I need to read this entire thread, but I am about 10 months into SS riding on my mountain bikes and running a 2x1 Cross Check on the road. I am debating about converting my CC into a fixed gear or just getting a complete bike.
This thread is an inspiration to start riding fixed, a lot of older riders out there!! I am young one at 40!
4 months into riding fixed at 53 and loving it. Haven't touched my geared bike since I first rode my fixed.
At 38, I'm not, obviously, old. I've ridden mid-quality road bikes, cheap-ass road bikes, meh-quality Specialized and my Karate Monkey.
I'll avoid the long version, but in the commuting forums I posted a question about what I was mulling over, as far as my next bike.
I've settled on one of two bikes, 2012 Raleigh Furley or replacing my lamented Karate Monkey with a 2011/2012 model.
It'll be nice, either way, to have a place to read about others, get ideas and ponder the significance of the fixed gear idea.
Frankly, I intend to rebuild the rear wheel of either of the bikes I get, due to the fact that they are well within my allotted budget, and build up a Paul WORD wheelset. Now the only real question is, do I go flip/flop hub style - or just breath deep and go straight FG.
Hi I'm Ian in France. Just found this thread. I recently celebrated my 52nd birthday by building up a FG. I've been riding on and off most of my life, but mostly MTB the last 20 years and not too much the last 10. This summer I decided that it was time I got my fitness back again and lost a few kilos. So I started riding the MTB regularly again. However earlier this summer I spent a day in Barcelona where I spotted a couple of FG bikes. Now I been a big advocate of riding FG ever since I fitted a FG on my road bike for a winter season about 30 years ago. It was the best thing I ever did to improve my cycling. When I put my gears back on I was riding faster on lower gears. I often over the years recommended to cycling friends who clearly push too high gears to ride a FG for a few months. What I hadn't realised was that FG had made a comeback. Anyway since seeing those FG's in Barcelona I've been looking out for a suitable bike to convert. I came across this early 90s Cilo Columbus Aelle for not much:-) and stripped all the uneccessary bits off, fitted a threaded rear hub in place of the Shimano freehub, fitted a pair 700x28c tyres (for a bit of comfort) and there we are. I've done my first two rides on it this week. The first 30 kms at 25 km/h and yesterday 60 kms on a windy day – the first 30 into the wind in 1h15 (ouch) and ther return 30 in 1h05. Average 25.5 km/h. Not too bad for an old man:-)
However there was an article on the French news today of a guy who's just celebrated his 100th birthday and still rides 7000 km a year, regularly riding 100km. Here's the link http://videos.tf1.fr/jt-we/cycliste-...e-6846095.html
Thanks for the welcome. 41X16 - 69"
Been a member on this forum for about 4 years. Turned 57 this past summer, have been riding more fixed over the last 6 years or so. Here's a quick pic taken today after an invigorating ride on a beautiful fall day...On Holiday.jpg
Bike is a Swobo Sanchez.
Everyone, please pretend I'm about 5 years older and welcome me to your club. At 35 I likely have a lot more in common with the gentlemen/ladies here than elsewhere.
I have a fair amount of bikes, tried my hand at racing, and long distance riding. After a couple years of racing I realized it's not for me so I am very casual (and slow) now. I just like riding and wrenching on bikes.
Nice to meet you all!
Just turned 50 last spring and have been riding fixed for sixteen years. Three years ago after riding conversions I finally got a frame that's actually designed to be a ss/fg with track ends. Much more enjoyable than a conversion. I have knee problems too and I've found out that riding fixed actually helps my knees. Also at my age I can set up my bike how I want it and I don't have to follow trends or worry about "street cred" or being a hipster or whatever and I'm too old to do skid stops, trackstands and alleycat scrambles.
"You handle it like you handle a bicycle" - Jacques Rosay, Airbus A380 test pilot
Last summer, Fed Ex Ground stamped a Meteor Crater-sized dent in the top-tube of my beloved, polished chrome Langster fixie. From what I've determined, it's only cosmetic, the tiny cracks around the dent haven't seemed to have widened, and I don't think the top tube gets much stress.
Even so, I've kept my eye open for a more pristine version, especially a frame, on ebay and craigslist ever since, thinking I could just transfer over the components. A couple of days ago, though, someone sent me a link to Wabi bikes, located where I live, in Los Angeles; there are a few photos on the website of a prototype polished steel bike that will be available in a few months.
