climbing ability. Hey flythebike are you going to do the Reston Criterium this year? Thats a kick ass event...
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Old 05-16-05, 09:55 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by jfmckenna
Oh yes no doubt about it. It really improves your jump and hill climbing ability. Hey flythebike are you going to do the Reston Criterium this year? Thats a kick ass event...
Yes. In fact, my team, Evolution, promotes that race. It is quite challenging with that tight corner before the uphill, and the that 500 meter long shallow uphill grade after that short sharp uphill following that tight corner. You have to be so on top of your gears and your game to even finish that race.

Did you see the pro/1/2 last year? Jake Stephens attacked that break he was in just as the field caught it, and then soloed in for three laps. Stunning display of tatical savvy, timing, and riding ability.
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Old 05-16-05, 10:13 AM   #14
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Much as I love riding my fixed gear bicycle, I am a more devoted racer. I love the challenge, the thrill, the test of a bicycle race. Fixed gear riding has indeed made me stronger. The Masi is heavier, so when I get on the Merckx it feels light as a feather. While racing I stay in a bigger gear longer. I’ve learned to recover my heart rate without stopping pedaling. While others coast in the corners I keep spinning. I rarely stop pedaling during a race at all. They’re little things, but they add up.
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Old 05-16-05, 10:40 AM   #15
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Sounds like a good plan to follow. i'll let y'all know when I am too experiencing benifits from fixed riding
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Old 05-16-05, 11:58 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flythebike
Yes. In fact, my team, Evolution, promotes that race. It is quite challenging with that tight corner before the uphill, and the that 500 meter long shallow uphill grade after that short sharp uphill following that tight corner. You have to be so on top of your gears and your game to even finish that race.

Did you see the pro/1/2 last year? Jake Stephens attacked that break he was in just as the field caught it, and then soloed in for three laps. Stunning display of tatical savvy, timing, and riding ability.
I raced in the 4's last year. One of my goals was a top 10 for this race but now I am not sure I can make it up their since I may be in Alaska. If you know when this race will go up for on line registration and can pm me about it please do. I know this one will fill up in no time.
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Old 05-16-05, 05:02 PM   #17
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Great thread, i bought my first road bike(cannondale r900) today after riding fixed for 6 years. You guys know about any races for begginers in nyc area?
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Old 05-16-05, 06:32 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by armia
Great thread, i bought my first road bike(cannondale r900) today after riding fixed for 6 years. You guys know about any races for begginers in nyc area?
You may want to check out one of the NY Cycling Series Races.

http://www.kissenasports.com/nycs_competitor_info.htm

I have yet to race here in NYC but I am shooting for riding in at least one of these races this summer.
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