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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 11-26-10, 04:14 PM   #1
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The Age 40+ Singlespeed & Fixed Gear Thread

This thread provides a focal point for those of us older SS & FG aficionados to post our experiences, questions, perspectives and ideas specific to our age that are different than those of our younger bretheren. This thread was originally proposed for age 50+, however, many 40+ members expressed interest, such that this thread has been started at 40+. Some of the topics that might be posted are:

1) Experiences in SS & FG prior to 1990 and going back as far as the 1950s.

2) Classic and Vintage SS & FG bikes, including ideas on restoration of them and identification.

3) Use of SS & FG bikes for training and health. Also, health issues that affect older riders and how to factor them into bike setup.

I would hope that this thread could maintain a higher level of civility and relevance than many of the normal threads in this forum, and open this forum up to more diversity.

Anyways, I welcome you one and all, and hope to see strong enough interest to maintain this thread as a sticky.

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Old 11-26-10, 04:18 PM   #2
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would you mind if a young and civil fan of fixed gear, classic, and vintage bikes stops in from time to time?
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Old 11-26-10, 04:23 PM   #3
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would you mind if a young and civil fan of fixed gear, classic, and vintage bikes stops in from time to time?
Not at all. This thread is not meant to be exclusionary, just offer an opportunity for older members to share and participate without feeling like cultural outcasts.
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Old 11-26-10, 04:24 PM   #4
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Thanks for this TT. There's talk of getting a velodrome here soon and I hope that track training and racing for Masters might be another subject for discussion.
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Old 11-26-10, 04:36 PM   #5
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I did not start riding a fixed gear until I was 39 and before that rode SS... I thought I needed to try this thing that Sheldon was so fond of and found I enjoyed it immensely as it just added another aspect to my riding.

I have lost track of how many fg bikes I have built up in the past 6 years and because of health issues have re-geared a few of my fixed gear bikes but still have 2 in the stable along with an SS.

I guess at 45 I am supposed to be looking at variable gears anyways.

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Old 11-26-10, 04:56 PM   #6
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Thanks for this TT. There's talk of getting a velodrome here soon and I hope that track training and racing for Masters might be another subject for discussion.
Absolutely. In fact, track racing was the way I got started riding fixed and at the relatively advanced age of 34. I had been road racing for about 5 years prior to that, so by the time I started track racing I was a Cat 2 on the road. The USCF had just reduced the starting age for master's from 40+ to 35+ and so I had an easy transition into master's racing. Concurrently, I set up a cheap 10-speed conversion as a suicide hub FG with low 60-64 gearing for winter training. Right now is track off season, and my winter training consists of a combination of gym work, trainer, rollers and road.
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I'd like to think i have as much money as brains.
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Old 11-27-10, 11:39 PM   #7
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Thanks for this TT. There's talk of getting a velodrome here soon and I hope that track training and racing for Masters might be another subject for discussion.
You're kidding. Where are they planning to put it?

(Don't say "train yard". )
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Old 11-28-10, 12:45 AM   #8
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Last rumor I heard was in W. Sac near Ikea.
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Old 11-28-10, 12:50 AM   #9
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this thread needs some pictures. i hope i am not stepping out of line, but any thoughts from the experienced on my latest build?




the goal is to mix "tradition" and "modern", black and silver, italian and american.
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Old 11-28-10, 05:34 AM   #10
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looks comfy

Last edited by nohandlebars; 11-28-10 at 05:35 AM. Reason: 1
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Old 11-28-10, 09:49 AM   #11
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Last rumor I heard was in W. Sac near Ikea.
Oh my. That's good news. Fingers crossed.
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Old 11-28-10, 08:16 PM   #12
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44 now, rode fixed in the winter waaaay back in the 80's, switched to MTB for a decade but got tired of chasing technology and opted to ride a 24" cruiser for nearly 2 decades, even raced a bit but mostly just cruised. switched back to a Fixed Gear 2 summers ago and love it. It was great for Rehab on a broken ankle not to mention awesome commuting in summer traffic
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Old 11-28-10, 10:00 PM   #13
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Interesting

