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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 12-30-07, 07:25 AM   #1
plodderslusk
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Fixed at fifty

I have wanted a fixie conversion for some years and had planned to use a Gianni Motta frame with 120mm spacin. Got a cheap flip-flop wheel from Ebay and decided to make a studded fixie from a small Crescent 531 frame from 73 that I got for 10 dollars. Turned out OK and I made my first ever ride today. Scared in the downhills but riding on ice was just incredible. Smooth and quiet. Conditions on the fireroads were horrible with a little dry snow on top of refrozen slush. Had a couple of falls, I guess one gets better "fixiereflexes" after a few tumbles. All in all a much more enjoyable experience than I had thought.


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Old 12-30-07, 08:08 AM   #2
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Nice pictures and nice bike !

I think I am a little too scared to take anything but a mountain bike out on snow/ice but then again living in Norway I expect it is hard to avoid for you.
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Old 12-30-07, 08:10 AM   #3
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Sounds good. 50 years old you mean?
Thats cool. You must be fit. My pops died at 50.
Keep riding.
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Old 12-30-07, 08:16 AM   #4
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50 on a fixie is not impossible.... but you really have to take care of you knees.... and all the other parts that creak..........that reminds me I better go take a handfull of asprin
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Old 12-30-07, 08:17 AM   #5
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needs deep v's
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Old 12-30-07, 08:31 AM   #6
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ill be riding at 50+ forsure.
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Old 12-30-07, 08:54 AM   #7
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Fixed at 50 shouldn't be a problem so long as positioning is correct. This should be the case on any bike for that matter to ensure years of pain free riding.
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Old 12-30-07, 09:14 AM   #8
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I love the design on those old Crescent bikes. So cool looking.
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Old 12-30-07, 09:20 AM   #9
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nice build - ever thought about a set of Nokian Hakkapelittas studded tires to help with ice riding?

they are 700x35s though, not sure if they'd fit - but the tires on the bike now look a bit knobby. What are they?
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Old 12-30-07, 10:05 AM   #10
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You are certainly brave to be riding fixed for the first time on refrozen slush. This is something I'm reluctant to try. What I'm worried about are sudden shifts in balance caused by sliding around on bumpy ice and loosely packed snow. Instinctively I twitch my legs and body which I believe would tend to mess with the pedal stroke and make a sketchy situation even sketchier. On my freewheeling bikes, the ability to coast helps me stay upright on crappy ice/snow.

I see kids here riding fixed with no problem all winter. But I only see them on the plowed streets where the conditions are easily manageable. I wonder what they do on terrain I'm only comfortable taking on my cross bike.
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Old 12-30-07, 10:44 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by pitboss View Post
nice build - ever thought about a set of Nokian Hakkapelittas studded tires to help with ice riding?

they are 700x35s though, not sure if they'd fit - but the tires on the bike now look a bit knobby. What are they?
I stopped riding studless in winter many years ago. This bike has Nokian 106 700 tires. Great thing with the old frames is that they have room enough for studded tires.
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Old 12-30-07, 10:48 AM   #12
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very cool! i hope to be in good enough shape to still be riding at that age, much less be able to take falls on ice.
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Old 12-30-07, 11:22 AM   #13
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Fixed at 50 is ok as long as you're sure you don't want to have kids in the future. Or contribute to the sperm bank in case you change your mind.
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Old 12-30-07, 05:04 PM   #14
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There are a bunch of us in our 50's, 60's, 70's and some in their 80's who ride 3,000 to 6,000+ miles per year on all sorts of bikes.

By the way, I learned to ride on a single speed. It was in 1943 when I was 4 years old, and that was all we had - single speeds.

I am surprised some of you seem to think that a 50 year old would somehow be especially challenged by a SS or Fixie on ice, and that some sort of special precaution is needed just because one is 50 or older.

Last edited by DnvrFox; 12-31-07 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 12-30-07, 05:38 PM   #15
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Riding anything on ice scares me ****less.
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Old 12-30-07, 06:06 PM   #16
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Nice looking bike Plodderslusk--
enjoy
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Old 12-30-07, 09:05 PM   #17
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Superb bicycle.
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Old 12-30-07, 09:34 PM   #18
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Nice pics and bike.
Thanks for sharing!
Welcome to the fixed at fifty club. I started riding FG at age 49 and now have 2 FG bikes so I guess I'm drinking from the Kool Aid too.

For you youngsters out there- no special precautions are needed if you are reasonably fit. I often do 40 mile rides in a 44X16 gear on rolling hills terrain.
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Old 12-30-07, 10:16 PM   #19
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I was a total geek when I was in my 20's. Today at 53, I'm totally cool, much stronger, and have been riding fixed gear for the last dozen years or so. I'm not sure if chicks dig me for my fixed ride or the grey hair. It doesn't matter.
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Old 12-30-07, 10:45 PM   #20
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I started riding fixed when I was 44 - after I had been diagnosed with knee problems. 3000 non-coasting miles later, my knees haven't felt better.

A few tips.

Keep your gears low. I run a 40-15 and might actually go lower.

Use your brake to stop the bike as much as you can. Reverse torque is one element of fg riding that makes my knees hurt.

If an when you learn to trackstand, do it sparingly. Trackstanding is the other thing that might make my knees hurt.

Finally, take great care with bike fit, especially saddle height.
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Old 12-31-07, 02:13 AM   #21
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Great bike!

Thanks for the pictures.

At age 61, I ride year round on a fixed gear bike.

Now that I have a proper fit between my bike and myself, I find that riding a fixed gear bike has given me healthier, happier knees.

I've ridden on Nokian 106's, 240's, and now 294's, and they make winter riding so much easier and safer...and more fun, too.
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Old 12-31-07, 02:21 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by plodderslusk View Post
I have wanted a fixie conversion for some years and had planned to use a Gianni Motta frame with 120mm spacin. Got a cheap flip-flop wheel from Ebay and decided to make a studded fixie from a small Crescent 531 frame from 73 that I got for 10 dollars. Turned out OK and I made my first ever ride today. Scared in the downhills but riding on ice was just incredible. Smooth and quiet. Conditions on the fireroads were horrible with a little dry snow on top of refrozen slush. Had a couple of falls, I guess one gets better "fixiereflexes" after a few tumbles. All in all a much more enjoyable experience than I had thought.
Looks great! I've got the same bike/frame and thought about conversion but decided to keep it original.

Picked mine and a friends up for $25 off craigslist last summer.
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Old 12-31-07, 08:24 PM   #23
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is it possible to wheelie at 50?
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Old 01-01-08, 10:37 PM   #24
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is it possible to wheelie at 50?
Yes
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