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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 05-04-05, 03:37 PM   #1
noisebeam
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Foot down and other new fixed issues

So I've been riding a new fixed (40x14) bike for a couple weeks, some longer 10mi rides on city and suburban streets. I've commuted (9m ea way) the last two days.

I have a style in my commuting where I like to unclip one foot and put it down at intersections, get a drink, look around. Sometimes traffic rolls forward a bit (often for right turners). I roll with them, easy with a freewheel.

Sure with a fixed I can slow up, go real slow, stay clipped, trackstand. But its just not my style to trackstand - I can do it if needed, but not with total confidence that I won't fall in busy traffic.

If stopped I can easily lift rear wheel and with still clipped in pedal position crank to good starting point.

But what doesn't work is if I stay clipped with one foot and then traffic rolls foward, but only stops again say 10ft forward. What does one do then?

Al
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Old 05-04-05, 03:39 PM   #2
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push the handlebars down to lift the rear wheel and spin the pedals to where you want them and set the wheel back down...that should do 'er.
.-jason
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Old 05-04-05, 03:43 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by xthugmurderx
push the handlebars down to lift the rear wheel and spin the pedals to where you want them and set the wheel back down...that should do 'er.
.-jason
That's exactly what I do if the cranks are in the wrong place - works great if you are already stopped and waiting and traffic is not about to go. As I wrote:
"If stopped I can easily lift rear wheel and with still clipped in pedal position crank to good starting point."

But what about if you are stopped, one foot clipped in, then you need to roll forward, stop for a bit, then roll forward, etc. What about that clipped in foot, do you unclip it, or let it ride the pedal as you roll forward? Is there a similar trick for this?

Al
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Old 05-04-05, 03:49 PM   #4
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You will start to count your rotations before the light and plan ahead. I now know generally how long a pedal stroke is and apply this to my skip stops. I usually end up in my usual trackstand position.
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Old 05-04-05, 03:50 PM   #5
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i guess I don't understand what are asking...can you not pedal with just one foot? clips/(less) make that possible...just don't clip in and pull up with the foot you do have...sorry if I am not helping at all...

-jason
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Old 05-04-05, 03:52 PM   #6
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I rock in place and make small adjustments to my crank position, but that's the trials rider in me. It looks like you're having a seizure in traffic, so that might not be what you're looking for.
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Old 05-04-05, 03:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xthugmurderx
i guess I don't understand what are asking...can you not pedal with just one foot? clips/(less) make that possible...just don't clip in and pull up with the foot you do have...sorry if I am not helping at all...

-jason
That is what I do now(pedal with one foot), but it seems like there would be a more elegant way of doing it.
The other advice of timing my skips before a stop is good, but takes the interalized knowledge of the rotation/distancd traveled, etc. to get down - that is great, that tells me that the more I ride the more sub-conscious this will become. Right now I can skid and skip all I want in my neighborhood (I've stopped skidding to save on excessive tire wear), but when it comes to riding in heavy traffic where I need to be able to stop on a dime, sometimes at unexpected moments, it becomes a bit more difficult to get all my timings right for a sudden stop, then unexpected restart.

Thanks for all the advice so far. Great fun.

Al
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Old 05-04-05, 03:58 PM   #8
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I just unclip the forward foot, push on the pedal unclipped, and then reclip the new forward foot. I suppose if it happens a lot, unclipping both feet until traffic's definitely going to move would work.
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Old 05-04-05, 04:02 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jnbacon
I just unclip the forward foot, push on the pedal unclipped, and then reclip the new forward foot. I suppose if it happens a lot, unclipping both feet until traffic's definitely going to move would work.
I definitely need to practice being ambidextrous at unclipping and at which foot to lead with. I've always since a kid put the same foot down when stopped and used the same opposite leading leg to start with. Learning swap leading legs will be like learning to ride a bike again

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Old 05-04-05, 04:28 PM   #10
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if i ever overestimate my distance for stopping i always just end the last few feet with a short skid and go into a trackstand from the skid since my feet are in the perfect position. with this in mind i would imagine it would also be the perfect pedal position to be at to get a strong start if you unclip. i ride with clips and straps so this might not help you at all.
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Old 05-04-05, 04:34 PM   #11
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You're overthinking this whole thing. Just keep riding, and it'll become second nature in time. Don't try to force it.
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Old 05-04-05, 04:38 PM   #12
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You're overthinking this whole thing. Just keep riding, and it'll become second nature in time. Don't try to force it.
Of course. I suspected this, just looking for tips - and what I've gotten so far is good. I spent a couple of weeks riding in places (residential neighborhoods, suburban backways) where it mostly didn't matter where exactly I stopped and if I fell (never have). Now I am in traffic with lots of lights, stop and go, left turns, so I am a bit more hesitant.

