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Enjoying My Fixed Gear Cruiser @65 years

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Enjoying My Fixed Gear Cruiser @65 years

Old 09-01-20, 04:55 AM
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Pameelamb
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Enjoying My Fixed Gear Cruiser @65 years

With cooler temps coming to Durham soon, my fixed gear beach cruiser is ready to roll. I've never appreciated it as much as I have this year, with the pandemic and all. It affords me a full body workout without having to visit a gym. I'm a 65 year old grandmother by the way. No gears means having to stand and pump the bike to get up hills or I sit to give the abs a burn. Let me know if you know what I'm talking about.
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Old 09-01-20, 06:53 AM
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My head says, "Intereting..."
My heart says, "Go, Pameelamb , go!"
My 58 year old knees say, "Fixed gear?...not on your life!"

I always say, if you're going to go kicking and screaming, may as well put a bike between your legs.

Safe and happy riding!
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Old 09-01-20, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Pameelamb View Post
With cooler temps coming to Durham soon, my fixed gear beach cruiser is ready to roll. I've never appreciated it as much as I have this year, with the pandemic and all. It affords me a full body workout without having to visit a gym. I'm a 65 year old grandmother by the way. No gears means having to stand and pump the bike to get up hills or I sit to give the abs a burn. Let me know if you know what I'm talking about.
I sure enjoy a good success story from a new member.
To clear up a few things though:
  1. You have ONE gear, not "no gears".
  2. You probably have a single speed, not a fixed gear. This is just jargon though.
  3. If your abs are burning, you're probably doing something wrong.
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Old 09-01-20, 03:23 PM
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Single speed cruiser with coaster brake?
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Old 09-01-20, 03:23 PM
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Hey, welcome to BF. It's great you can ride that, but it sounds like you are doing what the owners of the Schwinn bike shop told me and everyone else not to do back in the late 60's when I was pre-teen.

They always stressed that bikes shouldn't be hard to pedal. They are not for working out your leg muscles, they are for working out your heart muscle. Strength training for legs, arms and other muscle groups are better done in the gym.

Having to strain too much to pedal isn't good for knees. And at my age, I still want my knees in good shape. But certainly enjoy the bike and ride. But use if for it's purpose of leisurely riding. If your terrain around you is hilly enough to make you strain, then I do recommend a bike with multiple gears, whether internally geared or externally geared.

As for the abs burning.... I'm puzzled too. Bikes generally don't work the abs.
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Old 09-02-20, 05:49 PM
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"No gears" is how most of us in a certain part of the USA did refer to and distinguish any bicycle that did not have provision to change the operational gear ratio while riding it.

We also did often refer to them as fixed gear to differentiate them from the 2 speeds, and 3 speeds, and even the then very new 10 speeds that began to be widely seen in those days.

It does have a "fixed gear" in that you cannot change the single speed gearing.........thus it is fixed as in Unchangeable or Permanent......and you do have that one gear that is "fixed" as it is a single speed (with a gear ratio THAT CAN'T BE CHANGED Unless you take apart the bicycle and swap at least one of the chain crank wheel cogs for a different size that results in the combination being a different gear ratio) THIS IS RELATIVELY EASY ON MOST CLASSIC BEACH CRUISER TYPE BICYCLES!!
You don't need to ever do that in most circumstances because the majority of old classic beach cruisers typically had the near-perfect compromise relationship of front crank wheel teeth and number of teeth on the rear wheel's cog.

Here is what you can do if you're interested in knowing what your Gear Ratio on your bike actually is.
DIVIDE THE NUMBER OF TEETH ON FRONT PEDAL CRANK SPROCKET by The NUMBER OF TEETH ON THE REAR WHEEL'S SPROCKET.

so the number on front pedal crank sprocket is NUMERATOR and number on the rear wheel's sprocket is DENOMINATOR

Example: 45 teeth on front crank and 15 teeth on rear wheel
45 divided by 15 equals 3

You take that result that you got by dividing the FRONT CRANK by the REAR SPROCKET and YOU Multiply that by the DIAMETER IN INCHES OF THE WHEEL to get the "GEAR NUMBER"

So for that example from above 45 divided by 15 = 3
-----the bike has 27 inch wheel----- so for our example 3 X 27 = 81 GEAR

( IF YOUR BICYCLE HAS 27'' tires or 700C tires..............USE 27 as the diameter in inches for wheel size..........IF YOUR BICYCLE has 26" tires or 650 , 650 b, 650c, 650a ..etc USE 26 as the diameter in inches for wheel size )


