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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 11-29-10, 03:18 PM   #26
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Brooklyn Bridge



Bridge over Ballona Creek


About a year and a half ago, I purchased my first fixed gear bike, at age 62. The bike is a blast. I shouldn't have waited as long as I did to ride fixed. I'm a little sorry I didn't go more old school with my choice of bike, too. (I do still have and ride my 1962 Follis, a French road bike.) The Langster is fine, though; it's lightweight and responsive and all the parts work.

I bought my bike while visiting my daughter in Manhattan (I'm from Los Angeles). This year, I shipped the bike back to NYC for another few glorious days of riding around the Big Apple.

While my main bikes are geared, I've put plenty of miles on my Langster, too. Having grown up in L.A., I have respect for traffic, but no particular fear of it. On the occasional Monday and Wednesday nights, I join a shop ride, and I find that on the mostly level ground we cover, I can keep up with the riders who are in their 20s. For me, a fast ride to downtown or the beach and back gives me a terrific workout.

Of course, when I look in the mirror, I think, "What happened!?!" Reflecting back on the sedentary lives of my parent and their friends and my relatives, I'm somewhat amazed I'm still riding at a fairly high level. Then again, I've never been especially sedentary, compared to lives my elders led. I may look my age (older, from too much time in the sun); on my bike, I still feel as if I'm 25.
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Old 11-30-10, 12:24 PM   #27
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Well 45+ gets me into this thread. I'll be 69 yrs old in a month and have been riding my Fuji Obey Track Bike for two full seasons. I can say without reservation that i enjoy the SS bike riding very much. Easily over 2800 miles this last season and will ride thru out the winter on this bike. I do not race the bike but didn't purchase it to do so. There are many moments that the bike " makes me feel younger" and i know it definately makes me a stronger rider.
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Old 11-30-10, 12:27 PM   #28
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icyclist: I'm digging the Peugeot jersey. A classic look.
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Old 11-30-10, 12:40 PM   #29
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I'll be 69 yrs old in a month and have been riding my Fuji Obey Track Bike for two full seasons.
I think you take the prize for most senior member of this forum; you've got me beat by 5 years. I do know track racers who are well into their 70s and still going strong. I'm curious as to what that dodad on your left seatstay is. Light? Also, what is your gearing?
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Old 11-30-10, 03:26 PM   #30
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icyclist: I'm digging the Peugeot jersey. A classic look.
Thanks - and as I've pointed out a few times on BF, it still (mostly) fits; it's my La Grange (Los Angeles) team jersey from, as best as I can remember, 1976.
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Old 12-01-10, 06:07 AM   #31
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Cool thread - I'm 52 and have been riding SS for about 6 years when I converted my '74 Moto Grand Record (original owner). Busted that frame beyond repair a couple of years ago so I built up this SS Milwaukee, made at Waterford Cycles in Wisconsin. Still ride a 1x8 Serotta Atlanta from time to time and mix it up on a Santa Cruz Blur as well, but the Milwaukee gets most of my attention. It'll be interesting seeing & hearing about the hardware the 40+r's own and ride. Betcha there's a whole lot more attention paid to form, function and quality. I just told one of my sons he can get me a cog and lockring for Xmas – little nervous about how the knees will hold up riding fixed, but time will tell…

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Old 12-01-10, 03:11 PM   #32
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icyclist: I'm digging the Peugeot jersey. A classic look.
Yeah, baby!
http://www.youtube.com/v/fir6neas6I8?fs=1&hl=en_US
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Old 12-03-10, 07:58 PM   #33
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Started riding fixed gear at 40, 45 now. Actually, had a tricycle at age 2, then a Big Wheel at age 3 that were also fixed but that's a different category. I've built up and sold a few SS/FG and plan to build another one or two in the near future. Mostly a roadie but even then, I've taken the San Jose out on some shorter group rides and there's an older guy that regularly takes his fixed gear Soma out with the roadies with no troubles at all.

