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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)

Any old friends here?

Old 03-06-24, 01:05 AM
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bironi
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Any old friends here?

Hello,
I'm pretty new to this forum and more so to this sub forum.
I'm wondering if there others of my generation riding fixed and single speed.
I took up riding road fixed gears 10-12? years ago.
I'm now 72, but it's still my preferred choice.
I especially want to hear from my seniors for inspiration.
Thanks much in advance to your response.
By
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Old 03-06-24, 05:34 AM
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I'm 72 as well. My first good racing bike (i.e., with tubular/sew-up tires) was a track bike and was given to me on my 13th birthday. I've owned maybe a couple of dozen high-end bikes over the years, including a series of track bikes. There are still 3 fixed-gear bikes in the collection, although I do fewer long hilly rides on them than I used to, out of consideration for my knees.
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Old 03-06-24, 11:00 AM
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I took up riding fixed probably close to the same time. It was maybe the golden age of the fixed gear trend? I think TejanoTrackie is old school cool
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Old 03-06-24, 11:23 AM
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70 here. I raced long ago. My club vets told me I needed to set my beater bike up fix gear to educate my legs to pedal better. They were so right! Learned that winter that fix gear riding was like driving in snow with a standard vs automatic. Easier to stay upright. (And nothing to break when you couldn't.) Sold. That was 1976.

Since then I have always had one; that bike as a continuous entity with parts replaced as needed. (The frame 4 times. Once all but the Campy track hubbed rear wheel. Stolen with an inferior wheel on it.) And starting 2006, I added one, then a couple of fun, performance road fix gears. (That first was and still is a '70s-'80s frame, fenders, LowRider rack, U-lock and miles of reflector tape workhorse.)

Now I have two good ones. The bike of my avatar photo - a custom Ti Cyles, fix-fix hub - and sometimes a lightweight chainwhip you can see on the top tube and all the cogs from 12 to 24 teeth. And my old Peter Mooney, now running an 1/8" triple and fix-fix hub. For mountain days, I run a 21-17 double cog on one side and a little downhill cog on the other. Typically a 46-42-36 crankset. 3 very different gear ratios, 3 very good chainlines. And all on a regular horizontal Campy dropout. Fun! Both bikes have been up to Crater Lake, around and down.

As you might have guessed by now, I absolutely love riding fix gear.

Last edited by 79pmooney; 03-06-24 at 11:43 AM. Reason: Accidental post. I was still typing
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Old 03-06-24, 06:20 PM
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I just turned 64 and have been riding "mostly" SingleSpeed for the last 10+years because I discovered how peaceful it was to ride Solo and at my own pace.
The last time I rode Fixed was when I was still in my single digits on my Big Wheel . Learning to ride Fixed now gives me the Willies.
My most recent SS purchase also happens to be my first BMX. Looking forward to ripping up the hood lol
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Old 03-06-24, 09:55 PM
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This thread is an older thread but generally active-ish:
The Age 40+ Singlespeed & Fixed Gear Thread

Also another +1 for TejanoTrackie he is up there (I want to say 80s and still racing?) and I think has almost all fixed gears and single speeds, dude is what we all should aspire to be : )
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Old 03-08-24, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes
This thread is an older thread but generally active-ish:
The Age 40+ Singlespeed & Fixed Gear Thread

