Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Singlespeed & Fixed Gear
Reload this Page >

A Newbie's View Of Fixed Gear Riding

Notices
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)

A Newbie's View Of Fixed Gear Riding

Old 06-23-10, 09:19 PM
  #1  
NormanF
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,737
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 147 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
A Newbie's View Of Fixed Gear Riding

Veloria of Lovely Bicycle fame has a very nice round up of what its like to ride a fixed gear bike. The bike (without brakes!) she was given to try out was once owned by Austrian champion Kurt Schneider. Anyway, this probably sums up a newbie's feelings about the pleasure of FG riding:

"The bike felt completely "normal" to ride. I expected to have trouble getting used to the inability to coast, but that was not the case. It was not in any way difficult or strange, just felt natural."


"In general, I feel that the idea of "not being able to coast" is misleading, in that it suggests that the fixed gear cyclist is hard at work the entire time, always pedaling. That is not so, because the time you'd spend coasting on a regular bike, you still spend relaxing your legs on a fixed gear. Effort-wise it is no more strenuous than coasting, only the pedals are rotating your legs for you. Just relax and let it happen.



The rest is here:



https://lovelybike.blogspot.com/2010/...off-track.html

Last edited by NormanF; 06-23-10 at 09:30 PM.
NormanF is offline  
Old 06-23-10, 10:07 PM
  #2  
rustybrown
Senior Member
 
rustybrown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: DeSouf
Posts: 2,145
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm not going to read your blog. But cool story, bro.
rustybrown is offline  
Old 06-23-10, 10:10 PM
  #3  
NormanF
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,737
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 147 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
No but as she said the best thing about it is:


"I do not yet understand the mechanics of this, but the fixed gear did make me feel far more in control than did any other bike I have ridden."

The conclusion I happen to agree with. FG riding is a religious experience!
NormanF is offline  
Old 06-23-10, 10:16 PM
  #4  
squeegeesunny 
℞ ♥
 
squeegeesunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: NNJ
Posts: 1,213

Bikes: I ride FG,SS and old 10 speeds. Nothing else.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
No. FG riding is FG riding.
squeegeesunny is offline  
Old 06-23-10, 10:17 PM
  #5  
Dr. Banzai
Oscillation overthruster
 
Dr. Banzai's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Duncan, BC
Posts: 1,532

Bikes: Cinelli Mash / CAAD9 5

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
In for the zen
Dr. Banzai is offline  
Old 06-24-10, 12:20 AM
  #6  
cc700
Ths Hipstr Kills Masheenz
 
cc700's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: seattle
Posts: 8,542

Bikes: tirove

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
This one time, I was riding my fixed gear, and all of a sudden I began to levitate.

My wheels were still turning and of course I was still pedalling, but I was lifted through the Clouds to the top of Mt. Sinai, where the Buddha appeared to me.

He said, "Cool story Bro."

And I said "Tell me - what is the secret to dodging traffic like a messenger?"

and he answered, "He who tarcks like the bear, knocks trash cans with greatest respect."

Then I woke up and the paramedics were bandaging up some of my deeper lacerations with this weird goo stuff. I noticed the cab driver talking to the squad car across the street but then I remembered what the Buddha had said, so I turned back to the paramedics and I asked if I could borrow some of their arterial mending gunk because I needed to glue up a tubular to my zipp disc that I just got from my bike mechanic friend.


That was my first week riding fixed and it was totally religious, bro.
cc700 is offline  
Old 06-24-10, 12:54 AM
  #7  
NormanF
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,737
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 147 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
If you haven't tried it, you don't know what you're missing!
NormanF is offline  
Old 06-24-10, 08:47 AM
  #8  
shubonker
danke
 
shubonker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: nyc
Posts: 821
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by cc700 View Post
This one time, I was riding my fixed gear, and all of a sudden I began to levitate.

My wheels were still turning and of course I was still pedalling, but I was lifted through the Clouds to the top of Mt. Sinai, where the Buddha appeared to me.

He said, "Cool story Bro."

And I said "Tell me - what is the secret to dodging traffic like a messenger?"

and he answered, "He who tarcks like the bear, knocks trash cans with greatest respect."

Then I woke up and the paramedics were bandaging up some of my deeper lacerations with this weird goo stuff. I noticed the cab driver talking to the squad car across the street but then I remembered what the Buddha had said, so I turned back to the paramedics and I asked if I could borrow some of their arterial mending gunk because I needed to glue up a tubular to my zipp disc that I just got from my bike mechanic friend.


That was my first week riding fixed and it was totally religious, bro.
Cool story bro.
shubonker is offline  
Old 06-24-10, 08:58 AM
  #9  
ichitz
N-Fred
 
ichitz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 1,517

Bikes: Torelli Tipo Uno (stolen), Peugeot Nice, Mercier Kilo TT

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by cc700 View Post
This one time, I was riding my fixed gear, and all of a sudden I began to levitate.

