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  #31  
Old 09-02-2019, 11:14 AM
pbarry pbarry is offline
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Riding fixed in traffic, no brakes

I was a messenger in Boston and NYC. Had a Frejus track bike in MA with a front brake actuated by a bar end shift lever with ratchet removed. 88inch gear caused tendonitis in both knees in short order: Starting out in that big of a gear 100 times a day was what did it--young and dumb..

In NY I had a road bike which was superior in many ways--I could take long runs to Brooklyn or Queens and go much faster than a fixed in less congested situations, especially going down Second Ave where it was easy to hit 45mph.

Anyway, there were two brothers in NY who both rode fixed. It was hard to tell them apart, but you'd see them in passing, or be behind one of them and it was fascinating to watch: They did not go around obstacles, (pedestrians, cabs and buses pulling out, etc.), they rode through the congestion and into whatever tiny opening was available. Always kept forward momentum. I'd be behind one of them and a car would pull out of a parking space "blocking" our path. They would take the same trajectory as that car instead of braking and waiting for a clear opening or shoot a gap 12 inches wide between a bus and a parked car. I'd be braking and waiting and would have to work harder to catch back up. Bottom line is to look for openings and stay moving. On a bike with brakes you'd be using them.

Also, slow cadence seemed to work for them the majority of the time. Guessing 60-65rpm was where they were at. Not saying that's right for recreational use, but that gearing meant a lot of the time the brothers were taking it pretty easy, but had enough gearing to go quite a bit faster when needed.

Last edited by pbarry; 09-02-2019 at 11:16 AM.
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  #32  
Old 09-02-2019, 11:28 AM
stephenmarklay stephenmarklay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtechnica View Post
175mm cranks on a fixie is a really bad idea
It came that way… but the bottom bracket drop is 60mm so it is not a big issue.
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  #33  
Old 09-02-2019, 11:30 AM
stephenmarklay stephenmarklay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbarry View Post
I was a messenger in Boston and NYC. Had a Frejus track bike in MA with a front brake actuated by a bar end shift lever with ratchet removed. 88inch gear caused tendonitis in both knees in short order: Starting out in that big of a gear 100 times a day was what did it--young and dumb..

In NY I had a road bike which was superior in many ways--I could take long runs to Brooklyn or Queens and go much faster than a fixed in less congested situations, especially going down Second Ave where it was easy to hit 45mph.

Anyway, there were two brothers in NY who both rode fixed. It was hard to tell them apart, but you'd see them in passing, or be behind one of them and it was fascinating to watch: They did not go around obstacles, (pedestrians, cabs and buses pulling out, etc.), they rode through the congestion and into whatever tiny opening was available. Always kept forward momentum. I'd be behind one of them and a car would pull out of a parking space "blocking" our path. They would take the same trajectory as that car instead of braking and waiting for a clear opening or shoot a gap 12 inches wide between a bus and a parked car. I'd be braking and waiting and would have to work harder to catch back up. Bottom line is to look for openings and stay moving. On a bike with brakes you'd be using them.

Also, slow cadence seemed to work for them the majority of the time. Guessing 60-65rpm was where they were at. Not saying that's right for recreational use, but that gearing meant a lot of the time the brothers were taking it pretty easy, but had enough gearing to go quite a bit faster when needed.
That sounds like parkour on a bike
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  #34  
Old 09-02-2019, 11:33 AM
pbarry pbarry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenmarklay View Post
That sounds like parkour on a bike
Yes! Great analogy. It was beautiful to watch, unlike me who played a wild rabbit all day.
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  #35  
Old 09-02-2019, 12:07 PM
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overmyhead overmyhead is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
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It is just like anything else. If you want to get good and feel confident you need to ride it. It took me a while to find a comfortable combination of gearing but I stuck with it, watched a lot of you tube tips, and I just love riding fixed. I use it for all of my around town errands as well as going out sometimes just for fun. It is a great skill to learn and I believe enhances your skills for other types of riding. I do have a front brake but have figured out many of the subtle tricks and rarely need to use it. As mentioned earlier, try it again out in an empty parking area. Practice doing figure 8s, slow circles, and emergency stopping. Stay off the street until you feel comfortable. As far as stopping pedaling goes, if you are regularly riding any other bike than the fixie, once in a while you are going to forget. Learning to ride through that is another bit of the skill.
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  #36  
Old 09-02-2019, 12:41 PM
NHAero NHAero is offline
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My fixed gear is a Nagasawa road trainer, so it has front and rear brakes, which I'm happy to take advantage of. It has a 65 inch gear ratio, as previously mentioned to be a good compromise. Since it has a double sided hub I'm about to try a lower gear in a freewheel.
Pedals are MKS track pedals with straps and I've never touched a pedal when cornering. I don't know the BB drop, but it's noticeably less than my road bikes and I'm running 170 cranks.
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  #37  
Old 09-02-2019, 02:08 PM
stephenmarklay stephenmarklay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbarry View Post
Yes! Great analogy. It was beautiful to watch, unlike me who played a wild rabbit all day.
Or my favorite children’s book called “We’re going on a bear hunt”

