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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 07-08-08, 09:16 PM   #1
bicyclridr4life
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Why?

What is the advantage of a fixed gear bike over a single speed with coaster or rim brake, or a multi gear bike? I'll never go fixed, since I like to be able to coast at times, (and I like brakes) but I would like to know what the advantages/perceived advantages are for the fixed gear bike.
Yes, I expect to be cussed out, ridiculed, insulted, and etc. for asking but if I don't ask, how am I to learn? Besides, I have been cussed out, ridiculed, insulted, and etc. for 53 of my 54 years, so will be nothing new.
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Old 07-08-08, 09:20 PM   #2
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i was going to post something insulting but i decided against it, even though these types of threads come up from time to time, read almost verbatim to what you wrote, and are annoying to answer.

go ride one and find out for yourself. it's something you have to experience directly.
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Old 07-08-08, 09:22 PM   #3
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By your logic everyone should be riding carbon fiber frames with lightweight wheels and full campy super record (with the 11 speed cassette). Actually scratch that, we'd all be driving cars.

Sometimes it's not about advantages but just something different. Sometimes it's just about fun. I for one ride a track bike because I race at the track. I commute on a single speed (sometimes a fixed-gear with brakes).

But if you want some actual advantages, here are some (some of which can apply to single speeds):
* less maintenance
* trackstanding at intersections
* learning how to spin
* racing track
* looking cool
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Old 07-08-08, 09:25 PM   #4
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It's fun.
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Old 07-08-08, 09:30 PM   #5
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A genuine desire to learn about fixed gears shouldn't cause the participant to expect ridicule. It's depressing to think this is what is expected of people that DO ride fixed gear bicycles.

Any way, most will tell you that riding a fixed gear is something that can only be experienced. A particular bond between body and machine that seems almost to practical. In reality, there is defintely a machinal advantage. The cog is directly threaded on to the hub resulting is a lot more power being immediately transfered to the rear wheel as you pedal.

Another way to approach it would be its durability. The less moving parts being exposed to weather and abuse, the lease likely you will have issues with the bikes (in a extremely average relative theory).

Feeling tied to the road gives a good idea of traction with weather as well.

Again, there are numerous things that are better explained through experience then words.
I hope this helps explain the idea though.
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Old 07-08-08, 09:33 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Yoshi View Post
By your logic everyone should be riding carbon fiber frames with lightweight wheels and full campy super record (with the 11 speed cassette). Actually scratch that, we'd all be driving cars.

Sometimes it's not about advantages but just something different. Sometimes it's just about fun. I for one ride a track bike because I race at the track. I commute on a single speed (sometimes a fixed-gear with brakes).

But if you want some actual advantages, here are some (some of which can apply to single speeds):
* less maintenance
* trackstanding at intersections
* learning how to spin
* racing track
* looking cool
What the **** are you talking about? He merely asked why some find fixed gears preferable to SS.
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Old 07-08-08, 09:36 PM   #7
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Well he asked why fixed-gears were better versus every other type pf bike.
And personally it's already been outlined here and elsewhere. The decision to ride fixed or not depends ultimately on whether or not you personally enjoy it.
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Old 07-09-08, 12:41 AM   #8
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By your logic everyone should be riding carbon fiber frames with lightweight wheels and full campy super record (with the 11 speed cassette). Actually scratch that, we'd all be driving cars. ...
If that were the case, I would not be riding. I have the following bikes:

1988 Fuji Mt. Fuji Mtn Bike (18 speed) all original friction shift Sun Tour. I bought it in 1995, for the princely sum of $125.00, and have put over 30,000 miles on it. Oh, the frame is lugged and braised triple butted steel.

Late 1980's/ early 1990's (I think) Nishiki Colorado Mountain bike. All original Shimano oval chain ring drive, Steel frame.

2 unknown vintage Huffy Beach Cruisers, steel frames (and rims, for that matter) these were dumpster finds after Hurricane Dennis, in Florida.

1970's Ross 10 speed "Professional" 27 inch wheel road bike, braised steel frame (probably "gas pipe" steel) I bought it from a neighbor for $10.00

Miami Sun Adult Trike (Single speed. I hope to someday upgrade it to a 3 speed) Steel frame and wheels. A pawn shop find for only $105.00

Sears Tote Cycle Sturmey Archer internal rear 3 speed with coaster brake, (Steel frame separable design) ($99.00 from eBay, including shipping)

"Tank" brand Micro 16 Folding bike single speed (Steel frame) ($97.00 from eBay, including shipping)

Vertical PK7 full suspension mountain bike the only new bike I have bought in over 30 years, on sale at Target, for $88.00, 4 or 5 years ago. Aluminum main frame, steel rear triangle, 21 speed

I have another mountain bike in storage, over in Nevada, I do not remember what brand it is, I think I paid something like $25.00 for it from a pawn shop, in Vegas. I have not seen it in over 5 years, and bought it mainly for a few parts (wheels and V brakes) for the Fuji.

All of these bikes were bought over a fifteen year period.

