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I just do not like riding Fixed.

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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)

I just do not like riding Fixed.

Old 01-06-21, 02:46 AM
  #1  
bwilli88 
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I just do not like riding Fixed.

I recently purchased a Pure Fix Cleveland. While a nice bike and about the best I can find here in Cambodia. I have tried it with the original drop bars and for a bit with medium riser bars.
I had to change the chainring and the chain as they were toast.
i rode it first with using the SS freewheel.
I just tried it with the fixed side and just did not like it.
Any tips, tricks or hints to help me enjoy riding fixed?​​​​​​​

Pure Fix Cleveland
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Old 01-06-21, 06:50 AM
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Start with foot retention and a low gear. Drop saddle a bit lower than normal. (this is for safety when you forget you can't stop pedaling) Give it some time. Fixed is not for everyone but you won't know until you give it a fair shot.
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Old 01-06-21, 07:22 AM
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Thanks for sharing - Enjoy your new Singlespeed - Happy New Year!
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Old 01-06-21, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Start with foot retention and a low gear. Drop saddle a bit lower than normal. (this is for safety when you forget you can't stop pedaling) Give it some time. Fixed is not for everyone but you won't know until you give it a fair shot.
I do have foot retention and the saddle was lowered from this pic.
Still not sure, one thing I had a problem with was getting the 2nd foot in retention.
The other was the awkwardness of forgetting to pedal.
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Old 01-06-21, 08:16 AM
  #5  
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I mean, idk, why force it? Itís ok to not like it. Sometimes I just want to coast and I use the freewheel.

Is there a particular reason you want to ride fixed?
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Old 01-06-21, 08:34 AM
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I think some people want the experience of riding fixed gear because they see the fun others seem to be having with it. They read about how great it is to feel "one with the machine" and all that. Sheldon Brown, on his website, was quite enthusiastic about fixed-gear bikes and the overall experience.

"

What is a Fixed-Gear Bicycle, and Why Would You Want One?

he oldest and simplest type of bicycle is the "fixed-gear" bicycle. This is a single-speed bike without a freewheel: that is, whenever the bike is in motion, the pedals will go around. You cannot coast on a fixed-gear machine.

any enthusiastic cyclists ride such bicycles by choice, at least part of the time. Why would anybody do that? It is not easy to put into words. There is an almost mystical connection between a fixed-gear cyclist and bicycle: it feels like an extension of your body to a greater extent than does a freewheel-equipped machine. If you are an enthusiastic, vigorous cyclist, you really should give it a try.

There are many reasons, including: Fun, Fitness, Form, Feel & 'Ficciency!"

Sheldon goes on to explore the 5 "F's" in detail. And there are also some testimonials on the website too.



I agree that if someone doesn't like it, there is no need to push it. It is truly not for everyone. However, for some people it may take more than a time or two in the saddle before the anxiety wears off and you can relax and enjoy the ride. I don't remember how long it took for me to become totally comfortable riding fixed but I know that it took some time before I was brave enough to do a long stretch in traffic with lots of stops, etc. Doing that you really have to anticipate and stay in the moment or bad stuff can and will happen. Riding on long gravel stretches like rails to trails is different, allowing you to "zone out" and just soak it in.
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Old 01-06-21, 08:48 AM
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it's not for everyone. I tried fixed gear urban riding for several months and eventually just stuck with a coasting SS freewheel instead.
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Old 01-06-21, 09:45 AM
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I don't know if these observations will help, but -

- 70-point-something gear inches has worked for me for more than 20 years now in the rolling terrain of what the realtors have taken to calling Lakelands South Carolina.
- Finding the off-side pedal on fixed-gears got easier for me when I started using old Lyotard Marcel Berthet pedals; oddly enough, easier still when I switched to MKS Sylvan Track pedals, which are cheap and good.
- Having said that, a few months ago I converted my favorite fixed-gear to a set of Crank Brothers Egg Beaters clipless pedals and have been struck by how well they work. Despite their tiny platform I can clip into them easily and readily, I can walk normally in the shoes I use with them, and I have a history of using them on mountain bikes with zero failures.