The pictures looked so intriguing, I took up the website's offer to "come visit us," even though I didn't expect to see the bike I wanted. I pedaled along busy Pico Blvd. to the Wabi "facility," as the owner, Richard Snook, describes his work space. It's a huge room in an old building on the south side of downtown, on the 4th floor of an old building. A enormous glass wall looked out at the high-rises to the north, and soft light poured over Richard and his bike stand.
I interrupted Richard as he finished putting together a bike he had to ship off to the San Francisco Bay Area that afternoon. There were a lot of bikes and a lot of bike boxes he was going to have to work through. Even so, he graciously spent some time telling me about his bikes, and I looked over some of his completed fixes, aluminum and steel.
Richard did show me more photos of his prototype, which in fact was in his shop, except for the day I visited - it was out for a shoot with Paved magazine.
So I'll have to wait a few months to see the bike. I am so tempted. It's tough to justify, and tougher still to think about spending money on my own pleasure during the holiday season, when I've learned that it truly is better to give than receive.
On the other hand, while I thought my Langster would be my last fixie, I'm not necessarily in a mood to deny myself when it comes to anything having to do with bikes, given that I'm way past 40. And maybe a little deferred pleasure will be a good thing.
Last edited by icyclist; 12-08-11 at 03:51 AM.
This post is a natural product. Slight variations in spelling and grammar enhance its individual character and beauty and are in no way to be considered flaws or defects.
Icyclist, the blog considered too areodite for bikeforums
Just finished putting this together and finally the weather cooperated yesterday so I could put it through its paces. This is fixed gear number nine and the seventh in the last three years. There are more details about it in the thread "Soma and Pake Lounge."
I'm 60, and I've been riding track bikes since 1964. First one was a Helyett; rode a Bianchi Eco Pista in the '80s and '90s. The latest two: a late-'60s Peugeot with a Campy Record track group and a 2010 Felt TK2.
I converted this Eisentraut to FG about 13 years ago and have never looked back. It faithfully serves as my commuter bike and I haven't babied it a bit but it is still a great ride ... smooth as butter.
My first single speed fixie was my orange tricycle in the sixties, wood 2x4 pedal extension I had a really low q then... the next bicycle I remember is my 10 speed but I dream of the Orange fixie I remember chicks were always picking me up on my Orange Fixie lots of warm milk and graham crackers. I think I am going to ride a fixie again...
I'm 55 years old and I built my first "fixed gear bike" in 1990 by replacing the rear dropouts on a used 52cm Peugeot PX-10 and realigning the frame to a 120mm rear spacing while I was working as a framebuilder. It was really more of an exercise than anything else because I had built just about every other kind of bike, but no fixed gears, so it mostly hung in the garage for the first year and a half after it was finished while I built several more mountain bikes and immersed myself in developing my climbing skills.
Then I attending a "track" night at CSU Dominguez Hills as the guest of a friend who rode track, and when I got home I decided to dust the Peugeot off and just pedal it around town when I didn't have plans to ride too far. The bike was fun to ride and I gradually ended up increasing the range that I would ride it, but the frame flexed too much when sprinting or climbing and I soon realized that I needed to build a dedicated fixed gear frameset. Before I did though I asked my friend if I could borrow his bike for a couple weeks to study how a true track bike handled and rode. By the end of the second week I was hooked.
I built a 52cm Columbus SPX frameset with a straight gauge downtube and tandem chainstays and a tandem unicrown fork. Man that bike was stiff, but it was rock solid and a blast to ride so it became my "other road bike", and I rode it regularly, often doing a 40 mile loop. There weren't many other fixed gear road bikes in my area and I really had no interest in riding track, so I mostly rode alone for about 10 years, then I gave it to a neighbor when I was "down-sizing". (I did keep the SS MTB though)
About four years ago I bought a Pake fixed gear frame and fork and built it up with dropped bars and a flip/flop rear wheel for road use only. I still have no interest in riding track, although I have ridden it on the Major Taylor Velodrome twice during "Night Rides", but I do really enjoy riding my "fixie" (it is not a track bike and it was built for the road) through the rolling hills and rural roads around north Indy. I also enjoy introducing other cyclist to both single speed and fixed gear.
