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Hi, I am new to the forums, and I am a noob to bikes and when i purchased my bike, the Gary Fisher Gritty, about a month ago, I was looking into just having a bike to commute to friends houses, stores etc. Right after I bought my bike, my friend bought a Phat Phixie about 2 days later. Come to find out he is so much faster than I am on my Gary Fisher Gritty, and I now realize that I had wished I had gotten a single speed which I can get to places with speed. I am just wondering if anyone knows of any ideas I can do to make my bike more road like? Thank you!
 

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For starters.

If you're about as strong as your friend, ride mostly on flat roads and the bikes haven't been modified, my guess is that the difference in gearing is what slows you down when speeds get over 15 mph.

The Gritty's gearing is 38 (front) x 17 (rear), which works out to a relatively low 60" gear. The Phat Phixie's gearing is 44 x 16, which works out to a relatively high 74" gear. When you ride together, you'll always need to spin your crank at a much higher rate than your friend (at 20 mph, 110 rpm for you vs. 90 rpm for him).

To ride at such high rpm (cadence) for any length of time takes excellent aerobic fitness and a long time of adaptation. Rather than wait for that to happen, I suggest you bring your gearing more in line with that of your friend. A 15-tooth rear cog will give you a more reasonable 68" gear, a 14-tooth rear cog will give you a 73" gear, which would virtually match the gear of your friend.
 
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