Fixed gear question

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Mike Krueger, Oct 28, 2003.

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  1. Mike Krueger

    Mike Krueger Guest

    Forgive my ignorance, but how do you descend steep hills a fixed gear without burning up your brake
    the whole way?
     
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  2. Phil Holman

    Phil Holman Guest

    "Mike Krueger" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Forgive my ignorance, but how do you descend steep hills a fixed gear
    without
    > burning up your brake the whole way?

    Learn how to spin >200rpm or clip out until you get to the bottom (don't hit any major bumps).

    Phil Holman
     
  3. Mike S.

    Mike S. Guest

    > > Forgive my ignorance, but how do you descend steep hills a fixed gear
    > without
    > > burning up your brake the whole way?
    >
    > Learn how to spin >200rpm or clip out until you get to the bottom (don't hit any major bumps).
    >
    > Phil Holman
    >
    >
    I was about to say that, but since you did, I'll just agree with the post.

    Spin faster! That's what's so good about a fixed gear.

    Mike
     
  4. Tom Paterson

    Tom Paterson Guest

    >From: [email protected] (Mike Krueger)

    >Forgive my ignorance, but how do you descend steep hills a fixed gear without burning up your brake
    >the whole way?
    >

    If you use two (real) brakes, one front and one rear, you can alternate f/r if needed. Don't "drag"
    them, use in fairly forceful applications to control speed, so while they're getting heated they're
    really slowing you down. Also, controlling speed "early" is better than "late". --Tom Paterson
     
  5. Mike Krueger wrote:

    > Forgive my ignorance, but how do you descend steep hills a fixed gear without burning up your
    > brake the whole way?

    You'll never literally "burn up" a rim brake on a solo bike, although if your tyre is already
    over-inflated you *might* blow it off the rim (the rim can reach 120 deg C on a really long descent,
    which will give you a 30% increase in pressure compared to an inflation temperature of 25 deg C IF
    the brake heat is efficiently transferred to the air in the tube).

    The alternatives have been given by other posters.
     
  6. On Tue, 28 Oct 2003 15:56:23 +0000, Phil Holman wrote:

    >
    > "Mike Krueger" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    >> Forgive my ignorance, but how do you descend steep hills a fixed gear
    > without
    >> burning up your brake the whole way?
    >
    > Learn how to spin >200rpm or clip out until you get to the bottom (don't hit any major bumps).

    No, no, no. Ignore that last part. Very bad idea.

    In the gear I usually use these days, a 42/16, I can go about 30-32mph comfortably. That is spinning
    about 160-180. It would take a very steep downhill to force me to spin faster. You can slow down
    some with your legs (though not much at that rpm), and use your brake. Get your body up to catch the
    wind and that will slow you down, too.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | When you are up to your ass in alligators, it's hard to remember _`\(,_ | that your initial
    objective was to drain the swamp. -- LBJ (_)/ (_) |
     
  7. Mike Krueger" asked:
    >> ...how do you descend steep hills a fixed gear without burning up your brake the whole way?

    Someone suggested:

    > Learn how to spin >200rpm

    Much depends on your choice of gears. The higher the gear, the less unpleasant the downhills are.

    Few people will ride fixed in conditions steep enough that brake/wheel overheating is liable to be a
    serious issue.

    > or clip out until you get to the bottom (don't hit any major bumps).

    I gotta say this is _really_BAD_ advice!

    Taking your feet of the pedals of a fixed gear, especially while descending, is VERY dangerous. This
    is one of the reasons I don't recommend riding without some sort of foot retention, either cleated
    shoes or toe clips.

    Control is very dodgy when your only points of contact with the bike are your butt and the
    handlebars.

    The pedals are whirling around like mad, just where your legs want to dangle, and there's a very
    high risk that one of the pedals will smack into one of your feet REALLY HARD.

    Even if you avoid this, sitting with all of your weight on the saddle, if it's a typical narrow
    saddle with no springs, is also likely to be very uncomfortable.

