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fixed gear riding and potholes

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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)

fixed gear riding and potholes

Old 03-20-14, 11:15 AM
  #26  
nelsonfung21
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I'm so fast I skip potholes.
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Old 03-20-14, 12:17 PM
  #27  
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In soviet russia (and Crimea), potholes make you.
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Old 03-20-14, 07:31 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by bmontgomery87 View Post
In soviet russia (and Crimea), potholes make you.
I have been to Moscow 16 times, the pot holes there are nothing compared to Michigan potholes, Not even close.
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Old 03-20-14, 07:39 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by bmontgomery87 View Post
In soviet russia (and Crimea), potholes make you.
haha. I love these.
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Old 03-21-14, 04:15 AM
  #30  
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You can unweight without really doing anything. Keep your elbows and knees bent and get off the saddle a bit. Your arms and legs turn into shock absorbers and you can roll over pretty much anything. Just stay relaxed and don't tense up.
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Old 03-21-14, 07:01 AM
  #31  
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Like others have said; with time and practice you'll learn how to deal with PHs and rough spots.

A. Learn how to read the road and/or terrain.

B. Choose the best line.

C. Practice coming out of the saddle while peddling ("coasting" through potholes and rough spots is not always the best thing to do imo). Pull/peddle the front wheel up just a bit right before the front wheel crosses the front of the hole and then push down on the bars a bit just before the rear wheel hits.
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Old 03-21-14, 08:44 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by howeeee View Post
I have been to Moscow 16 times, the pot holes there are nothing compared to Michigan potholes, Not even close.
Spent two weeks in Moscow in January of '91. Got to ride on the track several days-No potholes
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Old 03-21-14, 09:16 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by howeeee View Post
I have been to Moscow 16 times, the pot holes there are nothing compared to Michigan potholes, Not even close.
Potholes in Phoenix are, or were, really bad. They were large and deep enough to cause near-daily steering and front suspension failures on cars and trucks (many of these failures resulted in fatal crashes on the higher speed roads throughout the city). This is not to mention the countless tire and rim destruction these PHs caused. To this day whenever I hit a deep pothole I often think: "well, that was nothing compared to Phoenix".
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Old 03-21-14, 10:23 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by howeeee View Post
On a freewheeling bike you get outta your seat, use your legs as shock absorbers and coast into or over the pothole. On a fixie what can you do? if you stay on your seat and just hit the pothole it kind of throws you off, to an almost fall.
I don't understand why one cannot also do this while riding FG. I get out of the saddle on my FG when approaching an uneven surface.

Also consider at least a front brake. I have one and I find it to be helpful.

EDIT: The more I think about this, I have no idea what I would do if the streets I rode had unavoidable holes. The sometimes bumpy streets of Kansas City are in good enough condition to ride on by occasionally slightly raising out of the saddle.

Last edited by Big Lebowski; 03-21-14 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 03-21-14, 11:11 AM
  #35  
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When the pot holes come one right after the other, it gets tough. Sounds like the OP has terrible roads for riding. So...

Go to a bike with 26" wheels and fat tires.

Or, ride a lot slower and pick/choose a zig zagging line through the minefield of pot holes.

Or ride a lot slower and ride through the not-so-deep ones while unweighting the saddle and allowing the bike to pitch and flex its way along.

Or bunny hop surgically, which takes skill and core strength on a fixed gear.

Maybe some of all of the above?
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Old 03-21-14, 11:19 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by howeeee View Post
On a freewheeling bike you get outta your seat, use your legs as shock absorbers and coast into or over the pothole. On a fixie what can you do?
On a fixed gear bike you get outta your seat, use your legs as shock absorbers and pedal into or over the pothole.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 03-21-14, 11:40 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
On a fixed gear bike you get outta your seat, use your legs as shock absorbers and pedal into or over the pothole.
Not true dude!

