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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 11-29-08, 04:28 AM   #1
brron
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fixed gear feels so weirddd....

i know it's only been a day. I come from a road bike and i have to admit i coast way too much. It's what made me build a fixie to get out of that habit. I guess coasting feels safe and i have to say fixed gear feels death scary like i'm going to smash my face on concrete. I'll give it a few weeks as sheldon brown said to, but seriously, what a scary transition...

any of you feel the same? do i need to harden the f up? feel free to flame me, i would flame myself

ps: it's the coming to a stop and feeling like i'm going to get stuck in toe clips and crash that scares me. regular riding feels fine.
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Old 11-29-08, 04:47 AM   #2
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you'll get used to it. after riding fixed for a while it'll feel wierd going back to coasting.
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Old 11-29-08, 08:22 AM   #3
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I tell people, "riding fixed isn't hard, transitioning back and forward between fixed and freewheel is hard."

Once you get comfortable on your fixed gear, it's going to feel dangerous for a few seconds the first time you throw a leg over your freewheel bike and backpedaling fails to slow you.

Have fun and welcome to the world of fixed gears.
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Old 11-29-08, 08:27 AM   #4
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i find that when i ride fixed exclusivley for a while, then i go back to my freewheeled race bike, i have to look down and think about coasting before i can coast. its not a bad thing at all. just ride it for a few weeks and you will be fine. i use mine around town and for some longer rides with non-cycling friends (i will lend them one of my bikes).
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Old 11-29-08, 08:28 AM   #5
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I tell people, "riding fixed isn't hard, transitioning back and forward between fixed and freewheel is hard."
.
I ride fixed year round and ride my roadbike in the fair weather. Other than the 1st freewheel ride of the season in the spring, i have no problems switching back and forth.
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Old 11-29-08, 08:30 AM   #6
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Once back on your geared bike, you'll find yourself powering into stops. Coasting will be a very strange sensation.

But you will be faster.
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Old 11-29-08, 08:33 AM   #7
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I tell people, "riding fixed isn't hard, transitioning back and forward between fixed and freewheel is hard."

Once you get comfortable on your fixed gear, it's going to feel dangerous for a few seconds the first time you throw a leg over your freewheel bike and backpedaling fails to slow you.

Have fun and welcome to the world of fixed gears.
I never use my legs to stop, so I might not know. However I don't find any problems going back and forth between fixed and free. Occasionally, I'll be on long ride on my fixed gear after riding my 27 speed surly for a long time and try standing up to coast and get a stern reminder of what bike I'm riding. It's sort of like getting *****-slapped by your bike.
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Old 11-29-08, 09:51 AM   #8
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It felt strange to me as well my first few days, but I got used to it and now rarely coast when I ride my MTB.

Do you have a front brake installed?

Ride Safe!
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Old 11-29-08, 09:57 AM   #9
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ps: it's the coming to a stop and feeling like i'm going to get stuck in toe clips and crash that scares me. regular riding feels fine.
Practice trackstanding. Seriously, you might look like a dork at first, but I spent weeks going to the park every day and practicing my trackstands.

If you're not running a front brake, please do. It's a lot safer, and failing trackstands, you can pull one foot out and ride on the underside of your pedal for a bit as you approach an intersection where you'll have to stop and put your foot down at long red lights without compromising your braking power as you approach the intersection.
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Old 11-29-08, 10:00 AM   #10
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the last time i rode freewheel it felt like evil evil very evil sorcery...
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Old 11-29-08, 10:18 AM   #11
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I'm 63 years old. I started riding single speed about 4 years ago and fixed gear 2 weeks ago. I've ridden 150 miles on the fixed, ranging from 9 to 50 miles. You will be suprised how quickly you get used to it. Stopping definitely takes getting used to after 35 years of riding freewheeling bikes. I slow down and unclip well in advance of the anticipated stop. Get used to stopping with your clipped in foot in other positions than straight down as you do when stopping a freewheel bike. I transition several times a week based on planned ride - commuting, pulling trailer for groceries, hill training rides, tandem rides. The transitions do take a few moments to get used to. When going from free to fixed you quickly realize that you can't coast if you forget. My fixed ride is a black SOMA Rush with front and rear brakes. The brakes give me a more secure feeling. I know it's not the hipster way, but I'm enjoying the ride.
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Old 11-29-08, 11:38 AM   #12
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I'm 63 years old. I started riding single speed about 4 years ago and fixed gear 2 weeks ago. I've ridden 150 miles on the fixed, ranging from 9 to 50 miles. You will be suprised how quickly you get used to it. Stopping definitely takes getting used to after 35 years of riding freewheeling bikes. I slow down and unclip well in advance of the anticipated stop. Get used to stopping with your clipped in foot in other positions than straight down as you do when stopping a freewheel bike. I transition several times a week based on planned ride - commuting, pulling trailer for groceries, hill training rides, tandem rides. The transitions do take a few moments to get used to. When going from free to fixed you quickly realize that you can't coast if you forget. My fixed ride is a black SOMA Rush with front and rear brakes. The brakes give me a more secure feeling. I know it's not the hipster way, but I'm enjoying the ride.
Everyone knows that denying any aspect of hipsterdom makes you a hipster. Sheesh.

