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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 07-08-14, 08:18 AM   #1
Bklyn
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Prouty Century Fixed

Is anybody familiar with the Prouty century in New Hampshire? I've got friends up there who are doing the ride, and I was invited along. They're kind of novices, so I have no doubt I can hang with them. But I'm riding fixed (48x17), and I can't tell from this elevation chart if this is a bad idea. Maybe I should go singlespeed?
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Old 07-08-14, 02:52 PM   #2
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I usually do centuries on 48x18, but I usually have between 2,500 and 7,000 ft climbing. Given that total gain is only 838ft, you should be fine with 48x17. Good luck.

(And of course, I say this without knowledge of your cycling history or current fitness level).
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Old 07-08-14, 02:59 PM   #3
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A good idea if you have a flip flop hub is a 19T on the other side in case you lose too much steam for 17T mid-way.
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Old 07-08-14, 03:24 PM   #4
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Palu, thanks. I'm pretty stoic, and I've been commuting fixed for about 9 years now. I'm fatter these days, but even more stubborn. And Leukybear, I thought of that, but the other cog is a 16, and the ride's in a week, so...
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Old 07-08-14, 04:11 PM   #5
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@Bklyn - Hey, are you sure you've got the right elevation map?

According to this, you're looking at about 3k ft for the 100 miler.

http://theprouty.org/wp-content/uplo...ofiles.sw_.pdf

Gearing wise, I'd go 18T and go with a 19 or 20T Freewheel on the flop side.
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Old 07-08-14, 05:28 PM   #6
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I think these maps are from the same site. But I'm now alarmed. Maybe I'll pick up an 18T. It's a century; I don't really see myself spinning out madly on the flats, but at the same time, 48x18 is going to be exhausting going downhill....

Thanks for all your help.
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Old 07-08-14, 05:44 PM   #7
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46X16 fixed.
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Old 07-14-14, 03:48 PM   #8
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Again, thanks to all. I was suitably alarmed and swapped out the 16T for an 18T. That was a very good idea. There are some serious hills around the border between New Hampshire and Vermont, it turns out. I'm not sure I would have finished the ride without an 18T cog. (On the other hand, the downhills were deadly!)

I'd recommend the Prouty to anyone, but I seemed to be a real minority there. I didn't see a single bike without a derailleur, and those few who noticed me — probably wondering why the hell I was bombing up every hill so fast — all commented on my "singlespeed." I was too out of breath to stress the distinction.
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Old 07-15-14, 08:36 AM   #9
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I find 45x17 a challenge on longer hills. You guys are monsters. Respect.
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