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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 08-18-07, 02:59 PM   #1
sac02
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trackstand musings...

The advice "just pick a day and practice trackstanding for two hours - you'll get it" does not work for those of us who don't have two hours a day to practice bike tricks.

Trackstanding through your first entire stoplight cycle is a good feeling.

It is surprising how fast I went from not being able to trackstand to rarely ever having to put a foot down.

Is it harder to trackstand seated or goofy-footed? (Attempted both unsuccesfully on my last few commutes)

Mac
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Old 08-18-07, 03:03 PM   #2
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I couldn't get trackstanding down at all when i was riding my peugeot conversion.

I got my Pista, put on risers, and i started to get it in 5 minutes. Not sure what part of the equation change helped, or if it just finally clicked and had nothing to do with bikes.

An odd thing about my trackstanding: I skid with my right foot forward 90% of the time, and am trying to get better at ambidextrous skidding. However, i trackstand with my left foot forward, and can hardly do it with my right foot forward right now.
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Old 08-18-07, 03:55 PM   #3
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You don't need 2 hours. Sure it helps, but it's more about trying every day than about how long you do it each day. In any case, it clicks for some people a lot faster than others. My friend Maggie could do it the first day she got her fixed wheel, but it took me 2 weeks.

Track standing seated (track sitting?) is really really easy. I think it's even easier if you only use your inside hand (ex if you turn your wheel to the left, only hold the bars with your left hand), and it's what you need to learn in order to get the balance for no handers. I find goofy-footed standing nearly impossible, but I skid with both feet no problem.
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Old 08-18-07, 04:11 PM   #4
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It does click faster for some, it seems. It wasn't happening for me so I started looking for "technique" online and asking a few people. None of their advice worked. One day I was noodling around in cirlces and I decided to just try riding reverse circles for the hell of it. Almost immediately I was in a trackstand, in a position opposite of what most told me should work. Found it without looking for it. Moral of the story? Experiment and find your technique, don't try too hard, and ignore advice. Oh, and it definitely happens differently depending on what bike I'm on.
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Old 08-18-07, 04:51 PM   #5
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don't ignore advice if you try it and it works.

only ignore it if you try it and it hurts rather than helps.
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Old 08-18-07, 06:29 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=mathletics;5097654] think it's even easier if you only use your inside hand (ex if you turn your wheel to the left, only hold the bars with your left hand)QUOTE]

+1

I think trackstanding out of necessity is the best way to learn. I practiced for a while at a local school but once I started trying to do it at lights was when it finally clicked.
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Old 08-18-07, 07:11 PM   #7
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Like studying, it's more about time management and daily practice for whatever amount of time you have available than cramming it into one day. Although I did manage to learn to trackstand over a weekend.

Really, just keep trying every day. See if you can make 30 minutes a day available. I used to practice skids and 'stands in a parking lot across the street at 2 AM, though now I'm much less enthusiastic.
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Old 08-19-07, 01:46 AM   #8
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Track standing will come to you eventually, don't focus too much on it. Usually comes out of necessity when you're at a stop light and you don't want to put your feet down.

Just ride, and the motion will come to you. You just got to rock back and forth.
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Old 08-19-07, 02:14 AM   #9
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I commute to work on my single speed everyday, and I've ended up judging the quality of my day by not having to touch the ground on my commute. It's hard to track stand in the morning after my coffee but on the way home I'm fine. I've read people say track standing on a SS looks funny, but if you do it right, you could barely tell. Just gotta be heavy on the front brake and throw the bike backwards a little bit (Impossible on the downhill though). It took around 6 months for me to get good at it but I'm pretty confident now.

I never actually practiced, I just always tried doing it at red lights. Oh, if you don't blow red lights like most bike riders, you'll learn quicker. YAY!
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Old 08-19-07, 10:56 AM   #10
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I had the hardest time getting trackstanding down on my 20"-wheeled fixed folder. A $400 ticket for blowing a red light fixed that real quick. Now I can trackstand at any (and all, Mr. Officer) red lights and stop signs.
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Old 08-19-07, 11:03 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by james_swift
A $400 ticket for blowing a red light...


$400!?

Damn.
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Old 08-19-07, 11:05 AM   #12
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In Sierra Madre if you don't put your foot down at a stop sign you can get cited.
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Old 08-19-07, 11:31 AM   #13
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the "trackstand" is a myth, much like the yeti, or it's north american cousin the sasquatch.... there's no possible way two wheels could stay upright without being in forward motion! keep practicing... something good will come of it i'm sure.
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Old 08-19-07, 11:41 AM   #14
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Try it on other people's bikes too. I do best on my buddy's Bianchi San Jose, its like trackstanding a couch. I jumped on his bike a hundred times before I rode 30 feet on it.


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Old 08-20-07, 10:40 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamtim View Post


$400!?

Damn.
OK, so I exaggerated a little...$386 for blowing a left red arrow in Silicon Valley. My theory is that since so many people who commute to the Valley do so now by rail and bike, the county needs to recoup some of that lost revenue normally provided by motorists. I also attribute it to the fact that pulling over a guy on a bike is far less intimidating than a traffic stop for a smoke-filled late-model sedan full of really big guys with tattoos.

Back to the topic at hand, trackstanding is best learned at an actual traffic light in traffic on a peak commute hour. The 2 mistakes I made learning to trackstand were not cranking the front wheel over far enough, and being fixated on the front wheel with a death grip instead of looking up at the traffic light with hands and upper body relaxed. Lots of guys talk about that "sweet spot" where you find balance without having to compensate as much. It takes a feel for the road angle, the surface (down to the actual bumps and debris your front wheel needs to roll back-n-forth over), and even the effect of the wind on you and your bike. But once you get it, its the same feeling you had when you first learned to ride a bike.
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