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Geared bikes or single speed?

Old 04-21-24, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
Plenty of motorists say the same about cyclists… And yet you still ride a bike, I presume?

Seems weird for a person who embraces a more challenging mode of transportation to then criticize others for choosing an even more challenging mode. Are you always this threatened by people who make different decisions than you do?
Threatened ? I can't even imagine how that would manifest itself.

Challenging and masochistic are different concepts last I looked, but of course the sliding scale for that would be variable. And the "noble savage" lost it's official charm more decades ago than I care to remember.

How I perceive the manner in which you live your life is as meaningless as how you live it.

Have a really great day
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Old 04-21-24, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Steel Charlie
Threatened ? I can't even imagine how that would manifest itself.
​​​​​​It manifests when you use the word "masochists" to describe cyclists who choose to do things that you are apparently unable to do.
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Old 04-21-24, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
I know that some riders around here ride SS or even Fixies, but seriously - my midweek rides that I think of as fairly flat? They still have 1000 feet of climbing in 24 miles, including some pitches over 8%. So, my flirtation with the idea of a single speed bike was really brief.

So, it depends on where you live. Florida? Yeah, get a SS bike. What do you need gears for anyway? Overpasses? But here? Not for MY aging joints!
then there are the guys who do Cino on fixed.....or even SS.
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Old 04-21-24, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
​​​​​​It manifests when you use the word "masochists" to describe cyclists who choose to do things that you are apparently unable to do.
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Old 04-21-24, 12:06 PM
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Geared bikes and single speed.
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Old 04-21-24, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Steel Charlie
That's just a multi speed bike with a really inconvenient shifting mechanism.

And all that gas about how making life difficult being somehow enobling ... Well, go for it. It only reminds me of the Monty Python monks bashing themselves on the head with the holy boards.

Have a nice day
No. It is a fix gear with a choice of ratios. Freewheeling is fundamentally different. Go do 5 450 mile Cycle Oregons on a fix gear, bring all the cogs you want and change to your heart's content then come back here and tell me I am wrong. (Well, you missed the chance. The week-long COs are gone for good. So just go out and do a 9,000' of climbing day fixed. Then find 3 more days of 5000' plus. You'll see that never, ever being able to coast is fundamentally different. And you will ever after look at the freewheel life as being the softer, easier way. Or you might not finish that ride or find it is just too hard You can step up and prove me wrong. And after, if you did it all, you can look back and compare, which was more real, that ride on a fix gear or that ride with the freewheeling. Bet you'll be more proud of the fixed version.)
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Old 04-21-24, 02:05 PM
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[QUOTE=downtube42;23219172]I have two geared road bikes, one recumbent, one unicycle, and a fixed gear bike.”

You had me at unicycle.

Mike
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Old 04-21-24, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by 50PlusCycling
But single-speed bikes have almost religious significance to some Japanese riders, ...
Yeah, I am in Tokyo now, and I visited their shrine yesterday:

https://brotures.com/en/pages/brotures-harajuku
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Old 04-21-24, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
I know that some riders around here ride SS or even Fixies, but seriously - my midweek rides that I think of as fairly flat? They still have 1000 feet of climbing in 24 miles, including some pitches over 8%. So, my flirtation with the idea of a single speed bike was really brief.

So, it depends on where you live. Florida? Yeah, get a SS bike. What do you need gears for anyway? Overpasses? But here? Not for MY aging joints!
Plus, when FL is under water, SS is likely to be more reliable, especially a fixie.
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Old 04-21-24, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by IcySwan1

You had me at unicycle.

