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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 03-22-08, 10:01 PM   #1
werewolf
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Fixed gear - greater injury potential?

Last year I took out a try out bike from a bike shop, a fixed gear, and I wound up taking a rather dramatic header, no fault of my own really. The toe clip and strap wasn't attached properly and it fell off (OK, I couldn't fit in it so i was riding it upside down) and it caught in the chain - but had it been a freewheel there would have been no accident. I just would have coasted to a stop. I've been away from bikes for a long time and I'm just getting back, and I remember the fixed gear routine well enough, but I'm thinking that there is a greater chance of injury on fixed. What do you guys think?
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Old 03-22-08, 10:02 PM   #2
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yep if you ride a fixed gear you're a masochist secretly praying for the sweet release of death. ace detective work.
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Old 03-22-08, 10:20 PM   #3
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true story.
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Old 03-22-08, 10:24 PM   #4
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in for death wish
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Old 03-22-08, 10:26 PM   #5
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i pray for death everytime i throw a leg over my fixed gear bike. oh, sweet, sweet death. how i long for your cold embrace. but i'm still here. **** that ****.
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Old 03-22-08, 10:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by werewolf View Post
Last year I took out a try out bike from a bike shop, a fixed gear, and I wound up taking a rather dramatic header, no fault of my own really. The toe clip and strap wasn't attached properly and it fell off (OK, I couldn't fit in it so i was riding it upside down) and it caught in the chain - but had it been a freewheel there would have been no accident. I just would have coasted to a stop. I've been away from bikes for a long time and I'm just getting back, and I remember the fixed gear routine well enough, but I'm thinking that there is a greater chance of injury on fixed. What do you guys think?
nah,...posting a thread like this has a WAY greater injury potential
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Old 03-22-08, 10:30 PM   #7
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Say, what does a guy gotta do to get a serious answer around this joint? Anyway?
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Old 03-22-08, 10:33 PM   #8
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you honestly want a serious answer to "i was riding the pedals upside down because the shop didnt adjust the straps to my feet and i crashed"?
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Old 03-22-08, 10:36 PM   #9
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you honestly want a serious answer to "i was riding the pedals upside down because the shop didnt adjust the straps to my feet and i crashed"?

Well, not that serious. Say, like disregarding my own little foibles, what would you say is the average reduction in life expectancy for fixed gear riders vs. freewheel riders? 50%? 75%? Twenty years? Forty years?

Last edited by werewolf; 03-22-08 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 03-22-08, 10:42 PM   #10
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non

now your annoying and clearly trolling.

/thread DIAF
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Old 03-22-08, 10:43 PM   #11
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This forum... tsk, tsk, tsk. It's a perfectly legitimate question.

I would say yes, riding FG probably increases chances of injury of one sort or another, especially for beginners. I'm sure plenty will disagree though.
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Old 03-22-08, 10:44 PM   #12
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non

now your annoying and clearly trolling.

/thread DIAF
No I'm not. I started off with a very serious question and you guys were just messing around. It's a serious question, see!
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Old 03-22-08, 10:45 PM   #13
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This forum... tsk, tsk, tsk. It's a perfectly legitimate question.

I would say yes, riding FG probably increases chances of injury of one sort or another, especially for beginners. I'm sure plenty will disagree though.
Finally, a serious response.

I've even heard of guys severing a finger while lubing a chain on a fixed gear.
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Old 03-22-08, 10:56 PM   #14
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Finally, a serious response.

I've even heard of guys severing a finger while lubing a chain on a fixed gear.
they were doing it wrong
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Old 03-22-08, 11:00 PM   #15
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Just googled this up -









Fixed gear dangers:
should warn you that there are three dangers related to fixed-gear bicycles that are not a problem with freewheel bicycles. Used and maintained properly, fixed gear bicycles can be as safe as any, but you should be aware of the three danger areas:
Pedal Strike
t is never a good thing to strike your pedal on the ground while cornering tightly. On a freewheel bike, you can coast though the corners with your pedals horizontal, thus avoiding any chance of striking. On a fixed-gear machine, you don't have this option.
If you do bang a pedal on a fixed gear, the pedal can lift the rear wheel off the road, and down you will go. This has never happened to me, but it is something to bear in mind.
How much of a problem this is will depend on your bottom bracket height, crank length, and the design of your pedals.
Most of my fixed-gear bikes have 165 mm cranks,which give a bit more ground clearance than the 170 mm's usually used on road bikes. I also make a point of using pedals that don't stick out too far.
Derailment and Wheel Lock
hrowing a chain on a freewheel bike is no big deal, but it can be very dangerous on with a fixed gear. If the chain comes off of the chainwheel, it can get hung up or even loop around the rear sprocket, and can cause the wheel to lock up. If this happens while you are leaned over in a turn, you will almost certainly crash.
This is prevented by making sure that your chainline is straight, and that your chain is adequately tight.
Catching Fingers, Trousers, Shoelaces

<blockquote>he other danger of fixed-gear bicycles is at its greatest when the bike is in a repair stand. If you hand-pedal it and then accidentally have a finger an article of clothing come into contact with the chain or a sprocket, the momentum of the wheel will keep the drive train rolling. You can lose a finger that way.