But to respond to OP, yeah, it feels weird and scary at first. But, as Sheldon says, stay with it, and it'll be hard to go back. You get a level of control that just isn't possible with a coasting bike. Your leg strength will increase noticeably almost immediately. Just take it easy at first. The learning curve is quite high.
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Old 11-29-08, 12:25 PM   #13
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Freewheel feels weird and scary to me now. I rode freewheel for the first time in about a month yesterday and I was freaked out! I don't like just having to rely on my brakes to stop. You'll get used to it, I felt the same way when I first started riding fixed.
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Old 11-29-08, 12:49 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by brron View Post
i know it's only been a day. I come from a road bike and i have to admit i coast way too much. It's what made me build a fixie to get out of that habit. I guess coasting feels safe and i have to say fixed gear feels death scary like i'm going to smash my face on concrete. I'll give it a few weeks as sheldon brown said to, but seriously, what a scary transition...

any of you feel the same? do i need to harden the f up? feel free to flame me, i would flame myself

ps: it's the coming to a stop and feeling like i'm going to get stuck in toe clips and crash that scares me. regular riding feels fine.
I feel exactly the same. Ive tried it 5 or 6 times and I just cant do it. As someone mentioned, on my road bike, I unclip several feet before the anticipated stop. When I do stop on the fixed it feels very unnerving and I feel I'm about to crash. I do run both front and rear brakes, but now I just use the freewheel side of the wheel. Do you guys think it would be easier to learn without foot retention? I cant seem to get the "timing" down when clipping in when starting and clipping out when stopping.
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Old 11-29-08, 01:23 PM   #15
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I tell people, "riding fixed isn't hard, transitioning back and forward between fixed and freewheel is hard."
Actually, I don't find it hard at all transitioning between freewheel and fixed. I transition between both quite frequently during the week. You get used to it quickly.
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Old 11-29-08, 01:30 PM   #16
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I cant seem to get the "timing" down when clipping in when starting and clipping out when stopping.
This is where you should practice & learn to be able to detach either foot when clicking out or unclipping. Pedal 'timing' and position will no longer matter as you come to a stop when you're able to detach either foot regardless of pedal position.
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Old 11-29-08, 02:21 PM   #17
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It's only scary making sharp turns.
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Old 11-29-08, 02:26 PM   #18
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i wish i could say that it felt weird to ride a fixed gear, but i have to wait until wednesday. i got mine today, and 20 minutes off the truck i hit a stand still. my frame is bent and i can not get my seat-post in. now i need to wait to get shipped another one. or drive 2 and a half hours to philly next weekend and buy one at a real bike shop. there are about 10-12 bike shops in a 20 mile radius of my house and non carry any fixed gear bikes.
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Old 11-29-08, 03:01 PM   #19
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I just got my first SS/FG (flip-flop) on Wednesday. I'm pretty comfortable riding in dense urban traffic on geared bikes, but practicing on the new FG these past few days, I felt like an 8 year old who just had his training wheels taken off. I have to stop suddenly pretty often as cars pull into and out of parking spots, cars cut each other off, change lanes unexpectedly, delivery trucks pull in front of me and stop, etc... and I am NOT equipped to do that yet on a FG! (yes, I do have front and rear brakes, but the bike still feels alien to me, and not an extension of myself like my geared bikes do.)

I know 'll pick it up before too long though.
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Old 11-29-08, 03:08 PM   #20
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ha
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Old 11-29-08, 03:17 PM   #21
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it took me about 10 minutes to learn not to coast. slowing down and the timing come with time. also learn to trackstand. i'm not that great at it but i can many times i can hold it long enough that i don't have to put a foot down
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Old 11-29-08, 03:22 PM   #22
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The only thing that i notice when i go back to my freewheel is that I still get into toe-clips while pedaling, I don't bother to quit pedaling to flip the pedal anymore.

I like um both. just so long as it's a bicycle.
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Old 11-29-08, 05:39 PM   #23
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i was the same when i first started.
now when i get on my road bike at first i nearly fall off when i freewheel
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