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Fixed Focus

FIXED FOCUS Getting into gear

It’s been a successful 2019 season for fixed gear riders, with interest and achievement both at the levels of previous years.

AS FAR AS statistics are concerned, 38 FWC Brevet cards were issued and there were 12 validations for successful members, many of which took more than one season to complete the challenge. On the sister SFW challenge, 22 cards were issued and there were 10 validations.

Twenty one members submitted claims (which are listed below) and may be seen on the website. In addition, the members who completed Paris-Brest-Paris on fixed gears have also been included, as qualification was a SR Series. Although this series may have been ridden on gears, doing so would have been beyond brave.

As ever, the fixed points table is in descending number order and list of SFW achievers in alphabetical order are below. Just the usual note of explanation: a SFW is essentially a SR Series (200, 300, 400 and 600km rides within a season) on fixed, but may, rarely, be gained by achieving a number of AAA points on fixed within a season. A Hyper-Randonneur is 4 x 600km, minimum, events, though not officially recognised. As there has been some bewilderment on a couple of forums about the calculation of gear ratios, it may be helpful to explain with a historical perspective. There seem to be two ways of doing things in this country – the best way, or the way we’ve always done it, and gear sizes belong to the latter category.

Back in the days of the “ordinary bicycle” (normally called a Penny-Farthing now), machines were categorised by the diameter of the driving wheel. The reason at the time was nothing to do with ease or difficulty of pedalling, but rather to match the size of the rider who was perched atop the driving wheel.

Clearly a six foot tall man could pedal a larger wheel than his five foot cousin. When such machines were superseded by safety bicycles, with smaller wheels and chain driven transmissions, the measurement became the equivalent size of wheel. This is calculated by the nominal diameter of the wheel, say 26” or 27”, multiplied by the number of teeth on the chainwheel and divided by those on the rear cog. So, as an example, a medium gear might be 27” x 46 ÷ 18 which is FIXED WHEEL CHALLENGE MALE

Name Total 2019 Shaun Hargreaves 225.25 Jon Banks 112.75 Tim Pickersgill 91.50 Jocelyn Ridley 75.75 Les Bauchop 66.00 Justin Jones 64.50 Thomas Deakins 63.00 Marcus Mumford 59.75 Ivan Cornell 57.00 Andrew Preater 46.00 Andrew Turner 44.00 Adam Watkins 31.00 Dave Trotter 26.25 Ed D’Oyle 25.50 Mike Greer 25.00 Richard Phipps 21.00 Mick Bates 16.00 Gavin Clark 8.00 Ian Hennessey 2.00

FEMALE Name Total 2019 Denise Noha 80 Yvonne King 50

69”. The range is normally from a low of 30” to a height of just over 100”. This only for descending hills at high speed. Arguably a better system is used in France known as the développement and measures the distance travelled with one crank revolution. This is obtained by taking the circumference of the wheel in question multiplied by the number of teeth on the chainwheel and divided by those on the rear cog. And being French, it is, of course expressed in metres. A similar example might be 2.100m x 46 ÷ 18 which is 5.37m. The figures SUPER FIXED WHEELERS Jon Banks Les Bauchop Ivan Cornell Thomas Deakins Ed D'Oyle Shaun Hargreaves Hyper Justin Jones Marcus Mumford Tim Pickersgill Andrew Preater Jocelyn Ridley Dave Trotter Andrew Turner Adam Watkins

PBP RIDERS Rob Bullyment Jonathan Ellis Eleanor Jaskowska Telbert James Luke Joy-Smith Paul Rainbow Sean Smith Neil Veitch Nick Wilkinson

for a similar range of gears are about 2.4m – 8.4m. It probably makes little difference which system you use, and the main reason for opting for either one is familiarity with the range of figures.

Hopefully these details will be helpful to all AUKs, not just the fixers, to understand about the heights of gears under discussion and to encourage them in the current season and beyond. Best wishes to all members refusing to freewheel with hopes for a succesful and, above all, safe year ahead.

FOR SALE Bob Jackson Audax Club Frame 20½”. Usual specification, made 2012, little used. A very pretty frame finished in Verdi Aqua. £250. Can be collected in Shropshire or delivered (with a little notice) anywhere between Shropshire and Hampshire. Contact: Ken Knight 01694 751 270