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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 08-31-08, 05:43 PM   #1
AdamH87
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First time fixie/ Pedals Question

I have a Dawes(kinda) SST. Yesterday stuck a fixed gear cog on it. First time riding fixed and I'm loving it. Still can't quite figure out the skid stop, but I don't really think I'm going to bother since I have both brakes on and too much backpressure really kills my bad right knee. Prob will take off the back brake if I decide to switch permanently to fixed. Sidenote: anybody experience a slight pain in the Achilles after riding fixed? It's worried me a bit.

Anyhoo I've been thinking about new pedals. Right now I have the stock pedals, which are small guys with straps. I took the straps off because I didn't use them. Whenever I would have the balls of my feet on the pedal, it would stress my bad knee a lot more. I find it most comfortable(even though not the most powerful) to ride with the instep of my foot over the middle of the pedal. How do you guys feel about these

http://harriscyclery.net/itemdetails.cfm?ID=2766

Perhaps give more support/power?
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Old 08-31-08, 06:01 PM   #2
ijgrant
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You really want to be riding with the balls of your feet over the spindles of the pedals. pressure on your instep can really mess with your foot. Also, having some kind of attachment between the pedal and your foot will help you keep your foot in place, and makes stopping (and skidding) easier.

I do ride with platforms in the winter, but I prefer clipless
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Old 08-31-08, 06:16 PM   #3
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It sounds like your seat is too high or the bike is too large. If you are getting pain in the achilles this is a sign of over extension, such that when you press down all the way your foot is pointing down possibly? If you push with the arch of your foot you will get a much different problem which is equally as bad.

If your knee is weak then perhaps an easier gear is the solution (larger number of teeth on the cog).

I recommend using a clipless system, the soles of the shoes are at least stiffer than a soft pair of shoes like converse, and will help you push the pedal with your entire foot even if the pedal and cleat are a small area.

These are my favorite: http://www.crankbrothers.com/eggbeater.php - They have great foot retention and are easy to get in and out of. Also if you can pull up as well as push down it WILL help your knee feel better compared to pushing down all the time.

Also, if you are ditching the back brake, be sure to know how to skid and use a toe-cage or clipless pedal system.
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Old 08-31-08, 06:57 PM   #4
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If this is your first time riding in a few years you'll have to start slowly. Make sure to have a day or two of rest per week for your first month or two (age dependent). Your using muscles in a new way, they need to build up to the task, and fixed can challenging. If you got a bad knee its all the more reason to go easy, maybe an easier gear will help. Don't try skidding for a while. Don't try to grind up hills for a while either. Read up on bike fit, the more the better. And stretch.

good luck,
jim


Edit: I love my SST
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Old 08-31-08, 08:20 PM   #5
AdamH87
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I'm pretty sure the pain in the Achilles is due to my first ride on the fix, in which I foolishly tried to resist the pedals in a crappy way that stretched my Achilles a terrible way. Don't do that anymore, and after a long ride today it feels a bit better, just tight.

As for my knee pain from just having the balls of my feet on the pedals, I think its due more to the nature of my ****ty knee and less with the height of the seat. I'll give a lower seat a try though to see if I can manage the clip pedals.

I like the idea of clipless pedals, but I'm going to be using it a lot to get to class and want to be able to wear my regular shoes. Will be walking around a lot without changing shoes.

I will be going easier at first with the fixed. I've been riding the same gear ratio as I have now on single speed for a couple months doing about 50 miles a week(mostly commuting). I'll be reducing that by about half for a while.

SO if adjusting the seat height doesn't help with my knee on clip pedals, back to my original question do you think its better to use bigger platform pedals as opposed to using the smaller clip pedals without the clips? Thanks!
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Old 09-01-08, 09:58 AM   #6
lns55
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Whatever you do please use some type of set-up to keep your feet from slipping off the pedals. You can go clipless or clips/straps it's your personal preference. Set-up your bike right seat height and so forth. I'm an older rider with arthritis in one knee and the smooth steady pedalling motion of fixed gear riding has actually healed me. As long as I ride I don't have pain in my knee anymore. Good luck.
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Old 09-01-08, 03:19 PM   #7
AdamH87
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alright you've convinced me. Bought bigger clips today to fit on my big feet. Yay.
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Old 09-01-08, 04:07 PM   #8
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what is the "nature" of your "bad knee"


I hear this excuse all the time from people who are fat/out of shape
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Old 09-01-08, 10:50 PM   #9
spoonielov
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good pedals, honestly i love my MKS gr-9's. The stock pedals were to small and sylvans were just ehhh. I can wear most of my shoes as long as they aren't really bulky in the toes (i.e. vans, adidas, etc.). I'm using my bike at school too, so I feel you on the "not changing shoes" tip. But yea I haven't heard anything bad so far about gr-9s either. That's just my two cents.
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