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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 12-17-04, 07:20 PM   #1
Rex
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Anyone know anyone that did a century ride on a fixed gear?

Just wondering what to expect. I'd like to ride my fixed in a century ride in a few months when the weather thaws out. Riding a fixed over a mostly flat century ride. Will that take more out of my legs than doing it on a bike I can freewheel on?
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Old 12-17-04, 07:32 PM   #2
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yes
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Old 12-17-04, 07:32 PM   #3
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Sure it will, but you train for it just like any century and you'll be fine. Find a gear that you can spin for 100+ miles (gotta get them bonus miles, dontcha know?) and just train like usual.
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Old 12-17-04, 07:35 PM   #4
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I did the TA NYC on a 48x16, though their 'course' is merciful hill-wise. I'd been riding that gear about 20 miles a day for several months and that was all the training I needed. I didn't experience any pain; supposedly you can do 3 times what you're used to. I'd like to take another crack at it with 46x17 which I use now and suits me much better.

Definitely go for it though! It's worth it to pedal the whole way through grinning.
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Old 12-17-04, 09:18 PM   #5
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Did one near the end of the summer. Solo for the first and last 30 and with a couple buds for the center section. Like above, train for it like any other century you would ride.
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Old 12-17-04, 09:50 PM   #6
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I've done a few, I don't know if I'd like it in a hilly area but it was nice and flat the parts of Texas I was in.
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Old 12-17-04, 09:58 PM   #7
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I'd recommend your first one be a charity ride or some similar arrangement. The catered (usually fruits & powerbars, with a proper lunch in the middle) stops every 10 miles or so make a century seem like a pleasant romp through the countryside. I've ridden straight through a century fixed, satisfying but
not as much fun especially since it wasn't an actual race. I don't know of any orgs that race centries fixed although I'm sure you'd be allowed to in a USCF or other road racing setting. I'd want other fixies to race though. Road bikes win every time in a century with equal riders on anything else.
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Old 12-17-04, 09:59 PM   #8
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Saw a fellow do a century on a very high unicycle, which is a form of a fixed gear; and yes, he even did the few hills on the course.
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Old 12-18-04, 03:15 AM   #9
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I did my first fixed century this past summer. It was pretty flat Chicago-Milwaukee and then the next day Milwaukee-Chicago. I really don't think you have to do anything special as for training, just put in decent mileage/week and you'll be fine. Definitely do it with a friend if you can. You never know what to expect. The guy I did it w/ this summer got four flats and ended up using some of my spare tubes.

I don't think you should worry about fixed vs. free wheel. if you ride fixed every other day, why not do a 100miles all at once. It's nice to get a rhythm going. I found the whole 200 mile experience tiring, yes, but very exhilarating and something I will do again.

You'll have a blast, I guarantee it.
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Old 12-18-04, 04:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamHouston
I'd want other fixies to race though. Road bikes win every time in a century with equal riders on anything else.
Are you suggesting the fixed gear bicycle is not the pinnacle of pedal powered mobility for all conditions?! Sacrilege!
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Old 12-18-04, 05:55 AM   #11
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i ridden up to Bear Mountain on 53 x 13 before. Never again. I also did Montauk Point LI with my bike Round trip 46 x16.you need to build up for it. Since I was a messenger and racer at the time it didn't take alot out of me.

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Old 12-18-04, 06:06 AM   #12
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I've never had a shifting problem on a century therefore I never had to fix my gears.
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Old 12-18-04, 08:02 AM   #13
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I rode 75 fixed last Sunday; I know, not a century, but was my longest fixed ride yet. I rode a 45/18 and was geared perfectly for gently rolling terrain here in N/W FL. I felt absolutely no leg discomfort and was surprised at how nothing except butt and wrists was any worse for the wear. I did find that I missed having shift/brake hoods somewhat as I ride on the hoods a lot with my geared bikes, hence the wrist discomfort, but no biggie. I suspect saddle fit is doubly important when doing lots of miles fixed simply because you can't/won't shift around on it as often as you would do when coasting on geared bike. Have a good ride!
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Old 12-18-04, 08:24 AM   #14
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For the wrist thing, you can try raising your stem or rotating your bars upward to give you some flats. Obviously this is at the expense of the positioning of the drops, but I know when I was training it really helped to bring the stem up maybe a cm or so.

