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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 10-15-06, 06:10 PM   #1
mezza
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Fixies fitter than roadies??

Do you feel that you have to be about 10% fitter on a fix to keep with the roadies?? I've been riding my fixed for a little while now and I'll soon be taking it out on group rides...

I suppose this is obvious as some people train on fixies to improve their road riding...

I do know that road riders give me a strange look when the see the bull-horned beast on the streets here in Tasmania (australia).
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Old 10-15-06, 06:16 PM   #2
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I don't know about that.....most of the roadies I ride with are fitter and stronger than I.
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Old 10-15-06, 06:55 PM   #3
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I imagine that to keep up with them while you're riding fixed, you need to exert more effort that they do. However, that doesn't mean that overall someone riding a fixed gear is in more shape.
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Old 10-15-06, 06:56 PM   #4
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hey fixer.. whats a good fireroad ss gear for around here?

around here the roadies are all sorts of speeds

p.s...on my road bike i pass fixed gears like cars pass me
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Old 10-15-06, 06:57 PM   #5
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I'd say 5% more fit works
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Old 10-15-06, 07:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sloppy robot
hey fixer.. whats a good fireroad ss gear for around here?

around here the roadies are all sorts of speeds

p.s...on my road bike i pass fixed gears like cars pass me
I've been passed by white haired old guys on road bikes...
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Old 10-15-06, 07:49 PM   #7
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I'd say 5% more fit works
No! Its 6%! And generalizations are always wrong!
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Old 10-15-06, 08:39 PM   #8
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From my experience, roadies definitely tend to be in better shape than guys that mostly ride on a fixed. Except for Keevohn.
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Old 10-15-06, 09:08 PM   #9
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Depends, if you have a lot of hills, it's more work on a fixie. If you have less hills, it's more work on a road bike. Fixies give you a little momentum push on your pedals plus on flat ground, the lack of a complicated drive chain gives you a lot more efficiency.

So on flat ground, at the same cadence, the guy on the roadie is actually working harder than the guy on the fixie.
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Old 10-15-06, 09:19 PM   #10
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Well, if a fixer could keep with a top pro tour team on a fixie, then i'd agree he is in better shape then the race pack/peleton

Otherwise it's hard to say in other cases.

For instance during an alleycat/track/road race last weekend, where a group of road cyclists were keeping a 28mph(estimated average) pace line, and some fixer was holding with us, i beleive he even pulled at one point, he may not have neccessarily been stronger, but he was quite skilled to keep up such a high cadence for such a long period of time while matching our pace. Another scenario, a fixer pulls from a dead stop faster than a roadie, while he is able to produce more off the line torque/power, its hard to confirm that he is indeed stronger then the roadie who could not ake off as fast as the fixer.

That said, i'd say there really is not actuall answer, but some fixie riders can be stronger then road riders, and vice versa.
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Old 10-15-06, 09:23 PM   #11
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Me personally, I use my track bike as a commuter more than trainning. I probably only get in 100 miles a week on my bike unless i'm trying to do more. However, I know some roadies that get 300-350 miles a week or more. I mean, I used to ride with a 65 yeard old guy down here that had an average of 300 miles a week.

He was real ****ing awesome.

I want to live in bigger city so I can go more places and get more miles in. I love just riding into nothing, but I get bored with it everyday. Living in a place with NOTHING to do sucks.
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Old 10-15-06, 09:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fixer
I don't know about that.....most of the roadies I ride with are fitter and stronger than I.
Yes. I don't know where the myth of the super-fixed rider dropping roadies like flies comes from.

Probably dudes who happen to breeze past a guy on a roadbike doing 15-18mph. Real serious roadies can maintain 18-25 mph for long stretches of time with minimum effort compared to a cyclist who rides fixed gear for commutes and recreation. Don't get me wrong -fixed gears are awesome for a lot of reasons.

But trying to group ride in a fast peloton is not the fixed gear bicycle's strong suit.
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Old 10-15-06, 10:41 PM   #13
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um... what you ride has no bearing on your fitness... it all comes down to who rides more, or trains more, or yeah.

hey! you! roadie!, yeah you, I'll bet I can beat you by 10% if I rode the same bike as you!
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Old 10-15-06, 10:46 PM   #14
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On certain hills that suit my cadence, I blast past roadies.
The rest of the time they have their way with me.
Of course, we have a lot of Olympic and professional bicyclists in this town, and we sponsor a number of races that have a national and international draw.
Some of the more dedicated male and female roadies have so much power and technique it defies comprehension.
I get wonderfully humiliated by smooth, fast women all the time.
Still, I love my fixed gear bike and I have no intention of ever riding geared bikes again, except in the really nasty weather when I need gears to get through rutted snow.
One of these years I'll build a dedicated ice fixie, and I'll ride fixed year 'round.
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Old 10-15-06, 11:13 PM   #15
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a 6 mile fixed gear ride is equivalent to a 10 mile roadie ride. do the math.
when you're brakeless its more like 4:10
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Old 10-15-06, 11:17 PM   #16
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I'd have to call bs on that one
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Old 10-15-06, 11:20 PM   #17
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This is not directed at the OP but is in reference to the lame attitude surrounding fixed vs. geared.

Alot of fixed riders think that because they can manage to get over a hill with a big gear or spin really fast that they are superior to roadies, but what does this really mean? Where is the translation?

For cycling there are different types of strengths that suit different types of riding. An olympic sprinter can turn over a massive gear from a standing start and crank it up to fourty miles an hour for a little over ten seconds... A tiny 130 lb climber can spin up mountains for hours...Is one type really stronger?

