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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 11-14-08, 11:52 AM   #1
futon
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Spinning downhill...float or accelerate?

Not a very clear question, I admit. I'll explain...

I've only been riding fixed for a few months so I've likely got a long way to go before fixed riding feels perfectly natural. The biggest issue I have presently is controlling my spin while going downhill. I'm at the point now where I no longer bounce up and down in the saddle, so that's progress, at least. My issue is that while going downhill, my instinct is to attempt to match the speed of the pedals, to "float" with them, if you will. As a result, the pedals no longer offer any resistance so all my weight is effectively loaded on my bars and saddle. This puts a ridiculous amount of pressure on my "change purse", if you know what I mean.

How do you guys and gals deal with this? Do you attempt to stay ahead of the pedals and accelerate through? Do you pre-emptively shift your ass back in the saddle? Is it possible to match the rotation of the pedals but still support some of your weight on them?
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Old 11-14-08, 12:02 PM   #2
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backpressure.
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Old 11-14-08, 12:02 PM   #3
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Watch the ball bag, you might end up with damaging things down there (ask a Doctor).

I can sit nicely on my Brooks without too much pressure on my hands or taint/bag - I usually spin until I'm feeling uncomfortable and then start resisting a bit or apply the brake to keep the spin steady.

I generally don't accelerate downhill unless I'm trying to hit some top speed or something.
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Old 11-14-08, 12:13 PM   #4
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I don't think you want to 'float' so much --

Increasing your pedal rotation to keep up with the bike has the best effect, but you have to work up to this w/ your leg strength, etc. In the meantime maybe put the brake on a bit, if you've got one, and try to find that sweet spot.

Anticipation is half the battle, too.
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Old 11-14-08, 12:20 PM   #5
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Read this: http://www.63xc.com/gregg/101_9.htm
and this might help too: http://www.63xc.com/gregg/101_8.htm
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Old 11-14-08, 12:35 PM   #6
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I use my brakes.
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Old 11-14-08, 12:35 PM   #7
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I don't know that your pedals are really supposed to support any significant portion of your weight when riding except for during hard acceleration. If your balls are getting smashed, your fit isn't correct. I can float on my pedals, spin fast as I can or resist all while tucked into the drops and at no point is there pressure on my nuts.
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Old 11-14-08, 12:42 PM   #8
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it all depends on how much of a p u ssy you are. for the record i do barspinz while spinning at 150rpm.
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Old 11-14-08, 12:44 PM   #9
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If I'm lucky enough to have a clear view and no obstacles or intersections at the bottom of the hill, I try to accelerate. If not, I apply moderate back-pressure and use my front brake.
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Old 11-14-08, 12:57 PM   #10
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I accelerate and then I use a brake at the last second. This allows me to haul ass full speed down hills, enjoying speeds of 45MPH+ (I run a low 90s gear ratio) passing others. I like to go fast. When i rode without a brake I always had to be putting on back pressure, skipping, skidding, and generally taking action to slow down far in advance of intersections, lights, etc. It was a bummer. Then I put a brake on and now I do what I please, and riding fast is what pleases me. My expensive tires last longer, too.

Last edited by Ride Among Us; 11-14-08 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 11-14-08, 12:58 PM   #11
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If you are having pain in your crotchal region check your angles. Use a front brake.
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Old 11-14-08, 01:04 PM   #12
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I try to stay ahead of the pedals. Riding rollers at high cadences help out a lot with doing this smoothly and in control, because you can bascially emulate what you're doing on hills in a controlled setting for a good 5 or 10 minutes of way higher cadence than you'd spin on the street, unless your city is just one long descent.
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Old 11-14-08, 01:11 PM   #13
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There's no sense in bombing a hill unless it's really desolate or there's no intersections. You never know what can happen. Always try and control your speed
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Old 11-14-08, 01:14 PM   #14
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Oh my city is one long descent alright... One long descent.... INTO MADNESS! *runs naked through the street dripping molten candle wax on my nipples*
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Old 11-14-08, 01:20 PM   #15
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Yeah, the seat may very well be the biggest culprit. It's a rather narrow Selle Italia (SLR) that came with the bike. It seems to support me well for the most part, but I do find that I slide forward a bit while going downhill, and then all my weight is on my nutsack. I should likely look at adjusting that some more (I've already moved it forward a bit) before I start messing with other stuff.

