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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I turned 47 y/o last week so I thought I should build up a fixie. I have a Miyata Pro frame with a Superbe track crank and a 44 tooth chain ring. What size cog for a beginner? 18T?
Plenty of experience on road bikes so I do know somethig about spinning. I live in a hilly area. Hub is a Surly flip flop if that makes any difference.

Thanks for the suggestions.
 

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Lizzie will ride free
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The late, great Sheldon:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/

Most people end up with a 65-72 ish inch gear. I ride a 42/17. I spin, and there are steep hills where I ride. It's on the low side.

44/18 seems like a reasonable starting point. Oh, and that sounds like a nice bike.
 

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I am 49 live in a essentially a flat city and ride a 44 x 18. I am not a masher and ride typically in downtown traffic so it is stop light to stop light. My goal is to get up to speed quickly and ride at a comfortable pace.

Your Miyata with the Superbe Pro is going to be very nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the advice!

I will go with the 18T cog. The frame is not the original paint, but was powdercoated a turquoise blue with red accents, fork is a nice chromed Tange with a sloping crown (not original). It came with red anodzed Modoolo Pro brakes, red tape, hoods and housing. Levers are Camy non-aero. It has a DA threaded HS, but the owner threw in a red CK that I can swap out.

It will be nice to have something different. I should feel like a hipster when its done and when I ride it I should feel 20 years younger, right?!?!?!

I'll post a pic.
 

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Do some testing

Here's what I'd do. Get on your road bike, put it in the gear that most closely approximates the combo you're considering, and ride the routes you expect to ride on the fixie, trying to coast as little as possible. You can't really duplicate the fixed experience, especially on the descents, but you certainly can find out whether the gear is feasible for the climbs. Try this with a range of gears and see what seems to work best.

There are different approaches to selecting gearing. If your rides are mostly flat, people generally look for a gear that gives them their desirable cadence at their most common cruising speed. For a hilly-route bike, I approach it a little differently, thinking of the descents as the limiting factor. I want the highest gear that will allow me to climb my steepest climbs safely. A higher gear allows faster descents before I spin out and have to start riding the brake. So this means, paradoxically, that I might end up with a little higher gear if I use the bike in the hills.

For me, your proposed gear (about 65 inches) would be a little low. When I started riding fixed I used about that gear (39x16), but after some practice I changed to a 14 cog (about 73 inches), and that works better for me. With a 44 ring, a 16 cog would be in that range.

I suggest you do some tests on the road bike to get a starting point, but assume you may make some changes as you get experience.

It will be nice to have something different. I should feel like a hipster when its done and when I ride it I should feel 20 years younger, right?!?!?!
It is different, and if you get to like it, it's really fun. I don't know about the hipster stuff ;-). I was about your age when I first rode a fixed. I liked it right away. I'll be 59 next month, and I commute to work on a fixed-gear almost every day. But I still prefer the road bike for my hilliest rides.

Have fun.
 

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hello
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OperaLover said:
It will be nice to have something different. I should feel like a hipster when its done and when I ride it I should feel 20 years younger, right?!?!?!
Never mind that. The chicks will dig ya. .....
 

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JCavilia said:
Here's what I'd do. Get on your road bike, put it in the gear that most closely approximates the combo you're considering, and ride the routes you expect to ride on the fixie, trying to coast as little as possible. ... edited for space...

Have fun.

What he said. Everybody has different capabilities. This question is asked a lot over in the mtbr SS forum. There are so many variables: rider conditioning, terrain, weather, etc. For off road I change 2 or 3 times before settling in on a gearing for the race.

For the two SS road machines it's easier. It was a case of using a moderate gearing I could spin up easily to ~110 rpms and be around 25 mph. On the heavier bike with fenders I think it's running a 42x16. On Donna, the new bike, she's running a 44x16, thought she came with a 14 I never rode her with it.
 

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hello
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It took me a couple of years of riding around and swapping gears to finally settle on a gear I'm happy with for the most part. But I occasionally swap cogs and stay with that for a few months depending on my fitness level.
 

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roadfix said:
It took me a couple of years of riding around and swapping gears to finally settle on a gear I'm happy with for the most part. But I occasionally swap cogs and stay with that for a few months depending on my fitness level.
A lot of good advice. It was a little over three years ago that I first ventured into fixed. At the age of 59 I might add, albeit I'm a fairly fit rider.

