Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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)

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 11-25-12, 09:50 PM   #1
sinikl
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Durham NC
Bikes: Kilo TT, Felt z85, Kona Unit 2-9, 90s Schwinn 9.3 with Noleen fork
Posts: 503
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Gearing question: to downgear or no

I'm out of shape (getting back, tho) and riding my 2012 Kilo TT with the stock gearing, 44x16. This post is not about gear inch charts -- found those, no prob there -- but "feel" of riding different gearings. FYI i'm 6'1 and 270, down from 280 a few wks ago, so believe me when i say i'm out of shape. Without the bike i'd be 100 percent sedentary (IT job, yadda).

Debating about going up to a 44x17 or 18 for the following reasons...

PRO (go to a 17 cog):
-When i'm tired, which i frequently am, commuting daily and trying to get a night ride in (see: legs out of shape), i can't really get into the cadence i want without killing myself to get there and stay there. And we are not talking about major hills, either. When I do, i am moving pretty well (>20 mph) but can't sustain it for more than 2-3 miles.
-Would make braking/skidding easier (I run a brake and use it, but i am trying to slow myself with resistance pedalling, skipping or skidding whenever possible to build up my legs)
-On the rare occasions where my legs feel good, i really like being on a faster cadence. I just can only do that a few times/wk currently (skip a day commuting, etc).
-I would like to ride farther without cashing my legs as early. I did a loop 2x tonight and found that i was MUCH weaker on the second trip, and i can't help myself from trying to ride fast/hard/on the cadence i want on the first leg of the loop... and then i'm draggin on the second trip.

CON:
-Taller gear ratio -- smaller cog (relatively speaking) -- is making my legs demonstrably stronger faster (could not skip or skid when i got the thing, now can. Can climb hills that used to require me to stand, now climbing seated). "Just be patient and you'll get there," in other words.
-If i do stand up, i don't feel the need to sit as soon as i probably would with a smaller cog. I find myself kind of trapped between standing up and sitting... if i stand and sprint my legs are spent when i try to spin seated. This may just be i'm out of shape. Well hell, it all is, but i'm sayin.. . I hate being out of the saddle on this thing because i feel like my legs are done in 15 sec.
-If i downgear (upsize cog) i will be limiting my speed on the flat.

What say you guys?
sinikl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-12, 10:00 PM   #2
hairnet
Fresh Garbage
 
hairnet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Los Angeles
Bikes:
Posts: 12,436
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
Cant hurt to try the 17.

I dont really like going over 70 gear inches. A long time ago I played with 42/18 and it was too low to really do anything.

Last edited by hairnet; 11-25-12 at 10:03 PM.
hairnet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-12, 10:07 PM   #3
Spoonrobot 
Senior Member
 
Spoonrobot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 1,558
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
You'll most likely be faster on the flats with a one-step lower gearing.

Use larger gearing for shorter/interval-focused rides and racing. Smaller gearing for just riding along. For most humans, riding a fixed gear on the road, 68-72" is the sweet spot. It just works.
Spoonrobot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-12, 10:24 PM   #4
carleton
Elitist
 
carleton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Bikes:
Posts: 13,067
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
When in doubt, go to the smaller gear ratio. It would be easier to start and stop and easier on the legs.

Yeah, you'll be slightly slower. But that's OK.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by gtrob View Post
Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
carleton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-12, 11:09 PM   #5
caloso
Packfodding 3
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Bikes: Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper
Posts: 33,615
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 55 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by carleton View Post
When in doubt, go to the smaller gear ratio. It would be easier to start and stop and easier on the legs.

Yeah, you'll be slightly slower. But that's OK.
That's my answer too.
caloso is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-12, 11:21 PM   #6
sinikl
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Durham NC
Bikes: Kilo TT, Felt z85, Kona Unit 2-9, 90s Schwinn 9.3 with Noleen fork
Posts: 503
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i'm ok with slower. i feel as fast as my legs go round, if you get me... slow cadence feels slow to me. trying to use this fixed gear to break 60 or less rpm habits i learned on MTBs.
sinikl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-12, 12:07 AM   #7
BigglyPuff
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Bikes:
Posts: 1,275
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I ain't even bother reading all that. If you're thinking about gearing down, you probably should try it if you can afford it.

Do us all a favor and give us a cliff notes version at the beginning or end or something.
BigglyPuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-12, 01:02 PM   #8
jdgesus 
sɹɐʇsɟoןןnɟsʇıbɟɯo
 
jdgesus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: seattle, too many links
Bikes: fixed gear recumbent trike
Posts: 3,990
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i did 48/49 - 17 most of 2012 (hoping to get faster/stronger)
im going back to 48-19 as soon as my new fork is done.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by yummygooey View Post
crabon/campy/rapha/roadie-bro.

next step is recumbent.




my bikes | bike blog | beer blog | work 1 | work 2
jdgesus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-12, 01:45 PM   #9
ThermionicScott 
Gratuitous glib and snark
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers)
Posts: 13,169
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
You'll most likely be faster on the flats with a one-step lower gearing.

Use larger gearing for shorter/interval-focused rides and racing. Smaller gearing for just riding along. For most humans, riding a fixed gear on the road, 68-72" is the sweet spot. It just works.
I like this range, too. Easy to get going from a stop, and decent top end.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:46 AM.