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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 08-18-10, 06:07 AM   #1
karrar
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23 miles/day commute

next wednesday i'm going to start commuting from alexandria to capitol hill on my Jamis Beatnik, its 23 miles round trip. figure it will get my back in shape pretty fast. is this a reasonable daily commute on a fixed gear? anyone out there who commutes further on a fixed gear?
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Old 08-18-10, 06:16 AM   #2
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I'm a n00b myself. I was training for a triathlon last couple of weeks. I was riding about that far in the morning before work. But not in an urban environment. I've heard people travel further.
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Old 08-18-10, 07:02 AM   #3
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Where in Alexandria are you commuting from? Are you just going to be riding up the MVT?

Probably the longest fixed gear commute I've heard of around here was a friend commuting from NW to Tysons every day, something like 44 miles a day fixed (and brakeless).

I think 26 miles a day is a pretty good number.
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Old 08-18-10, 07:08 AM   #4
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I wish I could commute to work like I used to and save on gas, but nowadays its too far and too hilly....and I work 12.5 hour days. These are what I think you should be aware of; your physical condition, your gearing, the route and the hills (if any). If your route is relatively flat and you have mostly bike lanes to use, you're good to go....should be fun and rewarding! Thirteen miles one way is doable riding a fixed gear IF your gearing is reasonable and IF your knees can take it. Hell, I'm an older rider and I ride 15~25 miles/60~90 minutes (depending on route) fixed on my Soho-S for excercise and relaxation...and I just started. Allot yourself a reasonable amount of time to get to your workplace with enough time to change out and punch the clock (if that's what you're required to do) fresh and ready. That's what I used to do....and I saved $$$$ and lost lbs! Next thing you know you're be taking the long way home...you might even look for some hills! Good luck and have fun!
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Old 08-18-10, 08:58 AM   #5
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paipo, im running 16t x 46t so its not too hard but not exactly ss cyclocross gearing. i dont think there are any real hills anyway.
and dsh, im commuting from near jordan and duke streets (foxchase) so im biking across northern alexandria and meeting the bike trail just south of reagan airport
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Old 08-18-10, 10:24 AM   #6
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pretty good. I only get about 16 miles round trip and I wish it were longer
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Old 08-18-10, 10:28 AM   #7
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I couldn't to my 34 mile RT on a fixed gear. Too many hills. I don't think 23 miles would be do-able either.
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Old 08-18-10, 10:36 AM   #8
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Used to do 25 miles of hills, fixed, year-round.
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Old 08-18-10, 11:36 AM   #9
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cool. i hope the jamis is a good work horse for the trip. its got pannier mounts but not enough clearance for fenders. we'll see how it goes. lusting after a steam roller as well but it will wait
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Old 08-18-10, 11:53 AM   #10
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My commute's 25-ish round trip. I ride my Sputnik around 2-3 days out of the week. Aurora the others. Which bike I choose for the day just depends on my mood or how my legs feel.
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Old 08-18-10, 12:11 PM   #11
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Used to do 25 miles of hills, fixed, year-round.
Me too, I love the looks on peoples faces in the rain and snow. Dosen't bother me, my route is not super hilly though.
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Old 08-18-10, 12:15 PM   #12
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how do you like that aurora? i thought about the sputnik but for my particular purposes i couldn't justify the price difference
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Old 08-18-10, 12:50 PM   #13
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I'd suggest easing into it. Going from zero to 23x5 in a hurry could lead to injury. Maybe do it once or twice a week to start, build up to 3x then eventually to 5.

I'm also guess you'll find hills you didn't even realize were there. Having lived in the area, I know it's not entirely flat. Even here in Manhattan where I do 7 miles round trip every day, I find hills that wind me pretty good. That said, I think my commute could be 2-3x longer if necessary and I'd still probably do it daily.
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Old 08-18-10, 12:55 PM   #14
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I wouldn't worry so much about the hills (there aren't any that I can think of on that route) so much as the bridges. On a windy day, they're not going to be fun. At all.

Also, riding in rush out downtown traffic is probably going to be unpleasant. But I'm sure you've considered that.



I like the idea of easing into it, but I hope you've got stronger willpower than I do. The temptation to sleep the extra hour and just drive in is gonna be strong.
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Old 08-18-10, 12:59 PM   #15
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I've done a 20 mile round trip commute, fixed gear, a bunch of times. Come to think of it, I've never done the commute on anything but my FG. Go for it!
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Old 08-18-10, 01:33 PM   #16
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I did 26 year round - not every day - but year round. alas I used my geared bike! I guess a lot depends on the terrain of your route.
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Old 08-18-10, 02:19 PM   #17
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how do you like that aurora? i thought about the sputnik but for my particular purposes i couldn't justify the price difference
I like it. I used to love it, but now it feels heavy and sluggish ever since I got the Sputnik. (it is nearly 10lbs heavier) I enjoy riding my fixed more now..
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Old 08-18-10, 03:49 PM   #18
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I like it. I used to love it, but now it feels heavy and sluggish ever since I got the Sputnik. (it is nearly 10lbs heavier) I enjoy riding my fixed more now..
Word to that, I love my effffing sputnik to death. I don't ride my geared at all now.
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Old 08-18-10, 03:49 PM   #19
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23 miles is almost perfect. Enough to get a nice light workout in without pooping yourself out for the rest of the day at work. I commuted 26 miles R/T for a few days. Wish I could still commute by bike, but my work is 42 miles one way now (which I actually did one day for Bike to Work week).

BTW, I love my Steamroller with 700x26's for the crack-filled streets I usually ride on.

Last edited by palu; 08-18-10 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 08-18-10, 04:23 PM   #20
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I'd suggest easing into it. Going from zero to 23x5 in a hurry could lead to injury. Maybe do it once or twice a week to start, build up to 3x then eventually to 5.

I'm also guess you'll find hills you didn't even realize were there. Having lived in the area, I know it's not entirely flat. Even here in Manhattan where I do 7 miles round trip every day, I find hills that wind me pretty good. That said, I think my commute could be 2-3x longer if necessary and I'd still probably do it daily.

yeah im pretty used to riding fixed daily. i've been doing 3-5 miles a day on my high tensile steel pos old Raleigh bike all year in super hilly scotland. its more of a time/distance concern for me than getting used to fixed gear or hills
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Old 08-18-10, 05:23 PM   #21
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... its more of a time/distance concern for me than getting used to fixed gear or hills
For me the time on my bike is almost exactly the same as my car, although mostly faster on my bike. L.A. traffic sucks that way..
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Old 08-18-10, 06:22 PM   #22
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Mine is 24 round trip, but i lengthened it to 29 recently.
I ride ~3days a week, not everyday... more because I take in food and clothes and prefer to ride after work with friends sometimes (rather than bust ass commuting and not ride any other time)

Fixed all the time, but no hills.

High traffic roads can be nice.... tail wind both ways
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Old 08-18-10, 08:43 PM   #23
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34 miles fixed.
It's good for ya....
I sometimes go out of my way for a hill but my main route just shallow rolling the whole way
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Old 08-18-10, 09:58 PM   #24
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45 miles round-trip twice a week.
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Old 08-20-10, 03:32 AM   #25
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I'm going to be commuting to school and back Mon-Thu starting next week. Its from Scottsdale to Tempe, should be around 34 flat miles round trip. I may switch off from fixed to road, not sure yet because the distance is doable but the heat may kill me.
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