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An old guy newbie to single speed?

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An old guy newbie to single speed?

Old 09-26-23, 10:11 PM
  #1  
bironi
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An old guy newbie to single speed?

I have been riding fixed for over 10 year for most of every season.
I have installed a White Industries single speed freewheel on my winter bike.
It sure seems to be faster and less effort, although I may have slightly too low of gear inches.
Does this ring true to you?
Thanks,
By

Last edited by bironi; 09-26-23 at 10:12 PM. Reason: stupidity
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Old 09-27-23, 05:23 PM
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My freewheel is faster than fixed. Both are fun, though this year I've been riding the freewheel much more than fixed.
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Old 10-05-23, 04:16 AM
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it's only been the last few months I've attempted riding roads (mostly dirt) on a fixed gear. So far the overall ride is probably slower as I'm still learning how to approach intersections at speed and stop quickly... with my foot in the right position to kick off smoothly again.
And then there's downhills - I am definitely faster freewheeling downhill. I think, due to : 1. confidence; 2. coasting over bumps & holes in the road with my weight off the seat; 3. leg speed; 4. and that confidence to stop quickly

only the last 2 weeks or so did i start figuring out the whole - lock the rear wheel thing - by kind of weighting forward a bit and pushing pretty hard with the feet in the wrong direction. Usually only on the loose dirt, I'm not looking to trash a tire.

cheers.

ps: i'm having a harder time track standing fixed. with a freewheel, i'm used to being able to back pedal and NOT go anywhere! now it's fixed, ..... i'm not used to it yet.
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Old 10-05-23, 05:51 PM
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Two things for me with the freewheel: Harder to track stand. So much easier on the down hill.
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Old 10-08-23, 09:47 PM
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ofajen
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Fixed gear requires that you do the “overhead” of spinning your legs, feet and pedals at some speed when going downhill unless you are deliberately forcing the bike to move your feet and legs to brake. Either way there is an energy cost.

Single speed doesn’t require this overhead so you can coast and not pedal. So there is more total work involved riding fixed gear, at least on routes with some downhill part.

Otto

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Old 10-08-23, 10:11 PM
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I can't imagine any terrain or distance where fixed would be faster. On a short flat or uphill route there should be no difference. Other than that, SS should be faster. Faster on a steep downhill, easier to give your rear a short break on a long ride.

Having said that, on a local flat 100km route, my PR is on fixed not geared. Never tried it SS though. Maybe I should; by the end I'm really wanting to stand up and stretch for even just a moment.
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Old 10-18-23, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by downtube42
I can't imagine any terrain or distance where fixed would be faster. On a short flat or uphill route there should be no difference. Other than that, SS should be faster. Faster on a steep downhill, easier to give your rear a short break on a long ride.

Having said that, on a local flat 100km route, my PR is on fixed not geared. Never tried it SS though. Maybe I should; by the end I'm really wanting to stand up and stretch for even just a moment.
i can relate to that wish to stand and stretch!
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Old 10-20-23, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by mrv
it's only been the last few months I've attempted riding roads (mostly dirt) on a fixed gear. So far the overall ride is probably slower as I'm still learning how to approach intersections at speed and stop quickly... with my foot in the right position to kick off smoothly again.
And then there's downhills - I am definitely faster freewheeling downhill. I think, due to : 1. confidence; 2. coasting over bumps & holes in the road with my weight off the seat; 3. leg speed; 4. and that confidence to stop quickly

only the last 2 weeks or so did i start figuring out the whole - lock the rear wheel thing - by kind of weighting forward a bit and pushing pretty hard with the feet in the wrong direction. Usually only on the loose dirt, I'm not looking to trash a tire.

cheers.

ps: i'm having a harder time track standing fixed. with a freewheel, i'm used to being able to back pedal and NOT go anywhere! now it's fixed, ..... i'm not used to it yet.
Once you're used to the fixed the track stand is easier than the freewheel. Sit on the saddle when you have the standing nervous thing nailed.
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Old 10-27-23, 02:00 PM
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The kind of terrain you're riding makes a big difference. With a fixed gear or single speed, you will have to make compromises, and will seldom have the perfect gear ratio. (If you were always riding on flat ground with no wind, you could find the ideal ratio and stick with it, but that's not how most people ride.)

I have a fixed gear bike that I use almost exclusively for interval workouts, on a course with some short, moderately steep hills. I believe I ride that course faster on the FG than I would with my 2x11 speed road bike. The reason is that I am forced to sprint hard up the hills. I can't get lazy, shift down, and spin. On the road bike, if I disciplined myself to do it right, I could go around the course just as fast. But the FG gives me no choice but to push hard. It also rewards strong efforts, because it's stiff and light, and it's just really fun to ride hard. It is my favorite bike in many ways, in spite of rating very low in versatility. On the little descents, I'm of course at a disadvantage, but not by much. Not sure how I'd do with a single speed there, probably about the same as the FG.
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Old 12-29-23, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by bironi
i can relate to that wish to stand and stretch!
You can stand and stretch on a fixed gear bike....

I have done it several times, generally when an emergency stop is required.

It can be quite invigorating..... when the back of the bike kicks up in the air and you land pedalling backwards, that is if you do not crash of course.

Wish someone had videoed a couple of my incidents. Would love to know how high the back wheel of the track bike really got.

I did manage to peel a very expensive tubular once.

The things you do when you are young!
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Old 12-30-23, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Broctoon
The kind of terrain you're riding makes a big difference. With a fixed gear or single speed, you will have to make compromises, and will seldom have the perfect gear ratio.
OTOH, if you keep at it, you will become more comfortable with riding through a broader range of pedal cadences than you would on a derailleur bike; very low rpm going uphill/headwind, very high rpm going downhill/tailwind.
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Old 12-30-23, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson
OTOH, if you keep at it, you will become more comfortable with riding through a broader range of pedal cadences than you would on a derailleur bike; very low rpm going uphill/headwind, very high rpm going downhill/tailwind.
getting comfortable being uncomfortable - my whole biking / camping foundation! .... and now fixed gear dirt road riding.
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Old 03-24-24, 03:20 PM
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I'm an old-ish guy (61) who's been cycling most of my life, and I've had a fixed road bike since about 2007. Fixed is inevitably slower than SS because you can't coast on the steeper downhills: you either need to resist the pedals, or brake, when your knees start to smoke with the spinning.

I've had a freewheel on my bike from time to time, but I just find fixed more rewarding.

I also own a 2 x 10 road bike, and a 2 x 10 gravel bike, but the fixed is the one that I use most.

Whether you choose to ride fixed, or SS, or flip flop, the choice of ratio is always a compromise. That's part of the fun.
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