I’ve recently gotten into bicycles (don’t shoot!) because all of my unicycle friends have moved away. A few of the people I ride with have been toying with the idea of riding fixies. (Fixed gear- It’s kind of like the bikes you rode as children, no gears, back pedal stop, etc etc). My question is, has anyone or does anyone think (please be specific which) that a 29" unicycle would be able to keep up with a fixed gear bicycle since both seem to be powered simply by pedals and no gear ratios.
I used to have a fixie, and, I’ve got a 29-er uni, though I mainly ride a 26" these days.
I think in general, a 29-er can ride with any bicycle, as long as the cyclists are up for it and willing to not go as fast on the bikes as they probably would when riding alone or just with other bikes.
Thing about fixies is that they’re usually geared pretty high, so I’m not that sure that fixies will be better riding with unis than a geared bike would be. For riding slower it’s probably quite useful to be able to drop to a lower gear.
I’d suggest you give it a go and then post the outcome on this thread.
If you’re riding somewhere reasonably flat, then it’d be worthwhile going for a shorter crank- my KH29 has got the dual-hole cranks, 150 and 125mm and, for riding with bikes on the flat, I’d have gone for the 125 setting.
I ride a fixed gear and a 29er. (And 24, 26 and 36.) I used to show up at the local club rides on the fixed gear and stay among the leaders, easily averaging 18-20 mph. I’d have been bored silly riding slow enough for a 29er or even 36er to keep up with me, but one could do it. My average on a 36er is around 12 mph.
There is no way I would be comfortable riding my fixie on a uni ride. Before I got the S3X hub I kept pace on club rides, but got scared on the descents at close to 30mph, and 130 rpm’s (46x18). With the three gear options of that hub I comfortably climb, and descend on the fixie.
If you find the fixies playing bike polo, then they are geared quite low. And then if you have bigger wheel than the others (36 for example) it may work.
The only advantage of riding with fixie compared to single-speed bike is that fixies miss freewheel as we do, so both must spin on a way down
Remember, no matter how few gears a bike has, they still have one major advantage over any unicycle (geared or fixed) - they get to coast as fast as gravity will take them on downhills.
Even Kris Holm, possibly the best Muni rider on the planet, didn’t get a podium finish with a geared 26 when he raced against bikes in a head to head race. He did manage 4th place I think, which is still unhuman in my book, though.