Originally Posted by howeeee View Post
It is a serious question and I explained what I do on freewheel bike that you CANNOT do on a fixie.
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Old 03-21-14, 12:06 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by howeeee View Post
It is a serious question and I explained what I do on freewheel bike that you CANNOT do on a fixie. Maybe someone else can give me a serious answer
I guess we're all doing it wrong.
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Old 03-21-14, 03:39 PM
  #39  
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Sorry, but you do not stay in the saddle when you're hitting a serious pothole. Period.
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Old 03-21-14, 04:07 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by FMB42 View Post
Sorry, but you do not stay in the saddle when you're hitting a serious pothole. Period.
Correct. You get launched into earth orbit.
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Old 03-21-14, 04:12 PM
  #41  
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I think a large part of the reason many of us ride fixed gear is to become better riders overall. You should be able to do just about anything on a fixie that you can do on a geared bike. This includes not just bunnyhopping potholes, but bunnyhopping them at low to medium speed one wheel at a time. It's not hard.

Probably the one thing I cannot do (yet) is a wheelie. I am working on it!

Speaking of Russia, I was in Ukraine (a little town called Bielia Tcherkva in Ukrainian, Bela Tcherkov in Russian, "White Church" in English) back in 1990 or so racing with a US Masters team. While out training near a rubber factory on a hot day, my wheels started to seriously sink into the roadway, which had been heavily patched with the rubber from said factory!

Luis
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Old 03-21-14, 05:26 PM
  #42  
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Shucks now I feel guilty for ragging on you, I figured you were well...younger. I wish you all the well and I really think you will enjoy this new world of cycling, it's never too late and I appreciate the fact that you agree with such a philosophy!
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Old 03-25-14, 11:24 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by lhbernhardt View Post
I think a large part of the reason many of us ride fixed gear is to become better riders overall.
I ride fixed because I'm a poser.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 03-25-14, 11:28 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
I ride fixed because I'm a poser.
+1 except that I'm a ​poseur.
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Old 03-25-14, 12:10 PM
  #45  
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I agree that you should get some foot retention.

But you definitely can "un-weight" on a fixed gear, it just takes a bit more coordination because you have to keep your legs going around while doing it. But it can be done, and it can even be done at relatively high RPM's with practice. In the end you'll find that it's not really all that different from what you do on a bike with a freewheel. You do the same thing, only keep your legs moving.

FWIW, we have a bumper crop of potholes in the Boston area right now too, and I still ride my fixed gear commuter everywhere.
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Old 03-25-14, 12:19 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by prooftheory View Post
+1 except that I'm a ​poseur.

I'm a hipster
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Old 03-25-14, 04:03 PM
  #47  
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Hey howeeee

I'm a first year FG rider with just a couple more years on me than even you!

FWIW, my riding kinda' turned a corner recently. I found that picking my way through the holes in a heavily worn gravel road while standing gave me way more control over the bike. The rear wheel will brake while you drop the front into the hole and you're in position to power it back out, then slowly drop the rear in and out. Holes in pavement while at speed are kinda' the same, but everything happens way faster.

It's a nice corner to turn, when things slow down and you're comfortable with shifting balance and position. I just got to the point of trackstanding for a few seconds without my mind screaming:"We're GOING DOWN!!! Get that foot outtaq doze damned clips...PRONTO!!"

Must be a zen thing
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Old 03-28-14, 03:36 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by prooftheory View Post
+1 except that I'm a ​poseur.
I thought about spelling it that way, but I'm just a plain ol' poser.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 03-29-14, 01:16 AM
  #49  
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*Rolls back the clean-up mop bucket into the SS/FG broom closet
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Old 03-29-14, 01:58 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Leukybear View Post
*Rolls back the clean-up mop bucket into the SS/FG broom closet
Spoil sport, that idiot was setting a good case for why we should all ignore him. One of his idiot mates isn't far behind him either. Dunno why we waste time trying to help some of these clowns (and no, it wasn't the OP)
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