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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 06-28-05, 06:49 PM   #1
Turnip
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Finally flipped my flop. A few questions.

I finally started riding fixed again after moving to Seattle four months ago. The hills freaked me out at first, but I recently got drunk, decided to get over it and took the rear brake off my bike with kitchen utensils at 3am. I'm having a heckuva lot more fun now! A few questions. . . Please don't refer me to Sheldon Brown. I'd rather to hear from ya'll.

1. I'd like to ditch my aero levers and run a cross lever, but I can't imagine climbing up a big hill without my hands being up in the hoods. Is this a bad habit that I've picked up? Any tips for climbing without riding in the hoods from you guys who ride brakeless? Maybe it's just my imagination, but for some reason it seems like it would be difficult to stand up and really go for it. . .

2. I've searched the thread in hopes of learning how to better skip / skid. I'm perfectly comfortable stopping and slowing and so think I naturally do these things but without technically knowing what I'm doing. Here's a very basic question: What is skipping? What's the difference between skipping and just resisting the pedals / controlling your speed down a hill? or are they pretty much synonymous?

3. My tires are pasela panaracers. I've been riding ss at least 12 miles a day for the last 4 months. I didn't have a single flat the whole time until the very day I started riding fixed. (I rode for about 20 miles before I got a flat.) Coincidence or fact of riding fixed? Do you guys run tuffy's in your tires?

Thanks.
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Old 06-28-05, 07:00 PM   #2
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get some bullhorns so you can climb and still be up top, kinda in the same position as the hoods.
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Old 06-28-05, 07:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wangster
get some bullhorns so you can climb and still be up top, kinda in the same position as the hoods.
I'm definitely considering it. . . I just like the aesthetic of drop bars better.
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Old 06-28-05, 07:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wangster
get some bullhorns so you can climb and still be up top, kinda in the same position as the hoods.
best move i ever made, now my climbs are superfast.
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Old 06-28-05, 07:12 PM   #5
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bullhorns are key for climbing, skidding and skipping, at least for me.

skipping is when you hop your rear wheel off the ground, stop it spinning, and drop it back down again, which scrubs off a lot more speed than skidding because the wheel is weighted when it hits the ground.

it's also pretty hard on tires.
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Old 06-28-05, 07:32 PM   #6
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I'm getting a new frame and it's almost ready. Pretty much all the parts I picked out are silver - rims, spokes, stem, seatpost etc. Are there any steel bullhorns out there? The nittos are certainly lovely, but isn't the diameter an unusual size or something? Hacksaw?
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Old 06-28-05, 07:39 PM   #7
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any particular reason you want steel? (other than aesthetics i mean).
i'm almost positive that no one makes a steel bullhorn, sorta defeats the whole light/fast thing.

nitto bars have a standard diameter.
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Old 06-28-05, 07:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dolface
any particular reason you want steel? (other than aesthetics i mean).
i'm almost positive that no one makes a steel bullhorn, sorta defeats the whole light/fast thing.

Oops I meant to say silver, not steel. But on that note, other than aesthetics, I just like the way it feels. My new frame is OX platinum - pretty light and stiff.



nitto bars have a standard diameter.
- cool, thanks.
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Old 06-28-05, 08:14 PM   #9
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when i switched from drops to wide bull horns, the difference in my climbing was quite remarkable... i definitely felt like i had an advantage with the bull horns... too bad track drops are much prettier, lol.
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Old 06-28-05, 08:40 PM   #10
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Nitto makes steel pursuit bars.
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Old 06-28-05, 10:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dolface
nitto bars have a standard diameter.
Um, most nitto track bars have 25.4 diameter, where as the standard for road stuff is 26.0. However its easy to make shims to fit a 26.0 stem or Nitto has conversion shims for abotu 7 bucks,
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Old 06-28-05, 11:17 PM   #12
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you can always climb in the drops. track drops work well since they have a big drop and a long reach. I rock 95% of hills this way. the other 5% I just use the bars like hoods--a bit harder to grip, but seems to work well enough.
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Old 06-29-05, 12:27 AM   #13
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instead of climbing on hoods i just climb in the drops... i do it fine, but i still prefer the hoods.

im just too lazy to swap from my CX lever setup... next time i rewrap the bars i might put normal levers back on... i miss the versatility due to the hoods
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Old 06-29-05, 12:52 AM   #14
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Use the CX lever, then put on _two_ dummy brake levers on the drops for climbing. you can take the levers themselves off pretty easily and just use the hoods. for some reason, hood-sans-lever looks kind of gruesome to me but it works very well.