My wheels were still turning and of course I was still pedalling, but I was lifted through the Clouds to the top of Mt. Sinai, where the Buddha appeared to me.
so kinda like E.T. except with Buddha
ichitz is offline  
Old 06-24-10, 09:27 AM
  #10  
NateRod
Senior Member
 
NateRod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 1,675
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by cc700 View Post
This one time, I was riding my fixed gear, and all of a sudden I began to levitate.

My wheels were still turning and of course I was still pedalling, but I was lifted through the Clouds to the top of Mt. Sinai, where the Buddha appeared to me.

He said, "Cool story Bro."

And I said "Tell me - what is the secret to dodging traffic like a messenger?"

and he answered, "He who tarcks like the bear, knocks trash cans with greatest respect."

Then I woke up and the paramedics were bandaging up some of my deeper lacerations with this weird goo stuff. I noticed the cab driver talking to the squad car across the street but then I remembered what the Buddha had said, so I turned back to the paramedics and I asked if I could borrow some of their arterial mending gunk because I needed to glue up a tubular to my zipp disc that I just got from my bike mechanic friend.


That was my first week riding fixed and it was totally religious, bro.
Originally Posted by shubonker View Post
Cool story bro.
QFT and I LOL'd
NateRod is offline  
Old 06-24-10, 10:07 AM
  #11  
JesusBananas
Banana-tastic!
 
JesusBananas's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,974
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by ichitz View Post
so kinda like E.T. except with Buddha
+50

JesusBananas is offline  
Old 06-24-10, 10:29 AM
  #12  
illdthedj
Senior Member
 
illdthedj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Modesto, Ca
Posts: 2,280

Bikes: klein quantum, litespeed tuscany, bianchi pista concept, centurion comp ta, centurion super le mans, traitor ringleader

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by shubonker View Post
Cool story bro.
Cool 'Cool story bro', bro.

illdthedj is offline  
Old 06-24-10, 10:36 AM
  #13  
avner
Fueled by Tigers Blood
 
avner's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Echo Park, California
Posts: 1,484
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by squeegeesunny View Post
No. FG riding is FG riding.
No its not man. Its like, getting to know god, and touching him inappropriately man...
avner is offline  
Old 06-24-10, 12:55 PM
  #14  
NormanF
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,737
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 147 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
What would you say to someone who's never tried it? C'mon in, the water's fine, right?
NormanF is offline  
Old 06-24-10, 03:57 PM
  #15  
elTwitcho
Live without dead time
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 2,136
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by NormanF View Post
What would you say to someone who's never tried it? C'mon in, the water's fine, right?
Norman, I commend your good humor on this, but this is a losing battle.


I explain to people who haven't ridden a fixed gear that it's like a normal bike except you can't stop pedalling because the rotation of the wheel will keep turning the cranks.

There's a lot of mystical exhilirating **** about riding a bike in the right circumstances, but for a lot of people the type of drive train isn't part of it.
elTwitcho is offline  
Old 06-24-10, 04:06 PM
  #16  
Scrodzilla
This place sucks.
 
Scrodzilla's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 26,054
Mentioned: 41 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 640 Post(s)
Liked 90 Times in 50 Posts
Scrodzilla is offline  
Old 06-25-10, 02:22 AM
  #17  
NormanF
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,737
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 147 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Well... if the author of the blog post liked it, why are other mortals afraid of it?

We sure miss Sheldon Brown around here!
NormanF is offline  
Old 06-25-10, 02:56 AM
  #18  
cc700
Ths Hipstr Kills Masheenz
 
cc700's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: seattle
Posts: 8,542

Bikes: tirove

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
We miss him too. Doesn't mean you have to call us mortals...

Every time someone asks me about my bike, I feel like I have to be extra scientific and demystify it so they don't read blogs like that and get the wrong idea.

1. you get used to it
2. it's simple and direct, and i just like it because it requires less maintenance.
3. i use a brake. see? look at it. it's there. it's a brake.
cc700 is offline  
Old 06-26-10, 12:56 AM
  #19  
Ken Cox
King of the Hipsters
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Bend, Oregon
Posts: 2,128

Bikes: Realm Cycles Custom

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I've asked myself all day why I would want to respond to this thread.

I should know better.

Regarding the Zen thing, or, the religious aspect of riding a fixed gear bike...think of a fish.

If you talk to a fish about water he might laugh at you.

"Water?"

"What water?"

If you explain to the fish how he lives and swims in water, he will laugh at you.

Your words will not reveal the water to the fish.

The fish must discover the water for himself.

The young woman to whom the original poster referred, who said "the fixed gear did make me feel far more in control than did any other bike I have ridden," has discovered the water for herself.

Riding a fixed gear bike, for some people, reveals the relentless immediacy of reality...which in turn corresponds to a religious experience for some people.

The fixed gear bike, for some people, provides a physical, non-verbal analogy to our relationship with reality.

Sometimes a simple discipline, a constraint, can give us a greater freedom than we had without the constraint.

A kite needs the constraint of a string in order to fly.

