I’ve just moved to Hobart and am living on campus at Utas. For those that don’t know the city, basically I’m on the side of an enormous hill.

Coincidentally, Surly Steamrollers are selling out at $599, less than half price. Very tempting. Am I insane for considering it given my location and the hilliness of the city in general? I’ve never ridden fixed before. I’m assuming it’s relatively simple to change the ratio, but I don’t want it to feel like granny gear on the flat.


^ No, you are not insane. Sydney is hilly with heaps of fixters, likewise San Francisco. Plus you have the benefit of being in close proximity to the Bottles & Chains crew, represented on this forum by user Sekt, whom I had the pleasure of meeting last week.

I run 72 gear inches and find it strikes a good balance between climbing without spinning out of control on the descents. Check the Hobart section in ‘Meets’ for upcoming events, and welcome to the forum.

I run 64 inches and ride all round Hobart… Including a commute over the bridge and stuff pretty much every day…
64 is good for climbs and a good all round gear for Hobart…
Try it, you’ll rate it.

what goes up must come down, hills are rad!

you are insane, yes

Your name is Harry and your nickname is Hermione Granger. +1mil.

And he’s talking about Hills LOL

Riding fixed on hills is a skill that takes a while to learn. I’m talking about going downhill. Loosing control of a fixed gear bike on a steep hill will turn your pants a nice shade of brown. If you’re going to do it dont expect to be bombing down hills straight away. Learn on the flat. Most importantly, make sure you have a good quality brake set up.

Going up hills will only get easier the more that you do it.

tempting indeed - where is the sale?

Any dirtworks dealer…get on the dirtworks website and email them to find a dealer in your area, then they can order them in for you.

What flat! About the only flat terrain here is either interurban arterial or the intercity bike path.


I don’t think theres any real shame in running a freewheel around here. Personally I find the steep short hills no problem but the long gradual descents are pretty taxing on the legs.

Fitness is something hat hasn’t really been mentioned… You can have a really nice, cruisy 1/1 gear ratio as well as be a couch potato and you will struggle to get up any incline. On the other hand you could be a fitness fanatic with a ridiculous 58/13 gear ratio and manage to treat hills like bumps in the road.

Ride more and eat healthier, if we all did this then maybe we wouldn’t be blaming our bikes so often :stuck_out_tongue:

Echoing the brakes statement. I was cruising through some unfamiliar territory in Marrickville the other day and found myself heading down a hill that was far steeper than i’d anticipated, and without a front brake, i wouldn’t have been able to pull up in time to avoid flying straight into a busy T-section. I actually had to zig-zag down the hill it was that steep.

For gears, anything less than 72 will be excellent for you by the sounds of it. 44x17 gives you 69 inches. Adding a 16 tooth to your collection will give you a 74 inch gear, which, once you’re used to riding on the hills, will give you a little bit more to stretch your legs on the descents, but still be short enough for going up hill.