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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 04-24-07, 02:01 PM   #1
mmonce
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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.
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Old 04-24-07, 02:09 PM   #2
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Shhhhh. Don't let everyone know how much fun you're having on the way to work!
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Old 04-24-07, 02:12 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 04-24-07, 02:14 PM   #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.
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Old 04-24-07, 02:22 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 04-24-07, 02:23 PM   #6
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Better yet. Build it, build it, build it.
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Old 04-24-07, 03:51 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 04-24-07, 03:55 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 04-24-07, 04:09 PM   #9
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The more I hear about commuters in Raleigh, the more frustrated I get - 'cause I never see any of you.
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Old 04-24-07, 04:15 PM   #10
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Welcome to the fold!
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Old 04-24-07, 04:54 PM   #11
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How are the knees holding up?
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Old 04-24-07, 05:17 PM   #12
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SS/Fixt commuting is ...errrr, was, the best kept secret in
the world !
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Old 04-24-07, 07:20 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 04-25-07, 07:26 AM   #14
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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.
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Old 04-25-07, 07:35 AM   #15
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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!
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Old 04-25-07, 07:52 AM   #16
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Watch out going around corners fast. Pedal strikes are not fun, especially on a fixie.
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Old 04-25-07, 08:45 AM   #17
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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!
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Old 04-25-07, 09:52 AM   #18
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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.
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