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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 11-03-05, 08:29 PM   #1
youm0nt
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single speed vs geared.better workout?

sorry if this is in the wrong section. i am wondering whether riding a geared bike or single speed bike would give you "better" cardiovascular workout?
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Old 11-03-05, 08:55 PM   #2
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I really have no idea, but I would suspect a geared bike would be better for a cardiovascular workout. Just because, if you can monitor your heart rate, you can use the gears to keep it at an optimal rate. While I would suspect that a singlespeed would give you a better strength work out, but I don't think you would be able to hold your heartrate constant.
All that being said, I think a singlespeed is a better workout in general though. And is one of the reasons I'm going to part out my tass to afford a new exile SS.
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Old 11-03-05, 09:01 PM   #3
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i agree with the above statement. the best cardio work out is at a fast-pace walking speed. so i would think if you climb any type of a hill on a ss you are going to get your heart rate up over that level.
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Old 11-03-05, 09:26 PM   #4
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I disagree...I would think that a geared bike would be better for both. If you want strength throw it in to the highest gear you have and mash up anything. If you want cardiovascular then spin in the gear that does it best for you at any given time. I would think a fixed would be the best idea.
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Old 11-03-05, 09:30 PM   #5
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fixed gear would be the better option of all 3
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Old 11-03-05, 09:40 PM   #6
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Well, I doubt the typical rider would throw their multi-geared bike into its tallest gear just for the purposes of strength training, but technically rva is right. Multiple gears are also definitely better to make sure you stay in the correct heart rate zones (depending on what you're doing), like <75% max HR for aerobic base, etc., over the course of an entire ride, especially on hills.

That said, I've ridden my Steamroller on every team ride this fall, and I have no doubt I'm getting "more of a workout" than my teammates, although I am occasionally blowing past certain heart rate limits, which might not be the absolute greatest during the base building period. Luckily there aren't many hills here, and my gearing is about spot on with our group ride speeds. I'm also totally out of shape compared to most of them, so I think the extra work is a good thing (for now).

As for the strength aspect...riding fixed, I've built my muscles up relatively quickly without even thinking about it. They went from sort of amorphous blobs to decent definition in only a couple of months. To do the same on your average 20 speed road bike would require a good bit more attention with gearing, not coasting, etc. Plus, you can never resist the pedals and do extra work on one of those bikes like you can with fixed gear.

Last edited by psn; 11-03-05 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 11-04-05, 08:10 AM   #7
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I find that I end up riding my fix more, harder and longer than geared bikes, resulting in a better workout. Just ride the bike you like most more, and don't forget, the fix will help your cadence/spin.
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Old 11-04-05, 08:15 AM   #8
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before my tour last spring, I pretty much just rode my fixie.
it made me so strong, I toured on a racing bike with about 25lbs on the back down the west coast.
I was one strong bad ass
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Old 11-04-05, 08:25 AM   #9
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Riding a fixed gear bike has made me the man that I am today. I get mad broads thanks to the strength my fixed gear bike built in me. I can crush cans with my thighs and my friends are all jealous. I rule because of fixed gears!
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Old 11-04-05, 08:32 AM   #10
benk0
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But which is more... FUN?
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Old 11-04-05, 08:50 AM   #11
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The fix man, the fix. Everybody loves just that one fix..........
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Old 11-04-05, 08:54 AM   #12
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I think fixed is best because you can't coast=constant movement of your body=constant expenditure of energy=increased HR at any speed.
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Old 11-04-05, 10:33 AM   #13
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I'd have to say the better workout would be the gearie. When I went SS, I would always spin out. With gears, you can stay in whatever zone you need, I guess. I ride my fix all the time, with a bag that never seems to weigh less than 20 lbs. When I do fun rides on the weekend, I can't believe how fast I am!
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