Mike
It's a fixed gear btw.
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Old 05-01-24, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
No. It is a fix gear with a choice of ratios. Freewheeling is fundamentally different. Go do 5 450 mile Cycle Oregons on a fix gear, bring all the cogs you want and change to your heart's content then come back here and tell me I am wrong. (Well, you missed the chance. The week-long COs are gone for good. So just go out and do a 9,000' of climbing day fixed. Then find 3 more days of 5000' plus. You'll see that never, ever being able to coast is fundamentally different. And you will ever after look at the freewheel life as being the softer, easier way. Or you might not finish that ride or find it is just too hard You can step up and prove me wrong. And after, if you did it all, you can look back and compare, which was more real, that ride on a fix gear or that ride with the freewheeling. Bet you'll be more proud of the fixed version.)
Steel Charlie said "That's just a multi speed bike with a really inconvenient shifting mechanism." He didn't say anything about freewheel versus fixed. Of course, his reference to convenient gear shifting does imply a freewheel, except for Sturmey Archer's fixed-gear multi-speed hubs.

By the way, I believe paved roads in mountainous terrain on the West Coast are generally graded more sensibly than East Coast roads. Granted, any given climb out West can be tediously long compared to the East. But I don't quite understand the need for multiple cogs. Since I began riding fixed 60 years ago, I've done plenty of rides with 5k feet of climbing, including a few times last year, and I've only ever used a 51/19 or 48/18 gear - roughly 72 inches. (Knees are beginning to complain, so I may soon need to go to 46/18 or so.)

Maybe it's that long, continuous climbs on moderate grades are ultimately tougher than shorter, steeper climbs. Climbs in northern Baltimore County rarely exceed 10 minutes. The only other terrain I've ridden was New Haven County in Connecticut, where I grew up, and that was very similar to Baltimore County - short, sharp climbs everywhere north of the city.
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Old 05-01-24, 05:36 AM
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Geared bikes or single speed?
I'm pushing 65 and at this stage of my cycling life I currently have more Single Speeds vs Geared bikes. More like 2:1
Why? Probably because I'm getting lazy "working" on bikes and/or rather be golfing .......
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Old 05-01-24, 09:45 AM
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SS will take you you anywhere gears will but its more fun if you're FIXED ..harder is funner
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Old 05-01-24, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
Steel Charlie said "That's just a multi speed bike with a really inconvenient shifting mechanism." He didn't say anything about freewheel versus fixed. Of course, his reference to convenient gear shifting does imply a freewheel, except for Sturmey Archer's fixed-gear multi-speed hubs.

By the way, I believe paved roads in mountainous terrain on the West Coast are generally graded more sensibly than East Coast roads. Granted, any given climb out West can be tediously long compared to the East. But I don't quite understand the need for multiple cogs. Since I began riding fixed 60 years ago, I've done plenty of rides with 5k feet of climbing, including a few times last year, and I've only ever used a 51/19 or 48/18 gear - roughly 72 inches. (Knees are beginning to complain, so I may soon need to go to 46/18 or so.)

Maybe it's that long, continuous climbs on moderate grades are ultimately tougher than shorter, steeper climbs. Climbs in northern Baltimore County rarely exceed 10 minutes. The only other terrain I've ridden was New Haven County in Connecticut, where I grew up, and that was very similar to Baltimore County - short, sharp climbs everywhere north of the city.
Racers were flipping their wheels for mountains long before the derailleur. But more than that, I have to accept that at 59 years old plus (Did my first fix gear Cycle Oregon at 59), my chondromalcia knees were never going to accept a week of 70 miles per day average and 30,000 feet of climbing (and my butt, that much descending) all in one gear. Beyond that, it simply wouldn't be fun.

Instead, I took this on as a need to focus on the dual challenge of setting my bike up as best possible for each day, bringing appropriate cogs and noting best places to stop and change and nursing this not so young body through a very hard week of riding. A real part of this juggling act is - every stop to change gears costs. Every incline, up or down, I ride with the wrong gear costs. Which costs more? And sometimes I am in the groove and don't stop when I should. (My last fixed CO, the approach to camp, both riding into camp and the next day on the option ride, there were miles of downhill. First miles seriously fast, then gradual but very doable in the 46-14 (93") except 3 bumps. Well bump #3 was a killer. I should have changed gears or walked but gutted it out both times. And paid big time! And two days later, TG I had the 36-21 to do the week's final climb. I was completely spent. And this hammered body got to enjoy the final downhill of the week on that big gear.

