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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 06-09-05, 08:09 AM   #1
BlindRobert
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skidding help

Just cant seem to make it happen. I can get waaay forward over the bars and can get the rear wheel up but can't seem to freeze up the pedalling action fast enough.

Relevant info: using clipless SPD pedals, geared really low at 46x19 and I maintain a very high cadence - do you think higher gearing/lower cadence would make it easier?

I want to lose that front brake sooo bad.
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Old 06-09-05, 08:37 AM   #2
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try lowering your stem & bars...or bullhorns that are a bit longer....or switch over to a set of mtb type risers...
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Old 06-09-05, 08:42 AM   #3
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i had a really hard time learning to skid until i put some horns on, then all of a sudden it was pretty easy. same for skipping.
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Old 06-09-05, 08:42 AM   #4
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don't half-ass it. just commit to the skid fully and that should do it. go out when it's raining or on some sandy road to get the feel for the movement and feeling of skidding, then try it on clean, dry pavement.

your gearing is pretty easy as it is, you shouldn't have to switch to a different one.
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Old 06-09-05, 08:46 AM   #5
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Can you skip the wheel? Practice skipping the wheel and try holding it longer, backpedaling harder and moving your weight forward (until your package is on the stem). You'll figure it out pretty quickly.
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Old 06-09-05, 08:53 AM   #6
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Lower gearing helps, as does the suggested gravel, loose surface. I first got the feel of it at a much higher gear this past winter on snow. Up to that point the feeling was just weird and I could only do small skids at the high gear. Once I got the flow of it in the snow, it became natural. So go out after some rain or find a sand path somewhere and try it. With a lower gearing, the skids are a snap.
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Old 06-09-05, 09:41 AM   #7
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I had a hard time when I was learning until I put a real set of bullhorns on. I weigh ~ 190, so I had to learn to really get my weight forward. FWIW, I think brakeless on the street is overrated. Your bikes look fine with a front brake.
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Old 06-09-05, 10:01 AM   #8
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i learned on grass. near my house was a track that i rode around at odd hours of the night, and i could just turn off onto the grass...
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Old 06-09-05, 10:06 AM   #9
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I've just gotten into the fixed learning curve, and I just learned to skid and skip the other day. It's going to depend on your strength and your gearing, but I figured out how to do it by accident while I was trying out clipless on a fix for the first time. Take all this as an enthusiastic beginner to an enthusiastic beginner - I haven't even ridden my bike in traffic yet because I don't feel comfortable without a brake.

[QUOTE:beatifik]don't half-ass it. just commit to the skid fully and that should do it[/QUOTE:beatifik]

I think what beatifik it pretty much it. All I was doing was testing to see if my cog and lockring were on tight, at low speed, and all of a sudden my rear wheel told me pff pff pff (which I assume is a skip - like a controlled series of skids where your wheel doesn't just skid in one patch?). The first time I really tried to do it, I thought I was locking my left leg, and the pedal forces laughed at me and kept my leg moving. The second time I did it less gradually, quickly pushing back hard and I got a skid.

This is all at low speed in 53x20 with shallow road drops, all done from the hoods or the tops - it might be easier to do it going faster than I was (certainly <50rpms practicing), but I could do it going fast too after some practice. I could also skid in a completely seated position once I knew what I was controlling. I never had to lean as far forward as you might see in pictures from alleycats, draped over the bars. I think my ATACs were helping me out a LOT here - I feel like I'm pulling back with my front foot more than I'm pushing back with my back one.

And my inner and outer thigh muscles are still sore from 2 or 3 hours of reckless enthusiasm practicing this the other day.
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Old 06-09-05, 10:13 AM   #10
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The first time you skid it will be like turning the light bulb on, you'll just get it from there on. Once you learn to skid however; stop. skidding is bad.
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Old 06-09-05, 10:17 AM   #11
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It's also about overcoming fear - I think the older one gets the less chances one wants to take.
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Old 06-09-05, 11:02 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williamw
Can you skip the wheel? Practice skipping the wheel and try holding it longer, backpedaling harder and moving your weight forward (until your package is on the stem). You'll figure it out pretty quickly.
actually i found it easier to learn how to skid by purposely NOT unloading the rear wheel, since you want as much friction as possible btwn the wheel and the ground. before really getting it down, i was skipping the wheel but noticed that i was just hopping around like a fkn rock on a pond and not making any progress slowing down. if you keep both wheels level you can get a lot more out of the backpedal resistance.

also, i'm not one to lean very close to the stem since it seems to off my balance. just getting the ass off the seat is enough, for me, at least.
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Old 06-09-05, 12:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smurfy
It's also about overcoming fear - I think the older one gets the less chances one wants to take.


As someone who kind of took up cycling again recently in order to try and improve my balance, I totally agree with this statement. I'm just starting to get the no-handed thing, and it's been several months. As far as skidding goes, I have two concerns: 1) it's going to f- up my knees, huh? I am just picturing doing this and having a sudden painful joint seizure. 2) the whole weight forward thing: do you actually have to work hard to maintain your balance, or will this kind of happen of its own accord? I've tried putting my crotch close to the stem per peoples' recs here, but chickened out with the sudden, unfamiliar change of weight distribution.

