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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 02-19-08, 11:45 PM   #1
F.T.W
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Commuting! oh noes!

How many of you guys and gals commute on your fixies? I may have to start and Im wondering what are good things to have/bring/outfit your bike with.

The bike is a Nishiki conversion, the rear is a Deep V laced to a Nahsbar fixed fixed hub, shadow conspiracy chain, and the stock crank/double rings.

the front is whatever quickrelease was on the bike when I got it. Something old, and it makes a lot of noise...

I have a front brake and some chopped bullhorns.

What would you suggest to help out my commute? Its 12 miles each way, the only really hilly part is the last mile on my way home. Right now im running 42/17. But that is subject to change once I get new cranks.

thanks a lot!
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Old 02-19-08, 11:47 PM   #2
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Honestly, just do it. You'll quickly figure out what you need, what you don't need, and what needs to be changed. Maybe try the commute on a weekend once or twice to get a feel for it, plan your route, etc. (Assuming you don't bike commute already.)
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Old 02-19-08, 11:52 PM   #3
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never say "oh noes" ever again
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Old 02-19-08, 11:53 PM   #4
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Check out the commuting forum. Lots of good ideas and advice there about lights, fenders, racks, bags, blinkies, dork bands, helmet mirrors, dealing with clothing and showering issues. The total Fred package.

(Disclaimer: my commute bike is an '89 Trek 660 FG conversion (42x16), full fenders, two brakes.)
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Old 02-19-08, 11:56 PM   #5
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lights (I like the Planet Bike Superflash quite a bit)
good lock(s)
fenders

Pretty much in that order.

I bring the usual tools and mini pump plus lunch and a thermos of coffee. Learning to dress for the weather is the trickiest part. I like a windbreaker and a few layers under. I commute in "normal" clothes but a cap and arm warmers are nice to have in your bag just in case the temperature drops.

Check the commuting forum for more tips too. Lots of experienced folks over there.
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Old 02-20-08, 12:06 AM   #6
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Right on thanks! I can keep the bike inside (I work retail, so I can stick it in the lunchroom).

Other than that I'll just try it out and see what happens. Thanks again!
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Old 02-20-08, 12:10 AM   #7
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Inside bike parking = sweet. I still lock my rear wheel to the frame just in case.
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Old 02-20-08, 12:19 AM   #8
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Things that have improved my commute significantly:

waterproof Ortlieb panniers
rechargable light
sks fenders
bright yellow waterproof jacket (still I get hit???)
more tools than you think you will need
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Old 02-20-08, 12:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F.T.W View Post
How many of you guys and gals commute on your fixies? I may have to start and Im wondering what are good things to have/bring/outfit your bike with.

The bike is a Nishiki conversion, the rear is a Deep V laced to a Nahsbar fixed fixed hub, shadow conspiracy chain, and the stock crank/double rings.

the front is whatever quickrelease was on the bike when I got it. Something old, and it makes a lot of noise...

I have a front brake and some chopped bullhorns.

What would you suggest to help out my commute? Its 12 miles each way, the only really hilly part is the last mile on my way home. Right now im running 42/17. But that is subject to change once I get new cranks.

thanks a lot!
12 Miles---no prob. If you are going to seriously commute, you need to be visible--I don't go all full blown dork lighting--but a front, rear and some reflective vest or reflective material on your bag. You'll need a bag with change of clothes, etc. Other than that, the whole point of commuting on a fixed is that you dont have to "outfit" your bike with a whole lot of sheat. If you bike has two tires and a chain and goes forward when you pedal, you are pretty much covered. Maybe a cheap plastic clip on fender at the rear for those rainy days. If you have a leather saddle, tie a shower cap or plastic gocery bag to the underside of the street.

Having a lock is good unless you have indoor parkng available.
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Old 02-20-08, 12:25 AM   #10
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Oh, and you should prob get a frame pump (not a little crummy hand pump) and bring along a multi-tool to change a flat, remove your rear wheel, etc.
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Old 02-20-08, 12:43 AM   #11
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i commute by bike (when i have a job ). actually, i do everything by bike since my car broke down and i had to sell it. i ride an old peugeot conversion that's been surprisingly sturdy. i have a large mess bag (the kemmer special) for carrying my stuff. for work i would take an extra shirt (in case i got sweaty), a hoodie and gloves in case it got cold while i was inside, my lock, other personal stuff, and my tool bag.

the tool bag is one of those zippered bank bags, and i keep tire tools, an extra tube, hand pump, multitool, 15mm wrench, small adjustable wrench, knife, $20 for a cab ride in an emergency (well, i spent the $20, but i left myself an IOU) and a spare red blinky light.

i keep a red blinky light attached to my seat post, but i keep the spare to clip on my bag if i'm riding in the dark and it's raining or foggy. i also keep a little yellow rain jacket in one of the interior pockets, folded up all nice and neat, as well as a couple of extra rags and a bandanna to cover my face/neck when it's really f'ing cold.

obviously a bunch of this stuff i can take out to save space when i go grocery shopping, but for commuting or daily riding, i don't want to be caught without something when i need it. and it doesn't really weight all that much, and the bag has stayed comfortable no matter how it's loaded most of the time.
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Old 02-20-08, 01:00 AM   #12
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mace
knife
46x15
ditch the brake
tools/flat kit/pump

if that front wheel is crappy like it sounds... replace it
replacing those cranks and chainrings for a stronger track setup is a great idea

after a while those 12 miles will feel like nothing

what city u in?
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Old 02-20-08, 01:01 AM   #13
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I have some vans messenger bag I got for $20. haha. it kinda works. For everyday riding I hav my lock, multi-tool, Topeak pump, couple wrenches, allen set, tire levers, and a chain tool.