I make zero apologies for doing those rides cheating and being a wimp. Each one of those 6 fixed weeks was an order of magnitude harder than the 4 I did on road bikes. Even my last at 70 on a pure race bike (set up with 70-year-old appropriate race gearing 52-42-30 13-26 for Oregon's coastal range) was nowhere near as draining as my easiest fix gear ride. Had I tried those rides on one gear I'd no longer have working OEM knees and the butt abuse would have been 1) torture and 2) had me as a regular at medical services for treatment of sores. The nurses would have gotten to know my butt much more intimately than they signed up for. Never mind the fun part would have flown out the window by day three.

And the lesson I learned on the 2016 CO - if the route profile is bumpy - don't ride fix gear! Singe huge climbs and descents - fine, but the Oregon coast highway - torture. Gutting it out in one gear is knee and butt killer. Stopping for each hill bottom and top gets old long before the first rest stop. (Had I studied the route profile, I never would have done it fixed. But, weird I know, the decision to ride that week was made 9:30 am the day before the start. I had a couple of hours to pick a bike, pack and go. Grabbed the fix gear because it was the closest to being ready for a hard week and went. Picked up the ride literature when I got there. "This is going to be interesting! Not fix gear country!" The option day, the ride was down the coast road to lunch and back or you could return by a long, gradual 2000'? climb into the coast range and miles of descent. Yes! The ride to lunch was killer. The ride back, heaven! Well, until that final 10 miles of coastal hell.)

The west coast lends itself to the idea of riding mountains fixed. I started riding fixed out of Boston when I was racing, in my 20s and strong. Muscling up crazy stuff was fun but I never saw 10, 15 mile climbs. When I moved to the Bay Area, I used to ride up to Skyline over Oakland on my 42-17 and back down. Crazy, but that was my post head injury years, those crazy rides were my link to sanity. Later, touring the west coast looking of work, I rode that same bike up Mt Diablo. (Yes, walking the final 20%. I'd been doing zero riding.) The abuse my genitals took riding down in my oldest shorts (who cares if my van gets broken into and them stolen) I'll never forget. But I've gone faster at CO in the 42-12 with the old ear to ear grin!

Trakhak, I simply love riding fix gear. So much that I've fully embraced the idea that changing cogs allows me rides I could not do otherwise or would have to pay an unacceptable price for. Those Cycle Oregons? I may have "cheated" but I have yet to FW one revolution on any of those 6 weeks. (I have toyed with the idea of dropping the chain onto the axle and rolling into a low-lying CO camp just to say I've coasted but it never happened.) And that old rule of thumb - fix gears are 4/3s to 3/2s harder than the same ride geared? Yup, my body tells me every time.
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Old 05-03-24, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
Racers were flipping their wheels for mountains long before the derailleur. But more than that, I have to accept that at 59 years old plus (Did my first fix gear Cycle Oregon at 59), my chondromalcia knees were never going to accept a week of 70 miles per day average and 30,000 feet of climbing (and my butt, that much descending) all in one gear. Beyond that, it simply wouldn't be fun.

Instead, I took this on as a need to focus on the dual challenge of setting my bike up as best possible for each day, bringing appropriate cogs and noting best places to stop and change and nursing this not so young body through a very hard week of riding. A real part of this juggling act is - every stop to change gears costs. Every incline, up or down, I ride with the wrong gear costs. Which costs more? And sometimes I am in the groove and don't stop when I should. (My last fixed CO, the approach to camp, both riding into camp and the next day on the option ride, there were miles of downhill. First miles seriously fast, then gradual but very doable in the 46-14 (93") except 3 bumps. Well bump #3 was a killer. I should have changed gears or walked but gutted it out both times. And paid big time! And two days later, TG I had the 36-21 to do the week's final climb. I was completely spent. And this hammered body got to enjoy the final downhill of the week on that big gear.

