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CapeRoadie

I Think My New SS Fixie was a Bargain!

Okay, I think I just bought a fixed-gear single-speed at a fantastic bargain. I priced everything out on-line and it came to over $2000 USD. I paid $500 for everything. Here are the details:

-Raleigh Rush Hour steel track frame with a very professional repaint job in metallic silver-grey
-Winwood fanaticist carbon fork (black)
-Sugino 75 track crankset (silver)
-Ritchey Pro carbon seatpost
-Ritchey comp stem
-Cane Creek Solos IS headset
-Cane Creek Volos wheels
-Continental clincher racing tires
-Specialized Toupe saddle (exactly the same saddle I use on my road bike)
-Tokyo Nitto anodized aluminum handlebars
-Paul component engineering brake e-lever (finger brake)
-Shimano Ultegra front brake
-Phil Wood bottom bracket and rear cog
-gold chain by unknown maker--looks awesome!
-Speedplay light action pedals (exactly the same pedals I use)

I stole it I think.

I rode it today for about 25 miles (21 mph average speed) and it was so much fun I am hooked. My knees ached a little like after a heavy set of lunges, but I feel fine. Anyone else out there single speeding on a fixie? I'm having a blast.
Bartali

Never tried one. Interested to learn more about what the ride is like
CapeRoadie

Bartali wrote:
Never tried one. Interested to learn more about what the ride is like


It's quiet and smooth. I loved it.
Dr.Wierd

What makes it so fun? SS bikes are real popular, not sure if i get it.
paperman

I ride a Specialized Langster bought standard, changed the pedals. Also I changed the rear cog to 13 teeth from 16. New chain and front chainring not the best/cheapest way of getting more gearing. I have about 85 inches now. I bought it for commuting to work and to the shops because it looks bog standard, thieves will eye something else up. One thing you can kill yourself on the road with this fixed gear thing, especially cornering.
CapeRoadie

Rode it again today for 40+ miles. Almost did lose it around a couple of downhill turns. I just leaned in and prayed the tires would hold. They did!

Bartali and Dr. W: The more I ride this thing the more I like it. It's so...simple. No decisions about shifting. You must always pedal, and so it's quite a workout! I think I like that aspect the best. No rest unless you stop. And stopping is a real challenge since you slow down by using your muscles to force the pedals in reverse as they keep pedaling forward. It's called an "eccentric contraction" in my business, of quads and the other leg muscles used in cycling. That's a weird feeling in the legs. You definitely feel the quads burn and the knees are vulnerable. Good thing I did all those lunges last winter!

It must be what they feel on the the track bikes, only with a bigger front crankset. I'm riding a 49 up front and not sure in the back yet. It gets me to about 25mph with a cadence of 110-115. I am also learning to pedal a higher cadence. The fast downhills are a bee-atch! You're pedaling much faster than you want to be.

I am hooked. Hope it helps my riding overall. I'd do anything to race faster, except of course, illegal PEDs. But hey, if you want to...
Bartali

Cape .... Henri Desgrange, L'Équipe article of 1902:

"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!"
kellyrocheearly

Bartali wrote:
Cape .... Henri Desgrange, L'Équipe article of 1902:

"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!"


Desgrange was slightly mad to say the least
Bartali

kellyrocheearly wrote:
Bartali wrote:
Cape .... Henri Desgrange, L'Équipe article of 1902:

"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!"


Desgrange was slightly mad to say the least


And Cape ... ? Wink
Dr.Wierd

CapeRoadie wrote:
Rode it again today for 40+ miles. Almost did lose it around a couple of downhill turns. I just leaned in and prayed the tires would hold. They did!

Bartali and Dr. W: The more I ride this thing the more I like it. It's so...simple. No decisions about shifting. You must always pedal, and so it's quite a workout! I think I like that aspect the best. No rest unless you stop. And stopping is a real challenge since you slow down by using your muscles to force the pedals in reverse as they keep pedaling forward. It's called an "eccentric contraction" in my business, of quads and the other leg muscles used in cycling. That's a weird feeling in the legs. You definitely feel the quads burn and the knees are vulnerable. Good thing I did all those lunges last winter!

It must be what they feel on the the track bikes, only with a bigger front crankset. I'm riding a 49 up front and not sure in the back yet. It gets me to about 25mph with a cadence of 110-115. I am also learning to pedal a higher cadence. The fast downhills are a bee-atch! You're pedaling much faster than you want to be.


So does that mean you can pedal and go backwards?
kellyrocheearly

Bartali wrote:
kellyrocheearly wrote:
Bartali wrote:
Cape .... Henri Desgrange, L'Équipe article of 1902:

"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!"


