Re: [CR]RE: fixed gear question

(Example: Framebuilders:Cecil Behringer)

Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2006 14:42:39 -0800 (PST)
From: Jerome & Elizabeth Moos <>
Subject: Re: [CR]RE: fixed gear question
To: Sheldon Brown <>, Emanuel Lowi <>,
In-Reply-To: <p06230929c012be267d90@[]>

Sheldon points out something that may have been overlooked earlier in the thread, "better exercise for a given amount of riding time". When I first began riding a track bike at the Alkek velodrome in Houston, I was struck by the fact that an hour of riding on the track would give me at least as thorough a workout as 3 hours on the road on a 10-speed. If we timed how much we freewheel on the road, it would probably amaze us. If you only have, say an hour a day, to devote to riding, fixed gear will definitely maximize the exercise benefit. And if you have more time, using the fixed gear on the road will maximize the exercise while the changing scenery avoids the boredom that can set in in a long track session (or on rollers). Of course, fixed gear is a bit more practical on flat terrain. And many of us also feel more comfortable on fixed gear in light or moderate traffic, although this may be psychological. It could in fact be that an emergency stop in traffic is as quickly accomplished on fixed gear with front brake as on a road bike, provided you are accustomed to this setup.


Jerry Moos Big Spring, TX

Sheldon Brown <> wrote: >Ken S. Naylor was quoted (from a message I can't find):
> > I have never quite understood the allure of fixed
>> gear/track bikes

There's an ineffable pleasure to it, not possible to explain in words. The only way to understand is to actually ride a fixer long enough to get past the unfamiliarity of the experience...usually takes a couple of weeks.

See: for some attempts to explain it.
>> the bike messenger crowd. I understood the rational
>> of using them as a
>> training tool for road cyclist to teach a smooth
>> pedal motion/cadence,
>> but it seems that the decrease in braking ability
> > (right?)

Wrong! Riding fixed gear has no effect on braking ability in dry conditions, improves it in wet conditions.
>and the lack
> > of ability to choose a better gear for hills/wind/ect. would be a
> > detriment.

It is a "detriment" but there are countervailing benefits, including a lighter bike, more efficient drivetrain, lower maintenance and better exercise for a given amount of riding time, and it's just more FUN!

It's not for everybody, everywhere, but if you haven't tried it you don't know whether you'll like it or not. Riding once or twice around the block doesn't count as "tried it."

See also

Sheldon "It's Addictive" Brown +-------------------------------------------------------------+ | I still feel that variable gears are only for people over | | forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength | | of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailleur? | | We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear! | | --Henri Desgrange, _L'Équipe_ article of 1902 | +-------------------------------------------------------------+ -- Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts Phone 617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041 Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide Useful articles about bicycles and cycling