...can’t go over it, can’t go under it, we have to go through it.”
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  #38  
Old 09-02-2019, 06:44 PM
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pinoymamba pinoymamba is offline
i ride to eat.
 
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fixies never die.
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  #39  
Old 09-04-2019, 01:31 PM
11.4 11.4 is offline
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You sort-of need to ask why you're riding a fixie. It can be a superb form of training and also a minimalist, comfortable way to ride generally.

Is it the best for 60 miles of steep hills? Probably not. I'd pick the bike to suit the ride. I'd do 30-35 mile fixie rides in a low gear (all of us agreed to use a 44x18 -- 66 inches -- as a max gear). Yes, you spin a bit on downhills, but get supple and benefit from it.

You compromise the benefit of a fixie with long cranks like yours unless you're 6'9". I'd really suggest shorter cranks. That's a lot of movement because at any given gear and speed, you'll be doing the same RPMS and the pedal circle gets much bigger -- three times as much pedal distance traveled as the increase in the length of the cranks.

I wouldn't take clues from street fixie riders. They ride fixies to be hip, they don't often have much experience, and they tend to be riding in very close quarters among cars. And too many are young and haven't acquired a sense of mortality yet. Track riders often ride road fixies, but almost always with low gears and at least a front if not front and rear brakes. Always treat it as a special form of cycling training and use it where it benefits you.
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  #40  
Old 09-04-2019, 02:03 PM
duff_duffy duff_duffy is online now
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Just remember....keep pedaling! Nobody told me that on my first fixie test ride and wow was I surprised when I decided to coast. Could never get used to it, much prefer single speed riding with brakes.
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  #41  
Old 09-04-2019, 04:14 PM
muz muz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duff_duffy View Post
Just remember....keep pedaling! Nobody told me that on my first fixie test ride and wow was I surprised when I decided to coast. Could never get used to it, much prefer single speed riding with brakes.
Ha! Coasting is pernicious. I ride over 7,000 miles a year on fixed gear, yet if I ride a geared bike in the weekend, I will invariably forget and attempt to coast on my fixed gear commute Monday morning.
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  #42  
Old 09-04-2019, 05:06 PM
Gummee Gummee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duff_duffy View Post
Just remember....keep pedaling! Nobody told me that on my first fixie test ride and wow was I surprised when I decided to coast. Could never get used to it, much prefer single speed riding with brakes.
I DID warn the fiancee of one of my employees when he wanted to try my commuter/fixed gear.

Had a front brake on it even back in the early 90s

That earned him a ride in the meat wagon because he'd gotten up to sprinting speed and decided to coast. Bike threw him right off.

He didn't do that again! ...and I didn't lend out my fixed gear again either.

M
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  #43  
Old 09-04-2019, 06:10 PM
scottcw2 scottcw2 is offline
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Since last Saturday was my first ride on a fixed gear in a few years, I kept repeating in my head, "Do NOT stop pedaling, do NOT stop pedaling."

I'm never tempted to coast for rest but I do want to stop pedaling when I hit a bump or rough patch. Good for me that I had a mantra going.
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  #44  
Old 09-04-2019, 10:22 PM
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pinoymamba pinoymamba is offline
i ride to eat.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 11.4 View Post
I wouldn't take clues from street fixie riders. They ride fixies to be hip, they don't often have much experience, and they tend to be riding in very close quarters among cars. And too many are young and haven't acquired a sense of mortality yet. Track riders often ride road fixies, but almost always with low gears and at least a front if not front and rear brakes. Always treat it as a special form of cycling training and use it where it benefits you.
I haven't ridden a track bike at full speed and on the street in over 9 years. I find it terrifying going full speed on the streets. I did have to ride my track bike to the track one night. Even though it was only a 7 mile ride- my anxiety levels were through the roof. I find no benefit to riding the track bike on the road unless I was practicing standing starts or uphill sprints.

This is the only place I ride my track bike at full speed.
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  #45  
Old 09-04-2019, 11:32 PM
bironi bironi is offline
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Watch out fixed riding is an addiction.
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