Fixed Gear .................What ratio you ride?????

daz51 Posts: 159
edited December 2008 in Road general
Just wondered what ratio of gears you guys use on your fixie machines??????

I am riding a 46/17 which is fine on the flat then i struggle to climb on it,

what you guys use ?????


  • Leedsblue
    Leedsblue Posts: 102
    Isn't 42/17 supposed to be a popular size.

    FCN is minimal as I don't see many bikes on the way to work
  • Lazarus
    Lazarus Posts: 1,426
    I use 42x14 on my fixed which is fine for commuting on the flat, but can be a nice little tester going up the Bwlch
    A punctured bicycle
    On a hillside desolate
    Will nature make a man of me yet ?
  • brownbosh
    brownbosh Posts: 602
    Thats a 71.9 , i use 42/16 (69) which i can get up any hills with a fight and i regularly do hill intervals on it. Ur extra 2.9 inches(oooh errr) would be too much for me up the 18% plus short hills or 15% longer ones. Its preference realy, most of the other guys at my club ride 61-65 inch gears but i find them far too low on the flat. The freewheels and chain rings are cheap enough. Buy a couple of different sizes and give it a crack.
  • ajb2
    ajb2 Posts: 3
    Personally find 46:18 the best compromise between a comfortable gear for getting up the hills and a comfortable gear for spinning down the other side
  • GaryGkn
    GaryGkn Posts: 1,199
  • daz51
    daz51 Posts: 159
    how do you guys find the 48:18 ???????????
  • MrHulot
    MrHulot Posts: 173
    48x16 here in Oxfordshire. You can do most things although there are a few places to avoid. Used for commuting and midweek circular training rides with the Club. Not flexible enough for the Sunday Runs though.
  • edhornby
    edhornby Posts: 1,780
    IIRC mine is 48 x 18 - I'll check this at some point.... my dad (who had a fixed wheel and introduced me to the delights of one gear one brake no stopping...) refers to it as 'one stroke per lamppost' he he

    you'd be surprised at how many hills you can get up if you put your mind to it, no chance of winnats pass tho !
    "I get paid to make other people suffer on my wheel, how good is that"
    --Jens Voight
    BUICK Posts: 362
    Standard off the peg ratios seem to be 42:16 and 48:18 - giving a pretty similar gear. I think the idea is that it's a sort of 'average' that will get you up hills (although not easily) and if you spin really fast will get you back down them too! It draws some criticism but I think it does just that and is a good starting point. After a little over a year I've dropped one tooth off the back and gone to a 42:15 as (after struggling initially) I felt I'd reached a point where I'd reached a plateau, and would benefit from having to work harder on my commute and rides out on the weekend. It was so tough at first that I had to take a couple of days off after my first serious ride on the new gear, and it was a couple of weeks before I could do two days in a row on the fixed rather than swapping to gears in between. Now I feel like I'm really starting to feel the benefit of the extra workload and am seeing gains in my power on hills in particular. I don't think that I would continue to up the ante much more - particularly on the terrain I tend to ride - but I suspect that everyone has to gradually 'learn' what gear suits them - and then for what purpose. A gentleman working at my LBS rides a 66inch gear most of the time but when time trialling is more than capable of pushing a chainring in the 90s when the course requires it. Guess it comes down to experimentation and time.
    '07 Langster (dropped one tooth from standard gearing)
    '07 Tricross Sport with rack and guards
    STUNNING custom 953 Bob Jackson *sigh*
  • now ride 44:18 as have a couple of serious hills to tackle. Found 46:17 good for west london commute, but 48:18 better for 'spinning' - I find it depends on hills just as much as fitness.
  • fluff.
    fluff. Posts: 771
    46:16, just what the bike came with, other side of the hub is a 15, not ridden that ever. I kind of avoid hills when im on the fixed, am pretty sure I'd need a 17 or 18 if I didn't.

