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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 10-19-08, 03:32 PM   #1
trombone
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First day fixed...

So I've been riding SS for about a year on my daily commute. I have a Salsa Casseroll, and I love it.

At the weekend I finally got around to getting a fixed cog on the other side of the hub, and off I went into the (at first rather scary) world of fixed gear...

It is kinda fun, I guess, although I feel a bit vulnerable (I'm less confident about executing a sudden stop should it be required, and I'm still a bit cautious going around corners in case the pedal strikes).

It does make pedaling very smooth, though, especially going up hills.

It's set up with rather a high gear, however - I'm running 48/17 which feels rather high. It makes hill starts rather tricky; if i don't get clipped in on the first rotation of the pedals it gets a bit awkward...

I'm considering changing the chainring for a 42 (the 48/18 on the SS side has always felt a bit high, to be honest, given that Sydney has quite a few hills - climbing out of Coogee towards Bondi is kind of tough...). What you do reckon? Or should I just look out for 19 tooth cog for the fixed side?

Anyway, my first commute to work went without incident. Hopefully over the next week or so I'll get my 'fixie legs', and be able to get back up to full speed and be confident enough to eg trackstand at the lights (I didn't today as I was worried about not getting unclipped if it didn't work and doing the 'sprawl of shame').
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Old 10-19-08, 03:40 PM   #2
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I wouldnt go all the way down to 42, you're gonna be WAY spinny that way... 44 would be a decent number to start with... Just my opinion.
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Old 10-19-08, 03:49 PM   #3
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44-46t is a good place to be. Gives nice versatility.
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Old 10-19-08, 04:03 PM   #4
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44-46t is a good place to be. Gives nice versatility.
+1
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Old 10-19-08, 04:43 PM   #5
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46/17 here, and i enjoy it!
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Old 10-19-08, 05:13 PM   #6
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46/17 here, and i enjoy it!
Same thing I'm running. So far it seems like the magic gear.
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Old 10-19-08, 05:29 PM   #7
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i'm looking at going 48 -17

pros and cons??
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Old 10-19-08, 05:43 PM   #8
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Congrats! hopefully you trashed your brakes, they will never be needed riding fixed. Go with 46X16 its a great ratio.
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Old 10-19-08, 06:13 PM   #9
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i'm looking at going 48 -17

pros and cons??
It's a tall gearing which is tough(er) on hills but I had that in my previous bike and it seemed decent enough for a flat enough city. I had a few hills to climb which weren't impossible just tougher. You will however have the benefit of not spinning like crazy when going down those very hills, and you'll have 17 skid patches too.
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Old 10-19-08, 06:14 PM   #10
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I have heard good things about 48/19 though I myself am running 40/16. Looking to get an odd number of teeth in the back so that I can have more skid patches.
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Old 10-19-08, 08:30 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the advice.

With regards to being too spinny, the odd thing is that when I'm riding my road bike I tend to leave it in a 39/17 combo most of the time, and am quite happy spinning. That said, I can see there is a difference between choosing to spin down a hill but having the option to change up or freewheel vs being stuck with it.

I can't see me trashing the brakes just yet (or ever, in fact). With the high ratio, it makes resisting the pedals to slow down quite hard work.

In terms of climbing hills, I can manage a high-ish ratio - I'm used to it from the SS side. But doing steep hill-starts is still my problem if I miss getting clipped in. It's bad anough on the SS; I think the fixie makes it worse (but might make it better, I suppose; I'll see over the coming days!)
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Old 10-19-08, 08:38 PM   #12
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I started out on 48x15 & had to walk up most hills, just beginning again & all. Moved to 48x16 & it felt much better, skipping was much easier. Went to 48x17 for the patches, but found it spun more than I liked.

Currently riding 50x16, fast, but kind of tough on the knees, I can still skip it quite easily. Bought an EAI 17t cog which should straighten things out a bit.
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Old 10-19-08, 09:48 PM   #13
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I have heard good things about 48/19 though I myself am running 40/16. Looking to get an odd number of teeth in the back so that I can have more skid patches.
Better make it quick. You've only got 1 now.
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Old 10-20-08, 06:33 AM   #14
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"Trashing" the brake?
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Old 10-20-08, 06:50 AM   #15
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another shrimp in the fixed gear barbie!
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Old 10-20-08, 06:53 AM   #16
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Congrats! hopefully you trashed your brakes, they will never be needed riding fixed. Go with 46X16 its a great ratio.
Don't listen to him. I would've gotten hit by a car this morning if it weren't for my front brake.
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Old 10-20-08, 08:36 AM   #17
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+1 on keeping the front brake and i have been riding 48x19 since riding fixed, it's a good ratio
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Old 10-20-08, 08:52 AM   #18
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Congrats! hopefully you trashed your brakes, they will never be needed riding fixed. Go with 46X16 its a great ratio.
Because chains never break and foot retention never fails.
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Old 10-20-08, 10:47 AM   #19
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Better make it quick. You've only got 1 now.
I am well aware of that fact. Just haven't had time to look around for different chainring/cog combos and how much they cost and what ratio that I want to run. This ratio that I am running currently is fine as I don't skid much unless it's wet and even then I don't really skid.
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Old 11-08-08, 12:07 AM   #20
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Just an update, for those interested.

I've now got my fixie legs established. The higher gearing is less of an issue than I thought; now I'm more confident I'm back to riding faster which keeps the cadence up reasonably well. There's a few big pulls on some uphill stretches, but so far they have been manageable. My fears about getting clipped in to a moving pedal have been quite unfounded; if anything it's a bit easier I reckon.

You do get used to the fixed thing, don't you? I went out on my other bike today, just to pop to the shop. I started slowing down, and my feet didn't go round as I expected. 'Crap! I've locked the back wheel!' was my instinctive thought as I released the brakes and quickly started pedalling again. Then I realised. 'Oh no, that's right, you don't have to pedal all the time...!'
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Old 11-08-08, 12:17 AM   #21
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Congrats! hopefully you trashed your brakes, they will never be needed riding fixed. Go with 46X16 its a great ratio.
Let's make a deal. You stop trying to convince people to ride brakeless and we'll stop arguing with you about it.

It's his FIRST DAY riding fixed for f*ck sake. Where's your brain?
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Old 11-08-08, 01:17 AM   #22
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I used to ride 48/16 on my stock Kilo TT. Everytime I try a hill, i feel like dying. But today, i put on a 19t surly cog in the back and the quickness of the bike is absolutely superb. I havent tried any downhill runs yet, so I don't about the spinning yet but that's why I have brakes.

oh, and its a ******ed idea to take off the front brakes if you already have them on. IMO
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Old 11-08-08, 01:34 AM   #23
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A Public Service Message From Your Uncle Sixty on Braking
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Old 11-08-08, 09:28 AM   #24
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I used to ride 48/16 on my stock Kilo TT. Everytime I try a hill, i feel like dying. But today, i put on a 19t surly cog in the back and the quickness of the bike is absolutely superb. I havent tried any downhill runs yet, so I don't about the spinning yet but that's why I have brakes.

oh, and its a ******ed idea to take off the front brakes if you already have them on. IMO
48x19 is not a bad ratio for downhills...i do spin quite a bit but it's controllable
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