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  1. #1
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    road bike vs. fixed gear for training

    is one more beneficial than the other? im on a limited budget and i can get a fixed gear road bike for way cheaper than an fully geared.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bike hippy
    is one more beneficial than the other? im on a limited budget and i can get a fixed gear road bike for way cheaper than an fully geared.
    Only if you're riding the fixed gear on a track or behind the motor.

    Otherwise, road bike.

  3. #3
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    x412 on the road bike
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  4. #4
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    x412 on the road bike
    Then x560 for the fixed gear since we're going to use crazy numbers.

    If your on a limited budget, just go for the fixed. Set it up with a position similar to the one on your mountain bike and you'll get get a lot more out of it than you would by spinning on a road bike. A fixed gear will help you gain explosive power on the climbs and make you spin like crazy on the downhills. Mountain bike racing is more about being able to vary your cadence and put down short bursts of power (like you would on a fixed) than it is about sitting in the saddle and spinning a nice smooth even cadence (like a road rider would.)

    Riding fixed has made me a way better mountain biker than riding a road bike would have. That said, I race SS, not geared.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by the munts
    Then x560 for the fixed gear since we're going to use crazy numbers.

    If your on a limited budget, just go for the fixed. Set it up with a position similar to the one on your mountain bike and you'll get get a lot more out of it than you would by spinning on a road bike. A fixed gear will help you gain explosive power on the climbs and make you spin like crazy on the downhills. Mountain bike racing is more about being able to vary your cadence and put down short bursts of power (like you would on a fixed) than it is about sitting in the saddle and spinning a nice smooth even cadence (like a road rider would.)

    Riding fixed has made me a way better mountain biker than riding a road bike would have. That said, I race SS, not geared.
    Uh, good luck producing power at threshold in any gear (inch) you'd be able to use up a steep climb or killing a downhill. A 50x15 ain't going to feel too good going up a decent climb or coming back down.

    Also, the demands of a road bike race or even a hard group ride are far more explosive than anything you'd find using a fixed gear. As someone who has raced all three, I can tell you that riding a fixed gear HARD is going to produce less explosive torque than a road bike. There is simply no micro-delay, no brief slowing of cadence to really explode into the next pedal stroke during an attack or chase effort. The pulse in torque after you come through the dead spot in the pedal stroke. You do that too violently on a fixed gear, other than during a standing start, and you'll find yourself ass-on-pavement, holding on to your junk.

    If you were to argue that riding a fixed gear smooths out your cadence, yeah, I'd agree with that.
    Last edited by Le Duke; 10-27-2009 at 11:53 PM.

  6. #6
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    I personally prefer the fixed gear. I've probably only ridden my road bike a half dozen times this year. You can vary your workout with the terrain you choose.
    You can build strength, but one thing that will suffer with riding a fixed gear or singlespeed is your top end. On flatter courses the guys who race road too can just open it up.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke
    Uh, good luck producing power at threshold in any gear (inch) you'd be able to use up a steep climb or killing a downhill. A 50x15 ain't going to feel too good going up a decent climb or coming back down.

    Also, the demands of a road bike race or even a hard group ride are far more explosive than anything you'd find using a fixed gear. As someone who has raced all three, I can tell you that riding a fixed gear HARD is going to produce less explosive torque than a road bike. There is simply no micro-delay, no brief slowing of cadence to really explode into the next pedal stroke during an attack or chase effort. The pulse in torque after you come through the dead spot in the pedal stroke. You do that too violently on a fixed gear, other than during a standing start, and you'll find yourself ass-on-pavement, holding on to your junk.

    If you were to argue that riding a fixed gear smooths out your cadence, yeah, I'd agree with that.
    Lol... What is 'explosive torque?!' Power and torque are two different things...and good luck arguing that it is impossible to produce power on a track bike. Read back through your post - that's what you said - right there, see? lol...

    mate, it's called 'leg speed'. Unless you have that, all the the strength and fitness and wearing of oversized neon-yellow raincoats isn't going to allow you to produce power. It's not the track bike's fault that you have a square pedal stroke

    To the OP - as has been mentioned earlier in the thread, training anywhere but a track on a fixed gear is probably going to be a bit much over the week. Get a road bike to enable some recovery days.
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  8. #8
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    Uh, good luck producing power at threshold in any gear (inch) you'd be able to use up a steep climb or killing a downhill. A 50x15 ain't going to feel too good going up a decent climb or coming back down.

