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-   -   The Age 40+ Singlespeed & Fixed Gear Thread (

tedi k wardhana 02-08-11 03:13 AM

It started life in 1980 as roadbike.
Start shosse, a soviet ussr bike. With decals, olympic games 1980, that you americans (and we, indonesians) boycotted :)
2005 became a flatbar ss, 43\20 freewheel.
August 2010 installed flipflop hub. Since then, it stayed fixed! (Not fixie! :) )
I am 46 now. And when not taking my foldingbike on bus/train, almost always will ride this 'communist' bike!

northbend 02-20-11 08:18 PM

Sun and temps in the low 40's.A fine day riding dirt rail trails with one of my favorite riding buddies
We had a great day - got just under 30 miles in
Our turn around point on the John Wayne Iron Horse trail
We did some small sections of single track, crossing small streams n such we took the cautious approach - we are 50+ you know!
Looking forward to warmer weather and more rides with friends

puppypilgrim 02-21-11 11:14 AM

It was just a few degrees above freezing on Sunday morning but my friend and I decided to go for a training ride out to Iona Beach by the airport.

Although I have been to Iona Beach lots of times in a car, this was the first time cycling there. We decided to ride the pipe all the way out to the end which is a one way distance of 4 km. The picture above was taken at the end of the pipe. The pipe is long structure where treated sewage is pumped out to the ocean.


We rode back after in a blowing head wind which made it a hard ride. The singlespeed Softride performed very well. After that we met for a well deserved lunch. I was able to keep up with my 23-year old friend on his Cannondale Competition 6 on the Softride pretty well...

onionskin 02-25-11 10:55 PM

I came into riding FG just recently at the gentle suggestion of my LBS when I was looking to build up a new commuter "why do you need gears to commute?".
These are very challenging bikes to ride but you guys give me inspiration that I can enjoy this for many years. Riding fixed has made me a stronger, more disciplined rider, and it about as much fun as I have had on two wheels maybe since my first green Schwinn Stingray. So, if you are like me and have an old road bike to convert DO NOT HESITATE ANOTHER MINUTE! Do it now, you aren't getting any younger!
Also, sometimes those young, hip kids know a good thing so lets not be too harsh on them for bringing FG/track bikes into mainstream pop culture by whatever name*; there are and have been way worse trends. This is a good thing and I hope it hangs on longer than the '80's bike boom did.

*even though I am new to FG riding I have a certain disdain for that word too. One of my buddies, a very serious over 40 rider, likes to call my bike that word and it really bugs me. That is one Midwest perspective for you guys on the coasts.

TugaDude 02-26-11 10:57 AM

No doubt, anything that gets folks out on their bikes is a good thing. I love vintage geared bikes, but have no issues with conversions whatsoever. If it is a rare, desireable bike, I'd prefer to see the owner keep it original. If the bike is not really collectible, and converting it would increase the riders pleasure, then go for it.

The SS/FG trend is supposedly slowing down if you ask your LBS. I have visited about 10 shops this year because I travel a lot for work and stop into any interesting shop I find. Most all of them say it is on the wane. It probably is because I seem to always catch trends on the way down, not up.

Doesn't matter to me. I'll continue to ride SS/FG until I can't ride no mo'.

onionskin 02-26-11 11:45 AM

My conversion is a 1980 Motobecane Super Mirage, nothing rare or desirable, just a really good solid frameset in great condition. It was a total tear-down and rebuild from BB up. I boxed up all the old suntour/sakae components and wheelset just to keep the stuff together, I'm sure it isn't worth anything but I'll hold onto it all for posterity. I plan on getting some hammered aluminum fenders from Velo-Orange and making it my bad weather commuter. My commute is only 12 miles round-trip (time permitting, I make it longer on the way home), mostly good roads so I don't need anything hard-core to get me here and there.
As for trends, I'm usually a late comer too although here on the UW Madison campus there is a pretty large contingent of FG bikes...I'd say pushing 50% of what I actually see rolling (as opposed to left for dead on a very crowded bike rack). Sales may be down but there sure are a lot of them out on the road.
How do you like the Big Block? It was on my shortlist but my LBS swung me a really good deal on an EAI Godzilla and I bit. I used to live in MPLS, so I really like the track ends and they sound like really nice riding frames.

