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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 09-06-05, 12:22 PM   #1
djgonzo007
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Singlespeed and Fixed Gear, why so fun?

In browsing through this forums I see a lot of you on fixed gear or sport'n a singlespeed mention how fun they are. What makes them so fun? I'm thinking about building a fixie or singlespeed to commute on and save my road bike for the long weekend rides.
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Old 09-06-05, 01:18 PM   #2
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James bond rides a fixed gear. fixed.... not geared.
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Old 09-06-05, 01:18 PM   #3
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For me, when I'm riding a geared bike, the bottom of each gear requires work. Then, I get the RPM's up, and it's like a reward at that point. But, I shift again, and it starts all over again. On a fix or a SS, it's just one working part, and one sweet reward. A metaphor would be like making cookies one at a time, or just making one delicious pie.
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Old 09-06-05, 01:27 PM   #4
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I think the fun is one or a combo of three things. 1 it's a throw back to when you were a kid and just rode to have a good time with your friends ( I hope we still ride for the enjoyment of it ) 2 it requires more attention and skill than normal riding, you are always looking around and 3. my fixed seems to have more snap when you get on it, and you really feel like your flying when you cant coast.
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Old 09-06-05, 01:34 PM   #5
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multiple gears and coasting are fun too. but for me riding fixed is even more fun. you feel more involved because your legs are always moving and you have a completely different sense of control with the bike. especially brakeless.
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Old 09-06-05, 02:17 PM   #6
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I started riding more to try to stay in better shape, so the no-coasting aspect is good for kicking your ass on a long ride.

Also:
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed-testimonial.html
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Old 09-06-05, 04:01 PM   #7
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Have you ever been riding along on your geared bike and all of a sudden you notice it just feels right, like something clicks into place? There is equal pressure from the pedals and on your feet all the way around the stroke, it feels quieter, the road feels smoother, you're moving your feet but you dont feel like you're working, just sort of floating along? It happened to me a few times when I was riding strictly geared bikes. It's like that all the time on my fixed. I don't know how to be more exact, but if you've felt the "oneness" (sorry to get all zenny) then you know it.
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Old 09-06-05, 04:15 PM   #8
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It is a direct experience of riding. There are no extra sounds, no extra parts and no extra play in the drivetrain. It is as little as you can have and still be riding a bicycle. The best geared bike, in perfect tune and in the perfect gear probably feels very similiar at times but a fixed gear feels this way all the time, almost independant of how good a bike it is. It's like listening to a kick ass stereo vs. listening to music through crappy speakers. You might not notice how bad it sounds till you experience how good it could sound.

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Old 09-06-05, 04:15 PM   #9
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i like to use this analogy: some people like to dive stick over automatic, and not just for the better gas mileage. they just like the connection they feel when they're driving a stick-shift.

same thing with fixed, a lot of it is about the feel. on top of that there really is more control.

as for just plain fun, you can learn to track stand, ride backwards, cool dismounts and so forth
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Old 09-06-05, 04:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drolldurham
i like to use this analogy: some people like to dive stick over automatic, and not just for the better gas mileage. they just like the connection they feel when they're driving a stick-shift.

same thing with fixed, a lot of it is about the feel. on top of that there really is more control.

as for just plain fun, you can learn to track stand, ride backwards, cool dismounts and so forth
Understood. Best analogy yet.
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Old 09-06-05, 11:00 PM   #11
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Word to all the previous comparisons. Everybody has it just about right. I also love that awesome flow feeling you get riding thru NYC traffic brakeless. Gaps just open and you intuitively feel lines form beneath your wheels. I'm not much for zen bull**** but there is definitely something about it. Specially if the chainline is right and your rocking silent. I just did a ride to the parents house from the trainstation thru suburbia. Nobody on the road, nice pavement, had some tunes on. That **** was sweet, it's the closest you can get to flying without wings
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Old 09-06-05, 11:45 PM   #12
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With gears, you are constantly fiddling with shifting, or brakes, or cadence/coasting.

With fixed all your energy is just peddling and steering. It is smooth and organic, you become the bike and the bike, you!
Your mind is free to enjoy the ride, the response from your input, the feel of the bike moving with you. Poetry in motion...zen...moving meditation...yes the words can sound trite, but they ring true on the bike.






Ha! I rhymed,
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Old 09-06-05, 11:53 PM   #13
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the silence is one of my favorite parts
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