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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 03-10-14, 06:33 PM   #26
hairnet
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Doesn't hurt to try.
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Old 03-10-14, 06:36 PM   #27
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Doesn't hurt to try.
Like maybe hitting my kneecaps with a ball peen hammer.
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Old 03-10-14, 08:29 PM   #28
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seems like everyone who doesn't like riding fixed always forgets to mention fun as a variable. "it's not practical" "it's just trendy" "it's not safe" (not even true, and half the same people who say that one ride mtb or bmx). it's not for everyone, but find a more manageable ratio and just give it some time, try to have fun with it, it'll probably click. it does with most people who try it out.
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Old 03-10-14, 08:42 PM   #29
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After having rode fixed for years I can say that when I'm not applying power, I still feel like I'm coasting... The sensation of the cranks and my legs spinning is so second nature now. Pedaling is really far from my conscious thought unless I'm really laying it down

On free wheeled bikes, this has translated to me pedaling more or less all the time, unless cornering or applying the brakes.
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Old 03-10-14, 08:45 PM   #30
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It's very simple….

If you don't get it, then it's not for you.

No harm, no foul.
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Old 03-10-14, 08:48 PM   #31
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Old 03-10-14, 10:41 PM   #32
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i love the sports car analogy. i drive a stick shift pickup and its silly as hell, slow and lumbering but wildly satisfying. same with fixed gear. all the rich ceo's on their pinerello's fly by me on pch but i feel so good knowing im totally linked in with my bike. feels disconnected on my roadie now. spoiled
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Old 03-10-14, 10:42 PM   #33
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It's the rhythm.

Like that song, I can ride my bike with a metronome... or something.
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Old 03-10-14, 11:05 PM   #34
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It's the rhythm.

Like that song, I can ride my bike with no handlebars.
right
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Old 03-10-14, 11:09 PM   #35
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^ it was a mash-up of 2 different lyrics from the same song because I said rhythm and now I'm explaining it and NOW IT'S RUINED LOOK AT WHAT YOU'VE DONE
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Old 03-10-14, 11:16 PM   #36
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It's very simple….

If you don't get it, then it's not for you.

No harm, no foul.
Agreed. I love it, but it is not a way of life for me, either. I've been riding fixed for the last three weeks or so, but I don't usually ride fixed.

The practicality of it is that it is impractical. I get a bigger workout in a given distance. Some people do heroically long distances on a fixie. I don't think I want to do that, but I won't say never. I use my front brake (my only brake) sparingly and try to do all my slowing with my legs, as a challenge or a point of honor. In emergencies or hairy situations, I use my brake. When I get back, I find soreness in my chest and my hamstrings. That's because I don't normally work out those muscles on a freewheel.

I don't think I would want to ride fixed in SF. Those hills are insane. I've seen people ride fixed there and shake my head. I've ridden fixed in New Jersey over some real hills, but they're not insane.

Riding fixed taught me to climb better. It also taught me to have a smooth pedal stroke. I clocked myself on big downhills and I think I hit approximately 180 rpm. The goal is to do it without bouncing in the saddle. My friends were pretty amazed to see me do it. I ride a low gear, about 69 inches.
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Old 03-10-14, 11:22 PM   #37
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So my question is, and maybe I'm missing something all together here, but what is the allure, and practical application, of the fixie, aside from minimalism, sleek looks, low maintenance, and street cred?
Depends on what you like to do on your bike. You can pull off pretty neat tricks on a fixed (Kevin Bacon style?). Casual cruising can be enjoyable. Personally I'm in the same boat as you, I'm all about SS riding. I like to ride fast, so I need to stop fast. I like to sprint ride everyday in Waikiki keeping up with cars in a straight line to and from work. I'm probably considered a weirdo by fixie culture standard with mini aero bars on my SS, but I love the look I get from drivers when I'm in the next lane and pulling away from them after a stop light. I tried it fixed for a week and quite frankly I'm surprised I made it out alive.
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Old 03-10-14, 11:44 PM   #38
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Fixed for commuting and winter training makes perfect sense here in flat Sactown, but it amazes me that anyone would ride a fixed gear in the City.
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Old 03-11-14, 03:35 AM   #39
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Some people like riding fixed, some people don't. If you do, that's cool. If you don't, that's also cool. The important thing is that you ride your bike, enjoy it, and don't be a dick on the road.
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Old 03-11-14, 04:01 AM   #40
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I'd say you should give it a chance of about 200 miles before you decide whether it is for you or not.
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Old 03-11-14, 04:54 AM   #41
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Depends on what you like to do on your bike. You can pull off pretty neat tricks on a fixed (Kevin Bacon style?). Casual cruising can be enjoyable. Personally I'm in the same boat as you, I'm all about SS riding. I like to ride fast, so I need to stop fast. I like to sprint ride everyday in Waikiki keeping up with cars in a straight line to and from work. I'm probably considered a weirdo by fixie culture standard with mini aero bars on my SS, but I love the look I get from drivers when I'm in the next lane and pulling away from them after a stop light. I tried it fixed for a week and quite frankly I'm surprised I made it out alive.
I'm sorry mate, this post makes absolutely no sense at all. If anything, you've restricted your riding by riding SS while ignoring gears or fg.