i was riding with standard lever on right, nada on left, for a while and climbing was very strange. i installed a dummy hood on the other side today, and all is well. i think it may make the bike look more useless to thieves as well...it sure looks kind of mangled.

i did the bars-as-hoods thing but it was hard on my delicate wrists.
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Old 06-29-05, 05:48 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wangster
get some bullhorns so you can climb and still be up top, kinda in the same position as the hoods.
Word. I like the hood position as well, but my bike came with old-style road brakes with no hood transition thingy, just an uncomfortable metal junction. I flopped and chopped, and things are going swimmingly.
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Old 06-29-05, 09:33 AM   #16
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Bulls make it easy to skip and skid? Why's that?
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Old 06-29-05, 09:42 AM   #17
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If you want to be able to climb without using the drops you can use the Oldskooltrack bar wrap method.

http://www.oldskooltrack.com/files/handlebar.frame.html

The Soyo grips on the bends make it really easy to get a good grip on the bars. Your hands will not slip off those things unless they're covered in ice.
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Old 06-29-05, 08:02 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dolface
bullhorns are key for climbing, skidding and skipping, at least for me.

skipping is when you hop your rear wheel off the ground, stop it spinning, and drop it back down again, which scrubs off a lot more speed than skidding because the wheel is weighted when it hits the ground.

it's also pretty hard on tires.
And your knees.
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Old 06-29-05, 08:28 PM   #19
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And your knees.
Yes, I'm already feeling that even with a fairly low gear (42: 17), but I just can't stay off my bike!

Anyway, thanks kids. Your replies were helpful.
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Old 06-29-05, 08:41 PM   #20
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Cane Creek has some dummy hoods. I'm not sure when they're going to be avaliable, though (says Summer '05, but I haven't seen anything around yet)

http://www.canecreek.com/85.html
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Old 06-29-05, 08:52 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by explody pup
Cane Creek has some dummy hoods. I'm not sure when they're going to be avaliable, though (says Summer '05, but I haven't seen anything around yet)

http://www.canecreek.com/85.html
Perhaps they make them for tandems or something. Anyway, I'm not really into the whole dummy hood idea since the main reason I want a cross lever for aesthetics. I just think it looks cleaner. It doesn't really make sense to me to run a cross lever and dummy hoods. I might as well just have aero levers then, right? I'm also not awake enough when I'm riding to work at 5am to go brakeless, and my gimpy knee would not be happy at all. . .

Nittos here I come.

Last edited by Turnip; 06-29-05 at 08:53 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 06-29-05, 09:02 PM   #22
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tho it sounds like you've made up your mind, i'll throw this in for whats its worth ...

bull horns are way sexy and, in a rare case of form and function working well together, they make city riding lots easier ... imho obviously.

reasons:
- more hand positions (in my experience)
- easier skiding/skipping (clearly optional ... depending on number of brakes)
- more control of the front wheel and thus bike.

to clarify, i do not race, ride for speed or go more than 10 miles one way if i can help it. i use my bike as practicle transportation. if you have other needs, other bars may give you more of what you're looking for.
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Old 06-29-05, 09:04 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judah
If you want to be able to climb without using the drops you can use the Oldskooltrack bar wrap method.

http://www.oldskooltrack.com/files/handlebar.frame.html

The Soyo grips on the bends make it really easy to get a good grip on the bars. Your hands will not slip off those things unless they're covered in ice.
You'll get crazy blisters, too. Gloves!
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Old 06-29-05, 09:10 PM   #24
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if you go bullhorns for aesthetics, just chop some drops, they look way way way way better than the persuit or whatever they're called bullhorns
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Old 06-29-05, 09:11 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slartibartfast
tho it sounds like you've made up your mind, i'll throw this in for whats its worth ...

bull horns are way sexy and, in a rare case of form and function working well together, they make city riding lots easier ... imho obviously.

reasons:
- more hand positions (in my experience)
- easier skiding/skipping (clearly optional ... depending on number of brakes)
- more control of the front wheel and thus bike.

to clarify, i do not race, ride for speed or go more than 10 miles one way if i can help it. i use my bike as practicle transportation. if you have other needs, other bars may give you more of what you're looking for.
I meant, Nitto bullhorns. Thanks for your two cents.
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