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PSA For Older Fixed Gear Riders

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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)

PSA For Older Fixed Gear Riders

Old 10-26-22, 04:53 PM
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takenreasy
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PSA For Older Fixed Gear Riders

For the most part I ride my fixed gear bike on the flat lands and use a geared bike when heading out on long rides with hills. Recently, probably thinking Iíve been doing better than I actually am at age 63+ riding 72 gear inches, Iíve been going farther even up/down some decent hills. I normally donít try to set any speed records when going for a longer ride. A little over a week ago I was feeling my oats and did 40 miles which in and of itself isnít probably that big of a deal. More and more Iíve been doing 25-30Ö but the head wind coming back the second 20 miles of this ride turned out to be a problem. Normally I just lope along against such winds but this time I really pushed it. I felt fine when I got home but later that night Ė nope. Mustíve done some pretty good repetitive motion aggravation (maybe hip flexor?) fighting the wind at a much higher cadence than usual. I could barely get up from seated positions, walk, etc. because of my hip. A little more than a week later and all seems better now but lesson learned - donít make drastic changes all at once.
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Old 10-28-22, 08:44 AM
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I'm only 52 but already feel my body starting to deteriorate in some areas. I've learned to be careful about starting out too hard from a dead stop on my fixed gear (or anytime a bike is in a higher gear than should be). It can cause problems for my knees. Once I'm moving, I can push pretty hard without trouble. It's the first couple rotations of the crank with high force on the pedals that tends to be problematic.
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Old 10-28-22, 09:53 AM
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Yep, ten years ago my main concern was my knees. Never had problems and didn’t want to start. I’ve always stood on my pedals starting out or going up hills for that very reason. Maybe my hip issue was karma catching up to me for avoiding knee issues.
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Old 10-28-22, 01:51 PM
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I have finally reached the 60 mark and still ride fixed a portion of the time. It varies but if I stay around my neighborhood it is almost 100% on a fixed gear, of which I currently own several. I don't have any issues with my knees or anything else as it relates to fixed versus geared biking but I do think there is potential for issues when I resist the momentum of the cranks a lot. I don't have to do it that often because there's only one steep hill in my neighborhood. Let's just say it is more fun going up than down. I'm sure it is very subjective but riding fixed hasn't had any impact on my health other than positive. Not being able to coast definitely keeps you burning those calories.
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Old 11-02-22, 04:41 PM
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Well, at this point I think it’s just getting old sucks. It’s been a while since this episode happened and I was actually getting back to feeling “normal.” But, of course, then I over did it with some work around the house before being totally healed. I need to begin realizing that once something is aggravated the proper amount of rehab time needs to be put in or else. I’ve been quite active my entire life and thought that I learned this lesson in my 40s, 50s… - guess not. Either way, fixed is the best for most of my riding and I’ll eventually be doing it again with more appreciation.
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Old 11-02-22, 04:58 PM
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I’m 64 and went for a ride on my SS a couple of days ago for the first time in a few months. We had been traveling and using our Bromptons while on the road. After riding my SS my left knee REALLY hurt. It was sore to the touch which was unusual. I’ve always had knee problems so I was concerned. The weird thing is that when I woke up the next morning it was completely pain free and just fine! Strange, but I’m not complaining.
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Old 11-02-22, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by roka View Post
Iím 64 and went for a ride on my SS a couple of days ago for the first time in a few months. We had been traveling and using our Bromptons while on the road. After riding my SS my left knee REALLY hurt. It was sore to the touch which was unusual. Iíve always had knee problems so I was concerned. The weird thing is that when I woke up the next morning it was completely pain free and just fine! Strange, but Iím not complaining.
Many similar things have happend to me. For me, I think it's because when anything happens now I think it'll take forever to recover - but the next day all's well! I guess just keep on keep'n on.
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Old 11-03-22, 07:34 PM
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I'm 47, been riding fixed since '99. Ripped my left femur head out of it's socket skidding in '16 and been living with a lot of pain ever since. Usually riding any bike helps with the pain, but every few weeks I tell myself that if my hip is going to hurt, I"m going to give it a reason. And then I take the tracklocross bike out for a lap. Just found out today I am finally getting surgery early next year, so I'm going to have to give it up soon..
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Old 11-11-22, 05:22 PM
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Ah, after using my "wisdom" and laying low and then gradually getting back into things I'm back on my fixed gear bike like notheing ever happened. I'm so happy to be active again with running and biking. But most importantly totally stoked that I'm back on my fixed gear bike - my true love! So, back to my PSA: if you are an active person who is aging, don't take for granted that you can still make leaps and bounds into new hights without proper planning.
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Old 11-11-22, 07:57 PM
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I just logged in here for the first time in about 10-years (I'm 53 now) I dragged my FG out of the garage and cleaned it up last week. After my first pathetically short ride in all that time, I could feel my knee caps about to explode. Yah, I could climb and spin nicely with a 48/18 back then, but not so much now. I dropped the chainring down to a 44 and am taking it cautious until all those supporing muscles and stuff around my knees remember what they're there for. So far so good. Just good 'ol quad soreness, but no knee pain.
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Old 11-14-22, 07:51 AM
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Not the oldest around here but dam close to it - fixed only for more than few yrs - a ton of age-related physical problems but my knees ain't one of them - small gearing is a wunnerful thing
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Old 11-18-22, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Chad1376 View Post
I just logged in here for the first time in about 10-years (I'm 53 now) I dragged my FG out of the garage and cleaned it up last week. After my first pathetically short ride in all that time, I could feel my knee caps about to explode. Yah, I could climb and spin nicely with a 48/18 back then, but not so much now. I dropped the chainring down to a 44 and am taking it cautious until all those supporing muscles and stuff around my knees remember what they're there for. So far so good. Just good 'ol quad soreness, but no knee pain.
Same been about 10 years since I logged on this forum because of a question I need answered. Also been logging serious miles on my track bikes the past 6 months. I started back up at 46 / 17... now up to 49 / 17, 46 / 15 and knees aren't screaming.
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Old 11-20-22, 05:28 PM
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I think I'll eventually get to the point of nothing "screaming" once my brain functions. To add to my original misery I discovered (after 10 times of my wife telling me my injury was a fit problem) that my "new" seat was over a 1/4" too high. I'd swapped it out during the summer but just used the old seat as a reference instead of doing my usual checks. So, fitting the bike properly and for now dropping to the low 60's gear inches I'm riding fixed again and will hopefully use my "wisdom" to get back to where I was.