The butt thing may also be because your legs and butt never stop moving. You have that many more "chaff moments" with your roost of choice.
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Old 12-18-04, 10:07 AM   #15
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i did a metric century a few months back. i too noticed more soreness, even after lots of geared riding. bostontrevor's explanation is pretty accurate.
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Old 12-18-04, 10:22 AM   #16
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I don't know how comfortable it would be on a steep track bike with pista bars, but my lugged steel conversion is plush.
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Old 12-18-04, 10:42 AM   #17
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i also did Chicago to Milwaukee.

Make sure your used to covering at least 60 miles in a day, to check your rig setup...as in, pedals, stem/bar combo, tires, blah blah blah..
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Old 12-18-04, 11:10 AM   #18
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invest in ten panel shorts, they're worth it.
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Old 12-18-04, 11:27 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex
Just wondering what to expect. I'd like to ride my fixed in a century ride in a few months when the weather thaws out. Riding a fixed over a mostly flat century ride. Will that take more out of my legs than doing it on a bike I can freewheel on?
you will be fine, I rode 80miles on my fixie and it was cake. I didnt do any training for it (even though I ride everyday) and I was fine the whole time. I am geared at 48/17
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Old 12-18-04, 11:36 AM   #20
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ha, I was planning on doing the seagull century (extremly flat) on my fixed gear, since I didn't feel like bringing my bike on the train. However, I made the mistake of telling my parents ahead of time...My mom totally flipped out. she was like, "YOU CANT RIDE 100 MILES WITHOUT COASTING!" and I was like, "people do it all the time" and she was like, "WELL, YOU'RE NOT GOING TO!". I had no idea that she felt so strongly about it. from then on, when I refer to my bike as the "fixed bianchi" she says, "you mean the one you broke, right?"

I rode the century, and shifted maybe twice. In the future, if you want a good fixie century, do the seagull. on the eastern shore of maryland, there are no hills whatsoever.
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Old 12-18-04, 07:04 PM   #21
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It's great to see people saying "you'll be fine" and "it's cake" - I gotta do a 125 in the summer, damn bravado from last time. The mileage doesn't worry but the chafing risk did; but since I got good shorts and a tub of Vaz, I'll kick back and chill.
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Old 12-18-04, 07:20 PM   #22
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I know several people who have done century or longer fixie rides.
My longest is 67 hilly miles running cyclo-cross tires, running a 44x16t.
I would think a fixed "flat" terrain ride would be easier. I can keep up
with our recreational roadies pretty easily on mine.
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Old 12-20-04, 03:12 PM   #23
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i've done them and i have to confess, lycra does make the whole ride a lot more comfortable.
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Old 12-20-04, 11:45 PM   #24
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There is a yearly ride across Iowa that I went on last year called RAGBRAI (Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Nebraska). It's a 7 day ride, about 60 miles a day, one of which is a century. It's lots of fun. Riders from all over the country do it. Lots of people form teams; just a bunch of friends and they have dumb slogans printed on jerseys or t-shirts. Stuff like, "Team Gets Wasted" or "Team Old Dudes". This past year, there was a team from Boston called "Team Shiftless" all on track bikes riding across Iowa, hills and all. I assume they all did OK.
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Old 12-20-04, 11:51 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuppie
There is a yearly ride across Iowa that I went on last year called RAGBRAI (Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Nebraska).
Iowa.

The Nebraska ride is BRAN (Bike Ride Across Nebraska). I'm sure you knew that (really), just clarifying for others.
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