excuse the ignorance but......

Discussion in 'Singlespeed' started by klop, Oct 8, 2010.

  1. klop

    klop New Member

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    well like i said in the title excuse the ignorance but i just don't understand the appeal of riding a fixie? is something you only understand by riding it or what? don't get me wrong I'm not having a go at you I'm here i just wanna know why you guys like fixies and would rather ride them over a bike with gears?

    i have never ridden a fixie so maybe thats part of my problem. anyway, would you fixie riders care to explain the apeal of fixed gear bikes.
     
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  2. i12ride

    i12ride New Member

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    Not sure about the fixie thing, thinkin that'd be OK for track but out riding around other places, hmmmm, not for me. Single speed that coasts is another story. Love me some ss offroad trail action on same trails as mt bike gets hammered on. Good stuff, different approach & really helps to know the trails so you know when to hammer it to make climbs since no gearing to compensate. Also have a ss urban assault bike geared a bit higher for pavement action. Makes you appreciate having gears and makes you a better rider IMO. Don't care much for track riding or track racing so can't speak to that discipline in regards to fixies. I do have respect for mastering a different cycling discipline tho.
     
  3. Yonni

    Yonni New Member

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    Well, I can't speak for everyone but for myself I'm going fixed for the training and the fun of building up a bike from old bits I've had lying around for a while. Riding fixed shuold improve leg strength and pedal action over time - if you can get up that big hill on a fixed you've got to go down the other side without coasting. You'll have legs like Chris Hoy in no time and be able to approach his cadence (125rpm I believe).

    I guess you have to try it to like it:

    http://www.cyclingforums.com/forum/thread/480524/just-added-a-fixed-cog-wow-great-experience


    There is an element of trendy retro design about at the moment and I don't see any harm in that. I'm not into sticking cards in my spokes but if others want to do that well, OK, so long as your riding...
     
  4. MrKook

    MrKook New Member

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    Fixies are a huge trend right now. Go to a college campus and start counting fixed gear bicycles. You will run out of fingers and toes quick. Fixed gears belong a on a track. With no brakes (sometimes they have brakes, which are probably single speed and not fixed but still) the way you stop, or in this case slow down, is by pedaling slower. I don't understand why so many people are riding these to class through busy city streets, with no helmets! I am guessing that a lot of people started building them because they are so simple. With no gears and often just a front, or no brakes, they are easy to put together and are almost always adapted from an old steel frame that can be found at most secondhand stores. Then people started seeing all the "cool" kids riding these makeshift bicycles and started buying the real track bikes for commuting! Haha. Ridiculous. So fixed gears should not be ridden off track, single speeds with a front brake are tacky in my opinion but serve the same purpose as a beach cruiser or bmx (when bmx is used for commute) I suppose. At least with a single speed you can coast. With a fixed, you must pedal, there is no coasting. So they are not fit for commuting. Anyone feel free to correct me or strike up more conversation. Thanks
     
  5. Yonni

    Yonni New Member

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    1. Yes but why not on a road as well? I've seen people doing hill training on a fixie. Very tough on the way up and good for power training. On the way down you improve your pedal stroke and max cadence by having to pedal.

    2. Can't comment on helmets as many folk ride through my city on bikes of all shapes and sizes without a helmet - that's not unique to fixies!

    3. Non sequitur

    4. Why tacky? Does it spoil the look for you? If that makes them OK to ride as a utility bike then why not a fixie as well?

    5. True, you can coast but that is exactly why people who ride fixies do so, because you can't coast.

    6. Why must you be able to coast in order to commute on a fixie? Non sequitur, again.

    7. Ok that's my tuppence worth. i think you are missing the point of fixies. Have you ever given one a proper go? More than once around the block? I'm not saying that they are for everyone but once you get a feel for one it becomes a nice addition to the stable. I use mine for short trips and training. I like the way my legs are made to work for starting and stopping. I love the fact that it's cost me next to nothing to build it from (you guessed it) an old steel frame (far superior ride to my more expensive but harsher aluminium bike). I like the fact that I've made it from the bottom bracket up and will soon be building my first set of wheels for it. It's just a different way of cycling and a good experience to have had.

    Disclaimer: I do not frequent college campuses (campii?) and am in no way considered a "cool kid" at 44 I also do not commute as I work from home.

    Ride on, ride on...
     
  6. MrKook

    MrKook New Member

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    1. What I should have said is that fixed gears belong on tracks and for training use. I am all about using them for training.

    2. I know a lot of people don't wear helmets, I wasn't implying that was a sixed gear fad. I was just saying, how dumb is it to not wear a helmet on something that is designed to go fast and it has no brakes or way of stopping fast.

    4. A fixie makes no sense as a "utility bike" it is not practical for that purpose. If I worked at a bike shop and someone came in with a need for a simple bike to ride to and from work or school and the grocery store occasionally, I would recommend just about everything but a fixed gear bicycle.

    5. Non coast makes sense for training indeed, but not for casual commuting.

    6. Try to ride a fixie through traffic with a bag or even just a back back. And then when a car doesn't see you (as they often don't) try to stop and not get killed. Maybe that's just my lack of fixed gear experience. Even if I was good enough on a fixed gear I would never choose it as a commuter.

