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First FG, Pedaling Through Turns?

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First FG, Pedaling Through Turns?

Old 10-05-19, 12:19 PM
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First FG, Pedaling Through Turns?

Recently put together my first fixed gear, a LeMond Spine frame custom specíd by someone around 2005. Had a paddywagon 10 years ago or so, never got up the gumption to switch the wheel.

I commute a Salsa Journeyman 650b, 18 miles a day. Recently switched over from spd-sl to eggbeaters for a little extra give and walk-ability.

So my issue... had a good slide across the pavement on the way home Thursday on the Salsa. Pedaling through a right turn I clipped a pedal and immediately went sideways. Easy solution, donít pedal through turns.

Whatís the solution with a fixed gear? Slow down? Eggbeater clearance sucks switch back to spd-sl? Rock the single speed forget about it?

Both bikes have 170mm cranks. Specs say 72mm bb drop on the Salsa, 70mm on the LeMond.

Iím not young enough to bounce and rally too many more times

Last edited by Maslin; 10-05-19 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 10-05-19, 01:20 PM
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get a frame designed to be ridden fixed. they have less bb drop for a reason.
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Old 10-05-19, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by REDMASTA
get a frame designed to be ridden fixed. they have less bb drop for a reason.
Yeah
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Old 10-05-19, 01:38 PM
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Didnít think of that, 12-18mm is significant.

As popular as fixed gears are in Portland, they havenít found their way down I5 yet.

I have to imagine that a 55mm bb drop frame with platform and straps is fairly close to a 70mm bb drop frame with clipless pedals. So then what? Does slowing down come with experience? Iíve been riding bikes for 30 years, you know when you can pedal through or need to coast without thinking about it.

Last edited by Maslin; 10-05-19 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 10-05-19, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Maslin
Whatís the solution with a fixed gear? Slow down?
Take it easy until you've learned how fast/hard you can corner without pedal strike. Just about everybody dumps it a couple times when they're first starting out. Take it easy on unfamiliar corners as well. Road conditions and camber can make pedal strike more likely.

Is this a road frame conversion to fixed gear? If so, how long are the crank arms? Road frames tend to have lower bottom brackets (and thus less ground clearance) than true track frames. Shorter crank arms will lessen the likelihood of pedal strike.
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Old 10-05-19, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson
Take it easy until you've learned how fast/hard you can corner without pedal strike. Just about everybody dumps it a couple times when they're first starting out. Take it easy on unfamiliar corners as well. Road conditions and camber can make pedal strike more likely.

Is this a road frame conversion to fixed gear? If so, how long are the crank arms? Road frames tend to have lower bottom brackets (and thus less ground clearance) than true track frames. Shorter crank arms will lessen the likelihood of pedal strike.
Yes, itís a road frame. 170mm cranks now, it had 175ís when I bought it. Couldnít make it around the block without digging a pedal in.

The track frames Iíve found are all 52-58mm bb drop compared to the LeMondís 70mm. Hoping clipless and my carbon soled road shoes would make up that ~15mm compared to straps and Vans.
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Old 10-05-19, 02:37 PM
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Definitely have to watch your lean. Slow down and take corners a little more upright while you get a feel for how much you can lean it without striking a pedal.
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Old 10-05-19, 03:00 PM
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Again, a bicycle with a high bottom bracket is the ticket. That 12 to 15 mm is significant due to the angles, it matters and cannot be rationalized away. Or, install a free wheel.
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Old 10-05-19, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Maslin
Yes, itís a road frame. 170mm cranks now, it had 175ís when I bought it. Couldnít make it around the block without digging a pedal in.
I use 165mm arms on my fixed gear bikes; one is a road conversion, the other dedicated fixed gear.
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Old 10-05-19, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by seau grateau
Definitely have to watch your lean. Slow down and take corners a little more upright while you get a feel for how much you can lean it without striking a pedal.
+1, that's the big thing for now. Whether you're going fast or slow, you can't bank into corners with a FG like you can a road bike.

A high bottom bracket makes up for a lot of issues, but since you can't change that on this frame, there are other things to look at:

- Are you using the correct (short) bottom bracket for this crank? I've seen a number of poorly-thought-out conversions where they just stuck a SS crank on their old bottom bracket, or took the small ring off their road double and wrapped the chain around the big ring. Either way, the cranks are out too far, increasing the risk of pedal strike.
- A crankset with a low Q-factor would help. Some cheap generic SS cranks have a wide Q-factor in order to clear the chainstays on any frame.
- Shorter cranks are a good idea, regardless. See if you can exchange your 170's for 165's.

What crankset and BB are you running now, @Maslin?
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Old 10-05-19, 06:54 PM
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This is the same bike with different cranks but the same length 165 but with BMX platform pedals and straps and I did sometimes have pedal strike but rarely.


This is my track bike currently with look road pedals and I've never had pedal strike with them.
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Old 10-05-19, 07:08 PM
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170mm Sram Red Carbon 10sp crankset. Chain ring is mounted on the inside of the arm.

looks like it could lose 4-5mm toward the chain stay, although my heels are closer on this than any other bike Iíve had.

Itís definitely a combination of parts that arenít ideal. Iíll keep an eye out for a 165mm single speed crankset.


