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Old 08-29-2007, 06:36 AM   #6091
Cat0020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark
I think you'd need to ride one to understand.

A few things I can think of are:

best work out in the rolling hills where I live compared to riding the same loop on a derailure bike

smooths out your peddle stroke

low maintenance

Sheldon Brown shares his thoughts on fixed here
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed.html
I forgot to mention, I've ridden and raced fix gear track bikes in velodrom.

I've ridden over 40,000 miles on bicycles since 1992, I well capable of keeping my cadence at 120 rpm on the rollers for over 2 minutes riding nearly no-handed or with very minimal effort on the handlebar. BTW, riding on rollers is the best way to improve your riding/bike handling skill, without risking your life in traffic. If you're capable of spinning at 180-200 rpm on a roller for perior of 2 minute, you're for sure capable of being smooth on the bike, no matter what you ride.

I've worked as a bike mechanic since 1994. Low maintenace on the bike is irrelevant for me on that issue, I like working on bikes. Besides, how much less maintenance is required? you still do get flats on fixed gear bikes and riding a fixed gear with a flat is certainly not fun.

My kindest regard to Sheldon Brown, but he his opinions on cycling related issues are as useful to me as a spoke tensionmeter.
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Cat0020 screwed with this post 08-29-2007 at 07:31 AM
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Old 08-29-2007, 08:30 AM   #6092
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat0020
I forgot to mention, I've ridden and raced fix gear track bikes in velodrom.

I've ridden over 40,000 miles on bicycles since 1992, I well capable of keeping my cadence at 120 rpm on the rollers for over 2 minutes riding nearly no-handed or with very minimal effort on the handlebar. BTW, riding on rollers is the best way to improve your riding/bike handling skill, without risking your life in traffic. If you're capable of spinning at 180-200 rpm on a roller for perior of 2 minute, you're for sure capable of being smooth on the bike, no matter what you ride.

I've worked as a bike mechanic since 1994. Low maintenace on the bike is irrelevant for me on that issue, I like working on bikes. Besides, how much less maintenance is required? you still do get flats on fixed gear bikes and riding a fixed gear with a flat is certainly not fun.

My kindest regard to Sheldon Brown, but he his opinions on cycling related issues are as useful to me as a spoke tensionmeter.
Fixies are all the rage here in bicycle city. They come with a pair of used rolled dickies, pricey Sidi shoes, a cute little cap, perfectly mop like hair, a snug t-shirt, some massive ear studs, and oh so cool retro shades. I'm jealous of their ability to balance at a stoplight. But they're flat landers. I'm not jealous of them as I climb yet another hill where strangely none of them can be found.
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Old 08-29-2007, 08:48 AM   #6093
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becareful out there

http://www.nbc6.net/news/13997516/de...s=ami&psp=news





the 20 somethings have all flocked to fixies here as well, I think they use them to go clubbing on the weekends
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Old 08-29-2007, 09:15 AM   #6094
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Eek

I scanned through Sheldon Brown's fixie page, found the injury that you could cause to yourself with a fixie:





Outch!
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Old 08-29-2007, 09:37 AM   #6095
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zippy


Oh, wait. It's Miami.

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Old 08-29-2007, 05:39 PM   #6096
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Singlespeed

I have not gone the full fixie route yet, but I did build up this nice singlespeed:



Bought a nice brushed Tange ultra prestige frame for $50 from chucksbikes.com and a surly singleator. The rest of the parts came from my parts bin. Total cost under $100. I love the simplicity of the single speed for short rides under 20 miles, very maintenance free too. The use of Shimano BMX cogs allow for easy gear swaps.

I recently converted the bars to an old school pair of Scott aero mountain bike bars I had laying around, and now I mainly use it for quick rides with the kids. The single speed spins out at about 17 mph, so I don't leave them too far behind.
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Old 08-30-2007, 07:59 AM   #6097
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CA_Strom that's a nice looking mount. Any idea what it weighs? What's the wheelset ? Thanks for the link to chucksbikes as well !
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:38 AM   #6098
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knary
I'm not jealous of them as I climb yet another hill where strangely none of them can be found.
It's a bummer all your fixed gear riding friends can't climb. I got 2nd in a hill-climb competition out here on mine. 52x18
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:58 AM   #6099
CA_Strom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zippy
CA_Strom that's a nice looking mount. Any idea what it weighs? What's the wheelset ? Thanks for the link to chucksbikes as well !
I'm not sure on the exact weight, but it's probably in the 16 lb. range, 56 cm frame. I bought that frame from Chuck's a few years back, but he always has some interesting stuff at very good prices. The frame is a brushed steel finish with clearcoat, kind of looks like a Ti bike.

The wheels are Ritchey's (I forget whick model, and I'm not with the bike right now). They were take off's from my Specialiized road bike when I upgraded to some nice Mavic's with King Hubs. If fact, most of the parts on this singlespeed (crank, stem, seat/seatpost) came off the Specialized Allez that I upgraded. The big crate'o parts that I have stashed in the garage comes in handy sometimes!
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Old 08-30-2007, 09:20 AM   #6100
knary
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speaker
It's a bummer all your fixed gear riding friends can't climb. I got 2nd in a hill-climb competition out here on mine. 52x18


Good for you. The fixies are really popular with the urban rednecks around here and you essentially never see them out on 'real' rides.
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Old 08-30-2007, 09:24 AM   #6101
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I'm tending to think that single-speeds are something of a fad, and definitely a young man's game. As I approach 60.....well, a couple more years to go.....I recall that back in the 70s/80s when I was riding 4-5,000 miles per year there was some limited interest in track bikes, it was claimed that they improved your pedal-stroke, provided a better work-out, etc., and it seems that a certain number of show-off NYC bicycle messengers wold ride them, sans brakes and all, on the brutal streets of that city. But they never became mainstream, none of the many roadies that I rode with or talked to had them, although guys would periodically say "hmmmm, it might be cool to get a fixed-gear bike someday....." but it would never happen.