It'll be interesting to see what turns up on this thread. I am 52, I ride for fun, for fitness, and because I just love to ride (and have for 45 years). After more than 20 years of just MTBing I started looking for an old road frame to build up an SS. A neighbor was giving away his old road bike and off I went. After a couple of months I started keeping an eye out for a classic European road frame. Found a Merckx that was perfect. That was a couple of years ago and its been a kick...
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Old 11-28-10, 11:54 PM   #14
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After a couple of months I started keeping an eye out for a classic European road frame. Found a Merckx that was perfect. That was a couple of years ago and its been a kick...
Photos please.
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Old 11-29-10, 10:39 AM   #15
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.......I guess at 45 I am supposed to be looking at variable gears anyways.
LOL. I too was afraid I was gonna have to switch out all my bikes last month when I hit the big 45.

Sorry, ain't happnin'.
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Old 11-29-10, 11:16 AM   #16
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"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 derailleur? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!" (L'Équipe article of 1902)."

This quote made over 100 years ago is the basis for the header of this forum, and harkens to the days when all bikes were single / fixed. The derailleur was introduced at that time and it was several decades before it was permitted in road racing. The TDF was ridden on FG bikes until much later on. The average life span has increased significantly since then, and today there are elite athletes who are well into their 40's. So those of you now turning 45 are in the prime of your life and can look forward to many decades of SSFG enjoyment.
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Old 11-29-10, 11:51 AM   #17
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Last rumor I heard was in W. Sac near Ikea.
When was this? I have talked to Deano in a couple of weeks but I hadn't heard that. I thought they were looking at either Sutters Landing or Granite Regional Park.
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Old 11-29-10, 11:57 AM   #18
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When was this? I have talked to Deano in a couple of weeks but I hadn't heard that. I thought they were looking at either Sutters Landing or Granite Regional Park.
That was a while ago. I was hoping you'd pop in on this thread. Sutters Landing would be a great location, especially since it might attract some of the BMX kids too.
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Old 11-29-10, 12:04 PM   #19
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I guess a couple of council members are getting involved. That could be either good or bad. Dean has the goldsprint machine built and going to start putting on fundraisers. If you can think of a venue that would be good drop me a line. It sounds like we need to start getting people together to really get the energy harnessed. You interested in participating?

Small caveat: I'm not 40 but I am scratching at the door of 40 (38) so I may hang out here a little.
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Old 11-29-10, 12:16 PM   #20
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I'm 52, and have been riding track bikes since '03 or so. Also, road and mountain bikes. All my bikes (8) are "vintage", except for my mtn.bike.
Here are 3 track bikes of mine -
'76 fuji feather, my main commuter:


~81 bianchi ecopista, w/ period incorrect wheels and saddle!:


and a '79 raleigh track:
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Old 11-29-10, 12:20 PM   #21
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Hmmm... now here's a thread I can sink my teeth into



40-something SS rider ^

My SS is actually my newest bike- a 2009 Schwinn Cutter. I was admiring it at the bike shop for some time and my wife bought it for me for last Christmas.

I thought it was a big mistake at the time because I had developed knee problems. It ended up being part of my self-imposed physical therapy. I think the knee issue was caused by pedaling at a near-constant cadence on my hybrid and rarely changing seating position. The SS forced me to vary my cadence and get up out of the seat to climb hills. I think the variation helped my knee heal.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

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Old 11-29-10, 01:27 PM   #22
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Oh yeah, pixels..........my current 3.
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Old 11-29-10, 01:38 PM   #23
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Sutters Landing would be a great location, especially since it might attract some of the BMX kids too.
What would be great is a whole bicycle center with velodrome, criterium course, BMX, MTB, CX, TT - keep it busy all year including safety classes for kids, demonstrations.
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Old 11-29-10, 01:52 PM   #24
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That is what I was proposing. And to have it be centrally located so you can ride directly to it.
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Old 11-29-10, 02:24 PM   #25
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Can we get the regional banter off this thread and into another one, please?
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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