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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 11-17-08, 03:51 PM   #1
joshxx0rz
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Advice for a noobie,

I'm not necessarily new to biking, more to the world of fixed gears.(and customization)
I'm thinking of putting together my own, preferably with a flip-flop cog, until I get used to riding fixed.
Any suggestions, advice, etc?
Thanks
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Old 11-17-08, 03:53 PM   #2
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Go with a flip-flop hub instead. They exist much better.
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Old 11-17-08, 03:54 PM   #3
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hahaha, that's what I mean.
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Old 11-17-08, 03:55 PM   #4
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My advice is: skip the swimmies and dive in head first.

Before I got my own fixie, I had ridden my friends' on a few occasions and loved it.

The point is, as long as you are a competent cyclist, you'll only need to shake your coasting habit and learn to brake with your legs (unless you use a front brake, which I do). That takes about 1 day. Riding a fixed gear is not nearly as hard as people think it is.
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Old 11-17-08, 03:58 PM   #5
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Sorry, I couldn't help it.
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Old 11-17-08, 03:58 PM   #6
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Thanks, I haven't really rode for more than a few minutes on a fixed, otherwise I would do that.
Anyone got advice on parts? Thinking of doing this from the ground up.
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Old 11-17-08, 03:59 PM   #7
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Sorry, I couldn't help it.
Yeah, some dude at my local shop called it a cog, probably trying not to confuse me.
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Old 11-17-08, 04:01 PM   #8
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Step 1: Buy bike.
Step 2: Walk bike to park.
Step 3: Practice riding bike for 1 hour.
Step 4: Ride home.

Should be sufficient for an experienced cyclist to get acclimated to riding their fixed gear.

Like I said before, as far as I am concerned, the difficulty associated with riding a fixed gear is largely a myth.
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Old 11-17-08, 04:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by joshxx0rz View Post
Thanks, I haven't really rode for more than a few minutes on a fixed, otherwise I would do that.
Anyone got advice on parts? Thinking of doing this from the ground up.
Advice on parts depends on your price range. If you are building it from the ground up, you are going to need a decent amount to start off with, no matter what the build. The first decision would be steel (more flex and road comfort) or aluminum (stiffer, more responsive, but can feel many bumps). After riding both I now know I should have gotten aluminum to start off with, but it wasn't really in my budget at the time either. I would say that most people around these parts would say go with a steel bike. It all depends on what you are using the bike for, and how you feel riding on each material.
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Old 11-17-08, 04:07 PM   #10
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Advice on parts depends on your price range. If you are building it from the ground up, you are going to need a decent amount to start off with, no matter what the build. The first decision would be steel (more flex and road comfort) or aluminum (stiffer, more responsive, but can feel many bumps). After riding both I now know I should have gotten aluminum to start off with, but it wasn't really in my budget at the time either. I would say that most people around these parts would say go with a steel bike. It all depends on what you are using the bike for, and how you feel riding on each material.
I ride both aluminum and steel, and I like both. I think people make a bigger deal about the differences between the two materials than really matters. Certainly they are different, but it's not as huge a point as, say, frame geometry.

Definitely start off with a good amount of money. In my experience, you always end up spending way more money than you plan to.

How much did you wanna spend, anyhow?
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Old 11-17-08, 04:09 PM   #11
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Well, as for the price range, it doesn't matter at all.
I have no financial commitments at the moment, so I can go pretty high.
I don't necessarily need extremely expensive high end stuff though.
So far, all I have a firenze frame, and some handlebars that are probably crap.
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Old 11-17-08, 04:11 PM   #12
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And as far as usage goes, just for getting around and just riding for fun.
My bad if this is a double post.
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Old 11-17-08, 04:15 PM   #13
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Since I am not into the athletic side of fixed gear riding, then most of the extra money I spend on my bike goes to making it look pretty. My bike came with nice Sugino cranks and a good wheelset (Mercier Kilo TT Pro from BikesDirect) already so not much upgrading was necessary. The only non aesthetic change for my bike is the bullhorn handlebar. If you have a lot of money, there is a lot you can do to your bike, sky's the limit obvs ... if you want the flip flop hub, I say go for it. But I don't think you should be worried about a learning curve if you are an experienced cyclist. If anything, I think it would reinforce the habit of coasting and not be beneficial. Maybe the freewheel would be good if you live in a hilly city and need to rest your legs from time to time ... but I've never seen the need on my fixie, frankly.
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Old 11-17-08, 04:20 PM   #14
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Yeah, I'm gonna ditch the flip-flop idea.
And a few more specifications on what I need.
I need to be able to go fast.(I know that is mostly dependent on me, but lighter parts could help I assume)
And I need a strong wheelset.
There's a lot of curbs in my city, mix that in with people that drive like a**holes and don't care about cyclists, you're just asking to mess something up.
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Old 11-17-08, 04:24 PM   #15
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those bikesdirect bikes are good starter bikes. dirt cheap, you can customize the hell out of them, and you really won't know what you'll ultimately want for yourself until you hustle around on a fixed gear for a while. or ride some friend's bikes. im all about steel, until i rode an aluminum bike with a carbon fork. you'll only know what you like if you try everything.

nothing worse than paying a lot and figuring out that you dont like what you paid for.
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Old 11-17-08, 04:25 PM   #16
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If you are tuning your bike for fun, I say more power to you, go for it. IMO that is most of the fun in owning a bike.

But I also think that there are plenty of bikes that come stock that will let you go as fast as you wanna go. I think bikes are a case of diminishing results as you spend more money.

In other words, you could get a stock bike and be perfectly happy. If you have a lot of bling, you could get a Pista Concept ... IMO they are very beautiful bikes, aluminum frame, very good quality parts. Below that you could get a regular Pista ... steel and also very beautiful with good quality parts. Or an IRO bike, also steel. Or you can get a generic bike from some place like BikesDirect ... no bragging rights and the parts are more likely to get upgraded over time ... but still beautiful bikes, and work fine as far as functionality goes.

Shedding weight, btw, in terms of your frame at least, in my experience, doesn't help much unless you are talking in the order of at least 2 lbs. That is the point I could start to tell a difference.

But back to my original point ... you don't have to build your bike frame up to get a fast, quality, fun bike. Building the bike is fun in and of itself, and IMO that's the greatest reason to build a bike. If you are more concerned about performance, I'd say there are plenty of stock bikes you can get that will serve you well!

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im all about steel, until i rode an aluminum bike with a carbon fork. you'll only know what you like if you try everything.
How did you like your carbon fork? I've never ridden one before. Does it make a huge difference? And what difference specifically does it make?

EDIT: Oh yeah, and just to clarify, the more I started thinking about my earlier comment, the more I felt the need to point out that I DO think materials make a difference, just not at the level of commuting or joy riding.

Last edited by devilshaircut; 11-17-08 at 04:41 PM.
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