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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 10-21-06, 07:21 AM   #1
aal
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Total beginner question

I know this is a personal choice, but thought I'd ask anyway. I haven't ridden at all in a number of years and never a fixed or ss. The bike shops I talk to say start with a ss freewheel set up, get comfortable with it, and go to fixed if that's what I want. Sounds like good advice, but I'd rather just skip the freewheel and go straight to fixed. I'm interested in everyone's advice here. Thanks.
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Old 10-21-06, 07:26 AM   #2
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either way riding fixed will take a bit to get used to. that said, my friend started riding fixed after not being on a bike in years and didn't have a problem. do what you want.
the longer i ride, the less i listen to what "the guy" at the shops say.
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Old 10-21-06, 07:27 AM   #3
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If that's what you wanna do, just do it. The "big deal" about fixed is just the fact that you can't stop pedaling. It'll feel a little strange at first maybe, but it's really not that hard to get used to if you just think about what you are doing, and avoid going on auto pilot. You'd still have to do that after switching from SS anyway. I never went SS, and never was even slightly tempted to put a freewheel on my fixed bikes. Of course I've got plenty of geared bikes. DO use a brake though. Them's my 2¢
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Old 10-21-06, 07:28 AM   #4
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hubs with freewheel on one side and fixed on the other are very common.

if you don't ride at all, maybe you should try singlespeed first. before i went fixed, i was riding a 10-speed 20 miles a day, and i made it a point to keep it in one gear and to never stop pedaling. that made the transition very smooth. but hey, i'm not you. only you know what's best for you.
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Old 10-21-06, 08:05 AM   #5
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Im agree with Mattface.......
Riding SS has absolutely nothing to do with riding fixed.
Why not just stick your gearie in one gear and ride it, then ?
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Old 10-21-06, 08:43 AM   #6
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Do you have a geared bike that you ride frequently now?
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Old 10-21-06, 09:14 AM   #7
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If you start riding again with fixed, you might crash a couple of times or just feel generally uneasy on the bike and give it up... so it sounds best to get a bike with a SS/fixed flipflop hub and try the freewheel first. Flip the wheel to fixed when you are confident on the bike, which may be on the first day or in the third month. The ability to go back and forth between ss/fixed later is nice, too.
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Old 10-21-06, 09:21 AM   #8
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I went straight to fixed after not having ridden for quite a few months. It was weird for five minutes and I've been fine ever since.
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Old 10-21-06, 09:26 AM   #9
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I'd just go fixed. If you're going to get wet you might as well swim. I'd been racing BMX for awhile and then this past spring began riding fixed. If you have some background and feel comfortable on a bike with racing geometry, that helps. Practice in an empty parking lot and get comfortable before you hit traffic. The more you ride and practice the better you'll feel. And yes, use a front brake until you consider yourself extremely skilled.
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Old 10-21-06, 09:31 AM   #10
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fixed is just so much more fun than SS. Like others have said, if you get a flip flop hub you can do fixed on one side and SS on the other. But fixed is where it's at.
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Old 10-21-06, 09:39 AM   #11
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Learning to ride fixed is almost like learning to ride again for about a month at most,do go straight to fixed if you like,just take it easy! Also if you'll be riding a track frame as opposed to a "fixie" or a conversion it'l be very twitchy until you get used to it due to the higher bottom bracket/shorter wheelbase(general geo stuff!)

But do start with a brake!! If you feel comfortable after awhile take it off at your own risk but I can promise at some stage or another you'l be happy you have the emergency lever!!
A flip-flop hub would be a smart choice tho...!
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Old 10-21-06, 09:44 AM   #12
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Try out one and then the other, all you need to flop the wheel is a 15mm wrench and 2 minutes.
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Old 10-21-06, 10:08 AM   #13
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Since you haven't ridden a bike in years, I'd say go with a flip-flop hub. Start on the freewheel side and get used to the gearing and handling. Once you feel comfortable, just flip it yourself, only takes a few minutes and a 15mm wrench. Even if you find yourself mostly riding fixed, it will be nice to have the option of flipping to free (with a smaller gearing) if you do a hilly ride.
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Old 10-21-06, 10:18 AM   #14
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I started with a SS because I wasn't sure if I was ready to give up my ability to coast. My first run on a fixed gear had me a little nervous and I avoided some of the hills just to be safe.

I agree with the line of thought to practice in a parking lot first. I was happy that I did. When you are ready, take it out on a road with wide shoulders or on a bike path/MUP. In no time at all, fixed will feel completely natural and way more fun than freewheeling.
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Old 10-21-06, 11:44 AM   #15
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I had't ridden any bike in years, then I got an old crappy peugeot and rode it full gear for as long as it took for my fixed wheelset to be built. I haven't touched a freewheel or a brake since and I had no problems.
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Old 10-21-06, 12:48 PM   #16
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The whole reason I asked if you currently had a geared bike you ride frequently was to ascertain your level of fitness. If you haven't riden in a long time or if you a getting in shape on the bike then start ss, once you get a bit stronger then switch to fixed. Oh and run a brake.
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Old 10-21-06, 01:17 PM   #17
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I haven't ridden in years. I'm in pretty good shape generally, but for sure don't have any cycling muscles built up. Also, there are a lot of hills around here.
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Old 10-21-06, 02:00 PM   #18
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Quote:
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I'm in pretty good shape generally, but .
rofl...
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Old 10-21-06, 05:33 PM   #19
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i'll have to second and third the previous replys. i built a ss after about 4 years or not riding daily.. after riding for two months, i've switched to fixed, and got it the first day. my front brake has saved me a couple times in sf tho.
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Old 10-21-06, 05:45 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aal
I haven't ridden in years. I'm in pretty good shape generally, but for sure don't have any cycling muscles built up. Also, there are a lot of hills around here.
Dude, stop being scared. Stop making excuses. Man up. Just do it and get it over with.
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
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Old 10-21-06, 05:50 PM   #21
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Use a bit of common sense.

Common sense won't have you, in your first week:

- Bombing hills
- Riding with traffic
- Riding brakless
- Trying to learn to skid
- Racing taxis

Or any other craziness.

Just take it easy, buy the Capo (it's a good bike), put a brake on it, ride through the park, ride long, get sore, get exhausted, get stronger, and before you know it you'll be fine.

Just Do It.
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
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Old 10-21-06, 06:21 PM   #22
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Carleton, you're awesome
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Old 10-22-06, 07:52 AM   #23
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Thanks for the advice. I've decided to go fixed with a front brake. Should have the bike in a couple of weeks or so; can't wait.
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Old 10-22-06, 09:01 AM   #24
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Breaks are good
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Old 10-22-06, 05:00 PM   #25
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time out for you...take 5!
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