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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 04-26-10, 02:33 AM   #1
rgoo92
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need your insight! and suggestions

whats up guys. im new to biking and wanted some suggestions about road bikes vs fixed gear

i know very little about pros/cons of both
uhh i plan on riding around with friends mostly. just casual nothing serious

i just recently got my first road bike but rode my friends fixed gear and had alot of fun on it

are fixies alot slower than 14speed bikeS? and what do you guys think? i heard you can convert road bikes into fixed gears
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Old 04-26-10, 03:47 AM   #2
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Please go to this thread

Mods, I suggest merging this thread to the one I linked to.
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Old 04-26-10, 03:53 AM   #3
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Yeah and no.
They are slower than a roadbike over any great distance or over any big climbs. But for day to day getting around type stuff they're not really any slower. And even though they're slower they're still not that slow. I used to have a 45 minute commute that wasn't any faster on a roadbike vs a fixie. It just really didn't make much of a difference. Hills should be factored into this though, small hills are no problem and guys on fixies sometimes get up them faster than people on geared bikes just cause you don;t wanna lose your momentum on a fixie but big hills suck. Same goes for singlespeed, going up big hills can really suck.
But if you live in a reasonably flat area with maybe some hills and you're just commuting in traffic than a fixie should not make you any slower than on a roadbike. Ultimately if you want it to be the road bike will go faster than a fixie, but if you're just getting around you're probably gonna be riding it as fast as you would the fixie.

If your road bike is old an has horizontal dropouts then you can convert it. But for the price of converting it you could just buy a cheapo bikesdirect bike that will probably be slightly better anyway. Many people convert and then end up buying a cheap fixie anyway cause their conversion sucked..(many people also have sweet conversions though).
I would just keep the roadbike as is and maybe try to add a second bike to the garage.
And then you could find out for sure which is fastest... heh
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Old 04-26-10, 04:00 AM   #4
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Please go to this thread

Mods, I suggest merging this thread to the one I linked to.
Nah, we shouldn't. The topics are very similar but he also wants to know if he should convert his bike. We should maybe discuss with him what bike he has, if its a particularly sweet old frame that would make a good conversion then maybe we could encourage him to do so. If its a really sweet old bike that really should be left the hell alone as a geared bike then maybe we can also suggest that too him. This thread could be a very different discussion from the other one...
Just sayin'.

And also OP, what kind of bike is it you have?!? Does it have horizontal drop outs? How much money would you be able to put into converting it?
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Old 04-26-10, 05:59 AM   #5
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Go read http://sheldonbrown.com/fixed/index.html

http://sheldonbrown.com/singlespeed.html

Do a search of this forum about conversions.
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Old 04-26-10, 11:03 AM   #6
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robertv thanks a ton! thats exactly the kind of help i needed. sorry everyone for posting in the wrong place and ill do some more research regarding horizontal dorp outs and whatnot because i have no idea what that is. thanks everyone


ill probably keep my road bike and pick up a fixie,
my bike frame is a little too big for me(its like 56 or 58 and when standing over it, it touches my crotch). my friend told me to change my tire and rim size so itll fit better. as of now i have 700 cc? sized rims and he recomended moving them down to 650. is that an expensive change? and is it possible to lower my brake things? should i be changing my rim size?
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Old 04-26-10, 02:38 PM   #7
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If your road bike is really a 56 cm or 58 cm frame, it will always provide ou with a miserable riding experience.Smaller wheels will only protect your crotch, everything else will be out of place and uncomfortable. It's like trying to polish a turd, it just won't really ever shine.
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Old 04-26-10, 04:12 PM   #8
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deng alright so i should keep my bike and buy a seperate fixed gear?
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Old 04-26-10, 04:13 PM   #9
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deng alright so i should keep my bike and buy a seperate fixed gear?
You should not keep a bike that is 56 or 58 cm, if you're 5'3".
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Old 04-26-10, 04:19 PM   #10
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im 5'9!! i can ride it fine. its just an inch too big

speaking of frame sizes, my 5'6 friend is wondering what frame size is good for him
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Old 04-26-10, 04:19 PM   #11
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This has to be a troll.... and not even a good one.
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Old 04-26-10, 04:31 PM   #12
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im 5'9!! i can ride it fine. its just an inch too big
First of all, I apologize: I must have confused you with someone else/some other thread.
The bike size you mention still doesn't fit you, though. 51-52 cm is more like it.
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Old 04-26-10, 05:13 PM   #13
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i know very little about pros/cons of both
uhh i plan on riding around with friends mostly. just casual nothing serious
If your objective is "to ride around with friends", you'll want to have a bike similar to what your friends ride.
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Old 04-26-10, 06:37 PM   #14
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first of all im not a troll adn dont know what that even means.

