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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 06-15-05, 01:10 AM   #1
delay
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I am a bit curious.

I was wondering... I started out as a mountain biker but after moving to central illinois, and realizing there were no mountains, and really no off road trails became a roadie about 5 years ago. I got into fixed gear riding for a number or reasons we are all familiar with, intrigue included. However, I have noticed a fair number of people whose first serious bike is fixed gear.

That said, this is a poll of sorts asking whether you moved to fixed after already having a love of bikes, or if fixed gear is what made you fall in love with them in the first place.

Yes, I know there is very point here, but I have had a fair number of Old Styles this evening and am curious... so here we go.
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Old 06-15-05, 04:10 AM   #2
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Started riding fixies this year, I am 21.
Prior to this I had not ridden a bike seriously since I was 13-14.

I rode a friends fixie and nearly killed myself.
Two months later I finished building my own.

I now have one beater fixie that I picked up from a board member and various parts strewn about my garage. Looking for another frame, lusting after bikes and frequenting this forum a lot.

It is safe to say I am addicted.

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Old 06-15-05, 05:22 AM   #3
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I'm a roadie who built a fixed gear for winter training/commuting/rain bike...
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Old 06-15-05, 05:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delay
I was wondering... I started out as a mountain biker but after moving to central illinois, and realizing there were no mountains, and really no off road trails became a roadie about 5 years ago. I got into fixed gear riding for a number or reasons we are all familiar with, intrigue included. However, I have noticed a fair number of people whose first serious bike is fixed gear.

That said, this is a poll of sorts asking whether you moved to fixed after already having a love of bikes, or if fixed gear is what made you fall in love with them in the first place.

Yes, I know there is very point here, but I have had a fair number of Old Styles this evening and am curious... so here we go.
My story is surprising like yours. Mountain->Road->SS->eventually fixie.
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Old 06-15-05, 06:46 AM   #5
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Roadie, sort of. First serious bike 15 years ago when I married and my wife was a biking fan. Bike was selling as racer but in fact was a 10sp randonneur built with 531 steel. Soon upgraded to pearl shimano 105 (6x2 speed!) drivetrain, then these nice 105 triangular pedals with clips and straps.
The bike aged more graceful than me. Now daily commuter (10 miles one way, hilly), same pearl 105 parts, downtube shifters, now running 7 cog freewheel. Recently, mostly run without shifting at all at 42/16 - I am considering convering it to SS. Bike just got its first internal routing levers (pearl 105) together with profile bullhorns I bought for fixies. Also got 39mm tires and suspension fork for comfort as I have finally built frame up real road bike: titanium, carbon - all things you hate - this thing flies.

Never liked nor got MTB but used to ride off road on roadie with slicks

Got to fixie riding after bad skiing accident (frayed ligaments) showing that my knees are not stable any more so I need to build a muscle shield supporting them. Spinnig and resisting helps but I am still better riding than walking. My fixie is a converted TT bike with lugged steel frame and straight cro-mo fork.

Commuter gets most miles, fixie takes second place and beautiful roadie is ridden on sunny weekends only
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Old 06-15-05, 06:59 AM   #6
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I was in awe of the couriers I saw riding track while I was messenger in DC six years ago. I have wanted to do it ever since then, but never thought I was good enough. I rode mountain, then cyclocross, and now I ride track full time. I wish I had switched sooner.
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Old 06-15-05, 07:25 AM   #7
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I rode a Specialized MTB--only on campus--in college. Got it stolen. Had no money to buy a new bike. That was ten years ago. Last year, a friend whose boyfriend is a hardcore world-tourer and city fixed rider explained the fixie concept to me, began pointing them out on the streets. I scoffed in ignorance, then moved to NYC. Suddenly, with my four- and five-storey apts., the concept of no gears became appealing. I bought a beater off of ebay in the winter, and have been hooked ever since my first ride.

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Old 06-15-05, 07:38 AM   #8
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I rode an old mountain bike as a SS thanks to a broken derailaur hanger
and a friend of mine told me he'd "fix" my bike. At first I was pissed that
I still couldn't shift AND now I couldn't coast.

I fell into road cycling after a women decided to "buy" me a fancy road
bike after plowing into me while on the lakefront path

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Old 06-15-05, 08:03 AM   #9
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Bmx to Mountain to Road to Fixie. I only got into road cycling to get better at mountain biking and then I decided to do an MS ride for my mom and I ended up doing a 1,000 miles of training for it on a MTB with Knobbies. At that point I felt I should break down and get a road bike. I built my fixed gear last summer from a bike a customer donated to the shop. It was being used as a coffee run bike and then one of the other guys stripped it for parts to build up an old lotus road frame and my fixed gear frame was born.
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Old 06-15-05, 08:18 AM   #10
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bicycles have been my primary transportation since i was about 10. (i'm 37.) i've been pushing the same 45-lb mtn bike since 1994, and recently started thinking about getting a lighter, faster bike for cargo-free trips. from there it went something like this: That Surly Cross-check looks nice, but it's $900. Um, maybe a singlespeed would be cheaper. Wow, look at those fixed-gear bikes.

Then i got a fixie (about a month ago) and you know the rest!
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Old 06-15-05, 08:32 AM   #11
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I had a roomate in Brooklyn who was a messenger that gave me a Panasonic track bike back in circa 1987. Before that I had a huffy and old beater bikes to ride around as a kid. I consider that track bike to be my first real bike. I wish I still had it, she was a lovely machine.

