Road content: Gearing for long, hilly fixed rides?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Road content: Gearing for long, hilly fixed rides?

    Will be doing a 100 mile ride this spring with 8000 ft. of climbing. Idiotic, I know but I am doing it anyway and trying to figure out gearing. Should I stay with my 71 inch gear or gear down to a 65 or so? Help appreciated from anyone else who has gone down this long, er, road...

  2. #2
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    I've done road / dirt road centuries here in VT fixed, with 3-6k climbing. Ran 42x16 with slicks and 42x19 with cross tires. I think understanding longest sustained pitches and how they related to: a) overall mileage and b) your ability to crank up them is important.

    Sharp roller after sharp roller after sharp roller would have me choosing a different (probably lower) gear than sustained 8-10% climbs (with accompanying descents) for miles...

    A rider I know who did BMB fixed (1200k, under 90 hours, 30,000' of climbing, 2 major gaps, countless rollers, countless long stiff climbs) - ran 42x16 on her old Raleigh. She walked once or twice I think.

  3. #3
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    I agree with bmike---I run 48x18 (equiv. to 42x16) and can tackle 30 mile hill-infested rides with 5,000 ft climbing without too much straining. I'd also like to do a century this year, but the popular route around here is fairly flat, so I'll either stick with the current gearing or if I feel brave (READ: stupid), I may stick a 16/17 back there.

  4. #4
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    I don't like going lower then 70 gear inches. I tend to stay in the 70's and go into the 80's now and then. If you ride with brakes/brake I think a lower gear would be more ridable as your not having to skid all the way down hills because your spinning too fast.

  5. #5
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    I think we need to know the tires you are rocking for the ride. I think 28mm tires would mean 65 gear inches for what you want to do. I've done a 135 mile ride or two fixed, but never that much climbing. 70 was nice for those, but getting up lots of hills...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    I've done a 135 mile ride or two fixed...
    My respect for you just went up a notch.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    70 was nice for those, but getting up lots of hills...
    For me, getting up and over is usually work, but doesn't wear on me like spinning down the other side...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny K
    Will be doing a 100 mile ride this spring with 8000 ft. of climbing. Idiotic, I know but I am doing it anyway and trying to figure out gearing. Should I stay with my 71 inch gear or gear down to a 65 or so? Help appreciated from anyone else who has gone down this long, er, road...
    I would say, stay where your at; 70 gear inches is a good compromise. I have ridden the Solvang Century 20 of the last 22 years; 1 time single speed and 5 times fixed. The first time was on a single speed 42:18 (62.4 GI) and I spun out continuously. Since then I have ridden a 48:18 (71.4 GI), which works out much better. Solvang has about 5,000 feet of climbing including the several 8% average climbs (The top of the highest point of the graph is a 20% grade, but it's very short).
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    Just one more rep and I get the toaster!

  9. #9
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    Hm, alright. Leave it where it is. I like it.

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