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Touring on a Fixed Gear Bike: Good Ideal or Completely Stupid?

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View Poll Results: Is touring on a fixed gear bike a good ideal as Zach Gallardo claims to be?
Yes, the knee surgeries later on is worth it!
5
31.25%
No, this hipster is really off the deep end.
8
50.00%
Undecided.
3
18.75%
Voters: 16. You may not vote on this poll

Touring on a Fixed Gear Bike: Good Ideal or Completely Stupid?

Old 04-02-18, 03:47 PM
  #1  
satrain18
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Touring on a Fixed Gear Bike: Good Ideal or Completely Stupid?

Zach Gallardo made a video a few months ago, entitled "Why You Shoul Bike Tour...On a Fixed Gear", outlining why you should do long-distance bike tours on fixed gear bikes and I want your honest opinion about this guy and his strange ideal. Personally, I think this hipster is it complete idiot and he's only doing this because of the click mentality in the fixed gear community. Because of his clique/cult mentality, he avoids bikes with multiple gears and freewheels like the plague. He even calls road cyclist "roadies" as a way of denigrating them and to perpetuate the us vs. them mentality in the fixed gear community. youtube(dot)com/watch?v=FA7hK8mJMxI

youtube(dot)com/watch?v=gWOj88kSdr8
youtube(dot)com/watch?v=C85Cip4dLkM

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Old 04-02-18, 05:05 PM
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I can't think of any good reason to do it other than because you can. Zach's reasoning is a little silly but I'm planning on doing a short tour on a fixed gear this summer just because it's the bike I have and the one I like to ride.
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Old 04-02-18, 05:29 PM
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People have done it but I don't really see a reason. Yes I get that fixed gears are low maintenance but I would want gears for touring more than just doing a White Industries double/double crank and a Surly Dingle Cog. Hitting a hill with a bunch of extra weight from your touring bike isn't much fun on a geared bike and would absolutely suck on a fixed gear in a poor ratio and using a good loaded hill climbing ratio would suck for the rest of the ride.

It has nothing to do with your knees though. If you are in a proper position and you use brakes instead of brown stains on your undies you aren't likely to wear out your knees.

Now I will say if you carry very minimal UL gear and have a reasonable route that isn't super hilly it would be OK especially if you have a freewheel but I still would rather have gears for touring.
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Old 04-02-18, 05:52 PM
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Gallardo is entertaining, and offers some good info on his videos, but no, touring single-?/fixed gear, no. he stresses the efficiency on single/fixed gear, but overlooks the efficiency of the human engine, which for touring wants to spin rather than mash. He also exxagerates the unreliability and complexity of dereilleur systems.
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Old 04-02-18, 06:03 PM
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I done at least one month long tour a year for the past 15 years on a bike with a derailleur. I've never had a problem with my drive train. But, I also don't have a pony tail or other cool haircut. So, I might not have the requisite "hipness" to be answer this question.
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Old 04-02-18, 10:29 PM
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Just like there are people who do long tours on a unicycle or even people who don't believe in using dental floss. He put up his opinion and reasons why he believes. Most of us do not accept his reasons as valid, some do and then we all get back back on our own bikes and ride on.
I guess I could try a fixie, if I did have not luggage, the route was completely flat and I wanted to hang out with the 20-somethings at the coffee shop.
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Old 04-02-18, 10:36 PM
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Old 04-02-18, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by MarcusT View Post
I guess I could try a fixie, if I did have not luggage, the route was completely flat and I wanted to hang out with the 20-somethings at the coffee shop.
Now, that I re-read my own own comment, I realize that we did the exact same thing we had when we were 12 yrs old and rode our "fixies". Except for the coffee shop, we hung out at the convenience store or bowling alley.

Times have not changed
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Old 04-02-18, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
I rode a fix gear thousands of miles every year the past 40. For the first 20 of those years, perhaps 3 people a year noticed. The hipsters were still in grade school. The word "cool" was in a 25 year hibernation.

So yes, nobody saw me and it wasn't cool.

Ben
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Old 04-03-18, 04:35 AM
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Originally Posted by satrain18 View Post
.....I think this hipster is it complete idiot....
yup.

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Old 04-03-18, 05:47 AM
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Maybe.
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Old 04-03-18, 07:00 AM
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Like most touring questions, whether or not it is a good idea depends completely on what you want to get out of your own personal tour.