I think that riding fixed can give inexperienced riders a feeling of supremacy because they are able to match a road bike doing x,y or z. Fine, you just matched Mr. Spandex for five minutes before pulling off, but that same guy might be coming off of a three hour ride or maybe is going to do three hours more.

If you ride fixed and can suffer through terrain that is mostly inefficent for the gear, then great, pat yourself on the back. But being able to tough out the burn is not necessarily a sign of fitness. Basically, someone fitter-and this could be someone who rides a fixed or geared bike- might only feel that sensation at an intensity twice yours.

If we take skills such as skidding, trackstanding, urban riding and posing hard as a messenger, the average roadie on a fix would destroy your average deep v hipster. Sorry...

In the end, we are really comparing the fitness levels of commuters versus dedicated cyclists (this can go towards either type of bike. My generalization is that most fixed riders would fall under the commuter label. In the end, if you ride fixed and have something to prove, don't compare yourself to outsiders. Bring it to you local track and see how much stronger you are...
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Old 10-15-06, 11:46 PM   #18
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I think I didn't ask the question very well...

A fix rider and a road rider rode from A to B in exactly the same time... I'm thinking a fix gear rider would have to be fitter to manage the same feat.

I feel that when I ride my regular distance on my fix, It's about 10% more difficult than the roadie. Therefore if I trained to get the time on the fix to be that of the road bike, would I then be 10% fitter than I was... Clear as mud??

This is all my opinion and conjecture anyway but I feel that because the fixie is harder I'm getting a better training ride... And when I eventually hop on the roadie I'm gonna be even faster....
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Old 10-16-06, 12:23 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by mezza
I think I didn't ask the question very well...

A fix rider and a road rider rode from A to B in exactly the same time... I'm thinking a fix gear rider would have to be fitter to manage the same feat.

I feel that when I ride my regular distance on my fix, It's about 10% more difficult than the roadie. Therefore if I trained to get the time on the fix to be that of the road bike, would I then be 10% fitter than I was... Clear as mud??

This is all my opinion and conjecture anyway but I feel that because the fixie is harder I'm getting a better training ride... And when I eventually hop on the roadie I'm gonna be even faster....
Your example does not work on many levels. Type of terrain, fitness of riders etc... But I think what you are getting at is that riding fixed wastes more energy on average for a set distance. Of course, I would agree with this. But from experience, past a certain level of base fitness the cross over benefits of riding fixed are small. Riding fixed gets you in shape for riding fixed-that simple.

Cycling training gets very specific once you enter competition level. You have to start training with intervals, hill repeats etc... Then within more elite ranks some guys focus on sprinting, or climbing or tt'ing. Within velodrome racing, there are endurace riders, sprinters, tt'ers etc. They don't train alike. The types of training that they do are meant to address the needs of these specific types categories.

Again, past a certain point just getting on the bike is not enough. If we are talking racing, road or track or mtn you have to tailor your training accordingly. To simply hop on a fix and expect to see results past a certain point if wishful.

I wish that I could give you a solid answer but I can't. When I was riding eight hours a day as a messenger and racing, aside from lack of recovery time, I couldn't understand why I wasn't placing based on the amount of riding I was doing. But though I was in really good shape, it was a different kind of shape than what was demanded. Does this make sense?
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Old 10-16-06, 02:01 AM   #20
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I drink way too much for this to even apply to me
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Old 10-16-06, 02:46 AM   #21
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I ride both, it's different bags.

For fixies it's more about muscular strength, and different muscles too as you're working against the motion as much as for it a lot of the time.

For roadies it's far more cardio condition. We spin fast but have low exertion on our muscles... this makes it very easy to do centuries and why we slow going up hills (faster spinning at lower speeds).

So it's different things, for city riding a fixie will usually beat a roadie as a fixie's skills are orientated around smooth cycling, and few stops. A roadie is less used to frequent stops and starts, and will have trouble maintaining a nice constant cadence and speed.

If you want really fit, then ride with a time triallist or triathlete. Now those guys will leave fixies whimpering, and road guys will cry when they're being dropped (and permanently left behind) on hills.

In order of precedence I think general fitness goes like this:
  1. Triathletes
  2. Time Triallists
  3. Roadies
  4. Fixies

But for average speed in reasonably flat cities:
  • Fixies
  • Roadies
  • Triathletes
  • Time Triallists

Fixies rule the cities, traffic is the place in which expensive road bikes and high fitness are not the deciding factor in higher average speed. Smoothness, elegance, high road sense and reading the road count a lot more here.

All just my opinion, but flame away if it gets you off.
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Old 10-16-06, 05:50 AM   #22
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this thread is useless without lurid pictures of shaved legs
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Old 10-16-06, 05:53 AM   #23
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Do you feel that you have to be about 10% fitter on a fix to keep with the roadies?? I've been riding my fixed for a little while now and I'll soon be taking it out on group rides...
I'd say that is about right. When I used to ride both fixed and geared I had a sixty mile route. I would always do it faster on my geared bike. You can't beat yourself (at least not on a bike ). This tells me that I have to exert more energy on my fixed bike to acheive the same amount of work on my geared bike.

Last edited by captsven; 10-16-06 at 06:16 AM.
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Old 10-16-06, 06:16 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .:Jimbo:.
Well, if a fixer could keep with a top pro tour team on a fixie, then i'd agree he is in better shape then the race pack/peleton
I think this is the answer. Or close to it. Depends on terrain, windspeed, length of toenails, blah blah blah... One of the reasons I ride a fix is to get away from the competition BS that plagues normal road riding.
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Old 10-16-06, 06:17 AM   #25
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Is the bull-horned beast still legal in Tassie?
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