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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 11-23-13, 03:59 PM   #1
RyuMaster
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Fixed bike with high speed!

Hi there! The story is simple: friend of my friend of my friend bought a fixed-gear bike, separately the frame, the wheels, some special kind of pedals, and I've heard that he can ride up to 60 kmh. Now, I need some help to re-create his story =) I plan to travel a lot this summer, many hundreds of kilometres around the Europe, so I want to choice a solid bike, with low maintenance problems and high speed.

Is that really possible to get a hand on a fixed-gear bike, capable cycling up to of 60 kmh on a good straight road? I'm lighweight person, and I'm strong, and probably 30 kmh would make me more then happy as 60 kmh sounds kinda unrealistic =)

What kind of frame should I look for? Is weight really that important for the speed? Or I should invest more into the wheels? And what chain length is optimal for my needs?

There is dozzilion of information on the internet, but somehow I feel it is better to start my research from a topic like this, as I can't tell where is marketing info, and where is not.

I don't mind investing good amount of money into the bike, I just want to make sure that I'll buy essential upgrade, but not some fancy stuff.

Maybe there are some good full-sets I should consider looking into, or building bike by parts is more practical and cheaper?

Thanks!
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Old 11-23-13, 04:29 PM   #2
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http://www.cervelo.com/en/bikes/t-series/t1.html
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Old 11-23-13, 06:53 PM   #3
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As much as I hate janky, clanky, constantly needing adjustment derailleurs, I would have to recommend a multi speed bike if you want quick speeds of any kind, fastest I've ever gotten a single speed bike up on a flat stretch to is 31 mph, not sure what that equates to in kph but that was with a 48/14 gear if i'm not mistaken. If not on the track, I've always thought of single speeds on the street as a quick city bike of sorts.
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Old 11-23-13, 07:04 PM   #4
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I'm pretty sure you would want a touring bike instead...
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Old 11-23-13, 07:06 PM   #5
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If this is actually a serious request and it's something you plan to use for long distance touring, the essential truth is this: Any single speed bike capable of that kind of speed on flat road, will come to a grinding halt on the first ascent of any significance. Load it up for touring, and the effect will be all the more immediate.
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Old 11-23-13, 07:46 PM   #6
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I did 60kph on a loaner bike during a velodrome newbie clinic. It was an old Schwinn if I recall. But I wouldn't recommend it for the OP. Since they have hills in Europe, I think I'd recommend a touring or road bike, not a fixed gear.
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Old 11-23-13, 07:47 PM   #7
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http://surlybikes.com/bikes/long_haul_trucker
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Old 11-23-13, 07:57 PM   #8
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I had my Hillbrick geared at 48x19 (a modest 66 gi). I could easily hold speeds of 40km/hr on the flat, could pull 50km/hr with a slight downhill but my hr would start to rise and touched 60km/hr belting down a monster hill on my commute ... with a cadence around 180 and my heart rate monitor having hysterics. I could not ride back up that hill.

I've now fitted a Sturmey Archer S3X hub with second gear geared to be around that 66 gi mark. I can travel flat and rolling roads like I used to and at similar speeds as I do on my geared bike, I can now belt down that big hill at similar speeds to my geared bike (70km/hr +) but still can't haul myself back up that damned hill, the gearing is just too high for me. I do it on the geared bike using a 30 front and a 32 rear.

You can tour on a fixed gear and lots of people do it. You need to use moderate gears and just accept that belting down hills is a game for short periods and getting up steep hills will probably involve walking and resting.

Gears give you a wider operating range, that's all. If you want to ride fixed, you need to recognise the restrictions and work with them.
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Old 11-23-13, 09:20 PM   #9
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I've done a lot of long rides fixed, even some fairly loaded (not quite as long!) ones. My long distance fixie has a 42x16 and I have gotten it over 60 kph *downhill*, for short distances. You can retail cover a lot of round, I you are willing to accept that as soon as it is not flat, you will be going slower (and sometimes a LOT) slower than if you had gears.

But as to what to get, the single most important thing for a bike you will spend all day on every day is that it's comfortable, and it fits. Weight starts to matter less when you're on a longer trip, especially if you're carrying your stuff anyway. If a fixed drive train is what you want then go for it, but buy a frame and the rest of the parts for what the actual use is, not for what drive train it has. In other words, a good fixed gear long distance bike has more in common with a good geared long distance bike than it does with a track bike.
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Old 11-23-13, 09:35 PM   #10
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Touring over hundreds and thousands of km requires a different type of bicycle than one that is specifically designed for high speed riding... 60kmh is a speed one would attain in a sprint and is not one that can be sustained over any great time or distance.

60kmh is 37mph... extremely fit and strong cyclists can hit this on flat ground.

With the aid of gravity your top speed only depends on the grade, distance, and weight of your balls.
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Old 11-24-13, 12:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
Touring over hundreds and thousands of km requires a different type of bicycle than one that is specifically designed for high speed riding... 60kmh is a speed one would attain in a sprint and is not one that can be sustained over any great time or distance.

60kmh is 37mph... extremely fit and strong cyclists can hit this on flat ground.

With the aid of gravity your top speed only depends on the grade, distance, and weight of your balls.
Ooo, I like the highlighted bit.

He's right though. Long distance riding has little to with speed.

Now for some interesting reading - http://leaveonlytreadmarks.wordpress...-gear-touring/
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Old 11-24-13, 06:31 AM   #12
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycling...-paced_records

With the right support, you should be able to manage 100 mph easily. As a practical matter, sustained speeds of 60 mph are well out of reach of any touring cyclist on any bike. Sustained speeds of 30 mph riding alone fully loaded would be out of reach also.
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Old 11-24-13, 09:29 AM   #13
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Ha! Fully loaded I averaged about 12mph (19kmh) for ~1,000 miles. It's about the journey, not the destination.
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Old 11-24-13, 11:33 AM   #14
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Friend of a friend of a friend goes 60kmh on a fixed gear? Is that friend of a friend of a friend named Sir Chris Hoy?
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Old 11-24-13, 12:36 PM   #15
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http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...ord_deluxe.htm

I bought one of these for my dad for his birthday in May. Unfortunately I've put more miles on it than he has, but it's a nice ride. The 3 speeds have a pretty big difference, enough so that the top gear is actually a pretty tough push and the bottom is nearly impossible to use on flat ground but makes small hills easy while remaining seated. The fenders work well and the rear rack is very solid. I haven't put too much weight on it, but it never feels unsteady. I'm not sure that it's the right thing for touring really, but it has comfort and gearing without a derailleur
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