Question: I just read the section on fixed-gear riding in Off-Season Training for Roadies. I know it would benefit my pedal stroke, but couldn’t I accomplish the same results on my regular bike by simply selecting a gear and not shifting for the entire ride? — Peter C.
Coach Fred Matheny Replies: Sorry, Peter, it’s not the same thing. The advantage of fixed-gear training is that you must keep your legs turning all the time while making a full, round pedal stroke. You can’t coast and rest. Your legs are forced to pedal circles. These things don’t happen with a freewheel.
You don’t necessarily need to buy a fixed-gear bike. You can quite easily and inexpensively convert a bike you already have. Your local shop can help.
A fixed-gear bike is great for errands or commuting if you don’t have big hills. The simple drivetrain requires minimal maintenance and is less likely to ice up in snow or slush. You’ll feel its benefits when you return to pedaling your multi-speed bike.
Coach Fred Matheny is an RBR co-founder who has four decades of road cycling and coaching experience. He has written 14 eBooks and eArticles on cycling training, available in RBR’s eBookstore at Coach Fred Matheny, including the classic Complete Book of Road Bike Training, which includes 4 eBooks comprising 250 pages of timeless, detailed advice and training plans. The Complete Book is one of the many perks of an RBR Premium Membership. Click to read Fred’s full bio.