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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 02-03-06, 03:52 PM   #1
boots
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Passenger Fixie

Okay, this one's pretty weird.

My girlfriend doesn't really ride a bike, which can be kind of a drag in New York. So I want to be able to cart her around town on my bike. I'm thinking about building up a fixed mountain bike and outfitting it for this purpose. If y'all have any better ideas, I would sure love to hear 'em. This would be my all-purpose bike, because I never know when I'm going to meet up with her. I'm not much of a speed demon, so I don't mind the idea of making a mtn my daily ride. On the other hand, I sort of need all the help I can get, speed wise, so if a skinnier setup would work I'd like to know. Of course, it is important to me that this bike be fixed. I have a whole bunch of questions about this.

(I already know about that thing that extends your wheelbase to create an instant cargo bike, but that's not really for me. Need to be able to manuever in tight spaces.)

1) Will I need fatty tires for this to work? How fatty?

2) Will I need to compromise my gear ratio? It's okay with me if we go pretty slow together. On the other hand, I don't want carrying her to be the hardest thing in the world. And I don't want to spin like crazy whenever she's not along for the ride.

3) Are there any rear racks out there that can stand up to the abuse of a 120-130 lb lady?

4) Does it make ANY sense at all to think about asking a framebuilder to modify an old (or new) steel mountain bike to look something like this:



(paint is the new photoshop)

6) Could something like a banana seat work?

7) She'll probably want somewhere to rest her feet. But will I need larger axles (ie bmx axles) for pegs to work? I thought I remembered that was the case. Do they make fixed hubs with the larger axles? Would I have to dremel out the drop-outs?

Any other brilliant ideas would be much appreciated. Thanks all.
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Old 02-03-06, 03:55 PM   #2
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http://www.63xc.com/sidecar/sidecar.htm
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Old 02-03-06, 03:57 PM   #3
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i was just going to say....sidecar it up....i remember they used to have BMX sidecar racing
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Old 02-03-06, 03:58 PM   #4
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When I was in China I saw quite a few bike taxis. Alot of times there would be a guy riding the bike, and a woman sitting on the bike rack you mentioned in #3. There were a TON of these cabs around which leads me to believe that it is not going to be that difficult to bike with an extra person on back. Most bikes over there had fatter tires to deal with all the crap in the street - what would the total weight on the rear tire be with you and the lady?

I don't have any rack recommendations in particular, but think about the heavy loads messengers will carry from time to time
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Old 02-03-06, 03:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boots

1) Will I need fatty tires for this to work? How fatty?

I guess that depends if she's a fatty
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Old 02-03-06, 03:58 PM   #6
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that owns. you own. if you decided to build it, she'd have to be ****ing ******** to leave you
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Old 02-03-06, 03:59 PM   #7
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my daughter who is 11 and 5 feet tall occasionally rides on a basic mountain style rack on the back of my MTB. It's starting to get pretty top heavy, and that setup you propose has a MUCH higher CG.

Why not just have her ride on your handlebars?
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Old 02-03-06, 03:59 PM   #8
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get a tandem...
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Old 02-03-06, 04:04 PM   #9
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Instead of pegs (which'd make the whole situation of getting an appropriate rear hub more difficult), why not take your beater MTB-of-the-future to a welder (Rafael at Chelsea Bikes on 26th btwn 6/7 is great) and have them take another piece of metal and basically weld a 'running board' like thing onto the chainstay on the non-drive side? Should be strong enough and easy enough to place your feet that way...
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Old 02-03-06, 04:10 PM   #10
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get a new girlfriend.
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Old 02-03-06, 04:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sashae
Instead of pegs (which'd make the whole situation of getting an appropriate rear hub more difficult), why not take your beater MTB-of-the-future to a welder (Rafael at Chelsea Bikes on 26th btwn 6/7 is great) and have them take another piece of metal and basically weld a 'running board' like thing onto the chainstay on the non-drive side? Should be strong enough and easy enough to place your feet that way...
good idea... thanks
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Old 02-03-06, 04:12 PM   #12
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Rafael is great... I work right across the street and have seen them working on all kinds of crazy stuff -- one pedicab guy keeps coming in to get his pedi 'more hardcore' -- adding all sorts of reinforcements, struts, braces, etc. Never knew people worried about the handling of their pedicabs
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Old 02-03-06, 04:17 PM   #13
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Wait...so is she actually cool with the idea of riding around like this? I'm sitting here mentally polling most of the girls who I know (none of them ride bikes) thinking about whether they'd rather learn how to ride a bike or be carted around in some ******** looking contraption like that and I'm pretty sure I know the answer.

If I were you I'd probably talk to her about it first and make sure she's into the idea before you spend a bunch of money building up a bike.

