I’ve seen single/fixed bikes on RAGBRAI. Iowa is not flat. If you’re riding fixed, the challenge isn’t as much going uphill as it is going down.
Also it can make for some pretty long days when there is an all day headwind.
I also enjoy the beauty and simplicity of riding single/fixed, but on RAGBRAI I’ll keep my derailleur thanks
I was seriously looking into that myself….the single speed not a fixie. This would be the year to do it! It looks like one or 2 of the days after Des Moines will be a bit hilly, but otherwise not bad. The thing is, I pull my BOB too. I’ve done it with the single speed, but my knees ache a lot from that. My Waterford was broken down for a bit and when I got it all put back together, I realized how much NOT fun the single speed was on the longer rides and gave up the idea.
I have ridden from Dallas to Austin TX 4 times fixed(240 miles, 2 and 3 days)and once to New Braunfels TX(300miles 3days). I plan on riding fixed(75 gear inches 48×17 46×16 look up a gear chart) with a front brake to same my knees. As a backup I have freewheel also, but don’t intend on using it. I think there are 2 other riders from the BIG D that are going to be riding with similar setups. I have pulled a trailer with my fixie but do not recommend it!!! On down hills get out of the pedals us your brake to control decent,this is dangerous, but practice getting back in to the pedals and you shouldn’t have any problems. Hope this Helps. FIXIE FOREVER!!!!!!!
I’m also seriously considering riding my fixie. I’m trying to find info on the length of hills and steepness. I’ve done three MS Rides on the fixie and was fine, but the terrain was pretty flat. Anyone know if we’re talking about just rollers of 3% – 6%, which are fine, or are there short but 10% + grades? I’m in Virginia and have never ridden in (or even been to) Iowa, so I’m totally clueless on terrain. Thanks.
these guys have their maps up, that will give you some idea. wow, approximently 15,843 feet of climb for the 7 days. most day 2 with 3329 over 82 +/- miles, more of each if you do the optional “Century” loop, least day 6 with 1108 over 52 miles http://www.geobike.com/geobike/gbmain.shtml
JWSKNK – Thanks! Very helpful info. Now that I’ve seen the data, I’ll probably do it, although now I’m just considering whether to flip to single-speed. It’s a lot of total climbing, but it’s not a race, there’s plenty of rest opportunity, and the worst thing that can happen is I’ll SAG, and start again the next morning.
I’ve done my last 4 RAGBRAI’s fixed; started out the first year with the freewheel on but flipped it over on day 2. Riding around eastern Virginia is quite flat, and I run a 48 x 16 here. For Iowa I use a 19 on the a$$ end – it’s a little slower on the flats but sure helps getting up the hills. I have had to walk a few; the D.M. River valley climbs last year on the century day (THREE OF THEM – DAMN), Potters Hill, and a few years ago I tried Snake Alley uphill – changed my mind after about 25 feet.
Don’t worry about it or overthink it – GO FOR IT! You will be surprised at the number of other fixies out there! Too bad I can’t be one of ‘em this year! Me and my broke-a$$ achilles will be thinking of you all in July! SEE YOU NEXT YEAR THOUGH!!!
I’m in Alexandria and ride the fixie as my commute bike, as well as weekends (when in the mood) up into Potomac, and as far as Poolesville. I’ve done a couple Seagull Century’s on the fixie. It’s a Felt full track geometry – the TK2, but I’ve switched out standard track gearing for a 45 x17 – easier to go up, not so much coming down. I use a front brake, though, so I think it’ll be fine. With the data link JWSKNK posted, I think the fixie is very doable for the terrain. I want something memorable because I’m riding for a cause – Ovarian Cancer research (I lost a childhood friend last year) and so I want this to be as memorable a ride as possible. I don’t have a tall bike, so the fixie is it for me! I’m looking into a tracking app so my supporters can track my progress for the week. If anyone has used one – let me know. Jack, I do hope your achilles mends well and you have many RAGBRAI’s, et al., in the future. Just let yourself fully recover.
I’ll be sporting my fixie this year too. Last year I road with a full cassette because I had never done this before and thought I’d have a rough time with the hills. Wrong.
This year will be a much flatter route and I’ve always felt much more comfortable on my fixie anyway. Worst case scenario, I’ll flip her to ss for downhill ease. You can always take the ride slower as well. I say do it!