I ride fixed gear a lot, and especially love taking it on a hilly course, something like Belair or Old Belair are totally different when you have to stand and grind the whole way. Then the spin down the other side... That takes a lot of practice and concentration!
Anyhow, I wrote this article about it. Who else gets out on a fixie on a hilly ride in Radelaide?
hi dave , i ride a cipollini track bike converted for road ,i.e. , brakes , with an 87 tooth chainring and 16 or 17 tooth rear cog and always ride in the hills i tried the fixed gear but went back to freewheel because when you do spin that gear up to 90 or 110 rpm downhill on a fixed , good luck when you have to stop pedalling ,the momentum and massive toe overlap on this frame is dangerous.lots of fun though , one gear makes you at one with the bike ,total commitment to that gear no matter what the terrain ,having said that , i do have a 13 , 14 , 15 tooth fixed gear cogs when feeling brave enough to try them out , because you can only go down to a 16 on a freewheel , so to sum up , not really a fixie but i know exactly what your talking about
what the hell are your legs made of? That ratio is insane
Not fixed - but I run a single speed Trek Carbon District (belt drive) which is my "go to" bike for general training runs around the Hills Face. Generally gets up Norton, Greenhill and Bike Path faster than my geared BMC road bike.
55/22 (Not quite in Bill Louca's league - respect Bill, I've seen you out there !) is fine for anything up to and including Woods Hill. People think it must be harder to ride than a geared bike - in truth I find it easier. No chain rattle, no derailleur to fiddle with - just get on and pedal. If it gets steeper then dig in an pedal a bit harder. It helps that I'm the anti-Harley - I much prefer to stand and push than sit and spin (I accept that spinning is more efficient - just not my thing).
Another plus is that there is virtually no maintenance. Rainy day ? Just hose it off, quick wipe and put away.
The downside (albeit less than a true fixie) is coming downhill. After about 40 km/h there is no point pedalling - I can't produce enough cadence to "catch up" to the back wheel. So you have my respect and admiration for riding a true fixie down any of the regular hills - I look comical enough trying to pedal at 35km/h, can't imagine what it must look like coming down Greenhill Rd on a fixie at 60km/h. Mulga Bill stuff ..
You see fixies/single speeds come and go occassionally on the hills riding scene - personally I hope to see more of them. For me it will always be single speed though - I can't imagine not being able to position my cranks when hitting a corner at a decent clip - I'd be a sure thing for a pedal strike on a fixie !