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Fixed gear touring...thoughts?

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Fixed gear touring...thoughts?

Old 05-25-09, 12:12 PM
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Fixed gear touring...thoughts?

So, I used to ride a nice, geared, lemond road bike, way back when. It got stoled. So now I ride fixed, and have for a few years now, and would never go back! I miss the REALLY long rides though...I've done a couple centuries on my Iro Mark V...but I have no rack braze-ons, and so multi-day excursions are gonna be difficult to manage.

Anyone done any multi-day touring on a fixed gear? any thoughts on the matter?

Should I sell my Mark V frame a get a Surly Cross Check (or the fancy traveler's check, so I can fly with it...international touring is a definite possability)?

Can I add a rack/panneir system to my Mark V? a trailer seems like a bad idea....

I'll probably add a rear brake, and have a few extra cogs and such to change out ratios as I need, aside from the usual touring considerations...
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Old 05-25-09, 01:32 PM
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You can use P-clamps to attach racks on frames without braze-ons. You can tour on fixed (I met an old guy many years ago who told me about his tour through the Alps on a fixed gear in the 1930s), but you'll want to add some brakes -- front and rear -- if you're currently brakeless. The additional weight of touring gear makes it particularly unsafe to go brakeless.
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Old 05-25-09, 03:22 PM
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Ask in the touring forum. People here can barely ride 20 miles a day.
I'd suggest a flip flop hub, and use a freewheel for your descents of hills, you'll want a lower fixed gear ratio as you'll be pulling a bit of weight, and spinning out with that weight will probably not be too fun going down hills.
You might even want to try the Surly dingle cog, and run a road double with two chainrings up front.
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Old 05-25-09, 06:12 PM
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Tour in zen fashion--take nothing you can't fit in a backpack.
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Old 05-25-09, 06:14 PM
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i've also wondered about how you'd run a rack on a mark v.
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Old 05-25-09, 06:43 PM
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It really depends where you'll be touring and how far you want to go a day.

I just finished a solo tour of the southern tier. There is no way I'd have managed to do some parts of that route fixed. With 40ish lbs of gear on my Cross-Check, only having two chainrings w/o a granny gear was extremely difficult at times in the mountains. I can't imagine having the right gear for those hills as well as the flat terrain.

I guess you could carry a few chain rings and change them out. But I wouldn't have the patience to do that as often as it would be needed.

I also can't imagine how my knees would feel, even if I was running brakes. I pulled several centuries and even a 150 mile day out in Arizona (my average was around 80 mi/day). I just don't think that'd be enjoyable fixed.

Could you do it? Yes. Would you enjoy it? Dunno.

If you do have any touring questions, hit the touring forum or PM me. I just got done 3 weeks ago with my 37 day 2989 mile trip.
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Old 05-25-09, 10:54 PM
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Would p-clamps have enough holding force for panneirs full of gear, and rough roads?

I was planning on bringing an assortment of cogs, and changing them out as necessary. With my dropouts, I can go from 83" to 60", just changing out cogs, without changing the chain. I could bring a freewheel for descents...but meh. a second chainring, and I could get down to almost 35"....

I always run a front brake. Especially if I add a freewheel, I'll run a rear brake as well.

I've also done a bit of 'zen touring'. a couple one-night ~150mile rides with just a backpack...This wouldn't be feasible for longer tours, especially international, like I plan.

So, the mark V should make a fine fixed touring frame? I couple of good p-clamps and a rack/panneir system...and a handfull of cogs?
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Old 05-25-09, 11:01 PM
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I put a rack on a frame with no braze-ons by drilling out a Tubus QR mount to fit a solid axle and using the Tubus seatstay clamps. It's dead solid after thousands of km of commuting with 15kg of gear.
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Old 05-25-09, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Zemo View Post

So, the mark V should make a fine fixed touring frame? I couple of good p-clamps and a rack/panneir system...and a handfull of cogs?
What's the chainstay length of the Mark V? You'd need a minimum of 42.5cm for heel clearance and stability.
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Old 05-25-09, 11:10 PM
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Fixed gear touring is great... especially when you have a proper touring bike with the right gearing options.