    Also, the demands of a road bike race or even a hard group ride are far more explosive than anything you'd find using a fixed gear. As someone who has raced all three, I can tell you that riding a fixed gear HARD is going to produce less explosive torque than a road bike. There is simply no micro-delay, no brief slowing of cadence to really explode into the next pedal stroke during an attack or chase effort. The pulse in torque after you come through the dead spot in the pedal stroke. You do that too violently on a fixed gear, other than during a standing start, and you'll find yourself ass-on-pavement, holding on to your junk.

    If you were to argue that riding a fixed gear smooths out your cadence, yeah, I'd agree with that.
    Nobody said anything about riding track gearing, or a track bike for that matter, on the road. You're right, trying to ride around on a 50X15 would not feel good. But rolling on a 39X17 or 15 isn't too bad. And I've done some group road rides on the bike, and I definitely have to go harder up the hills than the guys on geared bikes. When they sit on the longer climbs and shift into an easy gear, the fixed gear forces me to be out of the saddle grinding up. Down the other side, I have to spin at around 190 rpm.

    It's done a lot to improve my out of the saddle climbing and my spinning. I'm a faster mountain biker because of it. The OP is on a budget, and I think that he can get as much out of riding road (not track) on a fixed gear as he can gain from riding a road bike.

    And it does smooth out your cadence. So thanks for helping my argument
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by the munts
    ...And I've done some group road rides on the bike, and I definitely have to go harder up the hills than the guys on geared bikes. When they sit on the longer climbs and shift into an easy gear, the fixed gear forces me to be out of the saddle grinding up...
    You're on the wrong group ride, then
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feideaux
    Lol... What is 'explosive torque?!' Power and torque are two different things...and good luck arguing that it is impossible to produce power on a track bike. Read back through your post - that's what you said - right there, see? lol...

    mate, it's called 'leg speed'. Unless you have that, all the the strength and fitness and wearing of oversized neon-yellow raincoats isn't going to allow you to produce power. It's not the track bike's fault that you have a square pedal stroke

    To the OP - as has been mentioned earlier in the thread, training anywhere but a track on a fixed gear is probably going to be a bit much over the week. Get a road bike to enable some recovery days.
    I didn't say that it's impossible to produce power on a track bike. I said good luck riding a gear that will allow you to actually ride at threshold on the flats, and getting up and down anything resembling a hill. I even provided an example of a gear to illustrate my point.

    I also said that a track bike isn't going to allow you to closely mimic the efforts you'd find on an MTB. There is no coasting then slamming into the pedals, even briefly. This is where I used a phrase that you're belittling, and perhaps rightly so.

    If anyone can prove me wrong instead of attempting to discredit me because of a single poor turn of phrase, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by the munts
    And I've done some group road rides on the bike, and I definitely have to go harder up the hills than the guys on geared bikes.
    Unless you're pulling ahead of them, no, you most definitely aren't.

  12. #12
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    Unless you're pulling ahead of them, no, you most definitely aren't.
    I am. That's my point

    You're on the wrong group ride, then
    Maybe your right. But that would be pretty hard for you to prove without riding with me.
    But my point is that I work harder on the fixed gear than I would on a geared road bike. I'm forced to attack on every hill and spin a high cadence coming down. And I pedal every second I'm on the bike, so I get more training in for a given amount of time I'm riding.

    I'm a mountain biker, not a road racer. I only ride the road for training and commuting. And a fixed gear is a cheap, maintenance free, and very effective way to train. It's worked really well for me this year
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by the munts
    I am. That's my point


    Maybe your right. But that would be pretty hard for you to prove without riding with me.
    But my point is that I work harder on the fixed gear than I would on a geared road bike. I'm forced to attack on every hill and spin a high cadence coming down. And I pedal every second I'm on the bike, so I get more training in for a given amount of time I'm riding.

    I'm a mountain biker, not a road racer. I only ride the road for training and commuting. And a fixed gear is a cheap, maintenance free, and very effective way to train. It's worked really well for me this year
    Well that makes sense, then.

    A lot of people assume that they're doing more work, simply because they don't have gears. However, you actually are, in terms of watts/kg, if you're going faster than others uphill.

  14. #14
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    i have a fixxed gear(a track bike has no room for brakes) and it's geared 39/16 so i can use it for hill climb intervals . i have used it a little in the winter and i have had a thought or two on the muscles you use while slowing yourself with the pedals(when coming down the hills),i think they help you stabilize stand up pedaling a mountainbike in rough terrain,like especially a downhill bike on a flatter dh trail.

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