    Back a hundred years ago, folks used to do this, but they had footpegs on the sides of the front
    fork to rest their feet on, and padded saddles with springs...even then, this was known to be a
    dangerous maneuver.

    Sheldon "Feet On The Pedals" Brown +-------------------------------------+
    | Natural laws have no pity. | --Robert A. Heinlein |
    +-------------------------------------+ Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts Phone
    617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041 http://harriscyclery.com Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
    http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com
     
  8. Jay Beattie

    Jay Beattie Guest

    "Mike S." <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > > > Forgive my ignorance, but how do you descend steep hills a fixed
    gear
    > > without
    > > > burning up your brake the whole way?
    > >
    > > Learn how to spin >200rpm or clip out until you get to the bottom
    (don't
    > > hit any major bumps).
    > >
    > > Phil Holman
    > >
    > >
    > I was about to say that, but since you did, I'll just agree with the
    post.
    >
    > Spin faster! That's what's so good about a fixed gear.

    I smashed a wheel coming down a long descent on a fixed gear, flipped the wheel over so it could get
    through the stays and hung the chain on the axle. That worked. The real problem is that to get up
    the hill, you generally have to screw on a pretty big cog (to produce a <70" gear, let's say) and
    then you get stuck with it on the way down. After a few miles of steep descending, your legs are
    beaten to a pulp. This is where you want a flip-flow with a one-speed freewheel. -- Jay Beattie.
     
  9. Voltaire

    Voltaire Guest

    "Mike Krueger" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Forgive my ignorance, but how do you descend steep hills a fixed gear
    without
    > burning up your brake the whole way?

    I don't descend steep hills on my fixed gear. I only ride my fixed gear bike for spinning practice.
    I use another bike, you know -- one with derailleurs and a bunch of little cogs and a freewheeling
    hub on the rear wheel, for riding up and down steep hills. It works very well for this. You might
    try it sometime.

    Vol(only my not-so-humble opinion)taire
     
  10. Phil Holman

    Phil Holman Guest

    "Sheldon Brown" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Mike Krueger" asked:
    > >> ...how do you descend steep hills a fixed gear without
    > >>burning up your brake the whole way?
    >
    > Someone suggested:
    >
    > > Learn how to spin >200rpm
    >
    > Much depends on your choice of gears. The higher the gear, the less unpleasant the downhills are.
    >
    > Few people will ride fixed in conditions steep enough that brake/wheel overheating is liable to be
    > a serious issue.
    >
    > > or clip out until you get to the bottom (don't hit any major bumps).
    >
    > I gotta say this is _really_BAD_ advice!
    >
    > Taking your feet of the pedals of a fixed gear, especially while descending, is VERY dangerous.
    > This is one of the reasons I don't recommend riding without some sort of foot retention, either
    > cleated shoes or toe clips.
    >
    > Control is very dodgy when your only points of contact with the bike
    are
    > your butt and the handlebars.

    The safest advice when riding a fixie is to stay away from long or steep descents. As a youngster I
    rode single speed and fixed with no foot retention so not taking your feet off the pedals was
    dangerous.

    Phil Holman
     
  11. Ant

    Ant Guest

    "Phil Holman" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<Hkwnb.5297
    > Learn how to spin >200rpm or clip out until you get to the bottom (don't hit any major bumps).
    >
    > Phil Holman

    ok. im curious. how do you get up past 200? what gear are you turning?

    it seems i never have the opportunity to spin that fast around my usual haunts in new england.

    anthony
     
  12. On Tue, 28 Oct 2003 15:53:06 +0000, ant wrote:

    > "Phil Holman" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<Hkwnb.5297
    >> Learn how to spin >200rpm or clip out until you get to the bottom (don't hit any major bumps).
    >>
    >> Phil Holman
    >
    > ok. im curious. how do you get up past 200? what gear are you turning?

