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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 11-24-07, 01:41 AM   #1
doofo
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fixed hill climbers read & post

so the weathers come in and the roads round these parts are filthy with patches of ice and gravel

since im too scared to bomb the descents i might as well start climbing fixed

what gearing do you climbers run

and what do you climb

?

rise over run

or fainting spells over bouts of nausea
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Old 11-24-07, 02:14 AM   #2
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Going up this truly massive hill around these parts (known as "the wall" by certain folks) I tend to drop to about 25 gear inches on the road bicycle and think about every hardcore song I've ever heard. That usually will get me close to the top, but then I loose it and I have to drop down as far as I can get. So maybe something less than that? It's about a 17 percent grade at the toughest spots.

edited to include the grade of the hill.
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Old 11-24-07, 02:37 AM   #3
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I like to climb Seymour and Grouse, two roads leading up to ski hills in North Vancouver BC. They both average around 7%, 10 km, 1000 m vertical gain with switchbacks; Cypress' grade is consistent and predictable and Seymour is *****ier and nastier, with steep sections that sneak up on you. I usually do em in a 69 inch gear; it's a little tall but more or less necessary for the ride back down.

Last edited by mander; 11-24-07 at 03:10 AM.
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Old 11-24-07, 02:46 AM   #4
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34x14
Every damn day
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Old 11-24-07, 03:06 AM   #5
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Depends what hill. One monster is 10% for 3km with the first 1.5 averaging 14%. 38:25 for that one.

Otherwise somewhere around 38:17 tends to be comfortable.
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Old 11-24-07, 03:39 AM   #6
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uh as far as hills in portland go, 48x17 is going fine
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Old 11-24-07, 04:42 AM   #7
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42x17 in and around pittsburgh. i'm a newer cyclist, but young. i am warily accepting the need to up the gear. perhaps 44x15.

with a two-tooth change on both cog and chainring, i could have double rings and both sides of my flipflop armed. this would be an excellent and simple way to manage hilly terrain.
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Old 11-24-07, 06:16 AM   #8
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I ride a 46x16 with an 18 on the flip side for long, steep mountain rides.

Two tips:

Get a brake. High speed descending is far more comfortable with a brake. Not to mention a lot safer.

Learn to stand for long periods of time. Once you get used to it, it's like shifting down a couple gears. Very useful for short (or long) steep sections.

But mainly, it's all about your heart rate. Keep it just below your LT and you can go for a very long time. Get your heart rate too high, even for a short period and it makes the rest of the climb a lot harder.

Az
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Old 11-24-07, 11:10 AM   #9
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i haven't gone up any of the really bad hills on my track bike. i've done some short ones. it's all about keeping your cadence up. if you know it's gonna be hard, sprint into the hill and then keep that speed up or let it die down to the cadence you feel good at. 50x18 all the time. that's a good gear that allows me to ride pretty fast and still stop pretty easy. compromise.

i've gone down one of the bad hills in austin on my track bike (Mt. Bonnell)*...we took a different route up (balcones woods dr.) though because we had riders that would not have made it up the steep way...if the hills are rolling you just keep your cadence high and carry your speed through the hills.

*it's bad because it's really steep and right in the middle of the hill there is a sharp 90* turn...if you have no brakes and get your speed up you can get in BIG trouble.
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Old 11-24-07, 11:12 AM   #10
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Just got back from a 32 mile hilly (short but steep rolling hills) ride. The outside temps were in the low to mid 30's.
Just switched over to my winter wheels (clinchers with 44X17) as the shoulders get crappier during the cold weather months. In the late spring through early fall I run tubular wheels with 44X16 but I am now working on my spin.
For the very steep stuff I traverse the road (traffic permitting) and gut it out. I run 2 brakes for safety but I am loathe to touch them if I can spin out the 70" gear.
FG riding will help keep you warm.

Good luck!
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Old 11-24-07, 12:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Az B View Post

But mainly, it's all about your heart rate. Keep it just below your LT and you can go for a very long time. Get your heart rate too high, even for a short period and it makes the rest of the climb a lot harder.

