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  1. #1
    Senior Member superted's Avatar
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    What is a fixie?

    A friend was trying to explain fixies to me..... he failed miserably. I understand that they have only one gear (like a SS) but somehow they can also be pedalled backwards? Sounds intriguing, any explanation greatfully recieved, preferably with diagrams
    cheers
    h

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bolo Grubb's Avatar
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    you can not coast on a fixie. If the wheel is moving then the pedals are moving.


    Shelldon Brown's definition

    Fixed Gear
    A rear hub in which the sprocket is rigidly connected to the hub, without a freewheel.

    See the entry on "Track Hubs" for details.

    The pedals of a fixed-gear bicycle revolve whenever the rear wheel turns; coasting is impossible. This type of gearing is usually associated with track racing.See my article on fixed-gears.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/fixeda.html

  3. #3
    LF for the accentdeprived
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    Yeah, they can be pedaled backwards. I can ride mine backwards. They're sort of a bit like the children's bikes that have the pedal directly mounted on the front wheel. Whatever the wheel does, the pedal does and vica versa.
    Quote Originally Posted by dutret
    Do you deny that you are clueless or do you just think that "moron" didn't need to be tacked on there?
    Bike on flickr and on FGG

  4. #4
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Weld the pawls on a SS freewheel, and that's essentially what a fixie is.
    Like a singlespeed, you only have one ring in front and one cog in back.
    Unlike a singlespeed, which has a freewheel that allows you to coast, the fixed gear cog is a direct attachment to the hub. If you pedal forward, you move forward. If you pedal backward, you go backward.
    Think of it like a children's tricycle or Big Wheel where the pedals are attached right to the wheel. Whichever way you pedal, that's how you go.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  5. #5
    The AVatar Ninja SaabFan's Avatar
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    Fixies are a status symbol latched on to by guys who want to do trackstands on streetcorners to look cool.

    (I'm just poking fun because I want one, but don't have one. )
    Q: How many surrealists does it take to change a light bulb?
    A: FISH!

  6. #6
    Senior Member littlefoot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaabFan
    Fixies are a status symbol latched on to by guys who want to do trackstands on streetcorners to look cool.

    (I'm just poking fun because I want one, but don't have one. )
    I don't ever look cool...particularly riding the fix from the oldlady's place to mine just to get on another bike and ride in the a.m.

    but I love it!

  7. #7
    The quieter you become... Falkon's Avatar
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    what makes a fixie better than a single-speed. I'm about to swap out to track wheels, so I'd like to know.
    Quote Originally Posted by TechKnowGN
    San Jose has to be the most boring place I've ever been. And I live in Ohio.

  8. #8
    The AVatar Ninja SaabFan's Avatar
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    Resisting the motion of the pedals as they turn slows (or locks!) the back wheels. Pedalling backwards makes the bike go backwards. This isn't necessarially "better" for everyone, it's just another dimension of control.

    Think about it like the difference between a manual transmission car with a clutch, and an automatic. Some people like the additional control of the clutch, others can't stand it (or don't understand it) and prefer a manual.
    Q: How many surrealists does it take to change a light bulb?
    A: FISH!

  9. #9
    Life is short Ride hard
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falkon
    what makes a fixie better than a single-speed
    trackstands
    The Ferrari ('05 Bianchi Forza) had a flat (Stupid Glass) the Japanese wagon ('77 Nishiki with Arkel Utility Basket) was in the body shop (On my bench being repainted...repent ye rust)
    so I took the SUV ( Cannondale V2000 Active 100SL)

  10. #10
    Dances With Cars TRaffic Jammer's Avatar
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    You can get a hub fixed/SS so that you can experience both types of riding with the one wheel. Ask for a flip/flop hub.
    What can make it better is the direct link to movement at the pedals, what can make it more dangerous is the direct link to movement at the pedals.
    I want to ride fixed on the track but SS on the street myself.