TugaDude 02-27-11 01:13 PM

The Big Block is awesome. I rode it today, short ride, about 5 miles. I just had enough time to go do some small hills. The frame is beautiful, the paint is a metallic red and it is beautiful in the sunlight. Too bad we haven't had enough of that lately.

I like everything about the frame. Unfortunately it isn't made in St. Paul. I wish it was. Still, the fork ends on front and back are very nice and the welds are superb. It is fairly light and the way I have it built up suits me perfectly. Got a good deal on the Sugino RD2 cranks from Velomine. They had ordered them in for somebody who changed his mind and they sold them to me for about $15.00 over their cost. Those guys are great.

I used to visit Madison on business all the time. My territory has changed and I miss it up there.

onionskin 02-27-11 08:16 PM

If the Big Block is your first bike with track geometry I think you will find it is really fantastic on hills. Combined with the pedaling efficiency of FG you will feel invincible (even at 40+)'ll be a good year once the thaw finally comes. I wholeheartedly disagree with Sheldon Brown on only one issue: I think track bikes make great city bikes. They are very nimble (and at least the Godzilla is very predictable and stable, not what I would consider twitchy by any means), they afford the possibility of a more upright body position out of the drops for better vision through traffic, and at least on my commute I don't feel the ride is unusually harsh riding 25c tires.
I have a set of RD2's on my conversion and love them, they aren't as nice to look at as 75's but riding they are indistinguishable to me. You may have darkened the door of my favorite LBS, Yellow Jersey, on your travels up here...small shop on State Street right off the square. I seem to remember they sold me my RD2's for $90 with a Zen ring, pretty good deal I thought.
Velomine is bookmarked, looks like a good site.

tedi k wardhana 03-01-11 11:17 AM

Uploaded with

StuMo 03-02-11 03:36 AM

Hello, I think I may have found the very forum for me; born before 1971? Check... single speed bike? Check... Umm... so hello!

I must confess to only have had my "fixie" (fixed, fix, fixer, SS/FG, SS&FG or whatever you personally think of when referring to a bicycle with one gear ratio), for a mere three days (2.5 days to be very precise!). It's a Mongoose Maurice, not totally top of the tree but top of my budget. I have "customised" it with a speedo, yet to get that working, and a light, which broke. But I went for my first fixed gear ride today and I LOVE IT! I have never had one before and I found it a punishing ride, bearing in mind I have not ridden properly in over 20 years, the sale of my beloved classic Merc has forced me back into a two wheel mode of transportation and I am annoyed I never went back before.

I bought a second hand 30 Dawes men's shopper about 5 years ago and had a summer of riding into our local town and back, about a mile, and I even got a child trailer and towed the kids about for a bit but that sort of stopped coz it got cold and wet. But I'm back and the endorphins are flowing freely around my bod as I write, or it may be the lack of Oxygn to my brain. I now realise how unfit I have gotten mainly due to bad knees and lack of motivation. Anyway, hello, and I have to say as a lurker on this board for a week or two I have been admiring the steeds you all ride, which in part inspired me to get one (I thought they may be the preserve of the cool, urban kids). Anyway, 'nuff said, maybe too much said!

One question before I leave for a bit, going downhill... What's the procedure I felt at times like my legs were being driven by the crank and I didn't have a high enough gear, any tips, tricks or advice is all greatly received by this, rightly called, "Newbie".

macnab 03-02-11 05:34 PM

I don't know the formal name, but when it gets out of hand I called it "t'aint smash".

When I first encountered it while riding in the mountains, I received the following advice:

On a long downhill, don't just let your legs spin along for the ride - try to stay on top of the gear and spin it a little faster, and it will smooth out.
Also, not to sound preachy, but long descents really are much more fun on a bike with a freewheel and brake.


