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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 02-02-08, 10:39 AM   #1
ryansexton
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So hard to get used to riding free wheel

I can't get back into riding freewheel. Anyone else have this problem? I just can't stay focused on pressing down all the time, because fixed style my feet are forced to move, so I move them, but without the force, I tend to do a lot of coasting. I also feel really weird while I ride a free wheel and almost feel like I'm riding on clouds (in a bad way). Anyone have a solution to this?

Also, I can't ride fixed full time because I plan on touring in the near future.
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Old 02-02-08, 11:18 AM   #2
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Going back to a freewheel for the first time is weird but once you switch back and forth a few times you get used to both and can instantly adapt.
You might consider working on your pedaling technique...with good technique, a fg and ss should feel the same while you are actively pedaling.
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Old 02-02-08, 11:26 AM   #3
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^ Totally agree. I find that riding fixed all the time can really make me lazy and weaken my pedaling technique.
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Old 02-02-08, 11:29 AM   #4
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I don't find that I have any issue with switching between free and fixed and if anything, I seem to have forgotten how coast and am always putting a little power to the pedals.

On touring... I am planning to ride across Canada on a fixed gear and this isn't something that already has not been done.
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Old 02-02-08, 11:30 AM   #5
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the first few 10x miles or so on freewheel, i have an odd tendency to pedal through my braking. Makes things feel "right". After awhile though, i'm right back into it. When there's nothing to slow down for, though, there's no difference.
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Old 02-02-08, 12:18 PM   #6
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It makes more sense to me that riding freewheel improves pedalling technique. I agree that downhill fixed riding does increase cadence, at least we're forced to keep up with the pedal-wheel rotation. However, with freewheel, you can actively concentrate on both the up and downstrokes, pulling on the upstroke on each rotation without the upward pedal force generated by the wheel rotation. When I ride fixed, I tend to hammer on the downstroke, relying on the fixed drivetrain to generate all the force on the upstroke.
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Old 02-02-08, 12:28 PM   #7
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If you ride both regularly transitioning from one to the other should be no problem.
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Old 02-02-08, 12:50 PM   #8
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I sometimes forget that I can coast when I switch back to freewheel, but othertimes it just feels like I have dead legs if I'm not riding fixed.
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Old 02-02-08, 01:36 PM   #9
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Yeah, dead legs is definately the issue. I coast too often with a freewheel now. I was also riding a Kona Smoke after a decent 10KM fixed sprint. So maybe that had something to do with it, considering the Kona Smoke is the heaviest bike to ever hit planet earth.
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Old 02-02-08, 02:02 PM   #10
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People argue that fixed gears will benefit your spin. Thats only true if you put some effort into it. Pedaling it like a lazy drunken hipster will do you no good, and probably make your spin even worse.
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Old 02-02-08, 02:04 PM   #11
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People argue that fixed gears will benefit your spin.
Only if you're running a low gear. Fixed gear tends to **** up your spin. Allows you to be lazy from the 6'oclock to the 11'oclock position.
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Old 02-02-08, 02:23 PM   #12
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On touring... I am planning to ride across Canada on a fixed gear and this isn't something that already has not been done.
okay, i've read that sentence three times and i'm still not sure what it means. are you saying it has already been done? if so, i'm impressed: i can't imagine descending the coquihalla on an fg with full panniers. yikes!
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Old 02-02-08, 02:30 PM   #13
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Only if you're running a low gear. Fixed gear tends to **** up your spin. Allows you to be lazy from the 6'oclock to the 11'oclock position.
I agree that running a lower gear may improve your cadence, but regardless of your gear, its really not difficult to spin a bicycle crank smoothly in a circle. The entire freewheeled cycling population can do it without racheting the freewheel mechanism every pedal cycle. A good cyclist will generally pedal a fixed gear and SS the same way, so it shouldn't really make a difference. If a fixed gear is fing up someone's spin, it because they are being exceptionally lazy about riding.

Last edited by mihlbach; 02-02-08 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 02-02-08, 02:47 PM   #14
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If a fixed gear is fing up someone's spin, it because they are being exceptionally lazy about riding.
True, but it makes it that much easier to be lazy. I focus more during freewheel rides, but that may be b/c I ride freewheel on those 60+ mile rides.
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Old 02-02-08, 03:00 PM   #15
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its really not difficult to spin a bicycle crank smoothly in a circle.
Tell that to novice cyclists who are stuck at 60rpm. Higher cadence requires practice or you get bounce-o-rama in your saddle.
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Old 02-02-08, 04:50 PM   #16
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considering the Kona Smoke is the heaviest bike to ever hit planet earth.
I thought that the heaviest bikes ever on planet earth was either a 70's schwinn varsity or continental
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Old 02-02-08, 05:58 PM   #17
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Tell that to novice cyclists who are stuck at 60rpm. Higher cadence requires practice or you get bounce-o-rama in your saddle.
QFT. Better spin=higher cadence. When I max out, if I'm pedaling squares, or just mashing, it really shows. if, at the same speed, I really concentrate on full pedal stroke, everything is smoohter and I pick up 1/2 to 1 mph. like magic.


edited- the most recent time I rode a freewheel, i needed to slow down, and started resisting the pedals. Well, that didn't work, which threw me into a panic for a second thinking "OMG, this bike is broken!? where are the brakes?"
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Old 02-02-08, 06:07 PM   #18
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..but without the force, I tend to do a lot of coasting.
Are you Jedi?
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Old 02-02-08, 06:35 PM   #19
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not hard to switch fixed/free at all. yall must be ********
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Old 02-02-08, 07:38 PM   #20
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I went for a spin on my Phillip's folder one day was riding it like I was on the fixed gear... I felt pretty ******** when I skipped the pedal off the pavement and almost bought it.

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Old 02-02-08, 10:51 PM   #21
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If anything, I have issues going back to fixed after a while (few weeks) riding only a freewheel bike. But even then, I get back into the swing of things after 100-200 feet. Over the summer, I generally do mountain rides tues/thurs, though, and commute on my fixie with no issues.
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Old 02-03-08, 02:24 AM   #22
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[QUOTE=xsdg;6099131 But even then, I get back into the swing of things after 100-200 feet. [/QUOTE]

yeah, but that first 100 fett can be a killer. after a summer on gears i took the fg "bad weather" bike out and on the first corner down from my house automatically tried to coast through the turn. nearly threw myself over the bars and received an ovation from the highschool kids waiting for the bus on the corner. ouch.

ot: i would far rather have mediocre garbage collection and my weekends off than spend saturday and sunday hunting memory leaks and buffer overruns.
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Old 02-03-08, 10:00 AM   #23
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not hard to switch fixed/free at all. yall must be ********
I would tend to agree with this assessment.

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ot: i would far rather have mediocre garbage collection and my weekends off than spend saturday and sunday hunting memory leaks and buffer overruns.
Java 4tw!
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