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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Sandy, Utah
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    Any fixie riders? What's your preferred drivetrain

    Just grabbed a used fixie 6ku urban track.

    Frame is nice n light, stiff ride as expected. Freewheel as I'm too old to risk painful injuries. Front and rear brakes. 700c. 46x16 drivetrain currently.

    Mostly flat riding on the trail I typically ride (most got bike to ride with kids/simplicity). Pedals fine on flats and small inclines, but any serious grades it's rough, and my legs are still getting used to 1 gear.

    Any thoughts on what drivetrain might make mid sized hills easier and not make me look like a crazy hamster on a wheel while riding flats? Current drivetrain is creaky and long in the tooth so upgrade is in order even if I stay with same setup.

    Doesn't look super expensive, but if you have brand suggestions I'll take those as well, but trying to keep this bike cheap. I'm only $120 in on it now.

    Thanks.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
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    1,571
    Doesn't the bike have to be fixed gear in order to be a fixie? Otherwise isn't it just a 1 speed bike? My city bike is 1 speed freewheel for simplicity and for winter riding (which i still have not really started doing yet, but maybe next winter! *rolls-eyes-at-mysefl).
    24į 06į

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Sandy, Utah
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    Quote Originally Posted by danmelon View Post
    Doesn't the bike have to be fixed gear in order to be a fixie? Otherwise isn't it just a 1 speed bike? My city bike is 1 speed freewheel for simplicity and for winter riding (which i still have not really started doing yet, but maybe next winter! *rolls-eyes-at-mysefl).
    I guess it depends on who you're talking To. If you'd like to call it single speed, I'm cool. I'm far from hip, just looking for simple here. I got a MTN bike if I want gears. I can flip the hub to fixed.

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Big in Japan
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    48,879
    Wrong forum, jongs.

    The world is perfect. Appreciate the details.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    DownEast
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    1,670
    The easiest an quickest way is to drop the front chainring down from 46 to a 42 or 40 and remove some links from the chain.

    “Gear inches” is the way to quantify and compare different gearing combinations. Essentially how many inches your bike moves forward with one revolution of the cranks.

    46/16 is about 77 gear inches
    42/16 is about 70 gear inches
    40/16 is about 67.5 gear inches

    I ride between 65-70 gear inches on my single speed gravel bike.

    Here is Sheldon Browns gear calculator: https://www.sheldonbrown.com/gear-calc.html

    Surly makes good stainless steel chainrings and cogs.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Wenatchee
    Posts
    10,155

    Any fixie riders? What's your preferred drivetrain

    Fixed gear is no coasting. Try it out, itís a great way to improve your spin. Toe clips or clip less recommended. 42/16 is the classic combo for fixed riding on flat and rolling terrain.

    I donít really like riding a single speed free wheel on the road, youíre always trying to catch up with your cadence and coasting too much. With a fixed gear you always feel the pedals and itís incredibly efficient.

    I rode 100-150 miles a week on my Bob Jackson grass track bike from the mid Ď90s through the mid Ď00s for training miles and commuting. Itís a great workout if you have limited time but want to keep your cycling form.


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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Posts
    3,724
    You are on 75 3/4 gear inches. That's good for flats. It's pretty hilly where I am and I ride about 69 1/4 gear inches. Makes the really steep stuff doable, but I spin out fast on anything slightly downhill. I'm commuting with a courier bag on, however, with some seriously steep stuff on the way back home.

    Kinda depends on how strong you are and how much you wanna crank. Cheapest way to change it up is to drop the 16 on the back down to a 17 or 18. That will drop you to 71 or 67 gear inches respectively.

    i know people who ride everything from 60-85 or so.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    inpdx
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    15,868
    I havenít been on mine for years
    42-16
    It would be murder in the hills where I am now

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4,906
    Used to just use the inner ring on a double and run 39/16 because of hills. Cogs are cheap, try stuff out.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    the most beautiful place in the whole wide world
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    2,158
    as others have said, 100% dependent on your fitness and terrain. I usually roll 42x18 in seattle area for riding and cx racing... This is painful on steeps but gives just enough high end so I'm not madly spinning the flats. cogs typically cheaper than rings so I'll play with the cogs and chain length to mix it up sometimes. Another nod to the Surly cogs, the only downside is you need to play with your chainline/spacers if you want to flip the cog around to squeeze some more miles out of it, as it is asym. the 'beauty' of riding one gear is you are rarely ever in the 'right' gear haha

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
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    25,124
    If I leave my 35 yr old bar bike in one gear will it be a single speed ?
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    inpdx
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaka View Post
    the 'beauty' of riding one gear is you are rarely ever in the 'right' gear haha
    i noticed i did a lot less shifting on weekend rides after the week of commuting fixed

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Ventura Highway in the Sunshine
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    22,163
    Just get some gears and use which ever is most efficient. Problem solved.

