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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 12-17-06, 10:04 PM   #1
jchou701
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HELP: I'm new to Fixed gear biking

Hi,

I love biking, and was recently introduced to fixed gear biking.

I'm really interested in purchasing and learning how to ride a fixie

I was wondering if anybody can give me any tips on things such as, where to purchase a fixie (in San Francisco), what size i should get (i'm 6 feet), how to skid, what companies sell nice bikes for a decent price. etc etc.

I'm planning on having one brake for now since i'm a beginner

Any thoughts? thank you!
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Old 12-17-06, 10:09 PM   #2
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Your question has long answers. ur best bet is to go the the sheldonbrown website, read everything, and from there smaller more general questions would be easier to answer.
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Old 12-17-06, 10:10 PM   #3
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Go to a bike shop, they should have something. Everybody seems to buy the Bianchi Pista. To skid, lean foward, push down on one pedal, and pull up on the other.
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Old 12-18-06, 12:25 AM   #4
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thanks for the responses~!
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Old 12-18-06, 01:03 AM   #5
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D&D cycles on Balboa and 40th is an awesome neighborhood shop (my nieghborhood anyway). Mike will be able to answer any question you have about building or buying a FG bike. The guys and gals @ American, Avenue, Ocean, and Freewheel are also great.

Since you live in SF, I'd keep a brake on your bike if you plan on riding it anywhere other than the mission.
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Old 12-18-06, 05:39 AM   #6
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Also, I suggest building one yourself rather than going to a shop and buying an outfit. You'll learn more about it and you'll love it more.
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Old 12-18-06, 06:13 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Avian
Also, I suggest building one yourself rather than going to a shop and buying an outfit. You'll learn more about it and you'll love it more.
I keep seeing that, and I don't agree. Build yourself only if you have the time; I personally don't. If it's a choice between sitting inside building a bike or riding. I'd rather ride.

The route I went: I bought a cheap entry-level fixed, learned how to ride it, and made mental notes as to what I liked and disliked. Then, I sold it for close to what I paid for it, went to my LBS and specced out truly awesome custom bike. The only 'wrenching' time I spent was adjusting the seat and handlebar positions, wrapping handlebar tape.

It's an awesome bike, and if I ever build another, I'll do exactly the same thing.
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Old 12-18-06, 10:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schnee
I keep seeing that, and I don't agree. Build yourself only if you have the time; I personally don't. If it's a choice between sitting inside building a bike or riding. I'd rather ride.

The route I went: I bought a cheap entry-level fixed, learned how to ride it, and made mental notes as to what I liked and disliked. Then, I sold it for close to what I paid for it, went to my LBS and specced out truly awesome custom bike. The only 'wrenching' time I spent was adjusting the seat and handlebar positions, wrapping handlebar tape.

It's an awesome bike, and if I ever build another, I'll do exactly the same thing.
one factor to keep in mind, though, is the cost... you can build a conversion for 200-300 dollars that's much nicer than the kind of stock fg/ss you're going to find in that price-range, and if the op is new to fixed, maybe they'll want to keep it cheap, just in case it isn't for them. if money isn't an issue, then sure, go for what makes you happy, whether it's a fuji track, pista, a mark v, or whatever, but if the op is looking to find an inexpensive way to try it out, a conversion might not be a bad idea...
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Old 12-18-06, 10:22 AM   #9
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http://www.americancyclery.com/
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Old 12-18-06, 11:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john_and_off
one factor to keep in mind, though, is the cost... you can build a conversion for 200-300 dollars that's much nicer than the kind of stock fg/ss you're going to find in that price-range...
this is true, but for a newcomer, it can be pretty tough to know what to look for or where to look, especially if someone's looking to ride a fix tomorrow.

OP, yes, a brake is a good idea. so is reading the fixed "tutorial" at http://www.63xc.com/gregg/101_1.htm

