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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 02-15-06, 08:31 PM   #1
michaelnel
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Stupid Newbie Question - Stopping a Fixie

My new bike is supposed to arrive via the Brown Santa on Friday at the place where I work. My first ever ride on a fixie will be riding that puppy during commute hour traffic on busy streets. Smart, huh?

Anyway... it's set up fixed. It has a flipflop hub, but no freewheel on the other side.

My question is about stopping. I will have front and rear brakes. When I ride a bike that can coast, as I approach a stop I tend to pedal to the bottom of a stroke and then coast while braking to a stop (routine stop, like a stop sign or stop light). Then when stopped I slide off the seat and put a foot down.

It occurs to me that this technique isn't going to work on a fixie where as long as the rear wheel is moving, so are the pedals. Short of the "hop off the back" technique Sheldon Brown describes on his site, what is the normal way to stop one of these things.

I realize it's a simple question, but I'm a simple guy.
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Old 02-15-06, 08:34 PM   #2
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Put negative pressure on the pedals - resist the pedals moving forward.

Or if you want to put less strain on your knees, use your handbrakes and let your legs "coast" by not applying forward or negative pressure.
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Old 02-15-06, 08:37 PM   #3
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I'm not really asking about how to get it stopped in terms of forward motion. I know I can use the brakes and / or reverse pressure on the pedals. I'm talking about what you do at that last 1mph down to zero to get a foot off the pedal and onto the ground.

It'll probably come to me easily when I feel it, and it's probably so second nature to you folks who ride fixies all the time that you can't comprehend the question.

I know.. trackstand. But *sometime* you've gotta get off the bike.
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Old 02-15-06, 08:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelnel
what is the normal way to stop one of these things.
without front and back brakes.
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Old 02-15-06, 08:38 PM   #5
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stop?
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Old 02-15-06, 08:39 PM   #6
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use brakes or backpressure to slow you down to almost a complete stop, then take 1 foot out of straps and put 1 foot down (with butt out of saddle), leaving the other one in the straps (i keep it at 9 o'clock). or do a trackstand.
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Old 02-15-06, 08:40 PM   #7
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OK, OK, I know it was a stupid question. Let the thrashing commence.
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Old 02-15-06, 08:40 PM   #8
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The bike slows down, you remove your foot from the toe clip and put your foot on the ground. Don't think so much about it
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Old 02-15-06, 08:40 PM   #9
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I usually come to a complete stop, and then lean left, rip my foot out of the clip just in time to stop myself from falling. At first, you can just pull your feet out of the clips, stop with the brakes, and then lean left or right and put a foot down.
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Old 02-15-06, 08:42 PM   #10
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It'll come naturally...I'm not going to be the one to tell you to go brakeless but for godsakes take off the rear brake...you already have one with your legs.
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Old 02-15-06, 08:42 PM   #11
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like you said, trackstand. but other than that, if you want to put a foot down to stop, just let the pedals slooowly rotate until you get to where you want to stop. much like, if not the same, as on a freewheeled bike. i dont think youll have any trouble and this part will come easy once you get on it. take a few laps around the parking lot and youll have no trouble
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Old 02-15-06, 08:44 PM   #12
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Yeah... I don't have it to ride yet, so I am obsessing about it instead.

Thanks, really, for the tips everyone.
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Old 02-15-06, 08:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvabiker
It'll come naturally...I'm not going to be the one to tell you to go brakeless but for godsakes take off the rear brake...you already have one with your legs.
I will. It came with both brakes as a package, but I intend to remove the rear brake after I get it.
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Old 02-15-06, 08:46 PM   #14
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If I plan on putting a foot I try to stop in such a position to keep my right foot on the pedal with the pedal at about 2 o'clock for a quick start and my left foot on the ground.
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Old 02-15-06, 08:46 PM   #15
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i suggest you walk the bike home on the first day
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Old 02-15-06, 08:47 PM   #16
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Nah...ride that ***** through rush hour as soon as you get it..and I'm not being sarcastic. Have fun and welcome to the club.
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Old 02-15-06, 08:51 PM   #17
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Dude, you have brakes on there. Don't worry. Just ride the bike around in the parking lot or where ever you are going to unpack it for 5 minutes before you dive into traffic and you will be ok.
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Old 02-15-06, 09:00 PM   #18
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No stop. Only go.
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Old 02-15-06, 09:07 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmgorman
stop?
My thoughts exactly.
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Old 02-15-06, 09:16 PM   #20
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what kind of bike are you getting?

Quote:
I am obsessing about it instead
that feeling will continue even after you get it.
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Old 02-15-06, 09:25 PM   #21
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haha, his first time riding and he's being told to trackstand.

I had a little trouble with it at first, but I wouldn't worry about it too much. Just get your feet to the position you want to dismount in and hit the brakes. Pull your foot out quickly and plant it on the ground.

It looks really akward at first. Really though, you should just try not to stop. I roll through lights and stop signs just to avoid stopping.
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Old 02-15-06, 09:27 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k3nho
what kind of bike are you getting?
A Milwaukee Bicycles "Orange One", kinda like this one:



Quote:
that feeling will continue even after you get it.
Heh... I bet you're right!
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Old 02-15-06, 09:29 PM   #23
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One maybe non-obvious thing... when I'm foot-down stopped, if I stopped with the pedals in a weird position, I will whip em around to the right position by tipping the bike forward (front brake engaged makes this easier w/ junk on the back) and spinning the pedals into the right position (clipped in foot at 3 o clock). It sucks to get caught flat-footed, i.e. your clipped in foot is at the bottom or back of the revolution and you have to skateboard-kick on the road to get started.
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Old 02-15-06, 09:37 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelnel
My new bike is supposed to arrive via the Brown Santa on Friday at the place where I work.
FYI (in case Santa has never delivered you a bike before): chances are it's not going to be shipped fully-assembled. Therefore, remember to bring a 15mm wrench for the wheels, 14mm for the pedals (or simply an adjustible wrench) and some metric allen wrenches for the stem, seat post, et cetera. Also, the tires might not come with air, so you should bring a pump. That is, unless the place where you work is a bike shop.

Last edited by SyntaxPC; 02-15-06 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 02-15-06, 09:42 PM   #25
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figure out how to skip and skid in a parking lot before you take it into traffic
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