I would suggest trying it on and off again for a while. More exposure may change your perception. My experience is that I climb better with a fixed-gear, though of course I have to spin like a crazed hamster coming back downhill. On dirt and gravel roads, or on slick stuff, the feedback from the rear wheel on a fixed-gear works nicely for me. I will freely admit that the hair-shirt aspect of fixed-gears also appeals to me, along the same lines as shooting target rifles with iron sights, sailing wooden sailboats, shooting wooden bows, etc.

For whatever it's worth, I went back through my cycling mileage for the last 20 years or so. More than half the total was on a fixed-gear, and around 90 percent of my mileage for the last dozen years or so has been fixed.
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Old 01-06-21, 09:54 AM
  #9  
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Old 01-06-21, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by TugaDude View Post
I think some people want the experience of riding fixed gear because they see the fun others seem to be having with it. They read about how great it is to feel "one with the machine" and all that. Sheldon Brown, on his website, was quite enthusiastic about fixed-gear bikes and the overall experience.
That's what got me interested in it - that whole "mythical experience" people talk about.

I enjoy riding fixed, for sure, but at the end of the day it's still just a single speed bicycle. Yeah, it's neat how I can go a whole ride without touching my brake levers and feel the inertia of me and the bike come through the pedals, but it's not exactly life changing My favorite part of riding mine is the mechanical simplicity and how quiet it is.

I know that a lot of people like to ride fixed gears in urban areas, but honestly I think that I would probably hate it if I had to do that! I've ridden mine on a bike path with lots of busy road crossings and it was the most obnoxious thing ever when my cranks never ended up where I wanted them. Easy enough on a freewheel bike but man what a PITA when you can't trackstand
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Old 01-06-21, 11:54 AM
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Sheldon's description of being one with the bike is what I enjoy about it. Though I also like switching to the freewheel side in hilly areas.

Since you have the choice, you can try it again. If after a while you really don't like it you can just get a SS wheelset when you upgrade.
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Old 01-06-21, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by abshipp View Post
That's what got me interested in it - that whole "mythical experience" people talk about.

I enjoy riding fixed, for sure, but at the end of the day it's still just a single speed bicycle. Yeah, it's neat how I can go a whole ride without touching my brake levers and feel the inertia of me and the bike come through the pedals, but it's not exactly life changing My favorite part of riding mine is the mechanical simplicity and how quiet it is.

I know that a lot of people like to ride fixed gears in urban areas, but honestly I think that I would probably hate it if I had to do that! I've ridden mine on a bike path with lots of busy road crossings and it was the most obnoxious thing ever when my cranks never ended up where I wanted them. Easy enough on a freewheel bike but man what a PITA when you can't trackstand
I try not to ride fixed on busy streets for just the reasons you describe. So I tend to ride fixed on reasonably flat trails or neighborhood streets that aren't overly busy.

Regarding the "experience" of fixed gear riding, it may not be mythical or magical, but there is definitely something different about it. Again, you have to reach a comfort level with it in order to really enjoy it, but once you do, it really is a cool feeling. For one thing you can feel good about the fact you "conquered" it. Some never do I guess.
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Old 01-06-21, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by TugaDude View Post
For one thing you can feel good about the fact you "conquered" it. Some never do I guess.
Oh at some point in my life I want to go on a roadie group ride with a fixed gear for that reason alone

Related - I don't think much of myself most of the time, but I do feel a little bit of an ego boost when I'm riding my singlespeed MTB with a bunch of people with derailleurs
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Old 01-06-21, 01:39 PM
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I ride fixed with pinned platform pedals. I haven't used foot retention for years. A good set of pinned pedals gives you enough grip with the confidence that you can take your foot off the pedal at traffic lights and put it back on when setting off.

Don't put yourself under pressure. Ride it at a steady pace on familiar roads for a bit, look ahead for hazards, and don't be ashamed to use the brakes — it's what they are for.