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you take that gear number and then multiply by pi (3.14) , that result is the Distance The Bike Travels in INCHES with each revolution of the pedals.
You then convert from INCHES to FEET to get something that gives you a more meaningful comparison

keeping with our example from above: 3 X 27 = 81 GEAR
81 GEAR X pi = distance in inches the bike travels with each pedal revolution
81 X 3.14 = 254 inches
254 inches = 20 feet travelled with each pedal revolution
254 divided by 12 (because there are 12 inches in a foot...) = approximately 20 feet


This example was just to show you an easy computation.
An 81 GEAR is NOT SUITABLE FOR a fixed-gear(single speed) bicycle "with no gears".
My suggestion is that some single number within the range of 46 GEAR to 57 GEAR is likely a good choice for a typical beach cruiser.
As you know, closer to 46 GEAR gives you better HILL CLIMBING but your top speed potential will be limited compared to something closer to the 57 GEAR range.
You certainly can go outside that suggested range, but that off the top of my head is something acceptable.
Folks with pool table flat areas with no hills at all could maybe go larger numerically than say 57 GEAR but that would depend on their physical fitness.
THE IMPORTANT THING WHEN CONSIDERING A "no gears" BEACH CRUISER IS TO COMPARE THEIR "fixed" from the factory GEARING.
You can easily change either the rear wheel's sprocket OR/AND the front Crankwheel on many ancient beach cruisers with ashtabula one piece cranks and coaster brakes.
NOW THAT YOU KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT HOW TO CALCULATE AND COMPARE the gear ratio in 'gear inches' which is referred to as GEAR as you saw in the example above.
There are some massive sellers on the bay based out of the Long Beach, Los Angeles, and Downey Calif areas that sell everything you can imagine for the repair, restoration and customization of classic beach cruiser coaster brake bicycles. You are practically unlimited in the ability to dial in the sweet spot for the gear ratio of any cruiser/antique coaster brake bicycle. I say practically because although you may have MORE potential varied combinations of teeth sizing front versus rear.......there is a practical limit on what actually is suitable given the size and overall weight and the physical fitness of the rider of that beach cruiser.

A "no gear" ---'fixed" beach cruiser is a heck of a lot of fun to ride if you like a comfortable slow cruise where you really take in the sights. THERE ARE SERIOUS PRACTICAL LIMITS AS FAR AS THE TOP SPEED THAT YOU'D EVER WISH TO REACH WHEN YOU ARE RELYING ON COASTER BRAKES, SO YOU DON'T WANT TO TRY TO MAKE IT A SPEEDSTER AND YOU DON'T WANT TO RIDE DOWN VERY STEEP HILLS. "No Gear"/fixed Beach Cruisers are fun and if the gear ratio is good for you.......why worry about anthing else...............simple is good if you enjoy it.....................you'll get quality exercise probably more than you would have from a multi-gear bike...............just be careful that you don't overdoo it.........it is certainly okay to walk the bike up steep hills and you probably may not want to chance riding down very very steep hills either because you have to have room to slow down and stop, but also remember that if the chain pops off and your on a coaster brake bicycle going downhill......you don't want that. No matter how slow you'll go, wear a helmet, even a inexpensive brand new chinese helmet ordered direct from shen zhen or hong kong is good enough, as is any helmet that Walmart or Target carries. Have fun and ride often when the days are nice enough!
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Old 09-03-20, 04:06 AM
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Pameelamb, I have no issues with your first post's descriptive terminology as long as you are having fun!!!
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Old 09-03-20, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Pameelamb View Post
With cooler temps coming to Durham soon, my fixed gear beach cruiser is ready to roll. I've never appreciated it as much as I have this year, with the pandemic and all. It affords me a full body workout without having to visit a gym. I'm a 65 year old grandmother by the way. No gears means having to stand and pump the bike to get up hills or I sit to give the abs a burn. Let me know if you know what I'm talking about.
Welcome to the forum, Pameelamb!

I'm only 55, but I love riding my single speed with rear coaster brake and front rim brake. Yep, I do stand up to pedal when needed. Getting off the seat and pedaling, instead of shifting gears this bike doesn't have, definitely adds to the experience of making me feel younger than I am.

My single speed isn't quite a beach cruiser, but it's no track bike either.

Edit to add: After reading Vintage Schwinn's post, might as well say that my single speed is set for 66 gear inches (38/16 sprockets with 700x42 tires). No real hills here, but lot's of headwind on occasion.

Last edited by FiftySix; 09-04-20 at 06:56 AM.
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Old 09-08-20, 11:56 AM
  #9  
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Every party needs a party pooper --I love my gears. As minimalist as I ever went was a 3-speed coaster with a front hand brake.
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Old 09-09-20, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
Every party needs a party pooper --I love my gears. As minimalist as I ever went was a 3-speed coaster with a front hand brake.
I loved this Raleigh Sports for commuting and recreational riding from 1972 - 1997; gave it to my older daughter who used it while attending University in Freiberg and left it at the Hauptbahnhof upon her departure from Germany in 2002. Three speed S-A IGH with coaster brake and front handbrake.