I never said anything about a single speed with coaster or rim brakes, or a multi speed bike being "better" than a fixed gear bike. I asked what the advantages are for the fixed gear bike. I never MENTIONED CF frames or 11 speed cassettes or Campy

Finally, I don't own a car, and have not owned one since 1994.
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Last edited by bicyclridr4life; 07-09-08 at 12:44 AM.
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Old 07-09-08, 01:06 AM   #9
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Consider this thread "fixed"

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed.html
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Old 07-09-08, 01:29 AM   #10
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We're the same age so you'll probably enjoy riding fixed.
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Old 07-09-08, 01:50 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andre nickatina View Post

go ride one and find out for yourself. it's something you have to experience directly.
QFT

and i will add that fg, compared to a ss with same gear ratio, etc, seems to be easier to climb hills with.
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Old 07-09-08, 02:34 AM   #12
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There are no advantages to riding fixed... I just love doing it

I guess you could say health and maintenance are the two main reason for riding fixed... I don't care I just love it.

I'm not apposed to riding any other kind of bike... I just sold them all so I can buy more track bikes.
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Old 07-09-08, 02:38 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by patrickgh View Post
It's fun.
That pretty much sums it up.

Also, my 20 year old "mountain bike" weighs less than I can afford.

For the record, I do have a geared bike and love it as well.
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Old 07-09-08, 03:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
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We're the same age so you'll probably enjoy riding fixed.
Chronologically, we may be the same age, perhaps, but not physically.

I have a hereditary bone disorder (MHE) so my joints are a lot "older" (as in way beyond "worn out").

When I was a kid (of 10 or 11) I was told by the Doc's at Iowa City Medical Center, that I would be in a wheel chair by the age of 30. I am convinced that riding my P.O.S. bikes every chance I get, is what has kept me out of that chair for an additional 24 years so far. (I have to admit though, there are some days when a wheel chair would be mighty nice. I figure I'll probably have to get one with-in the next 5 years or so )
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Old 07-09-08, 07:34 AM   #15
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I personally enjoy ss more. I use a fg for track (duh), and for cross racing. The only advantage I find is for cross racing. If you can get around a cross course fast on a fg... you'll fly on a single, or geared bike (coasting is a must in cx).
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Old 07-09-08, 07:39 AM   #16
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i have both a coasting one gear and a fixed and i like both...during the week i mostly ride the fixed bike and occasionally i will take out the coasting bike if i want to give my legs a break
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Old 07-09-08, 07:58 AM   #17
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The momentum of the fixed wheel transfers energy to the cranks. Because fixed bikes bleed less energy, they maintain speed and climb better at the same ratio compared to a free-wheel setup.

Last edited by 667; 07-09-08 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 07-09-08, 08:03 AM   #18
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It's the zen thing, stupid.
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Old 07-09-08, 08:16 AM   #19
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It's fun and challenging.
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Old 07-09-08, 09:23 AM   #20
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Yeah I gotta ask what's up Yoshi, you're not bright but you usually aren't stupid. You seriously can't trackstand with a freewheel? Seriously? You can't practice or advance your spin with a geared bike? Are you handicapped? I wouldn't hold it against you? Maybe.
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Old 07-09-08, 09:26 AM   #21
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I own fixed on a climb with a road bike, you guys are making **** up, because you can expend less energy climbing by utilizing gears while losing speed when raising your ratio means your road bike climbs better, wih your fixed it means you have no choice in the matter of how much energy you must expend.

This place spawns ignorance.

Less work to maintain - Check
Fun - Check
For track - Check

Other answers are reflecting yourr ignorance of cycling

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Old 07-09-08, 09:34 AM   #22
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Fun, it's a change from riding my freewheeled bikes. Provides an interesting physical challenge over distance rides. I love the simplicity of them, there's a certain beauty found in fixed/track bikes that I don't see in others. Not advantages though, my roadbike is fun too, just in a different way. It's just another bike to ride, I just seem to enjoy riding this one more than I do my others

Oh, and yeah... it's fun.
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Old 07-09-08, 09:45 AM   #23
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Yeah I gotta ask what's up Yoshi, you're not bright but you usually aren't stupid. You seriously can't trackstand with a freewheel? Seriously? You can't practice or advance your spin with a geared bike? Are you handicapped? I wouldn't hold it against you? Maybe.
I never said you couldn't. However a fixed-gear provides advantages in those areas, over a bike with a freewheel.

And to everyone here, my point about the road bike and the car was that the OP was asking what the advantages of a fixed-gear were, the implication being that people road fixed-gears because they present an advantage over single speeds or road bikes. If you take that logic to the extreme then you would only ride the bike that gave you the greatest advantage, which is a car. And yes that's a hyperbole.

Edit: just to clarify, while I was being snarky, my point is that people don't always ride a certain bike because it gives them an advantage over another type of bike. Sometimes they just want to ride that bike (which I suppose could be an advantage, but let's not go there). And I did answer his question. You all need to LTFU (Lighten the F up).

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Old 07-09-08, 09:48 AM   #24
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What the **** are you talking about? He merely asked why some find fixed gears preferable to SS.
No, he didn't. He asked what the advantages were. Completely different.
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Old 07-09-08, 09:51 AM   #25
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It's EXTREME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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