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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 04-13-07, 05:27 AM   #1
Junkdad
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Thinking of doing MS150 fixed

I ride 42x17 on my daily commute, it's somewhat hilly. I ride probably 75 miles a week, no other real training. I ride my fixed gear almost exclusively since last fall.

Should I get a bigger chainring and bust out the 180 miles (2 days) on my fixed gear, or should I wimp out and ride the road bike? I guess I could also add a SS to my rear wheel (it's flip-flop) just in case...

the bike
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Old 04-13-07, 05:55 AM   #2
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depends which ms150, they have em all over the country.

me, ryand and babychris did the city to shore (philly to ocean city nj) one last year and had a blast at around 75 gear inches. but there were essentially NO hills. i'd have geared down if there were.

either way it's quite doable. eat food, drink water, rest at the rest stops and you'll be fine.
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Old 04-13-07, 06:18 AM   #3
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doing Houston to Austin, not too hilly, but a few...
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Old 04-13-07, 06:43 AM   #4
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well, i'd try some longish rides and see how it feels. it's basically more time in the saddle vs. a little tougher getting up the hills. 42x16, 42x17, shouldn't be a problem either way.
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Old 04-13-07, 06:50 AM   #5
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by "rest at the rest stops" he meant "spend more time eating food and drinking at the rest stops than on your bikes."

or at least thats how it went for us. we always knew it was time to leave when the 90 year old lady riding in the trench coat rolled up.

it was an awesome ride. whether you ride fixed or not, you will have fun doing it.
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Old 04-13-07, 07:02 AM   #6
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The ride is in 2 weeks away. Oh wait... it's next weekend (21st).

I'd say fix wheel the first day, and freewheel the second day. The hills around Bastrop the second day will warrant a freewheel. You can muscle up them... but the downhill and transfer to the following hill will be MUCH nicer if your speed isn't limited so much.
OR, seems like the 2nd half of day 2 gets pretty flat.. been a couple years since I rode it.

That's assuming you don't mind working on the bike a bit, and your chain will work for both gears (if you decide to use different size cogs).
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Old 04-13-07, 07:35 AM   #7
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I was going to do it fixed, but I chickened out. I ride centuries on the thing, but I don't know what to expect in Bastrop. If the replacement sew-ups for my old 12-speed don't arrive soon, I'll end up having to ride the thing fixed anyway. I'll be disappointed if I have to sag, even for just 1 checkpoint.

Last edited by heliumb; 04-13-07 at 08:01 AM.
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Old 04-13-07, 08:10 AM   #8
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I thought about doing it fixed a couple of years ago but was also worried about the park in Bastrop. I took the bike on a campout in the park and tried it out. I run a 48x18 and had no problem with the short hills in the park. The hills are short enough that you can power up them and not long enough on the down side to be much of a problem. You have to controll your speed comming down or your cadence will be very high. I tried to keep the speed up but it gets painfull after a few of the hills.
It was the long slow hills that eventually kept me off the bike for the ride.
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Old 04-13-07, 08:14 AM   #9
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I agree with the other posters - do it fixed, or do it geared, but
just make sure you do it. It's some of the most fun that I've ever
had in my life.

That said, I was very thankful to have variable gear and a freewheel
as we climbed and descended the river valley. Also, I did back-to-
back centuries, which would have certainly killed me on a fixed gear.
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Old 04-13-07, 08:17 AM   #10
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Oh, also, if you do decide to do it fixed, drop bars and a rear brake
will help you immensely, especially if you're shooting for a century.
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Old 04-13-07, 08:49 AM   #11
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Flip-flop if you are going through Bastrop state park. Those hills would be a ***** to go down at 42-17, especially on day two. You could do the alternate route fixed and skip the park.

Also, the two brakes is a good idea. If you want to borrow one for the weekend, pm me. I have a Tektro rear caliper and a 17 t freewheel you're welcome to borrow if you want to go that route.
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Old 04-13-07, 09:53 AM   #12
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I second the two brake suggestion. There are newbies from over here in the flat of Houston that typcially can't handle hills. They ride less than 15mph on the downhills and then take up the whole lane at the bottom.

I got blocked in a couple times last year by the slow people mentioned above, and the trains that were goign faster than me. There was one section I actually started feeling brake fade.

Side note. some of us are writing "BF" on our rider numbers, just under the "Brightroom" ad. Just a way we can ID each other, and put a face with the name/avatars.

see ya out there.
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Old 04-13-07, 10:35 AM   #13
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Do it fixed as long as you don't have any problems sitting on the saddle for long hours. Also, if you're unsure of your gearing, use a flip-flop, fixed both sides.
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Old 04-13-07, 02:11 PM   #14
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Do it!