    Downhill. In a typical 70" gear, that would be around 40mph.

    I'm not claiming I've gone that high, but I have gotten fairly close. Again, downhill.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored _`\(,_ | by little statesmen
    and philosophers and divines. --Ralph Waldo (_)/ (_) | Emerson
     
  13. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

    Mike Krueger wrote:

    > Forgive my ignorance, but how do you descend steep hills a fixed gear without burning up your
    > brake the whole way?

    By braking more with one's thighs than one's fingers.

    Mine still has the pads I built it with in 1995. The single front brake is a good idea for
    unanticipated events but I only touch that lever a couple of times in a week.
    --
    Andrew Muzi www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April, 1971
     
  14. Carl Fogel

    Carl Fogel Guest

    [email protected] (ant) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > "Phil Holman" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<Hkwnb.5297
    > > Learn how to spin >200rpm or clip out until you get to the bottom (don't hit any major bumps).
    > >
    > > Phil Holman
    >
    > ok. im curious. how do you get up past 200? what gear are you turning?
    >
    > it seems i never have the opportunity to spin that fast around my usual haunts in new england.
    >
    > anthony

    Dear Anthony,

    Ah, the wonders of a spreadsheet, coupled with a tiny mind and not enough to do. I had this
    lying around.

    Here are some home-brewed (and therefore suspect) tables of pedal RPM for 10 to 45 MPH for various
    combinations of gears (53 x 11..32 ) on a 700c tire with a 2124mm circumference. The 200 RPM curve
    starts at about 53 x 32 and 26 mph.

    If you want a table for a different front gear or circumference, let me know and I'll be happy to
    plug the numbers in. If the tables come out hideously distorted, I can also email a plain text file.

    Of course, my calculations may be off, but I think that we can rely on the slide-rule crowd to
    pounce on any gross error and provide links to sites that offer the same thing in better form.

    Carl Fogel

    rpm chart for 53 front x 11..32 rear cogs using normal 700c tire

    2124<--tire circumference in mm 53 <--front gear teeth

    10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 rear mph mph mph mph mph mph mph mph mph mph cog 11 26 29 31
    34 37 39 42 45 47 50 12 29 31 34 37 40 43 46 49 51 54 13 31 34 37 40 43 46 50 53 56 59 14 33
    37 40 43 47 50 53 57 60 63 15 36 39 43 46 50 54 57 61 64 68 16 38 42 46 50 53 57 61 65 69 72
    17 41 45 49 53 57 61 65 69 73 77 18 43 47 51 56 60 64 69 73 77 81 19 45 50 54 59 63 68 72 77
    81 86 20 48 52 57 62 67 71 76 81 86 91 21 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 22 52 58 63 68 73 79
    84 89 94 100 23 55 60 66 71 77 82 88 93 99 104 24 57 63 69 74 80 86 91 97 103 109 25 60 66
    71 77 83 89 95 101 107 113 26 62 68 74 81 87 93 99 105 112 118 27 64 71 77 84 90 96 103 109
    116 122 28 67 73 80 87 93 100 107 113 120 127 29 69 76 83 90 97 104 111 117 124 131 30 71 79
    86 93 100 107 114 122 129 136 31 74 81 89 96 103 111 118 126 133 140 32 76 84 91 99 107 114
    122 130 137 145