Sorry to gross you out with these photos, but this is a real danger!
Likewise, when riding, if you are wearing floppy pants, or have an un-tied shoelace, you may get your clothing caught in the drive train. On a freewheel bike, this it is a minor inconvenience. You have to coast, then pedal backward to release your clothing. The worst that will happen is that your clothing will get soiled.
With a fixed gear, you have no such option. If you catch a shoelace, it will get torn off or your shoe. If you catch a trouser leg, you can really get hurt.
It is my fervent hope that this article will persuade some of those who read it to give a try to fixed-gear riding, may you learn to enjoy it as much as I do (and I have 11 fixed-gear bikes!)




http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed.html
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Old 03-22-08, 11:08 PM   #16
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it depends on how you ride it and what your experience level is.

first time you step on a skateboard you've got a near 100% guarantee to bust your ass... the longer you ride the more control you have over yourself and the board.

now, if you ride through city traffic switching lanes, cutting off cars, cutting through pedestrians, riding in the opposite lane, all while lighting a cigarette doing a no handed skid, then yes... you may run a considerably larger risk...not because you dont know what youre doing necessarily, but because you havent only yourself to worry about... youve gotta worry about all the other people on the road as well.

but all of the hazards are not only available to fixed gear riders...these are just hazards of the road regardless of if youre freewheeled or fixed (minus the no handed skid)

ive been riding fixed for a while now and i feel more dangerous on a freewheel than i'll ever feel on a fixed gear. im sure other people will agree upon this... because we've become very well adjusted and familiar with fixed riding...but of course this wasnt the case when we started.

if you dont wanna get hurt, then dont ride like a jackass.
perform proper and thorough maintenance of your bike and be mindful of whats going on around you.
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Old 03-22-08, 11:08 PM   #17
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See? Sheldon had 11 fixed gear bikes and now he's dead. QED.
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Old 03-22-08, 11:11 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by werewolf View Post
Just googled this up -
Fixed gear dangers:
should warn you that there are three dangers related to fixed-gear bicycles that are not a problem with freewheel bicycles. Used and maintained properly, fixed gear bicycles can be as safe as any, but you should be aware of the three danger areas:
Pedal Strike
t is never a good thing to strike your pedal on the ground while cornering tightly. On a freewheel bike, you can coast though the corners with your pedals horizontal, thus avoiding any chance of striking. On a fixed-gear machine, you don't have this option.
If you do bang a pedal on a fixed gear, the pedal can lift the rear wheel off the road, and down you will go. This has never happened to me, but it is something to bear in mind.
How much of a problem this is will depend on your bottom bracket height, crank length, and the design of your pedals.
Most of my fixed-gear bikes have 165 mm cranks,which give a bit more ground clearance than the 170 mm's usually used on road bikes. I also make a point of using pedals that don't stick out too far.
Derailment and Wheel Lock
hrowing a chain on a freewheel bike is no big deal, but it can be very dangerous on with a fixed gear. If the chain comes off of the chainwheel, it can get hung up or even loop around the rear sprocket, and can cause the wheel to lock up. If this happens while you are leaned over in a turn, you will almost certainly crash.
This is prevented by making sure that your chainline is straight, and that your chain is adequately tight.
Catching Fingers, Trousers, Shoelaces

<blockquote>he other danger of fixed-gear bicycles is at its greatest when the bike is in a repair stand. If you hand-pedal it and then accidentally have a finger an article of clothing come into contact with the chain or a sprocket, the momentum of the wheel will keep the drive train rolling. You can lose a finger that way.


Sorry to gross you out with these photos, but this is a real danger!
Likewise, when riding, if you are wearing floppy pants, or have an un-tied shoelace, you may get your clothing caught in the drive train. On a freewheel bike, this it is a minor inconvenience. You have to coast, then pedal backward to release your clothing. The worst that will happen is that your clothing will get soiled.
With a fixed gear, you have no such option. If you catch a shoelace, it will get torn off or your shoe. If you catch a trouser leg, you can really get hurt.
It is my fervent hope that this article will persuade some of those who read it to give a try to fixed-gear riding, may you learn to enjoy it as much as I do (and I have 11 fixed-gear bikes!)




http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed.html
tuck in your shoelaces, dont wear jncos, and dont stick your fingers in the spokes or the gears.
this isnt a bicycle from hell. it wont jump on you amidst your slumber and start gnawing at your flesh and bone.
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Old 03-22-08, 11:18 PM   #19
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Well, not that serious. Say, like disregarding my own little foibles, what would you say is the average reduction in life expectancy for fixed gear riders vs. freewheel riders? 50%? 75%? Twenty years? Forty years?
I'm 49 years old, and I ride a fixed gear bike everyday.

I have no health abnormalities I can or would attribute to the FG bicycle.

I look at a FG bike like I would a table saw, or a mill (I use those everyday too): it's a tool, it does a job, and if you don't pay attention it'll hurt you.

same deal for motorcycles, or skateboards, or downhill skiing, use common sense and you can do it until your so old you can't even walk anymore.

I'd get one set up RIGHT, and don't ride it stupidly (like no brakes, or clips hanging, etc,..), and you'll be fine and have a blast while your at it.

there's a straight up answer
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Old 03-22-08, 11:20 PM   #20
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this isnt a bicycle from hell. it wont jump on you amidst your slumber and start gnawing at your flesh and bone.


____________


I know. I actually rode a fixed gear extensively in years gone by, and raced it too - never got hurt - but I think I'll stick with freewheels now.
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Old 03-22-08, 11:43 PM   #21
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If you're stupid enough to crash because you can't work toe clips riding a freewheel isn't really going to solve the problem. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but it isn't the bike's fault that you did some stupid ****. There is probably a much higher risk for people who are unqualified to operate, or have ill-fitting/setup fixed gear bikes.
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Old 03-23-08, 12:06 AM   #22
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i dream of the sweet release of the hangman's rope.
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