In a search for a perfect fixed gear ratio
We all know why we fell in love with riding fixed gear. The simplicity of riding, the aesthetic appeal, the simple mechanic making it almost maintenance free.
And if for some, like myself, it was the clean look that made you change modalities of even start riding for the first time you soon realized there is a lot more to a fixed gear.
Building a fixed gear might seem simple at first but exactly because of its simplicity there is a lot less room for mistake, one simple component can throw off an entire building, which brings me to my point, gear ratio.
Give one simple spin around town and you will find out that no matter what you do your gear ration is bound to be wrong. On the climbs it’s always too heavy and makes you swear and curse with every spin of the pedals asking yourself if you are just a chicken leg of this climb will never end. And once you are at the top and you think to yourself you finally made and it’s all over you start the descent only to realize once second later your ratio is actually too light and you cannot keep up with the pedals spinning like a little hamster in a cage.
But rest assure that is not only a “problem” for climbs, you might think to yourself “-Hey, but my city is flat… easy”. I repeat you are never on your right gear when riding a fixed gear. A slight breeze can help you cruise around town like you own the streets, that’s until you have to make a right turn and you find yourself fighting the heaviest headwind you ever encountered. And we start cursing again.
But if you made it this far, both on your riding and on the reading of this post, don’t let it discourage you from riding. We might have started riding fixed gear for the looks, but we keep riding for the challenge, for the personal improvement, for those gold medals on the track as well as for the best time on our commute. Been “always” on the wrong ration teaches us how to adjust our pedal stroke. Fixed gear really teaches you the importance of cadence on your riding and bring out our bigger weakness and strengths too, after all, there is not much room for adjustments on the ride beside the ones our legs allow.
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