Author Topic: Fixed Wheel 600  (Read 1887 times)

Socialist Clarion Call

  • Age Is Just A Number Just Wish By Body Agreed
  • Age but a number,which grows ever larger.
Fixed Wheel 600
« on: August 15, 2018, 01:09:27 pm »
A question, is it any harder to ride a 600 on fixed (WCW) June next year. I'm fairly confident I can ride a 300 so is a 600 twice as hard?
I'm planning on rideing an SR next year as part of making my 70th year more memorable?
Boots an Spurs

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Fixed Wheel 600
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2018, 01:13:58 pm »
It's harder. I've completed K&SW 600 on gears but failed twice on fixed. Not done the WCW but have done BCM600 on fixed. It's obviously slower than on a geared bike, though I've managed close to my best geared time on fixed.

IME you need fixed miles in your legs to ride fixed long distance. If you don't, you'll struggle.

Re: Fixed Wheel 600
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2018, 03:32:12 pm »
I'm fairly confident I can ride a 300 so is a 600 twice as hard?

IME, no, provided you can get some sleep part way round. Only based on a sample set of 2 mind you.

Re: Fixed Wheel 600
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2018, 04:07:19 pm »
I have been significantly faster at all distances since swapping from gears to fixed.

Re: Fixed Wheel 600
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2018, 07:10:40 pm »
I have been significantly faster at all distances since swapping from gears to fixed.

Though, in your case, there may be other factors at play. 

Re: Fixed Wheel 600
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2018, 10:50:10 pm »
I have been significantly faster at all distances since swapping from gears to fixed.

Though, in your case, there may be other factors at play.

 :) no-one asked about any other variables

JonB

  • Granny Ring ... Yes Please!
Re: Fixed Wheel 600
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2018, 07:40:13 am »
I've done my first fixed SR this year and it was the four and the six that proved the most challenging although they are tough rides (BC and BCM). I really struggled after 300km and my body wasn't taking any food on and just wanted to sleep, it went into shut down. I think the problem is that on fixed it's much harder to manage what you're putting out, it sounds obvious but there's less scope to click down the gears and pootle along for a bit. On 200s / 300s this is more manageable but for the longer rides the problem manifests itself when you could really do without it, during the night sections. Having said all this, once I had sleep on the Chapman I had a blast on the Sunday.  I did think about getting an HRM to better manage power output but not got round to it yet. The key thing as said above is to get plenty of fixed miles/kms in the legs.

Re: Fixed Wheel 600
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2018, 09:36:14 am »
I have been significantly faster at all distances since swapping from gears to fixed.
Do you ride fixed exclusively (my reluctances would be: on the trainer, with groups, over hills)? I loved riding my fixie for fun, but I think I'd struggle with any of the things I listed.

Re: Fixed Wheel 600
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2018, 11:54:43 am »
I have been significantly faster at all distances since swapping from gears to fixed.
Do you ride fixed exclusively (my reluctances would be: on the trainer, with groups, over hills)? I loved riding my fixie for fun, but I think I'd struggle with any of the things I listed.

Fixed on all 4 bikes.

I don’t do much group riding.   The events I’m training for necessitate solo riding.   When I’m in and out of groups on Audax I find the difference between climbing speed and flat speed in amongst geared riders to be a problem.   I climb quite slowly but accelerate as the hill flattens which leads me to drop back and then pass people continuously.

On the turbo I leave the resistance the same and use cadence to measure effort.  If you want to work harder you spin faster and vice-versa.   It makes things very simple, which suits me.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Fixed Wheel 600
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2018, 01:06:56 pm »
I did the Fairies 300 on fixed recently, my first long ride on fixed for a few years. Managing the distance was no problem. However...

Longer rides do highlight the importance of having your bike set up correctly. I really need to make some adjustments to my fixed gear bike because I was starting to find it very uncomfortable towards the end of the 300, and in particular my knees were suffering badly.

I was planning to do the Fenland Friends 600 on fixed but unless I can find some time to get the bike fit sorted out before then, I'm not sure it will be a good idea.

In some ways, when it comes to doing long distances on fixed, a very flat ride is probably worse than a moderately hilly ride because you don't have so many excuses to get out of the saddle.

Re: Fixed Wheel 600
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2018, 01:26:51 pm »
I wouldn't say it's any harder riding a 600 rather than a 300 - as others have mentioned, it's mostly dependant on the terrain. WCW last time had a few steep bits that were a bit nasty, eg White Hill out of Henley, being close-passed at speed by Bentley owners, but don't recall any major issues so must have been fine! Need to wait for next years route, but it's never going to be as bad as any AAA rated 600.
“That slope may look insignificant, but it's going to be my destiny" - Fitzcarraldo

Re: Fixed Wheel 600
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2018, 01:33:51 pm »
Flatter/not so hilly rides without a strong headwind are probably faster/easier or the same on fixed.
Very hilly rides or very strong headwinds are probably a bit slower/harder on fixed.
Hills aren't as bad as you might expect as fixies climb very well. They're only harder when the hills are steep.

Haven't done a fixed SR for at least 5 years now....

