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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 02-25-14, 04:15 PM   #1
cessanfrancisco
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New To Fixed Gear

Hi,

Riding fixed gear bikes looks like a lot of fun, and I've been interested in trying it. I currently have two single-speed bikes and I was thinking of turning one into a fixed gear.

I plan on practicing in a place with not much traffic, at first, but I do have a rather puzzling question (at least for me). I live in San Francisco, which is known for its rather hilly topography, so does anyone have any pointers for slowing down and stopping on really, really big hills?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-25-14, 04:19 PM   #2
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brakes work really well
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Old 02-25-14, 04:28 PM   #3
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Hi,

Riding fixed gear bikes looks like a lot of fun, and I've been interested in trying it. I currently have two single-speed bikes and I was thinking of turning one into a fixed gear.

I plan on practicing in a place with not much traffic, at first, but I do have a rather puzzling question (at least for me). I live in San Francisco, which is known for its rather hilly topography, so does anyone have any pointers for slowing down and stopping on really, really big hills?

Thanks in advance!

Use brakes. Picking proper gearing is also important, even with brakes, as you do not want the pedals getting out from under you or going uncontrolled. Foot retention is a must.
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Old 02-25-14, 08:06 PM   #4
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Like they said... brakes. Lower gears are easier to stop and start with because a lower gear = more mechanical advantage. But you'll also max out your RPM's sooner, too. In any case though, you need to have a brake that operates on your FRONT wheel as well as the rear. The drivetrain can count as one for the rear, but not for the front. You have more stopping power in the front, and you have more stopping power and more control when the wheel is rolling, not when it's skidding. In short, a front brake gives you a shorter stopping distance than skidding the rear wheel. If you are on a steep hill and the road is slippery (wet, sandy, oil from cars, etc) and you've gotten a moving start, it is entirely possible to skid the rear wheel for a whole block and still not stop, where a front brake could actually stop you. SF has steep hills and I think it rains their occasionally.

So yeah, brakes.
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Old 02-25-14, 08:17 PM   #5
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And there you have it, the ultimate recipe of brakes (front only on a fixed is fine) and a low-ish gear. So I'll add a finer point by suggesting a good starting ratio…..a 46 x 18 will give you a somewhat low 69 gear inches, which would be a good first choice. As you get more adept and stronger, you could go to a 17 which would make a noticeable difference, and so on.
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Old 02-25-14, 08:20 PM   #6
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Use brakes. Picking proper gearing is also important, even with brakes, as you do not want the pedals getting out from under you or going uncontrolled. Foot retention is a must.
Once the feet come off the pedals on a downhill there's no getting them back on. I learned that first time out on my fixed gear last fall. Their like spinning friggin weapons.
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Old 02-25-14, 08:33 PM   #7
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If you don't go for the brakes get good quality straps and try stopping my mid skidding or just pushing opposite way on the pedals. Fairly easy not go super fast down a hill.
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Old 02-25-14, 08:36 PM   #8
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Ted shred.
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Old 02-27-14, 07:41 PM   #9
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Once the feet come off the pedals on a downhill there's no getting them back on. I learned that first time out on my fixed gear last fall. Their like spinning friggin weapons.
this is so wrong. if you cant put your feet back on those death pedals you need to work on it
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Old 02-27-14, 08:52 PM   #10
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brakes work really well
I like this post.
If you get anything from this thread OP, please let it be this before you plaster yourself to the back of a MUNI bus.
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Old 02-28-14, 03:48 AM   #11
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I like this post.
If you get anything from this thread OP, please let it be this before you plaster yourself to the back of a MUNI bus.
)

That works as well as brakes, it's just harder on the front wheel

(brakes, fit brakes and use them )
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Old 02-28-14, 11:40 AM   #12
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i agree with the above. brakes imo are a must if you are riding on the street. foot retention never hurts
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Old 03-04-14, 11:31 AM   #13
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this is so wrong. if you cant put your feet back on those death pedals you need to work on it
Not going to work on it because its never going to happen again. The toe clips didn't help.
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Old 03-04-14, 02:24 PM   #14
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Not going to work on it because its never going to happen again. The toe clips didn't help.
There's nothing funner then bombing a huge hill with no brakes and taking your feet of the pedals.. Pure bliss
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Old 03-04-14, 03:03 PM   #15
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There's nothing funner then bombing a huge hill with no brakes and taking your feet of the pedals.. Pure bliss
+1
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Old 03-05-14, 03:55 AM   #16
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There's nothing funner then bombing a huge hill with no brakes and taking your feet of the pedals.. Pure bliss
Only if you're watching the poor bugger on the bike
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Old 03-05-14, 06:18 AM   #17
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Ted shred.
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Old 03-05-14, 11:35 PM   #18
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Takes all kinds to **** up a world ... and I don't know who's worse, the idiot shred or those lionizing him.
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Old 06-11-14, 10:02 PM   #19
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UPDATE: I've now answered my own post (from experience). How to stop/slow down on big hill--a combination of skidding and using the brake! Woohoo!
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Old 06-11-14, 10:25 PM   #20
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im gonna start wearing snap backs over my hoods. makes so much sense, thats how ill keep hoods from slipping off my hat when im ridding.
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