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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 07-28-05, 01:19 PM   #1
timmhaan
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do you ever miss your high speed decents?

a few days ago i was bombing down this mile long hill in new jersey on my road bike. it's pretty steep, about 7-8% grade, so it can be a pretty fast decent. not too steep to be super scary but steep enough to get the heart racing.

anyway, even at 42mph in a full tuck with wind tearing at your face you think of the strangest things. i thought of all you guys, and how you wouldn't have been able to join me this day and experience the awesome pleasure of the 'free fall' decent.

you guys ever miss that being on fixies all day? i think this is the one reason i could never exclusively ride fixed. the fast decent is just way too good.
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Old 07-28-05, 01:23 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmhaan
a few days ago i was bombing down this mile long hill in new jersey on my road bike. it's pretty steep, about 7-8% grade, so it can be a pretty fast decent. not too steep to be super scary but steep enough to get the heart racing.

anyway, even at 42mph in a full tuck with wind tearing at your face you think of the strangest things. i thought of all you guys, and how you wouldn't have been able to join me this day and experience the awesome pleasure of the 'free fall' decent.

you guys ever miss that being on fixies all day? i think this is the one reason i could never exclusively ride fixed. the fast decent is just way too good.
Thats why I ski.
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Old 07-28-05, 01:24 PM   #3
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that's why i have a geared bike.
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Old 07-28-05, 01:24 PM   #4
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no - sure don't. I get pretty psyched hitting banked turns in excess of 30-35mph!
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Old 07-28-05, 01:34 PM   #5
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I still have fun on decents, except now I have more fun trying to figure out where to go if the light at the bottom of the hill turns red! The looks you get when your, say, going down Gough Street and keeping up with the cars, and they look over and realize you ain't got no brakes!!! I ludatsheet....
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Old 07-28-05, 01:35 PM   #6
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sure do... on long Straight hills i unclip my legs and let the pedals spin... but it just aint the same.

my next bike--whenever ill have one--will be a geared campy machine
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Old 07-28-05, 01:47 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by timmhaan
a few days ago i was bombing down this mile long hill in new jersey on my road bike. it's pretty steep, about 7-8% grade, so it can be a pretty fast decent. not too steep to be super scary but steep enough to get the heart racing.

anyway, even at 42mph in a full tuck with wind tearing at your face you think of the strangest things. i thought of all you guys, and how you wouldn't have been able to join me this day and experience the awesome pleasure of the 'free fall' decent.

you guys ever miss that being on fixies all day? i think this is the one reason i could never exclusively ride fixed. the fast decent is just way too good.
Spoken like a true roadie. Apparently, nothing gives you guys more pleasure than blowing by the fixies on the downhill. Of course, with few exceptions, you get your noses rubbed in it on the hills (reaching, reaching, reaching, NO MORE GEAR). Then you huff and puff and show us who's boss on the descent, again. It's a vicious cycle.
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Old 07-28-05, 01:54 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by eat_raw
Spoken like a true roadie. Apparently, nothing gives you guys more pleasure than blowing by the fixies on the downhill. Of course, with few exceptions, you get your noses rubbed in it on the hills (reaching, reaching, reaching, NO MORE GEAR). Then you huff and puff and show us who's boss on the descent, again. It's a vicious cycle.
Anyone who's ridden a freewheeling bike downhill knows how great it is. Anything else is rhetoric.
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Old 07-28-05, 02:00 PM   #9
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Well...
If you have a brake you can do that stuff with no problem. When I used to have one I'd race cars down Divisidero. I'd pass roadies all the time and its great cause they look at you like you're nuts when they see you spinning full speed down a hill.
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Old 07-28-05, 02:05 PM   #10
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I really love fast, high-spinning descents. I used to ski and snowboard, and descending a rough-pavement road on a 72" gear fixie (with brakes, thank you) reminds me of fast downhill skiing...but just a little more exciting!

Maybe the thrill will wear off eventually and I'll want to coast down hills again. For now it's one of the many things I love about fixed gear riding.

(and now that i think of it, coasting down hills was never a big favorite of mine anyway. i always pedalled! duh!)
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Old 07-28-05, 02:11 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jim-bob
Anyone who's ridden a freewheeling bike downhill knows how great it is. Anything else is rhetoric.
I've actually become QUOTABLE.......

