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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 09-26-06, 08:09 PM   #1
br995
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Firing off at fixed-gears

Firing off at fixed-gears

An article by Duncan Scott Davidson of the San Francisco Bay Guardian taking issue with fixed gears.

What are your thoughts?

Last edited by br995; 09-26-06 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 09-26-06, 08:11 PM   #2
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I guess I'll have to take your word for it.
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Old 09-26-06, 08:25 PM   #3
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http://www.sfbg.com/entry.php?entry_id=1734

link that should work
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Old 09-26-06, 08:25 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Loooty
I guess I'll have to take your word for it.

here's a working linkie

http://www.sfbg.com/entry.php?entry_...0&issue_num=52
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Old 09-26-06, 08:25 PM   #5
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Classic San Francisco. The hating and slandering of its own citizens and culture. It's even better if you're in a band from there. Like this azzhole has nothing better to write about? Hey, guess what buddy? It's not like everyone doesn't already know that fixed-gear bikes are popular. Does he think he's on the ball with this? The what? 6th article on this topic in the past year? Ah, very fresh indeed! "Trucker hats and PBR"?? It ain't 2001 either bro. What a sorry and embarrassing attempt at social commentary. Truly nauseating.

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Old 09-26-06, 08:27 PM   #6
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He claims that since fixies started as track bikes, and that track-standing forced your opponent to ride in front of you so you could draft, and that since no one would want to draft while riding on city streets, therefore fixies must not be suited for city streets. The logic is infalible.
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Old 09-26-06, 08:33 PM   #7
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does the average joe schmoe really care? my impression has always been, in a city you either ride a bike or you don't, if you don't you think people who do are crazy. it doesn't matter what kind of bike.
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Old 09-26-06, 08:33 PM   #8
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vintage-T-shirt-clad Robespierres
Lolol.

Edit: This guy has a clear bias against fixed gears and is just trolling. Someone should run him over on a fixed gear.
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Old 09-26-06, 08:34 PM   #9
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Even if his logic is fallible, what is a reason that fixed gear is suited for city streets? I'm not trying to be a dick, I'm just saying that to me, fixed gear isn't perfectly suited to city riding. That's not to say it's not fun though .
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Old 09-26-06, 08:40 PM   #10
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No, the average joe does not care. Another reason this "article" serves no purpose other than to ruffle feathers and brand this hot-headed, slow-brained, dweeb as a johnny-come-lately, hack. I mean, at least get the basics right ya turkey.
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Old 09-26-06, 08:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Learn_not2burn
Even if his logic is fallible, what is a reason that fixed gear is suited for city streets?
Mechanical simplicity
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Old 09-26-06, 08:51 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Learn_not2burn
Even if his logic is fallible, what is a reason that fixed gear is suited for city streets? I'm not trying to be a dick, I'm just saying that to me, fixed gear isn't perfectly suited to city riding. That's not to say it's not fun though .
umm, let's see. the geometry is similar to a criterium bike with-out all the expensive parts to get stolen. it's also as reliable as an OX. that's probably why Jamaican messengers started this 'fad' 20+ years ago.

makes sense to me.
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Old 09-26-06, 08:52 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by operator
Mechanical simplicity

ie. less components to get dirty and ****ed up from the dirt and grime of city riding.
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Old 09-26-06, 08:54 PM   #14
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Yeah I hate how freewheels always fail before the teeth are worn down. It's probably the biggest inconvience of riding a single speed.
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Old 09-26-06, 08:54 PM   #15
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for all the people who say "fixed gear isn't a logical choice for the streets" i'd like to hear a decent reason WHY it isn't. i've never heard a good one.
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Old 09-26-06, 09:02 PM   #16
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well this guy is just pissed at the hipsters and whatever who think this is a fad, but you're just riding a bike, why should someone else care about your setup?
it's none of this guy's busisness what sort of mechanism drives someone's bicycle.
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Old 09-26-06, 09:05 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Learn_not2burn
Even if his logic is fallible, what is a reason that fixed gear is suited for city streets? I'm not trying to be a dick, I'm just saying that to me, fixed gear isn't perfectly suited to city riding. That's not to say it's not fun though .

