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Fixed Gear Biking


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I just recently started riding fixed gear.

 

Wondering if anyone has any experiences with fixed or any riding suggestions

 

Yeah they ROCK ") Potter would be the best person to ask.. Just ask him what you want to know.. I could be some help.. but Potter is da man !

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Most important thing to know is not to get a big gear...it'll kill the knees. Also get a break and wear a helmet...too many people get hurt looking "cool" so they think.

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Most important thing to know is not to get a big gear...it'll kill the knees. Also get a break and wear a helmet...too many people get hurt looking "cool" so they think.

 

I just got a bike for commuting and while it's not a fixed gear I do have a horribly ugly gawky helmet. But I love it. It is bright neon red. It was free and it's pretty punk rock, and also no one will steal it.

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Most important thing to know is not to get a big gear...it'll kill the knees. Also get a break and wear a helmet...too many people get hurt looking "cool" so they think.

 

I just got a bike for commuting and while it's not a fixed gear I do have a horribly ugly gawky helmet. But I love it. It is bright neon red. It was free and it's pretty punk rock, and also no one will steal it.

 

Hey Josh. I'm worry for you. How was it free?

From what I'm hearing it's probably not safe to ride with. Helmets are like seatbealts for a car. They're made for a reason. Sorry but, I just don't want you to get hurt. My helmet crack when my head hit the car but it saved my life. Be safe my friend !

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are you biking for fun or sport?

 

is 'fixed gear' the same as '1 gear'? there used to be this truly massive guy everyone called 'Jesus Tony' who rode a one speed bike all over town.

 

to save money, i'm getting ready to start biking to work. my bike is a walmart POS special, but the wheels are round, so it should get me there. it's about seven or eight miles from my house there, so it should count as some sort of cardio work, too.

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I ride a fixed gear bicycle.

 

If you are going to get a brake, get used to using it at riding speed without making yourself endo (tip over forward).

 

If you decide to go brakeless, learn to better predict traffic light changes, and determine how fast you should be riding at these points... you don't want to approach a changing light near the point of no return while traveling at the wrong speed and not be able to stop - you might end up on someone's windshield; be very aware of surrounding traffic.

 

Learning to trackstand is nice, if you aren't down for unclipping at every light you get stuck at.

 

Learn to skip and skid stop... if you aren't riding with a brake, and you aren't good at doing these things, you would be a danger to yourself and to those around you.

 

And most importantly, don't turn into a hipster (not that I even know what a hipster really is)!

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is 'fixed gear' the same as '1 gear'? there used to be this truly massive guy everyone called 'Jesus Tony' who rode a one speed bike all over town.

 

Fixed gear bikes ARE single speeds, but people usually reserve the single speed title to bikes with a freewheel, which allow you to coast (stop pedaling).

 

With a fixed gear, if your cog/rear wheel are moving, so are your cranks... you cannot coast.

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I ride a fixed gear bicycle.

 

If you are going to get a brake, get used to using it at riding speed without making yourself endo (tip over forward).

 

If you decide to go brakeless, learn to better predict traffic light changes, and determine how fast you should be riding at these points... you don't want to approach a changing light near the point of no return while traveling at the wrong speed and not be able to stop - you might end up on someone's windshield; be very aware of surrounding traffic.

 

Learning to trackstand is nice, if you aren't down for unclipping at every light you get stuck at.

 

Learn to skip and skid stop... if you aren't riding with a brake, and you aren't good at doing these things, you would be a danger to yourself and to those around you.

 

And most importantly, don't turn into a hipster (not that I even know what a hipster really is)!

 

Do you ride a low or high gear with your track bike? I would hate to be in a high gear if you ended up climbing a hill..I heard ppl ride with a fixed gear in traffic without putting a brake on them.. but that's pretty hard core.. Good on you

When I was at the proventals in BC I watched a guy slow down with one foot on the back wheel when his chain came off while his other foot was still pedaling..

How to you skip?

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I ride with a 48t chainring, and 17t cog, which is about 76 gear inches - do you consider that low, high, or somewhere in between?

 

I don't have too many hills in my area, but I have ridden a couple of centuries through hilly areas (Torrey Pines on the way to San Diego probably being the worst), and managed to make it through without having to walk (albeit very, very slowly).

 

Brakeless fixed gear riding is very common where I'm from (Los Angeles area), and I've also heard it to be common in other fixed gear heavy cities, as well (San Francisco, Portland, New York, etc)... this might be for the reason Potter mentioned earlier - people trying to look cool; or at least, not look lame.

