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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 05-21-11, 10:58 AM   #1
philliejoe
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Today I chickened out, Advice?

I've taken my fixie out for a couple of rides and if I am honest it scares me. I don't like how it feels when I try and slow down and I hate going over speed bumps. I almost feel like I would rather not have the foot retention. This afternoon I switched over to a freewheel.

Should I stick with the fixed wheel? Is there anyway I can improve my technique? I feel really embarrassed even asking this I just am not enjoying riding fixed wheel.
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Old 05-21-11, 11:00 AM   #2
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be a man
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Old 05-21-11, 11:09 AM   #3
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the best advice I have is to just keep riding it until it feels comfortable.
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Old 05-21-11, 11:17 AM   #4
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Harden up.
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Old 05-21-11, 11:19 AM   #5
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Why is this even a question?
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Old 05-21-11, 11:23 AM   #6
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You need the toe clips or the clipless pedals to keep your feet on the pedals, and put the brakes back on till your good with the set up.
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Old 05-21-11, 12:08 PM   #7
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do what makes you feel good inside
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Old 05-21-11, 01:07 PM   #8
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If you stick with it, you'll be rewarded with stronger legs, greater stamina, a more fluid pedal stroke (on a fixed gear or otherwise), and a better awareness of your surroundings. Learn to work with your bike, and become zen. It shouldn't take more than a couple weeks to get confident, if you ride regularly.

Of course, there is something to be said for just getting on your bike and enjoying it. People might look down on you for not riding fixed, but who cares? Fixed gear riding isn't for everyone. Ride your bike, and have fun doing it.
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Old 05-21-11, 01:12 PM   #9
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I just ordered some straps but have been riding fixed for a few months now without any foot retention and have had no real problems.

I think it's an awesome way to ride and a great joy but if you hate it I think the answer would be to stop riding fixed. Give it a few more rides though, eh?
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Old 05-21-11, 01:23 PM   #10
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Ride your bike, the joy of having the ability to switch your hub back and forth allows you to venture back to try fixed at a later time when you get more comfortable on the bike in general.
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Old 05-21-11, 01:28 PM   #11
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Great advice. I remember the first ~100 miles were weird/scary, like learning to ride a bike all over again! Once you start relaxing, riding will be more fun and engaging then a freewheeling bike. Very worth the effort, don't get in over your head though, keep the brake(s) on for safety.

After a few hundred miles, I was doing hill climbs and long descents, brake-less!! (Not recommended, but god it's fun!!!)
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Old 05-21-11, 01:28 PM   #12
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Thanks guys, After the first few comments I was pretty much ready to think sod it I'll give up but the last few have encouraged me to simply to keep trying, Who knows I may end up loving it.

p.s. Front brake is staying on no matter what.
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Old 05-21-11, 04:25 PM   #13
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p.s. Front brake is staying on no matter what.
That's wise.
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Old 05-22-11, 11:47 AM   #14
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Definitely keep the front brake if you're riding it around town... Something that helped me out when I was learning how to skid stop is you don't push down with your foot, as much as you pull up with them to stop. So let's say you're bombing down a hill and need to stop, your left foot is forward and starting the down stroke... Pull up with your left foot and push down with your right. Quite a few people I've seen new to fixed try to just push down with their foot like an old school BMX brake.
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Old 05-22-11, 11:53 AM   #15
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That seems like weird advice. I never pull up when skidding.
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Old 05-22-11, 12:42 PM   #16
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the speed bumps are easy... I'm super new to this (literally got my bike thursday and finally was able to start riding yesterday) and quickly figured out that you need to use the force of the pedals moving to lift you off the saddle when you go over the bumps (for fixed). I have 30 miles in in 2 days so far and I'm going riding more here in about an hour.

I'm assuming that if you're using the freewheel you would put the pedals parallel to the ground and stand up a little bit?

I switched to the freewheel for a quick super short ride after a full day of fixed and really, really didn't like the feeling of it at all. Staying fixed unless I push myself too far and need the freewheel to get home.

But, as someone else said, fixed isn't for everyone! I fell in love with the feeling pretty much right away, I was initially planning on riding single speed for a while but decided to jump right into fixed and so far I'm not looking back.
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Old 05-22-11, 04:00 PM   #17
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That seems like weird advice. I never pull up when skidding.
I dunno? That's how I've always done it... I pull up with my downstroke leg and push down with my other one. I use my straps in a similar way to how I do when I ride up hills. I pull up with my leg that would otherwise be a dead leg.
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Old 05-22-11, 05:27 PM   #18
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the speed bumps are easy...
yeah, start bunny hopping railroad tracks and curbs.
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Old 05-22-11, 06:30 PM   #19
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That seems like weird advice. I never pull up when skidding.
my friend does skids on 49/14 with no foot retention.

i didn't think i really pulled up, but i can't skid without foot retention.
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Old 05-22-11, 06:34 PM   #20
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my friend does skids on 49/14 with no foot retention.
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Old 05-22-11, 07:34 PM   #21
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I dunno? That's how I've always done it...
That doesn't necessarily mean you're doing it right. The leg you're applying backpressure with should be more than enough to cause an effective skid without really pulling upward with your front leg. I can skid with no foot retention just the same as with straps.
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Old 05-22-11, 08:44 PM   #22
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Quite a few people I've seen new to fixed try to just push down with their foot like an old school BMX brake.
You mean......A coaster brake!? not common on BMXs, actually kinda useless on them!
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Old 05-22-11, 08:47 PM   #23
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do you hump your stem?
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Old 05-22-11, 08:52 PM   #24
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sup
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Old 05-22-11, 09:03 PM   #25
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Stick with it, I'm new to fixed but now I have trouble switching back
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