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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 05-24-07, 10:48 AM   #1
ECDkeys
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bit off a little more than I could chew

So I had learned to ride fixed on a stock bike I bought back in December, and just recently I decided to convert an old road bike. I had been running a gear ratio of 48/18, so I thought I'd try 48/17 this time around. How much different could it be, right?

The stock bike has handbrakes, which I'm thankful for, since it's saved me many times when I was still learning to skid stop. On my conversion, I took the handbrakes off and marvelled at the simple machine that stood before me. Then I took it on the road and freaked out. Skidding took a hell of a lot more effort and strength than I was prepared for.

When I determined the gear inches, I found the difference between the two bikes to be around five (the stock bike was 70, my conversion 75). Also, because I took the brakehoods off the bars, I lost my preferred grip for executing skids. So fighting the inertia of the 5 extra gear inches apparently is enough to kick me in the butt.

On the bright side, it makes riding 70 gear inches seem effortless in every aspect of riding.
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Old 05-24-07, 10:50 AM   #2
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Put a brake on and - voila! - problem solved!
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Old 05-24-07, 10:54 AM   #3
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it's harder to skid on conversions than on track bikes...
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Old 05-24-07, 10:56 AM   #4
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Put a brake on and - voila! - problem solved!
And switch to an easier gear.
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Old 05-24-07, 10:57 AM   #5
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Become proficient in 80 gear inch skids and you'll be that much better at 70 GI.
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Old 05-24-07, 11:01 AM   #6
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Well, I'm gonna keep this conversion at 75 GI. But the front brake is going back on. Just two days on this bike, and I already feel the benefits. It will offer me the choice each morning, "Hard ride, easy ride?"
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Old 05-24-07, 11:13 AM   #7
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Hoods are good for skidding and a lot of other things as well. If you don't want to run a 2nd dummy hood you might want to consider a flip and chop.
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Old 05-24-07, 11:18 AM   #8
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it's harder to skid on conversions than on track bikes...
o rly...
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Old 05-24-07, 11:53 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by andre nickatina
Become proficient in 80 gear inch skids and you'll be that much better at 70 GI.
Im still baffled by my friend who rides brakeless on 88 gi, he skids all the time.
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Old 05-24-07, 06:22 PM   #10
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I've got two friends one that rides 49x13 and one that rides 52x14, and they both ride brakeless. They just also happen to be beasts
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Old 05-24-07, 06:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ECDkeys
Well, I'm gonna keep this conversion at 75 GI. But the front brake is going back on.

Yup. Screw the clean brakeless look and forget about skidding. Put a front brake on there and gear up. I just went from 76 to 81 inches and my top and average speeds are higher. Hell yeah I use my front brake to slow down. I've been busting my ass way too hard blasting past roadies on the hills to have the energy to slow that big gear down.
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Old 05-24-07, 07:57 PM   #12
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Im still baffled by my friend who rides brakeless on 88 gi, he skids all the time.
well, you'll adapt to whatever ratio you have to be honest.
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Old 05-24-07, 08:15 PM   #13
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o rly...
ya rly.

Geometry is much different, but it really depends on the frame.
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Old 05-24-07, 08:18 PM   #14
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ya rly.

Geometry is much different, but it really depends on the frame.
O RLY
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Old 05-24-07, 08:46 PM   #15
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O RLY
uh.. YA







RLY.
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Old 05-24-07, 09:21 PM   #16
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After stripping my Sakae road crankset I switched to an Origin8 track crankset, which came with a much larger ring (46t instead of 40t). It hurts the top of my feet so much to try to skid. There's no way I could go brakeless at 87gi! I'm going back to 77 as soon as I get a new ring or cog.
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Old 05-24-07, 09:33 PM   #17
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Damn you all running over 80 gi on the streets. Make me feel like a 90 lb weakling getting sand kicked in his face.

So I can't decide about keeping the drops and putting the handbrakes back on, or going for the bullhorns with one of those cyclocross brake levers on the flat part. What's a good source for those anyways? (I'd be surprised if an LBS around here carried those.) I'm not keen on the aesthetics of the bar end aero levers. Come to think of it, the jury's still out on those 'cross levers.

And then the classic, brakeless, look of the drops makes me reconsider the whole thing.
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Old 05-25-07, 03:10 PM   #18
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Well, I just finished putting the bullhorns on, and now it's a breeze to skid. Also to trackstand. Goes to show how much I relied on the brakehoods to execute all these things. On the brakehoods, or on the top of the bullhorns, makes a world of difference. May not need that front brake after all.
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Old 05-25-07, 03:14 PM   #19
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I think the new rule of thumb should be "if you need to make a thread on the internet asking if you need a front brake, you need a front brake."
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Old 05-25-07, 03:14 PM   #20
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Id keep er on for the time being paduwan. If you don't touch it for a month, then start to think about taking it off.
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