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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 09-29-12, 10:59 PM   #1
jpt1016
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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
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Old 09-29-12, 11:22 PM   #2
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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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Old 09-30-12, 07:55 AM   #3
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which makes me wonder how/why it is considered one of the nation's most bike-able areas.

Infrastructure
Other bikers
Government support
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Old 09-30-12, 08:32 AM   #4
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HTFU and stay out of St. Johns (unless you want to buy meth).
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Old 09-30-12, 08:37 AM   #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.
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Old 09-30-12, 04:35 PM   #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.
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Old 09-30-12, 04:37 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 09-30-12, 04:41 PM   #8
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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
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Old 09-30-12, 05:04 PM   #9
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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
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Old 09-30-12, 09:56 PM   #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.
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Old 09-30-12, 10:08 PM   #11
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I think Portland probably has more fixed gears per capita than any city in the US. You'll be fine.
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Old 10-01-12, 02:33 PM   #12
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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.
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.
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Old 10-01-12, 04:37 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 10-01-12, 05:52 PM   #14
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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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Old 10-01-12, 06:03 PM   #15
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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.
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Old 10-01-12, 06:35 PM   #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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Old 10-01-12, 09:30 PM   #17
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I think I've settled on a kilo TT. How's that bike for these conditions?
Never heard of it.
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Old 10-01-12, 10:16 PM   #18
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Never heard of it.
I see...
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Old 10-02-12, 09:11 AM   #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.
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Old 10-02-12, 11:15 AM   #20
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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?
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.
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Old 10-02-12, 11:19 AM   #21
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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.
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.
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Old 10-02-12, 03:52 PM   #22
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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.
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Old 10-02-12, 04:07 PM   #23
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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.
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Old 10-02-12, 06:41 PM   #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!

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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.

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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
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Old 10-02-12, 09:12 PM   #25
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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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