Thursday, May 23, 2013


There's something special about riding a fixed gear. It's cliche to say, but when your effort, cadence and speed are all correlated, you feel a little more connected to the bike, and to the road. Coming to a stop involves nothing more than gentle (or, occasionally, violent) backpressure, and accelerating afterward provides a nice opportunity to stand and stretch the legs.

But really the appeal I think is the silence. No clicking Ksyrium hubs or clacking shifting chains. For some reason seldom on a fixed-gear ride do I feel the need to ride fast or far. It's just a gentle romp through the countryside.
Romping Gently Through The Countryside

After several years without a fixie in the stable I procured a Surly Cross-Check recently. It arrived as a single-speed with flat-bars, which I immediately replaced with a fixed cog and drop bars. The bike came with some burly tires, but I swapped those out for the Ultremo ZXes that I originally bought for my Habanero. I went out for a short ride a week ago, and took time to see some sights that I've ridden past hundreds of times, but never stopped to absorb.

Gliding Past The Glider Airport

In some ways a fixie reminds me of a glider. I guess that's because I assume that a glider is quiet and peaceful. Of course in most other ways a fixie is absolutely nothing like a glider.

Off-Roading In Washington County
The roads near my house are perfect for riding a fixie. It's easy to go 10-20 miles on good quality roads, with gentle rolling hills and nary a stop sign or traffic light. The scenery isn't magnificent, but it is remarkably pleasant. If one really wants, there are plenty of long steep climbs too. But on this ride I stayed with the rollers.

I'm pleased to be back on a fixie. The Cross-Check is a fine ride. I think I'll be using it quite a bit this summer.

1 comment:

Max said...

I had forgotten about the fun of riding a fixed gear. It does sound nice. And that's a good-looking bike.