Also, is skipping done in the same way? I really can't figure out how to get my back wheel up. Could it be that my clips are too loose?

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Old 06-09-05, 12:16 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by turd
also, i'm not one to lean very close to the stem since it seems to off my balance. just getting the ass off the seat is enough, for me, at least.
I'm with turd on this one. I can actually skip the wheel by just sliding forward on the saddle about an inch, and putting a little more weight on my hands. It does however, make my knees hurt.
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Old 06-09-05, 12:20 PM   #15
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HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO LEARN HOW TO SKID

start going really fast

squeeze the front brake a little bit. this will shift most of your weight to the front wheel

apply backwards pressure to the pedals (you may or may not need to stand up, put your balls against the stem, etc)

you will skid, and your muscles will remember how to do it
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Old 06-09-05, 12:25 PM   #16
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What boots said is really good. If I jam my front brake, its really amazing at how little it takes the wheel to skid.
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Old 06-09-05, 12:27 PM   #17
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Take your front brake off. you'll learn to skid when the next taxi or truck cuts you off. (don't take your front brake off)
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Old 06-09-05, 12:42 PM   #18
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Not being able to skid shouldn't prevent you from riding brakeless. It's not a very good way to stop and in most cases it's really just for show. If you want to ride brakeless, just take the brake off and you'll figure it out. For downhills, skipping works much better for scrubbing off speed.

And ditto what Turd said, skipping into skids makes things harder. Lean forward, lock your legs, pray for your knees.

m.
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Old 06-09-05, 12:55 PM   #19
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If you want to ride brakeless, just take the brake off and you'll figure it out.
This is TERRIBLE advice.
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Old 06-09-05, 01:01 PM   #20
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If you want to ride brakeless, you're going to have to take the brake off at some point. I'm not saying it should be the first thing you do.

m.
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Old 06-09-05, 01:18 PM   #21
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Riding brakeless changes your riding style. You ride more cautiously, you are forced to pay more attention to enviroment and focus all your attention on riding your bike. I have been riding brakeless for over a year and I can skid/skip, but I would have to tell you, I do NOT regulary do them. I only use them VERY rarely, I ride focusing on never being surprised. I am looking out at every possible danger, every road obstacle, I train myself to be as defensive of a rider as possible. Riding brakeless forces you to be smoother, have total control and be more cautious. I wouldn't ride brakeless thinking that skidding/skipping will save you, or that being able to do them will make you a safer brakeless rider. The "safe" brakeless rider is a mature one who is at "one" with his/her bike and is completely aware of his/her enviroment. Good Luck and watch those knees, locking joints is tough on them.
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Old 06-09-05, 01:39 PM   #22
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Try it on grass, not only is it easier, but if you bite it your bike wont get scratched and neither will you.
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Old 06-09-05, 01:57 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adroitfixed
Riding brakeless changes your riding style. You ride more cautiously, you are forced to pay more attention to enviroment and focus all your attention on riding your bike. I have been riding brakeless for over a year and I can skid/skip, but I would have to tell you, I do NOT regulary do them. I only use them VERY rarely, I ride focusing on never being surprised. I am looking out at every possible danger, every road obstacle, I train myself to be as defensive of a rider as possible. Riding brakeless forces you to be smoother, have total control and be more cautious. I wouldn't ride brakeless thinking that skidding/skipping will save you, or that being able to do them will make you a safer brakeless rider. The "safe" brakeless rider is a mature one who is at "one" with his/her bike and is completely aware of his/her enviroment. Good Luck and watch those knees, locking joints is tough on them.
i completely agree! sometimes i'm riding and i stop and think maybe i am being a little too cautious. at first i was all gung-ho about skipping and skidding but after going through 3 tires in a few months i stopped that. i have probably gone a month without skipping or skidding and i hardly ever trackstand through lights anymore either. all that stuff kills your cog/chain/chainring/bottom bracket so bad and it isn't necessary very often...however, i do enjoy finding a nice empty parking lot sometimes and ride backwards and do trackstands. anyways, i definitely notice that when i go riding with friends with gears i seem to have more energy at the end of the ride because i keep a more constant pace even if i am going a little slower than them so there is a trade off with riding brakeless..i think so atleast.
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Old 06-09-05, 02:03 PM   #24
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i have probably gone a month without skipping or skidding and i hardly ever trackstand through lights anymore either.
Is your city really flat? My city is built around one very large hill, so skipping becomes a bit of a necessity. I would, however, totally agree with the idea that you should be as in tune with traffic, etc, as possible to avoid problems before they happen.

m.
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Old 06-09-05, 02:11 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcatano
Is your city really flat? My city is built around one very large hill, so skipping becomes a bit of a necessity. I would, however, totally agree with the idea that you should be as in tune with traffic, etc, as possible to avoid problems before they happen.

m.
man..flat doesn't describe it. the only hills in this area of florida are man made and are hardly a hill at all
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