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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, 10:31 PM   #1
icelemmings
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MASH Tour of California

Honestly, how do their knees hold up to that? Skidding to speed-check down a massive hill when they are spinning at what looks to be easily 150+

They are an extremely adept group of riders. I am not questioning that. But, really, even so, their knees must all be getting wrecked. Is there anything they are doing to keep them in shape?
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Old 07-13-09, 10:35 PM   #2
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No matter what speed you are going, all you have to do is break the traction of the rear tire and then you are in a skid. It's not going to hurt your knees any more than holding a coaster brake. I would imagine it's the transition from spin to lock and back that is where skill and finesse come into the picture.
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Old 07-13-09, 10:47 PM   #3
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No matter what speed you are going, all you have to do is break the traction of the rear tire and then you are in a skid. It's not going to hurt your knees any more than holding a coaster brake. I would imagine it's the transition from spin to lock and back that is where skill and finesse come into the picture.
True. I still wonder about those climbs. That said, I don't know the route they took.

And, agreed, getting back into their cadence without batting an eye after skidding mid-hill was always impressive.
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Old 07-13-09, 10:59 PM   #4
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it must be their airblaster leashes.
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Old 07-13-09, 11:58 PM   #5
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No matter what speed you are going, all you have to do is break the traction of the rear tire and then you are in a skid. It's not going to hurt your knees any more than holding a coaster brake. I would imagine it's the transition from spin to lock and back that is where skill and finesse come into the picture.
Not necessarily true about the not harming the knees. Skidding is a function of torque vs the friction of the tire on the ground.

High torque (low gear) + low friction (wet pavement) = Easy to skid
High torque (low gear) + high friction (grippy rubber and dry cement) = Moderate skids
Low torque (high gear) + low friction (wet pavement) = Moderate skids
Low torque (high gear) + high friction (grippy rubber and dry cement) = Hard to skid

It requires very little force to active a coaster brake. The back pedaling simply engages a mechanical system. You could activate a coaster brake with your big toe.

The riders likely had a moderate gear ratio and yeah, their knees probably took a beating.
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Old 07-14-09, 12:24 AM   #6
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If i remember correctly they installed brakes for the tour, so they weren't relying on skidding all the time.
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Old 07-14-09, 05:18 AM   #7
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Old 07-14-09, 08:47 AM   #8
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Ah yes, the old ted shred.
I see that the chain has been thrown here.
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Old 07-14-09, 09:22 AM   #9
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it must be their airblaster leashes.
Man, you can pack SO many gel packets in the leg bags. They are releasing a new MASH x Airblaster bag next season. Super aero too.
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Old 07-14-09, 02:25 PM   #10
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High torque (low gear) + low friction (wet pavement) = Easy to skid
High torque (low gear) + high friction (grippy rubber and dry cement) = Moderate skids
Low torque (high gear) + low friction (wet pavement) = Moderate skids
Low torque (high gear) + high friction (grippy rubber and dry cement) = Hard to skid
I'm not really understanding what you are saying with the torque? With a higher gear you have to apply more torque to lock up the back wheel.
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Old 07-14-09, 02:31 PM   #11
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Ah yes, the old ted shred.
I see that the chain has been thrown here.
it would have to be. it's hard to ted shred fixed when your other foot has to keep pedaling (unless you double shredded!)
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Old 07-14-09, 02:34 PM   #12
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it would have to be. it's hard to ted shred fixed when your other foot has to keep pedaling (unless you double shredded!)
The infamous double shred!!? impossible.
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Old 07-14-09, 02:37 PM   #13
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I'm not really understanding what you are saying with the torque? With a higher gear you have to apply more torque to lock up the back wheel.
My terms are probably wrong. I'm not a physicist.

Think of a 18 wheeler. That 18 wheeler goes through like 5 gears just to get to 30MPH. 5 low gears to move the heavy weight without taxing the engine, but the speed gains are small.

Same applies to bikes. The use of small gears require less force to start (or stop) the mass.

Take a road bike for example: Try to do a wheelie in a large gear. Now try it in the small gear. Which one moved the mass (you) faster?
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Old 07-14-09, 02:57 PM   #14
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My terms are probably wrong. I'm not a physicist.