My own background includes a lot of riding geared bikes, touring and commuting, including tandems and (years ago) a recumbent, as well as cross country and road unicycling (which is fixed) and it still took me a while to get comfortable riding fixed gear bike. However, now I own 2 bikes, it is nearly always the fixed that I take down off the wall when I fancy a ride, on or off road.
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Old 01-06-21, 09:49 PM
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I would certainly ride slow and find flatter ground that you know well and slowly you will build confidence but if you don't want to ride fixed you don't have too. I love it and a lot of others do as well but it is not for everyone.
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Old 01-07-21, 01:52 PM
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I rode exclusively fixed for about five years, and considered myself a "purist." One day, I flipped my rear wheel to to the freewheel side just to experience a different gear ratio. During that ride, I coasted down a hill for the first time in five years. I haven't ridden a fixed wheel since. Fixed may be cooler, but singlespeed is more fun.

Last edited by Rolla; 01-07-21 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 01-07-21, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by rustystrings61 View Post
I don't know if these observations will help, but -

- 70-point-something gear inches has worked for me for more than 20 years now in the rolling terrain of what the realtors have taken to calling Lakelands South Carolina.
I'm just new to fixed gear bikes myself but going from about 79 gear inches to 70 point something gear inches has made a world of positive difference. Everything about it is better for me personally. Starts and stops are easier which makes learning more fun, it's more versatile and I don't feel like I'm having to mash every time there's a slight uphill or a head wind. And it's still plenty of gear for most urban setting, imo.
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Old 01-07-21, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
I rode exclusively fixed for about five years, and considered myself a "purist." One day, I flipped my rear wheel to to the freewheel side just to experience a different gear ratio. During that ride, I coasted down a hill for the first time in five years. I haven't ridden a fixed wheel since. Fixed may be cooler, but singlespeed is more fun.

Similar experience for me but only one winter. About 12 years ago (to the best of my memory) living in NY suburbs and influenced by the fixed gear riders I saw in NYC I bought a GT track bike from a local pro shop and put a front brake on it. I wanted to be one of those "purists" who rode all winter on a fixie. So, that I did for the whole winter. When April rolled around I got back on my derailleur equipped road bike. That ride when I was able to coast around the first corner convinced me that my experiment was over. I sold the GT to a young man in Brooklyn and never looked back.

The funny thing is I'm old enough to remember that my first "two wheeler' was a fixed gear juvenile bike with 20" hard rubber tires. My brakes were well worn PF Flyers!
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Old 01-08-21, 03:22 AM
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Fixed is cool, every now and then I get the urge ride that way for a few weeks, but I can't get past how fun it is to stop pedaling and coast down a big hill or just put a little more attention into taking in the scenery. And maybe more importantly, running a freewheel reminds me of riding my first real BMX bike - as in no coaster brake. Being able to pedal backward felt cool as hell then and I still do it now sometimes because it's become a zen/nostalgia thing.

So yeah, if you don't like riding fixed don't worry about it and ride however makes you happy
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Old 01-08-21, 03:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Dalan View Post
I'm just new to fixed gear bikes myself but going from about 79 gear inches to 70 point something gear inches has made a world of positive difference. Everything about it is better for me personally. Starts and stops are easier which makes learning more fun, it's more versatile and I don't feel like I'm having to mash every time there's a slight uphill or a head wind. And it's still plenty of gear for most urban setting, imo.
Within certain broad limits, gearing down is generally a good idea. There is an absolute limit to how much torque you can apply, given your weight, age, and strength. However, it is possible to increase your average and maximum cadence with practice and experience. A low gear you can torque up hill and spin back down is more versatile than one that is easy down hill, but stalls on the up.

I'm 58, just over 12 stone, reasonably fit, and I ride 49/20 on 700c x 25mm so that's something like 68 inches. I can ride most of the local hills, cruise easily on the local rolling terrain, and still make respectable progress amongst the traffic in the flat area of the city where I commute. I have no doubt that I would make better average progress in all circumstances on my 2x10 but I enjoy it less.