If she's cool with the idea then you have a pretty sweet chick on your hands. Kinda weird but cool nonetheless.
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Old 02-03-06, 04:20 PM   #14
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convert a three speed hub to a two speed fixed and run front and rear brakes. http://fixedgeargallery.com/articles...amwebster1.pdf
i second the tandem idea. if she's going to learn to sit balanced on that creation, then you might as well convince her to sit balanced and pedal on a fixed tandem. and she can always put her feet up...
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tandem-build.html

i wouldnt want to ride around with all that weight in the back.
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Old 02-03-06, 04:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boots
3) Are there any rear racks out there that can stand up to the abuse of a 120-130 lb lady?
i saw a guy in montreal pick up his girlfriend on his bike. she just sat on the rear rack. so i guess it could work. kinda sketchy though.
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Old 02-03-06, 04:27 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isotopesope
get a new girlfriend.
Heh. A little harsh, but that's pretty much what I was thinking.
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Old 02-03-06, 04:39 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinfield
Kinda weird but cool nonetheless.
yeah, sounds like her.
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Old 02-03-06, 04:41 PM   #18
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that would rule if you got that built.
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Old 02-03-06, 04:43 PM   #19
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>1) Will I need fatty tires for this to work? How fatty?
I'd go with some 2" slicks- shouldn't be much slower with just you, and would save a lot of pinch flats.

>2) Will I need to compromise my gear ratio? It's okay with me if we go pretty slow together. On the other hand, I don't want carrying her to be the hardest thing in the world. And I don't want to spin like crazy whenever she's not along for the ride.

Flip flop. it's the only option.

>3) Are there any rear racks out there that can stand up to the abuse of a 120-130 lb lady?
Look for super-heavy duty euro racks, and a frame that's designed for a rack. Put pegs on the rear, so that not all the weight is on the rack- i believe there are pegs which will work with a mtb-sized bolt on axle. You also might want to consider having the rack welded on.
I've seen someone in cambridge carrying their daughter to school with a banana seat bolted to the rear rack.

I thought about this same thing for awhile, since i had a gf who didn't ride, and was convinced that she couldn't learn how. Then i got her 24" cruiser & taught her how to ride. Now she gets grouchy whenever we don't ride somewhere, and looks wistfully at the little black iro mark V owned by one of her coworkers.
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Old 02-03-06, 04:45 PM   #20
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-Depending on what welding equipment I'll be getting my hands on in the next few weeks, I may be able to help you out with making something like that.
-No brakes still? You're adding 130lbs of moving mass, even more if you take her out for dinner. Do you think you could skip/hop whit that much weight over the rear tire?
-My friend is experimenting with fixed reduction hubs. Right now he has a fixed with a 1:1 ratio and one with a 25% reduction. You might want to look into that for loaded/unloaded riding.

Last edited by AfterThisNap; 02-03-06 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 02-03-06, 04:46 PM   #21
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yea i was the same on the idea that if she's not keen on riding a bike - the odds don't seem to be high that she's all for riding passenger on something you made. doesn't sound like the kind of girl who would appreciate it.
hypnotize her and convince her to love bikes - then you won't have to. it's as easy as one, two, follow the watch...
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Old 02-03-06, 04:50 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AfterThisNap
-Depending on what welding equipment I'll be getting my hands on in the next few weeks, I may be able to help you out with making something that.
sweet!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AfterThisNap
-No brakes still? You're adding 130lbs of moving mass, even more if you take her out for dinner. Do you think you could skip/hop whit that much weight over the rear tire?
of course, i will use at least a front brake

Quote:
Originally Posted by AfterThisNap
-My friend is experimenting with fixed reduction hubs. Right now he has a fixed with a 1:1 ratio and one with a 25% reduction. You might want to look into that for loaded/unloaded riding.
what does this mean? it sounds interesting.
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Old 02-03-06, 05:09 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boots


what does this mean? it sounds interesting.
Imagine a Sturmey Archer 3 speed coastining hub. Same concept, except only 2 gears, and the hub also happens to be fixed. With the 1:1 ratio, you feel like you're riding whatever ratio is afforded by your chainring/cog size. When you shift gears, the internal gearing reduces the effective ratio by 25%, it feels somthing like gaining 1.5 to 2 teeth on your cog (based on my friend's explanation).

If you don't want "on the fly" shifting, or don't like the look of a top/downtube shifter, it should be easy to create some sort of push button or cam mechanism near the hub to keep the bike uncluttered.

My friend's system works pretty well.
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Old 02-03-06, 05:12 PM   #24
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BTW, if you do actaually create this, NOTHING will be able to make me resist the temptation to chase you down and leapfrog onto the back if I see you cruising around solo.
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Old 02-03-06, 05:17 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boots
what does this mean? it sounds interesting.
http://fixedgeargallery.com/article...hamwebster1.pdf
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