Think of a 18 wheeler. That 18 wheeler goes through like 5 gears just to get to 30MPH. 5 low gears to move the heavy weight without taxing the engine, but the speed gains are small.

Same applies to bikes. The use of small gears require less force to start (or stop) the mass.

Take a road bike for example: Try to do a wheelie in a large gear. Now try it in the small gear. Which one moved the mass (you) faster?
Yea that makes sense. Sorry for trying to correct you, I am an engineer lol. But yea mashing up a hill with a higher gear will require more torque and more taxing on your knees and similarly stopping with a higher gear will also require more torque than a lower gear at the same speed.
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Old 07-14-09, 03:21 PM   #15
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it would have to be. it's hard to ted shred fixed when your other foot has to keep pedaling (unless you double shredded!)
In a proper ted shred you would be using your toes, not your heel (although shoes with clips would get in the way) and you lock up the tire same as with any other slide, so your other foot doesn't continue to rotate.

But that picture is a perfect example of why a brake less rider should know how to ted stop. If your chain breaks or derails and you need to stop... who ya gonna call, GHOSTBUSTERS.
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Old 07-14-09, 03:58 PM   #16
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In a proper ted shred you would be using your toes, not your heel (although shoes with clips would get in the way) and you lock up the tire same as with any other slide, so your other foot doesn't continue to rotate.
i beg to differ. first of all, riding a fixed gear and locking up the rear wheel means that putting your other foot on the tire isn't doing **** because the wheel is already stopped. also, in a "proper" ted shred, provided doing it "proper" means doing it the way he does it, he is using his heel, definitely not his toe, and it is most definitely a freewheel.

i cite exhibit A, exhibit B, and exhibit C.
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Old 07-14-09, 04:20 PM   #17
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Nothing like having to put a gap in $250 shoes that only serve the purpose of riding a bike.

Also skidding with clipless is crazy easier than clips, I'm sure the mash guy's knees are fine.
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Old 07-14-09, 09:17 PM   #18
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Tires blowing out would worry me more than murdering my shoe soles...
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Old 07-14-09, 10:29 PM   #19
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Nothing like having to put a gap in $250 shoes that only serve the purpose of riding a bike.

Also skidding with clipless is crazy easier than clips, I'm sure the mash guy's knees are fine.
$250 shoe with holes are better than crashing and losing teeth when you throw a chain
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Old 07-15-09, 06:18 AM   #20
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$250 shoe with holes are better than crashing and losing teeth when you throw a chain
Yep. But how about a brake or two?
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Old 07-15-09, 07:11 AM   #21
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If I were to do that raced fixed (which I wouldn't and couldn't) I would be using two brakes. But hey those MASH guys have something to prove.
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Old 07-15-09, 07:48 AM   #22
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Anyone think maybe he derailed the chain to coast the downhill? I've seen some people just unclip... but at some speeds, I'd MUCH rather have the pedals stopped.

If there is a LOT of decending coming up, and you've just mashed a hill... I think I'd take the time to coast, and leave myself a stationary pedal to balance on.

(BTW, I have no knowledge of it... it just makes sense to me)
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Old 07-15-09, 08:36 AM   #23
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Anyone think maybe he derailed the chain to coast the downhill? I've seen some people just unclip... but at some speeds, I'd MUCH rather have the pedals stopped.

If there is a LOT of decending coming up, and you've just mashed a hill... I think I'd take the time to coast, and leave myself a stationary pedal to balance on.

(BTW, I have no knowledge of it... it just makes sense to me)
Definitely not. That's a DANGEROUS way to get a breather. If you need to take a break on a fixed gear bike, you just let your legs go limp. then they spin like yarn in a sewing machine and it doesn't require effort on your part. Not quite as good as coasting, but it's what I do on nearly every downhill since I have a brake.
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Old 07-15-09, 09:19 AM   #24
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Definitely not. That's a DANGEROUS way to get a breather. If you need to take a break on a fixed gear bike, you just let your legs go limp. then they spin like yarn in a sewing machine and it doesn't require effort on your part. Not quite as good as coasting, but it's what I do on nearly every downhill since I have a brake.
in some instances, its even better than coasting.
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Old 07-15-09, 12:49 PM   #25
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If only there was some sort of a one-way clutch you could install that would allow the rear hub to overrun the drivetrain if the wheel was operating at a speed higher than the input...
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