I make zero apologies for doing those rides cheating and being a wimp. Each one of those 6 fixed weeks was an order of magnitude harder than the 4 I did on road bikes. Even my last at 70 on a pure race bike (set up with 70-year-old appropriate race gearing 52-42-30 13-26 for Oregon's coastal range) was nowhere near as draining as my easiest fix gear ride. Had I tried those rides on one gear I'd no longer have working OEM knees and the butt abuse would have been 1) torture and 2) had me as a regular at medical services for treatment of sores. The nurses would have gotten to know my butt much more intimately than they signed up for. Never mind the fun part would have flown out the window by day three.

And the lesson I learned on the 2016 CO - if the route profile is bumpy - don't ride fix gear! Singe huge climbs and descents - fine, but the Oregon coast highway - torture. Gutting it out in one gear is knee and butt killer. Stopping for each hill bottom and top gets old long before the first rest stop. (Had I studied the route profile, I never would have done it fixed. But, weird I know, the decision to ride that week was made 9:30 am the day before the start. I had a couple of hours to pick a bike, pack and go. Grabbed the fix gear because it was the closest to being ready for a hard week and went. Picked up the ride literature when I got there. "This is going to be interesting! Not fix gear country!" The option day, the ride was down the coast road to lunch and back or you could return by a long, gradual 2000'? climb into the coast range and miles of descent. Yes! The ride to lunch was killer. The ride back, heaven! Well, until that final 10 miles of coastal hell.)

The west coast lends itself to the idea of riding mountains fixed. I started riding fixed out of Boston when I was racing, in my 20s and strong. Muscling up crazy stuff was fun but I never saw 10, 15 mile climbs. When I moved to the Bay Area, I used to ride up to Skyline over Oakland on my 42-17 and back down. Crazy, but that was my post head injury years, those crazy rides were my link to sanity. Later, touring the west coast looking of work, I rode that same bike up Mt Diablo. (Yes, walking the final 20%. I'd been doing zero riding.) The abuse my genitals took riding down in my oldest shorts (who cares if my van gets broken into and them stolen) I'll never forget. But I've gone faster at CO in the 42-12 with the old ear to ear grin!

Trakhak, I simply love riding fix gear. So much that I've fully embraced the idea that changing cogs allows me rides I could not do otherwise or would have to pay an unacceptable price for. Those Cycle Oregons? I may have "cheated" but I have yet to FW one revolution on any of those 6 weeks. (I have toyed with the idea of dropping the chain onto the axle and rolling into a low-lying CO camp just to say I've coasted but it never happened.) And that old rule of thumb - fix gears are 4/3s to 3/2s harder than the same ride geared? Yup, my body tells me every time.
I did a 300k brevet with 8k feet last week fixed. Tough. Mostly four bigish climbs. Funny enough, slightly faster that the same route geared in 2019 when I was younger. But brevets have various stop time, so comparisons are iffy.

Next up is 400k at 10k feet. I'm intimidated but Yolo.
https://ridewithgps.com/trips/169957722

Fixed is life
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Old 05-03-24, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by downtube42
I did a 300k brevet with 8k feet last week fixed. Tough. Mostly four bigish climbs. Funny enough, slightly faster that the same route geared in 2019 when I was younger. But brevets have various stop time, so comparisons are iffy.

