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  1. #1
    Pants are for suckaz HandsomeRyan's Avatar
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    What size cog for fixed gear in Knoxville, TN?

    I just ordered a new bike with a SS/Fixed flipflop hub. The SS gearing is 48/16 which seems a little steep to me but the ability to freewheel might make this gearing okay. I want to go ahead and order a cog so I can try the bike as a fixie right away but since I've never ridden fixed before I'm not sure what kind of gearing I should be aiming for? I would post this in SS/FG but I find that forum to be somewhat unhelpful and I figured locals would better understand the terrain I'm planning to ride over (hills).

    I'm trying to avoid buying a new chainring so the 'fixed' gearing should be 48t x ??t. It doesn't seem like it makes a huge difference but I believe the crank arms are 165's.

    Locals, what would you suggest?

  2. #2
    Pants are for suckaz HandsomeRyan's Avatar
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    I ordered an 18 tooth cog that should get me down to about 70 gear inches. I think it'll still make a man out of me but it should be more manageable than the 16 tooth that comes with the bike.

  3. #3
    Free Velo Vol! Velo Vol's Avatar
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    I recommend multiple gears.

    Sorry, I've never tried fixed. As you know, the terrain varies widely depending on where you ride. The farther out you ride from town, the more you have to contend with ridges.

  4. #4
    Pants are for suckaz HandsomeRyan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Vol View Post
    I recommend multiple gears.
    Funny you should mention this.

    I was very close to ordering myself a shiny new Kona Sutra steel framed touring bike (w/ many gears) but the retail is about $1,200 so it would be over $1,300 after taxes and everything. I decided I didn't have that much extra cash laying around so I used what I call "Wife Logic" and saved $900+ by buying a $350 bike that I don't really need instead of buying the $1,300 bike I don't really need.

    I've got a greenway bike and a mountain bike that I can ride if I expect a lot of hills. I needed an excuse to embrace my inner hipster though and I felt a fixie was the best way to do it. Now I just need to start smoking clove cigarettes, stop wearing a helmet, and begin buying all my clothes at the thrift store.

  5. #5
    Steel Member fiataccompli's Avatar
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    you mean you can buy clothes at other stores? lol. I'm building a fixed gear bike (what? you can buy those things?....just kidding) & using 16t on the rear and probably the 42t chainring that's on the bike that it's morphing from as a start. In time, i'm sure I will experiment. Oh, yeah, I'm here in no-flat-ground Knoxville also....I have plenty of gears on my other bikes. I have to admit, that doing some research on an old Pinarello I was planning on buying (and keeping with gears), I found Sheldon Brown's site & ended up reading about why he likes fixed gear riding....so I had to try it. The 'hip' aspect is a minor bummer if anything in my mind, but I've never been much of a costumer for biking (neither hip, nor road warrior) anyway. There are some links to a nice gearing chart (for length + skid patches, in case you anticipate getting into that as an 'issue') over on the SS/FG forum.

  6. #6
    slow as I ever was Ex Pres's Avatar
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    Down here in Birmingham, AL we have a few hills and I ride my SS 44*16, about 72 gi, and my fixed gear 48*16, about 79 gi. My fixed gear has a fixed/fixed hub, and I have an 18t (70 gi) cog on the other side, but haven't used it yet.

    I'm still not the strongest rider, and some of the Cat 2/3/4 guys here zip around and up hills 50*15, but that ain't me; and I can't even ride my singles up any of the big hills, but they're lots of fun on the "flatter" rides we have.
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  7. #7
    Pants are for suckaz HandsomeRyan's Avatar
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    Happy Bike Day to me!

    My new bike arrived yesterday a full week before I expected it to even ship from the factory! The 48/16 gearing is a little steep but not nearly as bad as I thought. I think my new cog will arrive today.

    Riding fixed is going to take some getting used to. I didn't crash yet but I certainly don't have my "sea legs" for it yet. I can see how it makes the rider much more aware of what the bike is doing while they ride.

    Oh, the bike is a Motobecane Messenger (orange pearl paint that looks 1,000 times better in person than in pictures) that I'm 'upgrading' with a set of 42cm pursuit bars, cane creek 200tt brake levers, and an 18tooth IRO cog for about 70 gear inches.

  8. #8
    JIB
    JIB is offline
    Rollin' on dubs since '77 JIB's Avatar
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    Keep us posted on your impression of the bike, Ryan. I've been looking at those for a while as something to ride around town up here in Bristol. I would probably spend more time on the freewheel side because I'm lazy, but I would like to hear your impressions of riding fixed as a beginner.
    "Roll me over and turn me around. Let me keep spinnin' 'til I hit the ground."-Thin Lizzy-"Cowboy Song"

  9. #9
    Pants are for suckaz HandsomeRyan's Avatar
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    Okay, I've been riding the bike for about a week now and I must say that my biggest regret is not trying this sooner! Riding a fixed gear bike adds a whole new dimension to my riding that makes even the same trip up the greenway and back feel fresh and exciting. I think that ALL cyclists should try riding fixed gear at least once just for the experience.

    I haven't gotten the new bars/brakes put on yet and the bars are adjusted at a weird angle since I'm only riding on the brake hoods but here are a couple pics:





    So far I've added some SPD pedals, upgraded to an 18T IRO track cog, and removed the rear brake. I'm waiting on some pursuit style bars and aero brake levers right now and I'm replacing the saddle soon.

    My impressions of the bike:

    The paint color is awesome, these pictures can't capture the orange pearl color that really catches your eye in the sunlight. The welds all seem to be okay and the frame feels very light compared to my other bikes. The geometry makes the steering noticably "twitchier" than my MTB or hybird bikes but not in an unpleasent way, more like the difference between a racing and a cruiser motorcycle. For Knoxville riding I'm glad I went with the 18t fixed cog as 70ish gear inches is about perfect for local riding without the ability to freewheel. I have a 16t freewheel which I haven't used yet but I can flip it without adjusting the chain length. 78ish gear inches on the freewheel should be okay since I don't have to pedal down the hills too. My longest ride so far was about 15 miles from "the abandoned Bi-Lo" to Ijams Nature Center and back and I only stopped there because I was running out of daylight. I purchased the bike thinking it would force me to ride slower so I could ride with my wife more and still get a good workout. I was mistaken; this bike is a weapon. It easily rides as fast if not faster than my "greenway bike" [Raleigh Detour Deluxe]. It is easier to ride slowly since you don't have to freewheel and nurse the brakes like on a multi-spped bike, you can just pedal slower.

    Overall I'm very satisfied with what I got for the money I paid.

    I'll try to get some new pics up once I get the new bars on.

  10. #10
    Free Velo Vol! Velo Vol's Avatar
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    Nice color scheme. Not quite the right shade of orange, but close.

  11. #11
    Pants are for suckaz HandsomeRyan's Avatar
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    I was riding with another forum member through "Forks of the River" wildlife preserve last night and after hearing a couple *** shots I was glad to be riding a blaze orange bike!

    Riding 'Fixed' is awesome, you'll have to give it a try sometime VeloVol.

    I need to get some outdoor "artsy" shots but here it is in my poorly-lit basement.




  12. #12
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    bullhorns

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