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just curious. if you do, what is your gearing? and are you able to keep up? i am thinking about it. thanks.
 

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Moderatus Puisne
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Sure.

When I rode fixed a whole lot, I did.

42 x 18 or 42 x 16, and I could keep up fine on the uphills, but steep downhills were not possible.

On the flats, on an easier day, it was okay, but 42 x 18 spins out at 26-27, so that didn't work well on hammer fests.

42 x 16 on a flat hammer ride is HARD, but it's doable.
 

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I used to. I needed about 80 GI to hang on those long hammerfests but always got dropped on the hills.
On non-hammer rides I can hang running about 70 GI, but usually get dropped on the descents. A single speed would be better so I can coast on the descents and keep up for the most part.

I can usually hang from start to finish if the ride is relatively flat. I usually sit in the middle of the pack and draft the entire ride....:p
 

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I know that if you aren't skilled, the other riders will want to shake you loose. When everyone's riding nose-to-tail, you best be on pace with a smooth cadence. Trouble comes when you hit a descent and a gap opens up between you and the guy ahead. Those behind you will drop you to close it. (Ask me how I know this).
 

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duh...
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you might get weird looks, or even discouragement from the group... not only do you need to be fairly fast to keep up (climbing and downhill), but you better be able to regulate your speed within the group (slowing when they coast), be able to accelerate when needed (surges out of corners and closing other gaps), be confident in panic stops (hopefully you won't need to show it). gotta pay attention when riding w/ gearies, I wouldn't recommend it unless you are a baller
 

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Carbon Fiber = Explode!
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As long as it's my Sunday ride group (eg: non-racers) I'm alright.

Oddly enough I use the same gearing Andrea uses on these rollin' hills in madtown. I'm usually able to keep a good pace. I also have a fixie only ride group. I love having multiple bike group, definitely gives me different paces when I feel like it.
 

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We've also got the fixed gear rides here too but they're the non-spandex type rides. I don't quite fit in with the crowd and their riding style.
 

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Baltic Scum
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theone29 said:
just curious. if you do, what is your gearing? and are you able to keep up? i am thinking about it. thanks.
Tuesday night beginner's ride. Anything over 20mph average is a lie.
 

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Game on, b*tches!
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I showed up at a not particularly fast ride with mine. Rollers mostly (the ride leader was kind to me), but I kept up just fine. Was probably running a 42x17 at the time. Also did a flat century on mine; 42x16, I think. Avged about 20mph...
 

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theone29 said:
just curious. if you do, what is your gearing? and are you able to keep up? i am thinking about it. thanks.
Many times with the local (non-racing) club, nearly every weekend, and am nearly always the only fixed rider....enjoy the challenge of trying to hang w/ geared riders and usually do OK, but generally get dropped on descents. Sometimes a bicycle babe in the club will be unduly impressed and think I'm an extremely strong rider (NOT the case) but I can live with that ;-) Gearing in 49x18, about 73 inches....
 

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I can also use the fixed gear as a good excuse for getting dropped on rides that I know I can't handle even on a geared bike.
 

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This thread prompted me to ride my SS Saturday morning. It was not as bad as I had originally suspected it would be. I ran 46x17 and spun out on the hammer section of the ride. I ended up in the back group of the split instead of the vying for the county line win. The place I would excel is on the rolling climbs because of having to keep my cadence up I would stand and maintain my speed rather than down shifting.

All and all a lot of fun and it really makes for some comments, just bring strong legs and a competative spirit.
 

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Yes, with the SS it lets you spin like a madman, coast, draft, recover, spin like a madman, and repeat....
 

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Spicy Dumpling
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I'll take my singlespeed on casual group rides, I've take the fixie but it's harder to regulate speed so it can get dangerous in a paceline. So I usually take the singlespeed. I can't quite keep up on the hammer fests. It's not the climbs but the flats where I drop off. I'm in hilly country and gear 44/17 or 18 for the climbs.
 

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No Crybabies
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sure

theone29 said:
just curious. if you do, what is your gearing? and are you able to keep up? i am thinking about it. thanks.
Heck, I've done double centuries and many other events on them. On a hilly double, I run about 2 hours slower on the fixed gear. It's slower climbing and slower descending, and forget 25 mph pacelines (with roughly a 70 inch gear). In events of 200 to 300 riders, I typically end up around the 50th percentile on the fixed, where I'd have been 10th to 20th percentile on a multispeed bike.

I just can't climb as efficiently once the grade goes over about 3%. Then, the steeper it gets, the more I'll vary from my multispeed efficiency, where I can shift to any gear to stay around 80 to 100 rpms. Once the grade goes over 15%, on the fixed, lack of efficiency nearly goes infinite, meaning it's almost impossible, and in a double where it hit 20%, I was hoofing it.

Descending, I *can* hit around 35 mph sustained on the fixed, but it takes a lot out of me. I have to raise off the seat, supporting my weight with my legs, and focus on spinning really fast -- all the while my freewheeling friends, are sitting there next to me nice and relaxed, actually recuperating during the descent. If coasting speeds exceed the 35 mph, then it's hopeless. Nonetheless, speeds over about 25 mph sustained usually are not worth trying, as it's very fatiguing and the chafing gets pretty bad. So, in reality on the descents I run about 25% to 50% slower than coasting.

I can't stay in pacelines at 25 mph, no matter how easy it would be to sit in. Sustaining 130 rpms, even under little power, is too fatiguing.

So, what I find is that at the beginning of a double, I'm losing ground to all sorts of people. Even those I can climb with, they are blowing me away on the following descent. However, by about half way, it evens out. By definition, the people around you are riding at the same *average* speed, so you tend to stay around them. However, they are typically descending much faster, and I'm climbing much faster, at least on the sections under around 6%. On the flats, we tend to be fairly evenly matched by that point. By very late in the ride, I tend to find myself around people who are more and more similar to my speeds, even if we are doing a bit of leapfrog, me faster on climbs and they faster on descents.

So, if there are long steep hills, you'll tend to do a lot of leapfrog with the coasters. On a ride with few or at least short hills, you can probably stay pretty close.

Something to keep in mind is that other riders may not have ever ridden around a fixed gear bike. When people ride behind a coasting bike, people tend to catch on quickly that the lead rider is slowing first by their ceasing to pedal. Of course, you can slow significantly on a fixed bike while still pedaling and with no braking. Also, coasting bikes typically will stop pedaling through turns, while we always pedal. Near the end of the Climb to Kaiser two guys following me crashed as I made a right turn (which I signaled), as they did not expect me to turn while pedaling. They got inside my rear wheel. They were ok. So, I learned that it's a good idea to warn people around you that you never stop pedaling, and exaggerate your signaling of intentions to be safe.

As to gearing, I essentially gear for my hardest climb. If I have too tall a gear to get up the hill, nothing else matters. Run the tallest gear that allows you to climb your hardest hill. Then, you'll be as fast as possible on the descents and flats. For me, riding long events in the mountains, that means about 66 to 70 gear inches, and even then it can require extreme measures to get up the hardest sections and avoid disintegration on the long descents.
 

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Yes, forget pacelines. Whenever I do organized century and double century rides on the fixed gear even with several thousand riders out there, I usually end up doing the entire ride solo.
 
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