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Returning cyclist with a noob question

Old 08-30-18, 03:59 PM
  #1  
ScottD961
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Returning cyclist with a noob question

Ok, I know this is a stoopid question. I have been away for awhile but.............Can someone tell me what the difference is between a Fixie, and a single speed? Isn’t a fixed gear and a single speed just a one speed bike? I apologize for the dumbness in advance.

Last edited by ScottD961; 08-30-18 at 03:59 PM. Reason: stupidity
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Old 08-30-18, 04:20 PM
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A single-speed bike can have a freewheel mechanism which allows the rider to coast while keeping the pedals stationary. A "fixie" or fixed-gear bike has the gear solidly affixed to the rear wheel so if the wheel turns the gear turns, the chain turns and the pedals turn ---so you can never ;'coast." You always have to be pedaling as fast as the wheel is turning or pretty close to that speed.

This requires some unholy pedaling cadences on downhills.
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Old 08-30-18, 04:21 PM
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A single speed has just one speed as you've guessed. However, it doesn't really specify how the rear sprocket is connected to the hub.

There would be basically 3 types:
  • Freewheeling. You can backpedal. The bike requires both front and rear brakes.
  • Coaster Brake. Backpedal half a revolution then uses a type of friction brake in the hub. Often found on kid's bikes and beach cruisers.
  • Fixie. This is the simplest type. The rear sprocket is attached directly to the hub. However, it should have a lockring to hold it in place. The cranks turn when the bike moves, no coasting. One can stop by backpedalling, or skidding. They should have a front brake.
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Old 08-30-18, 05:57 PM
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Thank you! Finally I get it.
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Old 08-30-18, 06:12 PM
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Wow I was not aware of this. Learn something new everyday.. Would seem to make sharp turning dangerous. Seems like braking would be difficult as well. Fixie no longer seems like a simple bike to ride . Things are usually more complicated in my head though
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Old 08-30-18, 06:30 PM
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The hardest part of riding a fixie is feeling comfortable with the weird hipster hairstyles you'd have to adopt.
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Old 08-30-18, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
The hardest part of riding a fixie is feeling comfortable with the weird hipster hairstyles you'd have to adopt.
Ah! The elusive fixie-riding-hipster that we have all heard of.
There was a single speed bike next to my non-fixie, non-single speed recumbent on the bike rack at work today. It had a flip-flop hub. I had to look close to determine that today the bike was a fixie. Flip the wheel and it's not a fixie.
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Old 08-30-18, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
The hardest part of riding a fixie is feeling comfortable with the weird hipster hairstyles you'd have to adopt.
That should not be an issue for me. Iím loosing mine at an ever increasing rate
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Old 08-31-18, 03:42 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by ScottD961 View Post

That should not be an issue for me. Iím loosing mine at an ever increasing rate
Hmm.
How do you look in skinny jeans?
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Old 08-31-18, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
The hardest part of riding a fixie is feeling comfortable with the weird hipster hairstyles you'd have to adopt.
I was riding a fixie before Hipsters were popular!

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Old 09-01-18, 12:54 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by rgconner View Post
Hmm.
How do you look in skinny jeans?
OMG...............Do we R E A L L Y want to go there? Those jeans would Not be good......not good at all!
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Old 09-03-18, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
A single speed has just one speed as you've guessed. However, it doesn't really specify how the rear sprocket is connected to the hub.

There would be basically 3 types:
  • Freewheeling. You can backpedal. The bike requires both front and rear brakes.
  • Coaster Brake. Backpedal half a revolution then uses a type of friction brake in the hub. Often found on kid's bikes and beach cruisers.
  • Fixie. This is the simplest type. The rear sprocket is attached directly to the hub. However, it should have a lockring to hold it in place. The cranks turn when the bike moves, no coasting. One can stop by backpedalling, or skidding. They should have a front brake.
+1

And just to complicate things further, it is also possible to build a fixed-gear or coaster brake wheel that has variable speeds. In these cases, one will have the mechanism of a fixed gear (cranks continue to turn) or a coaster hub (backpedal to stop) along with an internal gear hub that allows one to change into different gears.

Once upon a time I thought about building a fixie with variable gears, but then got lazy and went with a single speed freewheel.

In other news, I don't think fixies are particularly cool anymore. Evidence is that most of us who got in on the original trend are pushing 40 or 50 years of age.
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Old 09-03-18, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
The hardest part of riding a fixie is feeling comfortable with the weird hipster hairstyles you'd have to adopt.
What if, uh, you have a certain lack of hair to style?
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Old 09-03-18, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
What if, uh, you have a certain lack of hair to style?
Lumberjack beards with waxed handlebar moustaches .....
and those expander earplugs that stretch your earlobes. you'll fit right in.
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Old 09-05-18, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
What if, uh, you have a certain lack of hair to style?
Or use some WD40
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Old 09-05-18, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by bikingtotown View Post
Wow I was not aware of this. Learn something new everyday.. Would seem to make sharp turning dangerous. Seems like braking would be difficult as well. Fixie no longer seems like a simple bike to ride . Things are usually more complicated in my head though
You can slow your speed by applying back pressure to the pedals.
Fixies (fixed gear) should at least have a front brake, if not 2 brakes.

Track bikes are fixed gear, without brakes becuase they are on the track only, not the road.
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Old 09-05-18, 12:26 PM
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Time-honored tradition of setting up an old road bike as a fixed gear for training/commuting/fun. I also have a freewheel on the other side of the hub but 99% I ride it fixed.

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Old 09-05-18, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottD961 View Post
Ok, I know this is a stoopid question. I have been away for awhile but.............Can someone tell me what the difference is between a Fixie, and a single speed? Isnít a fixed gear and a single speed just a one speed bike? I apologize for the dumbness in advance.
Fixie means the bike never coasts.
Single gear is in one gear and can coast.

Nothing for nothing but a Google search and a YouTube search could answered this.
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Old 09-05-18, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by IvyGodivy View Post
Fixie means the bike never coasts.
Single gear is in one gear and can coast.

Nothing for nothing but a Google search and a YouTube search could answered this.
True but that would have spoiled your fun of leaving a snarky comment. BTW The question was answered way back in post # 2
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Old 09-05-18, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottD961 View Post
True but that would have spoiled your fun of leaving a snarky comment. BTW The question was answered way back in post # 2
Yeah, but I was the poster of post #2 . Who would ever think that I would post a simple, accurate, helpful answer to a straightforward question?
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Old 09-05-18, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Yeah, but I was the poster of post #2 . Who would ever think that I would post a simple, accurate, helpful answer to a straightforward question?
Much appreciated though. I had asked at the LBS - They only sell new High end stuff, he told me a Fixie was a ....................wait for it....................a bike that needed .......................work (fixing) True Story. I won't be back there
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Old 09-05-18, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottD961 View Post
True but that would have spoiled your fun of leaving a snarky comment. BTW The question was answered way back in post # 2
And your point?
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Old 09-06-18, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by IvyGodivy View Post
And your point?
I already made it. Troll on
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Old 09-06-18, 08:42 PM
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I have a question...

Why would anyone want to ride, much less own a "fixie"?
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Old 09-06-18, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by one4smoke View Post
I have a question...

Why would anyone want to ride, much less own a "fixie"?
Itís an interesting and arguably more challenging variation on regular road cycling. When winter closes in and I have less daylight to ride in, I might switch to the fixie to get the most ďbangĒ out of shorter routes
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