One ring to rule them all?

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….No. Not them all. 

‘Death before derailleur’ is a pretty hard line. I spotted a couple of bikes locked up in the Hayes yesterday, adorned with the rather ugly monicker- Fixed wheel fascists (owning a copy of ‘Maus’ prevents me from admiring the artwork). I spend 5-7 days each week riding around on a single speed, commuting on a Genesis Day-one and training for 3-4 hours over rolling terrain on a Traitor luggernaut. I love ’em. Nonetheless, there are times that you would sell your granny for a decent chainset. When I tried to cycle up Langcliffe scar in the Yorkshire Dales   – a 20% hill featured at number 32 in Simon Warren’s 100 Greatest cycling climbs – on a 46 x 18, I thought my calf was going to rip apart, the chain snap or possibly both simultaneously. I managed about one third of it through grinding forward, coming to a track stand halt, turning around, rolling down, then  turning back and sprinting in an attempt to climb further. Eventually, common sense restored sanity before the hill robbed dignity.

On a decent hill, I think that the ‘death before derailleur’ sentiment goes right out of the window.

fixed gear1

Simon Warren’s UK guide ‘100 greatest cycling climbs’ is available for £6.24 from The Book depository

3 replies »

  1. Yes, so easy for them to say for the comfort of Cardiff’s flat city centre, with the odd jaunt across the flat barrage at the weekend (do they ever climb the hill at the Penarth end to visit the town centre for coffee?
    Perhaps they maybe talking of lovely internal hub geared 8 speeders, that will help old folk like me around the town and suburbs, I really do want one, yes I do.

  2. The way I’ve seen some of them “fixie” guys ride ’round town they may well get their wish!

    “Death before brakes”? Now that would really make me laugh!

    • Oh yes…if you respect your teeth, collarbone or bike bits, brakes are bloody essential. After all; track set up is for the track (and we’ve all seen what damage occurs there!).

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