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Fixed gear for Seniors

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Fixed gear for Seniors

Old 04-04-11, 04:40 PM
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Fixed gear for Seniors

Yes, call me an idiot, but I just rode a fixed gear bike for the first time, and I'll be 60 in two months. I ride road bikes (and mtn) regularly. What an experience! Frankly, I was quite nervous, but I've ridden it twice around town and I seem to be getting it. I am running a front brake. I haven't fallen or bled yet, but there's still time.... Anyone else here try this crazy stuff at our age?
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Old 04-04-11, 04:50 PM
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54 here, and been riding fixed since 2000. Welcome aboard. Quite addictive, isn't it?
Once you get some more experience, I think you'll agree.

You may encounter individuals who ask silly questions. Among these questions are "Do you mind if I ask why you ride a fixie at your age?" Yes, I have been asked this. I decided to simply respond with "Sure, you can ask."
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Old 04-04-11, 05:12 PM
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I have some...ah... "street cred" ?? as the oldest living female fixie rider in the West...

* It's not as bad on the knees as ya'd think...
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Old 04-04-11, 05:23 PM
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I built myself a conversion a couple of years ago but I don't ride it a whole lot. I kind of like having it for a change of pace.
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Old 04-04-11, 05:27 PM
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Affixed, Welcome to the forum. While not what I want to get for myself, I've ridden one and enjoyed it. I rode one without a brake, but it wasn't too difficult to unload the rear wheel so I could quickly (relative word) stop the rear wheel. I would have to have a front brake. An excellant system to work on spin and I don't think anyone's too old for one.

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Old 04-04-11, 05:39 PM
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I much enjoyed riding a fixed gear around an urban neighborhood but would not enjoy one as much on the open road.
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Old 04-04-11, 07:54 PM
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I have an old 70s bike I converted. I've been commuting on it as a single speed, but when the weather is nice I do the flip/flop hub and make it a fixed. I like it for a change of pace. I'm not "one with my fixed" so I fine it requires a lot of concentration, which is also kind of fun (in it's own warped way...)
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Old 04-04-11, 09:17 PM
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Riding a fixed gear has been a part of my conditioning (I'm not serious enough to call it training) regimen for the last few years. I head for the countryside on a 45-year old track bike equipped with low gearing (about 72 inches), a front brake, and Look pedals. Of course, on these days I stick to flatter terrain. But I find it's a good recovery workout, it helps my suppleness and flexibility, and it's good for my pedaling form.
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Old 04-05-11, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Affixed
Yes, call me an idiot, but I just rode a fixed gear bike for the first time, and I'll be 60 in two months. I ride road bikes (and mtn) regularly. What an experience! Frankly, I was quite nervous, but I've ridden it twice around town and I seem to be getting it. I am running a front brake. I haven't fallen or bled yet, but there's still time.... Anyone else here try this crazy stuff at our age?
You're not an idiot. Either that or both of us are.

It might help you feel more relaxed if you have foot retention. That makes the downhills less frightening.
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Old 04-05-11, 10:02 AM
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Educate me please:

>I see what seems to be different kinds of bike referred to as "fixies". Just what is a fixie, really?
>If no brakes how do you stop he bloody thing? I know as a kid I had a single speed bike with a coaster brake (pedal forward to go. stop pedaling to coast, pedal backwards to stop). But, no brake at all???
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Old 04-05-11, 10:06 AM
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It's a single speed with no freewheel, therefore no coasting. If you are moving, the pedals are turning. Track bikes are like this.
"Cool" dudes run them with no brakes, but they are idiots. They stop by locking their legs and skidding. You'll find them with a front brake, for the sane folks.
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Old 04-05-11, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by scroca

It might help you feel more relaxed if you have foot retention. That makes the downhills less frightening.
Thanks. I do use toeclips with double straps. I am braking by applying reverse force with both legs, and the clips are necessary since one leg is pushing down on the pedal that's rising while I'm lifting the pedal that's falling. I have a front brake for assistance.
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Old 04-05-11, 11:54 AM
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I really enjoy riding fixed and I'm 61 so no worries about the age thing. I ride a 42t x 15t and have both front and rear brakes fitted (but rarely used).

For pedals I use Crank Bros. Egg Beaters since there are four points of engagement (helpful when aiming foot at moving target!).

Climbing and flat roads are both lots of fun; descending . . . not so much. My current coordination (or lack thereof) limits me to +/- 135 cadence. Still, the whole fixed thing is so much fun, overall, I definitely recommend it.

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Old 04-05-11, 12:18 PM
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Exactly!

