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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 05-19-06, 10:37 AM   #1
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Cornering on a fixed gear in traffic

I was thinking of fixing an old Schwine gas pipe 10 spd (wouldn't want it to breed) but how is a fixie going around corners? I've ridden the track on a fixed gear but never the street. I like the idea of being able to track stand at stops but does it take a lot of adjustment to get used to going around corners fast?
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Old 05-19-06, 10:44 AM   #2
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It depends on a lot of factors (bb height, crank length, etc...), but in general it's not really a problem if you're careful and dial back your speed when necessary.
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Old 05-19-06, 10:46 AM   #3
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conversted road bikes tend to have lower bottom brackets than track bikes. 165mm cranks and low profile pedals can help you avoid pedal strike. also, recognize that you're not gonna be able to get low around turns. at least, not as low as if you could coast through it with your inside crank at twelve o'clock.
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Old 05-19-06, 10:55 AM   #4
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Use a brake
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Old 05-19-06, 11:05 AM   #5
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thats why I ride a SS, I corner way to tight...
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Old 05-19-06, 11:05 AM   #6
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use shorter cranks (165). Pedal strike can be an issue though its nothing I've personally experienced. The most annoying part is when im close to a curb and i smack the pedal as its comming down. Thats usualyl a lowspeed, trying to sneak around a car thing. i sometimes do a little skip if i think im going to fast, or skid through a corner if im feeling a little reckless and its a route im familiar with (and know where all the potholes are)
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Old 05-19-06, 11:10 AM   #7
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165mm cranks are the way to go
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Old 05-19-06, 11:12 AM   #8
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I think a clipless pedal helps a lot by being less "thick" and lower at the edge. I don't find that my crank limits my cornering at all, even though I ride a 170 on a conversion. It does cause trouble when I overtake cars on the right... can't get the pedal over the curb because it would certainly hit. With a coastie, I'd have 5 extra inches of road to use. Oh well...
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Old 05-19-06, 11:13 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by abeyance
Use a brake
yeah, but get your speed down before you turn. braking the front wheel through a turn is a good way to get hamburger hip.
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Old 05-19-06, 11:22 AM   #10
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i pedal struck once, mostly because i was racing and excited and not paying close enough attention. shattered the dustcap on my pedal: boo.
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Old 05-19-06, 11:28 AM   #11
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yeah, but get your speed down before you turn. braking the front wheel through a turn is a good way to get hamburger hip.
hamburger hip?

does he have it?-------------->


no really though could you explain it?
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Old 05-19-06, 11:33 AM   #12
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scraping the **** out of your side, i believe.
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Old 05-19-06, 11:40 AM   #13
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interesting term then... i don't get it. Having done it myself and seen others do it, never resembled hamburgers
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Old 05-19-06, 12:22 PM   #14
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ride a frame with a decent bb height, use short (165) cranks and real track pedals with low side profiles. you won't have a problem. spend some time learning your bike, how it rides, and how to effectively corner on it. to corner tight, lean your body, not the bike.

i ride with all those things and over the last 6 years of riding fixed, have experienced bad pedal strike maybe 3 or 4 times and have only gone down once because of it.
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Old 05-19-06, 01:00 PM   #15
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i'm gonna +1 on the pedal thing. get good, short pedals. whenever i have doubts, i just skid thru turns. if nothing else, the sound wakes everyone up. blown out two tires doing that on bad road surfaces though, so, skid/corner wisely.
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Old 05-19-06, 01:06 PM   #16
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I've never struck a pedal in 14+ months of riding my conversion daily in traffic. I ride a Nishiki with 170mm cranks and Time ATAC clipless pedals - I'm sure the clipless pedals help in that regard.