My son is in his late 20s and has gotten fairly involved in riding in the Twin Cities. He says that single-speed or fixed gear bikes are all the rage there and wants one. I've been telling him that it might be an okay 4th or 5th bike (after a good road-bike, a commuter, a cyclocross, and a mountain-bike), but he has a couple to go before getting to that. Personally, I'm with Cat0020 on this one, like being able to shift gears and don't buy the "mechanical complexity" argument. In over 50,000 miles of riding I can recall maybe 2 occasions where I had a deraullier issue on the road, and those were minor (well, except for the time my rear was torn off my mountain-bike by a big sharp rock) and easy fixes. Weight? Hell, I just need to forego dessert and snacks, could gain a lot more by doing that than by shaving a few ounces off of the bike! But, having said all of that, it's a great sport and if riding a single or fixie makes you happy, go for it!!
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Old 08-30-2007, 09:53 AM   #6102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HardCase
I'm tending to think that single-speeds are something of a fad, and definitely a young man's game. As I approach 60.....well, a couple more years to go.....I recall that back in the 70s/80s when I was riding 4-5,000 miles per year there was some limited interest in track bikes, it was claimed that they improved your pedal-stroke, provided a better work-out, etc., and it seems that a certain number of show-off NYC bicycle messengers wold ride them, sans brakes and all, on the brutal streets of that city. But they never became mainstream, none of the many roadies that I rode with or talked to had them, although guys would periodically say "hmmmm, it might be cool to get a fixed-gear bike someday....." but it would never happen.

My son is in his late 20s and has gotten fairly involved in riding in the Twin Cities. He says that single-speed or fixed gear bikes are all the rage there and wants one. I've been telling him that it might be an okay 4th or 5th bike (after a good road-bike, a commuter, a cyclocross, and a mountain-bike), but he has a couple to go before getting to that. Personally, I'm with Cat0020 on this one, like being able to shift gears and don't buy the "mechanical complexity" argument. In over 50,000 miles of riding I can recall maybe 2 occasions where I had a deraullier issue on the road, and those were minor (well, except for the time my rear was torn off my mountain-bike by a big sharp rock) and easy fixes. Weight? Hell, I just need to forego dessert and snacks, could gain a lot more by doing that than by shaving a few ounces off of the bike! But, having said all of that, it's a great sport and if riding a single or fixie makes you happy, go for it!!

Well if you haven't ridden a fixie (I too, see no point in a SS myself but-) then you really don't know what you're missing.
It's improved my riding by light years, and is not only very enjoyable to ride but therapeutic in it's own way.

It's a smooth transition of drive power, almost instant/direct. No noise, clatter or chafing of derailleurs, so you can turn on the music and just go.
It also allows you to keep a set pace which you don't normally do with a roadie, especially if another roadie passes you.

It makes you about 80% more aware of the road and the route to take then a regular roadie, you learn to pace yourself and push yourself through hilly areas. Your cadence becomes like a metronome.

- The whole fixie thing in NYC messenger culture is alive and well, there's about 100 of them parked outside my office right now, and they ain't posing, these are dirty well used machines ridden by on avg. black/hispanic/island dudes. Fixies keep them at the same speed of the traffic flow, and when the traffic stops they just squirt on past.

It originally started with the Rasta/Island guys who bought track bikes in the 70's since that was what they were used to riding in the islands. These bikes had no parts to really steal, and had very little maintenance issues if say a cab punted you off the road. Simple and cheap/ super reliable, especially in a city that get's alot of bad weather. If you crash or drop a fixie there's no out of whack derailleurs to bug with. It's also harder to steal a wheel since most fixies have bolt on hubs, not QR's.

Yeah, you may not get derailleur issues on a wknd roadie out in the burbs, but you park a roadie in the big city where everything from palatte jacks to garment rollers slam everything and anything that's not mobile (see parked bicycle), you see why = the minimalist approach saves you alot of headaches.

Yeah sure they're in fashion now, so what? If it gets people onto bicycles again I'm all for it. I mean, do you really need 21 speeds to ride through a flat city? It's bicycling in it's raw form, what's not to like?
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:07 AM   #6103
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If most of your riding is recreational, and mostly in temperatures above freezing then I can see how singlespeeds and fixed gears don't have as much appeal.

But if you're riding nearly every single day, in all kinds of weather, just to get around a compact urban area, it's a different matter. Not having to deal with keeping a derailleur clean and operating smoothly is a real advantage during the several months of the year that the roads here are strewn with slush and grit. So while the two bikes that I ride almost exclusively for recreational purposes are both geared, when I'm just going to work or running an errand, I grab either my fixie or my freewheeled beater singlespeed.

And I like working on bikes. For someone who doesn't and for whom a bike is a tool rather than a major hobby, this is an even bigger deal. I think a lot of the posters here have long since internalized the details of derailleur adjustment and maintenance and don't realize how opaque they are to noobs, or to those who are hopelessly mechanically inept.

There's also the economics argument for utility cyclists: A decent geared bike is going to be a lot pricier than a decent singlespeed (and will likely be a bigger theft magnet, too). And freewheels and cogs are cheaper to replace than cassettes.

Anyways, look: I find riding my fixie to be a fun change of pace from my geared bikes, and that more than anything is the reason I have it. I don't understand why some folks seem to have a problem with that.
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:10 AM   #6104
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I have it on good authority that chicks dig fixies.

End of fucking discussion.


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Old 08-30-2007, 10:22 AM   #6105
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I guess if you got nothing else going for you, might as well give fixie a try to score chicks.
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