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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 01-25-11, 07:51 AM   #1
LauzieC
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Fixie Bike...Busted Knees?

Hi,

I'm looking to buy a new bike and I'm thinking about a fixed gear bike, but I don't know much about them. I think they look cool. I live in a city which is relatively flat, i.e. few hills. Are the bikes very hard on your knees?

My friends say that I am falling prey to the fad...
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Old 01-25-11, 08:59 AM   #2
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Choose an appropriate gearing for your strength level and your knees should be fine. I live in a relatively flat area with small hills and I like to ride with anything between 70 and 80 gear inches. I'm currently running about 76 gear inches. This is a good gear inch calculator:

http://software.bareknucklebrigade.c...it.applet.html
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Old 01-25-11, 09:36 AM   #3
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Bike fit is #1. There are millions of pages of info on how to set the bike, there´s also the bike shop for your first time (if it is your first)
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Old 01-25-11, 10:11 AM   #4
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It will be my first fixed Gear bike if I do buy one. I am undecided as I might be buying one for the wrong reasons...i.e. looks alone. There seems to be a bunch of kids buying these bikes around my city, and I see them hanging around looking geek-chic. Am I foolish to buy one unless I have a particular interest or job that it is suitable for?
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Old 01-25-11, 10:36 AM   #5
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A bike is bike. You can choose to make it trendy or not, it really all comes down to personal preference. Try to ride some people bikes and buy used if you can.
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Old 01-25-11, 10:46 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by LauzieC View Post
Are the bikes very hard on your knees?

My friends say that I am falling prey to the fad...
There are two main things that can really kill your knees:

- Setting the saddle too low
- Pushing too high a gear

So unless you gear it too high, a fixed gear bike isn't any more likely to hurt your knees than a geared bike. Is this your first bike, or do you already have a geared bike? Buy whatever you want, don't let your friends tell you. But buying a bike because it "looks cool" probably isn't the best idea either. Fixed gears can be fun, and they're a good choice if you live in a relatively flat area.
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Old 01-25-11, 11:16 AM   #7
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I don't own a bike, haven't had one for about 10 years. I have an Aprilia moped...So the exercise will be a shock to the system.

But are you sure I won't be viewed as one of these people with a fixie bike!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVmmYMwFj1I
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Old 01-25-11, 11:37 AM   #8
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But are you sure I won't be viewed as one of these people with a fixie bike!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVmmYMwFj1I
There's a good chance they will.... but it only matters if you care.
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Old 01-25-11, 11:42 AM   #9
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OP sounds like an aspiring hipster.
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I'd like to think i have as much money as brains.
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Old 01-25-11, 11:56 AM   #10
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Oh I'm not worried...I'm just trying to figure this whole culture out. Because it seems like fixies are a bit of a cult...ure! But there must be two sides - The people who ride them to look cool and those that ride for sport, right?
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Old 01-25-11, 12:08 PM   #11
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Like Adriano would say, "first world problems."
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I'd like to think i have as much money as brains.
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Old 01-25-11, 01:03 PM   #12
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troll?
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Old 01-25-11, 01:14 PM   #13
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buy a cheap one, you wont look cool and you won't be riding because it makes you feel cool. If you like it, cool buy a better bike, if not you only invested a bit of money so it's all good.
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Old 01-25-11, 01:26 PM   #14
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If you're more interested in the look and fixie culture (god help us), then you'll probably be walking it on the sidewalk in front of the local coffee shops and dive bars. That's not going to put too much strain on your knees, so I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 01-25-11, 01:28 PM   #15
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rock and a hard place - if I don't look cool, I might not like it! wow, that is a 'first world problem' right there. How depressing.

so what is the general consensus - do you ride your fixie to look cool or do you love it because of its agile and aerodynamic (or whatever??!!) qualities? (clearly I don't know what I'm talking about)
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Old 01-25-11, 01:30 PM   #16
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If you're more interested in the look and fixie culture (god help us), then you'll probably be walking it on the sidewalk in front of the local coffee shops and dive bars. That's not going to put too much strain on your knees, so I wouldn't worry about it.
Well it's interesting that you should say that - that's exactly what I'm trying to find out about. Does that side of the fixie culture piss you off as a person who uses the bike for the reason it was originally intended?
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Old 01-25-11, 01:31 PM   #17
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You're in luck. The fixed gear trend has been uncool for so long, that it's about to become ironic and meta. Kinda like trucker hats did a while ago (before they became uncool again).
You will be ahead of the curve.