    Oh I do remember doing a few hills on the 16, wasn't easy but i remember looking down at the speedo and being suprised at how fast I was going.
  • robbarker
    robbarker Posts: 1,367
    46/18 in a hilly area.
  • GaryGkn
    GaryGkn Posts: 1,199
    48:18 seems good to me! You have to push harder up steep hills but its very good on a flat.
  • meagain
    meagain Posts: 2,331
    Whatever F & R that gives a nice easy 60" to match my years and the hill home! Fast it ain't, but then nor am I.
    "Cancel my subscription to the resurrection."
  • 48 x 17 for most grass track riding. Sometimes lower or higher depending on the grass and size of track. Max 51 x 17, lowest 46 x 18
    Recipe: shave legs sparingly, rub in embrocation and drizzle with freshly squeezed baby oil.
  • 50:20

    gets me up smallish hils on my commute
  • fixiebob
    fixiebob Posts: 222
    Im using 48 16 its flat here in caithness really struggled today in headwind though think ill make it easier for winter training. :oops:
  • toshmund
    toshmund Posts: 390
    46/16, hopefully that will be a compromise between the two elements. I will get back to you, and let you know if it is worth buying shares in the brake block manufacturers... :lol: Or would that be classified as "insider trading?" :shock:
  • 48/15 but I need a lower gear. I've managed my thrice weekly 20 mile run on relatively gentle climbs but it is an effort at times and I'm not sure staggering is beneficial. 48/18 would probably suit me better.
  • I have two fixies. One is 73 inch and the other 69 (44 16 and 46 18 respectively) that I alternate between. I live in a hilly area near bath and these are ideal for hard rides or recovery rides. I was amazed to read in cycling plus last month that they considered gears around 70 inch very low... When a 73 inch gear at about 90rpm will give n average speed of about 22mph
  • krakow
    krakow Posts: 110
    I'm currently on singlespeed rather than fixed and run a 38x16 gearing, which gives about 64''. I'm going to increase the gearing slightly for my fixed-gear build. Probably to 40x16.
  • 44x17, ride/cruise on the flats at about 19mph. Have touched 30mph. But got some large-ish hills I have to get up to. Hence the quite low gearing. Dunno what cadence im doing. Have thought about going to 46x16 to give a higher crusing speed.
    Be excellent to everyone.
    (Bill S Preston Esq, Ted Theodore Logan. 1989)

    650B - bouncy
  • Simon Notley
    Simon Notley Posts: 1,263
    I've got 45:17 - fine for short hills and nice for flat riding. I'm going to give it a whirl on a track at some point but I think I might find it too small...
  • fixiebob
    fixiebob Posts: 222
    Just changed to 48 20 will give at go
  • 48:18 on the genesis flyer it's fine almost anywhere, just takes some getting used to on hills. 48:16 on my commuter. I try to avoid anything that's a prolonged hill though. Also this ratio makes it less likely that I'm overtaken by some fat git on a slicked mtb downhill, when I'm spinning like a tube.
    FCN Minus 5 (+/- 12)
    Genesis Flyer
    Orange O2
    Trick Superlight team
    Custom steel flat bar fixed jobbie for commuting
  • chewa
    chewa Posts: 164

    My commute and the area about is a bit hilly
    plus je vois les hommes, plus j'admire les chiens

    Black 531c tourer
    FCN 7
    While dahn saff Dahon Speed 6 FCN 11!!!
    Also 1964 Flying Scot Continental
    1995 Cinelli Supercorsa (columbus slx)
    BTwin Rockrider 8.1
    Couple of others!
  • Balaclavas
    Balaclavas Posts: 61
    edited November 2008
    I ride 48:18 which was just right for the short sharp hills in and around Exeter. Even better back in Essex, though I got a bit over excited on one long gentle downhill, was really going for it chasing a 911 when to my surprise I realised i was spinning out, thank god for a front brake.
    The only problem I can see is if you're into al that trendy skidding, 48:18, presuming you always skid same foot forewards, will always skid on the same patch of tyre, wearing it out more quickly.
  • mrushton
    mrushton Posts: 5,182
    48x18 and it would have to be seriously steep to have to use a lower gear but I do have a 19 which is there should I feel the need. I live in Lancashire so undulating here but I can manage a lot of climbs. The difference in ones riding when returning to gears is amazing.
  • LeighB
    LeighB Posts: 326
    42 x 15 (74'' think) ride in Cumbria but avoid the big climbs.
  • 46:16 on my ss, and i'll be running that when i get my fixed wheelset, only just spin out on the downhills currently, but can get up most stuff. The other thing to consider is bald patches from skid-stops, which is why 47:17 is an excellent ratio (both prime) and apparently is what God rides...