thanks for your input everyone. ill probably buy a new bike then..
and i used http://bicycling.about.com/od/howtor...ike_sizing.htm to check my sizes when i bought the road bike.

i do trust your word over the sizing chart though but is 51-52 really the biggest size i should be getting?
or is it that fixed gears should be generally smaller?

and i have 3 biking buddies. 2 with fixies and 1 with a road bike
i do wish i had a fixie though
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Old 04-26-10, 06:44 PM   #15
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lol you want a sweet fixie bro? I suggest something more noob friendly as your first bike.
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Old 04-26-10, 06:47 PM   #16
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lol you want a sweet fixie bro? I suggest something more noob friendly as your first bike.
i know how to ride bikes!! haha ive only rode mountain bikes until i got my first road bike.
the reason i want a fixie instead of a road bike now is because i was riding my friends the other day and i just feel like i have os muhc more control and i like the fact that i can manually slow myself down by pedaling slower

how hard can fixies be? what am i missing
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Old 04-26-10, 08:20 PM   #17
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lol you want a sweet fixie bro? I suggest something more noob friendly as your first bike.
What's up with you dude? You've been cranky for the past few days.
Besides, most kids' first bike is a fixie.
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Old 04-26-10, 09:27 PM   #18
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final update: i DO want a fixie over a road bike
thanks alot for the help everyone i learned alot just frmo this post.
i checked to see if i had a horizontol dropout and i THINK i do! its like horizontal and vertical like kinda angled.. im a noob so i dont know what to call it
ill upload a picture later to show

my main concern for anyone who cares is my large frame size(56 or 58). its easily rideable but i would prefer something a bit more comfortable.
is it possible to change my rim size to like 600 or 650cc instead of my current size(700cc)? can i lower my brakes to fit?
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Old 04-26-10, 09:35 PM   #19
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my main concern for anyone who cares is my large frame size(56 or 58). its easily rideable but i would prefer something a bit more comfortable.
is it possible to change my rim size to like 600 or 650cc instead of my current size(700cc)? can i lower my brakes to fit?
Why don't you take a tape measure and measure your frame? Then, post a photo of you on the bike so we can see how it fits you. Can you describe in what way your bike isn't comfortable? I'm just curious.


You can put smaller 650c wheels. Should you? No, because it won't make the frame fit your body any better

Last edited by hairnet; 04-26-10 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 04-26-10, 09:45 PM   #20
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You can not 'lower' your brake calipers, you will need a new set of brake calipers anyways since you are going from a 27" to 700c.
As the other said, a smaller wheel will not make ride anymore comfortable, it will only bring it closer to the ground.
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Old 04-26-10, 10:05 PM   #21
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ok well if the frame is lower to the ground, wouldnt that make things better? i mean the problem is that the frame is too close to my crotch when standing over it.

bike itself http://tinypic.com/r/xelt3q/5

the dropout http://tinypic.com/r/2hz2443/5


me next to bike http://tinypic.com/r/xnb1c7/5

ill get real frame size tommorow but i meaured from the top tube to the bottom bracket area and it was around 23 inches

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Old 04-26-10, 10:16 PM   #22
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Do you have to reach really far to grab your handle bar?
But from what I can see, your seat post barely protrudes out of your seat tube, that's a sign that the bike is a tad too big for you. You should be able to lift your wheels at least an inch or two when you are straddling on your top tube.
Other than the fitting issue, your bike is a perfect candidate for a conversion.
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Old 04-26-10, 11:14 PM   #23
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thanks a bunch vixtor, no the handles are fine and do you think if i changed to 650 tires. itd give me that extra inch or two when standing over the top tube?
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Old 04-26-10, 11:20 PM   #24
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can i lower my brakes to fit?
No.
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Old 04-26-10, 11:42 PM   #25
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I would not recommend you to get a 650c because there would be a narrow range of tires and tubes to choose from, also smaller wheels will bring your bike closer to the ground which increase the chance of pedal striking the ground when turning corner and maybe a shorter set of cranks so you won't pedal strike. 5'9" is too small for a 56/58, I'm 5'11 and I ride a 55, I've tried a 58 once, it barely fits. You should really consider to get yourself a smaller frame.
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