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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 08-10-05, 07:26 PM   #1
Sheldon Brown
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Over the weekend, my wife and I drove to Lewisburg Pennsylvania for the Eastern Tandem Rally. This is an annual gathering of about 120 tandem teams from all over the East Coast.

We brought our Picchio fixed gear tandem, it was the only fixed-gear tandem to show up, among 119 coasties. http://sheldonbrown.org/picchio

We had never been to this area before, were a bit nervous about the terrain. I had heard that it was rolling, but some folks told me that it would be unsuitable for a fixie. Just to be on the safe side, I borrowed the 8-speed rear wheel from my Raleigh International http://sheldonbrown.org/raleigh-international. My idea was to scope out the situation and have the geared wheel as a bail out option in case we lost our nerve for riding fixed.

Early weather forecasts were a bit gloomy, and I had a nice pair of red Esge fenders on hand, so I put them on just in case. As a result, no doubt, the weather was beautiful all weekend.

Well, the terrain is rolling, and absolutely gorgeous. The roads were smooth and with very little motor traffic (did se one Amish buggy trucking along at an astonishingly rapid clip.)

We did rides on Saturday (39 miles) and Sunday (19 miles) running the 52/18 fixed gear, and had a ball. There was one stretch on the Saturday ride where we had to get off and walk for 20-30 meters, but otherwise we managed all of the hills (though some of 'em got our 61 year old hearts a-pounding!)

We got dropped on the descents, but held our own on the flats...and we dusted everybody on the climbs. (No surprise to this audience.)

Sheldon "Fixed Is TWICE As Much Fun" Brown
Newtonville, Massachusetts
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|  Check out my wife's tale of her experience  |
|  in the 1975 Paris-Brest-Paris at:           |
|     http://harrietfell.com/PBP1975.html      |
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Old 08-10-05, 07:29 PM   #2
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that rules.. i was in vancouver this weekend.. looking for a wedding picnic at stanly park with my friend.. and after realizing it was huge, and passing a tandem rental.. we decided it'd be funny to try.. i used to make fun of tandems.. never again.. we were having so much funn we were laughing the first few mmiles.. a fixed tandem wouldd have me grinning all day.. nice job
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Old 08-10-05, 07:58 PM   #3
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Thassa beautiful machine.
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Old 08-11-05, 08:46 AM   #4
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Didn't even get any local news coverage... Lewisburg is a fantastic place, home of bucknell university (some of you might know them from 2005's NCAA men's basketball).

This whole area, with some exceptions, has a lot of the same terrain. You should see it in October, too, when the leaves are straight off the canvases of artists.

Without the constant interruptions of Stop signs and stop lights, the hills and mountains can be really fun on a fixed gear. I ride (sans partner) 40x16 and find it to be just right, even though it was the first gearing that I tried. I wouldn't want to go any lower, and yet I rarely have to walk. The only challenging parts are when I have to stop at stop signs every block going uphill, 20% grade is not uncommon on residential streets on the mountainsides.

Right now I only have the one bike, and everyone (who knew anything about anything) thought I was crazy, but I've enjoyed every minute of it (well, most of them...), and can't wait until the fall colors pull me outdoors again.

That's an amazing ride you have there...
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Old 08-11-05, 11:46 AM   #5
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Sheldon you are riding a bike I dream of. I have always wanted to try tandom fixed.

If you ever need another old man for a stoker, PM me!!!

How hard is it to leg lock in synchro???
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Old 08-11-05, 12:36 PM   #6
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Damn, the man himself posts. Gorgeous ride man.
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Old 08-11-05, 01:10 PM   #7
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mr brown
you change your sig quote every time, so is it off the top of your head (with author) or do you have to look them up?

rusholme "sheldon can't possibly know _everything_ can he?" ruffians
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Old 08-11-05, 01:54 PM   #8
Sheldon Brown
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Originally Posted by rusholme
mr brown
you change your sig quote every time, so is it off the top of your head (with author) or do you have to look them up?
I keep a Word file open with my collection of pre-formatted quotes, in alphabetical order by author. Whenever i use one, I type the date and forum below the quote so I don't repeat myself too frequently to the same audience.

If I know that i have a quote that's relevant to the topic, i'll go with it, if not, I just look for one that I haven't used for a while.

Sheldon "Copy/Paste" Brown
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Old 08-11-05, 01:59 PM   #9
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is there anything he is not good at?
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Old 08-11-05, 02:02 PM   #10
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very very beautiful bike!!
the fixed tandem is a dream we all hope to achieve one day mr. brown... and someone to ride it with, lol.
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