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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 08-29-10, 04:05 PM   #1
mowmowmow
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Noobie fixed gear questions

Hi I am brand new to cycling and I'm considering buying a fixed gear bike as my first bike. I have a bunch of questions, forgive my noobishness.

I am mainly a runner, I train for marathons and half marathons. My main purpose for buying a bike would be for cross training - so the most I'd probably ride my bike would be on my cross training days for about an hour. I would also consider using the bike to commute to work in the summer - I work about 15 miles from my house. I would also use the bike to run errands and occasionally go on recreational rides with my wife, who's also new to biking. We have a baby though so there's a chance I may have to tow a baby trailer.

I live in Chicago so the terrain is flat but I have to ride through a lot of traffic, winters are brutal here so I'll probably not be riding December through February.

Would a fixed gear bike be the best choice for me?

I'm considering a motobecane messenger or a mercier kilo tt. I don't want to spend more than 300-400. Are these good starter bikes? Any other tips or suggestions? Thanks!
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Old 08-29-10, 04:36 PM   #2
Philasteve
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This same question is answerd maybe 5-6 times a week. Search
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Old 08-29-10, 07:39 PM   #3
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Being a competive runner makes this a different question than what is normal asked.

And since you are a runner I would say no, riding a fixed gear is harsher on the knees and ankles than a standard freewheeled bike, and since youre already hurting them by runing, I would steer clear. A single speed would be a mich wiser choice.
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Old 08-29-10, 07:46 PM   #4
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Kilo, definitely. Invest in a few different sized cogs so you can find the right gearing. Train from there. Avoid Lakeshore.
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Old 08-29-10, 07:47 PM   #5
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And since you are a runner I would say no, riding a fixed gear is harsher on the knees and ankles than a standard freewheeled bike, and since youre already hurting them by runing, I would steer clear. A single speed would be a mich wiser choice.
ah agreez
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Old 08-30-10, 07:25 PM   #6
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Being a competive runner makes this a different question than what is normal asked.

And since you are a runner I would say no, riding a fixed gear is harsher on the knees and ankles than a standard freewheeled bike, and since youre already hurting them by runing, I would steer clear. A single speed would be a mich wiser choice.
that
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Old 09-06-10, 07:04 AM   #7
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Thanks, all! Any good cheap SS recommendations?
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Old 09-06-10, 07:17 AM   #8
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fuji feather is going for $370 (was 650) right now at performance on yearend blowout and if you order b4 the end of today you can take another 10% off the price !

cant go wrong with thisone very classy and a loot of elegance to this bike and it has some really nice componets on it. it does have a flip flop hub so the only thing extra to buy is a freewheel if you want to run as a single and not a fixed. i would recommend a front brake, freewheel and a different rear cog (17t)

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...t-price-369.99

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Old 09-06-10, 07:38 PM   #9
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A fixed gear is a good choice if you want the most bike for the buck, practically speaking. But most of them come with what may turn out to be excessively high gearing, especially depending on what kind of cross training you're looking for, and especially especially if you may be pulling a trailer with it. You'll get a better aerobic workout without stressing your joints with a gear that's a little too low than you will with a gear that's too high.
A fixed gear is also a good choice for year-round commuting (I know you said you weren't going to commute year round, but you never know... plenty of people do) in cities with bad winter weather because it gives you more control in snow/sand/slush, because the drivetrain keeps working when it gets gunked up with sand and salt, and it's cheap to replace the parts that wear out after a winter of riding in that crap.
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Old 09-06-10, 09:36 PM   #10
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Avoid Lakeshore.
Lakeshore is quite nice if you get on around 7:30am. But a mess by 9.
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Old 09-06-10, 09:39 PM   #11
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Thanks, all! Any good cheap SS recommendations?
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Pound sign: Kilo TT
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Old 09-06-10, 10:15 PM   #12
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This same question is answerd maybe 5-6 times a week. Search
You need to follow your own guidelines.

And of course, fixed is a great way to start biking. It is extremely fun and you will find yourself finding excuses to go on rides (I know I do). I also do running (track, not close to marathons!) but the nearest running track is about 15 miles away and I take my bike as a good warmup. It's also good to ride with the lady as you two wil both be in better shape and as soon as junior gets older he can start learning.
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