Re: Fixed Wheel 600
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2018, 01:26:09 pm »
Haven't done that sort of distance, but the Dun Run (200k if you include getting to the start) was quite a bit easier the two times I did it on fixed.  Lower bike weight and lower average rpm.  Most keen cyclists pedal too fast when they have the option; it's what pro racing cyclists do, and it's good for your knees in the long run, but it's not the most biomechanically efficient.  75-80rpm gives more forward speed for less energy expended.
Never tell me the odds.

Re: Fixed Wheel 600
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2018, 02:03:26 pm »
Longer rides do highlight the importance of having your bike set up correctly. I really need to make some adjustments to my fixed gear bike because I was starting to find it very uncomfortable towards the end of the 300, and in particular my knees were suffering badly.

Flat rides on fixed mean you don't get out of the saddle that much. The first and last 300km of LEL'09 (which had very flat start/finishes) I had similar problems. I've also had similar discomfort on the Fairies 300 on fixed but no discomfort on the BCM 600 (where I got to ride out of the saddle quite a bit). It's harder (but not impossible) to get out of the saddle and stretch/stomp on fixed.

On an undulating (but not stupidly hilly) route I don't find fixed much different in terms of speed from a geared bike. They're both roughly the same in terms of mechanical efficiency so putting in a certain input power will get you roughly the same speed on both; what varies is the cadences that you are putting that power in at.

If you don't have lots of fixed miles in your legs then you'll find the variation in cadences will tire you out much earlier. Being able to put (say) 200W in for a period of time at 90rpm is one thing, being able to put something near that in at 25rpm for a prolonged period is quite a different story.

Long/steep descents are obviously much easier on gears as you're not having to spin away (even not putting any power in requires quite a bit of work for the legs) but generally I find I'm less lazy on fixed as there's nowhere to hide. I can't bottom out to a 30x29 gear (or similar) and spin up at 6kph, on fixed I tend to stall when climbing at anything under 25rpm and so generally climb a bit faster on fixed than gears as it means my lowest speed is ~8kph. Most things over 15% have me dismounting and walking (although this is often the same on the geared bike).

Steep climbing on fixed is essentially stair climbing, it's just your body weight on the pedal forcing it downwards and then the bulk of the work is moving your CoG back up again by standing on the other (now higher) pedal. A bit steeper and you're also using the upper body workout of wrenching the bars. Steeper still and you add in pulling up on the lower pedal too. (OK, a bit of a simplification, it's not so simple a 3-stage process as this.)
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: Fixed Wheel 600
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2018, 03:15:23 pm »
Most keen cyclists pedal too fast when they have the option; it's what pro racing cyclists do, and it's good for your knees in the long run

Is it really though? What's the long term scientific evidence for this? My knees have complained a lot less since switching to fixed, and I'm not convinced we have evolved to sustain high rpm spinning for 15+ hours per day over multiple days. A much lower cadence, out of the saddle when climbing, straightening the leg before applying body weight (so little stress on the knee joint) is much more akin to walking. Add in the absolute zero impact, unlike jolty gear changes, and that you spin downhill maintaining blood flow and movement after heavy exertion...
“That slope may look insignificant, but it's going to be my destiny" - Fitzcarraldo

Socialist Clarion Call

  • Age Is Just A Number Just Wish By Body Agreed
  • Age but a number,which grows ever larger.
Re: Fixed Wheel 600
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2019, 10:56:33 am »
So to seemingly answer my own question, without a really firm conclusion. WCW turned out for me at least to be very difficult. Not sure how much was due to riding Fixed. Heat, bad planning with loading the whole route onto my Wahoo and the resulting junction confusion (solved with a reload of control to control route). Eating too many Baked Potatoes and giving in when at a low point and miss reading the time available to next control (Christleton). Agh well, next question can I / do I consider another SR next year. Can I get fit enough?
Boots an Spurs

DaT

Re: Fixed Wheel 600
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2019, 11:15:47 am »
Shame about missing your SR. I've done my first and fixed SR this year but I don't know how my experience and yours can be comparable as I'm 30. But I'm finding riding fixed easier than gears. This may be because the training is more intense meaning I'm fitter than I have ever been.

Re: Fixed Wheel 600
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2019, 08:31:34 pm »
So to seemingly answer my own question, without a really firm conclusion. WCW turned out for me at least to be very difficult. Not sure how much was due to riding Fixed. Heat, bad planning with loading the whole route onto my Wahoo and the resulting junction confusion (solved with a reload of control to control route). Eating too many Baked Potatoes and giving in when at a low point and miss reading the time available to next control (Christleton). Agh well, next question can I / do I consider another SR next year. Can I get fit enough?

There’s the Fenland Friends.  It’s fixed friendly.   Ride a permanent?

Re: Fixed Wheel 600
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2019, 08:36:21 pm »
So to seemingly answer my own question, without a really firm conclusion. WCW turned out for me at least to be very difficult. Not sure how much was due to riding Fixed. Heat, bad planning with loading the whole route onto my Wahoo and the resulting junction confusion (solved with a reload of control to control route). Eating too many Baked Potatoes and giving in when at a low point and miss reading the time available to next control (Christleton). Agh well, next question can I / do I consider another SR next year. Can I get fit enough?

Book yourself on Fenland Friends 600 for next weekend. For me the heat and dehydration did for me on WCW.  Fenland Friend 600 forecast relatively cool in comparison and not hilly at all. Plus a few determined riders around you to complete it as a last 600 for PBP qualification.