08 July, 2011
The Fastest Fixed-Gear Bike
Fixed-gear bicycles have several advantages over bicycles with gears. They are easier and more affordable to maintain, for one. They provide a pure form of cycling that is more efficient and also increases fitness. And they are also one of the lightest, fastest kinds of bikes available.
Weight Above All Else
The biggest factor that determines the speed of a fixed-gear bike is weight. A lighter bike is easier to propel. The fastest fixed-gear bikes have light aluminum or carbon fiber frames with thin tube walls. They also have carbon fiber or aluminum rims. Other ways to lighten a fixed-gear bike are to eliminate components such as fenders, tool kits and water bottle holders.
Gear ratios are a matter of personal preference. The fastest fixed-gear bike is one you match to your abilities. Gear ratio refers to the relationship between the size of the chain ring and the cog on the rear wheel hub. A large ratio requires fewer pedal revolutions than a small ratio to cover the same distance. In other words, a large ratio is easier to pedal at high speeds and a small ratio is easier to pedal at slow speeds. The difference boils down to whether you want quick acceleration or top speed capabilities. Gear ratios are usually denoted by the number of teeth on the chain ring and cog. For example, a bike with a chain ring that has 50 teeth and a rear cog with 20 teeth would have a ratio of 50/20.
Modern Components Important
Many fixed-gear bicycles are made from vintage road bikes. While this can be an affordable way to create a fixed gear bike, old road bikes often have components that are poorly lubricated or inefficient. The fastest fixed-gear bikes have well-lubricated, modern components. The most important components to consider when trying to increase speed on a fixed-gear bike are bottom brackets, cranksets, rear and front hubs. Maintenance is also important. Keep the tires properly inflated and the chain lubricated.
To increase your speed, install components that are lightweight. Hard plastic or metal toe clips fasten your foot to the pedal and help you transmit more energy to the bicycle. Slick tires offer less resistance than ones with treads. If you frequently ride on city streets or asphalt, install slick tires.
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