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  1. #1
    Senior Member radiofree's Avatar
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    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

  2. #2
    Senior Member seau grateau's Avatar
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    It's fun.
    Quote Originally Posted by adriano View Post
    thanckx.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nagrom_ View Post
    "I made love to your mother dozens of times last week, and she doesnt know what a worn chain ring looks like"

  3. #3
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    A test ride is worth a thousand words.

  4. #4
    GONE~
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    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.

  5. #5
    Fresh Garbage hairnet's Avatar
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    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.

  6. #6
    Senior Member LosAngelesRidin's Avatar
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    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

  7. #7
    Senior Member the_don's Avatar
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    It's feels nice, you can control your speed using your legs, you just feel more in control and more 'fixed' to the bike

  8. #8
    Senior Member TheBikeRollsOn's Avatar
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    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.

  9. #9
    old and fixed... clubman's Avatar
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    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.

  10. #10
    GONE~
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    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.

  11. #11
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    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.

  12. #12
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    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.

  13. #13
    Senior Member bleedingapple's Avatar
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    it makes you a better rider!

  14. #14
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    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.

  15. #15
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    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!

  16. #16
    Senior Member filtersweep's Avatar
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    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.

  17. #17
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    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.

  18. #18
    Senior Member aMull's Avatar
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    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hertsgaard
    The car is not only tainting the present but devouring the past and threatening the future.

  19. #19
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    ^^^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.

  20. #20
    Fixed-gear roadie JacoKierkegaard's Avatar
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    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.
    2008 Masi Speciale Fixed

  21. #21
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    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.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hairnet View Post
    street cred with the hip high school kids.
    tp

  23. #23
    Senior Member illdthedj's Avatar
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    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.

  24. #24
    Senior Member TheBikeRollsOn's Avatar
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    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.

  25. #25
    Senior Member illdthedj's Avatar
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    my fixie runs on bio diesel

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