The Flywheel (Just For Cyclists)

This is just an aside prompted by a couple of turbo-trainer sessions and, today and yesterday, two sub-20 mile rides on a fixed wheel.

Last year I was using a fixie on the trainer, this year it’s a regular geared bike. Comparing the speeds and comparing how I feel, the significance of influence of the flywheel effect that riding a fixed wheel offers is quite apparent. This is nothing scientific, I know, but it seems to me it’s worth at least one-to-two miles an hour, everything else being equal – gear ratio, the quality of the rider and so on.

And, this week, riding a fixie out on the road, the same feeling of the bike positively working with you – if that makes any sense – really struck me as I was coming up a gentle but fairly long incline. It has to be said that riding a fixed wheel does offer quite a different, and very pleasurable, riding experience … just not one that’s ideal on very hilly terrain or windy days!