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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 12-30-11, 03:06 AM   #1
bryantm3
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accident prone— bought a fixed gear

hi everyone, i guess i should introduce myself— my name is daniel, i live in atlanta.

i recently bought a relatively cheap fixed gear bike, a vilano edge:
http://www.roadbikeoutlet.com/vilano...peed-bike.html

and basically, i have not ridden a bike since i was around 9 or 10, and even then, i only knew how to ride around in a parking lot. so essentially, i'm learning to ride a bike all over again.

i got a 50 cm bike, not because i wanted a short bike, but because i have short legs, and even with a 50 cm i have less than an inch of space between myself and the bar. however, i had the bike shop set the seat very low.

i got out in grant park, here in atlanta, on a sidestreet, and i got to riding, extremely wobbly. i felt like i didn't have any control over the bike— especially considering the "bullhorn" handlebars. however, i found that if i held my hands on the part of the bar that sticks forward, the "horn", so that my hands were parallel to the bike, i could balance and get a decent rhythm going. so i went around a bit and got to going faster, and felt a little more confident.

however, i started worrying about turning, i had one ahead. so i started to turn the bike, and it felt strange, like i was going to fall over, because my arms and hands were parallel to the bike— i felt like i had no control over it. so i steered back and then, i don't know exactly what happened, but my foot came off the pedal (not using clips yet) and got beat around by the moving pedals. the bike was swaying all over the place and i was 100% sure i was going to fall off. i didn't. i was able to grab the brakes and mash down until i slowed to a stop.

however, it turns out i sprained my ankle pretty badly, and i won't be able to ride for a few days. i feel pretty much like an idiot at this point— i never really felt like i was in control of the bike and steering was pretty much an impossibility.

does anyone have any useful advice?
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Old 12-30-11, 03:17 AM   #2
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use foot retention (i.e. clips)
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Old 12-30-11, 03:19 AM   #3
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Take it slow and get familiar with the ride.
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Old 12-30-11, 03:23 AM   #4
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Seriously?
Put a freewheel on and learn the basics of bike handling and control before you go fixed.
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Old 12-30-11, 03:41 AM   #5
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wear a helmet
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Old 12-30-11, 03:52 AM   #6
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Troll
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Old 12-30-11, 04:10 AM   #7
bryantm3
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some sarcastic advice and you think i'm a troll. you guys are seriously a bunch of tools. get over yourselves. i'll figure it out on my own.
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Old 12-30-11, 04:21 AM   #8
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Vegun has the right idea, a freewheel will let you coast so you can focus on handling and get used to the ride. I recently got my wife a bike, same story as yours, the thing that helped her the most was speeding up since she was unsure and wanted to go slow. Almost everyone wobbles when they go too slow. Once you're used to the ride go for clips then go fixed and have fun!
There is always the chance of a fall so do wear the helmet!

Good luck!
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Old 12-30-11, 04:56 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by bryantm3 View Post
some sarcastic advice and you think i'm a troll. you guys are seriously a bunch of tools. get over yourselves. i'll figure it out on my own.
Your foot got beat up by your pedals because you were not using your foot retention. USE YOUR CLIPS, you will have more control over your bike if you use them. Do not be afraid of your feet getting stuck.
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Old 12-30-11, 05:09 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by TheRealFaux View Post
Your foot got beat up by your pedals because you were not using your foot retention. USE YOUR CLIPS, you will have more control over your bike if you use them. Do not be afraid of your feet getting stuck.
I understand the benefits of clips but do you think it best to add another concern to learning to ride right off the bat? All but my BMX have clips or clipless but at the unsure stage I would still say a freewheel is the way to go until confidence is built. Just my opinion, as you will...
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Old 12-30-11, 05:33 AM   #11
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thanks, guys, i appreciate that.

i know i was getting my feet beat up by the pedals but honestly i was trying as hard as i could to balance much of the time... it seems like the clips would help, but also make me fall over. i'm thinking of trying freewheel, and i'm also thinking of getting a different handlebar, maybe a parallel riser instead of a bullhorn— do you think this would help?

is there anyone who learned to ride first on a fixed gear? i know the freewheel is easier for many, but do i really have to go there before i do fixed?
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Old 12-30-11, 07:29 AM   #12
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No don't have to start with a freewheel, it would just be easier and I didn't want to see you get fed up and quit while trying to learn basic handling skills.
As far as the bars, get what makes you comfortable but get the riding down first. I have bullhorns on my SS and like them, two fixed with mustache and drop bars, the flat bar never gave me enough different places to put my hands. If you do decide to switch to a flat bar make sure to get the same size so your brake levers fit.
Are your brake levers on the end of the bullhorns or down by the stem?
I really like this set up:
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Old 12-30-11, 08:35 AM   #13
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You said you had the seat set really low. If it's too low that can cause some wobble and balance issues. Take it back into the shop and have them make certain that it's actually set up right. Horns take a minute to get used to, but you'll get it.

This forum is rough on new people, but we mean no harm.
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Old 12-30-11, 08:52 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Vegun View Post
Seriously?
Put a freewheel on and learn the basics of bike handling and control before you go fixed.
This is the best advice I've seen so far. You need to learn how to ride a bike before being able to ride a bike.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bryantm3 View Post
you guys are seriously a bunch of tools. get over yourselves. i'll figure it out on my own.
If this is how you're going to react right off the bat, you are on your own. Best of luck.
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