Desgrange was slightly mad to say the least


And Cape ... ? Wink


Laughing
CapeRoadie

Bartali wrote:
Cape .... Henri Desgrange, L'Équipe article of 1902:

"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!"


Love it!

It is Desgrange who is responsible for all the doping today. He created the beast back when cocaine was a normal ingredient in Coca-Cola, and when smoking and drinking were considered a healthy part of the diet. He wanted to make the race so tough that you'd have to be on drugs to even consider it!
CapeRoadie

Bartali wrote:
kellyrocheearly wrote:
Bartali wrote:
Cape .... Henri Desgrange, L'Équipe article of 1902:

"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!"


Desgrange was slightly mad to say the least


And Cape ... ? Wink


Mad? Me? No, Bartali, I want to end the madness! Wink
CapeRoadie

Dr.Wierd wrote:
CapeRoadie wrote:
Rode it again today for 40+ miles. Almost did lose it around a couple of downhill turns. I just leaned in and prayed the tires would hold. They did!

Bartali and Dr. W: The more I ride this thing the more I like it. It's so...simple. No decisions about shifting. You must always pedal, and so it's quite a workout! I think I like that aspect the best. No rest unless you stop. And stopping is a real challenge since you slow down by using your muscles to force the pedals in reverse as they keep pedaling forward. It's called an "eccentric contraction" in my business, of quads and the other leg muscles used in cycling. That's a weird feeling in the legs. You definitely feel the quads burn and the knees are vulnerable. Good thing I did all those lunges last winter!

It must be what they feel on the the track bikes, only with a bigger front crankset. I'm riding a 49 up front and not sure in the back yet. It gets me to about 25mph with a cadence of 110-115. I am also learning to pedal a higher cadence. The fast downhills are a bee-atch! You're pedaling much faster than you want to be.


So does that mean you can pedal and go backwards?


Yes it does. And I am going to learn how so I can entertain my kids and be a hit at the Sunday group ride.
Bartali

Cape - do you think it will increase your fitness and pedaling style? Had a look on the web last night. It seems the fixed gear scene is much bigger over on your side of the pond.
Dr.Wierd

CapeRoadie wrote:
Dr.Wierd wrote:
CapeRoadie wrote:
Rode it again today for 40+ miles. Almost did lose it around a couple of downhill turns. I just leaned in and prayed the tires would hold. They did!

Bartali and Dr. W: The more I ride this thing the more I like it. It's so...simple. No decisions about shifting. You must always pedal, and so it's quite a workout! I think I like that aspect the best. No rest unless you stop. And stopping is a real challenge since you slow down by using your muscles to force the pedals in reverse as they keep pedaling forward. It's called an "eccentric contraction" in my business, of quads and the other leg muscles used in cycling. That's a weird feeling in the legs. You definitely feel the quads burn and the knees are vulnerable. Good thing I did all those lunges last winter!

It must be what they feel on the the track bikes, only with a bigger front crankset. I'm riding a 49 up front and not sure in the back yet. It gets me to about 25mph with a cadence of 110-115. I am also learning to pedal a higher cadence. The fast downhills are a bee-atch! You're pedaling much faster than you want to be.


So does that mean you can pedal and go backwards?


Yes it does. And I am going to learn how so I can entertain my kids and be a hit at the Sunday group ride.


Only if you learn to do it while juggling a bowling ball, chainsaw and flaming torch.
sheeponabike

What about a pic of this wonderful machine cape?
Bartali

Yes ... we want pics!
CapeRoadie

Bartali wrote:
Cape - do you think it will increase your fitness and pedaling style? Had a look on the web last night. It seems the fixed gear scene is much bigger over on your side of the pond.


I am feeling yesterday's ride today. I definitely think it will force one to become more fit, as one cannot stop pedaling while riding. I think I am going to end up pedaling a higher cadence. Carmichael and Armstrong were right about that, and it makes sense in terms of activating more Type I (slow-twitch) muscle fiber instead of Type II (fast-twitch). Type II burns sugars and leads to earlier bonking, while Type I burns fat and there's plenty of that on my body to spare!

