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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 09-20-05, 05:15 PM   #1
travismcgee
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Is riding fixed in a free wheel group unsafe?

I have been invited on a 50 mile charity ride. The group is capped at 200 people. I am sure the group will split into several smaller bunches after a few miles. If I want to ride with a group of friends and they are all riding geared bikes, would it be dangerous to ride a fixed gear? It seems like it might be particularly with rolling terrain.

Thanks.
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Old 09-20-05, 05:18 PM   #2
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I ride in geared groups all of the time. Use a brake and you'll be fine, and don't skip or skid while in a paceline.
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Old 09-20-05, 05:18 PM   #3
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Depends on you and your bike control. If you think you're safe on your bike, then join the ride.
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Old 09-20-05, 05:21 PM   #4
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Shouldn't be a concern. I regularly ride with large geared packs. Just make sure you're running a brake in case riders a few inches in front of you decide to slow down.
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Old 09-20-05, 05:30 PM   #5
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i ride in the parks around here in fast pacelines and groups w/o a brake. but. . . they trust me and i trust them. i always go downhill outside of the group (more for their comfort than mine, but mine also) and these are smaller groups. slap a brake on, why not?
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Old 09-20-05, 05:38 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Msngr
i ride in the parks around here in fast pacelines and groups w/o a brake. but. . . they trust me and i trust them. i always go downhill outside of the group (more for their comfort than mine, but mine also) and these are smaller groups. slap a brake on, why not?
That is good advice on the downhills. That was my one area of concern.

Thanks.
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Old 09-20-05, 07:44 PM   #7
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Was taught that it was uncool to coast while in a pace line, so go figure
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Old 09-21-05, 07:00 AM   #8
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the guys here say they HAVE to coast or they will ram the guy in front. once you are in the bubble you don't need to pedal constantly

though I am slow and ride fixed gear so I would have to pedal regardless...

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Was taught that it was uncool to coast while in a pace line, so go figure
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Old 09-21-05, 07:19 AM   #9
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I have riden many times in pacelines brakeless. I usually let everybody in the paceline know that I can't stop as fast as them and I may do some weird things when hills, tight turns or stops are invovled.

I have been doing it for a few years, you should try it and see what your comfort zone is.

Get used to being past on fast downs!!!
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Old 09-21-05, 07:25 AM   #10
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Did a fun-ride with my friend on his Ultegra-ed out custom. He would blow by me on the downhills, and I would blow by him on the ups. The only problems I had were that he would seem to over-react to fluctuations in traffic; it seemed like he was far more willing to brake than I was. We got through the ride with smiles on our faces and no scars though.
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Old 09-21-05, 07:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heebro
the guys here say they HAVE to coast or they will ram the guy in front. once you are in the bubble you don't need to pedal constantly
Agreed, unless you like pedaling with your brakes on (geared of course) keep your pace, keep your space don't lose the wheel in front of you.
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Old 09-21-05, 11:30 AM   #12
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I ride in small & large agressive groups with my IRO. I prefer to use two brakes because we ride very close together, I prefer not to use my legs to brake too much, & some riders overreact to certain things. I find it slightly safer than on my Litespeed as I can slow with my legs if my hands aren't on the brakes. I believe all pack riders should ride a fixed (in the pack) to become more smooth.
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Old 09-21-05, 11:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rithem
Agreed, unless you like pedaling with your brakes on (geared of course) keep your pace, keep your space don't lose the wheel in front of you.
If you just sit up higher or move out to the side and catch more wind, and/or shift into a bigger gear, that tends to slow you down, and allows you to keep pedalling. If you start coasting, when the speed picks back up, you take too long to react, and then you cause a whiplike effect on the whole paceline. That forces everyone to break, and then over-react to get back up to speed. Then when they hit the front, their legs aren't fresh. This is why you shouldn't coast in a paceline.
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Old 09-21-05, 04:53 PM   #14
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Apparently the group in in the ride will include Levi Leipheimer and David Zabriskie. I will try not to make too much a fool of myself.
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Old 09-21-05, 05:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travismcgee
Apparently the group in in the ride will include Levi Leipheimer and David Zabriskie. I will try not to make too much a fool of myself.
Dude I want in on this ride.... That sounds awesome!

Don't worry about it but definitly slap a brake on. One of the pro's that comes out on my race rides show up with fixed gear once and awhile and kicks ass. He's always yelling "pedal!". Really the proper technique when in a group using a road bike is to pedal with the brakes on if you have to control speed.

I sometimes commute home with this local race team on my fixed and you can really see why the roadies like fixed for training, you cannot be lazy and by not being lazy you actually conserve energy. That is to say that you charge the hills rather then coast into them loose all momentum and then power up again over the hills.
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Old 09-22-05, 11:14 AM   #16
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when i'm riding,i don't want anybody near me!
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