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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 07-13-09, 09:23 AM   #1
RubberDucks
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Went fixed today

so I got my bike fitted for a 16t fixed cog yesterday. so far I have never worked my legs harder on a bike. Im still getting the hang of slowing down quickly enough in emergency situations. I have brakes but I want to get the hang of just stopping on leg power alone. any tips?
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Old 07-13-09, 09:28 AM   #2
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Stretch your hammies every day.
Use skids and skips--hop a little off the weaker leg, then lock up the wheel with both legs before the next revolution.
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Old 07-13-09, 09:32 AM   #3
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just practice. Remember to pull up with one leg while simulatenously pushing down w/ the other to initiate a skid. My first ride on fixed left me reallly sore, but now I have gotten used to it. It is a good workout, tho
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Old 07-13-09, 09:36 AM   #4
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Use the brakes.
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Old 07-13-09, 09:37 AM   #5
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+1 Use the brakes and leg resistance simultaneously.
I like using the skip stop though, it's a fun one.
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Old 07-13-09, 09:39 AM   #6
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I was really hesitant to do it. mostly because of the stigma attached regarding hipsters and the danger of it. but then I realized that I don't give a ****. its something new(to me) and cool to try out and experience, so why not?
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Old 07-13-09, 09:42 AM   #7
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I was really hesitant to do it. mostly because of the stigma attached regarding hipsters and the danger of it. but then I realized that I don't give a ****. its something new(to me) and cool to try out and experience, so why not?
Same, but I still haven't finished my conversion, so I haven't actually taken the plunge yet.
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Old 07-13-09, 09:43 AM   #8
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tip: have fun
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Old 07-13-09, 09:44 AM   #9
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just practice. Remember to pull up with one leg while simulatenously pushing down w/ the other to initiate a skid.
Make sure your "pull up" leg is the one in front (3 o'clock from driveside), while your "push down" is in the back (9 o'clock). Otherwise, its just...pedaling.
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Old 07-13-09, 09:49 AM   #10
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It's fun to start skidding by kicking the back wheel out while you skid, a whip skid I guess?
I have been a having a lot of fun with bunny hopping up on curbs lately and practicing riding backwards as well.

Wheelies I still don't have down completely but I wheelie off of stuff all the time I just can't keep one going for very long.
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Old 07-13-09, 09:54 AM   #11
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I used to be able to wheelie like a mofo on my mountain bike but the gearing on a fixed is so much more awkward for balancing... you have to be going pretty fast.
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Old 07-13-09, 09:56 AM   #12
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+2 to "just use the brakes". The prospect of learning to skid will become much less daunting as you get more comfortable just being on the bike. The only way to do this is to ride.

Sure you can try some skids and teach yourself how to trackstand and all that jazz now, but the truth is it'll be a lot easier to learn a couple months from now after you've been riding your bike every day.
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Old 07-13-09, 10:01 AM   #13
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I already ride my bike every day to work and back and out to the bar and to my girlfriends. I was getting really good at trackstanding with a freewheel using the front brake, now I have to learn all over again. but I will be riding every say so long as it doesn't pour all month like it did last month
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Old 07-13-09, 10:02 AM   #14
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Very true, the more riding you do the more in tune you will be with how to moderate speed and how to best maneuver the bike.
I still feel like I learn something new whenever I ride, even subtle things.


Side note-
The movie '2 Seconds' is great!
Check it out if you haven't already. Add it to your cycling movie list.
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Old 07-13-09, 10:05 AM   #15
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use a front brake regardless you will thank yourself in a couple years when you realize your body was not meant to do that kind of maneuver
mechanically separated knee tissues is not something anyone wants
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Old 07-13-09, 10:08 AM   #16
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I already ride my bike every day to work and back and out to the bar and to my girlfriends. I was getting really good at trackstanding with a freewheel using the front brake, now I have to learn all over again. but I will be riding every say so long as it doesn't pour all month like it did last month
You're ahead of the curve by a little bit then, but as you've probably noticed the feel of riding fixed is WORLDS apart from your trusty geared bike.

Hell, I finally got my touring bike back in shape last week after it being out of action for almost 8 months (and so riding just the fixed since then), and I nearly fell over trying to take off on it.

It's not quite learning to ride a bike all over again, but it definitely still takes getting used to.

Oh, and practice skidding on grass. Traction goes way down, so you can get a feel for it even if your legs aren't quite strong enough to skid on pavement.
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Old 07-13-09, 10:18 AM   #17
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Im pretty used to the single gear. I've been riding an SS for almost a year now and have really noticed a difference in my riding and my stamina. Im gonna be using the brakes definitely before getting too into skidding. Im probably going to wait till after I get the OK from my surgeon that Im fully healed from surgery back in march. It was open abdominal surgery do I want to make sure my muscles are fully healed before I try anything that requires a lot of abdominal stress.
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