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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 08-19-08, 07:24 PM   #1
kander
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First day on my FG

I've been riding my single speed conversion for a bit now and decided that as a gift to myself for getting my MA degree I would build a fixed gear.To try it out first, I installed a fixed cog on my flip-flop hub. I heard all these great things about riding fixed, being one with the bike, etc. so I was getting kind of excited to try it out. But today, on my first day riding fixed, I feel a bit let down since I really didn't have any new experiences over riding single speed. It did feel (and sound) nice not to use my brakes. Perhaps I was too ambitious and worried about crashing (which I didn't) and I'm sure it will feel different over the next few days. Anyways, has anyone else has a similar experience switching over?
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Old 08-19-08, 07:32 PM   #2
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It's like driving a stick...once you get past the initial over thinking of it, it becomes second nature. Then and only then, will you find the master...
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Old 08-19-08, 07:34 PM   #3
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I'd recommend having a front brake at least when riding fixed.
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Old 08-19-08, 07:37 PM   #4
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Chain breaks = sad cyclist, provided there is no braking installed whatsoever
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Old 08-19-08, 07:40 PM   #5
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Hang in there. I rode my SS for 6 months, neglecting the Fixed side of the hub, because riding fixed was a pain. Too much thinking, awkwardness at starts and stops, feeling less in control. But I made July my fixed month, I would ride it fixed only. Now I can't imagine going back to SS.
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Old 08-19-08, 08:01 PM   #6
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The flip flop hub is a nice option on paper but in reality a stupid idea. I have a flip flop hub but refuse to have a free and fixed on either side. Just keep you fixed gear on, you will be better off.
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Old 08-19-08, 08:40 PM   #7
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I rode ss the first week I owned my bike. I kept trying to reach down and shift a gear I was so used to riding my road bike. I switched to a fixed gear and have never looked back. I have never reached down to try and shift again. No time to think of that when you cant freewheel. Removed the freewheel because it is just dead weight.
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Old 08-19-08, 09:01 PM   #8
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You'll understand better when if you try to switch back to a single speed. I had the same thoughts when I started riding fixed. Then I tried to switch back to a regular road bike and suddenly, I understood what the magic was all about. Give it a couple weeks, then switch back. You'll know right away whether you are missing something or not.
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Old 08-19-08, 09:03 PM   #9
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i didn't think it was that different when i started, but i hopped on a friend's commuter today and couldn't even clip in because i was used to the pedals staying put

in other words . . . ^^^^^^ what he said
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Old 08-19-08, 09:22 PM   #10
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Just finished my build yesterday and had never ridden a fixie before. I rode a little last night and had fun, sketchy fun. I did about 30 miles of urban riding and I haven't had this much fun on a bicycle since I was little. It just feels explosive. I did some big downhills today and feel like I nearly hit my top speed. Skidding is way fun too, but I think I dont like the idea of buying tires. Stay with it, it is better the second day.
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Old 08-19-08, 09:31 PM   #11
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i really really love these things. they never get old... i know everyone's tired of hearing it, but gears in the city-- especially ours-- are so unnecessary.
the best is riding to valley forge and back realizing that you pedaled every single inch, up every climb, down every descent, through every sprint with your friends on every attack.
as corny as this sounds, there's something about fixies that almost set them apart from bicycles altogether.

Last edited by sp00ki; 08-19-08 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 08-19-08, 09:42 PM   #12
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It's like driving a stick...once you get past the initial over thinking of it, it becomes second nature. Then and only then, will you find the master...
Bingo.
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Old 08-19-08, 10:28 PM   #13
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Today was day one for me as well. I have been researching and thinking what to do when a coworker unexpectedly gave me a wheel! Amazingly the spacing and chainline was OK as is, so all I had to do was take off the geared wheel, steal the tire/tube from it, put 'em on the fixed wheel, take a dozen or so links out of the chain, and pop it in! Since my road bike (Mondonico) has horizontal drop outs - no sweat!

It was a new experience, but not a huge change (I dont coast much anyway). I did discover that my "breaking muscles" are pretty weak! Biggest thing was that coming home (I commute 6 mi each way by bike) I realized just how smooth it is. Geared it is still pretty quiet, but fixed, the small subtle vibrations are gone.

