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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 09-22-05, 07:46 AM   #1
jimmymc85
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Single to Fixed?

Just a little background, I live in Boston and commute to work in Canton. Jamacaway to VFW to Route 1 for those of you familiar with the area. I also row on the Charles every evening and 2-3 times a week in the morning. In total, I log 35-45 bike miles a day depending on how many practices I have on the water. I currently have two bikes, a cdale with DA/ ultegra mix and a Specialized Allez which has been converted to single speed.

I prefer to ride the single speed, and am thinking about making it fixed. First though, I have a couple of questions/ issues about riding fixed. My current setup is 52-16 (Vert drops w/ half link). Even at this, there are a few hills that I have to coast some on the way down. At 30+ miles an hour I just canít keep up. How will this effect me on a fixed bike. Will I have to brake in order to keep from spinning to fast?

Also, I like my 52-16 ratio, and I have no problem starting up at that gear on a single speed. However, with fixed I will not be able to rotate the crank every time I come to a stop to get a good leverage position. Should this be much of an issue? Finally, there are several points in my daily commute (pot holes, curbs, etc.) that I routinely need to bunny hop. How the hell do you do this if your legs are still spinning?
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Old 09-22-05, 08:32 AM   #2
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1) 52-16 is a high ratio, ive gone down some crazy steep hills at like 30mph on my 42-16 and ive never lost control.
2) WHat i did for my first few months riding fixed when at a light pick the seat up and spin the wheel with my one foot thats still clipped in to where i want to start. But after a while i got a good enough trackstand that i just start and stop from the cranks at 3 and 9 postition of my trackstand, and since im still clipped in woth both feet it works great.
3) im still working on the bunny hop, i can do it as well as i can on a geared bike, but thats not saying much. its definitely wierd to have to keep pedaling in the aie; but once you're used to never stopping pedaling it wont be that hard to learn
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Old 09-22-05, 08:35 AM   #3
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Sounds like you've answered most of your questions. Downhills, you'll either brake, or learn to spin faster.

Pedal position at the start isn't that big of a deal, in my experience. You get used to stopping with the pedals in a desirable position. Or pick up the rear and rotate them, when first getting on.

Bunnyhops can be done. There was a thread that discussed them in depth, do a search. Basically, it comes down to timing, and learning to just jump, regardless of pedal position.
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Old 09-22-05, 08:57 AM   #4
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Sounds like hills shouldnít be that much of a problem, though I certainly see myself braking in the beginning. I really need to work on getting my cadence up, as a I have a tendency to mash - thus the high ratio

Pedal position. Now that I think about it, the only reason that my pedals usually arenít in a powerful position is because I always try to track stand, last 10-15 seconds, end up loosing my balance and unclipping my right foot. My left foot is then always stuck at 12. I have heard that it is easier to track stand on a fixed than a single, Maybe I will be able to stay balanced a little better.

Bunny hops while spinning. This is the real issue. I have never hopped with my feet in anything but the 3 and 9 position. Its going to take a lot of work to figure how to do it while spinning. At least I know itís possible.

I guess the only other question I have is about replacing my rear wheel, or adapting it. My wheels are currently Open pro/ 105 with spacers and 16t cog. Should i go with something like the surly fixxer, or just get a whole new rear wheel?
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Old 09-22-05, 10:26 AM   #5
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Both will work, it just depends on preference/budget. I would think that the fixxer would be cheaper than a new wheel though, and it already matches the front one.
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Old 09-22-05, 02:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmymc85
I guess the only other question I have is about replacing my rear wheel, or adapting it. My wheels are currently Open pro/ 105 with spacers and 16t cog. Should i go with something like the surly fixxer, or just get a whole new rear wheel?
Depends on how precise your chain tension is with your current setup. If it's perfect- go with the fixer/surly hub etc. If not, you might want to consider a ENO eccentric hub, which allows for the adjustment of chain tension w/vertical dropouts.

Dropping a chain on a fixie at speed is not something you want to do. Trust me on this one.

Fatbat.
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