Monday, July 23, 2012

Inaugural Ride of the Raleigh XXIX Fixed Gear Mountain Bike

I am not sure if you can call riding a rail trail on a fixed gear mountain bike is truly a good test of a bike but in my case, not having ridden fixed in over a year I felt it would be the safest way to go.  

The Raleigh is awesome and in the map above I even found some rake and ride singletrack between Old Mine Park and the Route 25 underpass that was was awesome to ride fixed, too!

The Carver fork, combined with the Renyolds 4130 steel tubing, really makes riding this bike smooth.  The only complaint I have is the saddle.  I think the saddle is a pain in the ass (pun intended) because it's a mountain saddle and harder in the wrong places than a roadie saddle.  Riding 20 miles on a railtrail was not comfortable but I imagine off road, in the woods, could would be better.

My brother-in-law, Will, road with me and I think he liked the Housatonic Rail Trail.  We rode from Taits Mill in Trumbull to the Newtown Line and back.  19+ miles.  On the way back, he set the pace and I could barely keep up with him because I was geared 32:20, not your optimal gearing for flat, greenway riding.  Still, I was able to manage an average 12 mph on most of the trail on the way back.

FUBars are perfect and as you can see I did add a brake to the bike.  I rode the whole length of the rail trail without really needing the brake, even the tricky section in Monroe by the Victrinox Warehouse, but the brake did come in handy on the little bit of singletrack.  Definitely need one, and only one, if you are going to ride fixed gear off road.

Most I saw of Will through the Monroe section was his back.

Most typical bikes on the rail trail are Comforts and Mountain Bikes.
There were no singlespeeds, except for the kiddie bikes, and of course no fixies.
The only place I have seen fixies is the Farmington Canal Greenway.

The reward for a good ride is always a cold beer!

1 comment:

Neil said...

What might be clever with this bike is to make it a 3 speed. You could either use a cassette or 3 Surly cogs (which are perfectly spaced for a rear derailleur). Install a rear derailleur but no shift cable. Use the end of end of a brake cable (where it goes into the lever) to go into the rear derailleur and but the other end in the derailleur clamp to hold the derailleur in position. The rear adjusting screw will give you enough range to span 3 gears and the derailleur can act as a tentioner. For some reason that isn't clear to me, high end derailers don't have adusting screws but you can take on off a lower end one. Now you have a gear for rails to trails, one for hills, and one for single track.