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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 10-16-12, 06:14 PM   #1
delacrank
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Gearing up?

Hey, i have been riding the bike a lot recently. I work as a messenger recently i have noticed a substantial increase in terms of my speed, my climbing ability, my energy level and overall my metabolism. I started to put in only 7 - 8 hours a day on the bike, but recently i have been able to surpass that by at least an hour or 2. Currently i am riding a fixed bike on 46/18, am i ready to gear up to 46/17 or should i wait more for risk of knee injury.

Currently i am using a front brake on the bike but i have noticed some irritation if i use my legs to slow the bike down too much. I fear that i am not challenging myself by staying on this ratio as i can climb many of the steeper hills still sitting down. What should i do.
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Old 10-16-12, 06:17 PM   #2
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Since you're using a brake, its a ton easier on your knees than backpedaling. So you should be fine to gear up.
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Old 10-16-12, 06:19 PM   #3
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Did I read that correctly? Are you saying that when you started riding, you would typically ride for 7 to 8 hours?
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Old 10-16-12, 06:25 PM   #4
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Just do it, you'll either like it or you won't and it only cost you a cog - maybe a half link too.

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I fear that i am not challenging myself by staying on this ratio as i can climb many of the steeper hills still sitting down. What should i do.
What's wrong with that? Spin faster.
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Old 10-16-12, 06:32 PM   #5
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Steeper hills?

New York City?

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Old 10-16-12, 06:39 PM   #6
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Steeper hills?

New York City?

Washington heights, harlem, staten island, and the areas around park slope and sunset park are all hilly. But yeah i guess comparatively we are really flat
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Old 10-16-12, 08:04 PM   #7
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Did I read that correctly? Are you saying that when you started riding, you would typically ride for 7 to 8 hours?
I work as a messenger all i do is ride the bike so it is typical for anyone who rides as a bike messenger to work from 9 - 5 or 10 - 6, some guys can work from 8 - 8 at night so they ride 12 hours in 1 day. I like what hairnet said about the change, i guess what i fear is just stressing or injuring my knees when i have been doing so well lately; because if i do get injured it will typically take me anywhere from 2 - 3 months to be back to normal and those weeks are very, very long . . . but i suppose 1 tooth should not make much of a diff
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Old 10-16-12, 08:21 PM   #8
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You'd be increasing by about 4-5 gear inches
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Old 10-16-12, 10:12 PM   #9
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Make sure you're stretching and eating right - you should be fine.
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Old 10-16-12, 10:43 PM   #10
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I work as a messenger all i do is ride the bike so it is typical for anyone who rides as a bike messenger to work from 9 - 5 or 10 - 6, some guys can work from 8 - 8 at night so they ride 12 hours in 1 day. I like what hairnet said about the change, i guess what i fear is just stressing or injuring my knees when i have been doing so well lately; because if i do get injured it will typically take me anywhere from 2 - 3 months to be back to normal and those weeks are very, very long . . . but i suppose 1 tooth should not make much of a diff
Got a job for me ? Ride about 40 hours a week as a delivery guy
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Old 10-22-12, 04:45 PM   #11
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are you from new york, if so just type in bike messenger on craigslist and reply to some of those ads and test your skills. Messenger work is very different from food deliveries as the demand to stay in the street ride non-stop without ever resting to go to help out in the kitchen, or go back to pick up more food. The runs are long too sometimes ranging from 40-80 blocks and you won't make any tips. The pay is **** too.
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Old 10-22-12, 05:14 PM   #12
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Yeah but they're so cool:


"20 BLOCKS MORE LIKE 40 BLOCKS."
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Old 10-22-12, 07:56 PM   #13
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are you from new york, if so just type in bike messenger on craigslist and reply to some of those ads and test your skills. Messenger work is very different from food deliveries as the demand to stay in the street ride non-stop without ever resting to go to help out in the kitchen, or go back to pick up more food. The runs are long too sometimes ranging from 40-80 blocks and you won't make any tips. The pay is **** too.
Sounds like maybe i should get you a job ive heard we make about the same
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Old 10-22-12, 08:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I work as a messenger all i do is ride the bike so it is typical for anyone who rides as a bike messenger to work from 9 - 5 or 10 - 6, some guys can work from 8 - 8 at night so they ride 12 hours in 1 day. I like what hairnet said about the change, i guess what i fear is just stressing or injuring my knees when i have been doing so well lately; because if i do get injured it will typically take me anywhere from 2 - 3 months to be back to normal and those weeks are very, very long . . . but i suppose 1 tooth should not make much of a diff
Wow. That's impressive. Do you have a computer? I'd be curious to know what kind of mileage you're putting in.

In any event, I think you're almost always better off dropping a few gear inches, especially in an urban setting. But then I'm an old guy with old knees.
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Old 10-22-12, 08:15 PM   #15
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If you're doing good and everything is OK, why do you want to change gears? Just keep what is working for you....
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Old 10-22-12, 11:26 PM   #16
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Old 10-24-12, 07:52 PM   #17
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to be honest ill do about 25 - 35 miles a day everyday so you talking 110 - 160 miles a week every week, when i do bike tours i keep up with a lot of the roadies, but then again you have those roadies who ride every weekend 80 miles at least so those guys will burn me ez : )
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Old 10-26-12, 09:57 AM   #18
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Personally I would rather have the lower gear as I like to accelerate and brake (FG) hard and find my average speed is higher with a lower gear even if my peak speed is a little lower.

Learn to spin – you should be able to do 130rpm if you need to. Nothing wrong with sitting down when going up hill. If you want a challenge, challenge yourself to spin fast and smooth. That is something most bikers can do better at (especially the roadies).

That said, you are talking about changing from 69 to 73 gear inches. 73 inches is not too big for someone who does a lot of riding like you do. For the cost of a new cog, it is worth a try. 69 gear inches will definitely be easier on your knees.
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Old 10-29-12, 08:25 AM   #19
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good point
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