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I finally did it!!! 1 gear!!!

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I finally did it!!! 1 gear!!!

Old 09-09-14, 09:44 AM
  #1  
miggy_smalls
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I finally did it!!! 1 gear!!!

So earlier this summer I wanted an additional bike beside my road bike to kick around the neighborhoods and cart my kids around in the trailer and whatnot. So I picked up a Fyxation Eastside singlespeed/fixed gear bike. Its been fun just cruising around putting on maybe 5 miles at most at a time while taking the kids on bike rides and such but I was too afraid to really make a ride out of her.

Well this morning I finally did it. I decided to take her out for a decent ride. Went 10 miles on one of my bike routes and I survived. Not terribly hilly but enough to notice. I'm still riding on the freewheel not the fixed(I'm not ready for that yet ) But I really wasnt wiped out or anything. I felt pretty darn good. Tomorrows goal is to commute to work and back with it.

I know that this should probably go in the singlespeed forum but I am a clyde and from just struggling to bike last summer to this summer riding on one speed for 10 miles I just had to share.

I do have a question. My current gear ratio is 46x17 and I noticed that I can really only sustain about 75-85 rpms on the flats. Is there a better gear ratio to get me spinning around 85-95? Or should i just keep pushing harder?
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Old 09-09-14, 10:03 AM
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Here's a gear calculator I use. I'm running a 44/17 on my FG/SS which puts me at ~19 MPH in the 85-95 RPM range. A good day commuting is a ~18+ average. When I got my FG 2 years ago I struggled to do much over 84 RPM but have worked my way up. My fear of gearing down was I'd settle for less even though the cadence would be up. With my personality I'd say leave it where it is and go for it

Edit: Oh, I live in the flaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat land.
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Old 09-09-14, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by bbeasley View Post
Here's a gear calculator I use. I'm running a 44/17 on my FG/SS which puts me at ~19 MPH in the 85-95 RPM range. A good day commuting is a ~18+ average. When I got my FG 2 years ago I struggled to do much over 84 RPM but have worked my way up. My fear of gearing down was I'd settle for less even though the cadence would be up. With my personality I'd say leave it where it is and go for it

Edit: Oh, I live in the flaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat land.
It's flatter than that down there...
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Old 09-09-14, 03:10 PM
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I don't know anything about single gear bikes, but what is the advantage of not being able to shift gears?? I have only been riding 6-8 months or so, but couldn't imagine trying to ride without at least 10 speeds.
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Old 09-09-14, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by LGHT View Post
what is the advantage of not being able to shift gears??
riding style....you have to attack everything
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Old 09-09-14, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by LGHT View Post
I don't know anything about single gear bikes, but what is the advantage of not being able to shift gears?? I have only been riding 6-8 months or so, but couldn't imagine trying to ride without at least 10 speeds.
There's a couple of things going on here. These bikes are SS = single speed and FG = Fixed Gear, you flip the wheel to pick either SS or FG. They are much cheaper than geared bikes. Other than cost, the advantage of SS is simplicity and less maintenance. Not to exciting for me.

Fixed Gear is another story. You can't coast, if the rear wheel is turning so are the pedals. This is a much more connected feel, it's great fun. It's also a very good workout. If you're in the habit of pedal/coast/pedal/coast a FG will break you of that habit or break you.

Both bikes will help you work your legs over a wide range of cadences.

I always commute on my FG unless it's wet then I switch to SS. I've done 2 Century rides on my FG.

I thought FG was for lunatics until I rode one. After the first ride, I bought one within two weeks, not sure what that says about me. I think you have to ride one to get it and ride it long enough to get comfortable on it.

Last edited by bbeasley; 09-09-14 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 09-09-14, 03:51 PM
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I learn something on this forum every day.
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Old 09-09-14, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by bbeasley View Post
There's a couple of things going on here. These bikes are SS = single speed and FG = Fixed Gear, you flip the wheel to pick either SS or FG. They are much cheaper than geared bikes. Other than cost, the advantage of SS is simplicity and less maintenance. Not to exciting for me.

Fixed Gear is another story. You can't coast, if the rear wheel is turning so are the pedals. This is a much more connected feel, it's great fun. It's also a very good workout. If you're in the habit of pedal/coast/pedal/coast a FG will break you of that habit or break you.

Both bikes will help you work your legs over a wide range of cadences.

I always commute on my FG unless it's wet then I switch to SS. I've done 2 Century rides on my FG.

I thought FG was for lunatics until I rode one. After the first ride, I bought one within two weeks, not sure what that says about me. I think you have to ride one to get it and ride it long enough to get comfortable on it.
Ahhhh thanks for the clarification. I always wondered what the difference in those 2 were. I do have a habit and riding hard coasting and repeating. I couldn't imagine not having that luxury, but I also have little to no cadence either so that may be a good thing.
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Old 09-09-14, 05:05 PM
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After looking for about 6 weeks, I ordered an Eighthinch Scrambler SS/FG, which should be delivered Thursday. To prepare, I just haven't shifted gears in a couple of weeks. Really looking forward to it.
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Old 09-09-14, 06:29 PM
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I use Sheldon Brown's gear calculator. Remember wheel and tire size will affect the result. I'm a flat lander and my regular commuters/transpo bikes are:

Fair Weather: FG Road Bike, 700x32 tires, 48x17 gearing = 20.4mph at 90rpm
Foul Weather: SS Mtb, 26x2.15 tires, 44x16 gearing = 19.1mph at 90rpm
Folding Bike: SS Folder, 20x1.75 tires, 44x14 gearing = 15.7mph at 90rpm

You will see the gear ratio is much higher on the folding bike, yet it is 'easier' due to the small wheel diameter. My rule of thumb is be realistic about how fast you ride on a geared bike. What is your 'normal' top maintainable speed? Take that and back-calculate what you need to hit that speed at 90rpm. I'm usually around 20mph and so have selected the above gearing.

I would suggest anyone interested in SSFG lurk in the SSFG forum; remember: lurk.

Originally Posted by miggy_smalls View Post
I do have a question. My current gear ratio is 46x17 and I noticed that I can really only sustain about 75-85 rpms on the flats. Is there a better gear ratio to get me spinning around 85-95? Or should i just keep pushing harder?
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Old 09-10-14, 08:33 AM
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For me I originally didnt set out to get a SS/FG when I was looking for an extra bike, but when I went to a bike expo and saw some of the bikes there I really dug the style of it and the simplicity and price. Plus I figured why not try something different. I really enjoy it and have tried the fixed gear once but it is going to take some getting used to for that one. I can definitely tell after having pulled my 3 & 1 year old in a trailer with this bike that its improved my leg strength this summer. I think my favorite part about this bike is not having to worry about anything and just riding it.

Thanks for the gearing calculators. I'll look into that some more. Ive been doing pretty good with what I have but I figured I could use those as a guide if I want to change it up.
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Old 09-10-14, 05:10 PM
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You might want to peruse the stickies in the SS/FG forum.
There's a wealth of information there...answers to questions you have yet to ask!
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