Excited about the flat terrain here in Raleigh/Durham NC, I flipped the Lemond hub 180 degrees (Fixed Cog) to find out what all the fascination and fuss was with “riding fixed”. Which follows the mantra “simplify until it breaks”.
My commute is 14 miles one way (fairly flat compared to N. Atlanta, extremely hilly compared to Florida’s Gulf Coast). I have been riding the heaviest bike in the world Trek 520(see below, soon to be featured in Guiness Book) and wanted to lighten the load and the simplify all the **** I carry. So made some mods to the Lemond Fillmore and took her for a test commute.
This first commute seamed fast. Commute time was comparable to the 520, which is amazing considering I was only using one gear. The braking was downright frightening, especially a downhill followed-up with a stop sign or light. My legs could pedal forward and slow the bike, however stopping required the full square inch of front caliper brakes.
Everyday was better. It is cool to slow down with your legs, almost natural after awhile.
This is week #3 on the fixie and I am hooked. You can fly uphills. Your feet and pedaling become a extension to the surface below. My cockpit is clean with only a front brake lever, no shifters , and no rear brake lever. The drive-train is quiet and awe so simple.
I can remember only a couple of times being so excited about a bike. My first BMX bike (Schwinn Scrabbler), first MTN. bike (Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo, pre-Trek) and now riding fixed on the Lemond Fillmore.