Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Touring on a Fixed Gear

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Touring on a Fixed Gear

Old 11-11-03, 10:13 AM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 217
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Touring on a Fixed Gear

I am interested in anyone who has done full touring on a fixed gear. I have done one extended tour on a geared bike and am thinking that I would like to attempt one on a fixed gear next. My converted fix is a full touring bike with good clearances, and all braze ons.

I see the advantages as:

1-Stronger rear wheel
Using a non-dished wheel with all spokes sharing the load, should give less stress to the spokes on the drive side. The flange width dimension on the rear wheel is much wider, providing a better bracing angle, adding to the wheel strength.

2- High flange rear hub
Should allow for drive side spoke removal without removing cog on the drive side ( up to 19 teeth.) There would be no need to take along a large crescent wrench to get the cogset off.

3-Fixed gears seem to make it easier to maintain a given speed over time.

4-A fix/fix rear hub would allow for a hill gear on the left side.
This would require a second chain to be installed when the hills are encountered if the difference with the other cog would be greater than 2 teeth.

5-Thicker, solid rear axle would be better than the hollow axle on a geared bike.

6-No fiddling with the derailleur.

7-Although it would seem to defy reason: I find constant peddling less fatiguing than the millions of stops and starts that the legs are subjected to with a freewheeling hub.

I converted the Miyata 1000 tourer to fixed in the spring, with the idea of switching back to geared for touring. Now, I am so impressed with the stripped down efficiency of the fixed gear concept, that I am wondering whether it would work for touring. I know some use fixed gear off-road, and others have used them in the touring application. Any comments?

P.S. I would avoid Mt. Washington!
Barnaby is offline  
Old 11-11-03, 10:27 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Bobatin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Newnan, GA
Posts: 402
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You are creating problems where none exist. But, have fun.
Bobatin is offline  
Old 11-11-03, 11:20 AM
  #3  
Kev
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,652
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have to agree with Bobatin, but hey why not Definately add two brakes though, considering the added weight. Now if you are planning on crossing a mountain, I can see why you would not want to do it since you don't have the gear range needed. Now if you could just find a old SA 3 speed fixed gear hub you would be set
Kev is offline  
Old 11-11-03, 11:20 AM
  #4  
hello
 
roadfix's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 18,692
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 193 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 51 Posts
You'll no doubtedly encounter climbs. What gear-inches will you be pushing?
Crossing over to another thread here, but that's one of the reasons I chose the BOB so eventually I can do a mini tour using my fixie as well. But that'll definitely be a flatlander tour.

George
roadfix is offline  
Old 11-11-03, 11:54 AM
  #5  
One less car
 
Jay H's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: The Berkshires, MA
Posts: 981

Bikes: '08 Soma Groove (commuter/long distance tourer), '97 Lemond Zurich (road commuter/tourer),'01 Seven Axiom Ti, '03 Look KG381i, '01 Santa Cruz Superlite X

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rather than a second chain, would it be possible to get a bike with horizontal dropouts, thereby you have some freedom of movement fore and aft.. I know the racers back in early 1900's used to use one wheel with a cog on both sides thereby reversing the wheel would give you two gears. I wonder how they did it, did they also use two chains?

Or perhaps use the Sachs masterlink chain with two masterlinks so you can take out a section on the smaller cog...

Very interesting, let us know what you go with, I'm interested in hearing your solution.

If not Mt Washington, you can always try Mt. Greylock...

Jay
Jay H is offline  
Old 11-11-03, 12:37 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: England
Posts: 12,948
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Horizontal dropouts are a must. They are even good for geared touring bikes, permitting any single gear if your rear mech gives up and goes south.
Ive met on athlete touring Ireland on a Bianchi Pista fixed. He was in training for a race, and was travelling pretty light, not camping.
Some of the old expedition tourists used fixed gear. The first crossing of Iceland on a bike was done in the 1950s on a fixie.

These days, you can get std gearing components which are plenty strong enough. There are solutions to drive-side spoke access, such as a hyper-cracker, or a Phil Woods hub.
The issue of solid hubs is strange. Solid axles are the same diamter, and the centre material does little structural work. A solid hub is under tension, so when it breaks, it flies apart. A hollow axle is under compression, and broken axles have been known to carry on working for a short while.
MichaelW is offline  
Old 11-11-03, 01:09 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 217
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You'll no doubtedly encounter climbs. What gear-inches will you be pushing?
I now ride a 70". The renowned Mr. Brown prefers a 74".
I would have to experiment with the adjustment required for full touring. I would think a step-down of about 5".

I wonder how they did it, did they also use two chains?
I currently have horizontal dropouts. I think they normally allow for a horizontal adjustment enough to allow for a cog with a two tooth difference. This would mean that i could use a 17 and a 19 on the fix/fix with the only adjustment necessary being the moving of the wheel in the dropouts. If I used a "granny cog" though, the tooth differential would be much greater, requiring a longer chain. That idea of two masterlinks is very clever, I never thought of that.

