I hope he's ok with my reprinting this, I saved it because it seemed such good advice. Back in March of 2004 Michael Butler posted this:
<<<The general rule in Britain for a normally" powered" man, would be a recommended fixed gear of about 65 in. and for a woman 60in. Obviously crank lengths have an important bearing. A gear of 65" with 6.5" cranks is precisely the same proportion of leverage-to-gear as 70" with 7" cranks.
If you live in a hilly area drop it down to 62" or in the flatlands up it to 68". I have been riding fixed wheel since the 60's. If you want to avoid knee problems in later life stick to these ratios. The old timers new a thing or to. That's why people like Titch Morris are still pedaling around on fixed wheel cycles at the age of 92. And there are plenty more like him out and about in the UK.
Be very careful and don't go down the macho road "wind milling" huge gears, not unless you want a pair of titanium knee joints to match your Speedwell or Teledyne.
The ultimate is a racing tricycle on a fixed or a track tandem on a steeply banked track.
Best wishes and be lucky. Michael Butler Huntingdon UK.>>>
People who've done my vintage rides will vouch for me when I say that I live in a very hilly area. I find that my 42x18, or 63" geared off topic fixed ride will get me up most hills. After quite a few gear changes, my curved tube Jack Taylor with ASC is set up with 48x17 or a 76" gear, normally too high for me, but nice since its low works out to 57". One thing I have found is that using a slightly higher gear than what I would use for climbing my worst hills really didn't get me a noticeably higher top speed. My 63" geared bike I can get up to 33-35 when it really winds up. That said, I nearly lost it on a city ride at night with a crappy light and a hill that seemed to get away from me. I was ok till the sunken manhole cover I never saw just past the bottom. Fear of a crash kept me up through the bad hop!
Dan Artley in Parkton, MD (my fixed bikes do have brakes)
> Enjoyed your fixed gear post.
\r?\n> How about sharing what gear ratio or front and rear
\r?\n> tooth combo you're using
\r?\n> along with average geography or terrain you normally
\r?\n> ride on.
\r?\n> That would help a lot of riders / list members who
\r?\n> are not familiar with
\r?\n> riding a fixed gear what to expect and whether to
\r?\n> try it or not.
\r?\n> Ted Ernst
\r?\n> Palos Verdes Estates, CA