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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 04-07-04, 12:21 PM   #1
EagleEye
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I got "fixed"

Finished converting my rodie to fixie last night and decided to ride it to work this morning. Wow, it was great! I've never ridden a fixie before, so I had to get used how it worked. Totally different than was I was used to. Thank God I left me front breaks on. It took me a couple of miles to get used to stopping and more importantly, no coasting. I never realized how much I coasted before. Well, I got a nice reminder this morning, every time I wanted to coast.

It's only 11 miles to my work. Can't wait until I can take out for a longer ride, although, I definitely felt like I worked harder than usual for those 11 miles. Would be interested to see how fast I poop out on long rides.

I have one of those flip-flop hub. I'll bet riding a SS will be a blast as well. I'm gonna get a SS cog and give SS a try too.

Oh, thanks for all the help/guidance I got while I was putting my fixie together.
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Old 04-07-04, 12:23 PM   #2
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Since I got my SS road bike, I also really noticed how much more work it is to keep that puppy going. Tackle any hills yet?
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Old 04-07-04, 12:47 PM   #3
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Right on!
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Old 04-07-04, 12:52 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by trekkie820
Since I got my SS road bike, I also really noticed how much more work it is to keep that puppy going. Tackle any hills yet?
Yeah, had a couple of short hills (thank God) on the way to work. I was lucky that I had the right gear ratio, but I know will need to have other options available for more hilly rides. I've only ridden to work once, and this time I went a different way. After a half mile into it, I thought it was it might have been a better idea to test ride the fixie a little before commuting with it. But, after about 2 miles or so, I actually felt pretty comfortable. Loved that idea that I was spinning the whole way. Slowing to stop while going downhill was a little hairy for me, so I used the brake for that, but I felt like I was starting to get a hang of it at the end. Forget about standing up to stretch me legs. If I wanted to stetch my legs, I was pedaling out the saddle.

Although the hills were short, it was long enough that I had to think how I was gonna manage them. I couldn't just hammer up them, then coast and rest. I tried to do this on the first hill, but the pedals kept moving. I liked the fact that I had to think as I rode, especially about stopping.

I think SS will be just as fun and I looking forward to discovering "how".
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Old 04-07-04, 01:14 PM   #5
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It's weird, I actually found my fixie easier to ride than my geared bike. Maybe it's because it's a bit smaller and more comfortable, but I think having only one gear and having to spin all the time makes your legs work more efficiently.

Speaking of riding out of the saddle, is it particularly difficult on a fix? I haven't tried it yet, maybe because I'm too scared of flipping myself off with the steep-a$$ headtube.
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Old 04-07-04, 02:04 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jonny B
Speaking of riding out of the saddle, is it particularly difficult on a fix? I haven't tried it yet, maybe because I'm too scared of flipping myself off with the steep-a$$ headtube.
The funny thing is that I found it a lot easier to ride out of the saddle on the fixie than a roadie. I think it's because the cranks keep moving, which makes it easier to keep spinning.
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Old 04-07-04, 02:36 PM   #7
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I see absolutely no difference riding out of the saddle between a fixie & a roadie.... even the very first time on a fixie.

George
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Old 04-07-04, 03:06 PM   #8
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Yeah once you go fixed, really you never go back. I have 3+ geared road bikes in my basement which aren't used more than once a year. Riding fixie is just too much fun, like sex but not quite as messy...
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Old 04-07-04, 03:22 PM   #9
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Just don't pull a stand up and coast to see around the corner on a fixed bike.

Results: entertaining, however, only if you're not on the bike.
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Old 04-07-04, 03:38 PM   #10
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My biggest problems were the habit of going really fast then coasting, which turns ur pedals into this egg beater that will tear u up and coasting when going over obstacles.
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Old 04-07-04, 11:10 PM   #11
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Interesting approach: fixed, then SS. I am going the other way around. Will hopefully give it a try tomorrow for the first time.
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Old 04-07-04, 11:22 PM   #12
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i did SS, fixed, now i'm really down with gears. don't get me wrong, my heart will always belong to fixed, but i can go places on my road bike that i can't go on my track bike. plus berkeley isn't very much fun on a track bike. it's like, okay i'm gonna go really fast now!!! oh...darn, here's a busy-ass intersection where the cross traffic doesn't stop. *resist*....*skid*....*resist* jesus, my knees...holy god this is annoying...

it's fun when everything goes your way...but berkeley is so small towny and everything is so compressed that, after riding in a city for so long, my sense of rhythm and how traffic flows is totally thrown off.
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Old 04-08-04, 08:55 AM   #13
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I'm lucky that I live near a paved bike trail and it's flat. I had a blast riding my fixie home from work last night. She's a keeper!

I love my road bike, but it's nice to have an option to ride a different type of bike. Plus, I kinda for group rides.
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Old 04-08-04, 01:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fixer
I see absolutely no difference riding out of the saddle between a fixie & a roadie.... even the very first time on a fixie.

George
I think it depends on your gear.
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Old 04-08-04, 10:01 PM   #15
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I think it depends on your gear.
So what is the perfect gear? I am trying 40/16 to start, but can already see a need to push it up a little. And if i do push it up, do I go to 42 or go to 14?
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Old 04-08-04, 10:53 PM   #16
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44/16 = perfecto. or 48/17. also, double toestraps if you're not running clipless.
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Old 04-08-04, 11:29 PM   #17
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I think I like SS a bit better than fixed. Perhaps it's just that my SS bike(coaster brake, actually) is a bit more comfortable overall. But riding fixed, to me, is kinda like driving a nice old sports car with a finicky transmission. You have to keep on your toes all the time to avoid grinding, etc.

One of the things I really dislike about gears is purely psychological. I'm a person who, if I have levers and buttons, must fiddle with them. Turns out to be quite a distraction and drain on my mental energy. I find that without them, they aren't missed. Of course, it helps that most of my riding is over relatively flat land.
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Old 04-09-04, 07:03 AM   #18
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Since I started riding SS/fixed I find that I use fewer gears when I ride my road and mountain bikes. I also tend to spin faster (and smoother) in smaller gears.
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Old 04-09-04, 08:50 AM   #19
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Since I started riding SS/fixed I find that I use fewer gears when I ride my road and mountain bikes. I also tend to spin faster (and smoother) in smaller gears.
Interesting. I was wondering about how riding a ss/fixed would affect riding a my rodie.
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Old 04-09-04, 03:48 PM   #20
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On my old fixed, i ran a 42/17 with 700c knobbies. that may seem kinda low, but i lived in san francisco, and the bike was burdened with the full metal basket.

current ss is 40/20 or 40/18, depending on what i think the ride's gonna be like.

the fixed i'm building up is going to be something in the mid 60s, in terms of gear inches.

i like my knees, they just don't like me.
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Old 04-09-04, 10:52 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneTinSloth
44/16 = perfecto. or 48/17. also, double toestraps if you're not running clipless.
Are two sets mandatory? How do you get two sets on?
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Old 04-10-04, 04:24 PM   #22
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two aren't absolutely necessary, but i won't go back to one, now that i've experienced the sheer bliss that is two.

you just take the second toe strap and thread it through the front holes of the pedal and loop it up around the top of the clip, it's not really looped through anything on the clip. i usually use some old straps that already know what shape they should be in. so you have the main strap that wraps around somewhere near the middle of your foot, and the front one that wraps around farther forward. it feels really, REALLY secure, but i've always been able to pull my feet out fairly easily. i started doing it after i snapped a clip where they attached to the pedal. the second strap really helps out

the pic is kinda dark, but you can sort of see what i mean...
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