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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 04-09-07, 10:44 AM   #1
jyossarian
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BF & the Lure of the Fixie

Prior to Bikeforums, I knew practically nothing about fixies. Less than a year on BF, and I was commuting to work on a fixie. I know some of us (slvoid, TJ, s.dex, et al) drank the kool aid and have traded in our old commuters for new fixies. So be honest. How much did BF have to do w/ you going fixed for the commute?
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Old 04-09-07, 10:56 AM   #2
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I wanted to bike-commute to work for a long time, and it didn't take long to get the motivation. BF was a huge help, and it was quickly apparent from a maintenance and fun perspective that going fixed was the way to do it. So I decided I'd go fixed and bike-commute to work. Bought a Schwinn Le Tour on ebay and converted it. It only took a few months of riding fixed to be completely sold on the experience, so I jumped in completely and built up the Paddy Wagon. I love having it in my stable, and actively include it in the rotation, including commuting, bar hopping, short errands, recovery rides with the girlfriend, "training," whatever. Heck, spent half an hour on the rollers on it yesterday (all the time I had+weather).

while I don't bike-commute as often as I could or should, it's 98% always on the fixie. I just feels propah.
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Old 04-09-07, 11:02 AM   #3
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temp. hijack... superdex?



de-hijack, I covet the fixie's low-maintenance, which I wouldn't have heard of w/o BF, but can't reconcile it w/ my topography and occasional trailer needs.
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Old 04-09-07, 11:03 AM   #4
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It certainly planted the seed. Then I read Sheldon's "Fixed Gear For The Road" and "Fixed Gear On The Cheap" and I became convinced. I built up two crappy bikes last year, neither really worked well, but well enough to hook me. The bike I have now is just about perfect and I've put nearly 1000 miles on it since November, most of that just riding to and from the office. It's fast, comfortable, and silent.
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Old 04-09-07, 11:10 AM   #5
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Bike Forums wasn't around in 1994 when I purchased my first fixed gear bike, an Ibis Scorcher, and I immediately got hooked. I've been riding mostly fixies ever since...

Last edited by roadfix; 04-09-07 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 04-09-07, 11:10 AM   #6
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Guilty here as well; I commuted by bike on geared bikes for decades but as soon as I started reading BF I decided to try out the singlespeed/fixed thing. Converted my RB-1 and tried it as a singlespeed first then flipped the wheel after a few days to fixed. Liked it so much I bought a Panasonic DX4000 off craigslist for cheap ($60.00!) and converted it to full-time fixed commuter usage so I could put the RB-1 back to weekend roadie. Also built up a singlespeed townie (old Centurion) for wet weather commuting and grocery shopping and converted my wife's MB-3 into a singlespeed (she loves it because she hates dealing with shifters) winter beater. I rarely reach for my Crosscheck for the commute and it's brand new!

Now I am waiting for the BF IRO frame so I can ride a more purpose-built machine. Damn you, BF!
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Old 04-09-07, 11:15 AM   #7
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If it weren't for bikeforums, I wouldn't know what to ride, how to ride it, or what to wear while riding it.

Actually, I wanted a new commuter bike. Something for winter, something that was pretty durable, fun to ride, and easy to take care of. A fixie seemed to meet all those criteria. I asked around here and a couple of people were kind enough to point me in the right direction. But I don't think I would have considered a fixed gear if it weren't for Bike Forums.
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Old 04-09-07, 11:15 AM   #8
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i was kinda the opposite. i heard about the fix thing from a friend last year and built up a beater. rode that around for a while then bought a pista. commuted on that until it started getting really wet here. i moved a few months ago and realized that the topography from my new place to downtown is a bit more interesting than my old commute. seattle has hills, who knew!? so i bought a road bike for commuting and longer weekend rides.
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Old 04-09-07, 11:19 AM   #9
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Online sources particularly BF and Sheldon strongly influenced my experimentation with fixies. After giving them a try it wasn't long before I was a full time fixie commuter. That was 2.5 years ago. Now I can't really imagine any other way to go.
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Old 04-09-07, 11:19 AM   #10
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I have BF to blame (credit) for my Fixie lust and recent purchase. I never gave Fixed wheel bikes much though before stumbling upon this site 2 years ago.

The training effects of riding a fixed wheel that I read on this site was the main attraction. (Develop better pedaling technique and power) It also seems that everyone that went to the “Dark Side” really liked it.