Also another +1 for TejanoTrackie he is up there (I want to say 80s and still racing?) and I think has almost all fixed gears and single speeds, dude is what we all should aspire to be : )
Hey, thanks much for the love. Iím only 77 and donít race anymore, but I do ride fixed a lot. I have 12 fixed gear bikes and 5 single speeds, and donít plan to build or buy anymore. Iím a steel is real kind of guy, although I do prefer aluminum for racing. I began riding fixed in the early 1970ís, converting my geared road bike to fixed in the winter with very low gearing to regain the speed in my leg muscles. I raced track for about 40 years, during which time I did manage to win a few state masters championships and medal at nationals. I now ride bikes strictly for recreation, health and fitness.
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Old 03-08-24, 08:53 AM
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Next month I'll be 82 and have been riding mostly one speeds for 30 years.
I'm a better runner than cyclist. I did finish 5th in vets class cyclocross nationals once, but there was snow, and I got to run up the hills.
The bike has saved my chronic achilles, and I consider it cross training, but in truth, I love it more than running.
Tried fixed gear, but scared myself on downhills. I don't know how you guys do it.
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Old 03-08-24, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by halb
Tried fixed gear, but scared myself on downhills. I don't know how you guys do it.
Itís really easy if you use a front brake. The secret is to keep pedaling so that you donít bounce, and ride the front brake to control your speed. Also, good foot retention is a must.
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Old 03-10-24, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by halb
Next month I'll be 82 and have been riding mostly one speeds for 30 years.
I'm a better runner than cyclist. I did finish 5th in vets class cyclocross nationals once, but there was snow, and I got to run up the hills.
The bike has saved my chronic achilles, and I consider it cross training, but in truth, I love it more than running.
Tried fixed gear, but scared myself on downhills. I don't know how you guys do it.
Like Tejano said use a brake or brakes and make sure you have good foot retention. Nothing scarier than your foot slipping and you having to try and get it back on the pedals which happened to me in my early days. It really isn't super difficult once you figure out your bike and get comfortable on it. Obviously at 82 it is going to be maybe more of a challenge but one that can be overcome. I will sometimes try and slow my legs a little (no skidding or locking up per say) while using the brakes for modulation. I am lucky I don't have any huge hills near me so I never have too much steep and long downhill but little bits here and there.

Basically it is just a commitment you are making with your bike to stick with it and trying on more mellow hills will help build that up. I am certainly a bit more of a nervous cyclist at more potentially dangerous points but knowing people do it all the time and just saying you got this helps get that confidence up and you get through it quite easily.
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Old 03-11-24, 06:42 PM
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I'm 47 and the fixed gear riders here are really an inspiration. I want to keep it up for another 30+ years!
I haven't raced since 2009 but I think this is the year I get back into road racing and I'm hoping to get up to TTown to try my legs on the velodrome.
An inspiration, I tell you!

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Old 03-11-24, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie
Itís really easy if you use a front brake. The secret is to keep pedaling so that you donít bounce, and ride the front brake to control your speed. Also, good foot retention is a must.
On foot retention - the best is old fashioned toestraps, clips and slotted aluminum cleat. Because downhill you can end up pedaling really fast. Like 200-250 RPM fast. At those speeds, you have no clue what angle your foot is and I am certainly not going to look down to check. Unclipping happens. With clipless pedals - well that spinning pedal better not hit your foot or ankle. Unclipping with toestraps also happens. Less often if you use very good leather straps in good condition and pulled tight. But the grace is those toestraps. Your foot's still on the pedal despite your heart being in your mouth. Touch the brakes (you did bring them, no?), swallow that organ back to where it belongs, slide your foot forward until the cleat re-engages and all is good. Carry on!

Now, it is true that you will have more pedal unclipping related crashes. But those happen at speeds of downwards of 3 miles per hour. Usually not life threatening. I've lived through dozens. Skinned a couple of elbows and knees. Holed a few pieces of clothing. Dented my ego. Scuffed bar tape and pedal outers. But all my joints still work. (Trick - great the road with every corner you have. Elbow, knee, then forearm, ankle and hip. Rotate elbow and knee out. Not rigid, but just a firmish first impact. Enough places and none get more than very minor bruising. You are going slow so you will probably not even break the skin.

With good brakes and toeclips, downhills become fun. You pedal just shy of going bouncy haywire. A little too much? Dip on that brake. Keep doing it. You will get smoother and faster and have more fun. And you reap wonderful pedaling benefits all the time on any bike you ride. Plus this wonderful gift of learning to recover as you pedal. Races and group rides that are a little too fast? Thank you, fix gear! Every slight break in the action you can go full-time into recover pedaling 120 RPM.

