Have you done any singlespeed touring?

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plusgourmande
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Have you done any singlespeed touring?

Postby plusgourmande » Tue Jun 12, 2007 21:13 pm

Hi all, anybody done either singlespeed or fixed wheel touring? At the moment i ride a fixed wheel and feel no less tired than i do on a road bike, but in your experience is this the same for long distances?

Thanks

freddered
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Postby freddered » Tue Jun 12, 2007 21:27 pm

I just did 3 days cycle camping for the first time. I was carrying 2 full panniers (tent, sleeping bag, clothes...the lot).

Normally I don't find the need to go lower than 4th gear but I was forced into 1st and 2nd a lot due to the weight up hills.

I've never ridden single speed but you may want to consider lowering the gearing if you are carrying luggage (or simply walk up hills).

Loaded panniers may make it more difficult to really honk a fixie up hill

plusgourmande
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Postby plusgourmande » Tue Jun 12, 2007 21:56 pm

Hey Fred. I was really hoping to go ultra minimalist and just take a nice rucksack / shoulder bag with the bare essentials (tent, few tools, few clothes). I did London>Brighton and i felt no discomfort, only sweat when i pedalled hard, plus my bike doesn't have the holes to put a rack on.

TomB1960
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Postby TomB1960 » Wed Jun 13, 2007 06:11 am

Have a look at this blog which I stumbled over a while back, huge respect to them both, I hope they don't mind me pasting the link here, http://pompinos.blogspot.com/2006_04_01 ... chive.html

quokka
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Postby quokka » Wed Jun 13, 2007 06:31 am

I've also thought of giving this a go. I've got a ss 29er mtb that I think might do the trick with a change of gearing and tyres.I agree that ultralight is probably the way to go with singlespeed. I can't imagine hauling my fully loaded BoB Yak behind me, although I did come across the website of a guy who pulled a Weber monoporter behind his fixed gear across Oz & USA, so maybe it's just a matter of willpower. I always feel horribly pathetic when my father and uncle tell me their 1940s/50s touring stories ridden on a Rudge with sturmey 3spd and fixed gear respectively.Mind you, all they carried was a saddlebag.
I thought I might try a short 2-3 day minitour with minimal gear and see what happens.

ASC1951
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Postby ASC1951 » Wed Jun 13, 2007 07:14 am

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by plusgourmande</i>

... just take a nice rucksack.... plus my bike doesn't have the holes to put a rack on.
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">I think you would soon get very teed off with that on a tour. You can get seatpost-mounted racks, which still have your weight a bit high but are much better than having it on your back.

Forum member Gordy does some huge tours, IIRC mainly on fixed.

freddered
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Postby freddered » Wed Jun 13, 2007 08:43 am

Carradice Saddlebag and SQR Mount

gavintc
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Postby gavintc » Wed Jun 13, 2007 09:32 am

I was chatting to my dad last weekend about his cycling exploits. He raced in the 50's and trained on a single speed. He rode from Edinburgh to Corby on a single speed in 2 days with a small saddle bag in the mid 50's. He does not boast about his cycling days and it nuggets of information he comes out with when I least expect it.

quokka
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Postby quokka » Wed Jun 13, 2007 09:35 am

What about gearing? How low/high would make sense for touring. My 29er runs 33/20 with massive 2.3 rubber which gives about 48 gear inches. I know guys who ride fixed road bikes with 70" plus. So maybe around 55-65" depending on fitness/terrain. Any other ideas?

nun
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Postby nun » Wed Jun 13, 2007 14:14 pm

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by TomB1960</i>

Have a look at this blog which I stumbled over a while back, huge respect to them both, I hope they don't mind me pasting the link here, http://pompinos.blogspot.com/2006_04_01 ... chive.html
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

That's a great blog you linked to. I've done some overnight trips with a Carradice Longflap on my singlespeed and really enjoyed it. I'd advise going with gearing in the 60s" so you don't kill your knees and maybe
put on a double freewheel like White Industries makes, ie 16/18, 17/19 or 18/20. I use a 40t chain wheel and a 16/18 freewheel. I spin out sometimes, but I'm grateful on the hills.

Part of the key to enjoying singlespeed/fixed touring is going ultralight so I'd start with the goal of getting your gear below 10kg (20lbs). The Pompino blog has some great ideas as does this thread

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.ph ... ight=20lbs

and these websites

Henry Kingman's minimalist Rambouillet
http://milly.org/rambouillet/

Ultralight in S. America
http://www2.arnes.si/~ikovse/weight.htm

The Crane Bros do Tibet, amazing!
http://web.archive.org/web/200412110455 ... net/crane/

gordycp
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Postby gordycp » Wed Jun 13, 2007 17:01 pm

It's me again, sorry!

I tried to go "round the world" on a fixed wheel in 2005 and managed about 8000 miles in six months before I gave up with homesickness (and Cambodian runs.) Anyway, it's easy if you don't want to go too fast and are prepared for a lot of walking in real mountains. My route included a trans-USA (over the Rockies at a low bit) and Sydney to Perth. Gearing was 44x17 IIRC but anything around 68 inches suits me fine. I swapped cogs a few times and rode OZ on a borrowed chainset but one or two teeth either way didn't seem to make much difference.

Long descents on a fixed wheel are awful, so I use a singlespeed tourer for everything now. I'd estimate that touring speeds and distances are at least 10% worse than on a geared bike. THe real worst bits are the flatlands when you are in the wrong gear for the whole day. Undulating roads are fine.

Just go, you'll love it. Someone in the States was touring on a fixie with no brakes last year.

My site is www.gordontaylor.co.uk but it hasn't been updated for a while.


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