So now, do I do the 35 mile club ride this way Saturday??? decisions, decisions............
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Old 08-19-08, 11:34 PM   #14
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tempe, do it! At least you have an excuse if you are slow.
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Old 08-19-08, 11:46 PM   #15
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For me tha bottom line is that I have a lot more fun riding fixed and feel much closer with my bike. It has also helped me tremendously in my road bike riding in that I never ever coast now and often catch myself taking off and clipping in on my geared bike as if it were fixed.
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Old 08-20-08, 07:26 AM   #16
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Funny enough, I didn't really notice a difference until after I had been riding fixed for a few weeks. I've only been riding two/three weeks fixed and now that I'm starting to feel really comfortable on it it's feeling alot different and I ride it a bit differently. When I first switched over, it felt just like a singlespeed freewheel that I couldn't stop pedalling.
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Old 08-20-08, 07:31 AM   #17
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riding my 1st fixed wheel bike out of the shop was awesome, i was hooked instantly...i had ridden a singlespeed for a whole year while i was looking at fixed gear bikes trying to decide which one to buy, it has been fun tinkering and changing things out and i think building one from the frame up would be great, that will be the next project
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Old 08-20-08, 08:13 AM   #18
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So now, do I do the 35 mile club ride this way Saturday??? decisions, decisions............
Just remember, you won't be able to gear down on the hills.
think of the hardest climb you do during your group ride. what ratio do you end up in? then look at your fg. what ratio is it? if the difference is big, you may want to ride it solo a few times so you know what you're in for...
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Old 08-20-08, 10:34 AM   #19
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I've been riding my single speed conversion for a bit now and decided that as a gift to myself for getting my MA degree I would build a fixed gear.To try it out first, I installed a fixed cog on my flip-flop hub. I heard all these great things about riding fixed, being one with the bike, etc. so I was getting kind of excited to try it out. But today, on my first day riding fixed, I feel a bit let down since I really didn't have any new experiences over riding single speed. It did feel (and sound) nice not to use my brakes. Perhaps I was too ambitious and worried about crashing (which I didn't) and I'm sure it will feel different over the next few days. Anyways, has anyone else has a similar experience switching over?
I too recently switched to fixed without prior fixed experience; it's fun, good control, efficient, etc., but i didn't see what the big deal is about riding fixed either. I mean, my bike didn't miraculously lift from the ground and fly above traffic and all my silly traditional cycling peers. Don't get me wrong - i won't be switching to my freewheel (ever again, prolly), but riding fixed is so built up like it's so hard or whatever; and for real, i'm kind of a wimp (unlike those hardcore hipster chicks complete with clever tats and oversized american apparel sunglasses who ride blindfolded without brakes or whatever the cool kids are doing these days).

I was introduced to it and encouraged to try by my self-righteous, "elitist"-attitude, bike messenging ex-b-friend who acts like he is nature's gift to cycling, let alone fixed gear riding - I wanted to try it to see if it was such the big deal he acted like it is. Its not. Truly now, if I can handle it and appreciate it, then any mother f***** can.


All this chit chat makes me want to go home now and ride my bike.
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Old 08-20-08, 10:58 AM   #20
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yeah go ride already...
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Old 08-20-08, 11:05 AM   #21
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When I started riding fixed i had already logged 1000's of km on a few of my ss bikes and I just don;t seem to know how to coast anyways... for me it was like ducks and water.

Flip flip hubs are great especially when they are double stepped and can be set up with 2 fixed cogs...
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Old 08-20-08, 11:41 AM   #22
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I didn't notice any difference, really. because i'm a machine and i never, ever stop pedaling, free or fixed. ever. so its like, what's the difference? except when i ride fixed, its always at top speed, every pedal stroke of the way, so its a better workout than a ss ride. because there's no such thing as slowly pedaling a fixed. and i'm never one with my bike. i beat it like a horse.
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Old 08-20-08, 11:51 AM   #23
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realizing that you pedaled every single inch, up every climb, down every descent, through every sprint
dead on. this is the reason.
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Old 08-20-08, 12:24 PM   #24
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Give it a week or so. I didn't like it the first time I tried it, now there's nothing like riding a fixed through the city.
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Old 08-20-08, 08:22 PM   #25
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Just remember, you won't be able to gear down on the hills.
think of the hardest climb you do during your group ride. what ratio do you end up in? then look at your fg. what ratio is it? if the difference is big, you may want to ride it solo a few times so you know what you're in for...
Good advice. But in this case, it is flat! no hills at all Right now I'm geared 39/15 - 70.2. Good for ~ 16 - 22 MPH; 19 is most natural.
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