I love this Calvin bike that I now use for winter and wet weather riding, formerly my daughter's (sitting in bike carrier above). Three speed Sachs Torpedo IGH with coaster brake and front handbrake.
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Old 09-09-20, 02:51 PM
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Who snuck those 3-speeds in here?

Two extra gears? Nothin' but new fangled high tech luxury. It's obscene, really.

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Old 09-09-20, 03:09 PM
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Hi five to you, Pam. Your bike has one gear ( as does mine), but you have more than one gear. You can just pedal harder...or stand and pedal...all good for you. Just keep riding.
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Old 09-09-20, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
Who snuck those 3-speeds in here?

Two extra gears? Nothin' but new fangled high tech luxury. It's obscene, really.

Just call them fixed 3 speeds.
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Old 09-09-20, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Just call them fixed 3 speeds.
You mean like this?
https://www.cyclingweekly.com/review...mey-archer-s3x

or this?
https://sheldonbrown.com/asc.html#:~...s%20Cyclery%20.
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Old 09-10-20, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
The date on this on line article read "January 1, 1970 1:00 am". It also claimed "the fixed scene has gone supernova. "
I assume the article is old but not that old. I also believe the "fixed scene supernova" has burnt out.

I never understood how someone as smart and intelligent about bicycles and bicycle subjects as Sheldon Brown could be so interested in riding fixed gear bikes; to each their own idiosyncrasies, eh?
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Old 09-10-20, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
The date on this on line article read "January 1, 1970 1:00 am". It also claimed "the fixed scene has gone supernova. "
I assume the article is old but not that old. I also believe the "fixed scene supernova" has burnt out.

I never understood how someone as smart and intelligent about bicycles and bicycle subjects as Sheldon Brown could be so interested in riding fixed gear bikes; to each their own idiosyncrasies, eh?
Just another Glitch in the Matrix.
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Old 09-10-20, 11:52 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post

I never understood how someone as smart and intelligent about bicycles and bicycle subjects as Sheldon Brown could be so interested in riding fixed gear bikes; to each their own idiosyncrasies, eh?
Makes me wonder if he liked one handed mechanical watches?

Ought to be required gear for the single speed/fixed gear crowd. Like me.




https://luch.by/en/kollektsii/odnostrelochnik-3-0/
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Old 09-10-20, 12:43 PM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
Makes me wonder if he liked one handed mechanical watches?

Ought to be required gear for the single speed/fixed gear crowd. Like me.




https://luch.by/en/kollektsii/odnostrelochnik-3-0/
Probably more like this one:

Read the sale pitch for a couple good guffaws:
https://www.slow-watches.com/
or watch:
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Old 09-10-20, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Probably more like this one:

Read the sale pitch for a couple good guffaws:
https://www.slow-watches.com/
or watch:
I've seen 24 hour analog watches, but never a single handed watch. A tiny mark every 15 minutes?

A "Slow Watch" should make a great pandemic watch for those without a job.
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Old 09-10-20, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
I've seen 24 hour analog watches, but never a single handed watch. A tiny mark every 15 minutes?

A "Slow Watch" should make a great pandemic watch for those without a job.
Or have to be anywhere on time, perfect for what is left from the burnout of the fixie culture supernova.

"slow is not a speed. It’s a mindset that most of us somehow lost.
Let’s make time to bring slow back into our life. be slow..."
from the sales pitch

Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 09-10-20 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 09-11-20, 09:48 AM
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Welcome to the forum Pameelamb, glad to hear grandmothers are enjoying bikes like everyone else! Doesn't matter what you ride, just keep riding and enjoying. I sure hope the younger generation continues to enjoy bikes as much as we do. Unfortunately, I seemed to fail at passing on the cycling gene to my kids. Pulled them in bike trailers, mounted bike seats, taught them to ride young, always rode to the park, etc... but I guess it didn't stick.
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Old 09-11-20, 10:22 PM
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I am close to your age and own a Specialized Langster . Boy it is fast. But I dont trust it on the roads because its tires are so skinny 700 23c and the frame is so light. Once your legs warm up it's a lot of fun to ride...but only around a safe area. This is a bike that can hit 50mph and only has one front brake...you use your foot as the rear brake. I imagine that if you used it as a road bike and hit a pothole on the side of the road in heavy traffic , you could be in real trouble. Feel safer on my hea y mountain bike.
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