Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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)

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 04-23-10, 06:59 PM   #1
radiofree
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
radiofree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 57
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Contemplating a fixed gear bike, but I just dont get it.....

I am due for a new bike soon, something I will be commuting on daily. I know its going to be single speed or fixed gear because every time I use a bike with gears, I just end up leaving it on the highest gear, I dont use the extra gears so theres no point in keeping them. It seems like a lot of people are riding fixed gear bikes now (at least in my generation), But I just dont see the point in a fixed gear vs single speed. Whats wrong with having a choice to coast, what is the point of having a fixed gear bike? If someone could please enlighten me as to what I seem to be missing that everyone else gets.... (I am not trying to troll, I am legitimately confused)

Last edited by radiofree; 04-23-10 at 07:04 PM. Reason: typo in title
radiofree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-10, 07:01 PM   #2
seau grateau
Senior Member
 
seau grateau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: LA
Bikes: Shogun Selectra, Dolan Pre Cursa, Ridley Fenix AL
Posts: 6,794
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 65 Post(s)
It's fun.
seau grateau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-10, 07:01 PM   #3
carleton
Elitist
 
carleton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Bikes:
Posts: 13,067
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
A test ride is worth a thousand words.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by gtrob View Post
Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
carleton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-10, 07:04 PM   #4
Squirrelli
GONE~
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 6,757
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by carleton View Post
A test ride is worth a thousand words.
Exactly, you'll never know how fun it could be until you get on one.
Squirrelli is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-10, 07:17 PM   #5
hairnet
Fresh Garbage
 
hairnet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Los Angeles
Bikes:
Posts: 12,436
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by radiofree View Post
Whats wrong with having a choice to coast, what is the point of having a fixed gear bike?
Street cred with the hip high school kids.
hairnet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-10, 07:20 PM   #6
LosAngelesRidin
Senior Member
 
LosAngelesRidin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: guess
Bikes: 1986 Triathlon Peugeot Fixed.
Posts: 139
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I used to be like "why one gear instead of multiple"

Until I got one.

now I ride it everyday

its just so much fun
LosAngelesRidin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-10, 07:58 PM   #7
the_don
Senior Member
 
the_don's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Tokyo
Bikes:
Posts: 1,917
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It's feels nice, you can control your speed using your legs, you just feel more in control and more 'fixed' to the bike
the_don is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-10, 08:41 PM   #8
TheBikeRollsOn 
Senior Member
 
TheBikeRollsOn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: NC
Bikes:
Posts: 1,301
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Whenever friends ask why I don't just go singlespeed i say something along the lines of this:

After riding fixed for a while, then riding on a bike that coast, I feel like I have no control over the bike. Being able to put backwards pressure to control your speed and balance makes you feel so much more in control of you bike. Honestly, I rode my friends Trek road bike the other day and I hated it. Partially because I wasn't used to it, but I really didn't like the lack of control I felt, I forgot I was riding a freewheel and tried putting backwards resistance and started spinning the crank backwards and almost fell of the bike because I didn't know what was going on. I actually felt and probably looked like a complete goon.
TheBikeRollsOn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-10, 08:52 PM   #9
clubman 
Youngman Grande
 
clubman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Nova Scotia
Bikes: roadsters, club bikes, fixed and classic
Posts: 2,951
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
The joy is in the sensation of your energy being used and fed back to you through the drivetrain. Dynamic 2 way feedback. It always demands your attention and rewards you for it or sometimes punishes you when you tune out. More of a relationship than a ride.
clubman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-10, 08:54 PM   #10
Squirrelli
GONE~
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 6,757
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by clubman View Post
The joy is in the sensation of your energy being used and fed back to you through the drivetrain. Dynamic 2 way feedback. It always demands your attention and rewards you for it or sometimes punishes you when you tune out. More of a relationship than a ride.
You made it sound very intimate.
Squirrelli is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-10, 09:25 PM   #11
robertv
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 438
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't think either has an inherent advantage or disadvantage. Pretty much an entry level fixie should come with a flip flop hub so you can always try both. I like both. Right now my work bike is a singlespeed, and thats doing just fine for me. I kind of like how a single speed makes it easy for me to put the pedals in the position I want them to be when I'm stopped at a light. Other than that I don't notice much of a difference. I do like how I can make little adjustments in speed without using a brake when I'm riding fixed. The locked in feeling is pretty cool too. Skids on a fixie are cool too. rear brake skids on a singlespeed just aren't as cool and I actually find them a bit difficult to control. Still, I don't do skids often and think they're a bit silly to be doing all the time.