As for backpedaling, I find it to be very useful, and it is, in fact, my primary method of stopping, but only on flats or gentle declines. I run a medium-high gear (44x16), and I don't think I'm quite strong enough to control my downhill spin with backpressure. I'm more likely to be launched from the saddle. :/

I have both front and rear brakes, but generally only use the front. After the first few weeks I was comfortable enough (nut pressure, notwithstanding) to hit the downhills without having to brake, but yeah, I may need go that route again. It just feels counterintuitive to brake going down a hill with no obstruction at the bottom. I don't want to feel like the fixie is slowing me down.

So yeah, fix the saddle and practice more.

Thanks, folks.
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Old 11-14-08, 03:07 PM   #16
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i take my feet out so i can see my sweet fixed gear in action with the whole pedals moving by themselves and all so i can pick up chicks and hope the light stays green. my deepv's will usually slow me down enough.
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Old 11-14-08, 03:19 PM   #17
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I coast, pedal, or brake, as desired. Such are the marvels of a 21st century bicycle.
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Old 11-14-08, 03:21 PM   #18
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I coast, pedal, or brake, as desired. Such are the marvels of a 21st century bicycle.
Congrats, nobody cares.
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Old 11-14-08, 03:43 PM   #19
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Congrats, nobody cares.
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Old 11-14-08, 03:47 PM   #20
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Your post adds nothing to the discussion. This is a thread about fixed gears, if you don't ride a fixed gear or have nothing to constructive to say, your snarky little comments serve no purpose. I ride a fixed gear and have a bike with a freewheel, so I can do everything you can do PLUS I can ride fixed if I want to. Do I win a ****ing prize?
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Old 11-14-08, 03:52 PM   #21
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I ride a fixed gear and have a bike with a freewheel, so I can do everything you can do PLUS I can ride fixed if I want to. Do I win a ****ing prize?
Only if you ride with brakes (front and back) on the fixie.
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Old 11-14-08, 03:54 PM   #22
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Only if you ride with brakes (front and back) on the fixie.
Damn! So close!
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Old 11-14-08, 05:01 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by elTwitcho View Post
I don't know that your pedals are really supposed to support any significant portion of your weight when riding except for during hard acceleration. If your balls are getting smashed, your fit isn't correct. I can float on my pedals, spin fast as I can or resist all while tucked into the drops and at no point is there pressure on my nuts.
maybe he has big balls....lots of change in his bag or something.

i usually float or backpedal a bit. unless i'm trying to make a light or something and don't want to get killed.
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Old 11-14-08, 10:24 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ride Among Us View Post
I accelerate and then I use a brake at the last second. This allows me to haul ass full speed down hills, enjoying speeds of 45MPH+ (I run a low 90s gear ratio) passing others. I like to go fast. When i rode without a brake I always had to be putting on back pressure, skipping, skidding, and generally taking action to slow down far in advance of intersections, lights, etc. It was a bummer. Then I put a brake on and now I do what I please, and riding fast is what pleases me. My expensive tires last longer, too.

Then getting up the hill is your problem. Ouch.
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Old 11-14-08, 11:34 PM   #25
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fiddle with the angle of your saddle; try diffrent things because whatever people tell you wont know whats right until you find it. i had this problem for a while but i changed my sadle by a mininmal amount and it was fine.

also, riding fixed down hill is somthing to get used to. be prepared for it to be a bit uncomfortable at first. after time it will become more natural.
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