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'm a new hipster

Old 05-31-07, 08:06 PM
  #1  
LoRoK
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I'm a new hipster

That is, I bought my first fixie yesterday. It's also the first bike I've owned in 15 years, give or take. I moved here (Albuquerque) and just finally had to admit that I couldn't skateboard everywhere like I could back home (Chicago). The pavement is too rough, and I'm walking at least half of the trip with the combination of hills and pavement. So, I bought a bike. There are a few reasons for this. First and foremost I just ended the relationship that brought me to ABQ. This leaves me pretty anxious, and I can't stand being in my apartment. Having a bike gives me an escape route (easy means to get somewhere), a distraction (something to do) and some form of a club. I know a couple fixters in town, and I hope we can meet up for rides soon. The second reason I bought this bike is that it was cheaper than a tricked out road bike or mountain bike, and the simplicity of a fixie is quite appealling. One thing I admired about the messenger crowd back home was their D.I.Y. attitude, building their own bikes and such. I'm not going to pretend that I know anything about the "cool" fixies. I don't even know if it's cool to actually say "fixie." I don't care, really. Well, kind of I do... (if only all these people accused of being hipsters could admit that maybe they wouldn't catch so much ****, but then you aren't your own martyr anymore...) So, to be honest, I bought a bike because I wanted to ride. I got the fixie because I think they are cool, yet knowing full well that I won't be impressing anyone with my choice of bike and had absolutely no intention of doing so anyway. And, at least for now, I'm glad my bike is a brand-new Pista; I'm not looking for any status symbol with some vintage steel or something. I just want to ride and hang out with people who ride. That's my introduction.

Now, I ask for advice. You know, anything you think might be helpful for a new fixter. And if you want to make up things that aren't really helpful, i.e. "dude, you should totally _________ (insert embarrassing or painful thing here)" go ahead, I won't know the difference other people who know more than me can either laugh or think you are a turd. So, the first things I've noticed are that my neck and my ass really hurt. I'm not used to riding, so being stretched out over the bars like that and keeping my neck/head up is more tiring than anything else so far (though I did get a little mushy-legged coming down some stairs yesterday after I bought the bike and rode 6 miles or so). And my bootay where it sits on the saddle feels like it might be bruised. No matter, not like I don't think I'll get used to these things. What else will I get used to physically? I do have some minor tears in my LCLs from running, though they haven't bothered me in about 6 or 7 years and are probably as close to being healed as those types of things can be. Another thing that I noticed is while slowing down (especially coming down hills) I was pushing down on the handlebars pretty hard, putting my whole body into stopping. I have no doubt that as I get stronger that will become easier. I'm wondering, though, if that's normal or is it more of a leg thing? I don't want to put extra stress on my bars or anything, or learn something that is a bad habit. So, I can't really think of anything else for now. I just want to hear thoughts or ideas or share words with people who understand or whatever.
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Old 05-31-07, 08:12 PM
  #2  
Adam Becker
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Get a brake.
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Old 05-31-07, 08:16 PM
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Your neck is hurting because your bars are too low. Raise them a little or you might want to try risers, since your just crusing. Once your legs build up a little more your ass should stop hurting. My tip: buy a lockring wrench and keep your lockring tight so you dont strip your hub.
Edit: and keep your chain tension good.
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Old 05-31-07, 08:17 PM
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Some may think that brakes aren't cool but I'd say use a front brake on the bigger hills until you get more accustomed to riding a fixie.
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Old 05-31-07, 08:19 PM
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Hills? In ABQ? Were you riding up Sandia?
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Old 05-31-07, 08:26 PM
  #6  
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even if your bars are at the right height, your neck can still get sore (mine did) when you first start riding. as for your saddle, if you are riding it daily and you still feel like your saddle sucks after a couple weeks, it's probably the saddle and not your ass, get a new one. saddles are very individual, so don't look for a "better" one so much as a different one (more padding, slimmer, etc)

i also recommend a brake.

how old are you? when i've been in alb. (went to school in lubbock) i noticed a WHOLE lot of hipster high schoolers. don't get sucked in!
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Old 05-31-07, 08:27 PM
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or less padding in some cases!

Balls to the stem and lock yo legs up son!
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Old 05-31-07, 08:29 PM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by thebristolkid
Hills? In ABQ? Were you riding up Sandia?

C'mon now, I'm from Chicago. Albuquerque has huuuuuge hills as far as I'm concerned (although I was in Seattle a couple weeks back.) To tell the truth, I saw a dude mashin' up a hill by the Pike Market on a fixie and I was all like, "that dude is the king." I think that was the straw that broke the camel's back and got me to finally buy one. I'd wanted to for awhile, but was too stubborn and worried what the cool kids would think of me on my shiny new bike. I could care less now though, I'm heartbroken.

As for those who recommend the brake, I did get one. I even used it once! I've ridden a skateboard without doing anything to protect myself for far too long, and I'm fully aware of only having one body. I'm in no rush to cause more irrepairable damage to myself.

