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-   -   Total Noob Here, but I'm SOLD on one gear (https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/1017387-total-noob-here-but-im-sold-one-gear.html)

puckalish 07-05-15 09:02 PM

Total Noob Here, but I'm SOLD on one gear
 
Just had to drop a line...
When I first picked up my SS (well, flip-flop, but I still haven't tried out the fixed side yet), I had my doubts...
But, dang... I mean, this stallion has shown and proven time and again this Spring and Summer...

I realized that I can pretty well crush most of these $2k+ road bike riders with all their fancy gear on the tiny hills around NYC and if that ain't an ego boost, lol... I almost never miss those other gears (on straightaways or downhill, though... um... that said, given my capacity for judgment, it's probably best I stay under 40mph)...

But, really, I'm writing this post today because I just rode about 45 miles today going to visit my folks and, well... I'm still getting impressed by this ride. Numerous times, I thought I'd eat it because of how bad some of the roads are, but ya gotta love a steel frame. And, with just that one gear, I still made it out faster than it would've taken to take the subway to the commuter rail.

Anyways, I realize I should get some other stuff (padded underwear or cycling shorts for longer rides, panniers, proper pedals), but dang. 45 mi on my lil Bianchi San Jose with a bag on my back and I'm just really, really hungry. HUNGRY.

Not really a question or anything, just expressing my gratitude for simple little bike.

And in disbelief that I stayed away for SS and FG bikes for so long.

Philasteve 07-05-15 10:37 PM


Originally Posted by puckalish (Post 17954051)
Just had to drop a line...
When I first picked up my SS (well, flip-flop, but I still haven't tried out the fixed side yet), I had my doubts...
But, dang... I mean, this stallion has shown and proven time and again this Spring and Summer...

I realized that I can pretty well crush most of these $2k+ road bike riders with all their fancy gear on the tiny hills around NYC and if that ain't an ego boost, lol... I almost never miss those other gears (on straightaways or downhill, though... um... that said, given my capacity for judgment, it's probably best I stay under 40mph)...

But, really, I'm writing this post today because I just rode about 45 miles today going to visit my folks and, well... I'm still getting impressed by this ride. Numerous times, I thought I'd eat it because of how bad some of the roads are, but ya gotta love a steel frame. And, with just that one gear, I still made it out faster than it would've taken to take the subway to the commuter rail.

Anyways, I realize I should get some other stuff (padded underwear or cycling shorts for longer rides, panniers, proper pedals), but dang. 45 mi on my lil Bianchi San Jose with a bag on my back and I'm just really, really hungry. HUNGRY.

Not really a question or anything, just expressing my gratitude for simple little bike.

And in disbelief that I stayed away for SS and FG bikes for so long.

What bike did you get? It was a world of difference when I switched from a 98' Giant Rincon mountain bike to a SSFG. I'm sure the switch from any mountain bike to road bike would be huge but I've never felt lack of gears hold me back and it's just way more fun. I don't really have the need to have a bike to ride 400 miles on. And if that comes up I'll grab a Surly Crosscheck or something.

puckalish 07-05-15 11:13 PM


Originally Posted by Philasteve (Post 17954187)
What bike did you get?

A well worn-in (2008?) Bianchi San Jose... on 700x28s with full fenders and fresh bar tape. Otherwise, it's all stock stuff.

One thing that really struck me is, particularly on the longer ride, how much I could just focus on the ride without thinking about gears at all... kinda critical given than, contrary to my expectations, the roads didn't get any better as I left Brooklyn, lol, but also really nice as I got to take in more of the ride (both in terms of scenery and getting into the physical side).

Philasteve 07-06-15 03:32 PM


Originally Posted by puckalish (Post 17954220)
A well worn-in (2008?) Bianchi San Jose... on 700x28s with full fenders and fresh bar tape. Otherwise, it's all stock stuff.

One thing that really struck me is, particularly on the longer ride, how much I could just focus on the ride without thinking about gears at all... kinda critical given than, contrary to my expectations, the roads didn't get any better as I left Brooklyn, lol, but also really nice as I got to take in more of the ride (both in terms of scenery and getting into the physical side).

Yeah I have a similar bike a 2009 Surly Creamroller with 32c tires. If you switch over to the FG side cog your focus from gears will switch to mapping things out using your legs as brakes and so on. But after riding fixed for a while that even goes away and just a natural instinct kicks in.

SpeshulEd 07-06-15 05:33 PM


Originally Posted by puckalish (Post 17954051)
I realized that I can pretty well crush most of these $2k+ road bike riders with all their fancy gear on the tiny hills around NYC and if that ain't an ego boost, lol... I almost never miss those other gears (on straightaways or downhill, though... um... that said, given my capacity for judgment, it's probably best I stay under 40mph)...

You're going 40mph on a single speed on small hills in NYC ??? Umm, good job.

jnep 07-06-15 10:29 PM

Go fast take chances

Night_shift 07-06-15 11:57 PM

Truth: I do SS rides of equal distance to my 3x9 in faster times. Why? My mind focuses on turning those pedals rather than what gear is optimal.

That's what I tell myself.

howeeee 07-07-15 01:19 AM

I am 62 started riding fixed gear about 2 years ago
I am kicking myself for not riding fixed when young
anyway I ride mostly fixed cept when I want to ride
a single speed vintage Schwinn cruiser, mostly in the winter
I bought a 160 dollar used Purefix
Which I was told by about anyone on this list that commented on it that it was junk
5000 miles later it is going strong and my best friend lol
the most fun I ever got for a 160 bucks

puckalish 07-07-15 12:03 PM

Accidentally erased my response, but here's a version...


Originally Posted by SpeshulEd (Post 17956433)
You're going 40mph on a single speed on small hills in NYC ??? Umm, good job.

No no no... I was steadily going over 40 on my road bike that got stolen (topping 50 downhill if the park's empty)... and now I pretty much hit highs of the mid-to-high 20s... sometimes into the low-30s (though that's rough in the joints, so I'm okay not going there), but my point is I don't NEED to go any faster than that.

I mean, looking at my trip times, I would only be able to sustain those high speeds for very short times (traffic, turns, etc.) and, as Night_Shift suggested, my total trip time has gone down... probably due to quicker acceleration (less time spent shifting up from a stop, even though I have to push harder), an easier time dealing with road hazards, etc.


Originally Posted by jnep (Post 17957130)
Go fast take chances

Look, my point about the speed is I already have like 7-10 demons on my shoulder saying just that (I don't need another! lol), so it's kind of nice to have a mechanically imposed speed limit, because I lack the self-discipline to ride at a safe speed if an unsafe speed is attainable.

Speaking of speed, I almost never get out of the saddle, which suggests I may want a higher gear ratio, right? That said, as has been pointed out, NY is pretty flat, so maybe I'm cool with this stock 42x17 joint in case I ever need to go somewhere more hilly. I am thinking about trying for a century (MS fundraiser, nothing competitive) in September and, for that, it may make sense to go bigger, as it's a long, flat ride and I'm an impatient person.

Any tips on how to find your personal optimal gear ratio or do you just have to keep trying stuff out for several miles at a time and see how it feels? FWIW, I have no immediate plans to mess with anything, given what a good time I'm having, but... looking to the future... am just a li'l curious.

FINALLY, howeeee... you have put 5k miles on a singlespeed in the two years between when you were 60 and 62? You can't see me, because of the internet, but I'm bowing down right now. And curious what you have for breakfast.

And thanks for all the responses!


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