I will post a few pictures very soon!
mayofan

should work wonders for your climbing..practicing pedalling without stopping, and increasing your cadence..couldnt be better
CapeRoadie

mayofan wrote:
should work wonders for your climbing..practicing pedalling without stopping, and increasing your cadence..couldnt be better


That's good to know, since God knows I need all the help I can get on the hills!
mayofan

ya, but what would i know, i spend more time in the gym than i do on the bike! and im no longer a skinny cos of it Wink
paperman

A few weeks later here, but cape where did you pick this up, I've seen a Bianchi pista at a good price online and I'm thinking about it....I need to look cool cycling around Dublin too. Laughing Laughing
cardinal guzman

Hi CR,

fixies with a bad hand paint job are becoming popular over here for commuting as they don't get nicked by scallys.

have you ridden a fixed before? If not, do you have a picture of your face from the first time you forgot it was fixed and stopped pedalling? Wink
paperman

Must have been a shitty lock ring or it was weak from day one or I over tightened it when I changed the rear cog, but the lock ring broke and the cog started to unwind. I was okay. They can be hard to get used to but are very enjoyable when you do. A front break is a must for me...no amount of forward planning is good enough in Dublin.
chasm

Some of my clubmates (mostly the ex-track cyclists) use fixies for training. They swear by them in terms of upping your ability to change pace, forcing you into the most efficient pedalling action and maintaining the intensity of your effort through your ride. Very popular with the couriers in London, too, because they're so minimalist and unattractive to thieves. I might be tempted, one day...
redster73

Talking of the couriers why do they not have brakes? I commute in London and brakes save lives..especially mine!

I hear fixies are great for training and improving cadence and efficiency. My boy spent a day riding one at Preston Park Velo lucky so and so...
CapeRoadie

cardinal guzman wrote:
Hi CR,

fixies with a bad hand paint job are becoming popular over here for commuting as they don't get nicked by scallys.

have you ridden a fixed before? If not, do you have a picture of your face from the first time you forgot it was fixed and stopped pedalling? Wink


Hi!

I've done that three or four times. Oh yeah, no gliding! It hurt a little! When I got back onto my regular road bike I thought something was wrong with the crank. Ha ha. Nothing wrong.
CapeRoadie

paperman wrote:
A few weeks later here, but cape where did you pick this up, I've seen a Bianchi pista at a good price online and I'm thinking about it....I need to look cool cycling around Dublin too. Laughing Laughing


Some guy was looking to sell it at my LBS (local bike shop) and a friend of mine waved some cash in front of his face. He sold it. My buddy got a great deal and wanted to give it to me. I bought it cheap.
paperman

redster73 wrote:
Talking of the couriers why do they not have brakes? I commute in London and brakes save lives..especially mine!

I hear fixies are great for training and improving cadence and efficiency. My boy spent a day riding one at Preston Park Velo lucky so and so...


Alot of the couriers in Dublin have no brakes either, but you'd bee surprised once you get used to riding fixed how easy it is to stop without brakes.....Os so I hear, A small front break is a must for me, especially in Dublin. I'm not mad enough for no breaks.

Nice one Cape, Good purchase. Before I buy I'm gonna head to a few local shops to see whats around. That Pista is nice though , no breaks though and I can't find out if its drilled for a front break or not!!!!!!Not buying until I know for sure.
CapeRoadie

Did a metric century (62-miler) today for charity. We raced it at the front. Came in 9th out of about 200 riders. Maybe my best ride ever. Stiff north wind heading up Cape Cod, but used the draft effectively. Averaged 28 mph for the first 10 miles but had to slow down so I wouldn't explode. Dropped back with my friend Ben and managed to pick up about 6 other guys who got dropped from the lead pack and burned themselves out. One of them was a big guy whose seat was adjusted too high, with his hips rocking back and forth. He kept surging and slowing whenever he led the paceline which was no end of frustration for the rest of us. He was strong, but with half a mile to go the wind was at our backs and I accelerated to 29 mph and held on until the end (thinking he might beat me in a shorter sprint). I left him in the dust, and it was a good feeling to turn around and see him way behind me. He will never know how the group felt about his paceline skills, but we all talked about it afterwards. I climbed better than I ever have today, too. Was it the caffeine?

The organizers took us on a boat back to the start across Cape Cod Bay and we had a lobster and clambake. Great day. We raised a quarter of a million dollars for local charities.

There was a 78-year old guy who rode the whole thing on a fixed gear. White hair and bowed legs, but in fantastic shape and decked out in the finest cycling-wear. We were in awe. "What's your secret?", I asked him at dinner. He said, "Sex with this older woman to my right!" She slapped him on the arm and smiled. Not sure she could even hear his answer. Hahahahahahaha!
redster73

CapeRoadie wrote:
Did a metric century (62-miler) today for charity. We raced it at the front. Came in 9th out of about 200 riders. Maybe my best ride ever. Stiff north wind heading up Cape Cod, but used the draft effectively. Averaged 28 mph for the first 10 miles but had to slow down so I wouldn't explode. Dropped back with my friend Ben and managed to pick up about 6 other guys who got dropped from the lead pack and burned themselves out. One of them was a big guy whose seat was adjusted too high, with his hips rocking back and forth. He kept surging and slowing whenever he led the paceline which was no end of frustration for the rest of us. He was strong, but with half a mile to go the wind was at our backs and I accelerated to 29 mph and held on until the end (thinking he might beat me in a shorter sprint). I left him in the dust, and it was a good feeling to turn around and see him way behind me. He will never know how the group felt about his paceline skills, but we all talked about it afterwards. I climbed better than I ever have today, too. Was it the caffeine?