The only thing I really watch out for is squeezing between vehicles and the curb, but if it's really close I just unclip one foot. I don't usually corner at high velocity though, so ymmv.
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Old 05-19-06, 01:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerseysbest
thats why I ride a SS, I corner way to tight...
Hahaha! That reminds me of when I rode my wife's gearie to work one day and thought, "wow, I can really lean this biotch over!." I did, but I skidded the back on the plastic they lay down for crosswalks. Good times, I couldn't believe how slowly and smoothly I was going down with the ship!

To the OP: I have a gaspipe Schwinn that I converted. I put some 165mm cranks on it. Chainline's not perfect, but it's okay. cornering is no problem, it's very stable because of the geometry. It used to be a 27"er, but now I'm running 700C. It not bad. It's my on-call-bad-weather fixie.
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Old 05-19-06, 02:22 PM   #18
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I can only remember hitting pedals twice and once was on my road bike in a criterium. My current fixed gear has 170mm cranks and spd pedals and I've never hit. You just need to learn your bikes dimensions and go with it. Also you can get away with leaning into turns while holding the bike more upright too. I learned that trick from muddy cyclocross racing. If you have to make really tight low speed turns (like in a parking lot) you can turn harder on the pedal up stroke and come back to level on the down strokes.
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Old 05-19-06, 03:16 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celephaiz
interesting term then... i don't get it. Having done it myself and seen others do it, never resembled hamburgers
It doesn't make your hip/side/elbow look like this:


It makes your hip/side/elbow look more like this:
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Old 05-19-06, 04:20 PM   #20
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I ride an old conversion in traffic and also on club rides. I run 175 mm pedals and I corner as sharp as needed without pedal strike.

Anyhow ... you are riding on traffic and you should know that you need to take the corners a little easier than in the track.

36 spoke wheels and 25 mm tires are satisfactory going over nasty railroad tracks, rough pavement, some cobblestone, some gravel.
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Old 05-19-06, 06:43 PM   #21
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with fixed, it's really easy to backpedal and adjust your speed as necessary. you can dial it right in as you're turning. you don't want to brake while turning, especially not with only a front brake...as mentioned. but...yeah. you can adjust speed on a fixed while turning. make sure your gear ratio is right, too...if you have to skid into a turn, you may be just as much at risk of eating **** as you would if you leaned too far.
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Old 05-20-06, 11:51 AM   #22
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Thanks all. I think I may be getting the fixie bug, hope its not terminal!
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Old 05-20-06, 12:08 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by MacG
It doesn't make your hip/side/elbow look like this:


It makes your hip/side/elbow look more like this:

WTF is that? That looks more like canned cranberry jelly stuff or pickled beets than ground beef. So yeah, pickled beet hip.
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Old 05-20-06, 05:16 PM   #24
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I have experienced a few pedal strikes around corners but I have not fallen because of it yet. i just switched to 165 cranks and i actually struck today, its scary but I think that it can be easily avoided.
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Old 05-20-06, 06:20 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noriel
Hahaha! That reminds me of when I rode my wife's gearie to work one day and thought, "wow, I can really lean this biotch over!." I did, but I skidded the back on the plastic they lay down for crosswalks. Good times, I couldn't believe how slowly and smoothly I was going down with the ship!

To the OP: I have a gaspipe Schwinn that I converted. I put some 165mm cranks on it. Chainline's not perfect, but it's okay. cornering is no problem, it's very stable because of the geometry. It used to be a 27"er, but now I'm running 700C. It not bad. It's my on-call-bad-weather fixie.
Seems a 27"er with 700Cs would compound the cornering problem. It's got a lower bottom bracket than a track bike to begin with, *and* you're lowering it even further by running smaller wheels than the frame was built for.

I too have a 27"er gaspipe conversion (Nishiki, in my case.). It's got pretty crappy cornering clearance, and I've had to adjust my riding style accordingly.

Fortunately, it's just my bar-bike/grocery getter. For riding fixed any furher than a few miles, or at faster than leisurely cruising speeds, commuting, for instance, I opt for the IRO.

-Trevor
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