And rough-rider, I did have the guys at the store (very friendly and helpful) fit me for the bike. So, I'm wary to adjust the bars right off as I do believe it may be just a period of adjustment thing. I will, when out riding tomorrow, stop back by the store and ask about it though.
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Old 05-31-07, 08:31 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by wearyourtruth
how old are you? when i've been in alb. (went to school in lubbock) i noticed a WHOLE lot of hipster high schoolers. don't get sucked in!
I'm 30, I don't think I'll fall in with the high schoolers. I'm not cool enough to skateboard with them, doubt they'd let me ride with them.
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Old 05-31-07, 08:48 PM
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FYI: As you suspected it's not cool to say fixie, except for ironic purposes. Like, you could call a newspaper article on the fixed gear trend "another fixie expose" but you wouldn't refer to your own bike as a fixie.

The best advice i think there is for a new fixer is, your knee cartilage will get good and strong from fixed riding but not if you overstress it and fuick it up. So go easy to begin with---quit riding for the day if your knees start to give off a bad vibe. Try not to let em actually start hurting.

Last edited by mander; 05-31-07 at 09:08 PM.
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Old 05-31-07, 08:56 PM
  #11  
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Your curiousity and enthusiasm are already pointing you in the right direction. Good times
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Old 05-31-07, 09:25 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by thebristolkid
Hills? In ABQ? Were you riding up Sandia?
from downtown to nobhill all up hill player.
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Old 05-31-07, 10:01 PM
  #13  
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You haven't heard? All the really hip kids are moving onto pennyfarthings.


Damn hipsters.
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Old 05-31-07, 10:06 PM
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I'm glad to hear you fitted a brake on your Pista. It took me awhile to get comfortable regulating my speed with my legs only, and the handbrake gave me peace of mind. Riding brakeless may seem cool (I know I'm completely under the spell of brakeless riding), but newbie braking mishaps involving other people or cars is definitely a bummer, to say the least. Rely on your handbrake(s) at first.
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Old 05-31-07, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by veggiemafia
You haven't heard? All the really hip kids are moving onto pennyfarthings.


Damn hipsters.
Giant ride ones around Albuquerque from time to time.

OG fixed bike.
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Old 05-31-07, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by veggiemafia
You haven't heard? All the really hip kids are moving onto pennyfarthings.


Damn hipsters.
I hope that is the next big trend. Cheap PF's for all.
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Old 05-31-07, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by veggiemafia
You haven't heard? All the really hip kids are moving onto pennyfarthings.


Damn hipsters.
That dude has got to be Canadian.
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Old 06-01-07, 12:27 AM
  #18  
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Pennyfarthing dude is rolling on those dope gold phils from thebikebiz.com.
And he has flipped down risers.
What a hipster.
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Old 06-01-07, 01:11 AM
  #19  
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it is possible to bend at the hips

not the back

to get lower on the bike

personally i find that my neck hurts if i have bad body positioning and am bending at the neck and back

and not the hips flexors

and everyone here has had a sore ass at one time or another
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Old 06-01-07, 01:30 AM
  #20  
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Your ass hurting is definitely normal, considering two things:

1) you haven't had a bike in 15 years.
2) your saddle is new and not broken in.

It'll soften up + you'll probably kill some nerves at the same time, and you'll eventually get used to it.



About the neck pain, I guess there are also a couple possible scenarios:

1) your bike fits properly, but you're new to riding and plus you're doing it with drop bars, so it requires some getting used to.
2) you're not used to riding, and your bike does NOT fit properly, so you're really eff'd and it's just going to keep getting worse.
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Old 06-01-07, 02:33 AM
  #21  
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About the ass thing: don't wear boxers. I did, for a while, and my crotch was really sore sometimes.
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Old 06-01-07, 02:45 AM
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I second the thong recommendation from wroomwroomoops.
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Old 06-01-07, 07:21 AM
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You're not a hipster if you call yourself one!

If you have problems with your knees, run a lower gear and it will actually help, as noted. If your neck and back hurt, you may need to move your saddle forward or raise your stem. Maybe check with the shop you bought it from to help with fitting. Other than that, ride it 'til it dies!
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Old 06-01-07, 08:22 AM
  #24  
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It's not cool to refer to your fixed gear bicycle as a fixie. I do it all the time. I'm so uncool.

Your ass will harden up given time, but you might need to work on your positioning to get ovr the neck soreness. Starting with everything set as it is, move around on the bike and see if you can get more comfortable. if you still feel too stretched out, try sliding the saddle forward in small increments, rotating the bars a little. You may need a shorter stem or you may need to raise the bars up a bit, but give yourself time to adjust to new positioning before you make another adjustment, and start with small adjustments first. You will limber up over time though, and the core muscles will strengthen up so less of your weight is supported by your arms. Maybe that's all you need.
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Old 06-01-07, 08:26 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by veggiemafia
You haven't heard? All the really hip kids are moving onto pennyfarthings.


Damn hipsters.
I was minding my business last week eating falafel and some dude blasts past on a pennyfarthing. It made my day complete.
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