    I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...
    iscariot

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    999

    Any fixie riders? What's your preferred drivetrain

    42/15 or 42/16. Depends on how you hill. I usually went 15 because I yearn to suffer and preferred the higher top speed.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Sandy, Utah
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    I replaced the real freewheel the other day. I think the bearings were shot on the other one (was super loud and not smooth). Havent had a chance to take a ride yet, aside from making sure it still rode after swap...way quieter....still 46x16. new chain too. ill take a ride this afternoon I think.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    13,978
    Hmm. My single speed mtn bike I run a 2:1 ratio. 34 in front, 17 in back. Gives me 16-17mph top speed on flats. Ya'll must have some strong legs or gather up speed on the in-run to pound a 42:15 up hills.
    "timberridge is terminally vapid" -- a fortune cookie in Yueyang

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    slc
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    14,700
    Quote Originally Posted by Skidog View Post
    I guess it depends on who you're talking To. If you'd like to call it single speed, I'm cool.
    No, it doesn't depend "on who you're talking to," if it has a freewheel by definition it's not a fixie.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    13,978
    And core fixie bikes don't have brakes. Just strong chains.
    "timberridge is terminally vapid" -- a fortune cookie in Yueyang

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timberridge View Post
    And core fixie bikes don't have brakes. Just strong chains.
    Dumbest idea ever. If youíre not on the track a front brake is required, even by law.


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  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Stumptown
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timberridge View Post
    Hmm. My single speed mtn bike I run a 2:1 ratio. 34 in front, 17 in back. Gives me 16-17mph top speed on flats. Ya'll must have some strong legs or gather up speed on the in-run to pound a 42:15 up hills.
    I would run 2:1 on my SS mountain bike, and closer to 42:16 on my fixed. Itís lighter, more efficient and you need the taller gear for descending.

    I donít ride fixed really at all anymore cause itís too hard on my knees, but love SS.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timberridge View Post
    And core fixie bikes don't have brakes. Just strong chains.
    The world does need more organ donors, I suppose.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dantheman View Post
    No, it doesn't depend "on who you're talking to," if it has a freewheel by definition it's not a fixie.
    ok ok...single speed...feel better now?

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Donner Summit
    Posts
    1,050
    Commuted for years on a fixie with 42x15. I'd stand up for climbs (nothing too steep or long) and use brakes and backpressure to keep the speed reasonable on descents. Also had a 16t single speed freewheel (and a flip-flop hub) but generally preferred the fixed gear. With a left hand threaded hub I don't think a fixie is particularly risky as long as you have brakes (you'll quickly learn to keep pedaling). Getting into clipless pedals after a stop can be a little tricky though.

    With a single speed freewheel you can go a little lower on gear ratio since you can always coast the downhills. Still need to be able to spin it on the flats at whatever speed you want to be able to maintain. A good guide (assuming you have another bike or can borrow one) is to take out a geared bike and find a gear that you're comfortable with riding at all times.

    If you use a BMX chain (1/8" width) you can get single speed freewheels for pretty cheap (Shimano is good quality and around $30), so you could always just pick a chainring size (or keep using what you have) and get a few freewheels in different sizes to try.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    13,978
    Quote Originally Posted by MagnificentUnicorn View Post
    Dumbest idea ever. If you’re not on the track a front brake is required, even by law.


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    It's the rage in NYC--I think it's freaking crazy as well.
    "timberridge is terminally vapid" -- a fortune cookie in Yueyang

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timberridge View Post
    It's the rage in NYC--I think it's freaking crazy as well.
    My college kid rides a fixie with no brakes everywhere. Including downtown, whipping through traffic. He put some clipless on it a couple days ago and rode a classic mountain climbing route around here. Hard enough up, but then he came down, at speed, on a fixie, with no brakes.

    We are a bike heavy family. We all raced. I used to run a bike team. Courier background. Very comfy on brakeless fixies.

    Descending fully spun out down a very curvy mountain road on a fixie no brakes is a new level for me. My wife started to get upset, then just shook her head and left the room.

    Then again, sounded like something we would have done at his age.

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