Also, if you ride a singlespeed some of the fixed riders will mock you. Not cause you deserve it but because they are idiots. I think my courier uniform deflects most of this criticism because no one has said a damn thing to me, but I've seen idiots on fixies bagging on guys with singlespeeds for no reason except they feel cooler. Same thing with running brakes on a fixie. Eventually someone's gonna act like they're better than you cause they don't have brakes.
robertv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-10, 09:30 PM   #12
carleton
Elitist
 
carleton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Bikes:
Posts: 13,067
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
It's sort of like the difference between driving an automatic and a manual transmission car. With the manual you get to modulate speed with the gas pedal and gear choice more effectively than you can with an automatic.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by gtrob View Post
Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
carleton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-10, 03:12 AM   #13
bleedingapple
Senior Member
 
bleedingapple's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Portland, OR
Bikes: Leader 722TS, Surly Cross Check, GT Outpost, Haro Z16, Trek 1000
Posts: 698
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
it makes you a better rider!
bleedingapple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-10, 03:30 AM   #14
Sixty Fiver
Bicycle Repair Man !!!
 
Sixty Fiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: YEG
Bikes: See my sig...
Posts: 27,255
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I prefer fixed to ss if I am running a single gear... it is a little more efficient, quieter, and simpler.

One of the few mechanical failures I have had in the past couple of years was when an SS freewheel came apart during a ride... was nice to flip my wheel over and go back to running fixed and I replaced the defective freewheel with another fixed cog.

I had been running fixed / fixed for years (and all my other fixed gear bikes are set up like this) and was re-trying the ss route... now my only ss is my old path racer with it's coaster hub.

Even then... I almost never coast as it's bad form.
Sixty Fiver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-10, 06:02 AM   #15
wroomwroomoops
Sir Fallalot
 
wroomwroomoops's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Bikes:
Posts: 5,275
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I tried FG a few years ago. The first downhill scared me away from the idea. Then I tried it again, went another path, pedaled uphill (no major probs) and then down... and that's what sealed it. If I lived in places that are flat as a pancake (NYC?) I'd probably have a FG bike that I'd ride from time to time. But I don't live in such a place.

Different strokes for different folks, folks!
wroomwroomoops is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-10, 06:12 AM   #16
filtersweep
Senior Member
 
filtersweep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 2,615
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Of course there is an "advantage" coasting down a huge hill. Of course there is an "advantage" to shifting when riding up a big hill. I ride fixed around 80% of the time (also ride road and mtn bike). It is not about being practical, other than the fact that I wouldn't lock my road bike up anywhere, and my mtn bike feels like driving a tractor. You are approaching this with the wrong brain hemisphere.
filtersweep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-10, 07:37 AM   #17
robertv
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 438
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I meant that I don't see any real advantages or disadvantages when you compare singlespeed to fixed.
Anyone who's been riding fixed for a little while can spin their legs fast enough on a downhill to be as fast or maybe a little faster than someone coasting down the same hill. It really doesn't take much effort either. Having ridden both fixed and singlespeed on a variety of terrain I can say that to some extent fixed is a bit more fun and you can enjoy that locked in feeling but other than that you can do most anything you can do on a fixed gear on a singlespeed and the other way around.
Maybe If you lived in an area with big winding hills you might want to be able to coast to lean more in the turns but then you're probably gonna want something with some gears anyway.

