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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 05-17-10, 01:51 PM   #1
daven1986
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Fixed in traffic - technique question

Hi,

So I am getting used to fixed speed now, and I have two things that I feel uncomfortable with.

1) When trying to get through a small gap I sometimes put one foot on the pedal and use the other foot to push me along, this feels really weird with a fixed gear as the other foot is moving around with the pedal! Is there a better way to do this, or do I just have to get used to it?

2) In slow moving traffic sometimes you move forward a little at a time (this is if you can't filter past etc.) how can I do this without having to lift the bike and spin the pedals?

I'm trying to learn trackstands which I think might help point 2...

Any tips?

Thanks

Daven
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Old 05-17-10, 01:57 PM   #2
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I sometimes slow well before stopped/slow traffic, so I can creep forward, rather than try to catch up to it and slowly stop/go, stop go.
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Old 05-17-10, 01:59 PM   #3
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I think trackstanding will help you with both of those. I'm not sure how I ride through traffic, but I do it effectively and it feels natural. Just keep riding; it will all become clear.
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Old 05-17-10, 02:07 PM   #4
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If you hold the front brake down (assuming you have one!) you can rock the back wheel off the ground (or at least take enough pressure off to spin the back wheel) and spin the crank to desired position.

It's a little quicker than other alternatives, Planning ahead before you stop can also help. Trackstands are the best, but take practice. Personally, I am terrible at trackstanding still.
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Old 05-17-10, 02:13 PM   #5
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Thanks guys, when I'm riding fixed I try to plan ahead more so I can slow instead of stop.

So that is question 2 done, but what about question 1. I guess another way of putting it is "how do you guys filter?"

Thanks

Daven
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Old 05-17-10, 02:13 PM   #6
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First of all, its a fixed GEAR. Second, if you have to 'push' yourself to get through a gap, the gap is too small. In slow moving traffic, you just move slow and i dont get your question. If you mean adjust the position of your pedals while you're standing still, you just grab the frikkin saddle and lift the bike and spin the pedals, takes like 0.562s.
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Old 05-17-10, 02:26 PM   #7
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Trackstand. You can pop up your rear wheel mid-trackstand to reorient your pedals if you really need to.
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Old 05-17-10, 02:58 PM   #8
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Creeping forward, Endo's to reorient my pedals, trackstands, Leaning on car's/trucks, side hops, I rode with my father and brother on a narrow 1 way street last week, they both have MTB's and hopped up and down the curbs, I did that as well as everything else I posted, it's all an adventure.
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Old 05-17-10, 03:16 PM   #9
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First of all, its a fixed GEAR. Second, if you have to 'push' yourself to get through a gap, the gap is too small. In slow moving traffic, you just move slow and i dont get your question. If you mean adjust the position of your pedals while you're standing still, you just grab the frikkin saddle and lift the bike and spin the pedals, takes like 0.562s.
Ok my second question was a bit rubbish as you can lift the bike and / or track stand.

However my first question is regarding stationary traffic where you have to sneak inbetween the cars - something that happens quite often in London as we have narrow roads and lots of cars!
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Old 05-17-10, 03:39 PM   #10
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Well personally, if i can't go through a gap while both my feet are on the pedals, then i stay put. But if the traffic is that congested that you encounter such things often i guess youll just need to get used to the pedals moving as i see no other way short of picking up your bike and walking between the cars
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Old 05-17-10, 04:02 PM   #11
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Thought not, thanks for the replies.
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Old 05-17-10, 06:11 PM   #12
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If i have to move super slow around cars i unclip my left foot and let it hang,ready to put it down if i have to,while pedaling with just my right foot.
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Old 05-17-10, 06:14 PM   #13
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I would never push myself through traffic. It's neither efficient nor safe to do in between cars. Just wait for it to move or get off your bike/mount a curb/walk around.
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Old 05-17-10, 06:23 PM   #14
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1) You'll get used to riding the thin spaces... eventually being able to hit them at speed. Once you do slow down, you'll be able to eek by no prpblemo, it's practice is all.
2) You should ride around it if you're going to get that jammed up on the street.
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Old 05-17-10, 07:44 PM   #15
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It is easier to fit between cars in the pedals because with a foot down, you are wider. i use my elbows to push against cars for balance if the space is really small. But I only really do that when the traffic is stopped.

I also try to balance and track stand when I can. So in slow moving traffic I just ride really slowly along with them. I try to avoid the sidewalk as that is losers territory. And the randomly moving meat pylons dwell there.
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Old 05-17-10, 07:51 PM   #16
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It's probably just nerves, I sometimes put a foot down while weaving through traffic, but it's never cause I really had to. Just don't put the foot down.
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Old 05-17-10, 08:40 PM   #17
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You can shoot smaller gaps than you probably think you can.

Practice.
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Old 05-17-10, 08:55 PM   #18
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I would never push myself through traffic. It's neither efficient nor safe to do in between cars. Just wait for it to move or get off your bike/mount a curb/walk around.
Aaaaaaaaand this. ^^
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Old 05-17-10, 09:00 PM   #19
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I can't think of anything more embarrassing than falling over and hitting or scraping a car that you are trying to squeeze by in traffic because there is obviously not enough room to do it safely.
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Old 05-17-10, 10:05 PM   #20
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balance...

balance...

balance...

if you can't balance you can't ride a fixed gear in traffic, and the better you can balance the better you'll be at it.

if you can't balance well enough to move slowly enough to slip through cars, you shouldn't ride fixed in traffic- too much can happen too quickly and a freewheel is a better option.
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Old 05-17-10, 10:13 PM   #21
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Well when riding through tight traffic i kinda just stay aggressive and show that im here. Watch out for doors and right turns.

For situation 2. Trackstand Ftw.

For situation 3. Get a brake! Oh no situation 3... hehe

Dont even ask for #4
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Old 05-18-10, 08:25 AM   #22
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The sooner you realize that riding fixed is just the same as riding any other bike the better off you'll be.

You seem a little hesitant on the bike so I'd use a brake for the first while if I were you. I've been riding fixed for years and I still have brakes.

As everyone else is saying, learn to trackstand.

Learn to stop quickly without brakes with your feet in any pedal position.

Use your head. Risk/reward.....



oh.... and man up....

Last edited by thadcombs; 05-18-10 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 05-18-10, 09:19 AM   #23
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Becoming intimately aware of just how wide you (shoulders and hips) and your bag are is very important when ripping traffic. Bouncin' off a car is just embarrassing.

Last edited by TRaffic Jammer; 05-18-10 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 05-18-10, 09:27 AM   #24
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I've seen people forget about the bag, snag a strap, and end up on their ass. It's kinda amusing so long as no head injuries are involved.
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Old 05-18-10, 10:41 AM   #25
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1. Don't squeeze gaps especially if you have to ask.
2. Stop or slow with sufficient distance ahead. Predict traffic movement ahead to know how far back to stop.
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