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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 12-04-09, 10:30 PM   #1
RobertFrapples
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Thoughts after a week with on my first FG/SS bike

After a year and a half of commuting on road bike and a 29er (for when there is snow or I have to carry a lot of stuff), neither of which are conducive to mounting fenders and both of which have more gears than I ever use, I bought a SS/FG bike with fenders to commute with.

I rode it set up as single speed for a few days, then fixed for a few days, then single speed again. Here are my thoughts thus far:

I keep unconsciously tapping the sides of the brake levers - not with any intent to shift. I never noticed before, but I have developed a habit of fidgeting with my STI levers.

I love fenders. I love not having to swerve around puddles. I love not having wet shoes.

I like riding without shifting, but I like riding with shifting too. Variety is nice.

About the "connectedness to the bike" that fixievanglists rave about - if you are pedaling hard enough to keep the top of the chain taught, your are no more connected with a fixed gear bike than with any other chain driven bike. When you are not pedaling hard enough to keep the chain taught - do you really want to be that connected at those times? It is nice to be able to maintain a slow speed at intersections without repeatedly applying and releasing the brakes, though.

There are some things that I thought would take some getting used to when fixed that didn't - taking off, stopping, unclipping, turning my head to look behind me. There is one thing I had not thought of that I still have not managed to do while fixed - blow a not rocket.
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Old 12-08-09, 04:26 PM   #2
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Old 12-08-09, 05:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by RobertFrapples View Post
About the "connectedness to the bike" that fixievanglists rave about - if you are pedaling hard enough to keep the top of the chain taught, your are no more connected with a fixed gear bike than with any other chain driven bike. When you are not pedaling hard enough to keep the chain taught .
Sounds like your chain is a bit loose. There is a sweet spot of tension that is just tight enough to have no play in the cranks, but not so tight that it makes creaking sounds and is hard to pedal. If you can find the right spot, you will have no play and no binding.
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Old 12-08-09, 07:05 PM   #4
Brian
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Taut.
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Old 12-08-09, 07:12 PM   #5
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When you are not pedaling hard enough to keep the chain taught - do you really want to be that connected at those times?
YeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeS! That's exactly when riding fixed gives you that connected feel, when you're not going all out. I really feel "at one" (I know, so cliche) with my bike at slower speeds, weaving through tricky situations, not so much topping out as fast as I can go. Give it a couple more go's, I bet you'll become hooked. When I made the switch from SS to fixed, it was a couple rides before I really started to like it. There's an adjustment period for sure.
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Old 12-08-09, 07:29 PM   #6
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There is one thing I had not thought of that I still have not managed to do while fixed - blow a not rocket.
You'll learn to do that soon enough. Passing gas at high cadences while riding fixed is much harder.
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