I totally enjoyed my first commute on a fixie today and look forward to the ride home. There is something about the simplicity of it all and the fact that I now have a ton of things to learn.

T.J.

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Old 04-09-07, 11:39 AM   #11
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I'm new here so I still don't know the allure of a fixie other than low maintenance. How do people with fixies handle hills on their commute?
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Old 04-09-07, 11:41 AM   #12
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Pedal harder.
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Old 04-09-07, 11:41 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nakedsushi
I'm new here so I still don't know the allure of a fixie other than low maintenance. How do people with fixies handle hills on their commute?
Going up - keep pedaling, stand and pedal if it gets steep.

Going down - keep pedaling, keep pedaling, keep pedaling.
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Old 04-09-07, 11:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nakedsushi
I'm new here so I still don't know the allure of a fixie other than low maintenance. How do people with fixies handle hills on their commute?
Pick the right gearing or use a roadbike if the hills are insane. Or just grind it out. After a while, you develop the legs to ride up the hills you usually see.
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Old 04-09-07, 11:45 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tequila Joe
I have BF to blame (credit) for my Fixie lust and recent purchase. I never gave Fixed wheel bikes much though before stumbling upon this site 2 years ago.
Same here about 1.5 yrs ago. I always knew about fixed gear bikes, but BF is what showed me that they could be practical as commuters and trainers in hilly terrain. So I'm guilty as charged, I ordered an IRO Mark V last week and should receive shipment sometime before May.

I'm also really excited as my father has lost 50lbs and says he's not going to ride a bicycle until he is 200lbs. I asked him over the weekend and said he was at 205, and then I asked if he would do some rides with me on the old touring bike. Hopefully the IRO will slow me down enough to make me more equal to my father's speed on the touring bike. I havent ridden with him in nearly 10 years.
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Old 04-09-07, 12:07 PM   #16
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The only way the IRO will be slower is if you run it at 32/16. It's hard to purposely go slow when you feel how easy it is to get it moving.
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Old 04-09-07, 12:09 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nakedsushi
I'm new here so I still don't know the allure of a fixie other than low maintenance. How do people with fixies handle hills on their commute?
It's all about steady rythum and momentum. If you know the roads, you'll have no trouble.
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Old 04-09-07, 12:29 PM   #18
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BF helped me figure out how to do it, I got the original notion from sheldon's site though- I didn't know what a fixed gear was before then. I loves it. It's all I've been riding lately and today I took my new cross bike to work and it felt weird not being able to slow down by resisting.
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Old 04-09-07, 12:33 PM   #19
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Ok....who wants to mix the kool-aid?
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Old 04-09-07, 12:50 PM   #20
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BF is partly responcible. I learned of them here and thought it was interesting in a theororetical sense. What pushed me over the edge was last spring when I was giving my beater a thurough cleaning. Normally I hate my beater, but when all the parts were stripped off and it was just the frame, handlebars and wheels... it looked pretty good. So I thought I would give it a try. I only put money into the wheel set, the rest is parts from the bone yard. Haven't commuted on it yet. Hell, I can't even do a skid yet. When I get that figured out, I probably commute on it then. Never thought it would be so quite.
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Old 04-09-07, 01:03 PM   #21
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You don't need to skid on your commute. Unless you wanna impress the ladies. BTW, balls on the stem. Fo' real.
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Old 04-09-07, 01:18 PM   #22
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I got interested in fixed gears because of Sheldon Brown and his zealotry for it

I got interested in fixed for commuting because I feel that a commuter bike for me needs to be low maintenance. And ya can't really get any lower maintenance than a fixed gear, right? I'm lazy about maintenance myself, so if I'm going to ride a bike at least twice a day for at least 5 days a week, I want something that's not complicated to maintain.
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Old 04-09-07, 01:23 PM   #23
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Nothing on BF really. I stumbled on to Sheldon's site and then stumbled on Fixedgeargallery.com. Then I bought a Milwaukee Bicycle co. frame and built one up last year. I havent ridden anything else since.

P.S. I am however working on building up a roadie. Lessee how that goes...
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Old 04-09-07, 01:51 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nakedsushi
...How do people with fixies handle hills on their commute?
Grow bigger legs
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Old 04-09-07, 02:02 PM   #25
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I like fixed gear on flat land. Up hill is OK too. On the down hill runs, I either brake or I feel out of control. I hate braking on descents because I'm wasting the free gravitational energy. My commute has quite a few hills. So, for me, fixed gear is for the bike path, not the commute.
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