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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 03-12-18, 06:16 PM   #1
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I Need Help Skidding

I bought a cheap ****ty fixed gear bike last year. I have no idea what the gear ratio is. However, I have been trying to learn how to skid since the summer and still cannot. Is my gear ratio at all a factor or am I just not pushing back hard enough on the pedal? Because im curious if my gear ratio is too high/low to skid but i have no actual idea... any advice is greatly appreciated
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Old 03-12-18, 06:37 PM   #2
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Basically you want to not wipe or not wipe well and leave enough fecal matter betwixt your cheeks and then just let it rub off in your formerly tidy-whiteys and pretty soon you will be skidding like a pro!
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Old 03-12-18, 06:54 PM   #3
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What kind of foot retention are you using?
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Old 03-13-18, 12:27 PM   #4
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In general, a lower gear will always be easier to skid than a higher gear. By unweighting the rear wheel (stand on the pedals and lean forward) you can also make it easier to skid regardless of gear. If you're looking to change your gear ratio, select a ring or cog with a prime number tooth count to maximize the number of skid patches. That way you won't burn through tires quite as quickly.
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Old 03-13-18, 12:59 PM   #5
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Yes, gear ratio matters. So does wheel size. There is a formula that has been used for a century that gives you a number not to hard to visualize and takes both the ration and wheel size into account. That number is call "gear inches" and is the size of an equivalent wheel to your gear ratio that the old "high wheeler" of the 1880s would have had to have been to go the same speed pedaling the same cadence.

To calculate, take the number of teeth on your chainring, divide by the number on your cog and multiply by your rear wheel diameter in inches. (For 27" and 700c wheels, 27" gives an answer plenty close enough.) So lets say you have 48 teeth in front and 19 in back.

48/19 X 27 =68.2" ie a 68" "gear"

Skidding is not my thing so I have no first hand experience, but I have heard many times that you want your gear to be below ~72" to skid and that lower makes learning easier. Count your teeth. Do the math. Seriously consider re-gearing to get into the mid 60s ballpark.

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Old 03-13-18, 10:08 PM   #6
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There are two different ways to skid. One is more functional and one is more "showy". I am assuming you want the "showy" one. If so, a lighter gear is always easier but skidding can still be had in a higher gear. The trick is to time your cadence with when you get out of the saddle and lean forward. when you lean forward you will "lock" one leg down and back and hold it. I know it sounds odd, but kinda like learning how to parallel ski, it will be easier to do if you have some speed. The farther you lean over the bars, the more weight you take off the rear wheel, thus giving you greater distance in the skid. I was at the Fixed Gear Gallery Symposium in 2006 where the winning skid was 679 feet!* It was terribly impressive. Practice.........practice.........practice.

*Jimmy Raggert**
**second place was Jonny Kundziera (from the infamous) Jonny Cycles fame with a skid of 559 feet
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