I'm thinking about this on the fixed gear... probalby the 'Lowlander' route though.
Will be difficult. Not sure if I'll be trained up for it.
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Old 04-13-07, 04:10 PM   #15
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i did it fixed last year and ill do it again this year... though mine wasnt that hilly, and i rode around 80 gear inches. but yeah it wasnt hard at all.
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Old 04-13-07, 04:12 PM   #16
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I'm still torn between do it and not do it. If I thought it was just a matter of misery, I think I'd be on it. After all, it's for MS and look what some of those guys deal with daily (pain, etc.)

It's not really unsafe is it? I'm kind of lazy about installing a back brake, but I'm pretty sure I kept it when I did the conversion. Maybe throw on a back brake and some drop bars, get a 44-45 chainring and a 17t freewheel just in case.

OR, just bite the bullet and buck up, as is.

more thoughts?
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Old 04-13-07, 04:55 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkdad
It's not really unsafe is it?
on a fixed gear with a front brake? no.

do what makes you feel safe, but i and many others did ours with just a front. keep it under control on the descents and have a blast!
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Old 04-14-07, 07:58 PM   #18
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I did the cleveland to Sandusky MS150 a few years back with 42x16 with a front brake (didnt use it though) Course was relatively flat but i did have to stand up a few times to get over bumps.
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Old 04-15-07, 12:31 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitropowered
I did the cleveland to Sandusky MS150 a few years back with 42x16 with a front brake (didnt use it though) Course was relatively flat but i did have to stand up a few times to get over bumps.
Did that in '90 on a Raliegh. Didn't know about FG back then.
Fun ride...
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Old 04-15-07, 09:06 AM   #20
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I'll be doing the Houston-Austin MS 150 this year for my 4th time in 5 year... It's a great ride.

I personally won't do it fixed, but all the more power to you if you can. While the Houston area is flat there are hills (some pretty decent ones!) towards austin and in the bastrop area, and generally speaking Houston is lower than Austin so the whole trip is a slight climb.

I hope you have a good ride.

I'll be flying in from Boston (where I live now, I'm orginally from houston) friday morning and spending Friday preparing to ride. If you (or spidermike or anyone else) want to meet up with a fellow BFSSFG regular PM me.

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Old 04-16-07, 11:09 AM   #21
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Is that a typo? MS250?
I know some guys ride the course all the way to Austin in one day, and repeat on Sunday.... is the 250 comment your own doing, a different ride, sanctioned? Do you over ride the first day, and then backtrack before starting the second day?

I don't see a problem with mileage and fixed... it's the hills in Bastrop. As for going around the park... I did that one year and vowed never again. The park is too much fun, and too pretty to skip. The alternate was the shoulder of us71. Not exactly smooth (rough asphalt I guess), and since it was a highway... the hills were LONG, and the wind from the cars was less than ideal.
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Old 04-16-07, 11:47 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chevy42083
Is that a typo? MS250?
I know some guys ride the course all the way to Austin in one day, and repeat on Sunday.... is the 250 comment your own doing, a different ride, sanctioned? Do you over ride the first day, and then backtrack before starting the second day?

I don't see a problem with mileage and fixed... it's the hills in Bastrop. As for going around the park... I did that one year and vowed never again. The park is too much fun, and too pretty to skip. The alternate was the shoulder of us71. Not exactly smooth (rough asphalt I guess), and since it was a highway... the hills were LONG, and the wind from the cars was less than ideal.
yes that was a type-o... the number 150 doesn't have to do with the distance though, the Houston to Austin MS 150 has never been 150 miles, usually more like 180-195, $150 was the amount you had to raise in order to ride orginally. This amount has gone up in an effort to earn more and control the size of the ride.

Bastrop is what the MS 150 is all about! plus there are some decent hills outside of the park as well..
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Old 04-17-07, 11:41 AM   #23
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Yeah, I knew the 150 was a general avg of mileage they used for a bunch of the MS rides (atleast, I think they're all about that long). I guess they didn't want to rename it to MS300, and MS400 as the amount to raised. over the last couple years.

People freak when I say I rode my bike to austin.... and thats when they think it's only 130-140miles
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Old 04-17-07, 11:59 AM   #24
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we have a whole crew who does it fixed. it aint that bad
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Old 04-17-07, 12:26 PM   #25
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we have a whole crew who does it fixed. it aint that bad
Through the park or the "lunch express" route?
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