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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 08-20-04, 10:03 AM   #1
fredf
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fixed gear bike

My 18 year old son wants to put together a fixed gear racer for a 20 minute ride to University daily.
What gear is appropriate? He's in good shape, weighs 165 lbs for 5'11".
thanks for any help
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Old 08-20-04, 10:08 AM   #2
khackney
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Depends a lot on the terrain. Many people find somthing around 70 inches to be a good all around choice. 42/16 will give you cruising around 20 once your spin is there plus you can climb most hills.
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Old 08-20-04, 10:21 AM   #3
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I use a 42/15 but it is relatively flat. There are a few hills depending on my route that I have to race to at the bottom stand and barely make it over. Try a search for ratios on the fixt forum...
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Old 08-20-04, 10:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredf
My 18 year old son wants to put together a fixed gear racer for a 20 minute ride to University daily.
What gear is appropriate? He's in good shape, weighs 165 lbs for 5'11".
thanks for any help

The SS/Fixed gear forum would be a better place to post this, lot's of experience there!
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Old 08-20-04, 11:22 AM   #5
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two of my bikes are fixies. on one i have 44/16 on 170 cranks, and on the other, i have 46/17 on 165 cranks. both work fine for me and get me up most hills. i started out with 52/16 when i lived in boston, which also got me up any and all hills in the city and surrounding area. it's all relative to the strength of the person riding the bike.

and yeah, post this in the fixed forum.
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Old 08-20-04, 12:35 PM   #6
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42:16 170 cranks... no problems on the flats at all... hills kinda suck, both uphill and downhill

jeff
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Old 08-20-04, 12:44 PM   #7
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I second hackney; 70 inches is good middle-ground; especially for a commuter. If hes has access to a multispeed, use it to experiment with optimal gearing for a few rides before decided on a dedicated gear.
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Old 08-20-04, 12:45 PM   #8
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165 cranks with 46x18 or 17 gearing is fine in San Francisco
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Old 08-20-04, 12:48 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by 46x17
165 cranks with 46x18 or 17 gearing is fine in San Francisco
Maybe if your legs are California Redwoods! Call me wimpy but I run 46/17 in flat ol NYC.
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Old 08-20-04, 01:07 PM   #10
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My Pista came with 48x16 (81"). It works out fine for me. Here it is mostly flat with the occasional short steep hill.

If he plans on riding through snow or on trails most folks I talk to recommend 63" that works out to 42x18, 46x20 or 48x21.

This is only a 20 minute ride. He could use just about anything and he would get accustomed to it over time.

Dan
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Old 08-20-04, 01:11 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by NYCpistarider
Maybe if your legs are California Redwoods! Call me wimpy but I run 46/17 in flat ol NYC.
SF is not as bad as you think. there are always ways around big hills. on my new engagement bike, i'm running 44/16 and get everywhere fine.
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Old 08-20-04, 01:42 PM   #12
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I just switched from a 42-15 to a 46-15 here and its fine for the flats. The hills that i have to climb are short so i don't mind grinding through them.
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Old 08-20-04, 02:58 PM   #13
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SF is not as bad as you think. there are always ways around big hills. on my new engagement bike, i'm running 44/16 and get everywhere fine.
The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has a great map of all the street grades ("steepnesses"). Steep streets are often next to not so steep streets. And, there are a lot of people pushing higher gears here.
Mine is almost considered a spinning gear.
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Old 08-20-04, 03:47 PM   #14
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what are some bike shops in SF (or in the peninsula/south bay) that sell stuff for fixed gears?
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Old 08-20-04, 03:56 PM   #15
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Here are the shops that I like:

Road Rage, btw. 6th and 7th on Folsom, 415 255 1351,

Freewheel, 1920 Hayes St. @ Ashbury 415 752 9195 or 980 Valencia 415 643 9213
The Valencia one is bigger.

Pedal Revolution, 3085 21st St., 415 753 627

Salon the Biciclette on Fillmore and Haight

American Cyclery americancyclery.com has some very nice stuff too, but there service is weak and their prices are rather steep, at least in my experience.
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Old 08-20-04, 03:57 PM   #16
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these shops are all in SF
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Old 08-20-04, 04:03 PM   #17
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A 42x16t is a good place to start. It's what I use on my Schwinn Le Tour commuter.
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Old 08-20-04, 05:05 PM   #18
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thanks for the list, 46x17.
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