Next up is 400k at 10k feet. I'm intimidated but Yolo.
https://ridewithgps.com/trips/169957722

Fixed is life
I've never ridden fixed, just single speed on flat land when under 10 years old. But my perception is, you might be faster on fixed because you are forced to climb out of the saddle, rather than spin up in a lower gear. The few road bike races I've seen on TV like the TdF, they climb standing. I'm faster on multi-speed that way, typically 2 or 3 gears up when standing, it's simply a question of if I run out of wheaties and need to downshift and spin, or walk up. I've also noticed more chain and cog wear since climbing while standing.
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Old 05-03-24, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
I've never ridden fixed, just single speed on flat land when under 10 years old. But my perception is, you might be faster on fixed because you are forced to climb out of the saddle, rather than spin up in a lower gear. The few road bike races I've seen on TV like the TdF, they climb standing. I'm faster on multi-speed that way, typically 2 or 3 gears up when standing, it's simply a question of if I run out of wheaties and need to downshift and spin, or walk up. I've also noticed more chain and cog wear since climbing while standing.
Fixed can be faster climbing if the grade and duration are in a specific band than allows sustained out of saddle climbing at a higher level of effort than one is willing to do with gears. Fixed is speed limited descending, whereas SS is not. So I feel like technically, SS can be the fastest if the terrain is right.

That was a mouthful. Basically, fixed or SS demands out of saddle climbing just to keep moving, whereas geared you can gear down and spin. But if the grade or duration exceed physical limitation, fixed/ss you either slow to a crawl or walk. BITD, racers would crack, meaning they just flat couldn't push the gear. Massive time would be lost. With today's gearing, a pro who blows up can gear down, spin, recover, and manage the losses. Riding fixed or SS is retro like that.

Just a half-baked idea, but I think the reason fixed gear feels good is that it's natural. Like walking/jogging/running. Speed = cadence. It feels right.
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Old 05-04-24, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by downtube42
Fixed can be faster climbing if the grade and duration are in a specific band than allows sustained out of saddle climbing at a higher level of effort than one is willing to do with gears. Fixed is speed limited descending, whereas SS is not. So I feel like technically, SS can be the fastest if the terrain is right.

That was a mouthful. Basically, fixed or SS demands out of saddle climbing just to keep moving, whereas geared you can gear down and spin. But if the grade or duration exceed physical limitation, fixed/ss you either slow to a crawl or walk. BITD, racers would crack, meaning they just flat couldn't push the gear. Massive time would be lost. With today's gearing, a pro who blows up can gear down, spin, recover, and manage the losses. Riding fixed or SS is retro like that.

Just a half-baked idea, but I think the reason fixed gear feels good is that it's natural. Like walking/jogging/running. Speed = cadence. It feels right.
I agree with all.

I never used to climb standing, but then I biked mostly on flat land, always spun up small inclines. Moved to mildly hillier terrain, went 2X to 3X on road bike, still spun. Moved to terrain with steep climbs, converted 1X folder to wide 2X, still spun, but not enough on some long climbs. Started standing climbing for the first time. After a while, learned proper cadence, which is:
- too low a gear, too fast, tire out quick
- too high a gear, too slow and pulling on handlebars too hard, tire out quick
- geared just right when I'm using mostly my weight on the pedals, not pulling hard on the handelbars, I'm guessing a cadence of about 50.

Also, added bar ends to my flat bar; The more forward position on the front of them gives better body position when standing, and, hand orientation is better for pulling on the bars.

Standing climbing is easier on my knees than pushing a tall gear sitting.

Also, standing climbing works stomach muscles better than spinning. And I need all the help there that I can, I'm overweight.

All of the above is probably somewhere online if I had bothered to look. Amazing how I've been a serious road biker for 35 years now but didn't know the above until recently.
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Old 05-05-24, 08:47 PM
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Only thing I find attractive about a SS is its simplicity... no shifters, cables, fiddling with derailleurs. Easier maintenance and less weight! But it makes no sense practically. Unless you live in an incredible flat city (Amsterdam?) having gears just makes getting around easier.
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Old 05-06-24, 01:47 PM
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I was out on my SS Raleigh today and during a long, gradual uphill with a light crosswind I decided that when I'm in the mood for single speed it's the inevitability that I like. The bike will not be adjusted to conditions, and no matter what may arise its demands are unchanged. What remains is simplicity itself: I either can or I cannot. Will or will not.

