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  1. #1
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    Question for Portlanders

    Hello, I'm new to the forums, in high school, and just moved from Denver, Colorado.

    I rode around 12 miles round trip to school in denver, and the ride is approximately 10 miles round trip to school in portland. I used to ride a Trek Fx.72, and did bring it to Portland, but I was looking to get a fixed gear bike. In Denver, I thought it was very practical seeing how it is a very flat city. Here in portland, it seems like literally everything is on a hill, which makes me wonder how/why it is considered one of the nation's most bike-able areas.

    My main question is, how/why would someone want to ride a fixie in portland? What's a good gear ratio for someone new to fixies, and living in portland. I do not have the best knees, meaning they do start to hurt if I do high-impact sports or running for long distances.

    Thanks for reading

  2. #2
    Fresh Garbage hairnet's Avatar
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    I found the hills in Portland to be pretty mild.There are lots of gear ratio threads, you will find that a lot of us ride around 70 gear inches.

    Don't hate on the hills, they keep the ride interesting.
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    I'd rather ride a greasy bowling ball than one of those things.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Bat56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpt1016 View Post


    which makes me wonder how/why it is considered one of the nation's most bike-able areas.

    Infrastructure
    Other bikers
    Government support

  4. #4
    Veteran Bastard Scrodzilla's Avatar
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    HTFU and stay out of St. Johns (unless you want to buy meth).
    Last edited by Scrodzilla; 09-30-12 at 08:39 AM.

  5. #5
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    Generally, most of the people who ride fixed ride in downtown or SE Portland where it is flat. Also, from my experience, people in Portland are more environmentally conscious and prefer biking or taking public transportation. For example, where I worked, 8 out of 12 ppl in the dept biked or took public transportation for commuting.

  6. #6
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    As long as you stay out of the west hills its mostly flat, but really, hills are the best part of riding! The esplanade is always fun to ride on also. And Scrod that was 10 years ago, St. Johns has changed a lot and its starting to become a good neighborhood. The meth has moved east to the Rockwood, Gresham area.

  7. #7
    Veteran Bastard Scrodzilla's Avatar
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    I figured as much. The last time I was there was about 10 years ago and St. Johns was a full-blown tweaker **** show.

  8. #8
    Fresh Garbage hairnet's Avatar
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    it was actually pretty nice out there when I visited, but then I didn't know about the good and bad areas
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
    I'd rather ride a greasy bowling ball than one of those things.
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  9. #9
    cheese connoisseur Mumonkan's Avatar
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    ive never been to portland unfortunately but i live in the "hilly" borough of nyc and like hairnet said, it keeps the ride interesting.
    i would much rather have some hills than riding a pancake all the time. i often seek out big hills to intentionally experience new things and challenges

    hills ≠ bad
    ride bikes, eat food. the circle of life.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for everyone's replies.

    How practical are fixies in portland? I feel like the many hills would cause many issues for both SS and FG.

  11. #11
    Senior Member seau grateau's Avatar
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    I think Portland probably has more fixed gears per capita than any city in the US. You'll be fine.
    Quote Originally Posted by adriano View Post
    thanckx.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpt1016 View Post
    Thanks for everyone's replies.

    How practical are fixies in portland? I feel like the many hills would cause many issues for both SS and FG.
    Fixes in Portland are awesome. Minimal maintnence (which is awesome seeing as how I rains 24/7 here). Throw in the bus and Max and a car really almost isn't necessary.

  13. #13
    Senior Member LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Like someone already said, West Hills are the only true gnarlers. If you're going to school @ OHSU and ride fixed to school you will become He-Man. Same if you live in Beaverton and school @ PSU, etc.

    If you go to UoP and live downtown that Greely hill is a good workout, totally doable in 43x17, I even did it when I had 43x15 not too bad.

    But if you go to PSU and live in southeast it's all pretty minimal rise and fall on that route.

    If you think Portland is bad, try getting around Seattle. They have super steep stuff there, like hard to walk up streets.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

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    I actually go to Lincoln High, right in Downtown, and live off of beaverton Hillsdale highway. The bike route says I go on hamilton and then make my way through various streets to get to downtown, and I'll be biking this route on the weekend to see how it is.

    I think I've settled on a kilo TT. How's that bike for these conditions?

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    Senior Member LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    I would stick with geared bike if I had to traverse West Hills twice daily, but I'm a wuss.

    If you really love hills, you can roll over Council Crest.

