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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 06-16-05, 10:06 AM   #1
80sMutRider
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Smooth Skidding

How do you get a nice smooth skid on a fixie? Whenever I try it seems really jumpy, it works, but it jostles me a lot.
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Old 06-16-05, 10:07 AM   #2
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Put the teabags on the counter my friend....
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Old 06-16-05, 10:13 AM   #3
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what's your gearing? a lighter gear helps a bit.
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Old 06-16-05, 10:17 AM   #4
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Teabags on the counter... fanstastic.

But that is the right way, the futher you lean forward, the easier to skid and especially skid smoothly. But that doesn't mean you stop any faster. That is: Smooth skidding does not equal fast stopping. But leaning forward teaches you to balance you body dyamically and properly weight the bike for a good stop.

Al
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Old 06-16-05, 10:25 AM   #5
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the farther you lean forward, chances are, the longer it will take you to stop. the whole idea in leaning way forward is to take as much weight off the rear so that you can sustain the skid for a longer distance.

that said, if your skid seems jumpy, it is probably because your legs aren't fully locked causing the wheel to lock, push your legs a bit, lock, push your legs, etc. on a harder gear, you may have engage in some fencing with your stem in order to do this. on an easier gear -- or with stronger legs -- you may find that just unseating yourself and locking your legs while nearly vertical is sufficient.

one last possibility is that when you're skidding you don't maintain control over the bike well so that you wobble all over the place. two possible suggestions -- 1) skid with your hands on the widest part of the bars (you can do it with your hands at the stem, but if you're having trouble, this might help) so that you can control the front end better, and 2) locking your thighs against the stem and bars in order to keep your front end pointed directly forward.

hope this helps.
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Old 06-16-05, 10:25 AM   #6
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i don't understand the teabag thing

edit: never mind...(n)ow, i get it
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Old 06-16-05, 10:27 AM   #7
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i don't understand the teabag thing
Two teabags make for more potent tea.
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Old 06-16-05, 10:31 AM   #8
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skidding should not require much strength if weight is properly forward. If it feels really hard you are not leaning forward enough. For those of you that don't get the teabags just rest your thighs against the handlebar and put your head as far forward as you can.
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Old 06-16-05, 10:33 AM   #9
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i like tea.
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Old 06-16-05, 10:35 AM   #10
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i like tea.
I like New York in June.

How about you?
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Old 06-16-05, 01:24 PM   #11
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Ok, I'll try the leaning thing first. It's my first solid week with a fixie and I'm able to do skids at lower speeds, and I am getting down stopping without using the breaks. I just wasn't sure if there were any secrets to skidding.
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Old 06-16-05, 01:28 PM   #12
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Personally I am happy with the jumpy/skipping skids...that's the fastest way to stop for me...it might not be smooth, but it still works
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Old 06-16-05, 01:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 80sMutRider
I just wasn't sure if there were any secrets to skidding.
Yeah, avoid it as much as possible for practial riding. For fun, go for it. It just wears out tires to fast and one can stop (non-emergency) fine without skidding if you think a bit a ahead.

For me it is a harder skill and more effort to be able to evenly/smoothly resist pedals in circular motion for a hard non-skid slow down, than it is to stand up lean forward and skid.

Al
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Old 06-16-05, 03:10 PM   #14
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I have been riding fixed for a year at 49x18 with a front brake. A month ago, I started to train myself to skid. There is no question that getting your weight forward is a big help. A smaller gear helps as well. Until last night I thought any skid would require major concentration and good body and foot position. Last night, I was riding in the saddle at 20+ mph when a woman crossed into my path with her dog on a leash. I locked up the rear wheel immediately, much to the shock of all three of us. Practice makes perfect.
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Old 06-16-05, 03:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travismcgee
I have been riding fixed for a year at 49x18 with a front brake. A month ago, I started to train myself to skid. There is no question that getting your weight forward is a big help. A smaller gear helps as well. Until last night I thought any skid would require major concentration and good body and foot position. Last night, I was riding in the saddle at 20+ mph when a woman crossed into my path with her dog on a leash. I locked up the rear wheel immediately, much to the shock of all three of us. Practice makes perfect.
Why didn't you use the front break? I find with front brake in an emergency I apply it, lean rearward and lock up rear wheel. That is fastest stop from 20mph+, hard front braking and just enough rear tire reverse to be skidding/verge of skidding.

