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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)

A Total Noob

Old 01-16-17, 06:34 PM
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theronin
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A Total Noob

Hi guys, I'm new to this forum, new to biking, and new to fixed gear as well lol.

Basically, I love to surf but because of a heart attack, I need to stay out of the water for a few months so in case something does happen, I'm not suffocating in water. I wanted to get back into biking but the only bike I had was this Schwinn from Target that was a hybrid road and mountain bike and the gears always felt sketchy. So I picked up this older but legit bike from a local shop that only had one gear. It reminded me of the bike I learned on growing up and at the price, I decided it was tough to lose.

When I showed to my friends, they laughed at me asking if I was going to be a "hipster snob." It was only after some very interesting google searching that I learned this was a "fixed gear" and that this is a pretty hardcore scene. I'm not too into the NYC messenger bag counter culture thing and really just want a simple bike.

It's a little big - I learned to measure a bike and I think this one is 55 cm which for me standing at 5'5", I am on tip toes with the bar touching my guys. I can lift it maybe an inch but then they are really touching my guys. I don't have problems stopping though I just lean it. But I may see if 650 sized wheels give me just a little more clearance. Otherwise, riding it feels awesome - reminds me of being a kid again ... but I can't do skids like before my knees are gonna explode lol. Thank goodness for that front break to take some pressure off.

As for riding, not even a commuter. I plan to do mellow cruising along the long rivers we have here in So Cal - they end up at the beach. That's about it. I really do love the simplicity of these things though. Anyway just wanted to say hi.

Oh and if you got any advice for a super noob (other than, your bikes too big - I know lol), please share. Thanks for reading!
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Old 01-16-17, 07:40 PM
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Enjoy it and don't worry about the hipster BS. That looks like a converted road bike, so you can add a rear brake if that will make you more comfortable riding. Where in socal are you? More and more people riding every year it seems, so perhaps you can find a group that likes to meet and go for a mellow ride every week.
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Old 01-16-17, 07:55 PM
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Yea, I'm not really caught up in the fixed gear scene. I just know it exists. Heck, I may even flip the rear wheel to freewheel and move the brake to the rear like you said.

I'm in Long Beach and the river that opens up to Seal Beach is just a few blocks from me. It's an awesome, traffic-free ride.
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Old 01-16-17, 08:07 PM
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Don't move the brake to the rear--just add one to the rear. Most of your stopping force comes from the front brake since weight is transferred forward when you are braking.
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Old 01-16-17, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by theronin View Post
I'm in Long Beach and the river that opens up to Seal Beach is just a few blocks from me. It's an awesome, traffic-free ride.
Cool, check out the Santa Ana river trail too. The LA river path is cool, great for a long ride if you follow it all the way out to Griffith Park.
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Old 01-16-17, 09:11 PM
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Looks like a very decent conversion. I'm willing to bet you could find a frame that fits for the same price, or less, as a 650 wheelset. And you wouldn't have to change the brake(s). You may also love coasting with a freewheeel.

I can easily pedal a bike for 100 miles but man, surfing is one of the hardest activities I've attempted. Requires some true strength and control. Hope you can get back to it sooner than later. But for now, enjoy spinning those legs.
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Old 01-16-17, 09:44 PM
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That is a clean Benotto and in my size too. Fixed gear isn't for you and that bike is probably broken but just send it on down to me and I will take care of it for ya ; )

You could try a smaller wheel size conversion and that might help but getting a bike sized for you can make a world of difference especially for someone newer to cycling or at least someone who hasn't ridden in quite a while.

You might also try getting yourself a nice freewheel and trying that out it might help to not blow out your knees and it can be jolly good fun. I love fixed, I love it to death but I gotta say after riding a SS Freewheel bike I kinda got bitten and want to maybe do a little freewheelin' every so often.
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Old 01-16-17, 10:02 PM
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Old 01-17-17, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Euthyphro View Post
Don't move the brake to the rear--just add one to the rear. Most of your stopping force comes from the front brake since weight is transferred forward when you are braking.
I totally did not know this. My reasoning for moving to the rear was fear that a lone front break with freewheel would mean I could end over if I slam that front break. Thank you.

Originally Posted by hairnet View Post
Cool, check out the Santa Ana river trail too. The LA river path is cool, great for a long ride if you follow it all the way out to Griffith Park.
Oh yes, I grew up in the Griffith Park area. There's also very cool shrubbery along that river unlike the Santa Ana river which is all just concrete.

Originally Posted by franswa View Post
I can easily pedal a bike for 100 miles but man, surfing is one of the hardest activities I've attempted. Requires some true strength and control. Hope you can get back to it sooner than later. But for now, enjoy spinning those legs.
It's only really tiring because you can't stop to rest when you want to. Otherwise, the only reason I can't go in yet is the danger of having a heart attack in the water. But once I'm healed in a few months, lots of people go back out. I just need a fun activity cos running or the gym I just cannot do lol.

Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
That is a clean Benotto and in my size too. Fixed gear isn't for you and that bike is probably broken but just send it on down to me and I will take care of it for ya ; )
Thank you! I got really lucky with it just wish it was a bit smaller. If you are in the area and are serious, I'd consider selling it to you or trade for something more my size. I like it, I know what it is and its history (yay for google lol), but not being a total biker head probably cant appreciate it as much as others.

Thank you guys for the warm welcome. This is a cool community. (Surfing community can get a little toxic depending where lol.)
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Old 01-17-17, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by theronin View Post
Thank you! I got really lucky with it just wish it was a bit smaller. If you are in the area and are serious, I'd consider selling it to you or trade for something more my size. I like it, I know what it is and its history (yay for google lol), but not being a total biker head probably cant appreciate it as much as others.

Thank you guys for the warm welcome. This is a cool community. (Surfing community can get a little toxic depending where lol.)
I doubt we are close and I really don't need another bike considering I am putting together what would be my 5th complete bike and I have serious plans for two more bikes.

Some people appreciate bikes to the point of not riding them and just being a collector and some realize they are neat and valuable but first and foremost they are for riding. Keep it in good shape and you will be fine.

This community can be hot or cold in their welcoming. You got lucky and that is always good here. It is the internet and a forum about fixed gear bikes, things are bound to get toxic here too. But don't let that scare you, stick around have some fun, learn some stuff, teach some stuff when ready and we will be a better community for it : )
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