The organizers took us on a boat back to the start across Cape Cod Bay and we had a lobster and clambake. Great day. We raised a quarter of a million dollars for local charities.

There was a 78-year old guy who rode the whole thing on a fixed gear. White hair and bowed legs, but in fantastic shape and decked out in the finest cycling-wear. We were in awe. "What's your secret?", I asked him at dinner. He said, "Sex with this older woman to my right!" She slapped him on the arm and smiled. Not sure she could even hear his answer. Hahahahahahaha!


Great story...I did London to Brighton the other year and got a badge!
chasm

CapeRoadie wrote:

There was a 78-year old guy who rode the whole thing on a fixed gear. White hair and bowed legs, but in fantastic shape and decked out in the finest cycling-wear. We were in awe. "What's your secret?", I asked him at dinner. He said, "Sex with this older woman to my right!" She slapped him on the arm and smiled. Not sure she could even hear his answer. Hahahahahahaha!


Great story, Cape. Sounds as if you had a good day.

Some of the old guys are remarkable, aren't they? I did a 100 mile ride a couple of weeks ago that concluded with a bunch of 8 doing a very fast final 15 miles. At the head of affairs - he never even bothered to ask anyone to come through - was a 67 year-old clubmate of mine who led us out at a pace I could not have maintained without drafting. Then, with a couple of miles to go, he effortlessly accelerated away from us to make room for himself to turn left and take a shortcut home rather than accompanying us to the finish. One of the younger guys said "I hope I'm as good as him when I'm 67"; to which we chorussed "you're not as good as him when you're 35."

As for the fixed wheel thing, some of the ex-track cyclists at my club swear by their fixies for training purposes. They say it keeps you flexible, in the sense of having to push hard on the hills and maintain a very high cadence on the flat/downhill, and gets you into the habit of a perfect pedalling action. A more consistently intense workout, allegedly, than you'd ever give yourself if you could resort to the gears to help. Sounds plausible. I might be tempted, one day.
Bartali

Where are the pictures of your fixie Cape?
CapeRoadie

Bartali wrote:
Where are the pictures of your fixie Cape?


They are in my wife's camera, which has gone missing. Mad Confused Sad
CapeRoadie

chasm wrote:
CapeRoadie wrote:

There was a 78-year old guy who rode the whole thing on a fixed gear. White hair and bowed legs, but in fantastic shape and decked out in the finest cycling-wear. We were in awe. "What's your secret?", I asked him at dinner. He said, "Sex with this older woman to my right!" She slapped him on the arm and smiled. Not sure she could even hear his answer. Hahahahahahaha!


Great story, Cape. Sounds as if you had a good day.

Some of the old guys are remarkable, aren't they? I did a 100 mile ride a couple of weeks ago that concluded with a bunch of 8 doing a very fast final 15 miles. At the head of affairs - he never even bothered to ask anyone to come through - was a 67 year-old clubmate of mine who led us out at a pace I could not have maintained without drafting. Then, with a couple of miles to go, he effortlessly accelerated away from us to make room for himself to turn left and take a shortcut home rather than accompanying us to the finish. One of the younger guys said "I hope I'm as good as him when I'm 67"; to which we chorussed "you're not as good as him when you're 35."

As for the fixed wheel thing, some of the ex-track cyclists at my club swear by their fixies for training purposes. They say it keeps you flexible, in the sense of having to push hard on the hills and maintain a very high cadence on the flat/downhill, and gets you into the habit of a perfect pedalling action. A more consistently intense workout, allegedly, than you'd ever give yourself if you could resort to the gears to help. Sounds plausible. I might be tempted, one day.


Never responded to this, chasm, sorry.

I want to be like that when I'm 67, too. That man I mentioned used to take his fixie to Florida and back every year. That's about 2000 miles each way!

I believe in fixed-gear training. I think it gets rid of some bad habits, like gliding through corners or stopping pedaling for an instant when reaching the crest of a hill, etc. But it does some of the work of pedaling for you once you gain momentum, and that's where the criticism lies from what I've been told. Still, I love the thing. Been playing with the cross bike lately, though. I'm actually looking forward to the winter months this year!

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