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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 05-20-08, 01:07 PM   #1
pb&jslurpee
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Braking

Ok, what am I doing wrong? I lock my right leg when the pedal is at 6 o'clock, lean forward, pull up on left leg...and still, it takes all of my strength to get even the most minor of skids...

Suggestions?
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Old 05-20-08, 01:13 PM   #2
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the problem is almost certainly due to a moment of hesitation, which shifts your weight to the rear and makes it harder to overcome friction. from my own experience, and what i can gather about others', hesitation comes about from being reluctant to fully shift your weight forward.
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Old 05-20-08, 01:15 PM   #3
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Reduce your gear inches
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so what if it's custom, are you suddenly NOT a jackass?
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Old 05-20-08, 01:27 PM   #4
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use your brake
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Old 05-20-08, 01:40 PM   #5
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use your brake
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Old 05-20-08, 01:49 PM   #6
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If you cant stop it dont ride fast or use a caliper brake till you can.

Lean more forward to displace more weight off the rear wheel to start a skid. Practice.

Search too, this has probably be discussed extensively.
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Old 05-20-08, 02:24 PM   #7
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Reduce your gear inches
+1

I assume the OP is some hipster freestyle dork wanting to learn to skid. if so, running a silly small gear inch to learn and then building it up as you gain the skill and feel is the way to go.)

Otherwise, if if the OP is jsut riding on the street...use a brake and don't worry about skids, they are useless.
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Old 05-20-08, 03:08 PM   #8
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I assume the OP is some hipster freestyle dork wanting to learn to skid. if so, running a silly small gear inch to learn and then building it up as you gain the skill and feel is the way to go.)
Obstacle,

You are wrong. I'm just a teacher with no money for transportation living in NYC. Being a car owner is out of the question. As is being a hipster freestyle dork (though I like some of the same music). But thanks, I appreciate the healthy cynicism.

I'm interested in learning how to stop more quickly, that is all. I'm using a front brake now, but just wanted further advice on the matter.

Right now I'm riding 42/16. Should I decrease the size of my crank? rear cog?
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Old 05-20-08, 03:38 PM   #9
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I skid on about the same number of gear inches just fine. You don't need to change it.

I'm guessing that you're thinking of skidding more as something like: Pedals go around, and then at one moment you push/pull with you legs with all your might and skid.

It's more about timing and properly getting your weight over the back pedal. Try riding around and letting the pedals push your back leg, and you, off your saddle. You sort of need to become dead weight on the bike, and just let the momentum push you off the saddle. So, with that feel, once your back leg (or what will be your back leg once you start the skid) approaches 6-o'clock, stiffen and extend it, and let the pedal start to push your body upwards. Around the same time, you should pull up with your front leg. Once you get to around 3 and 9-o'clock, you'll get to a point where you can almost feel the drive train wanting to lock-up. It's ok to try it at slow speeds first to get a feel for it.
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Old 05-20-08, 03:39 PM   #10
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That ratio is on the lower side, so that shouldn't be a problem.
What kind of tires are you using and what is your foot retention setup?
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Old 05-20-08, 03:42 PM   #11
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I skid on about the same number of gear inches just fine. You don't need to change it.

I'm guessing that you're thinking of skidding more as something like: Pedals go around, and then at one moment you push/pull with you legs with all your might and skid.

It's more about timing and properly getting your weight over the back pedal. Try riding around and letting the pedals push your back leg, and you, off your saddle. You sort of need to become dead weight on the bike, and just let the momentum push you off the saddle. So, with that feel, once your back leg (or what will be your back leg once you start the skid) approaches 6-o'clock, stiffen and extend it, and let the pedal start to push your body upwards. Around the same time, you should pull up with your front leg. Once you get to around 3 and 9-o'clock, you'll get to a point where you can almost feel the drive train wanting to lock-up. It's ok to try it at slow speeds first to get a feel for it.
Winner! It's more like making love, than a post fight anger induced screw. finesse it as a motion not a quick action for satisfaction
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Old 05-20-08, 03:44 PM   #12
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700x25c. As for foot retention, I am using metal cages.
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Old 05-20-08, 03:44 PM   #13
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http://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/393169-how-teach-your-girlfriend-others-skip-stop.html#post6260788

that will get you started.
once you're comfortable with the idea, everything else will come natural and eventually evolve into doing it while in saddle.
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Old 05-20-08, 03:54 PM   #14
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technique is the key. learning when to push/pull takes coordination at 1st. I go by the saying, "front foot pulls up, back foot pushes back" I really think gear inches comes 2nd to being able to do it compared to knowing how to do it. I've jumped from a 68 gi to a 84gi and had no issues with skipping/skidding. Tires make skidding more difficult depending on its compound
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Old 05-20-08, 04:00 PM   #15
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Thanks for your patience and suggestions!
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Old 05-20-08, 05:34 PM   #16
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42/16 is somewhat of a low ratio. You should be able to skid, assuming you ride your bike often. I'd say it's just a matter of technique. Practice, practice, practice.

And run the front brake either forever or until you can skid consistently barely getting out of the saddle and barely remember the brake is there.
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Old 05-20-08, 06:18 PM   #17
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i read this thread, went and practiced at the park in the grass and dirt, and can now skid. . just not that consistent or long on regular pavement
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Old 05-20-08, 06:31 PM   #18
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I try not to skid in order to save my tires.

Use a brake.

However, if the OP wants to learn how just to learn how, he should reduce his gear inches to 72 or below and lead the technique by pulling up on the forward leg, instead of locking the trailing leg and then pulling up on the forward leg.
In your mind, initiate the movement with the thought of hitting the handlebar with your knee and then your hips; your trailing leg will do the right thing.

I brake by back pedaling, and I inadvertently skid on a regular basis.
In my humble opinion, once the skid begins, the bike skids further than it would have if held just at the edge of skidding.
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Old 05-20-08, 06:37 PM   #19
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nice thread bro i learned on a fix mt. bike
cheers
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Old 05-20-08, 06:47 PM   #20
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i would advise against worrying about weight transfer. It's more of an adamant approach to the skid. Think in your mind "no matter what i am going to hold these pedals horizontal". To do so it will take both your front and back leg working together. Don't worry about leaning forward because if you rely on that, you won't be able to stop as fast. Watch Andy's portion of mash if you want to learn how to do a seated (or close to it) whip.
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Old 05-20-08, 07:08 PM   #21
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i would go to an area of grass, or super slick pavement like a skatepark or an indoor basketball court, which is the best of the three, and just practice there.
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Old 05-20-08, 07:35 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by pb&jslurpee View Post
I'm interested in learning how to stop more quickly, that is all. I'm using a front brake now, but just wanted further advice on the matter.
You will not stop any faster by skidding than you will by properly applying your front brake.
You'll actually take longer to stop.
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Old 05-20-08, 07:53 PM   #23
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nuts on the stem. thats the advice that helped me most.
its fun to skid and all, and probably a good skill to have when riding a fixed gear, but when you actually need to stop brakes are where it is at.
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Old 05-20-08, 08:58 PM   #24
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Ok, what am I doing wrong? I lock my right leg when the pedal is at 6 o'clock, lean forward, pull up on left leg...and still, it takes all of my strength to get even the most minor of skids...

Suggestions?
Install a front brake. Unless you want to hurt yourself, there is no reason why you should use a skid as your primary braking source.
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Old 05-20-08, 10:22 PM   #25
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I'm interested in learning how to stop more quickly, that is all. I'm using a front brake now, but just wanted further advice on the matter.
quoth the OP
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