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Old 11-21-22, 11:57 AM
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I'm 64 and I ride 95% on my SS. I used to ride fixed but stopped after I broke my arm a couple of years ago. I find that I get a better workout with my SS than a geared bike. I have a fairly rolling hills circuit that I ride and it definitely helps with my strength on the bike.

I also find it take me a good 2 or 3 miles to get fully warmed up so I take it a "bit" easy on the first hill but pound them hard after that. I think my current setup is a 46/17. I converted to SPD pedals and shoes 7 or 8 years ago and the sore knees are now a thing of the past. My Brooks Pro saddle is now fully broken in and is at the peak of its prime.

I average about 17.4 MPH by myself over a rolling hills course. Once in a while I'll hit a 17.8 ave for a ride when I feel strong.

Life is good.
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Old 11-22-22, 05:50 PM
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I'm only 37 and love riding fixed gear, mostly mtb - but I am definitely not as ambitious as when i was 25. I barely skid. And I go really slow. My gearing is like 50 gear inches - so i don't stray that far from home. haha

I recently picked up a bucket list track bike for fun - but more of a neighborhood fair weather cruiser.
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Old 12-09-22, 07:53 AM
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I've only skidded twice on my fixed. Both unintentionally when I took it out after not being on it for a while, but riding freewheeled bikes. Unconsciously tried to coast....

I has a slight right knee injury from an accident jumping when I was 12.. When I started riding fixed in my 40's future knee health was more important than cool. Now when I start feeling that old knee issue I get on the fixed and it loosens it up. Kind of wierd.

I live in an area with hills so ride 63-70 gear inches.

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Old 12-16-22, 05:48 AM
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I'm 60 and have battered and bruised my body to the point of my ssfg being permanently in ss mode.
I use it for grocery store runs because there is nothing not bolted on. (homeless parts supply is an issue)
Accepting that 155 pound me can't do what 220 pound me did has been difficult though. I can do 20 miles without complaint still, but mile 21 seems to be my barrier, my back starts hurting and my right shoulder feels like there's an ice pick in it.
Sucks getting old.
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Old 12-17-22, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Dylansbob View Post
I'm 47, been riding fixed since '99. Ripped my left femur head out of it's socket skidding in '16 and been living with a lot of pain ever since. Usually riding any bike helps with the pain, but every few weeks I tell myself that if my hip is going to hurt, I"m going to give it a reason. And then I take the tracklocross bike out for a lap. Just found out today I am finally getting surgery early next year, so I'm going to have to give it up soon..
How did that femur happen, was it a freak thing or were you somehow skidding in a negligent way. sucks to hear sorry. OP I hurt my knee spinning a single speed bike, I think upping your cadence suddenly without working up to it can lead to injury, not sure of the mechanism but I agree with you.
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Old 12-18-22, 10:36 AM
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LarrySellerz I had a pretty bad crash a few years earlier that had apparently, knocked my pelvis pretty far out of alignment. I didn't have the luxury of resting/recovering after that one before returning to my 28m commute. It hurt pretty bad, but I kept riding another 1.5yrs before my body wouldn't let me pedal anymore. So I started commuting fixed so that I didn't have to actively tell myself to pedal.... and heavily self-medicated. My fixie skid technique was never the best, but I'm sure I didn't have my weight far enough forward.

The bike:
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Old 12-19-22, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Dylansbob View Post
LarrySellerz I had a pretty bad crash a few years earlier that had apparently, knocked my pelvis pretty far out of alignment. I didn't have the luxury of resting/recovering after that one before returning to my 28m commute. It hurt pretty bad, but I kept riding another 1.5yrs before my body wouldn't let me pedal anymore. So I started commuting fixed so that I didn't have to actively tell myself to pedal.... and heavily self-medicated. My fixie skid technique was never the best, but I'm sure I didn't have my weight far enough forward.

The bike:
I like what youíve done with your non brake lever.
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Old 12-30-22, 07:57 PM
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67 years young and enjoy fixed riding. I moved from S. Texas to Kentucky and lowered my gearing so that I could get around a bit easier. I use front and rear brakes to bleeed off speed on the hills here.
I rode a bit of everything, but really enjoy fixed for the simplicity of the bike and simplicity of riding. Knees still work well.
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