For the reasons cited above, I want to try fixed gear riding this summer/fall. This is EXACTLY why I want to do it. I have the frame (a beautiful unmodified 1990 Fuji Ace) and a few components. I don't have the budget to buy everything at once, so I'll do it a bit at a time. Hopefully by September or October. The wheelset is next, then the bottom bracket and crankset combination.

Yes, it will have front and back brakes. I'm apprehensive but hopeful, and excited. Oh... and I'm 51 years old. PG

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Old 04-05-11, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by cccorlew
It's a single speed with no freewheel, therefore no coasting. If you are moving, the pedals are turning. Track bikes are like this.
"Cool" dudes run them with no brakes, but they are idiots. They stop by locking their legs and skidding. You'll find them with a front brake, for the sane folks.
Hmmm, I just picture myself going down some of the hills around here and slipping off a pedal, or losing the strength battle and crashing. No thanks. This old man is too fragile for such nonsense.
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Old 04-05-11, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by HawkOwl
Hmmm, I just picture myself going down some of the hills around here and slipping off a pedal, or losing the strength battle and crashing. No thanks. This old man is too fragile for such nonsense.
That's why you have foot retention and at least a front brake. No worries.
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Old 04-05-11, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by cccorlew
It's a single speed with no freewheel, therefore no coasting. If you are moving, the pedals are turning. Track bikes are like this.
"Cool" dudes run them with no brakes, but they are idiots. They stop by locking their legs and skidding. You'll find them with a front brake, for the sane folks.
Good answer. Affixed, I run a brake on both wheels. On the flats, I can generally get away with simply slowing down my pedaling motion, and using the front brake. The long downhills, common around the Boston area, are where you need both. Also, the occasional situation where a suburban youngster runs into the road. Yep, it happens.

I leave that brakeless nonsense for the kiddies. Why do they do this? Well, cccorlew's answer is a good one: They're idiots. Or they believe they are making a political statement. Or, they think they're cool. Or something.
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Old 04-06-11, 05:10 AM
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I am not 60, but getting there. I have been a fixed gear fan for a while... I built my first one around a decade ago, but got more serious with another several years ago. I did a full year of Century a Month on it, and toured in France, Belgium and the UK.

The bike was scavenged about 12 months ago when I built up an emergency replacement for Machka's bike that was stolen that Easter and I just haven't got around to reassembling it. But it is in the works, and I am really looking forward to getting back on to it.
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Old 04-06-11, 10:39 AM
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Rowan, you are my new hero!
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Old 04-06-11, 01:20 PM
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I'm 57 and had my first fixie experience last year. I just had to see what all the fuss was about. I went 3 speed fixed however, I'm not much on single speed.
It's now my favourite bike.
Oh yeah, brakes on both ends for me.
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Old 04-06-11, 01:31 PM
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Actually only a front brake is needed. You can slow the rear wheel just by back pedalling. Even with a regular bike, almost all the stop power comes form the front wheel. The rear brake is mostly for stability.

I use mine occassionally for a change of pace. But the infrequent use has two downsides - one is I sometimes forget and take corners too fast and the pedal hits the ground. The other is I forget what I'm riding and try standing without pedalling to alter the seat position.
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Old 04-06-11, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by bradtx
I don't think anyone's too old for one.
I'm too old to ride fixed..............unless I get a whim to try it.
I have converted several bikes to single speed but have not been interested in fixed.
Am impressed by folks who have the skills to ride the things.
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Old 04-06-11, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by JanMM
I'm too old to ride fixed..............unless I get a whim to try it.
I have converted several bikes to single speed but have not been interested in fixed.
Am impressed by folks who have the skills to ride the things.
Skills? It isn't that hard. I'm not the world's most co-ordinated individual, but I had no difficulty adapting.
Just for that, I'll probably get ejected from the saddle on my next ride.
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Old 04-06-11, 09:51 PM
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I received a Swedish Avanti track bike (with skip-tooth and inch-pitch block chain) as a wedding present, but I missed my gears and really did not (and still do not) have the coordination required for safe and confident operation, particularly in traffic. I do confess to being curious about Sturmey Archer's revival of the 3-speed fixed-gear hub -- Dan Burkhart evidently really likes his.
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Old 04-07-11, 05:03 AM
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A few years ago I converted my 35 year old Paris Sport 10-speed to fixed. I'm 57 and it's my favorite bike to ride for pure enjoyment. The direct connection to the bike, the wheels, and the road makes it a unique riding experience. My setup is: front brake only, 42x16 gearing, and SPD pedals.

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