    20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 rear mph mph mph mph mph mph mph mph mph mph cog 11 52 55 58 60
    63 66 68 71 73 76 12 57 60 63 66 69 71 74 77 80 83 13 62 65 68 71 74 77 81 84 87 90 14 67 70
    73 77 80 83 87 90 93 97 15 71 75 79 82 86 89 93 96 100 104 16 76 80 84 88 91 95 99 103 107
    111 17 81 85 89 93 97 101 105 109 113 117 18 86 90 94 99 103 107 112 116 120 124 19 91 95 100
    104 109 113 118 122 127 131 20 95 100 105 110 114 119 124 129 133 138 21 100 105 110 115 120
    125 130 135 140 145 22 105 110 115 121 126 131 136 142 147 152 23 110 115 121 126 132 137 142
    148 153 159 24 114 120 126 132 137 143 149 154 160 166 25 119 125 131 137 143 149 155 161 167
    173 26 124 130 136 142 149 155 161 167 173 180 27 129 135 142 148 154 161 167 174 180 187 28
    133 140 147 153 160 167 173 180 187 193 29 138 145 152 159 166 173 180 187 193 200 30 143 150
    157 164 172 179 186 193 200 207 31 148 155 162 170 177 185 192 199 207 214 32 152 160 168 175
    183 191 198 206 213 221

    30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 rear mph mph mph mph mph mph mph mph mph mph cog 11 79 81 84 86
    89 92 94 97 100 102 12 86 89 91 94 97 100 103 106 109 112 13 93 96 99 102 105 108 112 115 118
    121 14 100 103 107 110 113 117 120 123 127 130 15 107 111 114 118 122 125 129 132 136 139 16
    114 118 122 126 130 133 137 141 145 149 17 122 126 130 134 138 142 146 150 154 158 18 129 133
    137 142 146 150 154 159 163 167 19 136 140 145 149 154 158 163 168 172 177 20 143 148 152 157
    162 167 172 176 181 186 21 150 155 160 165 170 175 180 185 190 195 22 157 162 168 173 178 183
    189 194 199 204 23 164 170 175 181 186 192 197 203 208 214 24 172 177 183 189 194 200 206 212
    217 223 25 179 185 191 197 203 208 214 220 226 232 26 186 192 198 204 211 217 223 229 235 242
    27 193 199 206 212 219 225 232 238 244 251 28 200 207 213 220 227 234 240 247 254 260 29 207
    214 221 228 235 242 249 256 263 269 30 214 222 229 236 243 250 257 264 272 279 31 222 229 236
    244 251 259 266 273 281 288 32 229 236 244 252 259 267 274 282 290 297

    40 41 42 43 44 45 rear mph mph mph mph mph mph cog 11 105 107 110 113 115 118 12 114 117 120
    123 126 129 13 124 127 130 133 136 139 14 133 137 140 143 147 150 15 143 147 150 154 157 161
    16 152 156 160 164 168 172 17 162 166 170 174 178 182 18 172 176 180 184 189 193 19 181 186
    190 195 199 204 20 191 195 200 205 210 214 21 200 205 210 215 220 225 22 210 215 220 225 231
    236 23 219 225 230 236 241 247 24 229 234 240 246 252 257 25 238 244 250 256 262 268 26 248
    254 260 266 273 279 27 257 264 270 277 283 289 28 267 274 280 287 294 300 29 276 283 290 297
    304 311 30 286 293 300 307 315 322 31 295 303 310 318 325 332 32 305 313 320 328 335 343
     
  15. skubanut-<< Forgive my ignorance, but how do you descend steep hills a fixed gear without burning up
    your brake the whole way? >><BR><BR>

    Best way is to ride a route that doesn't include going down that steep hill, but use your legs to
    keep the speed under control and feather the brake.

    Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  16. Ant

    Ant Guest

    I wrote
    > > ok. im curious. how do you get up past 200? what gear are you turning?
    >

    "David L. Johnson" <[email protected]> wrote in message

    > Downhill. In a typical 70" gear, that would be around 40mph. I'm not claiming I've gone that high,
    > but I have gotten fairly close. Again, downhill.

    Yeah, I guess i just need to get out more. i havent found a hill i can actually spin out on around
    my usual haunts. or i could drop my 80" gear for something a little spinnier. bet if i lived
    somewhere with long clean hills i could hit this mystical 200 that gets bandied about a lot in
    fixie-oriented chat. i guess you cant have everything though,

    not broken, anthony
     
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