Thursday, August 21, 2008

My First Fixie Fix

Last night, after many of us gathered for food, drinks, and cycling stories galore, eDLoNNie took me over to my nephew's house so I could borrow his fixie. The main reason is that the upcoming Schnoctobeerfest is a single speed/fixie ride. The other reason, I have to see what the draw of a single speed/fixie is all about. Well, I may still be wondering.

I admit that although I'm a fairly strong rider, I'm not a cycling nerd. I can do minor repairs, but we have Rich at the bike shop and he is...well...a legend. Why try to do things that Rich will not only do much faster, but much better. It's not that I'm not interested in it, I am. However, with three kids, most of my 'free' time needs to be riding, not building and such. That being said, I'd like to try a build this winter.

Okay, back to our fixie story.....

Dear nephew: What in the hell were you thinking with this gear ratio? This thing is set up basically for track racing!! Let's set the scene: My road bike runs a 53 x 11 as a max gear, which I have to be absolutely hammering and probably with a decent tail wind to be in. Why on God's green Earth did you build this Motobecane with a 53 x 13 gear ratio?

I took this out tonight and about blew my knees out just getting it started. I do admit that it was fun on the open road as I'm pretty sure that I was considerably over 30mph on it. The shocked look on the dude on main street that I blew by quite handily told me that the bike is fast. I can't imagine climbing a decent hill with that beast though or going on a fifty miler.

One of two things could potentially happen riding this bike any distance:

1. I'll blow out my knees and never ride again.
2. My thighs will grow to roughly the size of my waist and nobody will ever want to ride with me again in any hammerfest ride.

Number one is much more likely. More research is necessary to decide what to do now. I'm not saying it was a failed experiment, but I do think I'm leaning more towards a single speed build rather than a fixie. What am I getting myself into?!?!


Snakebite said...

That is a huge gear. I'm considering building another fixie. My first is 48:16. I'm thinking Surly 1x1 with more of a "single track in mind" gearing.

I do like riding my fixie, though. I'll never give that bike up.

thE_kErnEl said...

Please change the gear ratio, just for my sanity ;-)

Try this,