If I lean stand up & use no front brake and skid, its a longer stop. If I lean stand up use front brake and skid rear wheel, it can be quite dangerous.

Al
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Old 06-17-05, 11:19 AM   #16
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Sorry, I was not clear. I did use the front brake as well. I stayed seated and kept my weight back. I was surprised that I could get the rear wheel to stop without thinking about it and without leaning forward.
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Old 06-17-05, 11:34 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by travismcgee
Sorry, I was not clear. I did use the front brake as well. I stayed seated and kept my weight back. I was surprised that I could get the rear wheel to stop without thinking about it and without leaning forward.
Front breaking unweights the rear wheel and makes skidding very easy. Its a great combination, front brake and rear pedal pressure just on the verge of skidding - that gets you a quick stop.

Al
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Old 06-17-05, 11:40 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by travismcgee
Practice makes perfect.
Ahem.

Practice makes permanent. Not always perfect.
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Old 06-17-05, 11:41 AM   #19
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When the front brake is used correctly, skidding the rear will have exactly zero effect, because it will be slightly off the ground. The same usually applies on motorcycles. The front contact patch has enough purchase to cause the rear to lift off the ground, so you will flip before you skid the front if the brake is applied just right. Feel free to read up on this in any standard racing manual.
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Old 06-17-05, 11:57 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrowedc
When the front brake is used correctly, skidding the rear will have exactly zero effect, because it will be slightly off the ground. The same usually applies on motorcycles. The front contact patch has enough purchase to cause the rear to lift off the ground, so you will flip before you skid the front if the brake is applied just right. Feel free to read up on this in any standard racing manual.
Thats the point - if you brake hard enought wiht front brake to unweight the rear wheel, any harder braking doesn't help, it flips you. So if you apply reverse pressure on rear wheel, you can feel that skidding point and come to a stop most efficiently.

Al
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Old 06-17-05, 12:28 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by William Karsten
Ahem.

Practice makes permanent. Not always perfect.


Nice one, sensei.

("...wax on, wax off...[oh, my arms are tired]...wax on,...")

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Old 06-20-05, 06:01 PM   #22
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Nice one, sensei.

Well, yeah. I mean, I've developed a lot of bad habits that took years to hone into fully stupid repetative skills. They didn't just happen over night.
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Old 06-20-05, 08:21 PM   #23
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I'm definately getting the hang of skidding. I don't do it for practicality, mainly for fun. I'm getting better, and it's helping me with resisting the pedals. Now I'm just trying to slow down using resistance (not breaks) smoothly. That one is a little harder.
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Old 06-21-05, 01:44 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrowedc
When the front brake is used correctly, skidding the rear will have exactly zero effect, because it will be slightly off the ground. The same usually applies on motorcycles. The front contact patch has enough purchase to cause the rear to lift off the ground, so you will flip before you skid the front if the brake is applied just right. Feel free to read up on this in any standard racing manual.

"Just right" apparently means something completely different to you than it does to me.
Racing is not applicable to commuting, or riding for fun, if you're raising the rear while stopping with the front, i'd suggest you need to work on your fluidity. (if this is the case, it's hard to argue that your not riding extremly aggressively, and if thats your thing... please disregard).

As far as long smooth skids, they're simply not the best way to stop. (<-period)
If you're into skids (they are KOOL), do like others have mentioned and "Put the teabags on the counter", weight distibution is everything.

However, if you want to stop, use a front brake, or at lease learn to skip skid and work on your fluidity (i.e., always have a safe way out to save your ass for when you can't stop in time).

My $.02.
Carl.
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Old 06-21-05, 06:38 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zwxetlp
...if you want to stop, use a front brake, or at lease learn to skip skid and work on your fluidity (i.e., always have a safe way out to save your ass for when you can't stop in time).

My $.02.
Carl.
yup. you get more friction in the static condition than in the sliding condition. the ideal combination would be application of the front brake along with just enough dynamic braking from your legs to push the rear wheel to the verge of skidding, but not quite. hardly any of us can be that precise, however, especially when we really want to stop, so we will probably end up skidding a little anyway.

fluidity is a desirable quality in general, too, i believe. not just for stopping a fixed gear bicycle.
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