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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 07-11-05, 05:19 PM   #1
el twe
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Gearing for my first fixie

OK, I know this has beaten to death on these forums, but I'm really stuck between a few different gearings. I'm gonna convert a bike-boom roadie into a fixed gear tooler (just around town type stuff) and I plan on using whatever inner ring comes stock with it (41 or 42). I've been cruising around on a SS for awhile, running 41x18. This gets me comfortably up the hill near my house (important to get almost anywhere) and I can very comfortably cruise around flat land with it. Now for a fixie, I'm thinkin' this might be a little too small. So, right now I'm thinking that if it's a 42T ring, I'll run a 17T cog. If it's 41, I'll go with 16. This is based on the even/odd skid thing. Does anyone have any recommendations for gearing?
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Old 07-11-05, 05:31 PM   #2
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I used to surf around Santa Cruz.
And from what I remember either gears you mention should work out well for you.
personally I'd go 42x17
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Old 07-11-05, 05:39 PM   #3
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Thanks Medicin. That'll be great (once I find a bike to convert!).
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Old 07-11-05, 06:42 PM   #4
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42x17 is a pretty light gear. if you're using a brake and not climbing much besides that one hill, you may want to bump that down to a 16, or you're going to be spinning pretty fast.
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Old 07-11-05, 07:30 PM   #5
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Yeah, I'll have a front brake, and there aren't many other major hills that I frequent. I dunno, I'll look into other gearings on my geared bike.
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Old 07-11-05, 07:51 PM   #6
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Depending on you tire and crank sizes, 42x16 42x15 is around 68 to 72 gear inches, respectively, a pretty good ballpark to start with.
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Old 07-11-05, 09:42 PM   #7
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It'll be on 27" wheels (most likely).
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Old 07-11-05, 10:10 PM   #8
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start around 70 inches and go up. i have 42x16 on my first fixie, my latest i have 44x16 which feels really nice.
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Old 07-11-05, 10:10 PM   #9
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btw love your avatar, trane rules.
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Old 07-11-05, 11:09 PM   #10
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70 inches, huh? Alright. 42/41x17/16 oughta be OK then?

And yeah, Trane is a monster!
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Old 07-12-05, 12:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by el twe
70 inches, huh? Alright. 42/41x17/16 oughta be OK then?

And yeah, Trane is a monster!
Yeah, he is deep. "The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long."
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Old 07-12-05, 09:27 AM   #12
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I started around 70 inches, and totally forgot to factor in that my fixed bike was at least ten pounds lighter than the next lightest bike around here (all 26" wheel mtn type bikes), and way more responsive, so my gear felt too small right from the start - good for effortless crusing speed and good acceration, and maybe I wouldn't want to go much faster than that, but Montreal's built on a slope, and I spin out any time going south. I'm trying out 78" to compare.
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Old 07-12-05, 11:03 AM   #13
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This can help:



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Old 07-12-05, 11:12 AM   #14
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So, I think I understand Skid Patches, but could someone explain them to me? Are they just how many places on your tire you'll skid?
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Old 07-12-05, 11:21 AM   #15
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skid patches - yes number of places, this chart assumes you always skid with same foot forward, if you skid both ways you double the patches. Also note that the size of the patch can be spread if you don't hold a tight locked position, I find that a patch is about 1/8th of a tire circumference, but probably most biased in the center section of that 1/8th. Also note that skidding is not a must do slowing method, hard resistance (and front brake use) work too. I wore out a rear tire in 1mo. - mainly havin fun, now I don't skid anymore to save my new tires. You can also rotate tire on rim or chain on cog to move patches around

Point of all the above is not to think/worry too much about skid patches, but just to be more conciensous of them if you skid a lot and have 1 or 2 patches by chart above.

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Old 07-12-05, 11:42 AM   #16
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Yeah, I don't think I'll be doing much skidding, so I'll just concentrate on gearing. I'm going to try out a fixie later today at a LBS (never ridden one before). Should be a good learning experience...
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Old 07-12-05, 11:55 AM   #17
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You can also ride this bike in one gear for a while to find a ratio that works. Of course you won't know what it feels like downhill, but for flats, uphill and starts you will get a sense of what ratio will work.

Oh, I just re-read your first post. You like 41x18 for the hill, but think its too small for fixed (i assume you mean too low a gear) why do you think. Unless the SS is a much heavier bike riding up the same hill is not going to be easier on a fixed.
42x17 will be a bit higher. Try it. Changing cogs will happen, you may eventually want a different one on each side of the hub. Your LBS may even let you exchange them if they show no signs of wear. (my LBS, where I purchase lots of stuff, offered an exchange on a 100mi worn cog when I bought a new chainring, I didn't even have to ask)

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Old 07-12-05, 12:22 PM   #18
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By "too small" I mean that if I'm constantly pedaling, it seems that I would eventually just spin out. I don't know, it just seems that this would happen. I can't try a 42x17, because I don't have a bike with those gearings. I like the flip/flop idea, but I wanna do this cheap, so I'm just going to convert the stock rear wheel.
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Old 07-12-05, 12:28 PM   #19
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Like most new and soon to be fixed gear riders you are over thinking this. I did the same which is why I created the chart to help me think about it better. Since you don't have the exact 42x17 on your bike now, use the chart to find the closest equivalent and if not an exact match use the combo that is higher on the fixed. Keep in mind crank length and wheel size will change your overall ratio as well.

Pretty much all fixed gear riders change gears at some point, so pick something close to what you want that is cheap and relatively easy to obtain, then go from there.

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Old 07-12-05, 12:46 PM   #20
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If your just tooling around town not trying to go too fast 42x17 is not a bad gear. It may be low for some of the speedsters in here but it works quite well for a slower pace. Thats the gear I ran on my winter commuter. It actually was a little tall when I was running with studded tire for the worst of winter.
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Old 07-12-05, 12:54 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Like most new and soon to be fixed gear riders you are over thinking this.
Why am I not surprised? Well, I'm gonna try out a Pista just to get the feel for it, and I believe that comes stock as a 42x16. I'll see how that is, and work from there. Thanks again, guys.
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Old 07-12-05, 09:06 PM   #22
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Well poo. This shop doesn't stock anything fixie aside from the Pista. Wtf? If you're gonna sell a fixie, shouldn't you also supply the customer with upgrades? So, I didn't try it out, I'm just gonna go for it (if I ever find another bike).
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Old 07-12-05, 11:25 PM   #23
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Just dive right in, bro! If you need to change, It'll just cost 20$ for another cog. But whatever you choose, give it a few weeks before you change, just to make sure that you give yourself time to get used to it.

peace,
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Old 07-13-05, 12:05 AM   #24
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Just dive right in, bro! If you need to change, It'll just cost 20$ for another cog. But whatever you choose, give it a few weeks before you change, just to make sure that you give yourself time to get used to it.
Yeah, but this whole no suitable LBS thing has me kind of annoyed. Does anyone have any LBSs in San Jose they could reccomend for the job? My grandpa lives in Saratoga, and we visit quite often, so I could conceivably buy parts there. I'd just rather have a knowledgable (local) mechanic who could help me along the way.
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Old 07-13-05, 12:45 AM   #25
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Dude this is off topic but Phil is based in San Jo

http://www.philwood.com/

I grew up in SJ and I'm sure that there are some good lbs that could help you out. Especially in the West Side of town.
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