  11. #11
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falkon
    what makes a fixie better than a single-speed. I'm about to swap out to track wheels, so I'd like to know.
    Go with a fixed/fixed flip-flop and that gives you 3 options:
    You can run a freewheel on each side if you decide you don't like riding fixed.
    You can run fixed on one and freewheel on the other and flip it depending on your mood.
    You can run twin fixed cogs and have different gears to choose depending on terrain you'll be riding.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  12. #12
    Curmudgeon Wil Davis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaabFan
    snip…
    Think about it like the difference between a manual transmission car with a clutch, and an automatic. Some people like the additional control of the clutch, others can't stand it (or don't understand it) and prefer a manual.
    The last part of your last sentence makes no sense at all…

    - Wil
    "………………………" - Marcel Marceau

  13. #13
    Ferrous wheel
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falkon
    what makes a fixie better than a single-speed.
    Fixies drive ILTB CRAZY!
    One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach -- all the damn vampires.

  14. #14
    Senior Member littlefoot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1
    Go with a fixed/fixed flip-flop and that gives you 3 options:
    You can run a freewheel on each side if you decide you don't like riding fixed.
    You can run fixed on one and freewheel on the other and flip it depending on your mood.
    You can run twin fixed cogs and have different gears to choose depending on terrain you'll be riding.
    +1

    I'm always suprised more folks don't figure this out....it's a conspiracy to make us buy more hubs....d@mn the man!

  15. #15
    Vello Kombi, baby Poguemahone's Avatar
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    "trackstands"

    Quite easily done on any bike, contrary to board belief. The technique is just a bit different on a freewheel bike.
    "It's always darkest right before it goes completely black"

    Waste your money! Buy my comic book!

  16. #16
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlefoot
    +1

    I'm always suprised more folks don't figure this out....it's a conspiracy to make us buy more hubs....d@mn the man!
    Know who figured it out? Phil Wood! And Suzue! And anyone else that makes a fixed/fixed hub and a fixed/free version of the same. You can't mount a fixed cog on a freewheel hub (safely), but you can mount a freewheel on a fixed side just fine. A fixed/free isn't a good option, IMO.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  17. #17
    dirtbag roadie ahpook's Avatar
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    Q: Why can't fixie riders coast?


    A: Because they haven't got the PAWLS!


    Sorry, that has been banging around in my head since I rebuilt my rear (freewheelin') hub last week.
    follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/ahpook/

  18. #18
    Mr. Maximan1 maximan1's Avatar
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    CAUTION!!! Do not wear loose clothing with fixies!!!
    Check what happened to me ...
    One word

  19. #19
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    Just keep some rubberbands around your handlebars. When you find yourself on your fixie with pants, slip one on the chainring pantleg. Problem solved.

    Of course, I had to do what you did to figure that one out

    That's a real eye-opener, isn't it?

    I really like riding fixed. I commute on mine.
    My bicycle commuting blog: lop

  20. #20
    Mr. Maximan1 maximan1's Avatar
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    I don't commute on fixies, but my dads fixie is my favorite bike for out night rides

  21. #21
    The AVatar Ninja SaabFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wil Davis
    The last part of your last sentence makes no sense at all…

    - Wil
    You're right, it should have ended with "automatic."
    Q: How many surrealists does it take to change a light bulb?
    A: FISH!

  22. #22
    Real Human Being wild animals's Avatar
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    today i was watching the kids at my work ride their trikes around the track, and i realized they were more or less riding fixies. haha. and even though they only have one "speed," they go up and down the hill pretty well, which i hadn't paid attention to before.

  23. #23
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maximan1
    CAUTION!!! Do not wear loose clothing with fixies!!!
    Check what happened to me ...
    One word
    This is why all the "cool" fixie guys wear shants or girl jeans.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by wild animals
    today i was watching the kids at my work ride their trikes around the track, and i realized they were more or less riding fixies. haha. and even though they only have one "speed," they go up and down the hill pretty well, which i hadn't paid attention to before.
    I go up hills faster on my fixies than my geared bikes. You HAVE to push that gear, you have no choice. No "sit and spin" mentality.
    My bicycle commuting blog: lop

  25. #25
    Bicycle built for 5 tuolumne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1
    Go with a fixed/fixed flip-flop and that gives you 3 options:
    You can run a freewheel on each side if you decide you don't like riding fixed.
    You can run fixed on one and freewheel on the other and flip it depending on your mood.
    You can run twin fixed cogs and have different gears to choose depending on terrain you'll be riding.
    You should really take that point regarding flip flop hubs one step further. Run the bigger gear on the freewheel side. That way, if you get tired out and need to get home, you have the advantage of lower gearing and the ability to coast all in one.
    Would rather be at 119.49079W, 37.76618N

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