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Old 05-04-05, 04:45 PM   #13
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Um, why are you stopping in back of traffic? The easiest solution would be to simply ride all the way up to the front of the line of traffic, so you don't have to move forward after stopping until the light changes...
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Old 05-04-05, 04:53 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by HereNT
Um, why are you stopping in back of traffic? The easiest solution would be to simply ride all the way up to the front of the line of traffic, so you don't have to move forward after stopping until the light changes...
That is not how I ride and I am not going to change that.
Al
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Old 05-04-05, 05:37 PM   #15
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if there is enough room you can swerve, like make curves to shorten the distance (so you don't go into the intersection) and you can end up with your pedals in trackstand position. i'm not sure if this is what you're asking but either way..
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Old 05-04-05, 05:40 PM   #16
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Don't make things complicated! It's only fixed gear...
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Old 05-04-05, 06:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisebeam
That is not how I ride and I am not going to change that.
Al

oh. dude. i see what you are saying now. you ride in the middle of traffic? Ok don't change that, but that's going to be a beeyotch and a half. It's much easier to keep between the parked cars and the outside lane and when you hold your line you will just ride up to the front and won't need to roll and stop. You are more predictable to cars when you hold your line and that's a good thing.

I don't mean to be a jerk but i just realized that if you don't change the way you ride you can get stuck in traffic on your bike. hahahaha! that's hilarious!
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Old 05-04-05, 07:06 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terror_in_pink
oh. dude. i see what you are saying now. you ride in the middle of traffic? Ok don't change that, but that's going to be a beeyotch and a half. It's much easier to keep between the parked cars and the outside lane and when you hold your line you will just ride up to the front and won't need to roll and stop. You are more predictable to cars when you hold your line and that's a good thing.

I don't mean to be a jerk but i just realized that if you don't change the way you ride you can get stuck in traffic on your bike. hahahaha! that's hilarious!
I think they call it 'Vehicular Cycling' or something like that. I could never be that patient...
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Old 05-04-05, 07:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisebeam
That is not how I ride and I am not going to change that.
Al
I said the same thing to myself when I heard about fixed gears.... and now look at me!
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Old 05-04-05, 10:04 PM   #20
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We have bike lanes here, for the most part, and I stay in them or ride on the far right shoulder.
If I need to make a left turn, I claim the lane, like a car.

On roads with two lanes in each direction and stopped traffic, if I need to make a left turn, I ride (relatively slowly) between the two lines of cars, all the way to the front of the line where I stop in front of the first car in the left lane, make eye contact and point where I intend to go.

I don't track stand (but I intend to learn how to track stand, someday).
I clip out with my right foot and put it down.
I don't have any trouble pedaling with one foot for a short distance if I need to fit into stop and go car traffic.
If forced to the shoulder and unable to thread safely between the cars and the curb, I put my right foot on the curb, pedal when necessary with the clipped-in left foot, and then put my right foot back on the curb or the road.
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Old 05-05-05, 09:01 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HereNT
I think they call it 'Vehicular Cycling' or something like that. I could never be that patient...
For me it is not about what it is called, it is about my safety. All the roads I ride are multilane, so the right lane is primarily used for right turners. This means that I can not be to the right of traffic and also that traffic in the right lane slowly moves forward in bursts for drivers turning on red.

Also traffic never backs up far enough that I miss a green light, light cycles are quite long here. So moving forward does not save me any time or test my patience.

I realize in different cities traffic flows are quite different and in these places it may be better to move forward.

Al
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Old 05-05-05, 09:04 AM   #22
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"You're overthinking this whole thing."

of course, half the posts on this board are the result of over-analization.

its just a bike fer cryin-out-loud...no magic or mistique involved...
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Old 05-05-05, 09:07 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by stevo
"You're overthinking this whole thing."

of course, half the posts on this board are the result of over-analization.

its just a bike fer cryin-out-loud...no magic or mistique involved...
If you can't be on your bike the next best thing is thinking about it.

Al
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Old 05-05-05, 09:20 AM   #24
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Noisebeam wrote:

"I realize in different cities traffic flows are quite different..."

As I spend more time on this forum the effect the community has on the rider's techniques and practices becomes ever more apparent.
I think if I moved to a new community I would have to learn new ways of riding my bike.
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Old 05-05-05, 10:07 AM   #25
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oh lord. if i couldn't roll to the front of the line when commuting in traffic damn...that's what commuting on a fixie is all about. btw it's perfectly legal to lane split in california.
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