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  1. #1
    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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    How much of a bike is rider attitude?

    Really.

    I mean, I am new to actually caring about bikes. I thought it was just BMX, Hybrid, Road and Mountain. I was aware of oddities like Recumbents, Trikes, folding bikes and tandems, but thought they were just that. Oddities.

    Then I see this Downhill, Commuter, Comfort, Urban, Cyclocross, Singlespeed, Fixed gear, etc.

    I guess what I'm asking is for a breakdown of what some of these terms mean and how much of a bike's "type" is geometry and components, and how much is simply how the rider uses it.

    As a commuter, I pretty much understand that a commuter is 100% on the rider. You could pick up any bike and ride it to work. If you see a bike in the city with panniers and lights all over it, it could be a touring bike, but it's probably just someone's daily rider.

    What is the difference between singlespeed and fixed gear? Are SS bikes just Fixies that used to be gearies and got converted? Are fixes "factory single speeds"?

    What the hell is an "Urban" bike? Looking at the photo gallery it seems it's 100% up to the owner, like Commuter bikes. Take any bike whether it's a Giant Glory 0 or a Schwinn Sting Ray, and call it an urban/park bike, and that's what it is.

    Would you chew someone out if they called your over-engineered FR bike a "Mountain bike?"

    Am I insane? I don't get it.
    ax0n: Geeky and bikey
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  2. #2
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    A singlespeed uses a freewheel, a fixed gear is 'direct drive' - you can't coast or backpedal.

    An 'urban' bike is allegedly set up for urban settings, wider tires (bad roads), lower geared, sometimes fewer gears (supposedly flat terrian), flat bars (to see traffic better, more stability), fenders, maybe a rack and lights. Basically a city commuter. Most of these terms are pure marketing - making new 'breeds' out of minor differences in features.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  3. #3
    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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    That helps quite a bit. A lot of the vernacular gets confusing here.
    ax0n: Geeky and bikey
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  4. #4
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    Just don't over think too much.
    Your head will explode. Too many different terms and plenty of overlap.

    This is one of the reasons I love this hobby\sport\whatever else you call it. Cycling is as simple or as complicated as you want it.

  5. #5
    Baka dakara supercub's Avatar
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    You can't coast in a fixed gear bike? Coast meaning to not pedal? That kind of sucks.

  6. #6
    Eternal Cat3 Rookie branman1986's Avatar
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    yep, if you forget to pedal while carrying any speed, the back will donkey kick up like a mofo. Most have a reversible back wheel that is easily changed from fixed to singlespeed, though

  7. #7
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supercub
    You can't coast in a fixed gear bike? Coast meaning to not pedal? That kind of sucks.
    Nope. That's the whole point. And if you have to ask "Why?" you won't understand.

  8. #8
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    Why??
    I loved my fixed gear bike that I rode when I was about 8. Of course that meant I didn't know what it really was. Really stuffed me up when I rode my brothers bike and tried to brake by pedalling backwards. Let's just say it didn't work.
    I want to live.

  9. #9
    No longer in Wimbledon... womble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ax0n
    Really.

    Then I see this Downhill, Commuter, Comfort, Urban, Cyclocross, Singlespeed, Fixed gear, etc.

    <snip>

    Would you chew someone out if they called your over-engineered FR bike a "Mountain bike?"

    Am I insane? I don't get it.
    You forgot to mention All Mountain, that marketing buzz phrase that seems to have breathed new life into what would before been called a heavy duty mountain bike. Slots right in between Cross Country and Freeride.

    As far as I can tell, I've got one of these All Mountain bikes. But if anyone actually came out and used that term to my face, it would be hard to take them seriously

  10. #10
    your god hates me Bob Ross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    That's the whole point. And if you have to ask "Why?" you won't understand.

    I'm fully prepared to not understand, but I'd still like to ask "why?"

    In particular, why a fixie instead of a single-speed? (Besides ease of track-standing.)

  11. #11
    is as Gurgus does. Gurgus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Ross
    I'm fully prepared to not understand, but I'd still like to ask "why?"

    In particular, why a fixie instead of a single-speed? (Besides ease of track-standing.)
    Because it is MUCH more fun. My fix used to be my single speed and the fix is a blast to ride. It also got me excited about riding all over again. It definatly makes you a better rider as you have no choice but to improve your spin. You also become more "one" with your bike. I know it sounds corny, but it really is more of a "Zen" experience. I totally surprised myself the other day when I realized that I was riding on a bike! I was so in the zone that I forgot there was a bike under me(don't be alarmed, it was at six in the morning on a deserted bike path).

    Bottom line, riding fixed is a very beautiful experience. Try it, you'll get hooked too.

    Oh, and the happy little trees that live over there really like it too.

  12. #12
    your god hates me Bob Ross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gurgus
    It definatly makes you a better rider as you have no choice but to improve your spin.
    Arguably, it does nothing of the sort: It *forces* you to move your legs, which is completely different from teaching your legs how to move the pedals smoothly.