There are plenty of nice older road frames out there that would be far better suited to the task.
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Old 05-25-09, 11:16 PM
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Check out https://carouseldesignworks.com/ as another option besides rack/panniers.
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Old 05-26-09, 12:15 PM
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Chainstay length on the MarkV is 39.1cm. What problems will I have? why? Haven't had any problems yet...
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Old 05-26-09, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by beeftech View Post
Ask in the touring forum. People here can barely ride 20 miles a day.
I'd suggest a flip flop hub, and use a freewheel for your descents of hills, you'll want a lower fixed gear ratio as you'll be pulling a bit of weight, and spinning out with that weight will probably not be too fun going down hills.
You might even want to try the Surly dingle cog, and run a road double with two chainrings up front.
Hm, do you really think most people in this forum can't ride 20 miles? Not being sarcastic, actually curious as to whether or not this is true. Someone should make a poll.
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Old 05-26-09, 12:41 PM
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It sounds like torture to me, but as they say, to each his own.
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Old 05-26-09, 01:22 PM
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I asked this question a while ago about racks/panniers and though the forum didn't really tell me much beyond p-clamps I found the Knog Rackless Pannier. I read reviews that seem pretty good on them. I'm sure p-clamps would allow higher load rating racks and giant panniers...
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Old 05-26-09, 01:27 PM
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Since you're talking about having done some 150mi rides in the past, what kind of touring are you thinking about doing? Camp out, bring all your stuff and cook over a white-gas stove at the KOA kind of touring where you're doing 70 - 100 miles a day? It sounds like you might be leaning more towards a randonneuring fast-touring style of riding, where you're buying your food and water along the way and taking in some quick sleep where you can get it.
Either way, another option from the rack/panniers route is a front rack (Nitto M-12, Mark's Rack, etc.) and bag (Acorn Boxy Rando, V-O Campagne, Ostrich, etc.) and a large saddlebag like a Caradice Camper or Super-C on a Bagman support.
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Old 05-26-09, 02:12 PM
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Whatever you do, do not wear a backpack or messenger bag. After 100 miles, it will be like a super noose trying to kill you.
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Old 05-26-09, 02:19 PM
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I agree with kit. Backpacks are awful for cycle touring.
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Old 05-26-09, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I agree with kit. Backpacks are awful for cycle touring.
Really? Many couch surfers I've met have some sort of bag they carry with them. Not saying don't use the frame-mounted stuff ... by all means ... just saying that I feel like some sort of carry-able luggage provides some utility. Of course, if it is just a day-tour, I suppose you don't really need that much stuff anyhow.
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Old 05-26-09, 02:37 PM
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Well, I've ridden all day with a very large butt bag. That's OK. I just don't want anything tugging on my shoulders.
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Old 05-26-09, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by devilshaircut View Post
Really? Many couch surfers I've met have some sort of bag they carry with them. Not saying don't use the frame-mounted stuff ... by all means ... just saying that I feel like some sort of carry-able luggage provides some utility. Of course, if it is just a day-tour, I suppose you don't really need that much stuff anyhow.


I even had problems riding with my 3L camelbak after a few days on my recent tour. I ended up strapping it to my tent which was on top of my rear rack.

I'd say if you're going to ride any reasonable distance, especially for days at a time, keep it off your back and on the frame.

Also, back onto the p-clamp question.

I'm not sure, I'd just make sure to fit it as best you can and load test it in some really rough conditions. The last thing you want is that breaking on the road, especially while flying down a hill.

Luckily my Surly had spots for front and rear racks, so it wasn't an issue. I still made damn sure to make sure they were secured before flying down any really long descents. One of those coming loose could be a game ender at those speeds.

The chainstay comment was also good. You'll have to make sure you have some heel clearance with your rear racks. The crosscheck has a bit shorter chainstays than the long haul trucker, so I had to make sure to strap on a longer rear rack and make sure the panniers were set as far back as they could be, so my big heels didn't hit them.
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Old 05-26-09, 05:12 PM
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I've toured on racing bikes. I had to modify my pedal stroke to avoid hitting my heels against the panniers. Not optimal, but not a disaster, either.
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Old 05-26-09, 07:23 PM
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Is that seriously an issue? striking panneirs with your heel on bikes with a shorter chainstay? Seems like an engineering flaw that would be designed away...

I have toured ~150mi with something on my back, and that sucks. Whatever I end up with, it will be attached to my frame.

I plan on touring 80-100mi/day, camping, cooking my own food (for the most part), and carrying my own water. I am an experienced ultra-light backpacker, and I think I can get everything I need onto a rack/panneir system.

Guess I need to find a good p-clamp...
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Old 05-26-09, 07:39 PM
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Different types of bikes are designed for different purposes. Racing bikes have short chainstays for better quick handling and don't need to consider mounting panniers. Touring bikes have long chainstays to allow for panniers and don't need quick handling.
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Old 05-26-09, 07:43 PM
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touring

Originally Posted by Zemo View Post
So, I used to ride a nice, geared, lemond road bike, way back when. It got stoled. So now I ride fixed, and have for a few years now, and would never go back! I miss the REALLY long rides though...I've done a couple centuries on my Iro Mark V...but I have no rack braze-ons, and so multi-day excursions are gonna be difficult to manage.

Anyone done any multi-day touring on a fixed gear? any thoughts on the matter?

Should I sell my Mark V frame a get a Surly Cross Check (or the fancy traveler's check, so I can fly with it...international touring is a definite possability)?

Can I add a rack/panneir system to my Mark V? a trailer seems like a bad idea....

I'll probably add a rear brake, and have a few extra cogs and such to change out ratios as I need, aside from the usual touring considerations...
I read all the other posts.......why not just use a credit card and stay in hotels etc.? You don't need to camp if you plan well. You would need a saddle bag for some clothing and perhaps a front bag such as a Hobo style bag. If you use a large rear saddle bag with a bag support you can so some spartan camping in warm weather and even use a light tent. I would use a double freewheel and two chainrings up front along with a fixed on the flip side in a gear of your choice.
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