70 years old now. I do far less of this stuff. But still, more than half my miles are fixed. I did my last 450 mile Cycle Oregon fixed at 69. Long ago I used to ride up Oakland, CA's Joaquin Miller Road to Skyline, turn around and descend insanely fast. Never got passed by a car going down. Nice wide road but I was probably considered too crazy to mess with. (And side benefit - I would be completely loose and relaxed when I got home despite climbing 1000' on a 42-17.)
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Old 03-17-24, 09:11 PM
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Just 63 here; been riding fixed just over a year. Kind of loving it actually.

I've been into randonneuring since 2010, and was inspired to see guys on long brevets riding fixed. In England two years ago I came across an old school fixed gear dude - wool jersey, wool shorts, toe clips. He was probably ten years my senior.

Finally jumped in, and rode my first fixed 100km ride December 2022. Per Strava I have 2k miles fixed. I think about eight 100km rides and one at 200km. This year I'm going all in and attempting a Super Randonneuring series. We'll see how that goes.
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Old 03-17-24, 09:22 PM
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55 here....senior discount time. Get out and ride.
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Old 03-17-24, 09:26 PM
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55 and have a track bike since 1987. A DeBarnardi frame. A workout! Want a thrill? Do a track bike ride and then get off and go for a jog. Your legs will be burning. Have a good one.
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Old 03-18-24, 04:10 AM
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Started riding track bikes in 1964, at age 13, with a Reynolds 531 Helyett; so 60 years ago. Still have one steel 531 track bike - a mid-1960's Peugeot with all its original Campagnolo components.

But I do all my fixed-gear riding on a Specialized Langster - aluminum frame and fork, road geometry. Of the many bikes I've owned over the decades, it's my all-time-favorite.

Came with two brakes; took the back one off when the bike was new, in 2005; put it back on last year. That little bit of increased safety has made the bike more fun to ride, especially in traffic.
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Old 03-18-24, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
But I do all my fixed-gear riding on a Specialized Langster - aluminum frame and fork, road geometry. Of the many bikes I've owned over the decades, it's my all-time-favorite.

Came with two brakes; took the back one off when the bike was new, in 2005; put it back on last year. That little bit of increased safety has made the bike more fun to ride, especially in traffic.
Bought my first SS in 2010....a 2009 Langster. The bike is a blast to ride and was my go to for almost a decade.
I swapped out the drops for bull-horns a few years ago and found the TT levers provide so much more stopping power.
One of my "never sells" ...........
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Old 03-23-24, 12:39 PM
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Soon to be 64 youngster here riding a 31-year-old bike set-up as a carbon belt drive single speed.


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Old 03-23-24, 06:26 PM
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69 here, and I started riding fixed gear in 1995 after purchasing an Ibis Scorcher. Over the years I’ve sold off most all of my FG rides. I still ride fixed on occasion…an old Bianchi Pista.
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Old 03-24-24, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by roadfix
69 here, and I started riding fixed gear in 1995 after purchasing an Ibis Scorcher. Over the years Iíve sold off most all of my FG rides. I still ride fixed on occasionÖan old Bianchi Pista.
Should've kept that Scorcher, hmmm?

Another old guy riding a sw8 phiksie here - amazed there's so many of us still hangin' in this place. Ride Safe...
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Old 04-11-24, 07:44 AM
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62-year-old here, on-again-off-again cyclist since 1974 or so, and more than half my mileage since 1998 has been on fixed or single-speed bikes. I only owned one track-ish FG, a Bianchi Pista I bought in late '99 and sold maybe a year later. Today I own THREE fixed-gears, a converted '71 Gitane TdF that is my get-on-and-go beater, a converted '73 Raleigh Competition )set up with 35 mm cyclocross tires with a Surly Dingle cog and a White Industries 2-speed freewheel and two chainrings which gets me fixed pavement and gravel road gears on one side of the hub and general noodling and gentle single track freewheel gears on the other), and a full-on custom road fixed-gear I spec'ed for long haul distance rides like centuries and brevets.

