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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, 09:16 PM   #1
VeganRider
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Have my first fixed gear and the LBS suggested I start out with a front brake. Put one on from an old road bike that had a 105 set up. I notice that when I pull as hard as possible the front wheel will not lock up like it will on my road bikes. Is this just the rim surface on a fixed gear wheel? I would think so; is there any other kind of pad that you guys would use that grabs the rim better? or is this just the way it goes? thanks.........
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Old 09-20-05, 09:27 PM   #2
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Nothing to do with rim surface. Check your brake pads for wear - if they're worn replace them. Check your cables - get them properly adjusted.
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Old 09-20-05, 09:29 PM   #3
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I'd go for adjustment as the most likely culprit, especially with a brake that was just put on...
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Old 09-20-05, 09:37 PM   #4
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also try using alcohol on the rim itself. did you recently repack your headset? maybe some of the grease you were using dripped on to the wheel. The pads may have to be replaced but try using alcohol (isopropyl) on the braking surface before you replace.
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Old 09-20-05, 10:02 PM   #5
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I clean my rims with Simple Green and sandpaper my pads when my brakes stop being grippy. Kool Stop pads are the best out there, IMO. Also make sure your cable is adjusted so your pads contac the rim at halfway through the pull.

That should have you doing endos. If not, you might need to service your caliper or replace your cable.
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Old 09-20-05, 10:18 PM   #6
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yeah, probably an adjustment issue, there's no difference in the front wheels of fixed and non-fixed bikes. In response to the question in your title, I think that unless you're a great skidder/skipper than your front brake should be the nicest part on your bike...or you should at least feel confident trusting it with your life (which you do whenever you get on your bike.)
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Old 09-21-05, 06:59 AM   #7
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Your front brake should work. That's the bottom line. It doesn't need to be DA or Chorus to stop you. And I've never heard of anybody locking up their front wheel on pavement, but maybe that's just me.
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Old 09-21-05, 08:03 AM   #8
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Oh, it happens.
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Old 09-21-05, 09:46 AM   #9
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Oh, it happens.
Come on, you can't drop a teaser like that and not tell the story.
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Old 09-21-05, 09:51 AM   #10
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Nothing more to say. My biggest war story is the time I was following a car too closely, they stopped suddenly for a crosswalk and I endo'd up on their trunk at like 10 mph. I think others here have more exciting tales.
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Old 09-21-05, 10:12 AM   #11
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I'll bite with a good f.b. lockup story. I had just gotten my conversion with a flip/flop hub and was riding the freewheel to get used to the bike. I was coming up Mass Ave in Cambridge from MIT towards Central, which meges with main street and I blew a red light. This is typically fine because you have a good view of the folks merging from Main and I could clearly see that the only thing that would get in the way was a moped that would (I figured) merge well ahead of me. I was probably going 20.

Anyway, the person on the moped noticed me right as she was meging into traffic and--I have no idea why--got scared at my approach and stopped dead in my path. I looked at her, she looked at me and I suddenly realized she wasn't going to move. Slammed on the front brake and next thing I knew, I was flying over the handle bars. After getting up I did the following things, in this order:

1. Ensure that I hadn't scratched the bike. I hadn't.
2. Check to see that she had a red light and that's why she stopped. Realized she had no light at all.
3. Yelled at the top of my lungs, "What the **** were you doing? Why on earth did you stop?"
4. Realized that she was a very nice, very bewildered, very attractive Italian woman on a celeste-green Vespa.
5. Apologized profusely, took all blame (well, it was totally my fault), and left saying, "Oh yeah, everything's fine, I mean I didn't even scratch it."
6. Bought a bike helmet.

Not sure this would have happened if I'd been riding fixed.
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Old 09-21-05, 10:16 AM   #12
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Oh to the o.p. any old brake is fine. I ride fixed with a really cheap shimano f.b. and those few instances I need it works perfectly.
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Old 09-21-05, 10:20 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herst
1. Ensure that I hadn't scratched the bike. I hadn't.
2. Check to see that she had a red light and that's why she stopped. Realized she had no light at all.
3. Yelled at the top of my lungs, "What the **** were you doing? Why on earth did you stop?"
4. Realized that she was a very nice, very bewildered, very attractive Italian woman on a celeste-green Vespa.
5. Apologized profusely, took all blame (well, it was totally my fault), and left saying, "Oh yeah, everything's fine, I mean I didn't even scratch it."
6. Bought a bike helmet.

Not sure this would have happened if I'd been riding fixed.
You didn't invite her to... let's say a coffee?
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Old 09-21-05, 11:24 AM   #14
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This occurred before I read this thread:

Fixed = date ?

And learned that injuring oneself is a natural segue into a date.

Last edited by herst; 09-22-05 at 06:01 PM.
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Old 09-21-05, 11:24 AM   #15
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I locked my front brake once...ended up narrowly getting run over by a Mercedes and scraping my knee up pretty good. One of the few times I wasn't wearing my helmet. Luckily I went over my bars and onto my knee, not my head.
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Old 09-22-05, 11:53 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herst
This occurred before I read this thread:

Fixed = date ?

And learned that injuring oneself is a natural segway into a date.
There's nothing natural about segways.
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Old 09-22-05, 11:59 AM   #17
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my second fixie wreck ever led to one of the most amazing nights of my life. a little bad resulted in a whole lot of good.....
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Old 09-22-05, 11:59 AM   #18
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yeah those front brakes are dangerous. I hear way more stories about people going over the bars than frontbrakeless people being unable to stop.
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Old 09-22-05, 12:52 PM   #19
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Ooh, there's a great handbrake horror story about Dokushoka's roommate. It involves late night drinking, our usual racing afterwards, and someone playing drums on the pavement with their head.
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Old 09-22-05, 01:00 PM   #20
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especially because the front brake encourages high speeds in places where it is not adviseable.
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Old 09-22-05, 01:07 PM   #21
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Segue:
se·gue Audio pronunciation of "segue" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (sgw, sgw)
intr.v. se·gued, se·gue·ing, se·gues

1. Music. To make a transition directly from one section or theme to another.
2. To move smoothly and unhesitatingly from one state, condition, situation, or element to another: “Daylight segued into dusk” (Susan Dworski).

n.
An act or instance of segueing.

Segway:
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Old 09-22-05, 01:21 PM   #22
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haha. i love how in advertisements for those they are rarely going faster than the people walking around them .... why not just walk wtf
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Old 09-22-05, 01:56 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 46x17
yeah those front brakes are dangerous. I hear way more stories about people going over the bars than frontbrakeless people being unable to stop.
could that be because the former are more likely to live to tell the tale?
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Old 09-22-05, 02:08 PM   #24
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It could.

My friend thinks it is because the frontbrake riders have less of manliness complex and therefore it is easier for them to admit their mistakes.
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Old 09-22-05, 03:58 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 46x17
yeah those front brakes are dangerous. I hear way more stories about people going over the bars than frontbrakeless people being unable to stop.
Funny. I've been run over by one, almost two of the latter. (Thanks for not killing me, Jeff, because you were booking and that would have hurt!)
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