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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 04-25-07, 02:34 PM   #1
Gee3
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New to Fixed gear... questions..

I am considering a fixed gear bike for fitness and was wondering what was the hardest part about transitioning from a multi-gear bike to a fixed gear? Or anything to a fixed gear...

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area so the hills scare me!

Thanks for your help!
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Old 04-25-07, 02:37 PM   #2
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Being called a hipster.

Seriously, the lack of gears will probably be frustrating at first, especially in such a hilly city.
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Old 04-25-07, 02:38 PM   #3
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The hardest part about the transition is having to be called a hipster by hipsters.
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Old 04-25-07, 02:38 PM   #4
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Haha, weird.
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Old 04-25-07, 02:47 PM   #5
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training yourself not to stop pedaling. go for a spin about 5 miles for the first day. recuperate (your legs may be sore) ride again, and again, and again. get a brake and just take your time. measure your coners too because turning can a scary thing. you'll have to make wider turns (if your BB is low) or when you learn to skid you can do a skid turn which is very useful and fun when you dont have the space to make a wide turn or when you have to turn sharply.
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Old 04-25-07, 04:26 PM   #6
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Cool, thanks for the tips! Yeah, not being able to coast will get some getting used to. BUt then again, i like to pedal going downhill. mostly to build up speed to carry me back up the next hill.

So would a Bianchi Pista be a good first SS bike to try out? I see them at my LBS and they just look nice and the Bianchi quality seems to be good. Plus they are relatively cheap (read: I may just be able to talk my wife into letting me get one since it's waaayy cheaper than the Cervelo or Look 585 I've been looking at! haha!
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Old 04-25-07, 04:33 PM   #7
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honestly i have no idea since i ride old time steel. they seem to be a solid bike and alot of ppl rock them. They look like a very good start but you will prob want to switch things up once/if (but most likely once) you get addicted. yea your wife would def. appreciate you getting it over the others
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Old 04-25-07, 04:37 PM   #8
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new wardrobe
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Old 04-25-07, 04:47 PM   #9
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Assuming you're mature enough to ignore the labels, stereotypes and pre-conceived notions that flood this board (and young minds alike) surrounding Pistas and fixed riding in general...

The Pista is a great start. It is affordable and of sufficient quality and appeal that resale would be no problem if it isn't for you.

Don't over think it. My advice would be to go ride one around the block. You'll likely end up buying it, enjoying it and figuring out the rest on your own time.

-James
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Old 04-25-07, 04:51 PM   #10
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I have told people trying it for the first time to drop your seat 1/2 inch more than standard. This will keep your legs bent so if you forget and try to coast you won't be ejected from the bike.
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Old 04-25-07, 05:07 PM   #11
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I'd also recommend opening that resource thread that's stickied at the top of the page. It's got links to threads we've had on here before FILLED with answers to almost every question you have right now.
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Old 04-25-07, 06:11 PM   #12
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don't try to coast.

your legs will hurt for a few weeks, and then you'll have muscles you didn't know existed.

when you hit a hill, just hit it. you've got no other choice. just muscle your way up it. stuff like that is really inspiring about fixed gear...sometimes you're just drained and you hit a hill and you hammer up it and just push past where you thought you could go and unleash potential you didn't even know you had.

you may tire out from spinning all the time. same stuff applies here. just spin.

speaking of which, make sure you're spinning correctly, or you may get some pain from it.

have fun.
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Old 04-25-07, 06:26 PM   #13
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I have a Pista and I love it. It's a great bike for the money.

I'd also try building a conversion from an old road bike. I've done that 4 or 5 times, and it's really a lot of fun.

Last edited by Jonny Pockets; 04-25-07 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 04-25-07, 06:32 PM   #14
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oh, yeah...my work bike is a pista frame and fork. i'm satisfied. it's an older one, i hear the tubing is better, but i don't know what the current tubing is. it's pretty decent.
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Old 04-25-07, 07:28 PM   #15
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About 3 hours of riding is enough to get over the instinct to coast. Its not really that hard to make the adjustment. If you are fairly serious about riding fast, the most challenging thing is finding the right gear. You'll get stronger and at some point find your self wanting to modify your gear ratio.
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Old 04-25-07, 07:29 PM   #16
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I think everyone tries to coast once... and only once.
In hilly terrain, it's going to take a little bit of time to get the strength and stamina needed to make it up big climbs, but you get the feeling of progress when you notice that you're a little winded after a hill that almost killed you a month ago.
If it's your first fixed and you're relatively knowledgeable about parts and fit, why not go for something used? Esp. if you're looking at something like a Pista that's pretty easy to find on craigslist or whatever...
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Old 04-25-07, 08:44 PM   #17
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I've been riding a fixie for maybe 6 months (it's a converted schwinn, it's red...), mostly because my other bike was stolen and someone gave this one to me. I had no idea it was so fashionable But now that I'm totally in love with it, can one of you boyz explain how to skid? What fun!

To answer the original question, the hardest part for me was learning to use my legs and not my hands to brake.
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Old 04-25-07, 08:52 PM   #18
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its a combo of leaning forward and pulling up on the toe clip with one foot and pushing down with the other foot. it takes a bit of coordination and getting used to but once you have it, its alota fun. after you get good with that and your legs become coordinated, you'll be able to do a seatseat skid/skip stop. check out this vid to see it done. its the kid with the Bianchi pista in the beginning at 15 sec.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZZdTgwT0rX8
also here for skids:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZpQO...elated&search=

Last edited by Gyeswho; 04-26-07 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 04-26-07, 01:56 AM   #19
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learning to stop the bike without a brake assuming you are going all out
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Old 04-26-07, 05:25 AM   #20
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o yea when you get the bike (whatever it may be) gear it so that it is in the high 60's range and then work your way up from there. have a bike shop change cogs and rings around for you and make sure you get a gearing that has one odd # in it to maximze your skid patches.
http://www.basementfreaks.com/member...ring/index.php
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Old 04-26-07, 05:25 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humancongereel
your legs will hurt for a few weeks, and then you'll have muscles you didn't know existed.

Assuming he would actually have made use of the R3 or 585 I doubt he is the type of rider that is going to have this problem. People who do are generally those who would hurt after any 20mile ride while those looking at 585s(even if not in peak physical condition) are more likely comfortable with 60+.

The pista is a decent track bike which means it's not ideal for as a road FG.
No rear brake mount(if you decide you want to switch to ss for more hilly climbs.)
No fender mounts(might as well make your rain bike the easiest to clean).
Track geometry.

There are plenty of road specific fgs that don't have these limitations now and may serve you purposes a bit better. If you think you want to start riding on the track soon as well the pista is probably your best bet though.
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Old 04-26-07, 05:54 AM   #22
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depends on the year of the pista(which predates the year of the monkey and the chicken)

ive seen some with the rear hole, and some without.
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Old 04-26-07, 06:02 AM   #23
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the trickiest part of converting my brain to fixed was not coasting when hopping up curbs.
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Old 04-26-07, 06:15 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kludge
depends on the year of the pista(which predates the year of the monkey and the chicken)

ive seen some with the rear hole, and some without.
since he is talking about them at his LBS in that green color I think it's safe to assume he is looking at 06 or 07s.
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Old 04-26-07, 10:39 AM   #25
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Thanks Gyeswho. I'munna try that right now. Cool vid.
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