This is also why I'm usually out there with derailleurs.
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Old 05-06-24, 02:24 PM
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I currently have a single speed bike- its a 1973 Peugeot frame with components from the 80s and modern current. I ride it about 1x/week between May and September to get to/from an activity, so like 8 or 9 miles per week.
Its fun for that specific use and its practical because it isnt worth a lot of money and its dead simple to maintain. Other than that though?...nah, no interest in using a SS in the place of how I ride my road bikes or gravel bike.
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Old 05-06-24, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
Racers were flipping their wheels for mountains long before the derailleur. But more than that, I have to accept that at 59 years old plus (Did my first fix gear Cycle Oregon at 59), my chondromalcia knees were never going to accept a week of 70 miles per day average and 30,000 feet of climbing (and my butt, that much descending) all in one gear. Beyond that, it simply wouldn't be fun.

Instead, I took this on as a need to focus on the dual challenge of setting my bike up as best possible for each day, bringing appropriate cogs and noting best places to stop and change and nursing this not so young body through a very hard week of riding. A real part of this juggling act is - every stop to change gears costs. Every incline, up or down, I ride with the wrong gear costs. Which costs more? And sometimes I am in the groove and don't stop when I should. (My last fixed CO, the approach to camp, both riding into camp and the next day on the option ride, there were miles of downhill. First miles seriously fast, then gradual but very doable in the 46-14 (93") except 3 bumps. Well bump #3 was a killer. I should have changed gears or walked but gutted it out both times. And paid big time! And two days later, TG I had the 36-21 to do the week's final climb. I was completely spent. And this hammered body got to enjoy the final downhill of the week on that big gear.

I make zero apologies for doing those rides cheating and being a wimp. Each one of those 6 fixed weeks was an order of magnitude harder than the 4 I did on road bikes. Even my last at 70 on a pure race bike (set up with 70-year-old appropriate race gearing 52-42-30 13-26 for Oregon's coastal range) was nowhere near as draining as my easiest fix gear ride. Had I tried those rides on one gear I'd no longer have working OEM knees and the butt abuse would have been 1) torture and 2) had me as a regular at medical services for treatment of sores. The nurses would have gotten to know my butt much more intimately than they signed up for. Never mind the fun part would have flown out the window by day three.

And the lesson I learned on the 2016 CO - if the route profile is bumpy - don't ride fix gear! Singe huge climbs and descents - fine, but the Oregon coast highway - torture. Gutting it out in one gear is knee and butt killer. Stopping for each hill bottom and top gets old long before the first rest stop. (Had I studied the route profile, I never would have done it fixed. But, weird I know, the decision to ride that week was made 9:30 am the day before the start. I had a couple of hours to pick a bike, pack and go. Grabbed the fix gear because it was the closest to being ready for a hard week and went. Picked up the ride literature when I got there. "This is going to be interesting! Not fix gear country!" The option day, the ride was down the coast road to lunch and back or you could return by a long, gradual 2000'? climb into the coast range and miles of descent. Yes! The ride to lunch was killer. The ride back, heaven! Well, until that final 10 miles of coastal hell.)

The west coast lends itself to the idea of riding mountains fixed. I started riding fixed out of Boston when I was racing, in my 20s and strong. Muscling up crazy stuff was fun but I never saw 10, 15 mile climbs. When I moved to the Bay Area, I used to ride up to Skyline over Oakland on my 42-17 and back down. Crazy, but that was my post head injury years, those crazy rides were my link to sanity. Later, touring the west coast looking of work, I rode that same bike up Mt Diablo. (Yes, walking the final 20%. I'd been doing zero riding.) The abuse my genitals took riding down in my oldest shorts (who cares if my van gets broken into and them stolen) I'll never forget. But I've gone faster at CO in the 42-12 with the old ear to ear grin!

