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Between a fixed gear and a single speed bike

Old 10-14-20, 11:57 PM
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IGH_Only
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Between a fixed gear and a single speed bike

which would you choose and why?
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Old 10-15-20, 01:43 AM
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I'd buy a bike with a flip flop so I could have a few more teeth on the freewheel side..If were to convert an existing bike I'd go SS so I didn't need a new wheel.
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Old 10-15-20, 05:37 AM
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Single-speed. So I can coast when the opportunity to coast presents itself.
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Old 10-15-20, 06:10 AM
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I would choose a SS....why?....because I fear have the pedal "down" on the turn side......hitting the ground and getting launched.
Besides, I like coasting down a big hill after climbing it.....
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Old 10-15-20, 06:17 AM
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I had a bike with a flip/flop single freewheel/fixed sprocket many years ago. Rode the freewheel side once; stayed on the fixed side ever since.
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Old 10-15-20, 06:22 AM
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Many years ago I raced on a velodrome with an amateur racing club so of course that's fixed gear without any brakes. Of course as a teenager my racing bike was my everything bike so I commuted around the place fixed gear as well although I always fitted a front wheel brake for road use.
There's definitely something macho about going fixed gear but if your not racing on a velodrome then being able to coast is a very sensible and practical.

One minor advantage of being fixed gear is that its dead easy to do a standstill but if you have any hill descents to do then fixed gear can get pretty scary sometimes.
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Old 10-15-20, 06:35 AM
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I've ridden fixed with a flip flop hub available for about a decade. I've never once wanted to switch to the single speed side. Why lose the benefit of riding fixed by coasting? That makes little sense to me. I prefer to spin when the situation calls for spinning. Spinning is fun, and the purpose of riding fixed is to broaden one's power band, no?


I also do use front and rear brakes for when the situation calls for trimming speed. I know that it's cheating, but I try not to skid unless it's an emergency.
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Old 10-15-20, 06:55 AM
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Iíve switched back to only SS again. Factors include
1) easy conversion of existing wheels,
2) over 50 years experience with coasting and none with fixed,
3) Iíve been riding for the last few years on flat pedal without foot retention,
4) Iím trying to spend more time standing and this includes coasting downhill and
5) there are lots of sections of my rides where I want to stand and coast and negotiate challenging terrain and circumstances where I donít want to also still be pedaling.

All that said, I have some interest in building wheels with wider rims to run 700x38 on my Schwinn, so I may build a rear wheel with flip/flop hub that gives me the chance to try out riding fixed.

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Old 10-15-20, 07:06 AM
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Single Speed, for the opportunity to coast while standing on the pedals over rougher ground.
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Old 10-15-20, 07:12 AM
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So for those of you who do ride a FG/SS bike, what gearing are you set up with for rolling terrain where you might climb 400 to 700 feet in 1 to 2 miles?

Not too many flat areas where I live unless I go to MUPS.
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Old 10-15-20, 07:20 AM
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46 x 17T fixed. It's a compromise. The more variation, the more frequently the gear will feel "not right'. This isn't really so, of course. It's just that steeper inclines and declines will require greater adaptation from your muscles. There's nothing wrong about that.
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Old 10-15-20, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
I've ridden fixed with a flip flop hub available for about a decade. I've never once wanted to switch to the single speed side. Why lose the benefit of riding fixed by coasting? That makes little sense to me.
I've never ridden one, so I have to ask: What are the benefits of fixed gear? Fixed gear bikes only became popular around here in the last decade so maybe I have missed out having not grown up with them.
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Old 10-15-20, 07:44 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR View Post
So for those of you who do ride a FG/SS bike, what gearing are you set up with for rolling terrain where you might climb 400 to 700 feet in 1 to 2 miles?

Not too many flat areas where I live unless I go to MUPS.
400' in 1 mile is a 7.5% grade.
700' in 1 mile is a 13.25% grade.
400' in 2 miles is a 3.75% grade.
700' in 2 miles is a 6.6% grade

We live in very different places, but the rolling terrain around me doesnt equal 700' in 1 mile. Thats called just straight tough climbing and even then the hills arent 1 mile long.
I have no idea what sort of single speed gearing works to climb 13% grades that would at all be useful for the rest of the ride.
I used to have a single speed road bike with 48/18 gearing and 3-4% grades were commonly ridden.
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Old 10-15-20, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Reflector Guy View Post
I've never ridden one, so I have to ask: What are the benefits of fixed gear? Fixed gear bikes only became popular around here in the last decade so maybe I have missed out having not grown up with them.
Benefits? Fixed gear bikes are raced on velodromes. They are out and out primal racing machines and its very macho to ride around on a "thoroughbred" racing machine.
If your into racing there are some benefits to train sometimes on a fixed gear bike even if you race the road but really its just about the "macho" factor.
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Old 10-15-20, 07:46 AM
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fixed gear is badass. Single speed is for beach cruisers and townies.
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Old 10-15-20, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
Benefits? Fixed gear bikes are raced on velodromes. They are out and out primal racing machines and its very macho to ride around on a "thoroughbred" racing machine.
If your into racing there are some benefits to train sometimes on a fixed gear bike even if you race the road but really its just about the "macho" factor.

