Dedication to Fixed?

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  • Hero. One day I'd like to grow up to be big and strong like you!

  • Funnily enough, have been thinking about getting a fixed gear bike again for a while. Think it's the only thing from living in London I miss, especially as now working from home full time so no commute by bike into Zone 1 etc.

    Now tempted even more but options for #buyers in darkest Worcestershire are limited and budget is non-existent.

  • What? Dinosaurs had gears?

  • No I think they were joggers

  • Cleaned my bike and geared down from 48x17 to 48x19. All is good again.

  • That is because 48 x 19 is the ratio of the Gods.

    Don't you fucking dare at me.

  • Also: ride fixed in town. Unless you are carrying a lot of stuff.

  • Update:

    A few months ago I bought possibly the most boring bike ever, a Cube Travel Pro.

    I'd been thinking about building a new bike which would have gears, bigger tyres, disc brakes etc but I thought I didn't really want deraileur gears so hub gear and if I was doing hub gear I might as well do belt drive and when I looked at buying all the bits I was pretty much at the price of the Cube just for components.

    I did get pangs of buyer's remorse and was a bit uneasy about owning/riding such a 'mainstream' bike but I've really been enjoying it. I have done a couple rides over 100km which was way out of reach for me on a fixed bike.

    It quickly became my 'goto' bike and have been riding it more than any others.

    There's definitely things I don't love about it, it weighs a ton, its ali so I can't hack it up...but I'm now looking at modifying one of the frames I've previously built in order to swap all the parts from the Cube over to it.

    I actually rode fixed yesterday for the first time in ages and man, I was broken after 30 miles!

    The Cube is defintely a 'ride slow, die whenever' type of bike so the pace yesterday was a bit of a shock to the system but also a bit of a shock was not feeling like a failure for not enjoying riding fixed.

    TLDR; I now have a non-fixed bike and love it.

  • Now I live on the other side of crystal palace I can't commute with my fixed year bike anymore. It annoys me greatly. Vaguely hoping to find a cheap fixed Sturmey Archer hub, though couldn't justify it...

  • Like Chaley's neighbour mentioned above, I'm approaching double M_V's age.

    Although I've done quite a lot of riding on gears in recent years , I would never willingly be without at least one fixed bike.

    Today I had a ride to go on, meeting some friends (mostly old and not fast men even when young) in Hertford and, just on a whim, I took my better fixed bike. We had lunch at Roydon (Essex), and I estimate my mileage at about 70; I honestly don't think I would have arrived home much less tired if I'd used a geared bike.

    If I told you I achieved a good average speed or didn't feel tired I would be lying, my point is that it's quite possible to be old and still ride fixed.

    On the very first 'Hard Day in January' in 2009 one of my companions was my club mate Jeff Marshall who is about four years my senior. Although Jeff is so old that he inevitably started his career on fixed he told me he hadn't ridden fixed on the road for decades, so riding fixed that day was almost a 'new' experience. Now we all know Jeff is a classy rider, but as some one who has always used fixed a fair amount I was really disappointed to find on the day that, using identical gearing, this 'old bloke' (as I thought at the time) could drop me downhill as well as up!

    So don't think you have to give up fixed just because you're middled aged.

  • I wonder if some of it is to do with riding with people verdus riding alone.

    The longer rides I’ve done on my ‘boring geared bike’ have been solo so the pace has been entirely at my choosing.

    Riding fixed tends to be with some other people and generally my friends like to ride faster than I do so I’ll tend to be pushing myself.

  • Isn't it an accepted fact that fixed and gears do not work well together in the same group?

    A group riding fixed has a different rhythm from a group on gears - the geared group will almost certainly descend faster, and although it may not be obvious, the fixed group may well climb faster where the gradients are not super steep, because it's necessary to keep up a reasonable cadence.

    Are the 'other people' you mention above on fixed or gears?

  • I've been riding fixed exclusively on the road now for about 6 years. I ride weekly with a club and regularly ride audaxes on fixed with some club members.
    If I want a tough ride I'll go with the fast or intermediate group where they'll be pushing a bit but I'll be pretty much balls out the whole ride.
    If I want a steady zone 2 with a few challenging climbs (which is most times now as I do the tough stuff on the track) I ride with the 'social' group. I'm aware I'm working a bit harder than they are but still maintaining my fitness and can chat and look at the scenery!
    There are a few riders who like to just randomly stop pedalling once in a while on a group ride which is frustrating for me following on fixed but generally we all work pretty well together.
    I'm almost 50 and will stick with fixed as long as my body will let me.
    I think if I couldn't keep up with anyone or generally felt like an outcast on fixed I would probably do gears as well just to keep up the social side but as long as I can hold my own, I much prefer fixed. Not much point to make really just sharing my thoughts...

  • The other people I ride with are generally fixed too and it's like one or two others at most really.

    I've done a few rides with bigger bunches and while I've been a bit worried about hacking the pace beforehand, I've generally managed ok once out.

    Rode fixed to work today and it was rather nice. Different bike to what I rode and didn't enjoy the other day, think that one is too aggressive for me.

  • I took the shhh gravel fixed in to work today for the first time. 34mm byway tyres, 19-42 gearing. The ‘road’ to work is awful in places and I just glided in, there are a couple of short, but steep climbs on the way and again the gearing was perfect. But what goes up must come down, a bit of rough used to be concrete track and today Liz shot off like a bullet and hit over 30mph. I was spinning like a loon and could only hit 23mph. No quarter was given and she ribbed me all the way in about having to wait for me. I may change the rear sprocket tonight.

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  • Unclippy spin spin legs out wide like an angel or tucked behind like Guy Martin.


  • unclipping is like shifting or giving up ;-)

    most of our rides are what they now call gravel. no problem keeping up with our 3-4 grupetto. at the end of the day i'm eating the most and look more beaten...

  • I think I did about 130 miles fixed last week. About 110 miles was on my 1938 Parkes and the other 20 on my usual daily. That’s a bit more than normal because I rode down to the Goodwood Revival and partway home last weekend.

  • Short rides for me are nearly always fixed, anything longer 6/7 miles I appreciate being able to freewheel especially down slopes/hills. Maybe it's age.

  • ^ same. I took a ~5 year break while living in a city that was bike unfriendly, all rides were either long distance or commute that didn't suit it. Recently moved to somewhere that is much nicer and built up a shopper that I really enjoy horsing around on and working the legs. If I wind up moving again and it's a hassle I'll rebuild the wheels with a coaster brake... until the next time it makes sense.

  • Isn't it an accepted fact that fixed and gears do not work well together in the same group?

    A group riding fixed has a different rhythm from a group on gears - the geared group will almost certainly descend faster, and although it may not be obvious, the fixed group may well climb faster where the gradients are not super steep, because it's necessary to keep up a reasonable cadence.

    Yes. There was a time on here when larger group rides were generally advertised as ride fw/ss with us, or bring gears if you must but be prepared to ride at our pace: no shooting off in little bunches in 53/11 or halfwheeling on the downhills, and don’t do massive slowup/downshifts on a narrow climb if you’re blocking the road for fixed riders attacking the hill. Which geared riders inevitably did, regardless. Stopped wanting to ride in large groups years ago. Hell is other people.

  • ^^^ This. I did 100 mile charity ride with a group of roadies and got called all sorts of names for blasting up every climb and then slowing them down on every drop. After a while I stopped waiting for them at the top and after a few miles more they didn’t pass me again. I was nice and waited at the finish for them coffee in hand. (In reality I only just beat them and grabbed an empty cup from the floor, but shh)

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Dedication to Fixed?

Posted by Avatar for M_V @M_V