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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 12-20-05, 09:37 PM   #1
onetwentyeight 
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Okay.

Right now im running 52x19 which is just on the safe side of madness in San Francisco. It's nice for the flat part of my commute, but its sort of rough on hills, and skidding can be a little rough in emergencies. I tend not to use my brake if I can help it due to it once causing my back wheel lifting up and me pulling a superman and snapping my arm in half.

Im building a new bike right now (my first with a proper track frame!), and I'm not going to be rocking brakes (I couldn't if I wanted to, neither the frame nor the fork are drilled.) Most my friends ride 48x18 but I have a 47 tooth chainring, and I was just wondering about what people thought I should pair with it to a) not die and b) have a nice easy ride. I use my bike for commuting to work mostly, I'm not a racer, nor have any intentions of being so. I know about the 17 gets me more skids spots so I've been thinking about that, but I'm open for suggestions.

Thanks!

ps. if anyone in sf is looking for a decent road conversion, i'll be selling my current one soon. pm me. its nothing special but it gets the job done.
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Old 12-20-05, 09:48 PM   #2
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when i lived in SF i was pretty comfortable with 46x16, could have gone a little bigger, but never did... after leaving SF i took my 50x14 track bike there a couple times and the gearing was way too big... have it at 50x18 now, wanting to see how i'd fare on that in SF...
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Old 12-20-05, 10:24 PM   #3
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I ride 40x15, which works really well for me except on downhills (I spend a lot of time around twin peaks), but I'm thinking of going to 41x15 or so.
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Old 12-20-05, 10:25 PM   #4
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I ride 52x14 I live in lake tahoe. stop your whining girly men.
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Old 12-20-05, 10:29 PM   #5
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47x18 and 47x17 on the other side.
Both work well all over SF.
Rode 48x18 for while here too but the 3 skid spot scenario kind of sucks a little.
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Old 12-20-05, 10:32 PM   #6
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46x17 works well for me.
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Old 12-20-05, 10:41 PM   #7
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Thanks. 46x17, judah - I met you on the ride where 46x17 pulled the willy mays. I had the crappy blue road conversion and I was slow. I think I'll just stick with my original plan of 17. No flip flop for my new bike so I'll just keep an 18 in my random crap drawer

I guess I'll post up my new ride when its done. getting closer day by day. I'm really just a bottom bracket and some toe clips away, once my random ebay purchases show up.

learning as i go....
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Old 12-20-05, 10:41 PM   #8
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48x18 here and probably moving on to 47x18

Last edited by jonb; 12-20-05 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 12-20-05, 10:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onetwentyeight
Thanks. 46x17, judah - I met you on the ride where 46x17 pulled the willy mays.

You mean this?



I got a shot of you too:

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Old 12-20-05, 11:06 PM   #10
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your 47x17 is going to be half an inch taller (harder) than your 52x19 FWIW. Running brakeless on hills when you're not super-confident of your ability to stop doesn't sound so smart to me...
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Old 12-20-05, 11:07 PM   #11
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haha. i remember when you took it, and i remember immediately thinking after you took that photo how stupid i must've looked.


and i was right.
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Old 12-20-05, 11:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judah
You mean this?



I got a shot of you too:

Man... I remember when it was still nice enough to ride in shorts
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Old 12-20-05, 11:43 PM   #13
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46x19. towards the end of my days as a messenger (in the PDX) I switched from a 42x16 to that. It's really quick and lets you slow down on the hills. Also, as a perpetual sort-of road racer, it's nice to have a gear that approximates the 39x16.
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Old 12-20-05, 11:49 PM   #14
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hey 128, how do you have your brake lever attached to the blue bike? do you have a better pic?
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Old 12-21-05, 12:26 AM   #15
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what's up man, can't wait to see your new bike all set up. In regards to skid spots: since 47 is a prime number, any cog with X teeth will provide you with X unique skid spots, unless of course X is a multiple of 47, which would be an exceedingly strange choice.
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Old 12-21-05, 12:30 AM   #16
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oh, and i've been running 48x17. Still have my brake installed but have managed to get all around SF without using it, almost ready to ditch it. My pista came stock w/ 48x16 which gave me 1 skid spot per foot, then i changed it to the 17 and i now have 17 skid spots/foot. it's all about the numbers of teeth being mutually prime. let me know if i should explain that any more, it must have been covered before.
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Old 12-21-05, 12:37 AM   #17
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If you already have a 47t chainring, go for 47x17. 72-73 gear inches is the best combination of hill climbing and fast flat capability.
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Old 12-21-05, 12:56 AM   #18
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49x18 here.
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Old 12-21-05, 01:15 AM   #19
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44x16
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Old 12-21-05, 01:28 AM   #20
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42x16x700c
38x15x26"
43x14x650c

Brakes on all of 'em.

(oh yeah, and the cruiser's running 42x20x26")
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Old 12-21-05, 01:34 AM   #21
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mouton. i have a road lever on the underside of the left of a pair of nitto bullhorns. The brake faces towards me, and I wrapped the cable inside some celiini cork bar tape. its nothing fancy but it worked nicely for me when my right hand was crippled and I needed something accessable. I like it because the brake is far away enough that I have to reach for it, but I just lean forward and its right there. Just incase.

I almost never touch it.

If you want I can take a better picture of it in the morningn and post it.

spor- i cant wait till my new bike is set up either. I've got a 1950's track frame to dura ace hubs, phil bottom bracket, chris king headset, vintage nitto bars, miche cranks (i want to replace them eventually, they're good, but not my dream cranks), campy seatpost, brooks seat.... its a mix of old and new, western and asian, total bastard bike but its the things I like together...

Last edited by onetwentyeight; 12-21-05 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 12-21-05, 09:35 AM   #22
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52:16 and 32:16
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Old 12-21-05, 09:49 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onetwentyeight
spor- i cant wait till my new bike is set up either. I've got a 1950's track frame to dura ace hubs, phil bottom bracket, chris king headset, vintage nitto bars, dura ace hubs, miche cranks (i want to replace them eventually, they're good, but not my dream cranks), campy seatpost, brooks seat.... its a mix of old and new, western and asian, total bastard bike but its the things I like together...
Whoa...I don't know what I'm even doing in this thread, but this bike is going to be awesome.
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Old 12-21-05, 10:40 AM   #24
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Yeah it will!

The frame has a great story too!
Stolen and recovered!
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Old 12-21-05, 10:42 AM   #25
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Oh is that the cool blue one from the craigslist post with the ornate lugs? Sweet!
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