Go figure.
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Old 07-28-05, 02:15 PM   #12
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yeah, the only issue i have with spinning on a decent is that (for me) it's not as smooth as being in a nice aerodynamic tuck. knees in, head down, in the drops with elbows slightly bent, back straight and just effortlessly letting the earth pull you down down down. 20mph, 25, 30, 35, 40....holy crap this fast!...45, etc...

a good decent can be beautiful and at the same time a terrifying thing. i thoughly enjoy a fixie for any other type of riding, but man it just can't hold a candle to my freewheel on those declines. but that's just me.
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Old 07-28-05, 02:22 PM   #13
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oh man....now i want a road bike....i love coasting down hill....i do miss it....bah

untili built this bike i was planing on getting a midlevel road bike...now i barely have cash to eat
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Old 07-28-05, 02:24 PM   #14
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oh man....now i want a road bike....i love coasting down hill....i do miss it....bah

untili built this bike i was planing on getting a midlevel road bike...now i barely have cash to eat
screw a freewheel onto your flip of your flop! climb up a big hill, flip your wheel over, and whiz down. Like sledding!
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Old 07-28-05, 02:25 PM   #15
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i LOVE my road bike.
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Old 07-28-05, 02:35 PM   #16
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screw a freewheel onto your flip of your flop! climb up a big hill, flip your wheel over, and whiz down. Like sledding!
You! Stop being practical THIS INSTANT! Are you even listening?!
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Old 07-28-05, 02:37 PM   #17
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Jim, I've waited so long for this moment...
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Old 07-28-05, 02:47 PM   #18
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I miss it, but there's a lot more to roadbiking that I don't miss. Still, I feel guilty every time I look at my poor roadbike, all lonely in the corner. This thread just makes me feel even worse. Maybe I'll subject it to my fabulous cleaning process this weekend.
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Old 07-28-05, 02:54 PM   #19
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Whoot-Whoot!
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DECENT: socially or conventionally correct; refined or virtuous; "from a decent family"

DESCENT: a movement downward; "the descent down the hill"
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Old 07-28-05, 02:55 PM   #20
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I now own at least one bike for any givin terraine. There is a hill in my parts you can hit 60mph on. It's got fresh pavement and the turns are wide open. I do want to try the flip flop method on these hills one of these days.
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Old 07-28-05, 02:58 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by jrowedc
I miss it, but there's a lot more to roadbiking that I don't miss. Still, I feel guilty every time I look at my poor roadbike, all lonely in the corner. This thread just makes me feel even worse. Maybe I'll subject it to my fabulous cleaning process this weekend.
that's right, J. clean it up real good then sell it
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Old 07-28-05, 03:05 PM   #22
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I've done the gravity/downhill/speed thing and scared myself at least once.
Otherwise, I don't miss it.
What would I miss?

I doubt if I will ever get on a geared bike again, unless the snow gets so deep I have to get on my old commuter with studded tires.
I like the exquisite control and purity of my fixed gear bike.
Besides, at 81" I can go faster than I want to fall and faster than the average roadie most of the time.

For the Portlanders: back in '74 I passed cars in the fast lane going downhill on Canyon Drive, my tires eventually becoming more airborne than in contact, floating over the texture of the road totally out of control, and I had some idea how Chuck Yeager felt breaking the sound barrier.
Like I said, what would I miss?

Kinda reminds me of a fire I fought.
I had the job of water-bucketing the advancing edge of a forest fire using a helicopter.
From a nearby lake I would pick up water in a bucket slung underneath my helicopter, and then I would fly through the smoke and parallel to the fire until I got close to the hot spot I needed to bucket.
As I got close enough I would turn the helicopter into the fire in order to swing my bucket away from the fire and then I would turn the helicopter away from the fire in order to make the bucket really swing towards the fire, and then I'd let the water go.
It felt a lot like floating over the surface of the road on Canyon Drive, just out of contact and just barely out of control.
Yes, a guy can really get into this.
It reminds me a lot of war except without the bullets and the dead people.
Anyway, as I did this a couple of times I could hear some screaming in the cockpit, which disturbed and puzzled me, since I flew alone on these water drops.
Hm.
Who do you suppose I heard screaming?
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Old 07-28-05, 03:18 PM   #23
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DECENT: socially or conventionally correct; refined or virtuous; "from a decent family"

DESCENT: a movement downward; "the descent down the hill"
damn, you're right. i hate when people are right.
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Old 07-28-05, 03:56 PM   #24
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i was just thinking about this. i starting missing the fast descents after watching the tour
and seeing those guys haul down hills and corner sharply. would i give up a higher probablity for dating potential for my derailleur?


nah.
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Old 07-28-05, 04:02 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eat_raw
Spoken like a true roadie. Apparently, nothing gives you guys more pleasure than blowing by the fixies on the downhill. Of course, with few exceptions, you get your noses rubbed in it on the hills (reaching, reaching, reaching, NO MORE GEAR). Then you huff and puff and show us who's boss on the descent, again. It's a vicious cycle.
I've never ridden with a roadie that didn't look at me in complete shock and comment about how I'm f-in crazy when they pass me spinning 150 down a hill.
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