This afternoon I changed my 17t cog for a 19t cog.
With a 42t chainring and 700X23 tires, that gives me 58.1 gear inches.
For those not familiar with gear inches, the phrase gear inches refers to the equivalent amount of effort a Penny Farthing Big Wheel would have if it had a Big Wheel diameter of however many inches.
My fixed gear bike at 58.1 gear inches requires as much effort to pedal as a Penny Farthing Big Wheel having a Big Wheel diameter of 58.1 inches.
Most factory fixed gear bikes come with a 16t cog and a 48t chainring, and, with the typical 700X23c tires, this comes out to 78.8 gear inches.
I have comfortably ridden as high as 82 gear inches, but at 82 gear inches I had no downhill control.
I rode at 72 gear inches for quite awhile, and consider this the all around best set up for my riding area.
However, since I like to experiment and learn, I have recently gone down to 64.9 gear inches, had a great time, and improved my spin dramatically.
So, today I went for a short ride at 58.1 gear inches and found it illuminating.
It makes my spin transparent.
Further, I find the amount of control and improved handling profound (back pedaling tightens a turn, forward pedaling widens a turn).
I think I could safely ride without a brake at 58.1 gear inches.
I suppose eventually I'll go back up to 72 gear inches, but I think I'll stay here awhile and see what else I can learn.