Try a brake? Just shave a few mph and the ride will be much more enjoyable.
I knew a somebody who was touring fixed and he mounted a little bracket in place of the seat tube water bottle cage. On long descents, he would unclip and rest his feet on this bracket while controlling his speed with front and rear brakes.
You could also train on rollers to make your spin fast, strong and smooth...........yeah


tighten up your pedaling. imagine spinning in circles smaller than your pedal stroke. saddle height has nothing to do with anything, granted that it is already at the ideal height.


try skipping to scrub speed.


Remove feet from pedals or straps, stick out in v formation, yell loudly and let pedals spin wildly by themselves.


i find it's easier to maintain that cadence without bouncing when you're pushing the pedals a little bit rather than just letting your legs spin.


Hope that helps...

StuMo 03-03-11 04:31 PM

Thanks macnab a really great post and much to take in, brilliant, ta!

Brian 03-03-11 09:56 PM


Originally Posted by Scrodzilla (Post 11845608)
I stuck it. As long as this thread operates within TT's proposed guidelines, it'll stay stuck.

Thanks. I was going to suggest you stick it. As soon as I can steal some time from my employer, I'm going to read through the entire thread.

TejanoTrackie 03-04-11 10:58 AM

Age has caught up with me
Last year I had the best national results ever in track racing and was looking forward to this season, because I'll be in a new age category (65-69), which improves my chances to collect some medals and stand on the podium. Last fall I did some heavy yardwork on my property, which entailed felling some trees and cleaning out brush and roots. There was a lot of lifting and pulling involved, and at the time I felt some soreness and fatigue, but nothing out of the ordinary. After all, I was very fit and strong from track racing, which requires a lot of strength and power training. Then around Thanksgiving time, I began to notice that my lower abdomen on the left side of the groin area was bulging significantly when I went to the toilet and stood up. I thought little of it at the time, since there no pain, and began my fall / winter training regimen, which includes a lot of weight work in the gym. Anyways, about a month ago I started to feel significant soreness in the area, which would spread to the inside of my upper thigh and lower back on the left side. I went to the doctor last Monday, who referred me to general surgeon. The general surgeon told me that I have a direct inguinal hernia that is still reducible, meaning that my intestine is bulging through the hernia, but can still be pushed back into the abdomen. However, it definitely requires surgical repair before it becomes critical with the intestine getting trapped or strangulated in the hernia, which would become a medical emergency. He also told me that I actually have a double hernia, but the one on the right side has not progressed as far, so it's not bulging. He said that I've probably had these hernias for a long time, possibly even childhood, but that over time they have weakened and my yardwork finally caused the left one to get worse.

OK, so I need surgery, but I can't afford it right now, because I'm retired and don't have decent insurance (I just have a catastrophic medical policy with a very high deductible and co-pays). However, in three months I turn 65, which means I can sign up for Medicare, which is much much cheaper in terms of premiums and fees. The surgeon told me it was safe to wait until then, provided I don't further aggravate the hernia damage with any heavy lifting or hard efforts. I can still ride my bike and use light weights for toning, but no hard track training or racing. Once I have the surgery, I'm not allowed to do any heavy lifting (not more than 10 lbs, which is nothing) for six weeks, which basically means that my racing season is over this year, since my master's national championships are in early August.

So there you have it. Age has finally caught up with me. This will be the first non-accident surgery I've had since early childhood, when I had my tonsils removed. Fortunately, my overall health is excellent, which should result in a rapid and uneventful recovery. Thank god we still at least have Medicare in the USA, and that this did not occur when I was younger during a time of unemployment.

Brian 03-04-11 12:59 PM

Surgery is no picnic. Three days before Christmas, I had my tonsils out, sinus cavities scraped out, a turbinate reduction, and my septum straightened. After all that, I still couldn't breathe. Two weeks ago, I had my uvula and a chunk of my soft palate removed. Now I can breathe. Moving from the beach to high desert caused my allergies to get very bad, to the point where my uvula was permanently swollen, and actually resting on my tongue. Pretty nasty, but now I can get back to riding.

alicestrong 03-04-11 02:23 PM

1 Attachment(s) conversion. I'm 58...

Squirrelli 03-04-11 02:34 PM


Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie (Post 12312519)
So there you have it. Age has finally caught up with me. This will be the first non-accident surgery I've had since early childhood, when I had my tonsils removed. Fortunately, my overall health is excellent, which should result in a rapid and uneventful recovery. Thank god we still at least have Medicare in the USA, and that this did not occur when I was younger during a time of unemployment.

