Chasing the elusive fix ideal

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Rider with fixed bike in Brussels

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Piece by piece, the wanted fixie.

“I made this by myself in about six months. All the parts are custom for the bike. It really is built for speed. I wanted a fast ride.  I chose a 43 chainring in front and 11 in the back. And then I wanted an aerodynamic that would be more efficient. I have had the bike reach 60 kilometres an hour.  It does go fast, but people really do not pay attention to you. It is often dangerous.”

Photographer’s notes: I used to do this. I suppose I still do. But there was a time when I did not want any of the components that came on the factory provided bike. I would change seat, handlebars, stem within days. And then finding the gear ratio that would work best.
I am a flat block advocate and I look for as flat an arrangement as I can find.
Most bikes in a shop have a massive rear wheel gear arrangement. The block goes from 12 teeth to 28. Insane. The jump from gear to gear is too severe and you lose rhythm, cadence and speed.

I ride the best I can get in my small circle of shops. A 12-21 eight speed.  That is 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 21. So nice when, with a fast cadence, you shift up a gear and your legs make a subtle adjustment – and you go even faster.

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