Singlespeed for bad weather training, which gear ratio?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by Multebear

I'm considering using my everyday bike for those few days with really bad weather. I need the training and I don't want to clean my race bike all the time after each and every training. The idea is to buy a Tiagra Hollowtech crankset and just swap for my Stages PM those few times a month, where I'm doing some basic intervals in bad weather.

1) Will my Stages Gen. 1, Dura Ace fit this crankset?; ... =1000,4,29

2) What gearratio would be preferable for training? I will only ride flat courses those days, but they might occasionally be very windy. The options for the big ring are 50 or 52, which obviously would be the one to use. And rear the options are 16, 17, 18, 19.

Last edited by Multebear on Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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by RussellS

I use 53x19 on one of my single speed bikes. Freewheel, not fixed gear. It allows me to ride along OK no matter which direction the wind is coming from. Can climb hills too. Steeper ones require me to stand up. If I am lucky and have a tailwind, then I could use a higher gear. But I usually change directions every few miles so not a big negative. 53x19 is a good overall gear for riding a bike.

by Weenie

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by nemeseri

Are you training for road or track? With all due respect, I don't think it's a good idea to use single speed bicycle for proper interval training. You can use one to improve your pedaling force and cadence.

I like to keep my cadence constant for a specific workout and sometimes even on flat roads the wind makes it hard not to shift. You will find yourself either spinning like crazy or struggling with 70 rpm on flat to keep your power. BTW you can easily find the gearing yourself. Just pick a rear gear on your current bike and don't shift.

Full disclosure: I used to ride a 48/18 in san francisco for a while and I enjoyed it a lot. Still, I wouldn't consider to use it for interval training.

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by 11.4

Different strokes for different folks. I'm a trackie and will ride a 42x18 all winter long, switching to a 42x16 early in the spring and riding either of those at 125-135 rpm cadence which makes even the low gear quite a workout. If you ride a low gear and don't ride a really high cadence, you're wasting an opportunity because it's valuable to learn to ride high cadence while also riding high power output. There are others who want to roll at a lower cadence and will do something like a 48x18 or some other gear in the low to mid 70's. (Bear in mind that I'll typically do a track warmup at graduated speeds of 20, 23, 25, 28, and 30 mph, all in a 77.6 inch gear; other riders around me will do somewhere from 75 to 81 inches for the same warmup.) It's all what you do with the gearing. Add in high cadence and it doesn't really matter. Tour in either a 42x18 or a 52x18 and you aren't accomplishing much.

If you have significant hills or significant headwinds, there's no point in gearing up. You would trash someone as a noob who over-geared to ride up a hill, but then you'll do the same just to ride a fixie? It's just a poseur kind of thing at that point. You can spin like crazy with a big tailwind but don't kill your legs by over-gearing. They'll just be slower and tired when racing season comes around.

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by Multebear

Thanks for the replies. I'm riding road, and this would only be for those few days, where I'm considering if I even want to go training at all or just skip it due to bad weather.

I was thinking that something in the low to mid 70s of gear inches would match the conditions.

As mentioned, the crankset only comes in either 52/36 or 50/34 config. So the question would be which one to choose, to have most/best options. With the the 50/34 and 17 or 18 rear, it would be 78.8 or 74.4 gear inches. Whereas with 52/36 with 18 or 19 rear it would be 77.4 or 73.3 gear inches. Maybe it doesn't that big of difference.

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by victorduraace

52-16/18 would do.

by Weenie

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