Az
This really works. I have no HRM so my homebrewed and unscientific way of keeping an eye on my cardiovascular system is to try not to let my breathing exceed my rpms*1.5---i.e. I exhale with every three pedal strokes. At slower hillclimbing speeds this keeps a lid on things.
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Old 11-24-07, 02:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piwonka View Post
i haven't gone up any of the really bad hills on my track bike. i've done some short ones. it's all about keeping your cadence up. if you know it's gonna be hard, sprint into the hill and then keep that speed up or let it die down to the cadence you feel good at. 50x18 all the time. that's a good gear that allows me to ride pretty fast and still stop pretty easy. compromise.

i've gone down one of the bad hills in austin on my track bike (Mt. Bonnell)*...we took a different route up (balcones woods dr.) though because we had riders that would not have made it up the steep way...if the hills are rolling you just keep your cadence high and carry your speed through the hills.
Yeah, I'm running 50/16 in Austin -- really helps with bombing down everything, really feels great going up. Attacking is the best way.
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Old 11-24-07, 04:11 PM   #13
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I ride 42:14 in Cincinnati, which I believe is the hilliest city yet discovered by man (except for SanFran). I had to walk a paticularly steep hill once, but I have been able to handle every other hill. Try to zigzag up the whole hill. Much easier.
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Old 11-24-07, 04:16 PM   #14
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40/13 in portland. though i think i might go up to a 14 so i can accelerate and stop easier. i really havent decided yet...
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Old 11-24-07, 06:44 PM   #15
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This is my longest hill climb on my San Jose 42 x 15:


~5.5% avg. grade (1155ft/4miles)

I've climbed a one block section in my neighborhood that's 27% and I had to zigzag it. My pedal on the "high" side of the bike would hit the pavement and I was using all my arm strength to pull on the bars just to get the cranks to turn over.

On my commute to work I've got just one hill and it's thankfully short but over 8% grade. It makes me sweat so I use the rest of the commute to dry out before getting to work. I bomb down the hill on the way home at over 30mph, spinning like a damn fool.
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Old 11-24-07, 10:05 PM   #16
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42/15 here in Arcata CA and San Diego CA during summer/december.
I've played with 42/16, 48/17, 48/16 and 46/16 to suit the varying grades/lengths of hills between these two locations.
For me the most gratifying part of cycling is whoopin' ass uphill- every hill, every time.
Having said that I could push a higher gear, but 42/15 is most comfertable.


Quote:
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40/13 in portland. though i think i might go up to a 14 so i can accelerate and stop easier. i really havent decided yet...
BTW is this spenser from Reed College in Portland?
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Old 11-25-07, 01:00 AM   #17
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I run about 69 inches on the streets and most mountains in SoCal.
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Old 11-25-07, 01:07 AM   #18
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42x16

works for the unimpossible hills of SF
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Old 11-25-07, 01:50 AM   #19
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42x18

Hills west of Boulder, CO
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Old 11-25-07, 02:01 AM   #20
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42/17 on the huge hellish crap hills of Seattle.
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Old 11-25-07, 02:40 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raster View Post
Going up this truly massive hill around these parts (known as "the wall" by certain folks) I tend to drop to about 25 gear inches on the road bicycle and think about every hardcore song I've ever heard. That usually will get me close to the top, but then I loose it and I have to drop down as far as I can get. So maybe something less than that? It's about a 17 percent grade at the toughest spots.

edited to include the grade of the hill.
Where is "the wall" you speak of?
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Old 11-25-07, 03:22 AM   #22
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I feel like I do better on hills with a fixed gear, because the cranks store more momentum. No dead spot at the top and bottom of the rotation, and all that.

53x22
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Old 11-25-07, 03:51 AM   #23
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42x16

works for the unimpossible hills of SF
ditto that my brother.

I just did Pine St. coming from the northeast side then cut over at Powell and finished up California St. and went down California St. very fast and very scared for my life. Thankfully the tourist out today blocked traffic and I snuck around a car when I had a red light.
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Old 11-25-07, 06:30 AM   #24
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I'm at 40-17 and I love the about to vomit sensation. I like bull horns for tyhe extension, but when I'm really really climbing at a 38% or greater, it has to be drops. God it feels great.
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Old 11-25-07, 07:11 AM   #25
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DROPS for climbing steep hills fixed
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