I think some of the things that deter new fixed riders are the widely held perceptions that you "have to" ride without brakes, "have to" use foot retention, "have to" skid, "have to" keep up, and that tall ratios are somehow "more macho" and walking is "wimping out".

Riding fixed is just a fun and reasonably practical way of getting around, but this simple truth is often obscured by fashion, image, and BS.
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Old 01-08-21, 04:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Mikefule View Post
Within certain broad limits, gearing down is generally a good idea. There is an absolute limit to how much torque you can apply, given your weight, age, and strength. However, it is possible to increase your average and maximum cadence with practice and experience. A low gear you can torque up hill and spin back down is more versatile than one that is easy down hill, but stalls on the up.

I'm 58, just over 12 stone, reasonably fit, and I ride 49/20 on 700c x 25mm so that's something like 68 inches. I can ride most of the local hills, cruise easily on the local rolling terrain, and still make respectable progress amongst the traffic in the flat area of the city where I commute. I have no doubt that I would make better average progress in all circumstances on my 2x10 but I enjoy it less.

I think some of the things that deter new fixed riders are the widely held perceptions that you "have to" ride without brakes, "have to" use foot retention, "have to" skid, "have to" keep up, and that tall ratios are somehow "more macho" and walking is "wimping out".

Riding fixed is just a fun and reasonably practical way of getting around, but this simple truth is often obscured by fashion, image, and BS.
​​​​​​Totally agree with all you said. I feel like in *most* conditions that I can ride faster with a lower gear because I'm not yet strong enough to stay on top of a tall gear on anything but flat roads with no wind. I also have a front brake because riding without brakes at my current skill level is not conducive to my staying in one piece. Also, at 54 years old my knees aren't what they once were.

Last edited by Dalan; 01-08-21 at 05:04 AM.
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Old 01-08-21, 08:23 AM
  #22  
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I have a fixed gear without brakes.
I only ride that when out riding with my son when he is jogging, or when riding with my wife. I will probably put a front brake on it eventually.
when riding alone, I tend to put on some speed and go a bit farther, then I like (need) brakes.
my tourer/ commuter has front and rear brakes.
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Old 01-11-21, 12:26 PM
  #23  
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Here's my first bike, a fixed gear with no brakes. Were my parents punishing me for something I did? I just wanted to coast like other kids.
Note proper leather cycling shoes.


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Old 01-11-21, 12:47 PM
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Fix gear isn't for everyone. That said, I fell in love first ride despite a "forgot to coast" very abrupt crash from 20 mph fully strapped in.

Two big recommendations - find pedals with easy pickup. The old Leotard platforms (Lyotard Marcel Berthet M23) work really well. I rode them for decades. Toeclips and straps have the very real advantage that your feet do not slip off the pedals, even if you twist your foot without knowing. (Strange things happen on 40 MPH, 200 RPM descents on fix gears. I will never ride clipless on my fix gears.)

Second- drop your seat. I tell newcomers to put tape exactly 1/2" above the top of the seat tube or clamp. Drop to the tape. As you already know, the coast reflex is dialed in. Takes a few miscues to re-train. With a seat so low your knee never comes remotely close to straight, those miscues hurt far less! (I did my crash with a high seat I no longer ride on any bike. It felt like my leg muscle was processed for hamburger while the cow was still alive.)

And be patient. This is like a downhill skier learning to ski XC. Completely different. Completely different mindset.
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Old 01-11-21, 04:06 PM
  #25  
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My bike has a flip-flop hub so I can ride FG or freewheel. I've been riding FG for about the last 150 miles or so just to satisfy my curiosity about it. I am probably going to switch back to freewheel next week. I am just not feeling any fun/thrill of riding the bike FG. I never get the urge to skid or pedal backwards. To me FG is just another way to ride your single speed bike (if you choose to do so). I am using regular pedals with no foot retention at all.
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