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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 04-25-06, 01:15 PM   #1
giessel
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SF: What ratio do you rock?

Hey all

I've been trying to convince my friend from SF to give riding fixed a try, but he says the hills are too prohibitive. Granted, they are huge, but I know a lot of you ride fixed out there and I'm curious as to what ratio you use/strategies for dealing with the hills. My friend lives in mission and works over in the mission bay area.

holla!

g
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Old 04-25-06, 01:25 PM   #2
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46x17 and 49x18. anywhere from 69-73 inches should be fine. My main strategy is to go around the hills, haha.

I live up by the panhandle, and work in soma. If i went in a straight line I'd hit some nasty hills, but if I do a little weaving around smaller streets I can do it with no problem, pretty fast... sfbike.org has a map that has hills marked that you can download or buy.
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Old 04-25-06, 01:25 PM   #3
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anything under 70 gear inches will be quite easy to pedal up hills ... lol =)
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Old 04-25-06, 01:26 PM   #4
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Hills? Bah! You can get from the Mission to Mission Bay without ever going uphill

I'm riding 44x16 right now, which is 63 gear inches, I think. My cog may need to be replaced soon, and when it does, I'm going down to a 17 in the rear. I do have to spin pretty fast on downhills, but I can get up most hills. Plus you learn to go around the ones you can't. I've never not been able to get where I want to go riding fixed - a fixie's been my only bike for the last year.

EDIT: Oops, I'm riding *18* in the rear, not 16.
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Old 04-25-06, 01:27 PM   #5
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47x16
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Old 04-25-06, 01:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onetwentyeight
I live up by the panhandle, and work in soma. If i went in a straight line I'd hit some nasty hills, but if I do a little weaving around smaller streets I can do it with no problem, pretty fast... sfbike.org has a map that has hills marked that you can download or buy.
Dude, I bet we ride parts of the same route a lot. I live near UCSF and work downtown - my usual route is panhandle -> Oak -> wiggle -> Duboce triangle -> Market St.
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Old 04-25-06, 01:29 PM   #7
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Thats my route, exactly. I live 2 blocks from freewheel, off fulton.
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Old 04-25-06, 01:30 PM   #8
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44x16. onetwentyeight is right, go around the hills. actually, riding in SF, i've come to understand better where the hill ARE NOT, rather than where they ARE.

other tips (mostly joking - you can make it anywhere in the city if you really try):
- don't become friends with people who live at the tops of hills
- don't take a job that's at the top of a hill
- don't let your favorite bar be at the top of a hill
- don't take an apartment that's at the top of a hill

anyway, from what you've said, your friend has tip #2 and #4 taken care of already. Mission District -> Mission Bay is as flat as can be.
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Old 04-25-06, 01:34 PM   #9
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I ride that route everyday. If you want to grab a coffee at the beantrea let me know. Regarding gearing - 49x17 here.
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Old 04-25-06, 02:03 PM   #10
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46x17. head down 16th to 3rd and hanga left/right to get where you need.
should be mostly flat on 16th work up to 17th and potrero for more hill goodness.
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Old 04-25-06, 02:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sherbert tights
46x17. head down 16th to 3rd and hanga left/right to get where you need.
should be mostly flat on 16th work up to 17th and potrero for more hill goodness.
it's less trafficky (and an easier climb) to take 17th from harrison and across potrero...
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Old 04-25-06, 02:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dolface
it's less trafficky (and an easier climb) to take 17th from harrison and across potrero...
Plus, the graffiti's better == nicer scenery
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Old 04-25-06, 02:25 PM   #13
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+1 47X16 is nice.

one bike is 52X18

Quote:
Originally Posted by dolface
47x16
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Old 04-25-06, 02:39 PM   #14
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There are two bikes that I ride in SF, one is 42x15-18, the other is 49x18. 63 inches to 72 inches.
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Old 04-25-06, 02:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dolface
it's less trafficky (and an easier climb) to take 17th from harrison and across potrero...
this is true...but we are talkinghills here, not traffic
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Old 04-25-06, 02:49 PM   #16
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I ambulate using a 46x18 ratio. 172.5 cranks, also.
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Old 04-25-06, 02:50 PM   #17
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42-17, which makes hills super-easy.
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Old 04-25-06, 02:57 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 46x17
I ride that route everyday. If you want to grab a coffee at the beantrea let me know. Regarding gearing - 49x17 here.
SF - I miss you!

Wanted to come down to visit before flying home - but I fought the law, and the law won...

(46:18) 69 all the time.

Here's a pic of a SFmessenger mate of mine who crazily worked on 49:16 or something HUGE. He could pull a wheelie (manual) and ride out of sight - FAST!

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Old 04-25-06, 03:02 PM   #19
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im riding 46x17 but the knees are starting to complain a bit (i live in potrero hill tho...)
gonna switch back to 46x19 or something.. should be dandy

49x17 is pretty big IMO...

-a
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Old 04-25-06, 03:06 PM   #20
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44x16.
meh.
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Old 04-25-06, 03:08 PM   #21
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nice photo.
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Old 04-25-06, 03:09 PM   #22
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this is awesome people. i've sent the url of this page to him but its a good resource i think. probably something in the mid to high 60's would be good for things, it seems. i rock 46x16 here in boston and its lovely.

thanks again, keep posting

g
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Old 04-25-06, 03:11 PM   #23
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giessel - feel free to tell him about www.onetwentyeight.com/sffixed
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Old 04-25-06, 03:22 PM   #24
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50 x 16
or
49 x 16 recently.
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Old 04-25-06, 03:25 PM   #25
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52x18
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