 

It's not as dangerous as some people would make it out to be, though, assuming that you don't jump right into riding like a maniac; if you are aware and have a considerate riding style, it's fine --- I do fixed gear group rides now and then, and most people are cool... but you do have your knuckleheads who ride without regard for anyone else, that give others a bad reputation and perpetuate the negative stereotypes associated with people on fixed gear bicycles.

 

And skip stopping is a technique used to control your speed.

 

You resist/put your weight on the rear crank, while pulling up on the front crank, so that the rear wheel comes off the ground a little; when the tire touches back down on the floor, it creates friction, and reduces your speed.

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I ride with a 48t chainring, and 17t cog, which is about 76 gear inches - do you consider that low, high, or somewhere in between?

It's not as dangerous as some people would make it out to be, though, assuming that you don't jump right into riding like a maniac; if you are aware and have a considerate riding style, it's fine --- I do fixed gear group rides now and then, and most people are cool... but you do have your knuckleheads who ride without regard for anyone else, that give others a bad reputation and perpetuate the negative stereotypes associated with people on fixed gear bicycles.

And skip stopping is a technique used to control your speed.

 

You resist/put your weight on the rear crank, while pulling up on the front crank, so that the rear wheel comes off the ground a little; when the tire touches back down on the floor, it creates friction, and reduces your speed.

 

That gearing is on the low end of the middle range. I wouldn't climb with it but its fine for cruising and small hills. If you hit a hill and you can't pedal more than 65 rpm with that gear then your doing damage to the knees plain and simple. If the worst hill you ride puts you at 75 or more than your fine.

As for riding without a break its more dangerous than you can imagine. I have a friend who doesn't wear a helmet or use a break. His chain broke skip stopping to slow for a red light...he was forced to roll through it and nearly got hit by a car. He could have easily been killed. Also skip stopping is terribly slow compared to brakes. It can really put you in bad situations...so in reality even not using a break is being a knucklehead. Also skidding is the slowest way you can possible stop. This is what ABS breaks are for on cars. Cars take longer to stop with locked breaks than with with gradual breaking...test it out yourself. Also the reverse pressure from skidding or even slowing quickly with legs is also very bad for the knees.

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The hills I encounter regularly are fine, according to your 65 RPM theory.

 

My out of the norm climbs were definitely well under 65 RPM... I'd guess around 45, maybe. These rides are far in between, however, and I haven't experienced any noticeable damage as a result (no pain).

 

I know a guy who rodes an unthinkable 52/15 setup (93+ gear inches) daily, and did the same climbs I did (at twice the speed some how), and he claims that his knees are great. He's been riding road and MTB bikes for 20+ years, so I do not question him... although, if someone I didn't know told me they rode that gearing, I'd probably think they were nuts.

 

I guess I am trying to imply that gearing and knee damage are relative to the rider, and what their body is capable of enduring.

 

I think that this is also applicable to things such as skidding and pedal resistance. I've heard these exact things you're speaking of - damage as a result of skidding, resisting, etc, but from my own personal experience, I can't verify them to be true, seeing as how I feel fine (though technically an MRI could tell me otherwise).

 

I do agree with you that having a brake is "safer" than not having one, but I still think that the danger element is blown out of proportion.

 

I think that we are looking at things from a different perspective. You are speaking of worst case scenarios, and I am speaking of the probability of these disastrous events actually occurring.

 

I say this because I ride in traffic all the time, and know many others who do, as well, and I have yet to experience or witness an accident.

 

However, I do acknowledge that there is a possibility for incidents such as the one your friend experienced happening ("oh shit!" moments), and am probably going to install a front brake just to play it safe... realistically speaking, though, I probably could avoid using it for the rest of my riding days, and be fine.

 

Considering I am confident in my riding ability, having a brake would be purely precautionary - not a necessity.

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If he went twice the speed its probably fine for him for now but it'll catch up to him. Hell Jan Ulrich is a perfect example...when he raced Lance Armstrong in the mountains he couldn't accelerate with him and Lance would make him play catch up over and over again to beat up his legs. Lance climbs at upwards of 120 while Ulrich climbs at 60-70. At only 25 he started showing signs of joint wear...normally a problem for sprinters not climbers and time trialists. People warned him year after year and it took him a while to listen...his last few years his knees were much better due to climbing at 80-90rpm. Cycling is by no means a natural movement and thats a lot of stress on the joint. Its actually not my theory...its a pretty general consensus.

