First bike quandry (Fixed gear road/track)

AndyMalone Posts: 55
edited December 2011 in Road buying advice

It's my first post here so thought I'd start off by saying 'hello'. Now onto my first query...

I want to get back into cycling after about 14 years off a bike (I'm just turning 30 in Jan) and I'm looking at what to buy. There are a few factors/issues that I'm trying to balance and given my lack of cycling enthusiast friends, I was hoping some people here might be able to help me make up my mind.

Ok, so here are my main consideration points...

- Budget (due to a few immediate things I need to focus on my bike budget isn't going to be huge, at the same time I don't want to prohibitively compromise things).
- I want to get out of the road and do some short rides with a view to upping the distance eventually.
- I like the idea of joining the local club (Chester) as they do group rides and regular time trialling which I'd like to have a go at.
- I want to try track cycling (I just got vouchers for Christmas for lessons at the Manchester Velodrome but want to build up some fitness/confidence again before hitting the boards) and if I enjoy it it's feasible I'll try and get down there now and again with my own bike.

I've been trying to weigh things up and come up with something of a solution but wanted to bounce it off some people who know what they are talking about...

I've seen a Fuji Track Classic ( ... rack-32342) in my size at a very good price (sub £300). I've read that it's also quite a nice geometry for the road and I was thinking about getting this and putting on a front brake to allow me to get out there and do some riding. My hope is that I'd be able to do some group rides and some TT as well as just using it as a run about.

If I then get into it more (and especially if I get on with the track lessons) I was thinking later in the year when I'm a bit more flush I'd buy something like a Cannondale CAAD/Synapse for the road and then turn the Fuji into a dedicated track bike (or lovely looking fixie/SS commuter).

What do you think?

My main worry/unknown is if riding fixed be a big issue if I want to ride with a club on their group rides/events/time trials.

Thanks in advance for any input you can offer.



  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Provided you're competent on the bike then no club or group would have a problem with a fixed gear rider in their midst - it'll be more about your fitness and ability to keep up, particularly on hilly stuff, both up and down.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Thanks for the replies.

    I suppose you've both hit on the main thing I'm worried about. As someone who is going to be working up some cycling fitness I worry that I'll be way off the pace which will cause problems if I go out with a group.

    Another option was that I buy a lesser quality road bike (I think I saw things like the Barracuda RS200) that I could afford. Would this also get in the way of group pace if most of the club riders are on better bikes?

  • Lordy, I can't think of a local route here where I would have a hope of keeping up with a bunch ride on a single speed!!! Chapeau if you can!

    Seriously, just get out and ride. A single speed is a good start as it will get you working hard, but beware you don't ruin your knees or other joints from the effort. Especially for a "new" rider, you'll find 20 miles on a SS feels like 40 on a geared one. I love riding my SS, but it would kill me to take it on the group ride routes for sure.
    Open One+ BMC TE29 Seven 622SL On One Scandal Cervelo RS
  • ForumNewbie
    ForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    As you are starting out and you want to join a club and do group rides, I would have thought any road bike with gears is a much better option than going for a fixie. Why make things really hard for yourself - keeping pace will be probably be hard enough on a geared bike. If you live in a hilly area, I doubt you will be able to get up any big hills on a fixed gear bike unless you are really super fit.

    You say you want to try track cycling as well. You could get your fitness up with the road bike, and try track cycling by hiring a track bike. If you really like track cycling, then you could save up and buy a fixed track bike for that purpose.
  • Thanks all. I'll start having a look around the secondhand market for a few geared options. Main problem I have there is size (I'm a short chap) so there isn't usually a lot out there.

    On the track front, I've checked my vouchers and I get bike hire for the first two sessions anyway so there isn't too much of a worry there. Just don't want to get there without building up some fitness first!
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Fixed wheel would be a bad idea for the road - especially as youre relatively new.
    Buy a geared bike for the road and only think of getting a track bike if you've enjoyed your taster sessions. Also it's not so much fun on the track unless you have some fitness.

    If you join Chester then a lot of rides will be into Wales and you'll struggle on the descents