I need to make some pockets to keep it a little more organized, but I think it could get the job done for now.

I'm not going to need to use it for grocery shopping and stuff right now, just back and forth to work. Hopefully if my schedule keeps up I'll keep working during the day, but its hard to say with retail...
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Old 02-20-08, 01:05 AM   #14
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I am in Sedro-Woolley, its about an hour north or Seattle... Washington that is...
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Old 02-20-08, 07:32 AM   #15
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commuting? oh yeses!

when locking up inside stick your u-lock through your rear wheel and seat tube... if you can get the c-ring and a crankarm in there too you're golden and no one can **** with your bike too bad.

i lock mine like that in my house all the time... don't want some drunk ******* friend to think he can ride my bike when he really can't.

Last edited by 666pack; 02-20-08 at 08:06 AM.
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Old 02-20-08, 07:42 AM   #16
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Granola bars.
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Old 02-20-08, 08:45 AM   #17
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i usually outfit my fixie with a battering ram in case some other commuted decides to get in my way.
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Old 02-20-08, 09:44 AM   #18
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I would get some good socks and keep some Old Spice in your office.
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Old 02-20-08, 12:06 PM   #19
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For roadside repair purposes --

Minimum: a basic multi-tool, pump, tube / patch kit, good tire levers, wrench to remove wheel (as necessary), zip ties.
More hardcore: spoke wrench, chain breaker.
Insane: first aid kit, extra brake cable, spare spokes, spare tire, spare pedals, hubs, wheel truing stand, etc.

The minimum repair kit will prevent you from having to walk if something stupid happens -- like your handlebars loosen up or your seat post suddenly drops or whatever. And it's not just that you haven't kept up with bicycle maintenance: you never know what idiot with an allen wrench will fudge with your ride when you're not looking.

*Good* tire levers. My tire / rim combo is pretty tight, so levers are essential. Cheap levers will snap and all of the force that you were exerting on the lever will suddenly be exerted on your knuckles, courtesy of spoke nipples. Does that sound like experience talking? Yep. Let's just say I should have gotten the $2 levers.

Now go read everything you can in the Commuting forum. Figure out the rest as you go.
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Old 02-20-08, 12:20 PM   #20
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I commute into the city of seattle (bout 17 miles each way) and i would say aside from the normal lights/clothes etc.. .my suggestion would be either full fenders in the winter, or at a removable rear fender, and some ultra gatorskin tires + that puncture stripping to help prevent punch throughs... really, for me it all about avoiding flats since i commute at 4:30am and changing a tire in the dark, when it's 30 degrees. sucksmuch@ss... good tires are the #1 if you have to travel on city/industrial roads that are awash with bolts, glass, steel belt threads, + seattle potholes.
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Old 02-20-08, 04:50 PM   #21
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keep it basic... just remember your chain... unless your office/building is laid back and you can bring your bike into the office...
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Old 02-20-08, 11:31 PM   #22
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comfortable clothes, safety stuff, tools and tubes, and this rain jacket. its the best thing ive bought (well was given for christmas). http://internationalbike.com/itemdet...ogId=1&id=4206
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Old 02-20-08, 11:55 PM   #23
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There are some really good recommendations here. I always carry a spare tube, 15 mm wrench (for wheel removal), tire levers, pump (Topeak Road Morph), sunglasses, a hat, and a cell phone. If the weather is foul, I recommend fenders and a change of clothes. Powerful lights (Dinotte Dual 5W LED) are essential if I am out when it's dark.
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Old 02-20-08, 11:55 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Wind View Post
There are some really good recommendations here. I always carry a spare tube, 15 mm wrench (for wheel removal), tire levers, pump (Topeak Road Morph), sunglasses, a hat, and a cell phone. If the weather is foul, I recommend fenders and a change of clothes. Powerful lights (Dinotte Dual 5W LED) are essential if I am out when it's dark.
You sound like me
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Old 02-21-08, 12:39 AM   #25
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I had a 12 mile commute then I was teaching in atlanta. All I took with me were tools to remove the wheel, levers, tube, CO2 and a patch kit. All the other crap is stuff you pick up if you decide you need it. Depending on the availability of public transit, I take more or less. If I'm in the middle of nowhere I'll add another tube and a minipump just in case.

Worst case, 12 miles is walkable.
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