Trakhak, I simply love riding fix gear. So much that I've fully embraced the idea that changing cogs allows me rides I could not do otherwise or would have to pay an unacceptable price for. Those Cycle Oregons? I may have "cheated" but I have yet to FW one revolution on any of those 6 weeks. (I have toyed with the idea of dropping the chain onto the axle and rolling into a low-lying CO camp just to say I've coasted but it never happened.) And that old rule of thumb - fix gears are 4/3s to 3/2s harder than the same ride geared? Yup, my body tells me every time.
This is a physical triumph, but also an achievement in MANAGING to accomplish something pretty damn hard using the resources available to you! Congrats! You determine what need to be done and devised ways and means (the stowage of cogs and the wrenches, the identification of places and times to execute the changes, et cetera! And based on your maturity to stick to the process, knowing "this is how I can get home if I stay with the pattern. Wow!

Dang, I must be one heckofa nerd if I think all this is cool! Well, so be it! I guess the shoe fits!

I'm tempted to try a fixed to get some of this challenge at my 70 years old and currently less toned knees and thighs. I can imagine finding a saddle position which works with a chainring pair to do "level flight" and to climb as long as I can stay aerobic. But always pushing the pedals on the backstroke to give some limitation to my down-celeration, that will be new!
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Old 05-07-24, 03:21 AM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by Road Fan
This is a physical triumph, but also an achievement in MANAGING to accomplish something pretty damn hard using the resources available to you! Congrats! You determine what need to be done and devised ways and means (the stowage of cogs and the wrenches, the identification of places and times to execute the changes, et cetera! And based on your maturity to stick to the process, knowing "this is how I can get home if I stay with the pattern. Wow!

Dang, I must be one heckofa nerd if I think all this is cool! Well, so be it! I guess the shoe fits!

I'm tempted to try a fixed to get some of this challenge at my 70 years old and currently less toned knees and thighs. I can imagine finding a saddle position which works with a chainring pair to do "level flight" and to climb as long as I can stay aerobic. But always pushing the pedals on the backstroke to give some limitation to my down-celeration, that will be new!
The mention of a "chainring pair" is disquieting. If you mean that you envision simply relocating the chain between larger and smaller chainrings during a given ride, it doesn't work that way. With anything more than a difference of only a very few chainring teeth, you'd have to shorten or lengthen the chain accordingly. That is, unless you play to swap sprockets on the rear wheel whenever you swap chainrings.
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Old 05-07-24, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
The few road bike races I've seen on TV like the TdF, they climb standing.
That is really not true most of the time. Most racers alternate between seated and standing, but spend much of the climb seated. More so in the modern era with a wider gear range.
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Old 05-07-24, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
That is really not true most of the time. Most racers alternate between seated and standing, but spend much of the climb seated. More so in the modern era with a wider gear range.
Ive always said I clearly dont climb correctly because I use geared bikes and still stand a lot. Im convinced its largely due to growing up and riding BMX bikes- its ingrained and what feels best for me, even if data were collected and showed I would be more efficient/effective/faster if I just sat the whole time.
I helped run a teen mentorship program for years where we rode 3x/week for 5 mo, did multiple campouts, then spent the last week of the program riding across the state as part of a huge annual ride- RAGBRAI. These kids would end the 5mo with 1500-2000mi, and many came to the program with little riding experience or even none at all. I constantly told the newer kids to not look towards me for how to ride and to just trust what I was saying instead. All the new bikes that were donated were entry level 3x7 hybrids and we spent multiple months just constantly reminding new riders to sit and shift instead of struggling up hills. Meanwhile, I would stand to climb most hills because I absolutely loathe sitting and slowly climbing.

I am not countering your comment, to be clear. How I ride is probably quite inefficient, especially when compared to actual pros who have extensive data and rely on it to gain any slight advantage they can. I would love to train my brain to enjoy sitting on climbs!
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