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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 08-18-08, 09:46 PM   #1
Mattrek
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Commuting question?

Are fixed gears/single speeds efficient for commuting. For example, would riding a Specialized Langster be wise if your ride was 11 miles round trip? Or would I be better off getting a road bicycle?
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Old 08-18-08, 09:58 PM   #2
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I definitely prefer my fixed gear over my road bike for commuting (about 14 miles round trip). Hills can be an issue but only if mind doing a little spinning(if you choose fg over ss that is).
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Old 08-18-08, 10:05 PM   #3
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11 miles is barely enough distance to get warmed up. For such a short round-trip distance, I would prefer a lower gear combination to allow a little faster cadence. A single speed or fixed gear is perfectly fine for commuting.
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Old 08-18-08, 10:08 PM   #4
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11 miles is barely enough distance to get warmed up.
Yeah, especially with an eight hour brake in the middle
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Old 08-18-08, 10:09 PM   #5
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Lots of folks commute on a fixed gear. My rainy weather commuter is a 42x16 FG.
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Old 08-18-08, 10:09 PM   #6
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I commute with my fixed gear and the only time I find my FG not convenient is when I have to carry alot of weight in my backpack (25+ pounds). At those times I prefer my more upright bike rather than have all that weight on my back when I'm using road bars, but otherwise I prefer my fixed
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Old 08-18-08, 10:11 PM   #7
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ugh! id love to commute on my fixed gear! but id have to leave the house at like 5:45am and its too damn hot after work.
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Old 08-18-08, 10:14 PM   #8
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ugh! id love to commute on my fixed gear! but id have to leave the house at like 5:45am and its too damn hot after work.
I don't see what has to do with riding fixed vs. freewheel.
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Old 08-18-08, 10:17 PM   #9
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You posted this question in the single speed/fixed gear forum where there might be a bias in favour of SS/FG (ya think??)

The overwhelming majority of commuters do not use fixed gear or even single speed bikes. Those who do, obviously like that choice. For the rest of us, however, the whole point of gears is to make cycling a little more efficient.
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Old 08-18-08, 10:20 PM   #10
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As has been said you will have no problem if there are not overly steep hills in your commute. Once you build up to them hills are fine and often fun. Keep in mind I live in a city on the East Coast and even steep hills are often short and therefore doable. Not sure what the geography is like out in the square states.
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Old 08-18-08, 10:40 PM   #11
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Yes. Fixed. It's good. 11 miles, no problem. I go 12. I also go 50 on weekends.
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Old 08-18-08, 10:44 PM   #12
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You'll be fine. I commute 20 miles RT. Even has some hilly sections.
And I do 40-50 miles on the weekends for fun. Running 75 gear inches (52/19). Faster on the geared bike but have more fun and a better work out (if that matters to you) on the fixed.
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Old 08-18-08, 11:02 PM   #13
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I don't see what has to do with riding fixed vs. freewheel.
oh, my bad. i drive to work. lol
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Old 08-18-08, 11:04 PM   #14
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oh, my bad. i drive to work. lol
Ohh I see.
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Old 08-18-08, 11:32 PM   #15
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You posted this question in the single speed/fixed gear forum where there might be a bias in favour of SS/FG (ya think??)

The overwhelming majority of commuters do not use fixed gear or even single speed bikes. Those who do, obviously like that choice. For the rest of us, however, the whole point of gears is to make cycling a little more efficient.
I just wanted to hear all of the things that the fixed gear enthus' have to say... I realized before I even posted that the commuting forum would be better and I attend to post there as well.
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Old 08-18-08, 11:34 PM   #16
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Not sure what the geography is like out in the square states.
Mainly gradual hills that don't have much incline... they just take forever to climb and are tiresome.
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Old 08-18-08, 11:36 PM   #17
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In general to all, thank you for your input thus far.
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Old 08-18-08, 11:44 PM   #18
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I think you'd be fine on a Langster, from the description of your area.
But really any compact geometry frame would be fine.
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Old 08-18-08, 11:47 PM   #19
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I think you'd be fine on a Langster, from the description of your area.
But really any compact geometry frame would be fine.
Haha, the Langster was just an example, if I was to buy any brand new FG/SS bike it would probably be a Steamroller (Surly), but otherwise my fixed gear will probably be something I pick up of Craig's List or a garage sale.
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Old 08-19-08, 07:26 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
You posted this question in the single speed/fixed gear forum where there might be a bias in favour of SS/FG (ya think??)

The overwhelming majority of commuters do not use fixed gear or even single speed bikes. Those who do, obviously like that choice. For the rest of us, however, the whole point of gears is to make cycling a little more efficient.
As someone who commutes in the same city you do, I think both of us know that the majority of commuters use beaten up rusty bikes and don't bother shifting and aren't likely concerned about things like efficiency. You can commute on just about anything, for a short distance commute like the one being discussed, ride whatever is the most fun
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Old 08-19-08, 07:38 AM   #21
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i enjoy commuting on my fixed wheel bicycle it is made for roads
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Old 08-19-08, 07:49 AM   #22
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As someone who commutes in the same city you do, I think both of us know that the majority of commuters use beaten up rusty bikes and don't bother shifting and aren't likely concerned about things like efficiency. You can commute on just about anything, for a short distance commute like the one being discussed, ride whatever is the most fun
I misread the OP and thought it was 11 miles one way (or maybe he edited to clarify) and I agree with you.
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