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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 03-29-09, 10:14 PM   #1
IbikezLA
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no coast century

I'm curious if anybody has attempted a century or more riding fixed, aside from hardened athletes? I can see it as maybe having less to think about with shifting gears and possible mechanical problems, but I can also see the pain of being stuck with one ratio. You have to deal whatever head winds or slopes you come across without being able to reduce the resistance and just spin, which may be taxing after many hours.

Do you think it would be any tougher going brake less since you will have to use extra energy for stopping and slowing the bike?
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Old 03-29-09, 10:25 PM   #2
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A couple of years ago, some guy did it for the Highlander Century in the Finger Lakes region - I think he was on a 42/16. Pretty amazing accomplishment as the elevation gain was over 11000ft!

I was under 5 hours - but on a geared, very light race bike!
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Old 03-29-09, 10:36 PM   #3
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I did two centuries fixed (one of them was on a set of Aerospokes). It'd be smart to get a brake because you'll be wearing yourself with all you'd need to do. Also choose a gear for the long haul not speed. I did it on a 74gi in the summer time
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Old 03-30-09, 12:11 AM   #4
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You live in LA i assume? You looking to do the Century in Rowland heights thats approaching?
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Old 03-30-09, 01:14 AM   #5
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I've done two 100 mile rides since I got my fixed gear. I have a front brake and clipless pedals, but otherwise it was on a stock Windsor Hour with the 48/15.

Overall it wasn't much harder than a normal century. I did it on mostly flat ground with a few small hills (5-7% for a quarter to half mile at a time) so I wouldn't have been coasting much on my road bike anyway. Not having gears also made it a lot slower than normal due to a limited top speed and a much slower start from stops at the beginning and end. I wouldn't think of doing it without a brake, but then, I can't understand brakeless riding at all.

For most of the ride it's not bad at all, I just picked a comfortable cadence and went with it, it was slower, but it wasn't bad, and ended up being amazing exercise.
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Old 03-30-09, 05:56 AM   #6
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did one and a handfull of eighties. 47x16.
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Old 03-30-09, 06:02 AM   #7
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I've done centuries fixed. It's not a thing, if you're comfortable on your bike and capable of spending as long as you feel like on it.

I used a brake, because stopping on tired legs is a pain.
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Old 03-30-09, 04:42 PM   #8
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ibikezla, if you're actually in LA, check out the lafixed forum. there's a la/oc to san diego century that happens once a year or so. i know plenty of people who've done 100+ miles on a fixed gear.
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Old 03-30-09, 04:55 PM   #9
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http://the508.com/intelligence/rules.html

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Old 03-30-09, 05:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banana Up View Post
You live in LA i assume? You looking to do the Century in Rowland heights thats approaching?
oh no centuries for me for a while. I got hit by a car 2 months ago and so I need to rebuild my knees' strength before I go for anything this long again.
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Old 03-30-09, 06:48 PM   #11
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Considering trying it this summer on my Windsor Clockwork, 46/17. I live in a nearly completely flat area, so it shouldn't be as much of a problem as it would be in most areas.
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Old 03-30-09, 07:32 PM   #12
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People have done century rides on 36" unicycles, if that helps any. I've done a couple on my single-speed Worksman (which is not a fixed gear bike, though). Come to think of it, people have done the 1200 km Paris-Brest-Paris on fixed gear bikes, if I'm not mistaken (90 hour time limit there, and it's supposed to be hilly).
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Old 03-30-09, 07:42 PM   #13
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Just one, but it was twice the next longest ride I had done at the time. I've several many 60-70s since.
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Old 03-30-09, 07:52 PM   #14
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I did one last summer, brakeless and solo. At the time, I was doing all my long rides fixed since I didn't have gears yet. I think it's plenty do-able to put in more distance than that in a day on fixed, but it's not a fraction as much fun as if you have gears and brakes.
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Old 03-30-09, 07:53 PM   #15
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Ive done San Francisco to San Jose, CA. Its about 88 miles. I was beat at the end, but I did it fixed, and I'm by no means an athlete. I am in better shape now, but I would definetly try some shorter training rides, get a few under your belt, and you will have a better idea how you might be able to handle a longer ride like that.
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Old 03-30-09, 08:00 PM   #16
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I did a half century on a Wal-Goose full suspension MTB with a squeeky bottom bracket, wearing a wife beater, flip flops and a fanny pack. it sucked. Took 4 hours. After that, I imagine a century on a fixed gear bike would be a piece of cake.
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