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  1. #1
    Senior Member kjmillig's Avatar
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    Serious question: Why?

    I don't ride a fixie/single speed and don't plan on it. Yet over the past few years there's been this growing group of folks who love them. Here in Taiwan a good number of jr. high through college age kids ride them, ususally with the seat nose and track bars tipped way down and weird configurations of one or more plastic rear fenders attached to the seat post. And I've seen a few foreigners riding them as well, configured more like what I would expect to see in the States.
    So the question: Why? What draws people to them?
    (I promise I'm not a troll. I really want to know)
    "Pain is weakness leaving the body"......yea, right!

  2. #2
    Junior Member rmdame's Avatar
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    Well i can't speak on the bars and seats tilted down like crazy ( I assume thats just to look "cool"). But I can speak as a new fixie rider. (as of yesterday actually). I finally decided to flip the hub on my Madison to the fixed side. Man what a night and day difference. its so relaxing and you really feel like the bike is an extension of you. If you don't expect to coast, it comes so natural. I found it easier than freewheel single speeding as it makes your pedal stroke a perfect circle, rather than pushing not 100% consistent, like a freewheel, which makes it more efficient with your legs. I went riding in the rain and you can feel exactly when it slips a little, so you can correct it right away instead of waiting till you're already leaning and falling. Yes, a lot of hipsters ride them because they're 'cool' and 'vintage' but they really are great bikes and are a blast. I don't have any plans to switch back to coasting. I would recommend you find one to try. I guarantee you'll want one afterwards, at least to tool around on.
    Gears? Where we're going, we don't need gears.
    Currently Riding: 2008 Monocog 29er, 2009 Madison, 1970s BF Goodrich

  3. #3
    Senior Member chenghiz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjmillig View Post
    So the question: Why? What draws people to them?
    (I promise I'm not a troll. I really want to know)
    Riding bikes is fun, and fixed gear is a different experience from riding with a freewheel.

  4. #4
    Veteran Bastard Scrodzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chenghiz View Post
    Riding bikes is fun
    This.

    Why does there need to be a bigger reason?

  5. #5
    Senior Member RunningPirate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chenghiz View Post
    Riding bikes is fun, and fixed gear is a different experience from riding with a freewheel.
    I'd say closer to this. Earlier this year, I converted an old bike to fixed gear for the helluvit - I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I find that I like it, but I have not sold off all of my other bikes because of it. It is a different riding experience in that you have to pay more attention to when you're pedaling - you don't realise how often you actually coast (like going around a corner, or standing on the pedals to stretch or turning around to look behind you). Also, the fixed gear bike is quieter than my geared bikes - I never realised that tires make noise.

    I understand that racers will train on fixed-gear bikes as the constant pedaling helps improve their stroke.

    Now - all that said - I do not get that Zen feeling that some pontificate about; then again, I'm sort of a low-grade Buddist, so maybe the fixed gear Zen sort of blends in with the background Zen I already have going on.

    Some also tout the simplicity of a fixed gear bike, and to that end, it's true: Less moving parts = less things to adjust, replace, maintain. Then again it's not like I'm spending multiple hours per week adjusting, replacing and maintaining my geared bikes so there's not a huge gain there.

    As for the seat/handle bar thing, I'm going to guess that's a fashion statement more than anything. I cannot fathom what multiple rear fenders are for - one I can understand, but more than one escapes me.

    Here's some words on the topic from The Man, Himself: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed.html
    Last edited by RunningPirate; 04-26-11 at 07:43 AM. Reason: Added link to SB
    There's nothing for you to see here...just move along, now...

  6. #6
    Makin it Trizzle I Have a Bike's Avatar
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    Why not?

  7. #7
    rue the whirl motobeCarnage's Avatar
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    Believe it or not, a lot of people ride fixed because it's a unique and fun experience unlike riding a geared or even single speed bike. And I'm sure many people appreciate the simplicity of the bikes and the ability to easily tinker with and fine-tune it themselves. And I think you should take a look at the jackass thread if you think anyone here is defending some of the ridiculous "fixies" that are out there.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mumonkan View Post
    i prefer anal beads

  8. #8
    cats cats cats pylea's Avatar
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    To sup chpmnks.

  9. #9
    Senior Member EdIsMe's Avatar
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    It's kind of fun to see how many parts you can take off a bicycle and still get it to work...

    Honestly though... it's just fun. The only time I've ever had more fun on a bicycle than on my fg was on a bmx bike with impending crash landing. Although I'm sure not many people would consider that fun either...

  10. #10
    Senior Member EdIsMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RunningPirate View Post
    I'd say closer to this. Earlier this year, I converted an old bike to fixed gear for the helluvit - I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I find that I like it, but I have not sold off all of my other bikes because of it. It is a different riding experience in that you have to pay more attention to when you're pedaling - you don't realise how often you actually coast (like going around a corner, or standing on the pedals to stretch or turning around to look behind you). Also, the fixed gear bike is quieter than my geared bikes - I never realised that tires make noise.

    I understand that racers will train on fixed-gear bikes as the constant pedaling helps improve their stroke.

    Now - all that said - I do not get that Zen feeling that some pontificate about; then again, I'm sort of a low-grade Buddist, so maybe the fixed gear Zen sort of blends in with the background Zen I already have going on.
    I think the "zen" moment was the moment you realized that tires make noise. Part of being zen is realizing and appreciating things that others normally miss.