TT, I hope everything goes well for you in the next couple of months! Stay strong!

northbend 03-04-11 04:37 PM


Originally Posted by alicestrong (Post 12313510)
My conversion. I'm 58...

That's a pretty bike alicestrong.

Bluechip 03-04-11 05:39 PM

I'm 47 and have been riding fixed gear bikes regularly for about 10 years now. My first experience with them came back in '86. My first nice road bike (Cannnondale R400) sucked a chain into the derailleur and broke off the non replaceable hanger. Until my new frame came in I decided to try out riding fixed. It took a lot of playing around to find a gear that wasn't too tight or too loose. The first time around the block I nearly went over the bars when I tried to coast. I didn't like it too much. Fast forward to now and I ride my fixed gear at least once or twice a week.

Here is my current ride.

puppypilgrim 03-04-11 06:42 PM


Sorry to hear about your hernia. Hope it resolves well so you can go back to your cycling again! I enjoy your input on these forums.


TejanoTrackie 03-04-11 07:01 PM


Originally Posted by puppypilgrim (Post 12314826)

Sorry to hear about your hernia. Hope it resolves well so you can go back to your cycling again! I enjoy your input on these forums.


Thanks for your kind words of support. I'm confident that everything will work out well, as hernia surgery is pretty reliable these days. It's now done on an outpatient basis to save on hospitalization costs, so I'll go home the same day of the surgery. Once the pain subsides, I'll be able to ride my bikes easily, just no hard efforts or racing, so I shouldn't get too badly out of shape. I've got a pretty high pain threshold from all the race crashes I've endured, so i hope that I can wean myself quickly off the pain meds. If I were living in Canada with your socialized medicine, I'd be having the surgery now instead of waiting three months to reduce the cost. The worst thing is simply having to hang on until then with all the discomfort and limitations in my activities so this doesn't escalate before then into a very expensive medical emergency.

Brian 03-04-11 08:15 PM

I think that with socialized medicine, you'd be having the surgery next year, when it's your turn. That's how it was in Australia.

Anthropy 03-04-11 08:50 PM

1 Attachment(s)
First fixed at 48, just turned 49. Used an old '71 Schwinn Super Sport. Funny thing is that it feels faster than the 2010 Trek 7.3 I bought last year on a promotional deal. Now the Schwinn is my favorite bike (once again). Not sure why it rides so much faster, but I'm not complaining. The Trek feels clunky and stiff. The SS is setup with 63 (fixed) / 71 (single speed) gear inches with the flip flop hub to get the feel for what I am going to like.

Do not want to push to much gearage due to the deteriation under my right knee's patella, but biking really takes care of my knee pain. I use to have knee pain so bad, no amount of pain killers would resolve it.

What kind of geometry, bike speaking, is the Super Sport?


alicestrong 03-04-11 09:30 PM


Originally Posted by northbend (Post 12314141)
That's a pretty bike alicestrong.

Thanks, I like it. It's light as a feather, another thing nice about fixies...:)

TejanoTrackie 03-04-11 10:54 PM


Originally Posted by Brian (Post 12315247)
I think that with socialized medicine, you'd be having the surgery next year, when it's your turn. That's how it was in Australia.

I guess you've got a point here. Since this is not a critical life threatening condition, the Canadian system might make me wait to get the surgery. Then again, medical care in Canada is completely free, whereas USA Medicare is simply relatively cheap goverment sponsored medical insurance. I will still have to pay approximately $2000 in annual premiums and small co-pays for medical care and meds. If I'm hospitalized, I'll still have to pay $175 / day for a semi-private room for the first 7 days for any given stay, although it's free after that. Also, dental and vision care care entails additional premiums, and even then it won't cover expensive items like dental implants, so you see a lot of poor toothless Medicare clients. So basically, I won't go bankrupt if I need major medical treatment, but I still need to pay for it.

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