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Fixed gear ratio - What do you prefer?

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Fixed gear ratio - What do you prefer?

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Old 11-04-14, 04:05 PM
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GypsysFire
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Fixed gear ratio - What do you prefer?

Hello,
Post #1 on BikeForums.

I am building up a "fixie" bike and would like to know what gear ratios YOU ride and why.
I've been researching this information on line, but it would be helpful to hear real experience and get some pointers.

Details of bike:

"74 Nishiki International 12-speed (Canadian made).
Spot 700c aluminum (V style) fixed-gear wheelset, with 700cx25 Thick Slicks

Details of self:
23
dude
6'4" (long freakin legs)
I have ridden a road bike for a few years. I typically ride 16 miles each way, to work (32 daily) about 2 times a week.
I usually prefer riding 51/15 on the roadbike, but I can coast....No more coasting soon.

I'm looking for a good ratio to start on and learn to skid stop, ect.

Thanks much for your input.
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Old 11-04-14, 04:21 PM
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Sixty Fiver
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I wrote this to help...

Uncle Sixty's Gearing Primer for Newbs
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Old 11-04-14, 04:32 PM
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DiabloScott
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There are really only two questions you need to ask yourself -
1. How fast can you pedal?
2. How fast do you want to go?
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Old 11-04-14, 04:40 PM
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acidfast7
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I live where it's mostly flat and can get by with 44-16-622.

I usually average between 28 and 32kph (around 18-20mph) so I spin a fair bit.

I'm a much better MTBer now as well after learning to ride a wide range of rpms.
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Old 11-04-14, 05:15 PM
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i started about six years ago in the high 50's. now i'm in the mid 70's.

need any chainrings?
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Old 11-04-14, 05:17 PM
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79pmooney
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I ride no higher than 48x18, 44x17 and 42x16. (I have three fixies.)

Features my fix gears have always had: 2 good brakes and toeclips and straps. I have had bad knees for 35 years and it is very obvious I have no business even trying to skid. (Funny story: I bought some very good gripping winter tires a few years ago that had just come out. Bought them from the shop in Portland that specializes in fix gears. Went back to report to the owner I liked them. He told me he was going to stop carrying them because other fixie riders were bring them back because they were getting injured trying to skid them. What a concept - to be able to initiate a stop, tires incapable of slowing quickly must be used! Here in Oregon, as long as your tire is slippery enough, you meet the law which states that you must be able to initiate a skid on all braked wheels.

Actually all this means little. We all established as kids how poor rear brakes are. (Those contests for the longest skid?) If you want to get old riding fixed gears, put on a front brake with a lever you can get to fast in an emergency. For me, that's drop bars and road brake levers front and rear.

Toeclips and straps? Because I NEVER want to pull just one foot off the pedal going 40. And at that speed, I have no idea what angle my foot is at. So I view riding fixed and clipless a near death wish. But with old fashioned slotted cleats (like our grandpas used) even if I do pull a cleat out, my foot is still in the toestrap. Drawback? I do fall over every once in a while strapped in. But it is always at a standstill. I'll take 20 of those over one at 40!

Ben (38 years of fixed gear)
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Old 11-04-14, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
i started about six years ago in the high 50's. now i'm in the mid 70's.
Scary, going from your high 50s to mid 70s in three years. I was that age 3 years ago. I was hoping for another 12 before I got there!

Ben
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Old 11-04-14, 05:35 PM
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I find that 70ish gear inches works well for commuting. 42x16 or 39x15 are common combinations to get that ratio.
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Old 11-04-14, 06:22 PM
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I got a fixed gear a couple of weeks ago. I started with 44/16, but that was too big of a gear for me. I changed it to 44/18 which I like a lot better for everything except going downhill.
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Old 11-04-14, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I ride no higher than 48x18, 44x17 and 42x16. (I have three fixies.)

Features my fix gears have always had: 2 good brakes and toeclips and straps. I have had bad knees for 35 years and it is very obvious I have no business even trying to skid. (Funny story: I bought some very good gripping winter tires a few years ago that had just come out. Bought them from the shop in Portland that specializes in fix gears. Went back to report to the owner I liked them. He told me he was going to stop carrying them because other fixie riders were bring them back because they were getting injured trying to skid them. What a concept - to be able to initiate a stop, tires incapable of slowing quickly must be used! Here in Oregon, as long as your tire is slippery enough, you meet the law which states that you must be able to initiate a skid on all braked wheels.

Actually all this means little. We all established as kids how poor rear brakes are. (Those contests for the longest skid?) If you want to get old riding fixed gears, put on a front brake with a lever you can get to fast in an emergency. For me, that's drop bars and road brake levers front and rear.

Toeclips and straps? Because I NEVER want to pull just one foot off the pedal going 40. And at that speed, I have no idea what angle my foot is at. So I view riding fixed and clipless a near death wish. But with old fashioned slotted cleats (like our grandpas used) even if I do pull a cleat out, my foot is still in the toestrap. Drawback? I do fall over every once in a while strapped in. But it is always at a standstill. I'll take 20 of those over one at 40!

Ben (38 years of fixed gear)
Thank you for the information, Ben.
I'm actually from Portland, but now live in Montana and will soon be moving to NJ.

I agree with the use of breaks. I dont plan to skid, as the only means of stopping.
I have a pair of road bike hand brakes on my bars, which are "North road'' bars, turned backwards. It's interesting, it gives it both "hoods" and a "bull bar" feel.

The one time I rode a fixed gear, my foot slipped off the pedal and it had cages...So, yes I have toestraps also.
The benefits of toe straps definitely out way the odd, untimely drawback.
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Old 11-04-14, 07:19 PM
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I just went on a decent ride with my junk (huffy) 27" roadbike and left it in 55/19.
I found the ratio to be easy enough, in the flat, if too comfortable. However, there arent any hills in town to try....

The Nishiki has a 51 & 48 chainring set
I have a 19t cog laying around.... So I wil compare them.

55/19 = 2.89 : 1
51/19 = 2.64 : 1
48/19 = 2.52 : 1

I'll test the other 2 combinations and share the results....
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Old 11-04-14, 07:40 PM
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For a long time I rode 40 x 19 with 27 inch wheels, when my commuter bike had a Bendix brake hub and the smaller ring from a road crank set. I could have gone faster with a longer gear, but my commute was just a mile and had a couple of hellacious hills. Plus it was on a college campus, so my speed was generally limited by traffic.
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Old 11-04-14, 07:58 PM
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I like mine around 68-70 gear inches , perfect for rolling terrain and city commuting... I also have another fixed gear bike which I use during cold snowy winters, it is set up with 58 gear inches .
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