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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 02-06-05, 10:20 PM   #1
VeganRider
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Im new at fixed gear but I know when Im hooked, and oh man am I hooked. The bike came with 18x48. Is that gear too high to be ok for street ridding? Some here say its why I hurt myself, but I think its cause I tend to try to do too much too soon. Do others use gearing this high for the street? or should I get something lower? thanks......
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Old 02-06-05, 10:22 PM   #2
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I'm riding 48x18 and like it quite a bit. I also like 48x15, but I'm currently too soft for that. It really comes down to personal preference. If you think you'd be more comfortable pushing a lower gear, then go for it.
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Old 02-06-05, 10:30 PM   #3
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I've currently got 47x15 and think its pretty rad, skidding is pretty tough though. I have a blast on flats and downhills, but I totally lost the quick acceleration and stopping I had with the 42x15. I like a good workout these days though.
So, my suggestion? Try a lower gear and see how you like it - they both have their pros and cons (or maybe just pros or just cons, depending on what type of rider you are) and the only way you will know which to go with is to try it out yourself.
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Old 02-06-05, 10:32 PM   #4
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Yeah, like the man said, it's all about you.

I rock 48x16 on the streets, and I'm okay with that because I don't mind pushing up hills if it means I won't have to spin out on the other side (and still go fast). But by all means, hit up a smaller gear if you feel like it's hurting your knees. You can always go up if you find yourself spinning out.
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Old 02-06-05, 10:36 PM   #5
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48x18 is roughly equivalent to 42x16, or approximately 70 gear inches. If you look at the Fixed Gear Gallery, most of those bikes are at or above 70 gear inches, and many people feel very comfortable between 75 and 80 gear inches. If you need to figure out an easier combination, this website is helpful:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/
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Old 02-06-05, 10:37 PM   #6
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in the UNITED STATES, where do you live, veganrider? hilly? flat? that'll matter.
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Old 02-06-05, 10:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vomitron
Yeah, like the man said, it's all about you.

I rock 48x16 on the streets, and I'm okay with that because I don't mind pushing up hills if it means I won't have to spin out on the other side (and still go fast). But by all means, hit up a smaller gear if you feel like it's hurting your knees. You can always go up if you find yourself spinning out.
Hey you guys, Im sorry, I goofed, mine IS 48x16 (I just counted) not 48x18. I had a couple Mooseheads and it sorta f'ed me up; I can really feel it. Oh well. Your right about the speed, this baby sure can boogie and I have had her up some hills I use to train on with my geared road bike, my problem is learing to stop wthout a brake; seems like a different group of muscles that I havent gotten into yet.
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Old 02-06-05, 10:53 PM   #8
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Solution: put on a brake! Seriously, whatever the fixie-fundies say, there's nothing wrong with having a brake.
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Old 02-06-05, 11:12 PM   #9
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use a brake until you notice that you haven't used it in a few months. taking it off will be a really enjoyable rite of passage.
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Old 02-06-05, 11:22 PM   #10
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and, as we all know, 48/16 produces ONE skid spot. so, either

a) rotate your tire frequently
b) put on a front brake and rarely skid or
c) get a 17t cog

i would go for b and c. ride with a brake for a couple months and then take it off when you've mastered the skid/skip stop.
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Old 02-07-05, 12:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by habitus
and, as we all know, 48/16 produces ONE skid spot. so, either

a) rotate your tire frequently
b) put on a front brake and rarely skid or
c) get a 17t cog

i would go for b and c. ride with a brake for a couple months and then take it off when you've mastered the skid/skip stop.
Yep. I rock 42x14 which is pretty much the same as the 48x16 and gives one skid spot as well. I'm going with a 15t cog when I get my new wheelset. I was going to go with option b but skidding and skipping is so much fun.
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Old 02-07-05, 01:35 AM   #12
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What do you guys mean by "one skid spot"? I'm assuming that means the same spot on the tire is being skidded on? What causes that? Is there something about running an odd toothed cog that makes that not an issue. I'm currently running a 40x15. Havent really had a chance to toy with other gearing options, as this seems to work well, and I dont have extra gears to try.
And junioroverlord, you happen to have been riding the miracle mile on saturday night with a few other fixies?
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Old 02-07-05, 01:43 AM   #13
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no tengo, read this thread: New skid technique!
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Old 02-07-05, 03:16 AM   #14
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If you want to skid, just get a coaster brake.
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Old 02-07-05, 07:56 AM   #15
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I ran 48/16 for a while, now 47/16 and it's fine. I just wouldn't go brakeless, my knees are already a little messed up I think from years of skating.
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Old 02-07-05, 08:46 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by bostontrevor
I ran 48/16 for a while, now 47/16 and it's fine. I just wouldn't go brakeless, my knees are already a little messed up I think from years of skating.
My knees are pretty messed up too from years of skating. If you really wanted to, I don't think it would be a problem. I run 48x16 without brakes and it's just something I slowly acclimated myself to. I think my kness are stronger because I'm using both sides of my legs.
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Old 02-07-05, 09:17 AM   #17
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My knees are in the same boat, but they're trying to get out! I study Taiji & Bagua on the side to rehabilitate & condition the knees. I'd recommend some similar rehab to those with knee issues as well.


I think 48x16 is a pretty good ratio for starting out (if the riding conditions fit) but it seems the right balance for power. Not too heavy to push, gives good speed. Would consider losing a tooth for more skids too.
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Old 02-07-05, 09:23 AM   #18
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Consider a 17t and a brake.
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Old 02-07-05, 11:04 AM   #19
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I'm currently rocking the 52x16, but then I rarely skid, it just takes too much on my knees, I'll be going to 52x17 when my effing cog arives. oh yeah and mine is too steep to make it up some hills if I don't allready have momentum.
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Old 02-07-05, 12:16 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no tengo coche
What do you guys mean by "one skid spot"? I'm assuming that means the same spot on the tire is being skidded on? What causes that? Is there something about running an odd toothed cog that makes that not an issue. I'm currently running a 40x15. Havent really had a chance to toy with other gearing options, as this seems to work well, and I dont have extra gears to try.
And junioroverlord, you happen to have been riding the miracle mile on saturday night with a few other fixies?
Hrmmm...I..don't think so. Saturday I was cruising around Olvera st and Chinatown.
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Old 02-07-05, 12:52 PM   #21
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i run 45x16 and its a great gear for hills and flats but i do ride it with a brake. as soon as i get my 17t cog in, i will be running 45x17 brakeless on the track bike and 43x16 with a front brake on the road conversion.
its fun to be able to run much faster (with a higher gear ratio) but in the end id prefer to spin at a higher cadence and have a more controlled and balanced riding experience. youre not one with your bike if it can get away from you.
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Old 02-07-05, 01:05 PM   #22
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youre not one with your bike if it can get away from you.
Isn't that why you're strapped in?
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Old 02-07-05, 01:23 PM   #23
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figuratively not literally.

people that ride brakeless in gears too high for them can push it and go real fast quick but they cant stop real fast quick. its all about taking baby steps at first...
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Old 02-07-05, 04:18 PM   #24
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Nobody ever gets my jokes. I guess I need more smileys.
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Old 02-07-05, 04:29 PM   #25
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Nobody ever gets my jokes. I guess I need more smileys.
Welcome to the club.

Although with me I have a feeling it's just that my jokes aren't that funny.
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