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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 03-23-08, 02:28 AM   #1
vdubsta05
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Stupid Biased Question here....

Well. I Don't own a single speed/fixed gear, but I was talking to a friend of mine who owns a single speed, and a 10-gear road bike, and he said that he rides his single speed 90% time. What makes it so special/ride so good?
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Old 03-23-08, 02:41 AM   #2
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Instead of asking us, why don't you ask your friend? or try riding his singlespeed and find out yourseldf? or use the search instead of asking this question for the billionth time?
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Old 03-23-08, 03:07 AM   #3
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...instead of asking this question for the billionth time?
Good grief man, you've actually been counting?
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Old 03-23-08, 03:17 AM   #4
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it's the same reason some people like driving stick-shift cars instead of automatics.
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Old 03-23-08, 04:00 AM   #5
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it's the same reason some people like driving stick-shift cars instead of automatics.
huh? i think you have it backwards. fixed=auto, geared=stick shift.
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Old 03-23-08, 04:33 AM   #6
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I ride fixed or singlespeed most of the time, because I'm just riding to work or running and errand. I'm not climbing huge hills or overly concerned about how fast or far I'm going. In those instances an $X,000 ultralight with 20 gears is not needed. A singlespeed is more hassle free and cheaper to maintain. Its the same reason why people generally don't drive to work or run errands with race cars. On the other hand, when I go out on my weekend road ride, I use my geared bike, because at that time my priorities are more performance oriented.

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Old 03-23-08, 08:15 AM   #7
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Well. I Don't own a single speed/fixed gear, but I was talking to a friend of mine who owns a single speed, and a 10-gear road bike, and he said that he rides his single speed 90% time. What makes it so special/ride so good?
It is simplicity. I never really changed gears anyways. But I did break a deraileur before, or my chain would pop off. Servicing my bike is much easier than before.

On the physical side, if you ride a large gear ratio, you are forced to stay in that gear while going up hills. Although this seems like it is a bad quality, eventually you get used to it. I find when I am on a geared bike I try to shift down before going up hills. I waste more time paying attention to shifting to find my perfect gear and end up taking longer to get up the hill. On single speed/fixed I don't have to worry about anything. Very unlikely for anything to break, and I don't pay attention to things that don't matter, like whether a 42/19 ratio is better than a 42/17. I just picked my gear ratio, liked it, and it over my geared bikes.
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Old 03-23-08, 08:47 AM   #8
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I waste more time paying attention to shifting to find my perfect gear and end up taking longer to get up the hill.
ideally you just want to keep the same cadence, so as you accelerate, you shift up, and when the going gets tough you shift down.

that being said, i really only ride fixed around the city, but i wanna start doing more distance rides.
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Old 03-23-08, 08:55 AM   #9
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Shifting isn't hard and the maintenance of a derailleur system isn't all that bad. Outside of snow and ice, I never buy those arguments, personally.

The reasons to do it is that it is fun and provides a different experience. It is a different thing legging it up a hill when you can't drop a few gears. I makes me more conscious of my cadence, as well. Plus, it is fun. Give it a try.
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Old 03-23-08, 09:06 AM   #10
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Shifting isn't hard and the maintenance of a derailleur system isn't all that bad. Outside of snow and ice, I never buy those arguments, personally.

The reasons to do it is that it is fun and provides a different experience. It is a different thing legging it up a hill when you can't drop a few gears. I makes me more conscious of my cadence, as well. Plus, it is fun. Give it a try.
Shifting isn't hard, but personally I pay attention to it too much, and it takes away from what I enjoy; bicycling. The derailleur system isn't all that bad, but I have occasionally thrown some chains, and that is just annoying. I'd much rather undo a bolt and pull my wheel back a centimeter than have some stupid derailleur. Of course for real road races you need one, but I think for commuting/fun, its best to have a no worry system.
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Old 03-23-08, 09:19 AM   #11
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huh? i think you have it backwards. fixed=auto, geared=stick shift.
no they are right....
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Old 03-23-08, 10:08 AM   #12
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Riding fixed has changed my geared riding; I don't shift as much as before.

I've done 50 mile rides on my fixed gear bike but they were relatively flat rides. Even then, going downhill on a fixie is almost as much work as going up. I can certainly climb some steep stuff on my fixie but I'd rather not have to do a lot of it on a long ride.

Fixed is great for around town; you've got more control over the bike at low speed.