I ride with front and rear brakes and standard drop bars. SPD pedals. ~75 gear inches, depending upon the ride. Lycra and helmet.
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Old 12-04-10, 04:55 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post
I think you take the prize for most senior member of this forum; you've got me beat by 5 years. I do know track racers who are well into their 70s and still going strong. I'm curious as to what that dodad on your left seatstay is. Light? Also, what is your gearing?
Thank you -- i try very hard to " keep in shape". The ss certainally does that for me.
The Dodad is in deed a light --- no dought in my mind that it's the brightest rear facing light on the market and i NEVER ride without it! Here -- http://store.dinottelighting.com/sha...unt2=466331124

My gearing is 44 front and a White Industries 18 freewheel in the rear. Very nice high cadence geraring for me and a great work out.
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Old 12-04-10, 05:12 PM   #35
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Thank you -- i try very hard to " keep in shape". The ss certainally does that for me.
The Dodad is in deed a light --- no dought in my mind that it's the brightest rear facing light on the market and i NEVER ride without it! Here -- http://store.dinottelighting.com/sha...unt2=466331124

My gearing is 44 front and a White Industries 18 freewheel in the rear. Very nice high cadence geraring for me and a great work out.
That's exactly the same gearing I've got currently on my latest SS, a Salsa Caseroll (it came with 48 x 18), although I'm using a larger 700 x 32c rear tire, which increases the effective gearing somewhat. I have several other SS and FG road bikes with gearing ranging from the low 60's to the low 70's gear inches. Anything lower and it's too easy, anything higher and I end up lugging the gear into headwinds and long hills.
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Old 12-05-10, 03:04 AM   #36
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I used to be a bike messenger in the '70s and I rode a "fix" which is now apparently called a "fixie".
At that time I sold my road bike, a Holdsworth I built up from a frameset I bought in London to finance a burgeoning collection of old track bikes including Legnano, Frejus, and Paramount one of which was skip tooth equipped. All were stolen My next bike was a Proteus track bike which I commuted on until I had kids. I thought I was being adult when I sold the Proteus to a messenger and bought a MTB. That was stolen and replaced with something similar.
I had a back injury at about 40 and was told to stop riding. Forever. I bought a fully suspended MTB.
I never enjoyed the mountain bikes as much or rode as often.
Now my ex has all my old bikes. Look for them on CL. So I went to a fairly LBS and saw the 24 speed Jamis and it fit perfectly and I hadn't ridden a road bike in decades and the price was right.
About a month later, same shop can't recall what I was shopping for and a woman came in with the a Robin Hood ladies 3-speed to see what she could get for it. $22 and I rode it home. It was trashed. Now it wears 700x28c on track wheels and the Jamis gathers dust. I will post a pic if the sun appears.
Is foot retension required for jockeying? I haven't managed it on Robin though I jockeyed all day when I was a messenger.
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Old 12-05-10, 09:14 AM   #37
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I used to be a bike messenger in the '70s and I rode a "fix" which is now apparently called a "fixie".
At that time I sold my road bike, a Holdsworth I built up from a frameset I bought in London to finance a burgeoning collection of old track bikes including Legnano, Frejus, and Paramount one of which was skip tooth equipped. All were stolen My next bike was a Proteus track bike which I commuted on until I had kids. I thought I was being adult when I sold the Proteus to a messenger and bought a MTB. That was stolen and replaced with something similar.
I had a back injury at about 40 and was told to stop riding. Forever. I bought a fully suspended MTB.
I never enjoyed the mountain bikes as much or rode as often.
Now my ex has all my old bikes. Look for them on CL. So I went to a fairly LBS and saw the 24 speed Jamis and it fit perfectly and I hadn't ridden a road bike in decades and the price was right.
About a month later, same shop can't recall what I was shopping for and a woman came in with the a Robin Hood ladies 3-speed to see what she could get for it. $22 and I rode it home. It was trashed. Now it wears 700x28c on track wheels and the Jamis gathers dust. I will post a pic if the sun appears.
Is foot retension required for jockeying? I haven't managed it on Robin though I jockeyed all day when I was a messenger.
Fascinating story. Some people call fixed gear bikes "fixies", but that is mostly younger faddists. It's unfortunate that you lost all those classic track bikes, since they had a lot of character lacking in the bikes of today. Where did you live when you were messing? I'd certainly like to see your Robin Hood conversion. I don't know what you mean by "jockeying", perhaps you a talking about track stands? I always ride my FG bikes with foot retention. Anyways, welcome to this 40+ thread.
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Old 12-06-10, 12:17 PM   #38
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Photos please.
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Old 12-06-10, 12:47 PM   #39
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^^^ Very nice conversion.
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Old 12-06-10, 01:15 PM   #40
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I turn 44 next week. Here is my SS.



My other commuter is a Dahon Helios converted to SS. The following pic shows it with a fairing (currently taken off).

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Old 12-06-10, 07:01 PM   #41
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My Red Simoncini SS

Just turned 58.

Most days this is my favorite bike. Simple, quiet, light: no worries. I tend to use it more in the off season. At 40x16 it will get me up most hills here on "Flat Island". Painted it red so it would go faster.