The hipster scene never came to this corner of South Carolina, but I have a couple of associates I ride with sometimes who understand the appeal of fixed or ss on the road. It helps that there WAS a serious scene of single-speed mountain bike guys here a few years back - the local twisty, turny, woodlands trails in this part of the Upstate work really well with fully-rigid 26-in tire bikes!

I have never been a competitive rider, but I have led several multi-surface rambles around here, while riding fixed and attempting to revive old-school British cycling club jaunts rather than all-out hammerfests.
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Old 04-11-24, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by rustystrings61
62-year-old here, on-again-off-again cyclist since 1974 or so, and more than half my mileage since 1998 has been on fixed or single-speed bikes. I only owned one track-ish FG, a Bianchi Pista I bought in late '99 and sold maybe a year later. Today I own THREE fixed-gears, a converted '71 Gitane TdF that is my get-on-and-go beater, a converted '73 Raleigh Competition )set up with 35 mm cyclocross tires with a Surly Dingle cog and a White Industries 2-speed freewheel and two chainrings which gets me fixed pavement and gravel road gears on one side of the hub and general noodling and gentle single track freewheel gears on the other), and a full-on custom road fixed-gear I spec'ed for long haul distance rides like centuries and brevets.

The hipster scene never came to this corner of South Carolina, but I have a couple of associates I ride with sometimes who understand the appeal of fixed or ss on the road. It helps that there WAS a serious scene of single-speed mountain bike guys here a few years back - the local twisty, turny, woodlands trails in this part of the Upstate work really well with fully-rigid 26-in tire bikes!

I have never been a competitive rider, but I have led several multi-surface rambles around here, while riding fixed and attempting to revive old-school British cycling club jaunts rather than all-out hammerfests.
I moved to Portland at the height of the fix gear/hipster scene. Pretty funny. They looked down at my workhorse with fenders, U-lock and LowRider. Until they started getting that I'd been riding fix gear since before they were born.
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Old 04-11-24, 01:43 PM
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51 here did the BMX racing thing mid and late 80's. Switched to road from 1991 until current. Started the fix gear about 6 years ago. I really like the workout and the simplicity. Below is my fixed (pedals are now toe clips). Usually do 10-12 mile routes couple times during the week and ride the road bike on the weekend.
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Old 04-25-24, 07:01 AM
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Wow! Allow me just to say you guys are an inspiration! Age is just a number, keep on keepin' on brothers and sisters.
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Old 05-08-24, 03:05 AM
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might i see a pic of your Peter Mooney?

Originally Posted by 79pmooney
70 here. I raced long ago. My club vets told me I needed to set my beater bike up fix gear to educate my legs to pedal better. They were so right! Learned that winter that fix gear riding was like driving in snow with a standard vs automatic. Easier to stay upright. (And nothing to break when you couldn't.) Sold. That was 1976.

Since then I have always had one; that bike as a continuous entity with parts replaced as needed. (The frame 4 times. Once all but the Campy track hubbed rear wheel. Stolen with an inferior wheel on it.) And starting 2006, I added one, then a couple of fun, performance road fix gears. (That first was and still is a '70s-'80s frame, fenders, LowRider rack, U-lock and miles of reflector tape workhorse.)

Now I have two good ones. The bike of my avatar photo - a custom Ti Cyles, fix-fix hub - and sometimes a lightweight chainwhip you can see on the top tube and all the cogs from 12 to 24 teeth. And my old Peter Mooney, now running an 1/8" triple and fix-fix hub. For mountain days, I run a 21-17 double cog on one side and a little downhill cog on the other. Typically a 46-42-36 crankset. 3 very different gear ratios, 3 very good chainlines. And all on a regular horizontal Campy dropout. Fun! Both bikes have been up to Crater Lake, around and down.

As you might have guessed by now, I absolutely love riding fix gear.
I would also like to know what a triple and fix-fix hub is.
Thanks much.
Byron
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