    You also become more "one" with your bike. I know it sounds corny, but it really is more of a "Zen" experience.
    Now *that* I get. That's part of the reason I'm finding myself attracted to a singlespeed...and, I suppose with a little more daydreaming & drooling, I could wind up attracted to a fixie. Something about getting rid of all the excess and stripping it down to the "pure essence" of what a bicycle is. The Platonic Ideal. Yeah...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by damnable
    Why??
    I loved my fixed gear bike that I rode when I was about 8. Of course that meant I didn't know what it really was. Really stuffed me up when I rode my brothers bike and tried to brake by pedalling backwards. Let's just say it didn't work.
    That is an example of a coaster brake, not a fixed gear.
    I remember the first time I rode a non-coaster brake bike. My friend, Eddie, let ride his brand new Ralgeih(sp). I jumped on and took off across the school yard, got going at a pretty good clip. At the point that I needed to slow down to turn around, I back pedaled. Nothing happened. Luckly, there was a chain link fence to help me stop.

  14. #14
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    Reminds me of my first experience with riding a bike. My brothers, in the attempt to do the big brother thing, took me to the top of a ramp that was two stories, put me on a bike and pushed me off. They forgot things like how to steer and how to stop. It is amazing what you can learn quickly when the need is urgent...

    Thankfully there was no fence, only dirt farm road for miles... I eventually fell over (they didn't explain how to get off a bike either) A little doctoring, and I was at it again.

  15. #15
    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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    Actually it could have been a fixed gear bike. When I was a kid, one of the bikes I wanted (I was 5 or so) was a sleek looking black BMX-style bike that said "NO BRAKES" on it. This was only partially true because it had the front rim brake similar to all other coaster-brake BMX bikes I saw. It was, indeed, a fixie. The only thing backpedalling would do is move you backwards (which I thought was awesome at the time. I'd been missing the ability to go in reverse ever since I upgraded from an old-school plastic BigWheel trike)
    ax0n: Geeky and bikey
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  16. #16
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ax0n
    Actually it could have been a fixed gear bike. When I was a kid, one of the bikes I wanted (I was 5 or so) was a sleek looking black BMX-style bike that said "NO BRAKES" on it. This was only partially true because it had the front rim brake similar to all other coaster-brake BMX bikes I saw. It was, indeed, a fixie. The only thing backpedalling would do is move you backwards (which I thought was awesome at the time. I'd been missing the ability to go in reverse ever since I upgraded from an old-school plastic BigWheel trike)
    My kids liked fixed gear too. Then they grew up..
    Attached Images Attached Images

  17. #17
    No Rocket Surgeon eubi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ax0n
    I was aware of oddities like Recumbents, Trikes, folding bikes and tandems, but thought they were just that. Oddities.
    ODDITIES?!?!?!

    Shoot, I ride a folding, tandem, recumbent trike. What does that make me?



    By the way, good description under you name, axOn. I didn't realize you could do Scott Kim-style Inversions with a keyboard!
    Fewer Cars, more handlebars!

  18. #18
    is as Gurgus does. Gurgus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Ross
    Arguably, it does nothing of the sort: It *forces* you to move your legs, which is completely different from teaching your legs how to move the pedals smoothly.




    .
    I have to differ, my good man. It does force you to move your legs, but, at higher speeds on a fixed gear, you have to move your legs smoothly or your arse will bounce all over the place on the seat. Ergo, before too long, you automatically become smooth. Also, smoothes greatly increases control. Control is very vital on a fix.

  19. #19
    is as Gurgus does. Gurgus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
    My kids liked fixed gear too. Then they grew up..
    I don't wanna grow up. I'm a 32 year old father of two, but I'm still just a big kid, playing with my toys.

  20. #20
    Ridin' Velomancer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supercub
    You can't coast in a fixed gear bike? Coast meaning to not pedal? That kind of sucks.
    That's what makes it GREAT!

  21. #21
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supercub
    You can't coast in a fixed gear bike? Coast meaning to not pedal? That kind of sucks.
    As Sheldon Himself has said, coasting is overrated.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  22. #22
    Ridin' Velomancer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eubi
    By the way, good description under you name, axOn. I didn't realize you could do Scott Kim-style Inversions with a keyboard!
    Wouldn't a lowecase "a" work better than the "e" ---> umop ap!sdn

  23. #23
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso
    As Sheldon Himself has said, coasting is overrated.
    Like hell...having to pedal can be downright dangerous when the bits got an itch that needs scratchin from within, rather than from without, if ya know what I mean.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  24. #24
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    If it itches enough, you'll find a way to scratch it without stopping the pedals.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  25. #25
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso
    If it itches enough, you'll find a way to scratch it without stopping the pedals.
    Till you hit a pothole and turn yourself soprano!
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

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