I built my Raleigh commuter with a 48x17 for my 2.5 mile dead flat commute. With a 700x28 tire it was a bit tough going home into our consistent "on shore" sea breeze. I switched to an 18 and it works just fine.

On my dedicated fixie I went with a 42x16. With a 700x23 tire it's fractionally lower than the commuter, but it too works fine. Regularly do 40+ mile rides on it.

With all the variables involved, it may take a bit of fooling around but you'll find your "sweet spot." Welcome to the "club"!!:thumbsup:
 

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OperaLover said:
I will go with the 18T cog. The frame is not the original paint, but was powdercoated a turquoise blue with red accents, fork is a nice chromed Tange with a sloping crown (not original). It came with red anodzed Modoolo Pro brakes, red tape, hoods and housing. Levers are Camy non-aero. It has a DA threaded HS, but the owner threw in a red CK that I can swap out.
I'll post a pic.
Wow, can't wait to see the pic's. Sounds like a nice build.
I'd kill to have back my old Superbe Pro drivetrain w/all cogs n rings.

Lesson: Never sell your track bike for hookers and blow.
 

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I find the 42x16 (close to a 44x17) to be fairly ideal for all around riding. A bit of a grind on the uphills but 10 minutes is around the max climb time in my area. I wouldn't want an easier gear on the downhills. I already have to use the brake on steeper/longer descents. I hate using the brake! The good news is you can easily switch - it's not like you're buying a $100 cassette.
 

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goldsbar said:
The good news is you can easily switch - it's not like you're buying a $100 cassette.
But at least the $100 cassette comes with 10 sprockets of varying sizes.... :D
 

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jaded bitter joy crusher
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I'm 48 and I've been riding 44x18 for several years now. It's a good ratio except when the hills get toward 10%. I happen to live on top of a short 12% hill and when I pull into my driveway my heart is usually going 190+

Apart from that 44x18 works very well for me.
 

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Yeppers. About 70 gear inches. I've always preferred a bit over to a bit under.

I'm particularly fond of my 44x16 combo, about 72 gear inches. I can handle all the ups and downs and flats in that one.

C.
 

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eRacer
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44T x 19T works great for me.
I don't go very fast, but love to spin and my route is fairly flat.
44T x 18T also works for the flats, but the hill at the end of my 45-mile route is a killer.
 

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I don't know if this is true for others, but I find that the more I ride SS and fixed, the lower I go (in gear inches anyway). I would have expected just the opposite. Intuitively it seems like as you build strength, you'd be able to push a taller gear. And that's true, but at the same time your cadence increases so lower gearing gives you easier climbing without giving up top end speed.

Anyway, I currently run 44 X 18 on my SS commuter and 46 X 18 on my fixed gear bike. I intend to go slightly lower on both the next time I need to replace a worn out chainring, freewheel or cog. Factor in that I live in Seattle where there isn't a whole lot of flat ground.
 

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Baltic Scum
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OperaLover said:
I turned 47 y/o last week so I thought I should build up a fixie. I have a Miyata Pro frame with a Superbe track crank and a 44 tooth chain ring. What size cog for a beginner? 18T?
Plenty of experience on road bikes so I do know somethig about spinning. I live in a hilly area. Hub is a Surly flip flop if that makes any difference.

Thanks for the suggestions.
47 is too old to ride fixed. I'll take the cranks and hub for sure - you only pay for shipping.

Frame size?
 

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hello
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lonesomesteve said:
I don't know if this is true for others, but I find that the more I ride SS and fixed, the lower I go (in gear inches anyway). I would have expected just the opposite.
Nothing to do with strength, you're just getting wiser. Over the years, I've done the same.... :D
 

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eRacer
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roadfix said:
Nothing to do with strength, you're just getting wiser. Over the years, I've done the same.... :D
roadfix;
Gee, I ride 44 X 19, so I guess that makes me pretty Smart.:thumbsup:
 

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I'm 55 and ride a little less than 80 gear inches, 46x16, 700x32 tires.
I find that a bigger gear is easier to climb while standing because the bike is more stable and it's hard to spin while standing.
 
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