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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 10-03-06, 12:55 PM   #1
superted
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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
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Old 10-03-06, 12:57 PM   #2
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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
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Old 10-03-06, 01:16 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 10-03-06, 01:17 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 10-03-06, 01:25 PM   #5
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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. )
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Old 10-03-06, 01:31 PM   #6
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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!
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Old 10-03-06, 02:20 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 10-03-06, 02:22 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 10-03-06, 02:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falkon
what makes a fixie better than a single-speed
trackstands
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Old 10-03-06, 02:25 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 10-03-06, 02:46 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 10-03-06, 03:02 PM   #12
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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…

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Old 10-03-06, 03:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falkon
what makes a fixie better than a single-speed.
Fixies drive ILTB CRAZY!
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Old 10-03-06, 03:50 PM   #14
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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!
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Old 10-03-06, 04:08 PM   #15
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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.
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Old 10-03-06, 04:13 PM   #16
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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.
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Old 10-03-06, 04:51 PM   #17
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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.
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Old 10-03-06, 04:56 PM   #18
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CAUTION!!! Do not wear loose clothing with fixies!!!
Check what happened to me ...
One word
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Old 10-03-06, 05:32 PM   #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.
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Old 10-03-06, 05:41 PM   #20
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I don't commute on fixies, but my dads fixie is my favorite bike for out night rides
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Old 10-03-06, 06:11 PM   #21
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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."
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Old 10-03-06, 08:02 PM   #22
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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.
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Old 10-03-06, 09:26 PM   #23
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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.
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Old 10-04-06, 05:55 AM   #24
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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.
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.
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Old 10-04-06, 06:13 AM   #25
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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.
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