Is Fixed gear climbing easier?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Is Fixed gear climbing easier?

    I have heard that a fixed gear should climb a little better/easier than a F/W bike of the same gearing. Is there any truth to this? I usually run 32:18 but for off road fixed I was considering 32:16 from what I've learned from reading other posts.I guess I'll be walking a little more than usual with the harder gearing. Any thoughts or experience with anything dealing with off road fixed gear riding will be greatly apprecciated. Thanks

  2. #2
    all hail der Fuhrer Bush
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    I don't think so

    Quote Originally Posted by midwesst
    I have heard that a fixed gear should climb a little better/easier than a F/W bike of the same gearing. Is there any truth to this? I usually run 32:18 but for off road fixed I was considering 32:16 from what I've learned from reading other posts.I guess I'll be walking a little more than usual with the harder gearing. Any thoughts or experience with anything dealing with off road fixed gear riding will be greatly apprecciated. Thanks
    Maybe easier than a multispeed bike due to the lack of derailleur pulleys and their slight added resistance. But compared to a tensionerless singlespeed, no I don't think so. When you're powering the pedals, a fixed gear feels exactly like a singlespeed bike with a freewheel, at least to me, and I ride both styles.
    The reason that some would prefer a higher gear with a fixed gear offroad is because you can't coast, so the higher the gear the less rapidly you have to spin your butt off on the cruisy stuff and especially on descents. But if you got climbs, gearing for the flats and descents doesn't help if you can't get up to them.
    I run a 34/19 on my mtb fixer, it's the highest gear I can mashs up the climbs around here.

  3. #3
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    On my trail impossible - need to double pump to avoid pedal strike.

  4. #4
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    Embrace Pedal Strike!

    It's what makes life exciting!

    As for climbing with higher fixie gearing, oddly, it does feel slightly easier, for short climbs (like less than 30-50 feet) but for longer climbs the higher gearing really gets to be tough.

    bob

    2:1 mtb fixie
    34:18 SS gearing

  5. #5
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    Wink

    Thanks for all the great advice guys. As soon as I recover from having my gallbladder removed I'll be out to give the fixed thing a try. BTW, I drilled out a DX cog to fit my Surly disc hub - remove disc, bolt on cog and presto, fixed gear on the cheap.Seems to work good on the driveway so I'll post back later to tell what I think of it on the trail. Thanks again.

  6. #6
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    I think it is. . .

    I've always heard this, too. While I don't have any hard data to support or deny the idea, it seems a little easier to me. My hypothesis has always been that the momentum of the wheel helps pull the pedals through the dead spots. . . .

  7. #7
    all hail der Fuhrer Bush
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    congrats on using hypothesis correctly

    Quote Originally Posted by farley
    I've always heard this, too. While I don't have any hard data to support or deny the idea, it seems a little easier to me. My hypothesis has always been that the momentum of the wheel helps pull the pedals through the dead spots. . . .
    Too often you see folks saying this theory, that theory, when they mean hypothesis.
    I disagree with your hypothesis. Only way the wheel could pull the pedals around is if you let off on the pedals enough for the slight, but ever-present slack in the chain to allow the wheel to drive the pedals. If you're doing that, than you're not powering the bike with the pedals. It's like when you're using the pedals to slow down, there's always a lag between powering forward and resisting the wheel's spin to slow down, even on the most finely tuned track bike.
    I've always heard what you claim, even when racing track, and I've tried to detect the effect while riding fixies on road, track, and dirt, but never could. At least that's my hypothesis on your hypothesis.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bulC
    Too often you see folks saying this theory, that theory, when they mean hypothesis.
    I disagree with your hypothesis. Only way the wheel could pull the pedals around is if you let off on the pedals enough for the slight, but ever-present slack in the chain to allow the wheel to drive the pedals. If you're doing that, than you're not powering the bike with the pedals. It's like when you're using the pedals to slow down, there's always a lag between powering forward and resisting the wheel's spin to slow down, even on the most finely tuned track bike.
    I've always heard what you claim, even when racing track, and I've tried to detect the effect while riding fixies on road, track, and dirt, but never could. At least that's my hypothesis on your hypothesis.
    I'd have to disagree with you and say I have felt a noticable difference when climbing fixed gear. I initially had the bike setup 34x18 and singlespeed, busted rear brake and went to 34x17 fixie. Soon after making the switch I did the ECNASSCUp2 and there was a big difference in riding up the hills fromthe previous year.

    First off I made it up all of them, which I hadn't the previous year. Second, I found that by having to pedal all the time I couldn't coast for a couple of seconds and then start back up (which I believe uses more energy to get started again than to just keep pedaling). Third, whenever I wanted to stop pedaling the cranks kept moving on around so I was forced to keep pedaling one more time, one more time, one more time, one more time, one more time...

    So no, I don't have any data or statistics, only "my" experience. And in my experience I found hills (not just short, some a few miles long) and most technical stuff easier. Another added benefit was control. When needing control going up a steep technical hill, I can use my cranks to help control the bike and not have to touch my brakes for help, which is extremely helpful.

    DT

  9. #9
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    Unrelated to the topic, but

    DT was a madman at the ECNASSCU. He not only ripped up, he ripped down, over, and through everything with his fixie. I was constantly looking for the guy on the red/orange IF to determine if it was the guy with the fixie (a few guys had orange IF's and I kept getting confused).

    If DT says it, I believe it!
    Thanks to www.weavercycleworks.com for my awesome bike frames!

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