LOL That rules me out! I wouldn't be fooling anyone if I tried to be macho.
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Old 10-15-20, 07:50 AM
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most bikes that will do one will do the other just as well. it's not really an either/or question. this thread says nothing about where and how OP plans to ride the bike, so it's kind of pointless.
personally, I ride a SS 29er hardtail on trails. for the trails where I live, it's not ideal, but I enjoy the challenge. riding like that fixed would be a challenge too, but would require so much time and effort (and blood and broken bones) that I don't think it would be worth it.

I rode fixed on the road for a little while. trying to control my speed with pedal pressure and just a front brake killed my knees—as in, months of pain and physical therapy so I could do normal things like walk up stairs and ride a bike again without excruciating pain. I could probably have gotten back into it and conditioned myself to endure it, but I just lost interest after that. it's not my kind of "fun." riding a freewheel and coasting when I feel like it filled me with joy, which is the only reason anyone should choose anything on a bike. it's a personal preference and I make no claim that any choice is better than another, but I have no tolerance for the macho BS that people throw around to make me feel like a quitter or something.

most of my road/gravel bikes since then have been SS since. I'm building a SS gravel bike right now with an eccentric PF bottom bracket. no tensioner, no sliding dropouts, no hanger on the frame. 650x47 tires and a 42/17 gear for stomping hills and singletrack.

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Old 10-15-20, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
Benefits? Fixed gear bikes are raced on velodromes. They are out and out primal racing machines and its very macho to ride around on a "thoroughbred" racing machine.
If your into racing there are some benefits to train sometimes on a fixed gear bike even if you race the road but really its just about the "macho" factor.
​​​​​​​
Originally Posted by Reflector Guy View Post
LOL That rules me out! I wouldn't be fooling anyone if I tried to be macho.
IMO, the people fooling themselves are those who think that riding a fixed gear bicycle will improve their "macho" factor/status/image to anyone but themselves.
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Old 10-15-20, 08:49 AM
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I know a guy that used to ride up Cougar Mtn (just outside Seattle) on his flip/flop hubbed bike. He would switch over at the top. He can't do it anymore -- knees.

OP may need to change his ID...
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Old 10-15-20, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
Benefits? Fixed gear bikes are raced on velodromes. They are out and out primal racing machines and its very macho to ride around on a "thoroughbred" racing machine.
If your into racing there are some benefits to train sometimes on a fixed gear bike even if you race the road but really its just about the "macho" factor.
This is editorial and pejorative. Training on a fixed gear bike has longstanding traditions and real reasons. It has to do with adaptations of your muscles to working outside the normal narrow power band, broadening the rpm range where the rider must apply power. It also requires/facilitates a more circular pedaling stroke, another adaptation over time. Google "souplesse".
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Old 10-15-20, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
I know a guy that used to ride up Cougar Mtn (just outside Seattle) on his flip/flop hubbed bike. He would switch over at the top. He can't do it anymore -- knees.

OP may need to change his ID...
Totally badass. Have ridden that in first gear, gasping. And that was 30 years ago. Sure he didnít have an early e bike?
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Old 10-15-20, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR View Post
So for those of you who do ride a FG/SS bike, what gearing are you set up with for rolling terrain where you might climb 400 to 700 feet in 1 to 2 miles?

Not too many flat areas where I live unless I go to MUPS.
I run 42/16 which is 71 gear inches on 700x32 and 68 gear inches on 26x2.0. I manage roughly that amount of hill work on my hilly rides and it is fairly strenuous. I could see running a 40/16 (67 gear inches on 700C) if all I did were hilly routes.

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Old 10-15-20, 01:53 PM
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Fixed gear is great for having your dog run beside you while you ride.
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Old 10-15-20, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
fixed gear is badass. Single speed is for beach cruisers and townies.
Im not badass enough for FG and do like training on my SS.
Im amazed at some of the FG guys, without brakes, that just take feet off pedals for the steep descents and it looks like the pedals are rotating 150rpm+ ?
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Old 10-15-20, 03:15 PM
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Fixies are macho? Funny that the All City Macho Man is a multi-speed bike, then.
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