Get yourself a bike with a flip-flop hub so you can try fixed and singlespeed. If you can, get the rear hub as fixed on both sides. You can still spin a freewheel cog on there to give you the most options.
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Old 03-23-08, 10:17 AM   #13
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no they are right....
wrong
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Old 03-23-08, 10:19 AM   #14
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everyones wrong. stick shift = geared auto = internally geared

**** cars though
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Old 03-23-08, 10:20 AM   #15
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....
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Old 03-23-08, 11:02 AM   #16
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The main reasons for me are: the bikes look better (true to design), are lighter (no derailers, brakes, extra chainrings, etc), more customized (thats the fun part). the scene is cooler, friendlier, and... younger. the ride is simpiler, easier, more enjoyable, and... better for your muscles (legs always moving). Try it for a day.
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Old 03-23-08, 11:10 AM   #17
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they're both nice, but something is addicting about fixed gear over a road bike. my road bike is much nicer than my fixed gear, but i'm probably actually going to sell it off here and just go with my simple low-end track bike instead. why? it just feels more fun and it gets me around just as well, and i have less to fix on it. servicing freehubs sucks and i hate working on derailleurs.

that and you really get used to it. when you first get on it's like learning to ride all over again. once you figure it out, it almost feels like there was no other way.

they're both great for different things. they can both do things the other can't. but for just running around town and for pure enjoyment, i've ridden my road bike a bunch and enjoyed it, but i just can't leave fixed gear (i don't have a ss freewheel, so i can't say just singlespeed) behind and it still remains my primary ride.
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Old 03-23-08, 11:13 AM   #18
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everyones wrong. stick shift = geared auto = internally geared

**** cars though
They are all wrong because its a crappy analogy.
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Old 03-23-08, 11:15 AM   #19
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Its because they look cool parked in front of the bar at night. ONLY reason to ride a fixie.


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Old 03-23-08, 11:39 AM   #20
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I equate a fixed gear more to running than biking. Then again, I also ride roads as if they were mountain trails.

I would prefer running a SS/FG in town and around campus, but if I'm exiting that area, I'd go back to a geared road bike(/mountain bike w/ slicks for bad weather) for versatility. A few of my friends live up on a mountain or down in the valley.
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Old 03-23-08, 11:41 AM   #21
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Its because they look cool parked in front of the bar at night. ONLY reason to ride a fixie.

DW


No-one ever uses the search function...

People ride fixed and ss because they like riding fixed and ss... their reasons vary widely.

Some do it for the cool / hip factor while there are a great number of people who see an ss/fg as a simple and practical alternative to riding a geared bike.

I know people who only ride ss in the winter as the simpler drive train handles our craptastic weather far better than a derailer equipped bike although I have found I prefer a three speed internal gear hub for that kind of work.

If you aren't hammering things all the time and run brakes an ss or fixed gear can be very gentle on the knees as acceleration is gradual and there are no sudden increases/ decreases in the load on the legs.

Constant pedalling (which you should do on any bike) is also better for endurance... a fixed gear is a good cure for breaking the coasting habit.

All this can make one a stringer rider which also benefits people who also ride geared bikes as most will find that the lower gears become all by useless... I don't even own a geared bike with a granny ring.
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Old 03-23-08, 11:43 AM   #22
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a fixed gear is a good cure for breaking the coasting habit.
ha ha, yeah. when i get on my road bike with lower bb and longer cranks i tend to strike my pedals a lot because i forget to coast through turns.
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Old 03-23-08, 11:53 AM   #23
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eel - re: pedal strikes

I have experienced that a few times, my Peugeot fg conversion has 11.5 inches of bb clearance (love those old Peugeots) and pedal strike are pretty much impossible. I figure that when I do strike a pedal I'll probably be on my way to lying the bike down.

My other conversions and road bikes have less clearance so corners must be handled with a little more care... you should always remember what you are riding and know the limits of the bike.

This little guy (who runs a 3 speed) is fast on the straightaways but with the new 170 mm cranks the pedals are even closer to the ground than they were before... pedalling through sharp turns is a no no.

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Old 03-23-08, 12:52 PM   #24
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Lots of reasons. For me the biggest are:

-- Fixed gear makes you strong like ox.
-- Riding fixed you only need mediocre skills to trackstand, go extra slow, and otherwise
negotiate city traffic.
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Old 03-23-08, 12:53 PM   #25
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maybe you should try this instead...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2885...eature=related
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