Temporary fixed gear
Tell me if I'm crazy.
I did the Longleaf Trace on my standard road bike at a surprisingly good clip. Some of the guys are posting their times: http://www.mylongleaftrace.com/Log2Way/Log.html
I want some bragging rights, so I've set my roadie up with aerobars and I'm ready to blow the doors off everybody. The thing about the LLT is that there are NO HILLS -- it's completely flat as far as the eye can see. So, in addition to the aerobars and some training I'm thinking about temporarily pulling the gears off and going track-bike style.
1: First, am I insane?
2: Would I actually see some speed increase?
3: How much money do you think this would cost?
4: Am I insane?
2. I have no expertise in long-distance riding, but provided you train on the fixed bike, I think you can only improve--fixed riding will only make you a stronger and more efficient pedaller, especially over a long, flat course: the good road bike riders would probably be pedalling the entire way themselves. Plus, you'll have the benefit of that loss in weight on the bike coupled with improved aerodynamics (no more derailers) and better weight distribution.
3. Cost would mainly be the wheel: if your bike has horizontal dropouts, you're either going to a. re-dish your existing rear wheel, which you probably won't want to do because you plan on doing this "temporarily;" or b. buy a track rear wheel, which will cost you a minimum of about 80 bucks. If you're bike is newer, with vertical dropouts, then you're going to have to get a rear wheel with an Eno eccentric hub, and those are very pricey--certainly higher than the 80 I just quoted.
Um, you know, the question's not insane, but we really have no way of knowing if RedHairedScot is sane or not, do we?
crotchety young dude
Yeah, it'd be cool. For the rear wheel, I'd check around to see if you can borrow a friend's fixed wheel, or look used. But yeah, horizontal dropouts would be a definite plus (easier/cheaper to find a wheel).
Originally Posted by HereNT
Good point. And actually, as I think of it, the fact that he asked the question twice lends itself to the interpretation that even if he's not insane, he could at least be a caged animal. I retract answers to 1. and 4. above as being impossible to confirm given the information provided.
RHS, the biggest problem you're going to face is, once you do this (and you really ought to), you're not going to want to go back to all those gears. Which, in the scope of things, is not that big of a problem.
It's a relatively new Specialized Allez, so I've got vertical dropouts.
I just found Sheldon Brown's articles on fixed gear . . . hmm. This looks . . . expensive.