No string, no constraint, no fly.

If a fish can't see the water, then the water doesn't exist for that particular fish.

However, for some other fish the water exists.
Ken Cox is offline  
Old 06-26-10, 02:00 AM
  #20  
cc700
Ths Hipstr Kills Masheenz
 
cc700's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: seattle
Posts: 8,542

Bikes: tirove

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
King of the Hipsters, you have defended your rightful crown.

I maintain my disbelief. It's just a machine. It's a beautiful, simple, direct machine with two bearings around each of four axises (wheels, crank, and headtube) making a rolling conglomerate of metal and rubber.

A single blade of grass is as much testament to our relationship with reality as the most expertly crafted NJS, hand-drawn chromoly steel, scandium septuple butted aluminum, carbon injection hydroformed sex panther doused bike will ever be. Sure as salt, it's easier to recognize and assign meaning to certain objects over others when confronted with such a feeling of connection... but easier don't make right. it don't make better. it don't make meaningful.

to convey such a meaning to others and to attribute it to the ideal of a fixed gear bike is doing a disservice to reality, fixed gear bikes and yourself.
cc700 is offline  
Old 06-26-10, 04:18 AM
  #21  
oldfixguy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 741
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by cc700 View Post
King of the Hipsters, you have defended your rightful crown.

I maintain my disbelief. It's just a machine. It's a beautiful, simple, direct machine with two bearings around each of four axises (wheels, crank, and headtube) making a rolling conglomerate of metal and rubber.

A single blade of grass is as much testament to our relationship with reality as the most expertly crafted NJS, hand-drawn chromoly steel, scandium septuple butted aluminum, carbon injection hydroformed sex panther doused bike will ever be. Sure as salt, it's easier to recognize and assign meaning to certain objects over others when confronted with such a feeling of connection... but easier don't make right. it don't make better. it don't make meaningful.

to convey such a meaning to others and to attribute it to the ideal of a fixed gear bike is doing a disservice to reality, fixed gear bikes and yourself.
cc700,

Define "meaning". You can define it for you but you sure can't define it for me. Anything physical is exactly that - physical. The "meaning" assigned is up to the individual. I think the most common example of this is art. You look at something and see the essence of life. I see a waste of good materials. That type of thing.

I wouldn't go as far as to call my fixed gear experience spiritual. But, I'm happier fixed than I am geared or SS. People can make arguments all day comparing and contrasting features of different types of bicycles. I'll listen and I'll enjoy hearing you out. But, the evidence of my own experience will outweigh even the most well thought out, contrary arguments.

If you've never been touched by something yet I assure you that one day you will be touched. It will make no sense for whatever it is to have such an affect on you but the affect will be there. You will be more alive. The world will be a better place. Pettiness will evaporate - if only for a few moments. You will have arrived. You will be truly human. You'll have no control or choice over what "that" is. Because, it's not a choice.
oldfixguy is offline  
Old 06-26-10, 05:27 AM
  #22  
bleedingapple
Senior Member
 
bleedingapple's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 698

Bikes: Leader 722TS, Surly Cross Check, GT Outpost, Haro Z16, Trek 1000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by cc700 View Post
This one time, I was riding my fixed gear, and all of a sudden I began to levitate.

My wheels were still turning and of course I was still pedalling, but I was lifted through the Clouds to the top of Mt. Sinai, where the Buddha appeared to me.

He said, "Cool story Bro."

And I said "Tell me - what is the secret to dodging traffic like a messenger?"

and he answered, "He who tarcks like the bear, knocks trash cans with greatest respect."

Then I woke up and the paramedics were bandaging up some of my deeper lacerations with this weird goo stuff. I noticed the cab driver talking to the squad car across the street but then I remembered what the Buddha had said, so I turned back to the paramedics and I asked if I could borrow some of their arterial mending gunk because I needed to glue up a tubular to my zipp disc that I just got from my bike mechanic friend.


That was my first week riding fixed and it was totally religious, bro.
seriously best post ever!
bleedingapple is offline  
Old 06-26-10, 08:35 AM
  #23  
TheBikeRollsOn 
Senior Member
 
TheBikeRollsOn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: NC
Posts: 1,296
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I really hate that this turned into a philosophical debate.

It's a bike, with one gear, that can't coast. That is all.
TheBikeRollsOn is offline  
Old 06-26-10, 08:36 AM
  #24  
TheBikeRollsOn 
Senior Member
 
TheBikeRollsOn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: NC
Posts: 1,296
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Also, apparently I don't ride a fixed gear because I have a brake. Guess I've been "posing" this whole time.
TheBikeRollsOn is offline  
Old 06-26-10, 09:08 AM
  #25  
oldfixguy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 741
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by TheBikeRollsOn View Post
I really hate that this turned into a philosophical debate.
Don't hate. (yuk yuk yuk)

Originally Posted by TheBikeRollsOn View Post
It's a bike, with one gear, that can't coast. That is all.
Exactly. Can't help but love it.
oldfixguy is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.