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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, 09:15 PM   #1
fixedpip
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Flat bars and skidding

Is there an art to using flat bars on a fixie?

I really like the position they give but so far can't get forward enough to skid without getting that sketchy feeling. Any suggestions as to stem length, drop etc that may work?

Currently the bars are uncut and so are kind of wide. Would cutting them help? Or should I just give it time? Only been riding this for a day after years of riding with drops.

Why flat bars now? I'm leaning towards getting a Cetma rack to make this my utility track bike and flat bars work great with these racks (but obviously not if I can't stop)
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Old 07-28-05, 09:41 PM   #2
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haha, "utility track bike."

But sorry, I don't have any insight to share.
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Old 07-28-05, 09:45 PM   #3
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i never ride flat bars, so i cant really compare...however unless im riding in the park (meaning no need to skid) im always riding on the flat of both my drops and my tt bars...hands right next to the stem...never had a problem skidding with either of them...if its causing you problems just "relearn" how to skid...start out slow until you feel comfortable at higher speeds with these bars
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Old 07-28-05, 10:01 PM   #4
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you ride on the flat most of the time? i think i spend 85% of my time on the drops.
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Old 07-28-05, 10:04 PM   #5
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try putting bar ends on them.

cutting them down won't help you skid, it will just give you a closer grip (which loses a bit of control) and slimmer lines to get through traffic.

if you are holding too tight, you might find that your shoulder angle uncomfortably constricts your chest and gives you breathing trouble. not trouble per se i guess, but it prevents the full and effective opening of your chest.
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Old 07-28-05, 10:45 PM   #6
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put the nuts on the stem
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Old 07-28-05, 11:03 PM   #7
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Grab a handful of front brake.
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Old 07-28-05, 11:26 PM   #8
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The funny thing about this (to me at least) is that I remember seeing Pip do some crazy smooth(and long) skids back when I first started working in San Jo a year ago.
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Old 07-29-05, 12:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fixedpip
Is there an art to using flat bars on a fixie?
I've seen guys do it. Having a long stem helps if you plan on skid stopping.
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Old 07-29-05, 06:45 AM   #10
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Anyone ride flat bars with those little tiny sorta chopped off stubby bar ends? Those seem like they'd be pretty cool looking, unobtrusive and give you another coupla hand positions plus they always have them for like $10 at Nashbar.
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Old 07-29-05, 09:39 AM   #11
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You don't need bar ends. Just lean against your bars. You're steering with your hips.
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Old 07-29-05, 09:55 AM   #12
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There's a guy here in PGH who uses a Nitto track stem with tiny little riser bars. I don't think he has any problems skidding but he's pretty experienced.
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Old 07-29-05, 10:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fixedpip
Is there an art to using flat bars on a fixie?

I really like the position they give but so far can't get forward enough to skid without getting that sketchy feeling. Any suggestions as to stem length, drop etc that may work?

Currently the bars are uncut and so are kind of wide. Would cutting them help? Or should I just give it time? Only been riding this for a day after years of riding with drops.

Why flat bars now? I'm leaning towards getting a Cetma rack to make this my utility track bike and flat bars work great with these racks (but obviously not if I can't stop)
i have flat bars and can skid just fine. i really don't understand the need to push really far fwd to do short, everyday skids.. usually just getting my butt off the seat a little is more than sufficient.
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Old 07-29-05, 10:31 AM   #14
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I run risers. All skids are just fine. Short, long, fancy, etc. I don't really notice any significant difference between risers, flats, bulls, or drops in terms of skidding. Also I have a rather short 12cm stem and the bars are not leaned forward. For long skids you are resting your thighs against the bars. Little weight should be on your hands (that is why no handed skids work just fine), so it does not matter what kind of bar you run (unless it is a really weird one). For short, seated, check skids (aka skips) all you need to do is unweight the rear a little and stop pedalling. Again there is very little pressure on your hands and hand position does not matter much for those skids either, so it should again not matter what bars you are running.

