First ride on my upgraded fixie

Earlier this week I had my first ride on my slightly upgraded fixie bike. Here’s a brief look at that ride.

There are mainly two challenges with riding a fixie bike. First, you only have one gear which makes it a challenge when riding in hilly areas. It’s important to pick the right gear ratio. Second, the rear sprocket is fixed directly to the rear wheel, which means that you need to pedal as long as the bike is moving. There’s no coasting or resting on a fixie bike! In many ways, these two things makes it harder and more difficult to ride this kind of bike.

The thing that I love about riding a fixie is the simplicity. No gears, direct drive, and fewer components. You feel more connected to the bike itself.

Here’s a snapshot of the data from the ride:

First I should note that I think my bike computer is not reading the cadence correctly. During the ride I often reached a pedal cadence of over 120 revolutions per minute (RPM), upon which the cadence reading dropped to 0 (but my legs were certainly still spinning). With that in mind, my average cadence was 77, which is a lot lower than on a “normal” road bike (usually between 80-90 RPM). This is of course due to the single gear and needing to grind more uphill.

The gear ratio I used on this ride was 48/18. I will probably try to higher gear ratio like 48/17 to spin less on flat or downhill sections.

The weighted average power output was 257W, which isn’t too bad considering I felt like it was an easy ride. The most I’ve ever done in an hour is around 305W.