Today I own almost every kind of bike except a true track.
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Old 06-15-05, 08:52 AM   #12
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BMX-->Road-->Track
Started riding bikes when I was ~6. My dad didn't believe in driving anywhere he didn't absolutely have to, so we biked pretty much everywhere. I got my first road bike (a small Gitane) when I was ~10, and rode my first track bike around that time as well.
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Old 06-15-05, 08:54 AM   #13
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As a kid I rode coaster-brake SS and very occasionally a 3-speed, then did not ride for almost 2 decades. I bought my first derailleur-equipped bike in 1998, and as the Houston and Texas Gulf Coast area is so flat, rarely shifted except as an occasional change of pace. I thought about converting an old frame to SS, especially after seeing a guy on either a fixie or SS pedaling in the area. Then found a Bianchi Pista on ebay, and won the bidding. I have really grown to love the perfect chain line and the simplicity. (FWIW, I like single-shot rifles too.) I am still deciding whether fixie or SS is best for me, but I anticipate that in the future, as long as I live in a flat area, I will not ride derailleur-equipped bikes very much.
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Old 06-15-05, 09:37 AM   #14
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I used to ride and build single speed mtn bikes/dirt jumpers, but after a few years in the city it really started to be redundant. So fixie it is and its a lot better.
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Old 06-15-05, 09:40 AM   #15
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When I was a kid (I'm 28) I remember seeing the 1984 olympics, and the track races. Its a vague memory but I thought the way they could pedal back and forth to stay put was cool (track stands). At least that's how I remember it. When I was in middle school I rode back and forth to school, 2mi each way, but the way home was all uphill. Rode that Trek 820 everywhere, and I still have it. Last year I took up cycling to lose weight. Then I started commuting. I learned about single speed, and had wanted a road bike, so I built one, and loved it. I kept reading how awesome fixed was, and after reading accounts of guys doing the Fire Creek 508 (http://www.the508.com) fixed, I was inspired to try it myself (fixed, not the 508 LOL). Then a week or so ago I went fixed, and I don't think I'll ever use that freewheel again. I'm now lusting over a fix/fix hub instead of this Suzue Basic fixed/free hub.
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Old 06-15-05, 09:59 AM   #16
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80's teen road weenie inspired by Rebecca Twig, Connie Carpenter, Greg Lemond, and all the hot Slurpees
90's mtb punk and continued road weenie-ness and commuting fool
Took a few years off to climb, but continued commuting
Quit the climbing gig and found new cycling life with the fixie thing
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Old 06-15-05, 11:25 AM   #17
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my dad raced in the 60's, and i always had a bike. got inspired by 'breaking away' and lemond winning the tdf, bought a roadbike and started racing. raced in california and europe in the early 90's, but had to quit after i got injured.

didn't ride for a long time after that, but wanted to start again about 18 months ago so i had my old fixie conversion shipped to me, started riding that, bought another real road bike, then a track bike, and here i am.

(i ride mostly fixed because i can get a better workout in less time, and i also climb and run regularly -- and compete -- so time is an issue).
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Old 06-15-05, 11:39 AM   #18
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I grew up on bikes. Did group tours through high school, consistently lost races in both uscf's and norba's junior class, started working at a shop when I was 14. I went back and forth between mountain and road bikes for a while before I settled on mountain bikes as decent jack-of-all-trade bikes.

When I turned 18, the son of the owner of the bike shop brought me back a track hub from japan. I built it up with a good ol' MA-40, slapped it on the back of an ugly old nishiki, and that was my first fixed gear.

Twelve years later, I only have one of my old fleet left..


..sorry, it's not the fixed gear. I still ride one, though.
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Old 06-15-05, 12:34 PM   #19
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Its fun to hear all the replies here that cite Greg Lemond as an influence in their life. Before I bought my first mountain bike when I was 17, I remember the first small road bike I got when I was 11 years old. It was a Raleigh Technium, and I thought that I was such a badass. I got all sentimental to go home a couple months ago and realize that my sister had gotten a bike shop to fix that bike up and is riding it around as a commuter. At least that is what I was told...it was at my parents house, and she is at college.
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Old 06-15-05, 12:57 PM   #20
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BMX-->Mountain-->Road-->Fixed - i still ride my MTB

I was looking for a new challenge to cycling, got tired of commuting on an MTB and the roadbike felt so boring since i couldnt really do any fun stuff. A friend of mine convinced me to convert my road frame a little over a year ago and here i am. fixed gear riding has definately resparked a new joy to riding and has improved my mountain biking.
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Old 06-15-05, 01:19 PM   #21
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BMX > MTB > MTB with road tires > Fixed.
I love riding NYC on a fixed gear bike, but I still get out to the mountains. Switching between road and mountain biking really helps me appreciate how different and fun each of them are... still wondering if I would enjoy fixed mountain biking.
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Old 06-15-05, 10:42 PM   #22
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what's a fixie?
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Old 06-15-05, 10:45 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steaktaco
what's a fixie?
It's like a fixed gear, but it's ridden by somebody with an asymmetrical haircut.
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Old 06-15-05, 11:03 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim-bob
It's like a fixed gear, but it's ridden by somebody with an asymmetrical haircut.
oh, I see.
a pista is a fixie, but a schwinn is only fixed gear.
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Old 06-15-05, 11:10 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steaktaco
oh, I see.
a pista is a fixie, but a schwinn is only fixed gear.
I think that's the basic idea. I'm sure there's a sliding scale based on dollars spent/not spent and how uncomfortable it looks, but I'll leave that to the advanced fixie connoisseurs.
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