Luis hits 100,000 KM on his custom Rodriguez fixed gear!

September 1st, 2014

Hi Scott, Some time during the first 100 km of the 836-km (520-mile) Hoodoo 500, my Rodriguez Shiftless fixie logged 100,000 km.

The myth that a steel frame "gets softer" with age is just that, a myth. The Rodriguez feels just as stiff as it did nearly five years ago when it was built. And a fixie puts way more stress on the frame than a geared bike. On a 7% grade, most people will be sitting and spinning an easy gear on their standard bicycles. On a fixed gear, you're usually standing up and just torquing the heck out of a gear too high for the climb. This puts a much higher level of stress on the frame. And on a fast descent, you can't coast and float over bumps; you just have to keep pedaling and let the frame absorb all the road irregularities.

At the Hoodoo 500, I finished in 42 hours 52 minutes, a lot slower than I was hoping for, but I still took the fixed gear record (open, 50+, and 60+), the only fixed gear rider to have finished Hoodoo (which contains some insane climbing - about 30,000 feet), and I won the 60+ age category ahead of two other guys, one of them (Dave Elsberry) had just finished RAAM eariler this year. So the Rodriguez is fulfilling my idea of a bike to do just about everything, from daily commuting to work, to Paris-Brest-Paris, to the Hoodoo 500.

I've also included some photos of how the bike looks after 100,000 km. The paint is NOT wearing off at the top tube where the legs sometimes brush off the paint; and there are just a few chips on the head tube from hitting rocks.

Luis Bernhardt