I keep thinking of getting a flip/flop hub so I can go fixed. Not there yet.
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Old 12-06-10, 10:17 PM   #42
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Hmmm... now here's a thread I can sink my teeth into...
Has anyone seen my teeth? I left 'em right here on the nightstand.
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Old 12-07-10, 12:49 AM   #43
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I am new to the forum. I am from Singapore. Just turned 55 in Aug. I have just developed a new hobby of building SS bikes. I ride for leisure and for the joy of riding what I built. This was my first build. It was from a "market" bike which I bought for about USD$20

The original look


After the "pimping"




This is the second one I have just completed. Infact, I am trying to determine the maker of this frame. It should be some 80's production. Can anyone help?

The frame when I first bought it


The new look



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Old 12-07-10, 01:05 AM   #44
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Welcome to the forums!
Great looking bikes, I especially love the colour of the first one. Did you paint them both?

Also, why is the headset of the green bike all wonky?
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Old 12-07-10, 01:41 AM   #45
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Welcome to the forums!
Great looking bikes, I especially love the colour of the first one. Did you paint them both?

Also, why is the headset of the green bike all wonky?
Thanks for the comments. Nope, I got them done at the shop. The 1st one was powder coated. Cost me US$20. The green one was spray painted and it costs US$35.

The headset on the green bike is not the original. The owner didn't have them. It's only temporary. I am now hunting for the "right" one. I am sure some LBS here will have them. Just need sometime.
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Old 12-07-10, 10:50 PM   #46
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Just turned 58.

Most days this is my favorite bike. Simple, quiet, light: no worries. I tend to use it more in the off season. At 40x16 it will get me up most hills here on "Flat Island". Painted it red so it would go faster.

I keep thinking of getting a flip/flop hub so I can go fixed. Not there yet.


yep I have one of those fun rides too. The red hasn't made it any faster, it just seems faster (like moving your arms quickly when you run)
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Old 12-08-10, 04:48 AM   #47
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Rutledge 1962

I'm 45 have been riding fixed since 1980.Actually my first fixed was a 24" redline cruiser,what happened is I bought a rear wheel from a guy I raced with it was a campy record hub laced to a 24" araya rim with a 17tooth freewheel,well I wentto put it on my bike and the hub looked really wide,soI pulledthe freewheel and to my surprize it was a track hub.So I put a cog and lockring on and put it on my cruiser,that is how I got into riding fixed.I have had countless fixed gears since then.Here is my current bike.
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Old 12-08-10, 06:54 PM   #48
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So here is a lousy picture which doesn't do justice to the awesome rusty patina on my bike. I will remount the fenders just as soon as I true the wheels enough to fit them. Peazweag, your bike is way cool! I'm gonna get a basket like in Brotherrock's top image. My spokes are too shiny. Any ideas? I have to finish all this in time for my 54th birthday.



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Old 12-08-10, 07:08 PM   #49
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@one4one - Are you trying to upload an image from your computer? If so, click on GoAdvanced and use the Manage Attachments feature.
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Old 12-08-10, 10:06 PM   #50
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well, since we're doing intros (and i said i'd chime in)...

long time listener, first time caller. so great to actually talk to you! turned 40 in may, and...

i started fixed in the late 80s, as off season training in a burgeoning road racing career. spot-welded a freewheel and found a magic gear on my backup bike, a mid-80s SL bianchi. at least for me, training fixed was a *huge* benefit...power primarily, and certainly form. my modest road successes (cat 2 in new england in the early 90s) had everything to do with the bianchi.

[many geared-only years pass]

maybe 5 years ago, i put together an SS conversion mtb, just to see...and it stuck. first it was a japanese paramount rigid steel (now geared again and back to rack/trailer duty!), followed shortly by a(n absolutely fantastic) kona king kahuna that i still use. gorgeous US-built ti frame, ENO hub w/matching front, modern 80mm fork. 34x18.

with the hook set by SS mtb, i pondered a modern fixed roadie with fond memories of the bianchi...but for a few years let an anti-fashion hangup talk me out of a bike. that is, until i found a $325 (wheel-less) jamis sputnik. now i am a total shill for this bike. love it, love it, love it. parted it out to a bare frame (reynolds 631 w/cast ends) and put it back together my way...woundup fork, cane creek track wheels, campy carbon road crank+1/8" miche ring+phil cog, drop bars, 2 brake levers and a caliper. i use it the same way i did the bianchi...road trainer. have done 23mph avg group rides on it and centuries w/6k climb. 46x16 usually, with a 15 & 17 on the shelf if the situation warrants.




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