Some of the old expedition tourists used fixed gear. The first crossing of Iceland on a bike was done in the 1950s on a fixie.
.

Thanks Michael. The era that that represents fascinates me as far as cycling goes. But I am not a complete luddite, I like some modern advances very much-i.e. clipless pedals and Mb shoe combinations, as well as velcro; the later since the thought of getting laces caught in spokes on a downhill at 160 rpm plus on a fixed, gives me the cold sweats.

Now, if I can only find a chain case since I won't be running a derailleur.
[QUOTE]
Barnaby is offline  
Old 11-11-03, 02:49 PM
  #8  
Infamous Dumpster Diver
 
Buddha Knuckle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: West Philly, PA
Posts: 191

Bikes: '89 Nishiki Cascade (set-up as a tourer); '99 Gary Fisher Aquila; late 80's John Howard (by Dave Hesch); '70 Schwinn 3spd

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by MichaelW
...A solid hub is under tension, so when it breaks, it flies apart. A hollow axle is under compression, and broken axles have been known to carry on working for a short while.
Yo that's some deep $#!+ right there. Folks just keep dropping little gems like that all the time on this board!

By the way Barnaby, check this out...(scroll down a tad to the blue fixie that just completed the Paris-Brest-Paris)

https://www.on-one.co.uk/index2.html

BK
Buddha Knuckle is offline  
Old 11-11-03, 08:33 PM
  #9  
Year-round cyclist
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Montréal (Québec)
Posts: 3,023
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
I refer you to this site: Kent Peterson

This guy is a randonneur and has done longtours on his fixed gear bicycle. He usually travels lightly loaded (he does unsupported touring but don't carry the kitchen sink) and has a few tours with an average daily mileage of roughly 200 miles.

I would say: take it easy. Do daily rides first, then try with some load and some hills, otherwise you might kill your knees.

Regards,
Michel Gagnon is offline  
Old 10-30-04, 04:06 PM
  #10  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 17
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Barnaby,

Did you ever take that tour on a fixed gear? I'm thinking about riding from NYC to Montreal on a fixed gear and wondering how realistic that is.

Cheers,
Eric
eappleton is offline  
Old 10-30-04, 05:56 PM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Juneau, AK
Posts: 201
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Fixed gear touring? Seems like an exercise in masochism.

Mike
sakarias is offline  
Old 10-31-04, 01:28 PM
  #12  
Mr. Cellophane
 
RainmanP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 3,037
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I agree, Mike. I love my fixed gear, but when I go tour I want things to be easy so I can really enjoy the ride and the scenery. If I am climbing a steep climb, I want a 19 inch gear if that will make it more enjoyable. I don't want to be burning my legs out or walking on steep climbs or trying to keep my rpm below 150 on steep decents. I enjoy challenging myself, but there are times for that and there are times to maximizing the enjoyment of the ride. Touring is kind of a challenge in itself. It would not be fun to be "challenging" myself physically every day and lessening the enjoyment of the scenery, etc. It's just a difference in priorities. If someone wants to tour on a fixed gear, more power to them.
__________________
If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!
RainmanP is offline  
Old 10-31-04, 02:24 PM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
saddlesores's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Thailand..........Nakhon Nowhere
Posts: 3,654

Bikes: inferior steel....and....noodly aluminium

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1053 Post(s)
Liked 341 Times in 229 Posts
step 1: zip-tie freewheel to spokes.

step 2: duct tape shift levers to bars.

step 3: load gear and start tour.

step 4: regain sanity; cut zip-ties & duct tape.
saddlesores is offline  
Old 10-31-04, 03:25 PM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 136
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
A two-speed fixed gear hub:

https://www.thebikesmith.com/special.htm

Rear cog is 18 teeth, and low gear is 30% smaller. Choose a chairing to suit your needs.
PdxMark is offline  
Old 11-05-04, 03:14 AM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 86
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
you could also utilize two front sprockets. If you want to keep the same size chain, a smaller second front sprocket would allow you to use that much larger of a rear sprocket for the climbs.

I'm quite impressed by the Rivendell Quickbeam. Cantis front and rear, though no touring lugs, but there are still racks that could be mounted.

After being exposed to ultralight backpacking, I can't imagine not doing the same with cycle touring. : )
Gardener is offline  
Old 11-05-04, 03:21 AM
  #16  
Get outdoors! :)
 
Becca's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 456

Bikes: Schwinn Sierra 700 Limited Edition

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by MichaelW
A solid hub is under tension, so when it breaks, it flies apart. A hollow axle is under compression, and broken axles have been known to carry on working for a short while.
I can vouch for the latter; I took my bike in for a tune-up a month or so ago, and my rear axle was broken. Had no clue until they showed it to me.
Becca is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.