For what I want to do while touring, it is an awful idea. Also, I would argue that if you find a derailleur too difficult to deal with, you probably lack the mechanical skills to deal with any problem on a tour. Lastly, I simply don't care for anyone who tries to foster an "us v them" atmosphere.
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Old 04-03-18, 07:25 AM
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A lot of kids think it's a good idea to eat laundry detergent.
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Old 04-03-18, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
A lot of kids think it's a good idea to eat laundry detergent.





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Old 04-03-18, 08:23 AM
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In an earlier video(youtube(dot)com/watch?v=cBTo_5NkqbY), he gave three tips on how to ride fixed gear bike up hills. Unfortunately, they are both ineffective and can induce injuries. The first involves smashing as hard as you can going up a hill. In the video, Zach's cadence slowed down from 120 rpms to 30. The second is suffering through the excruciating pain from caused by the aforementioned lactic acid build-up which is caused by the aforementioned extremely low cadences. The third is zigzagging all over the road, thereby creating a driving hazard.

There are different types of bikes for different purposes. And I've said it once and I'll said it again: Track bikes belong on the track. It's like going on a road trip in stock car; you can do it but, it's totally impractical. It's also the same reason why you never see touring bikes on the velodrome. In Zach's case, practicality(and brains) always takes a backseat to coolness and street cred.
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Old 04-03-18, 08:48 AM
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For a 50-60 lb bike up some hills? I like the gears.
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Old 04-03-18, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
A lot of kids think it's a good idea to eat laundry detergent.
geez man.. .. tidepodz are so last week!

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Old 04-03-18, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
geez man.. .. tidepodz are so last week!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOKz8qn9LN8
Not going to click on the video. Really donít want to know.
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Old 04-03-18, 09:22 AM
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Since time immemorial fixed gear touring threads in this forum have been composed of a bunch of gainsayers who have not ridden a fixed tour, if even ridden a fixed gear at all.

Although it's silly to expect anything more of a forum focused on american-style loaded touring, it's so typical but at the same time so disappointing. Touring on a fixed gear is a direct link to the inception of the sport. It can be a wonderful experience and require a complete reorientation of norms and expectations on how and why one chooses to tour. The people who have the experience and knowledge to share how to do it effectively are turned off by the negative attitudes from non-participants so there is almost no sharing of how to do it properly, just the sucking sound of a echo chamber of negative posts. I've done a few fixed tours and I found the experience much more interesting and satisfying that regular multi-speed touring. If anyone who is seriously interested in fixed touring happens to wander through here feel free to PM me and I'll be happy to send some links that helped me and some info that I learned through the process.
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Old 04-03-18, 10:38 AM
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Pennyfarthing World Tour



NB; they're fixed gear...







....

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Old 04-03-18, 10:53 AM
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I did not watch the videos, did not need to because I know that my knees would never survive pedalling up some of the hills that I would have to go up.

I saw a unicycle that had minimal touring stuff loaded on it, that was also a fixed gear, but I would never travel that way either.
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Old 04-03-18, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
Since time immemorial.....
....there has been one correct solution for trolling, you've got to...

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Old 04-03-18, 11:11 AM
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I see no reason not to use a fixie or single speed for touring if its relatively flat and you are travelling light. It's one of those issues that can't really be answered without asking a lot more questions about the tour. If its only the occasional steep hill getting off and walking is not a problem.

Given a choice between a single speed and fixed gear though I personally don't think I could live without a bit of coasting on such a tour so a fixed gear bike is not for me, single speed would be the option for me if I had the freedom to choose. However if the whole point of the tour was to use a fixed gear I would do it.
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Old 04-03-18, 11:26 AM
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I admire people who aim higher than the average. It would really take self discipline and clear focus to tour fg.

Wether it's fun...if not challenging myself, it's not fun. Might as well drive a car.

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Old 04-03-18, 11:27 AM
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Why does anyone tour, anyway? I presume we do it for fun.

If there's a way to do it that's more fun than another way, then I think the more fun way is the better idea.

Riding a fixed gear is fun. If you haven't done it, you don't know what I'm talking about, but take my word for it, it's really fun. I've done plenty of 50-60 mile rides on the fixed gear, and over a dozen 100 - 130 mile rides on the fixed gear, and not just flat rides, and I promise, it's fun. I'm faster on the fixie than on a geared bike; not because it's easier, but because of the way you have to attack the hills.

That said, I wouldn't tour on a fixed gear. I don't think that would be fun.

So, this guy Zack, he thinks it's fun. I take his word for that. So, it's a good idea for him. But I don't think I'll be trying it myself.
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