Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"Variable gears are for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles rather than by the artifice of a derailleur? We are getting soft. Give me a fixed gear."
—Henri Desgrange, Founder of the Tour de France, 1903

I concur Monsieur.
Riding home last night I was bored. The weather was exponentially improving every second, and my ride was just a commute.
As I swung onto Talcott Notch to ascend the finally climb of the ride I dropped the chain onto the 39. I kept on dropping gears trying to find one I liked until I was on the 15. I swung onto Old Mountain Rd. and stood up.
It felt good.
39x15 is roughly the same as the 42x16 I use on my fixed gear, and now that I had my cast off there was no reason I shouldn't be riding it.
After cleaning up, I began the process of switch the Fun Machine back to a fixed gear from it's current touring bike mode.
Pulled the barcons, cable stops, derailleurs, chain, chainrings, and wheels, replacing the chain, wheels, and a single chainring.
Amazing how those changes effect the personality of the bike.
As a geared tourer, the Fun Machine is sort of a Cadillac of a ride. Long, low, plush, and sort of slow in handling. But set it up fixed, and it becomes light on it's wheels and perfectly neutral.
Makes no sense to me, but I love it.
I will miss the tubulars, but not enough to commute on the Not Race Wheels.

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