With good brakes, you will stop as fast on a fg as you will on your SS (no brakes is just stoopid with regards to being able to stop). On the other hand, you have far more control over your speed with a fg than you do with anything using a freewheel - brakes are a really blunt tool for controlling speed, only good for stopping.

I'd address other things but basically, you may have tried fg but you've failed to master any of the skills and hence decided that fg is only about funny stuff such as tricks. You've missed the point completely. Ride fg for any real period (a week or two doesn't even begin to count) and you'll change you're attitude ... assuming you have the ability to learn new stuff.
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Old 03-11-14, 08:03 AM   #42
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It could just be that fixed gear is not my thing. Oh well. Moving right along...
Riding FG on the road is definitely not for everyone.
Plenty other ways to set-up & enjoy cycling, at least you gave FG a try so no one can BS you about the actual experience.

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Old 03-11-14, 08:22 AM   #43
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A lot of old school road racers like my self ride a fixed wheel bike in the off season for training because we think it's good for us. Whether it is or is not is a subject of debate. My track bike has done nothing but hang on the wall for the last two years but I'm thinking about taking her for a spin soon.

As for MTB. I rode with a guy who was on a fixed gear MTB that would ride circles around me, hop any log in his way, descend like a mad man. I could beat him on the climbs. He's a freak of nature for sure.
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Old 03-11-14, 09:57 AM   #44
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Thanks everyone! Your input is great and very appreciated. I haven't entirely given up on FG yet. I'm pretty determined to have a good go at it before throwing in the towel. Of course I won't be using it on my daily commute any time soon.
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Old 03-11-14, 02:19 PM   #45
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I'm sorry mate, this post makes absolutely no sense at all. If anything, you've restricted your riding by riding SS while ignoring gears or fg.

With good brakes, you will stop as fast on a fg as you will on your SS (no brakes is just stoopid with regards to being able to stop). On the other hand, you have far more control over your speed with a fg than you do with anything using a freewheel - brakes are a really blunt tool for controlling speed, only good for stopping.

I'd address other things but basically, you may have tried fg but you've failed to master any of the skills and hence decided that fg is only about funny stuff such as tricks. You've missed the point completely. Ride fg for any real period (a week or two doesn't even begin to count) and you'll change you're attitude ... assuming you have the ability to learn new stuff.
Sorry, I was comparing brakeless FG vs brakes SS. Actually my Leader 725 is FG with front and rear brakes, I just don't commute to work with it. Basically what I was saying is that at the 87 gear inches I run (50t x 15t) brakes are necessary if you want to go fast, relying only on skids with that gear ratio is just stupid.
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Old 03-11-14, 03:13 PM   #46
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(disclaimer**i think i know everything about bicycles, often im found to be full of ca-ca).....whew, that was close. that being said, i dont get it either. my polite response is its not for everybody. depending on terrain and focus of rider, it definitely should not be for some people. im one of those and ride single speed. i like to stand and stretch and look at **** when i ride too so i need to be able to coast. some people are reallly into fix, which is fine. im not one of them but i can see the allure.
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Old 03-11-14, 03:20 PM   #47
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I thought that the big advantage of fg mtb was not dropping the chain. I imagine that better, more recent mtb gruppos obviate that advantage.
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Old 03-15-14, 10:35 PM   #48
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Ok, well, I haven't given up on the fixed gear yet.
I actually swapped out the frame for something much lighter and it made world of difference. Maybe it's purely psychological, maybe it's not, but the lighter chromoly frame (previously I was using a hi-ten steel frame) really makes riding fixed gear enjoyable. Or maybe I'm just getting more used to it, conceptually at least.

Last edited by cessanfrancisco; 03-16-14 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 03-16-14, 07:49 AM   #49
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Maybe it's purely psychological, maybe it's not
Not "maybe", it's not about the hardware.
Amazing how actually doing an activity improves one's ability to do that activity.
Or just talk about it & throw some money at it, one or the other.

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Old 06-11-14, 10:05 PM   #50
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UPDATE: Three months since this post was started and I've converted both of my bikes to fixed gear and I love it. I've learned to skid and skip, but I'm keeping the brake.
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