Today's (Sunday) fixed gear ride

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13 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

Many thanks to Sal & Mordecai for leading a fine ride on a fine day.

Boathouse to Nyack
Distance: 38 miles
Elevation ascent: 1340'
Average Speed: 15.1

Nyack to Greenwich Village
Distance: 32 miles
Elevation ascent: 880'
Average Speed:14.9

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
Queremos mas!

I hope there will be more of these fixated rides for the wintertime.

Just to make everyone happy, I have gotten an 18 tooth rear cog, though I'm telling you it won't improve my speed on the hills.

P.S. Thank you Sal and Mordecai--and Tom!

Anonymous's picture
Mordecai Silver (not verified)
Fixed-gear gearing

"From a 48x16 to 48x18 there's a 12.5% drop in gearing. That's a pretty significant advantage for climbing those hills you can't just blast over. On the 48x18 you'll be spinning higher RPM on the flats and down hills, but you get used to it. On a fixed-gear, my cadence tends to be higher than on a geared bike. It also helps a little to have 165 mm cranks. For me, my 49x18 has been a great all-round gear.

For reference, at 100 RPM, with a 48x16 you are going about 23.5 m.p.h., with a 48x18 about 20.8 (I got this from Unless you're riding in a flat area (like Long Island), I think the 48x18 is the better choice."

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)

I thought the old ring was a 16, but it was actually a 17. (My mechanic can count, I can't.)

So the 18 isn't as large of an improvement as I thought. But it's an improvement nonetheless, judging from this morning's five-mile commute, which felt zippier.

Thanks for the technical details. I really need to spend a few minutes figuring out this gear ratio thing.

Anonymous's picture
bill (not verified)

"one thing to think about is that front rings are usually cheaper than the back ones. So I usually just swap the front one.

Right now I'm a 42 x 16 ~ 71"" gear.

Any plans for another fixed gear ride this weekend?"

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)

A couple of us are joining Fred and Tim on their New City ride Saturday, but keeping it low key so we don't hijack it.

Anonymous's picture
Mordecai Silver (not verified)
Sunday's fixed-gear ride

"We promised a flat ride, and kept our word: about 2200' of climbing in 65 or 70 miles is pretty flat for a ride to Rockland Lake, I think. Thanks, Hank, for posting the stats.

For those who turned off towards Nyack, you missed the highlight of the ride, which was riding on the dirt and gravel path down along the river from Rockland Lake Park to Nyack Beach State Park. You also missed an amazing exhibition of bike-handling skills. Chris and Wesley demonstrated a no-handed trackstand. You can see a few pictures taken by Christian here. Chris is in the OST (Old Skool Track) shirt, Wesley is on the Olmo. These guys are really good! In one of the pictures, Sal is on the ground; don't worry, he didn't fall, he was merely showing what would happen if he tried a similar stunt. Me? I can do a no-handed trackstand. Just give me a bike like this, and no problem. Actually, I might kill myself trying to ride that thing, but in one place, I could keep my balance for hours at a time!

Thanks to all who came out. These fixed-gear rides are fun!"

Anonymous's picture
Christian Edstrom (not verified)

Nice trike. Longstaff?

- Christian

Anonymous's picture
Mordecai Silver (not verified)
Looks to me like a Jack Taylor

"Compare the intersecting rectangles on the seattube:

By the way, this style of decals, with interlocking rectangles, was called ""Mondrian"" (after the artist) by Norman Taylor, Jack's brother.

Speaking of fixed-gears and trikes, imagine cornering on a fixed-gear trike! Like riding the most ornery bronco in a rodeo!

Anonymous's picture
Christian Edstrom (not verified)

You're right, the box lining is definitely Jack Taylor. It's lovely!

Anonymous's picture
Chris O (not verified)

Thanks Mordechai and Sal for planning and leading this ride. I had a great day. The weather was perfect. And my best ever no-handed trackstand was documented!

For trackstand novices, it is easiest to practice with the feet not clipped in or in cages (and even wearing sneakers) for immediate dismount when you lose your balance. Also, start out on a slight incline which allows for a slight but steady pressure forward on the cranks which helps maintain balance. And of course, practice.

Anonymous's picture
bill (not verified)

I'm going to try this!

Do you find yourself needing to grip the top tube with your thighs?

I love the video somewhere on or similar where a messenger's doing backwards doughnuts while waiting for a light. I guess thats next for you!

Anonymous's picture
Sal (not verified)

I think the video you're refering to was on OldSkoolTrack ( along with many other videos and pictures of fixed-gear riders showing off their skills.

Anonymous's picture
Diane Goodwin (not verified)
The Real Deal ....

... sorry to have missed your ride Mordechai ...

Regarding trikes ... they aren't as easy as they look. I rode one in Paris last year - at least the one I was on wanted to do circles! It belonged to Noel Simpson, president of Audax UK.


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