  11. #11
    soft pedal zen Higher Class's Avatar
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    Same reason I smoke cigarettes and buy organic.

  12. #12
    Senior Member illdthedj's Avatar
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    i ride fixed in order to take sweet pictures of my awesome builds and post them on bike forums. then i walk my fixed gear to the coffee shop for mad street cred.
    "Never argue with an idiot. He'll only bring you down to his level, then beat you with experience..."

  13. #13
    sqrl misskaz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pylea View Post
    To sup chpmnks.
    This.

  14. #14
    Senior Member vw addict's Avatar
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    because I can.
    Quote Originally Posted by cc700 View Post
    there is a difference though because that extra weight will directly correlate with how many chicks huff your dongus.

  15. #15
    Member Affixed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmdame View Post
    its so relaxing and you really feel like the bike is an extension of you. If you don't expect to coast, it comes so natural.
    Good for you. I found quite the opposite. Nothing was natural. After riding bikes for 50 years, and mostly road and mtn bikes as an adult. automated riding habits are a permanent part of your nervous system. Nearly everything on the fixed gear was counter-intuitive to me, and requires a lot of concentration to start, stop, and remember to not try to coast. I'm approaching it as a personal challenge to test my physical and mental learning abiities.

  16. #16
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    "I found it easier than freewheel single speeding as it makes your pedal stroke a perfect circle, rather than pushing not 100% consistent, like a freewheel, which makes it more efficient with your legs."

    This for me is a huge reason. With a freewheel bike, the stroke isn't perfectly round. Ovalized chainrings (Biopace anyone?) such as Rotor as used by the Cervelo test team are all attempts to improve the efficiency of a freewheel pedal stroke. With a fixed gear, the feeling on the legs is different and the resistance the legs feel is more even I think.

    The only downside for me with fixed gear is going down steep hills. Oh boy, you really have to pay attention or road rash is waiting. There again, some riders like the thrill of danger so it suits adrenaline junkies.
    __________________________________________
    "You spend the whole time afraid you're weak, but clawing every second knowing that if you can just shut your mind off and turn the pedals 1 more time you're going to be 1 pedal turn closer." -- Psimet

  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    Another reason why young people in your area might like it is that riding fixed gear is a part of a sub-culture much like skate boarders and BMX-ers. It is anti-establishment and counter-conventional. Riding fixed gear says, "I'm different." In truth, riding fixed gear is a throw back to the early days of bicycles when all bikes were fixed gear. So the more things change, the more they stay the same.

    Between 1894-1895 (yup over 100 years ago), a remarkable woman called Annie Londonberry rode "around the world" on a 21 pound diamond frame fixed gear bike carrying a pearl handled revolver for protection. This was an incredible feat given the state of women's right and the bicycle's emergence as a vehicle for personal freedom. http://www.experienceplus.com/blog/?p=244

    Simplicity and freedom.
    __________________________________________
    "You spend the whole time afraid you're weak, but clawing every second knowing that if you can just shut your mind off and turn the pedals 1 more time you're going to be 1 pedal turn closer." -- Psimet

  18. #18
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Riding is fun no matter how you do it and for some riding fixed is more funner.

  19. #19
    Veteran Bastard Scrodzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Higher Class View Post
    Same reason I smoke cigarettes and buy organic.
    Because being a walking oxymoron costs a lot of money?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Higher Class View Post
    Same reason I smoke cigarettes and buy organic.
    Because you like your cancers specific?

  21. #21
    Fueled by Tigers Blood avner's Avatar
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    Use the damn search function. This question is asked at least once a month and a whole lengthy discussion is started from it. People ride bikes because its fun. If you're never going to try riding one then don't worry about what were doing. Or try riding one and see if you can jive, cat.

    Also;

    Quote Originally Posted by pylea View Post
    To sup chpmnks.
    Quote Originally Posted by misskaz View Post
    This.
    Sup Sqrls.
    Last edited by avner; 04-26-11 at 11:40 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Leukybear View Post
    Genius.
    Quote Originally Posted by xkillemallx16 View Post
    Save your dignity and go back to hopping curbs on your langster.
    Quote Originally Posted by jdgesus View Post
    only thing cars are good for is hitting me

  22. #22
    I like the bike kostal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by avner View Post
    If you're never going to try riding one then don't worry about what were doing. Or try riding one and see if you can jive, cat.
    My thoughts exactly. It's cool if you're curious but why bother inquiring if you have no interest? Like everyone is saying, it's fun and a different riding experience, try it!

  23. #23
    Seasoned Newbie
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    [QUOTE=avner;12558740]Use the damn search function. This question is asked at least once a month and a whole lengthy discussion is started from it. People ride bikes because its fun. If you're never going to try riding one then don't worry about what were doing. Or try riding one and see if you can jive, cat.

    Use the damn ignore function, hep cat.

  24. #24
    girlzilla SaintAngie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pylea View Post
    To sup chpmnks.
    Quote Originally Posted by misskaz View Post
    This.
    Wait, there are other females on the forum now?
    Where are all the damn girls?

  25. #25
    sqrl misskaz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaintAngie View Post
    Wait, there are other females on the forum now?
    Represent!

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