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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 09-25-06, 10:45 PM   #1
Monument Man
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Help me choose my gearing - first fixie

Hi, I'm trying to figure out how to choose the gearing for my fixie. A few things I should mention:

* I do a ton of road riding and will have lots of strength and endurance. At the start I will probably have insufficient bike handling skills to deal with all fixed gear situations for a while but i'm really looking forward to developing those skills!

* If I'm on the flats on my bike, I'll typically ride in the 53/17 or 53/19 if i'm going a bit slower. those are my two gears i tend to stay in quite a bit if i'm just cruising fast around the neighborhood.

* i'm interested to get a gear ratio which allows me a number of different skid points on the tire.

* i live in Boston where it's mostly flat. Some of my rides get into serious thigh country where it's updownupdownupdown type of stuff. getting up beacon hill is a reality although i would prefer to go faster on flats than easy up hills.

* the bike is going to be a daily commuter type, jjust poking around the city on my errands, back and forth to lunch, a few miles here, a few there. nothing huge. I may want to take it out on a ride with the group once in a while, althouhg i'd need to get a front brake on there.

So with all that said, waht kind of gearing should I be looking at for the front and rear?
thanks!

really looking forward to building up a sick bike for pretty cheap, and it'll be totally custom just how i want it. cool.
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Old 09-25-06, 10:54 PM   #2
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i live in brighton. i reccommend 49x18(71.5 gear inches) to start and then 46x16(76 gear inches) if you find you need a little more top end. i have 40x16(65 gear inches) on my commuter because there are a *lot* of hills between me and my office in wellesley.
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Old 09-25-06, 11:11 PM   #3
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i like 47-16. fast, decent climbing gear, and it has lots of skid points on the tire i think.
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Old 09-25-06, 11:22 PM   #4
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i run 42x15 which gets me up the hills but has a lower top speed.

a couple things to consider are what kind of pedals will you have? (flats vs. clips/cages) also are you going to run a brake? take that into consideration when thinking about not only what gear you have to push to start, but also push to STOP

i know there's a table of skid spots around, someone will post it surely soon, but it's basically the LCD (lowest common denomintor) with 42x15 i have 5 skid spots, if you want the greatest number of skid spots run a 17t cog in the back, you'd have to run 34, 51, or 68 up front to have less than 17 skid spots because it's a prime number.
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Old 09-26-06, 12:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wearyourtruth
i know there's a table of skid spots around, someone will post it surely soon, but it's basically the LCD (lowest common denomintor) with 42x15 i have 5 skid spots, if you want the greatest number of skid spots run a 17t cog in the back, you'd have to run 34, 51, or 68 up front to have less than 17 skid spots because it's a prime number.
To find the skid patches, divide the cog by the highest common factor. If you want a lot, run either a prime number for the cog or chainring. a 17t cog is pretty versatile. I just stepped up to 48/17 and it seems pretty good for cruising around at 20-22mph
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Old 09-26-06, 12:52 AM   #6
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51/15 is good
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Old 09-26-06, 06:08 AM   #7
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Gear down a little bit from what you feel comfortable in on your road bike. Nothing is better for working on your spin than a fix.
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Old 09-26-06, 07:41 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Aeroplane
Gear down a little bit from what you feel comfortable in on your road bike. Nothing is better for working on your spin than a fix.
+1
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Old 09-26-06, 07:45 AM   #9
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i started with 52/16...getting going was a *****, but once you got going it wasn't bad...then i rode downtown where there are some hills...hills aren't bad if you can bomb the downhill to hit the uphill with speed. but downtown there are stoplights every blocks...i said **** that...i have 52/18 now. that's pretty nice.
skidding will be hard with a higher gear ratio. it's not too bad with 52/18...i would recommend running brakes until you get the stopping part down.
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Old 09-26-06, 07:56 AM   #10
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I ride 46/16. That's pretty good for me.
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Old 09-26-06, 08:39 AM   #11
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i ride 46/16 no problem, but now i am starting to think i ordered the wrong go. 46/18 on my new iro because i wanted to climb a couple of hills. that's wrong isn't it. crap.
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Old 09-26-06, 08:52 AM   #12
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48X16 around hilly alpharetta - i use it strictly for training to be a better mtnbiker. if your area is flat i would go in the range of 50/51X16. you want to be able to flyyyyy on those flats. a big +1 on going a hair easier than what you are comfy on w/the road bike, at least at first.
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Old 09-26-06, 09:26 PM   #13
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thanks for all the responses.

one more question, how easy is it to change the chainring or cog after it's been installed? i assume you'll need to change the chain length too. Is it easier to change the chainring? How much of a pain is it to do?

I'll probably choose a gear carefully then figure out that i want something slightly more manly or wimpy based on my riding habits with the new bike.

finding a very cool vintage steel lugged italian frame online now. o so pumped to begin to search for all the various campy componentry online too.
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Old 09-26-06, 11:17 PM   #14
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it's easy to change the chainring or cog with the right tools... for the chainring all you REALLY need is the right size allen wrench and a screwdriver (even though a more specific tool does exist). for the cog you need a chainwhip and a lockring remover. once again there are plenty of alternative methods to changing cogs, but most aren't as "easy" (if that's what's most important to you) as just having the right tool...

if you change the chainring or cog by a tooth or two you probably won't have to do anything to the chain, it'll just sit a little closer/farther in the ends, but changing the chainring much might require some more links in the chain or a new one
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