View Full Version : Fixed Gear Gearing

05-04-2007, 09:09 PM
Okay this is going to be a little bit roundabout but here you go. I have recently switched over to riding a fixed gear. It has been an incredibly humbling experience but so far I'm having a ball. What I would like to know is what kind of gearing all you crazy bike masters would recommend...and here's where it gets a little wierd.

Right now I'm at my parents house so I don't have access to my bike, but I do know that I have a 16 tooth rear cog. For my own self edification what chainring size would you recommend for some downtown Portland riding. My current thought is that it is geared too high, but I may just be a big wuss and will build up the muscle to handle it. I can give you specifics when I get home but for now I'm bored and thought maybe some of you could help me out.


05-04-2007, 11:27 PM
Without knowing what you have now...I'd recommend a chainring somewhere within the 39 - 42 tooth range.

05-05-2007, 06:05 AM
I ride a 42-16, I commute from Beaverton to NE on it and do fine, a little standing is required to get over the west hills but downtown it works great.

05-05-2007, 11:09 AM
i ride 45x15 and enjoy that.

05-05-2007, 07:14 PM
Man you guys make me feel a lot better about myself. If my memory serves I've either got a 49x16 or 51x16 (only part I'm sure about is the 16). My acceleration sucks, and hills suck even more. So at least I'm not a huge wuss, just an average sized one. Anyways I found a 44 tooth track ring on EBay with my BCD of 144 (man that was a pain to find). So with a little luck you'll see me spinning myself around Portland. I should be easy to spot, I'm the fat guy with the big skull and crossbones on his bag.


rubbish heap
05-06-2007, 09:00 AM
I ride 49x16. I wouldn't recommend it for a beginner though. It's fine after you run it for a bit and build up the muscle but in your case, if you're trying to learn skids and skips you'll have an easier time on something smaller because 49x16 is around 80 gear inches.

(For a calculator to figure out gear inches, look here (http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/).

44x16 is around 72 gear inches, pretty mid range gear right there.

Just remember if you plan on going brakeless, pick a skid-patch friendly gear, something that doesn't reduce down in fraction. What you have in the denominator determines your skid patches (e.g. 48x16 reduces to 3/1, which means you have one skid patch; 48x17 doesn't reduce, giving you 17 skid patches. If you skid ambidextriously, you have 34.)

05-06-2007, 04:47 PM
Hmm, good to know though I'm never really planning on going brakeless. Right now I have front and rear brakes and I only plan on removing my rear brake when I'm more comfertable.

It looks like my EBay purchase is going to work out so I'll be running the 44x16 gearing (which simplifies to 11x4 so 4 skid patches right?). I'll keep the bigger gearing around for when I'm ready for it...or maybe I'll just hang it on my wall. Anyhow thanks!

rubbish heap
05-06-2007, 08:11 PM
4 skid patches is right, unless you feel the need to constantly hit the back brake to the point of skidding the tire, or just doing skid stops, skid patches are irrelevent on a braked bike, so congratulations that you'll save yourself from worrying about tires (and tickets).

Bigger gears are fun when your legs get used to it because you can really sprint hard on a straight away, open road w/o stops (like Ankeny), I think it's most ideal to have a few cogs lying around and switch them out at your discretion/mood. Better yet, if you have a fixed/fixed hub and you plan on going long distances, you can do the pre-deraileur thing like the original Tour de France guys and get off your bike, remove the back wheel off and flip it around to the other side for a different gear. Big IF by the way :)