As for the danger element being blown out of proportion I'd say my friend nearly getting killed shows it is not. He's one example and I've heard many other horror stories. And its not just worst case scenarios. I run into situations nearly every week that would kill me if I was on a fixed gear bike...people just don't know how to drive with cyclists around and some stop light simply turn red far too fast if your rolling into them at 25-30mph without a break(lights are timed for cars and cars stop much faster than bikes do). Hell even being forced to turn quickly can cause an accident on a fixed gear bike. I've seen this a few times...people take a turn fast and hit their pedal on the ground and it lifts them off the pavement...one of these people was sent to the hospital...the moron had no helmet. I've also seen my share of people wreck riding slow and hitting a foot on the tire while turning...most of the time they get up and laugh but some people have gotten up with broken collar bones. I have no problem with people riding fixed...I had one too until it got stolen but its not the smartest thing. To be safe...really you need a fixed conversion with really short cranks or a track bike with a brake and a road fork to clearance. People say a helmets importance is blown out of proportion too and I've cracked 3 of them so far in only 2 years of cycling.

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If he went twice the speed its probably fine for him for now but it'll catch up to him. Hell Jan Ulrich is a perfect example...when he raced Lance Armstrong in the mountains he couldn't accelerate with him and Lance would make him play catch up over and over again to beat up his legs. Lance climbs at upwards of 120 while Ulrich climbs at 60-70. At only 25 he started showing signs of joint wear...normally a problem for sprinters not climbers and time trialists. People warned him year after year and it took him a while to listen...his last few years his knees were much better due to climbing at 80-90rpm. Cycling is by no means a natural movement and thats a lot of stress on the joint. Its actually not my theory...its a pretty general consensus.

As for the danger element being blown out of proportion I'd say my friend nearly getting killed shows it is not. He's one example and I've heard many other horror stories. And its not just worst case scenarios. I run into situations nearly every week that would kill me if I was on a fixed gear bike...people just don't know how to drive with cyclists around and some stop light simply turn red far too fast if your rolling into them at 25-30mph without a break(lights are timed for cars and cars stop much faster than bikes do). Hell even being forced to turn quickly can cause an accident on a fixed gear bike. I've seen this a few times...people take a turn fast and hit their pedal on the ground and it lifts them off the pavement...one of these people was sent to the hospital...the moron had no helmet. I've also seen my share of people wreck riding slow and hitting a foot on the tire while turning...most of the time they get up and laugh but some people have gotten up with broken collar bones. I have no problem with people riding fixed...I had one too until it got stolen but its not the smartest thing. To be safe...really you need a fixed conversion with really short cranks or a track bike with a brake and a road fork to clearance. People say a helmets importance is blown out of proportion too and I've cracked 3 of them so far in only 2 years of cycling.

 

From my experience riding in the city, I would have to agree with Potter. I had a really bad hit. With a one slight second of a careless driver turning and cutting me off as I entered the intersection. She saw me but she couldn't jugde me that I could stop like a person can. Most drivers on the roads dont respect cyclestes or motorcycles.

I could only ride with a fixed gear at the Velodrome.. I think it's pretty cool but really scarey at the same time..

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I ride a fixed gear bicycle.Learning to trackstand is nice, if you aren't down for unclipping at every light you get stuck at.

 

Learn to skip and skid stop... if you aren't riding with a brake, and you aren't good at doing these things, you would be a danger to yourself and to those around you.!

 

What is the best way to do both of those?

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To learn how to do a track stand try standing still in a hallway or between a doorway and if you fall off balance grab the wall and reset. As for skidding you've just gotta stop pedaling quick and lift up on your rear wheel with your feet. I suggest not doing this though. It wears the crap out of your tires and it takes twice as long to stop. Plus its a danger to everyone around you not having a break...even if you know how to skid stop. On the road most braking is done with the front wheel in a car...the same applies to a bike...if you don't have a front break you can get in big trouble. Could you imagine not having a front break on your car??? As for track stands they are pretty convenient for red lights but other than that they are pretty worthless. They also spook drivers that haven't seen them done before(which is most people). I have a friend that got rear ended because a driver was so amazed and didn't watch themselves drive right into his back tire. Luckily he was only going 4-5 miles an hour and nothing happened to my friend but you still don't want that to happen. I've never seen someone get hit doing that but I have seen cars swerve stupidly.

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