However, for learing skids bullhorns are probably the easiest.
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Old 07-29-05, 10:40 AM   #15
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Also, keep the bars somewhat wide (shoulder width approx. maybe +1cm on either side). I always rode sub 40cm wide bars, because I thought it was better in traffic. Now I run risers fairly wide and have no problems in terms of squeezing past cars either. I think the whole narrow bar advantage is mostly psychological.
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Old 07-29-05, 02:16 PM   #16
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Related but OT. I've been try to learn to skid, getting way forward with the crotch up and such; but as soon as I begin to apply a significant amount of negative pressure on the pedals, I get a huge amount of instability and sideways wobble in the handlebars and steering. No actual skidding. What am I doing wrong?

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Old 07-29-05, 02:28 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peripatetic


Related but OT. I've been try to learn to skid, getting way forward with the crotch up and such; but as soon as I begin to apply a significant amount of negative pressure on the pedals, I get a huge amount of instability and sideways wobble in the handlebars and steering. No actual skidding. What am I doing wrong?

You still have too much weight on the back wheel. For long skids the more weight you can get off the back the further you will go (yes and the faster you go the further you go too). You should lean as far forward as you can. Not just with your crotch but with your entire body. Try getting your head past the front wheel. If done right your posture will resemble that of a ski jumper. Rest your thighs against the bars. I think you also are trying to muscle the skid too much and that is why your bars are jerking. There should only be little pressure on your knees, legs, feet, etc. if done right.
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Old 07-29-05, 02:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peripatetic


Related but OT. I've been try to learn to skid, getting way forward with the crotch up and such; but as soon as I begin to apply a significant amount of negative pressure on the pedals, I get a huge amount of instability and sideways wobble in the handlebars and steering. No actual skidding. What am I doing wrong?

More to add to what 46x17 said: commitment is a big part of it too. Commit to it. Believe you can do it.

Technique wise, what you want to do is be stiff in the upper torso. Get mildly rigid up front and the legs should be as straight as you can (though I find my legs are always bent anyway) but loose (not relaxed per se, but loose).

As always, it's easy to practice this on fine sand/gravel or some other kind of path, walked or ridden or on damp/wet/snow streets or grass!
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Old 07-29-05, 02:43 PM   #19
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brakeless with a (huge) rack?

if you're talking about utility, you might as well get a brake on this bike. doesn't mean you have to use it all the time, but if you're trying to be fashion conscious and utilitarian at the same time, you're going to have issues.
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Old 07-29-05, 04:08 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ink1373
brakeless with a (huge) rack?

if you're talking about utility, you might as well get a brake on this bike. doesn't mean you have to use it all the time, but if you're trying to be fashion conscious and utilitarian at the same time, you're going to have issues.



"utility track" does sound like it's verging on oxymoron. Just kind of a weird description. I like my front brake, and I really find I don't have to use it that much. I consider it insurance against having no health insurance.

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Old 07-29-05, 06:13 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ink1373
brakeless with a (huge) rack?

if you're talking about utility, you might as well get a brake on this bike. doesn't mean you have to use it all the time, but if you're trying to be fashion conscious and utilitarian at the same time, you're going to have issues.
You're right. I was just trying the bike out brakeless as this how I used to ride it and really it turned out to be just getting used to the feel of the bike. Now I'm starting to get the hang of it.

Bizarely I found that rotating the bars so they sweep away from me really helped, although this may be a confidence issue.

But when I put a rack on, I will also slap on a brake as I'm going to get lazy.

The utility fixie really is much more to do with the fact that I love fixed riding a lot more than my geared bike but I often need to carry some decent loads. Seen a few messengers here rocking the single speed flat bar and rack and it definitely seems to work for them.
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Old 07-29-05, 06:55 PM   #22
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you can get used to skidding with anything, just a matter of getting the feel for it.

my little frankencross bike...

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Old 07-29-05, 07:42 PM   #23
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brunning, as f.u.c.k.i.n.g cute as those bars look, you might benefit from wider bars, which allows you to open your chest and breathe more efficiently.
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Old 07-29-05, 08:52 PM   #24
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I covet that pinarello.
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Old 08-12-05, 09:50 AM   #25
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I highly recommend CETMAracks. The mid-size 6rail would probably suit a fixie best. And drop bars work with all CETMAracks, in case you're wondering.

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