Really though, you sound like you are trying to fly below the radar. It's really not that hard, there are just a few simple rules to follow:

- Don't get a brightly colored matchy-matchy fixie
- Just use some risers or a flat bar (no track drops, no flop n' chops, no non-ergo hoods with exposed cable routing)
- Don't ride brakeless
- Don't get a gaudy aerospoke or unnecessary 80mm Zipp wheels
- Don't worry about keeping your bike spotless
- Don't track stand at traffic lights (until you're incredibly proficient at it)
- Don't leg over mount / dismount
- Don't skid unless you can do it sitting down
- Don't talk about your bike like people will care

Basically, people won't think you're a hipster for riding this:


or this:



But they will think you're a big d-bag if you show up to the bar on this:


Or this:



There you go. Glad I could help.
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Old 01-25-11, 01:45 PM   #18
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Thanks, that's a lot of help. So I know how to be a hipster now and how not to be (because 5 minutes ago i didn't know what that meant). As we often are here in Ireland, I think we might be a couple of years behind in this trend. Right now fixie bikes like the yellow and blue one pictured above are popular among the kids that wear thick framed glasses with no lenses and work in 'new aged media'! I am not one of those people, I'm just trying to suss out how uncool this trend actually is?
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Old 01-25-11, 01:50 PM   #19
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I am not one of those people, I'm just trying to suss out how uncool this trend actually is?
Very ironic use of the question mark. You are well on your way.
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Old 01-25-11, 02:02 PM   #20
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I am not one of those people, I'm just trying to suss out how uncool this trend actually is?
My post above was mostly tongue-in-cheek (though all my bullet points are true), but what it boils down to is this:

Cool: Using your bike as a tool to get you places, or as something you have fun riding. (And, by the way, it can look cool sometimes too).
Uncool: Using your bike as a fashion accessory, or as something to convey social status. (And, by the way, you can ride it sometimes too).

There's nothing "uncool" about fixed gear bikes as such. Everyone on this forum has them, and most of us ride them. The trend which is "uncool" is the one of using fixed gear bikes to impress people, when you otherwise wouldn't be riding a bike at all.
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Old 01-25-11, 02:05 PM   #21
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Sorry, I didn't mean to give the impression that fixie culture pisses me off. I'm an old guy roadie and I started riding a fixed gear because it's simple, easy to maintain, provides good winter training, and it makes for a good commuting bike in my flat city. My FG has fenders, two brakes, and is built up of parts-bin components (none of which are anodized in cute colors), so it's an incredibly un-hip bike. That, and the fact that when I'm riding it I'm either in the full-lyra roadie kit or my office worker dress clothes means that no one is going to stop me and ask where the new bands are playing.

I love to see bikes of all sorts out on the streets.
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Old 01-25-11, 02:08 PM   #22
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Oh yeah sorry!! Just to clarify (in order not to offend): I wasn't asking if the fixed gear trend was uncool, I was referring to the poser portion of this trend as you have so clearly outlined above!
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Old 01-25-11, 02:18 PM   #23
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Thanks Caloso, you should so un-hip that you might just be hip!!
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Old 01-25-11, 02:21 PM   #24
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All my bikes are bright, pretty color coordinated, and match quite well (my road bikes and one fixed gear).

It might make me look like a hipster, but I don't care. If you want your bike to look nice, and have the means to do it, then do it. Purposely making your bike ugly could make you a hipster as well, because you're trying to be 'uncool' to stay 'cool' (unless for anti-theft purposes).

Anyways, the way your bike looks doesn't make you a hipster. Your reasoning for it and whether or not you give a crap, does.
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Old 01-25-11, 02:30 PM   #25
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Sure, I get your reverse psychology logic. It may be madness but there's method in it!
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