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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)

question from a non-FG/SS guy

Old 12-28-08, 03:57 PM
  #1  
southpawboston 
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question from a non-FG/SS guy

this is a genuine question, not trying to start a flame war or anything. i don't hang out in FG/SS and i have no desire to ride FG but i've been wanting to know this for some time:

is there a specific term to describe when FG riders balance themselves at stoplights by pedaling forward/backward with the fork turned?

next, why do they do it for extended periods of time? i can sort of understand why you might want to do it for a second or two at a stop sign instead of dropping a foot to the ground, but to be honest, it appears painful and awkward to see guys doing it for like 30 seconds at a time at a stoplight.

from an aesthetic perspective, i see it constantly and IMHO it is not the most flattering pose a person can make on two wheels. it comes off as nervous and precarious as opposed to calm and stable.

from a technical standpoint, one of the arguments for FG is that it allows much more efficient energy transfer from the person to the ground, yet this seems negated by the fact that this little balancing act is certainly less efficient than just stopping and putting a foot on the ground.

again, not trying to come off as an FG hater, i really want some enlightenment here.
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Old 12-28-08, 04:04 PM
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the term is "trackstand." it comes from the use of that technique during match sprints. youtube will have examples for you to watch.

i trackstand at lights because if i'm looking to make a quick gap, i have to be ready to ride for it. if i first have to get my feet in the pedals and my arse up on to the saddle, i won't be able to do it.

and because of vanity. if anybody says otherwise they're lying.

also, it's not just fixed gear riders. lots of roadies do it too. i do it on my road bike.
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Old 12-28-08, 04:05 PM
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It's called trackstanding. And i do it because it's fun mostly. Not sure why you think it looks awkward though, it's nt like i'm flailing my arms or being all over the place. I put my foot on the ground when i mess up the trackstand either on entry or by losing balance.
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Old 12-28-08, 04:06 PM
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cause some people look super awkward doing it.
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Old 12-28-08, 04:08 PM
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Geared guys do it too, but it's a lot easier to do on a fixed gear.
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Old 12-28-08, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by queerpunk View Post
and because of vanity. if anybody says otherwise they're lying.
this is what i suspected.
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Old 12-28-08, 04:24 PM
  #7  
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It is called a trackstand. You can do it on a geared bike too.

I trackstand, actually I prefer to sit, as I run clips and straps around town and I like to run them tight so it is a pain to reach down and unstrap and then tighten my straps again so I prefer to do a trackstand instead.

If you run across people who are good at trackstands movement is almost impereceptible, but those riders are seen less as FG riding is very popular and there are a lot of people who have not mastered some of the FG skills.

Try it on your geared bike sometime, easiest to do on a slight incline, and you might gain a better appreciation for it.
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Old 12-28-08, 05:23 PM
  #8  
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My vertical trackstanding is so bad I've perfected the horizontal trackstand.
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Old 12-28-08, 05:37 PM
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Yeah, vanity is definitely involved. But it definitely proves practical a lot of times. It's just one of those rites of passage when riding fixed, I guess.

With clips and clipless pedals alike, I just find it a lot faster to trackstand for a bit, then jump the light or make my turn, rather than trying to scramble back into your clips or to clip in. I mean, I'm sure it's not that big of a deal getting into your pedals, I just think it's faster.

usually when it's a long light, it's not worth the effort to stay on your bike the entire time. my 2 cents.



But yes, I've seen roadies to it too.
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Old 12-28-08, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
but it's a lot easier to do on a fixed gear.
i find trackstands a lot easier on my roadie these days.
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Old 12-28-08, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by southpawboston View Post

next, why do they do it for extended periods of time? i can sort of understand why you might want to do it for a second or two at a stop sign instead of dropping a foot to the ground, but to be honest, it appears painful and awkward to see guys doing it for like 30 seconds at a time at a stoplight.
It's fun...


You ever see a kid in the park doing a handstand? Not very comfortable. Kind of odd looking but it's fun.

You ever drink a bunch of beer?

You ever ride a bike in the rain?
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Old 12-28-08, 06:56 PM
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for me trackstanding gets really hard after like 10 seconds so if the light hasn't turned i end up just putting my foot down.

Last edited by dayvan cowboy; 12-28-08 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 12-28-08, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by dayvan cowboy View Post
for me trackstanding gets really hard after like 10 seconds so if the light hasn't turned i end up just putting my food down.
wow you trackstand while eating?
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Old 12-28-08, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by bad news hughes View Post
wow you trackstand while eating?
haha, yes. yes i do.
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Old 12-28-08, 07:25 PM
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I agree that excessively long trackstanding is kind of silly and a waste of energy. Trackstanding can be super fun though. I love the moment when I reach a place of balance and I think to myself "I've got it, I am solidly balanced." It's a nice feeling.
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Old 12-28-08, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by queerpunk View Post
i trackstand at lights because if i'm looking to make a quick gap, i have to be ready to ride for it. if i first have to get my feet in the pedals and my arse up on to the saddle, i won't be able to do it.
yep.
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Old 12-28-08, 09:46 PM
  #17  
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I find track standing easier on my road bike as well. Maybe its because I have been riding road bikes for over twenty years and have only been riding track for a few years. I do it because it is key to getting a jump on traffic when the light goes green.

There are certain lights in town that I will not track stand at because I know they have a long cycle to go through before I get a green again. But then even here in Kansas people are pretty impressed sometimes when you can sit there at a red light and never put a foot down.
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Old 12-28-08, 10:07 PM
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I can trackstand better by modulating the front brake at the same time as I'm pushing back an forth on the pedals.
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Old 12-28-08, 10:11 PM
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it shouldn't be a lot of effort, really.

and it looks awkward because for a lot of people just learning, it is.

but i mean, after a while it just sorta becomes second nature. and as mattio pointed out - it's way easier to get going quickly from a trackstand than it is when you have your foot down.
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Old 12-28-08, 10:38 PM
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oh stephen, i hollered at you in williamsburg a couple weeks ago, from the inside of a car. i was a little bit out of sorts though and didn't think to roll the window down. you were t-standin' at, like, n7th and driggs or bedford or something. talkin' on a cell phone.
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Old 12-28-08, 10:47 PM
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I do it to light up a cigarette and drink a pabst mostly... I thought that was what it was for???
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Old 12-28-08, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Live2Die View Post
I do it to light up a cigarette and drink a pabst mostly... I thought that was what it was for???
Forgot sending txt msgs.

As for wasting energy, that is one of the main reasons I ride a bike.
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Old 12-28-08, 10:56 PM
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Trackstands can shave seconds off of your time.
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Old 12-28-08, 11:06 PM
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it's all to look like nathan fabian.
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Old 12-28-08, 11:07 PM
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see:
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