Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fixie Crisis

Started checking out production fixies today, mostly out of curiosity, not because I could afford one. Really it was Bike Snob NYC's interview of the dude at Felt that got the gears turning. By the way, if you want to read a real cycling blog, read Bike Snob. It came to my attention that a lot of the bikes I was drawn to were similar aesthetically to my SingleCross (which inexplicably has been discontinued) and it got me to thinking. By the time I ended up back at home I'd decided that it probably made more sense for me to drop a 16t cog or freewheel on the other side of my practice wheelset, swap over the 42t chainring that came stock on the bike and put a set of cheap road tires on it and see how it felt. It occurred to me that it probably makes more sense for me to ride my racing bike anyway since some cheap ass conversion would probably have whacked out geometry and not feel a thing like the race bike, thus defeating the purpose almost entirely. I'll also still have brakes, which will be sweet. Also, I really like my bike, it's very comfortable and I already own it, which is a big advantage over any other bike,.

I'm hoping the decreased resistance of the road tires will help me out because I'll be going from a 58 to 70 gear inches. All the bikes I was looking at rocked a 42x16 as standard gearing, which means the hills will suck but the flats will be heaven. That also puts me just one tooth off from my 'cross gearing of 39x18 so the chain will work and the wheelbase won't change much. I'll probably still have to adjust the brake when I switch back and forth and if I want a pit wheelset I'll have to change the tires back every weekend (hastle?) but I'm excited about the prospect of hauling some serious ass instead of just spinning wildly.

Out of curiosity, I priced out a tubular race wheelset so I could avoid the tire change and rock some tubbies at the races but even with budget parts (Surly hubs, DT butted spokes, Mavic Reflex rims and Grifo Tires I'd be in over $450 plus a bunch of my labor. That'll have to wait for next year. Right now the priority is getting a faster road-type bike for the least amount of money and putting $40 worth of rubber and a $10 16t cog (maybe freewheel...) on the race bike makes a hell of a lot more sense. Why didn't I think of that before...

On a more ride related note. Ran over some slugs today out on the Metro Center Greenway. I know this because their gooey remnants dried to my frame and were uncomfortable to look at. Hoping to find a rideable route connecting all or most of Nashville's greenways and related roads (like Percy Warner Park). A nice big fat loop with a coffee stop 2/3rds of the way through and a beer stop at the end would be ideal. If I new the roads of Nashville better I'd probably already have a plan...

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