My Pake certainly isn't pretty or trick, but it is my bike of choice quite often when I just want to get out on the road and relax, and I love the simplicity and serenity of it. Thank you to BF and TT for the forum.....
Oh yeah, I still have SS29er MTB too. It just doesn't get ridden as much.
Last edited by Stealthammer; 12-26-11 at 06:33 PM.
Just your average 'high-functioning' lunatic, capable of passing as 'normal' for short periods of time.....
The difference between genius and stupidity is; genius has its limits. - Albert Einstein
We all know that light travels faster than sound. That's why certain people appear bright until you hear them speak. - Albert Einstein
New to the forum.
Been riding seriously since high school, now 45.
I rode a SS Rock Lobster rigid mountain bike for a few years about 12 years ago.
My geared Karate Monkey and geared Atlantis was joined by this for xmas.
Looks like a good group here.
39, got a Steamroller a few months ago to commute to a new job location. Certainly the nice$t bike I've ever owned, and my first FG. It was a real butt-kicker at first -- I was always one of those sprint-and-coast types. Now I can't imagine going back to a geared bike.
"I stick to my basic plan of simply keeping the pedals turning."
-- Kent Peterson, The Way of the Mountain Turtle
Greetings from Brooklyn. Like others have said, I've found this thread inspirational enough to consider riding fixed gear. I'm 46, and resumed riding in 2010 after a decades-long layoff. My "return to the road" bike (single speed, coaster brake cruiser) and my "back from oblivion" geared bike (Schwinn Speedster 3-speed) were recently mangled when a truck jumped the curb and took out the bikes and the rack they were on. Now, I'm seriously considering getting a fixed gear bike (one with a flip flop hub anyway) to replace them.
I have some questions about riding fixed gear, all having to do with stopping the bike - and I apologize for being an ignorant noob:
One technique I use when stopping with a coaster brake is back stepping on one pedal while lifting the opposite pedal - reversing the rotation of the crank with both feet. Am I correct in assuming that this is the method used for stopping the rear wheel on a fixed gear?
How slowly can you go downhill? Of course, coasting is out of the question; but, from reading here and elsewhere, I have the impression that you have to accelerate the entire time you're coming down a hill, just to keep up with the spinning crank. Is this an accurate impression? Is engaging the front brake (and I read Uncle Sixty's brake primer - I will have a front brake for sure) the entire time the only way to avoid going full speed downhill, or should you also resist the crank with your legs?
For anyone in Brooklyn, the hills I'm thinking about are in Prospect Park; and 9th Street or 2d Street from Prospect Park down to Gowanus/Red Hook/Cobble Hill.
Thanks for any help on this. The bikes I'm considering are all Windsors: The Hour, the TimeLine and the Clockwork.
Welcome to the world of singlespeed and fixed gear. First, regarding the issue of brakes, I'd recommend that you start out with both front and rear caliper brakes, even if you set your bike up as fixed. Practice slowing down gradually by back pedalling on the fixed gear, and use the front brake only as needed. Regarding downhills, you can exert backpressure to control speed at a low cadence, but once you get past 120 rpm it is difficult to do so w/o bouncing on the bike. What you can do is pedal forward downhill until your cadence gets beyond a comfortable and smooth point, and then ride the front brake sufficiently to maintain that speed. Over time you will be able to increase your cadence and ride faster. I can maintain over 160 rpm comfortably for extended periods. Also, I'd advise using a clipless pedal system if you are not already doing so, but regardless you want some form of foot retention when riding fixed.
As to your bike choices, I'd recommend either the Timeline or Clockwork, as the both include front brakes, which the Hour does not. The Timeline has room for large tires and fenders, and is more practical. Both bikes are supplied with freewheels only, but have flip / flop hubs so you can mount a fixed cog and lockring. I would recommend getting an 18T or 19T cog to start out, and replacing the stock 16T freewheel with an 18T.
As I get older, I'm 52, my bicycles seem to get smaller and simpler. This is the bike from my quiver that I like riding the most. The saddle becomes a contact point for the knees not the butt.
By far the most smiles per pedal stroke I have ever had.
It's none of my business what other people think of me.