    7. And finally, no I have not ridden a fixie for any extended period of time. I would like to own one however. I would use it for what you are describing for the most part: for training and maybe occasional recreational rides to get the feel of constant pedaling. I do like the idea of a fixed gear but my frustration lies in all of the people riding them around that have no intention of training or are just riding them because their friends have one.

    So, to be clear, I am not against fixed gears, I would like one to use for it's intended purpose. Which is training (on or off track), and track use.
     
  7. Yonni

    Yonni New Member

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    Ok, so we are singing from the same hymn sheet here. I suppose what I meant about a utility bike was that for me it makes sense to use it for those short rides into the town centre etc. for extra training. It would be cheaper to replace if stolen and less likely to suffer damage than a carbon frame if involved in an accident. My bike has front and rear brakes. If I got really strong I might consider just running a front brake but I doubt it as friends who are more experienced and more powerful than me use front and rear brakes. I was going to have normal drop bar brakes until it was pointed out to me that if you intend to use the fixed wheel to brake its better to brace yourself on the bar tops rather than on hoods. If you are doing that and need to brake as well you are far better off having levers on the tops that on the drops. I still think it looks weird but does make sense (unless you ride on the drops the whole time, which is uncomfortable in a city covered in cobble stones).

    FWIW I've tried a freewheel single speed and that I just don't get it - none of the benefits for training and non of the advantages of gears. Buy one off the peg and they aren't cheap either! You'd be better off with a half decent mountian bike of the same price or a simple hybrid or better still use you racer but forget to change gear! That is, unless you're buying it to look cool but you don't know what the whole "fixie" thing that everyone keeps talking about is.
     
  8. MrKook

    MrKook New Member

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    Now I think our thoughts have finally aligned. I understand what you are saying about using a fixed as a "utility" bike now. And yes, part of my rant was the fact that single speeds are becoming popular too because they "look like" fixies. So, anyway, thanks for the conversation. I did learned some stuff.
     
  9. Yojimbo_

    Yojimbo_ Well-Known Member

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    Fixies are for urban hipsters.

    Of course, no-one actually admits to being a hipster.
     
  10. Yonni

    Yonni New Member

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    Hipsters? Aren't they those jeans that your beer belly hangs over? And by "your" I mean mine.

    Since this thread started I've been looking out for fixies but just when I think I see a cool one the guy or girl starts to freewheel. Far too much of that going on. It seems that it's mainly the Charlotte Square Allstars (couriers) that ride fixed in Edinburgh, all the rest are just pretending.
     
  11. jazzz

    jazzz New Member

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    It's not just urban hipsters, some of us are old men who have been over taken by sudden fashionability of our toys, and, i would argue that those of us who some times flip our hubs and ride the free wheel are not "pretending" we just realise that where you can go fast, you can't lean hard into a corner on a Fixed wheel because the pedal will ground and you will crash, if you have not experienced this then i fear it is you that is pretending, couriers love a fixed wheel because it is like wearing seven league boots, most people run between 70 and 80 gear inches so it's like doubling your running stride, you kind of bound along.
    I would recommend a fixed wheel, don't get one to look good, don't worry that someone who doesn't ride one checks whether you are riding fixed or freewheel and don't care if sometimes people see you pushing your bike up a hill.
     
  12. Vladimir2007

    Vladimir2007 New Member

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    I've looked into getting a fixie. I ended up not doing it because it wasn't what I was looking for.
    I have ridden a sort of fixie bike in Eastern Europe that looks like a fixie (kind of) but is not.
    Basically, the hub of this particular sort of bike is fixed gear, allows you to freewheel if you stop pedalling, and allows you to brake if you start pedalling backwards. I've never seen one like it in the UK. Does anybody know what kind of hub I am talking about?

    Since I moved to the UK and took up cycling a few years ago, the cheapest bike to buy (I wasnt sold on the hobby yet) was a mountain bike; and since then I've been spoilt by the gears. I would, however consider getting a fixed gear bike, but first I would have to give it a good old spin around London to see if it suits me!
     
  13. Yonni

    Yonni New Member

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    "Basically, the hub of this particular sort of bike is fixed gear, allows you to freewheel if you stop pedalling, and allows you to brake if you start pedalling backwards. I've never seen one like it in the UK. Does anybody know what kind of hub I am talking about?"

    I had one in the late 1970s in the UK but I think we bought it from an American kid. No idea what that sort of hub is but I'm sure Sheldon (http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_ho-z.html#hubbrake) will know
     
  14. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Sheldon likely would have known. Unfortunately, Sheldon, the man, is gone, but lucky for us his site remains.
     
  15. Vladimir2007

    Vladimir2007 New Member

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    can someone tell me about sheldon brown? I have seen his site...it is very useful.
     
  16. Yonni

    Yonni New Member

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    Google is your friend...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheldon_Brown_%28bicycle_mechanic%29
     
  17. mzchry

    mzchry New Member

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    I had that kind of hub on my first bike when I was like 6! haha No clue what it is called though.
     
  18. dookie44

    dookie44 New Member

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    sounds like the old Bendix? hubs from the 50's and 60's.

    You gotta have a tank for a top tube if you ride one of those.
     
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