I'd say I'm about as far away from the "all you need is one" fixed gear or death contingent, but I will say that I think one thing in particular really does make a fixed gear the best choice for city riding and that is the ability to trackstand. I can't remember the last time I had to unclip or take my foot out of my toeclips while riding in the city. It really makes things quicker and more efficient for me everytime I commute throught downtown.
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Old 09-26-06, 09:05 PM   #18
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Sounds like this guy doesn't know how to ride a fixed, and has never tried to learn about the pro's of riding fixed gear. Sure there is a downside to fixed gears (I think >.>) like there is a downside to everything else, but bashing something because you don't understand it is simply idiotic. Too bad the majority of people do this kind of bashing all the time .
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Old 09-26-06, 09:08 PM   #19
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The more articles that bungholes like this write for big-city alternative weekly papers=the ever increasing likelyhood of a Portland style crackdown by the po-po.
All it takes is some concerned mother of three to stand up at a city council meeting and demand that something be done about these brakeless terrorists!
Be warned.
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Old 09-26-06, 09:09 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evanyc
for all the people who say "fixed gear isn't a logical choice for the streets" i'd like to hear a decent reason WHY it isn't. i've never heard a good one.
Take Toronto for example. If your daily commute was north/south (uuup/dooown hill) then fixed might be a painful, sketchy hassle. Operator, you done the 30k commute fixed, yet?
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Old 09-26-06, 09:25 PM   #21
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this guy sounds like an angry aging hipster to me. sorry your youth is ending buddy, maybe you shouldn't have spent it being a ******bag.

i'd like to see articles like this from when skateboarding got big. yet another object that is about as unsafe and mechanically inefficient as possible, but damn are they fun. maybe i'm on to something here...
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Old 09-26-06, 09:41 PM   #22
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"You've got kids in the Mission with the left leg of their jeans rolled up, a little biker hat on crooked, slip-on Vans, and a brand-new fixed-gear Bianchi; and they don't know their ass from a light socket."
-who, with the exception of a very small few, rides with a left sided drivetrain?
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Old 09-26-06, 09:49 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Accident
"You've got kids in the Mission with the left leg of their jeans rolled up, a little biker hat on crooked, slip-on Vans, and a brand-new fixed-gear Bianchi; and they don't know their ass from a light socket."
-who, with the exception of a very small few, rides with a left sided drivetrain?

Haha, nice.

And of the things to hate on, the rolling up of a pant leg is so purely functional but it always seems to be brought up as a "hipster" thing.
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Old 09-26-06, 09:50 PM   #24
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I completely buy the entire mechanic simplicity thing, but singlespeed with brakes is the best compromise of safety, speed, and utilitarian simplicity.

You have to weigh the pros and cons of any mode of transportation:

This comparison is specifically for a brakeless fixed gear bike versus a singlespeed with brakes. I apologize if I misunderstood you all and you were discussing braked fixed gear bikes, in which case you could possibly argue they are superior. I am also not mentioning geometry differences that occur between track bikes and other road bikes, as I'm just comparing drivetrains. I am of course comparing bikes of similar parts quality spec, and a rider that wouldn't change their awareness, or safety priority. Sorry for all the qualifying statements, I just don't want to sound like a ****** by stating all my assumptions of the discussion.

Speed:
You can push a lot harder if you have brakes and can coast. You don't have to slow down as early for turns. Simply being able to slow more quickly makes you faster. Elimination of pedal strike allows increased speed through corners. The trackstand argument amounts to bunk because anyone with a decent amount of road experience can do a trackstand on a freewheeling bike as well. Half the time fixed gear riders are riding with clips and straps, and depending on how tight they run the straps, trackstanding doesn't really save time. Downhills.

Theft Prevention:
The elimination of derailleurs takes care of a major theft target, as well as tamper and damage-likely component. The brakes are the only addition of course, and I'd unfortunately have to assume these would be likely to be stolen, but like I said it is a weight of the pros and cons. Edit: Unfortunately fixed gear bikes are now probably more sought after than a lot of other bikes.

Reliability and Simplicity:
Just because a fixed gear cog is simpler, it doesn't inherently lend itself to higher reliability. Someone made a statement concerning that freewheels wear out before the internals fail, most freewheels are cheaper than cogs, and therefore I'd assume the total cost/mile would eventually even out.

Safety:
Brakes.

As I said, I'm not saying that Fixed gears aren't good on the street, I'm just saying when you do the math, a singlespeed wins out based out on all the factors that we judge a good city bike on: speed, reliability, and safety.

Last edited by Learn_not2burn; 09-26-06 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 09-26-06, 09:52 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Accident
-who, with the exception of a very small few, rides with a left sided drivetrain?
Doppelgangers.
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