    If you want to avoid hills but don't mind adding mileage I reckon Beaverton-Hillsdale to Capitol HWY to Barbur has the mildest rise/fall.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  16. #16
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    So I do live in the west hills. Nice to know. I guess FG riding wasn't meant for me...

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    Veteran Bastard Scrodzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpt1016 View Post
    I think I've settled on a kilo TT. How's that bike for these conditions?
    Never heard of it.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
    Never heard of it.
    I see...

  19. #19
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    the kilo tt should suit your needs just fine.

    remember that most kilos have a flip flop hub, so you can go with a freewheel if you're comfortable with that.

    some fenders could help as well to deal with the unsightly wetness of the northwest.

    just some things to keep in mind- a little research can go a long way.

    also, thanks for bringing up the topic jpt- saved me a search as I might be moving to the Rose City for grad school next year.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpt1016 View Post
    I actually go to Lincoln High, right in Downtown, and live off of beaverton Hillsdale highway. The bike route says I go on hamilton and then make my way through various streets to get to downtown, and I'll be biking this route on the weekend to see how it is.

    I think I've settled on a kilo TT. How's that bike for these conditions?
    I actually used to go to Lincoln a couple years ago and have a bunch of friends that live over on Beaverton Hillsdale Highway, where do you live (or like somewhere nearby) and I can show you the best way to get down to school. Going home is going to be a ***** though, best way to do that is to climb the zoo hill (or take the max) and then ride down Scholls Ferry road to Hamilton.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    I would stick with geared bike if I had to traverse West Hills twice daily, but I'm a wuss.

    If you really love hills, you can roll over Council Crest.

    If you want to avoid hills but don't mind adding mileage I reckon Beaverton-Hillsdale to Capitol HWY to Barbur has the mildest rise/fall.
    The west hills are definitely tough, but he's young he will be fine. I rode NE Portland to Hillsboro and back all summer (max from downtown in the morning) and the zoo hill is one of the best hills around.

  22. #22
    Senior Member LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Good point about the youth bonus. When I was a youngin' I rode a road bike over all the worst passes with 42x21 low gear and I always wanted a 13-19 tooth rear cluster just to make it more challenging.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  23. #23
    Senior Member seau grateau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpt1016 View Post
    So I do live in the west hills. Nice to know. I guess FG riding wasn't meant for me...
    Nonsense. Laugh in the face of adversity, and tell fate to mouth your dong.
    Quote Originally Posted by adriano View Post
    thanckx.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nagrom_ View Post
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  24. #24
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    sheepdog84
    the kilo tt should suit your needs just fine.

    remember that most kilos have a flip flop hub, so you can go with a freewheel if you're comfortable with that.

    some fenders could help as well to deal with the unsightly wetness of the northwest.

    just some things to keep in mind- a little research can go a long way.

    also, thanks for bringing up the topic jpt- saved me a search as I might be moving to the Rose City for grad school next year.
    Thanks!

    aidandj
    Originally Posted by jpt1016
    I actually go to Lincoln High, right in Downtown, and live off of beaverton Hillsdale highway. The bike route says I go on hamilton and then make my way through various streets to get to downtown, and I'll be biking this route on the weekend to see how it is.

    I think I've settled on a kilo TT. How's that bike for these conditions?
    I actually used to go to Lincoln a couple years ago and have a bunch of friends that live over on Beaverton Hillsdale Highway, where do you live (or like somewhere nearby) and I can show you the best way to get down to school. Going home is going to be a ***** though, best way to do that is to climb the zoo hill (or take the max) and then ride down Scholls Ferry road to Hamilton.
    I live by Dosch and Hamilton, which is right off of the Beaverton Hillsdale Highway.

    seau grateau
    Originally Posted by jpt1016
    So I do live in the west hills. Nice to know. I guess FG riding wasn't meant for me...
    Nonsense. Laugh in the face of adversity, and tell fate to mouth your dong.
    I do have messed up knees though

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpt1016 View Post
    Thanks!



    I live by Dosch and Hamilton, which is right off of the Beaverton Hillsdale Highway.



    I do have messed up knees though
    That is an awesome ride, you can either go down to Barbur (not really recommended the traffic is quite bad) or what would be best would be to go to sunset like you are going to hillsdale, then turn on something like westover (I'm not 100 percent sure) you can work your way to terwilliger that way and ride down terwilliger to school. On the way home climb the zoo hill (or take the max) then either take the marquam trail, or cruise down scholls ferry road) My best friend lives in that area and if you ride a lot around there you will get strong real quick. Also if you go to lincoln you should have a free max pass.

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