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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 05-30-10, 10:41 PM   #1
thenamesguy
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Exercise Value?

Does anyone here ride single speed road bikes as a workout? Is it just better to just workout with a normal road bike with gears? Im not looking for serious endurance or anything like that I just usually run about 15-20 miles a week and a friend recently suggested i check out cycling because he finds it to be much more fun and enjoyable. Ive always thought fixies and single speeds were interesting and I'm just wondering if anyone actually does use this as a workout or is it more of a just for fun bike? So what type of bike should I get to exercise not crazy intense but just a good workout a couple days a week? ( I should also add I'm in college and my budget is less than $400 =P )
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Old 05-30-10, 11:19 PM   #2
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it is both fun AND a workout, for sure. it is whatever you want it to be. as with just about any bike, you can cruise around on the mellow tip, or you can push yourself and get a pretty serious workout. that's really all you need to know...
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Old 05-30-10, 11:34 PM   #3
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people say fixed gears are good for exercise because you are forced to constantly be pedaling. dont know the value versus pure running, but biking at 14 mph constant for 2 hours burns about the same amount of calories as running for 2 hours.
just some food for thought. found those stats on a exercise to calories burned calculator.
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Old 05-31-10, 01:50 AM   #4
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I wouldn't compare running for two hours and riding for two hours. Running for two hours is MUCH harder, from my experience. Cycling can be made as easy as you want it to be. Forget calories burned, just do which one is more enjoyable.

Last edited by hairnet; 05-31-10 at 01:55 AM.
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Old 05-31-10, 01:59 AM   #5
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alot of us roadies train on SS or fixies... i do both... when i know i'm going to take a long trip, say, 30 miles to my friend's or cousin's pad, i flip the rear hub... (yes i actually flip it!) and if i'm riding around town, or under 10 miles or so, i ride fixed... for some reason i feel muscle building on my legs a lot faster than when i'm hitting 30+ miles on my road bike... so i do say that riding fixed/ss is a harder workout depending on your route, and speed... i average 17-18mph on 46-16 gear setup... i think that's what i have... i'll have to re check...
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Old 05-31-10, 03:33 AM   #6
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a lot of roadies ride fixed in the winter because it builds strength.
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Old 05-31-10, 04:18 AM   #7
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I wouldn't compare running for two hours and riding for two hours. Running for two hours is MUCH harder, from my experience. Cycling can be made as easy as you want it to be. Forget calories burned, just do which one is more enjoyable.
Yeah, I realize that the two are very different in terms of difficulty, but it was the benchmark used by the calculator I believe. And I went from a calorie perspective because he did ask about exercise value, and I figured that presenting actual numbers would provide good information.

Biking IS a lot easier than running because it puts less stress on your body, in terms of pressure on your feet, knees, etc.
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Old 05-31-10, 08:57 AM   #8
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During the summer I ride my fixie for workouts. I go for about 1:30 to 2 hour rides and average around 25+ miles. According to map my ride, that should be about 1300 calories per ride. I dunno how accurate that it, but 1300 sounds like a lot to me, lol. I'll try to go 3-4 times a week if possible. There are a lot of cornfields to explore where I'm living right now, so plenty of scenery to keep my mind occupied.
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Old 05-31-10, 12:54 PM   #9
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I recently began riding a fixed gear. I'm an active guy - soccer and tennis often - but I've been amazed at the transformation in my legs - toned, slimmed, strong - in just a few weeks of daily cycling (7 to 25 miles depending). I've also dropped almost 5 pounds in a month of riding to work. It's definitely a good workout and I enjoy it much more than running. Used to be a miler and run 5Ks. I don't think I've been in this good a shape in about 12 years and I imagine it's only going to improve as I keep going.

I find riding fixed gives me a workout in two ways that a freewheel does not. First, my legs get additional strengthening from braking - I try not to use my brakes unless I really need them. Second, the constant pedaling does increase the cardio workout quite a bit. I'm breathing like a runner by the time I've done 2-3 miles at a decent pace. That never happened on my freewheel.

Last edited by confounded; 05-31-10 at 12:57 PM. Reason: last bit about fixed specifically
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Old 05-31-10, 01:06 PM   #10
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I do.

I'd like to race at the local velodrome this winter instead of just ripping around on the wooden banking and I "train" on my bike in the summer as much as I can. I'm not a 140lb guy. I have 28inch quads and need the rest of me to shrink more.
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Old 05-31-10, 01:23 PM   #11
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+1 on the training

Since riding fixed gear I've found my self always pedaling by force of habit and never taking advantage of being able to idling my feet whenever on my geared bikes..... thanks to increased endurance from riding fixed.
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Old 05-31-10, 01:30 PM   #12
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I have 28inch quads
tear that **** up!
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Old 05-31-10, 01:48 PM   #13
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Hairnet - Workin' on it mang. Been calculating watts n shiz lately to see what gearing works better and what cat to enter.

In high school I couldn't run very far, I was a sprinter. The velodrome has always been a draw. I ended up in BMX for two decades +. Training on fixed ignited that again for me. Specifically to the OP - play with some gears, get your cadence matched to your power output and what feels right for your legs and knee health then it's just a matter of believing you have the second wind.

Push your liver.
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Old 05-31-10, 01:49 PM   #14
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15-20 miles a day
Fixed. Literally.
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Old 05-31-10, 01:51 PM   #15
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interesting for comparison.. http://www.csgnetwork.com/caloriesactburned.html
it has inputs for weight, time as well as activity - running, lifting, riding, sex even haha
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Old 05-31-10, 01:58 PM   #16
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15-20 miles a day

fixed

46:17
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Old 05-31-10, 02:36 PM   #17
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Hairnet - Workin' on it mang. Been calculating watts n shiz lately to see what gearing works better and what cat to enter.
what cat to enter? 5s-->4s-->3s--> awesomez
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Old 05-31-10, 07:40 PM   #18
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I lost like 60lbs in less than a year, I changed my eating habits too, so I'd say it worked for me
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Old 05-31-10, 07:49 PM   #19
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I have trained and ran 8k/10k this year. Personally, i think running is at least 6-7x harder mile to mile.
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Old 05-31-10, 09:39 PM   #20
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I like riding fixed for many reasons, but one reason is that I can "sense" my pace without instruments. Gears stay constant so same pedaling speed always give you the same speed. It automates the process of maintaining a constant pace which happens to be important when you are doing cardio exercises. Trainers recommend riding bicycle machines in Gyms for this. I spent so many hours doing miles after miles on those gym bikes but I never got over the boredom. So when I got on a FG bike, I never looked back. (not even with those Gym ladies with tights and 'tards can tempt me)
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Old 05-31-10, 10:10 PM   #21
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A fixed gear won't give you as good as a workout as a geared bike would, unless you're riding at a steady pace. Other than that, you can get a better workout with a geared bike. If you do alot of low RPM mashing on a SS it will make your legs strong, but not do much for cardio or fat burning.

Last edited by clink83; 05-31-10 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 05-31-10, 10:48 PM   #22
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A fixed gear won't give you as good as a workout as a geared bike would, unless you're riding at a steady pace. Other than that, you can get a better workout with a geared bike. If you do alot of low RPM mashing on a SS it will make your legs strong, but not do much for cardio or fat burning.
if you go the same distance at the same speed, FG will be a much better workout than a geared bike. and pushing harder, rather than faster, can still be intense cardio. If you don't believe me go to the gym and do a 5 set of cleans.
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