as for skidding and trackstanding, there's a lot of information in past threads on this forum. use the search, digest the information, get a bike, give it a shot, and see how you do. have fun!
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Old 12-18-06, 11:34 AM   #11
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As for the bike size, you need a 58cm or 56cm. If you're more legs than torso, go for the 58.
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Old 12-18-06, 12:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john_and_off
one factor to keep in mind, though, is the cost... you can build a conversion for 200-300 dollars that's much nicer than the kind of stock fg/ss you're going to find in that price-range, and if the op is new to fixed, maybe they'll want to keep it cheap, just in case it isn't for them. if money isn't an issue, then sure, go for what makes you happy, whether it's a fuji track, pista, a mark v, or whatever, but if the op is looking to find an inexpensive way to try it out, a conversion might not be a bad idea...
You CAN if you know what to look for, but costs can add up quickly, and even if you DO know what to look for, building your own bike from parts can become a money pit. My first fixed was a conversion built on a free complete bike, but it still cost me $200, and the frame was a heavy gaspipe 1970s build. Which was fine. I sold it for what I paid for it, and built the next bike from the frame up. I shopped bargains, and built it up over the winter for less than it would have cost to buy a similarly equipped bike BUT it was time consuming, and a lot of work. It was only worth it because I enjoy building bikes. If wrenching and searching for bargains isn't your idea of fun, it's hard to beat the entry level complete bikes.
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Old 12-18-06, 12:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fixxxie
I don't want to turn this into a dis' bike shops thread, so all I will say is there are a ton of other shops that are better suited for people into fixed...

Check out freewheel on hayes, refried, boxdog and pedal revolution, also the bike kitchen is a good place to go to learn and find some cheap parts.

And, as always, read this: http://sheldonbrown.com/fixed.html

That should actually be a sticky for this forum....
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Old 12-18-06, 12:19 PM   #14
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decent low end track bikes: iro, bianchi pista, khs, fuji . . . alot companies sell track bikes in the 500-700 range.

But if you're new to it why jump right into dropping 600 bucks? I would reccommend picking up a fixed wheel and making a quick conversion and testing it out to see how you like it from there. Conversions are more fun too.
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Old 12-18-06, 12:30 PM   #15
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+1 for on Refried on Haight and the bike kitchen.
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Old 12-18-06, 12:52 PM   #16
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Sizing is tough. I am your height and ride a 62cm Nishiki. I also have a 57cm LeMond. Both fit me flawlessly. Sizing varies substantially with your body structure and physical limitations, though at your height *generally* you would be looking at the 57-59cm range for traditional geometry, and 56cm/Large for compact geometry. Much of it will come down to reach and flexibility. Definately try a few and see what feels best. After 5 years of fitting people to bikes, lately I've begun to think people should rely on instinct more than a formula that tells them what they should ride.
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Old 12-18-06, 08:06 PM   #17
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Why is Sheldon always downing fork ends? Is it cause removing the wheel requires derailment? That dude is so gully...
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Old 12-18-06, 08:15 PM   #18
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no, because sheldon is a huge proponent of the flip-flop hub and actually uses both sides.
Flipping the cog to a different gearing changes the position of the rear wheel, which with track ends might require you to adjust your brake pads.
having horizontal dropouts mitigates the brake adjusting issue
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Old 12-18-06, 10:51 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Why is Sheldon always downing fork ends? Is it cause removing the wheel requires derailment? That dude is so gully...
Because when fashion conflicts with function, I vote for function.

Rear-opening fork ends (dropouts are fork ends too, by the way) offer no benefit, on bikes with reasonable geometry, just make things less convenient and messier.

Sheldon "Turn On, Tune In..." Brown
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Old 12-18-06, 11:22 PM   #20
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http://www.sebikes.com/2007/bike-detail.asp?id=19
This will be the bike that ends these threads once and for all.
250, out the door.
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Old 12-18-06, 11:35 PM   #21
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http://www.sebikes.com/2007/bike-detail.asp?id=19
This will be the bike that ends these threads once and for all.
250, out the door.
no that'll just spell the beginning of 100000
"OMG I stripped my hub"
"my bike weighs 300 pounds"
"who makes ashtabula track cranks?"
threads
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Old 12-18-06, 11:41 PM   #22
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Because when fashion conflicts with function, I vote for function.
permasig?
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Old 12-18-06, 11:41 PM   #23
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no that'll just spell the beginning of 100000
"OMG I stripped my hub"
"my bike weighs 300 pounds"
"who makes ashtabula track cranks?"
threads
But I read about it in Dirtrag. They wouldn't lie to me, would they?
I'm getting less enthusiastic now that I've actually read what's on the bike, but still 250 is less than some people pay for their suicide conversions on craigslist.
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Old 12-18-06, 11:43 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baxtefer
no that'll just spell the beginning of 100000
"OMG I stripped my hub"
"my bike weighs 300 pounds"
"who makes ashtabula track cranks?"
threads
no way, one-piece cranks are the new njs!
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Old 12-18-06, 11:44 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garagegirl
http://www.sebikes.com/2007/bike-detail.asp?id=19
This will be the bike that ends these threads once and for all.
250, out the door.
jesus - I actually threw up and enjoyed it more than looking at that bike.

BMX embracing fixed gear? Oh my! San Francisco BMX superstars must be totally confused.

Everything is laughable. Everything. I am in love with marketing.
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