It would obviously work better as a single speed, but whereís the fun in that.
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Old 10-08-19, 07:33 AM
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For the life of me I can't find the article or discussion online, but I remember reading about the Walden Turn, named for Mike Walden of the Wolverine Sports Club - essentially you kept your bike more upright and leaned your body into the turn, thus allowing you to continue pedaling through the turn. I've been doing that for maybe 15 years now, to where it's ingrained behavior on a fixed-gear, and so far it has worked nicely. I think that maneuver was also described in Delong's Guide to Bicycles and Bicycling. It's a holdover from the era when almost all U.S. racing, road or track, was on fixed-gears.

Last edited by rustystrings61; 10-08-19 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 10-08-19, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by rustystrings61
For the life of me I can't find the article or discussion online, but I remember reading about the Walden Turn, named for Mike Walden of the Wolverine Sports Club - essentially you kept your bike more upright and leaned your body into the turn, thus allowing you to continue pedaling through the turn. I've been doing that for maybe 15 years now, to where it's ingrained behavior on a fixed-gear, and so far it has worked nicely. I think that maneuver was also described in Delong's Guide to Bicycles and Bicycling. It's a holdover from the era when almost all U.S. racing, road or track, was on fixed-gears.
Maybe this?

https://www.nytimes.com/1991/12/08/t...ain-of-it.html
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Old 10-09-19, 05:33 AM
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European racers use this same technique to get around muddy cobbled turns. I use it lot for turns on pavement where there's sand or gravel and I'm not confident of being able to get good traction.

Last edited by Lemond1985; 10-09-19 at 05:36 AM.
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Old 10-09-19, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985
European racers use this same technique to get around muddy cobbled turns. I use it lot for turns on pavement where there's sand or gravel and I'm not confident of being able to get good traction.
Yep Iíve definitely used this technique when I need to pedal as fast as possible while leaning as hard as possible. For example, when going through a roundabout. OP, find a roundabout or other long sweeping turn and practice. Thatís the best way to get a feel for how much you can lean.

Watch fixed gear crits and see if you can replicate their setups. Those guys lean harder than most normal roadies. It just comes down to high BBs and short cranks. Some guys will time their hardest lean with the moment their pedals are away from the ground. Thatís much tougher but itís high risk, high reward.
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Old 10-09-19, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Maslin


It would obviously work better as a single speed, but whereís the fun in that.
Hauling ass around corners, carving deep lean angles.
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Old 10-09-19, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet
Hauling ass around corners, carving deep lean angles.
Yeah... I flipped the flip flop back to freewheel. I'll give fixed another shot, but I'm really enjoying it either way. The simplicity of a single speed is calming. Even commuted on my 18 mile loop Monday, my wife likes that I'm not leaving her behind on it, 42/16 only spins out so fast.

Thanks for the replies, that article was interesting. I'll try some corners superbike style and see how it goes.


Last edited by Maslin; 10-09-19 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 10-10-19, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet
Hauling ass around corners, carving deep lean angles.

I hear ya. I tried a fixed conversion for a while.

Slow down hills and couldn't dive into corners. Boooo. SS instead for me thanks.
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Old 10-10-19, 11:33 PM
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I had a conversion once.
I guess I got lucky and the BB was already high.
I would notice small pedal strike, but I thought it was normal and just avoided learning too hard (or I would sorta ease into the turn to see if it was possible).
It never put me on my derrier though.

When I bought a proper FG frame, I never had pedal strike, and I had been in some extremely leany turns.

So, I guess like others have said, the BB height matters.
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Old 10-18-19, 05:39 PM
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My fixed gear bike is a Surly Cross Check which has a high BB. I can really "hammer it" through the turns (60 yrs old).
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Old 10-18-19, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Maslin
Yeah... I flipped the flip flop back to freewheel. I'll give fixed another shot, but I'm really enjoying it either way. The simplicity of a single speed is calming. Even commuted on my 18 mile loop Monday, my wife likes that I'm not leaving her behind on it, 42/16 only spins out so fast.

Thanks for the replies, that article was interesting. I'll try some corners superbike style and see how it goes.

Geeze, that crank arm is practically a kickstand.
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Old 10-20-19, 08:42 AM
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My peddles touch, too,and I don't even have to lean in much at all. My bike was initially a road bike. The cranks are 170 mm, ugh. To make matters worse, my peddles are quite long.

Doing tricks, such as steering with feet, can be tricky, as falling from such a position wouldn't be easy to bail from.

I have one ever so partial remedy, but I cannot speak for your safety, unless it is done correctly. Chances are this issue has resulted from using a road bike which has vertical dropouts; so, you could gain a 1/4-1" by using a dropout converter and solve the chain tension problem in one go.

BUT! You must install it correctly, or your bike will be even more dangerous! That may involve welding, so it doesn't move.

I haven't done this yet but am still thinking it over.

Just an idea.

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Old 10-20-19, 10:11 AM
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First FG, Pedaling Through Turns?
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Old 10-21-19, 10:51 AM
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The LeMond Fillmore has the same 70mm BB drop. A true 165mm SS crankset that barely clears the frame must be the way to go.

I could lose 4-5mm on each side in width, along with 5mm in length. Some Look Keo's and I'd be as far out of the way as possible.

I'm beginning to think the issue of clipping a pedal has much more to do with the road than the bike. I can lay the bike way way over before the pedal hits in my garage, but I tap it fairly regularly when actually riding.

I'll stop thinking now and go ride a bike, too bad those Fillmore's are so hard to find
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