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  1. #1
    Member mmonce's Avatar
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    Fixed Gear Commuting

    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.

  2. #2
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Shhhhh. Don't let everyone know how much fun you're having on the way to work!
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  3. #3
    Commuter First newbojeff's Avatar
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    Damn it! I have a trashed Raleigh frame sitting in my basement (actually a Reliant/POS) that I was going to put a flip-flop hub on to try SS/Fixed. You're making me want to do that RIGHT NOW!

    Enjoy the ride.

  4. #4
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    You people! I had just talked myself out of buying a fixie...well I have room for one more bike.

  5. #5
    Member mmonce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acapybara
    You people! I had just talked myself out of buying a fixie...well I have room for one more bike.

    Buy it, buy it, buy it.

  6. #6
    Commuter First newbojeff's Avatar
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    Better yet. Build it, build it, build it.

  7. #7
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    I wouldn't recommend skidding but you can skip it to a stop pretty good w/o using the brakes. My wheels are black anodized sidewalls and the front is already starting to show a few spots of silver from the brake track. In an act of vanity, I try not to use the brakes, ever.

  8. #8
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newbojeff
    Better yet. Build it, build it, build it.
    Precisely!
    I'm (hopefully) getting a mid 80's Schwinn Paramount to turn into an ss/fg trainer. Although, if the components are in good shape, I may keep it as a geared-up road bike.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  9. #9
    not a role model JeffS's Avatar
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    The more I hear about commuters in Raleigh, the more frustrated I get - 'cause I never see any of you.

  10. #10
    Senior Member rykoala's Avatar
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    Welcome to the fold!

  11. #11
    By Necessity. RDRomano's Avatar
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    How are the knees holding up?
    --Supreme Court Justice Steven Breyer, whose brother is a district judge, once observed that, "The role of a district judge is to decide quickly, wisely, and fairly. This is not to say that the role of an appellate judge is to decide slowly, foolishly, and unfairly, for that would usurp the function of the Supreme Court."

  12. #12
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    SS/Fixt commuting is ...errrr, was, the best kept secret in
    the world !

  13. #13
    So Cal import showmemuny's Avatar
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    I just started communting here in the Bay Area on my SS and love it !! My commute takes me over some small hills and a long windy bridge but I love the challange. I thought the 38 mile round trip would kill me but I love the time to myself.
    Robert
    Sunnyvale,CA

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by RDRomano
    How are the knees holding up?
    It is a misconception that fixed gear riding and/or SS riding has to hurt your knees. It is a matter of proper form and technique to prevent knee pain. If you do not keep your knees in line it is easy to cause pain even with geared bikes. Because slowing a fixie is an unusual pedaling technique it is easier to let your knees get out of alignment, but it is not hard to correct.
    I am not some young kid with knees of steel. I'm 35 and have been commuting fixed for 3 years now, and if I get sloppy and the end of a long ride my knees will ache. BTW my long rides are usually on a geared bike.
    Craig

  15. #15
    Senior Member Frankie Fixed's Avatar
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    I used my very nice road bike 3 times after buying my fixie, but I was always bored and wishing I was on the pista. Sold it, and I've been commuting 3,000 miles a year since '03 with no regrets. No breakdowns either. Simple, light, and so, so zippy in traffic!
    Location:Thetford, Vermont

  16. #16
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    Watch out going around corners fast. Pedal strikes are not fun, especially on a fixie.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

    1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
    1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
    1988 Ducati 750 F1

  17. #17
    ...addicted... rocks in head's Avatar
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    welcome, welcome... I'm so happy that I live somewhere where there's 11.5 flat miles to work and only half a mile of uber-hill! Sounds like you've got a really nice commute! Enjoy the spring weather!
    Quote Originally Posted by dalmore
    I thought they had three seasons out there? Wildfire, mudslide and normal? No?

  18. #18
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CBBaron
    It is a misconception that fixed gear riding and/or SS riding has to hurt your knees. It is a matter of proper form and technique to prevent knee pain. If you do not keep your knees in line it is easy to cause pain even with geared bikes. Because slowing a fixie is an unusual pedaling technique it is easier to let your knees get out of alignment, but it is not hard to correct.
    I am not some young kid with knees of steel. I'm 35 and have been commuting fixed for 3 years now, and if I get sloppy and the end of a long ride my knees will ache. BTW my long rides are usually on a geared bike.
    Craig
    Yep, and I just wanted to add that saddle positioning is critical. If my saddle position is out of whack by even a couple of milimeters, my knees can tell.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

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