Last edited by robertv; 04-24-10 at 07:48 AM.
robertv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-10, 10:54 AM   #18
aMull
Senior Member
 
aMull's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Toronto
Bikes: Leader 735TR 09 58cm 46/17
Posts: 1,779
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Lets just say that now every time i ride a freewheel bike i feel like it's broken. Single speed cruiser or something is fine, but a single speed road bike just seems pointless.
aMull is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-10, 11:06 AM   #19
wroomwroomoops
Sir Fallalot
 
wroomwroomoops's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Bikes:
Posts: 5,275
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
^^^To the guys above: one size doesn't fit all. We're not the same. You know what Apple says: "Think different". And I say "Be different". Some people don't like to spin 200 RPM downhill. Some people like a road geometry but don't like to think about gears. Some people like the challenge of having the same gear in order to both train their stamina and increase their strength, depending on whether they have to climb or just go on flat. Some people have that part of the brain that controls the shifters shot.

Some people like brunettes, others like blondes. Some like really thin women, others like the more voluptuous ones.

Last edited by wroomwroomoops; 04-24-10 at 11:12 AM.
wroomwroomoops is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-10, 01:14 PM   #20
JacoKierkegaard
Fixed-gear roadie
 
JacoKierkegaard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Wilmington, NC
Bikes: 2008 Masi Speciale Fixed
Posts: 1,048
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bleedingapple View Post
it makes you a better rider!
Going to have to disagree there. I rode my bike fixed for a long time, then I switched it over to singlespeed while I was learning to use my clipless setup and discovered a big dead spot in my pedal stroke that had been hidden by the constant forced motion of the cranks. My bike's been a singlespeed ever since.

Cornering is better on a singlespeed too, you just can't push a FG as far without some wee little cranks and/or a high BB.
JacoKierkegaard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-10, 02:00 PM   #21
Retro Grouch 
Senior Member
 
Retro Grouch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Bikes: Rans Rockst (Retro rocket) Rans Enduro Sport (Retro racket) Catrike 559, Merin Bear Valley (beater bike).
Posts: 26,529
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
I guess that I don't understand the question.

Who are you trying to make happy? Get something with a flip/flop hub. Try it fixed for awhile and freewheel for awhile. Whichever puts the bigger grin on your face, leave it there. It doesn't matter if you "get" it or not. Nobody else's opinion matters.
Retro Grouch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-10, 06:48 PM   #22
Brian
Senior Member
 
Brian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Between the mountains and the lake.
Bikes: 8 bikes - one for each day of the week!
Posts: 16,683
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by hairnet View Post
street cred with the hip high school kids.
tp
Brian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-10, 07:46 PM   #23
illdthedj
Senior Member
 
illdthedj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Modesto, Ca
Bikes: klein quantum, litespeed tuscany, bianchi pista concept, centurion comp ta, centurion super le mans, traitor ringleader
Posts: 2,280
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i sort of skimmed thru the comments but i think i read an analogy to cars which i find spot on...

one is like driving an automatic (freewheel), the other is like a manual (fixed). one is easier and requires less thinking, the other is arguably more fun and results in more control while requiring more focus.
illdthedj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-10, 07:51 PM   #24
TheBikeRollsOn 
Senior Member
 
TheBikeRollsOn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: NC
Bikes:
Posts: 1,301
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by illdthedj View Post
i sort of skimmed thru the comments but i think i read an analogy to cars which i find spot on...

one is like driving an automatic (freewheel), the other is like a manual (fixed). one is easier and requires less thinking, the other is arguably more fun and results in more control while requiring more focus.
And better gas mileage.
TheBikeRollsOn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-10, 07:53 PM   #25
illdthedj
Senior Member
 
illdthedj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Modesto, Ca
Bikes: klein quantum, litespeed tuscany, bianchi pista concept, centurion comp ta, centurion super le mans, traitor ringleader
Posts: 2,280
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
my fixie runs on bio diesel
illdthedj is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:55 AM.