fixie skills

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by dej, Feb 16, 2006.

  1. dej

    dej Guest

    gday,
    so i been riding my fixie to work for the past 2 weeks..its a 35km round
    trip with a few 2-300m hills at the start of the day on the way to work, and
    at the end of the day on the way home..
    i'm just running a front brake, and i've nearly worn the pads (which were
    near new 2 weeks ago) to about 50% of their life..
    The 1st day i was on the brake all the time, and have slowly used it less,
    but still use it quite a bit when heading down hills (specially those past
    shopping centres etc).

    I've read some guides on slowing down etc, i try and backpedal though i find
    it isnt very smooth, and kinda hurts the knees a bit. Any hints to make
    things a bit easier? Practice is one of course, but any techniques in
    particular?

    Also discovered trying a bunnyhop aint easy when you cant coast:( Is it even
    possible?
    thanks,
    gb
     
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  2. Tamyka Bell

    Tamyka Bell Guest

    dej wrote:
    >
    > gday,
    > so i been riding my fixie to work for the past 2 weeks..its a 35km round
    > trip with a few 2-300m hills at the start of the day on the way to work, and
    > at the end of the day on the way home..
    > i'm just running a front brake, and i've nearly worn the pads (which were
    > near new 2 weeks ago) to about 50% of their life..
    > The 1st day i was on the brake all the time, and have slowly used it less,
    > but still use it quite a bit when heading down hills (specially those past
    > shopping centres etc).
    >
    > I've read some guides on slowing down etc, i try and backpedal though i find
    > it isnt very smooth, and kinda hurts the knees a bit. Any hints to make
    > things a bit easier? Practice is one of course, but any techniques in
    > particular?
    >
    > Also discovered trying a bunnyhop aint easy when you cant coast:( Is it even
    > possible?
    > thanks,
    > gb


    I can't help, and in fact I've only ridden a fixie once (but loved it).
    I found the backpedalling thing not too bad - but I was on a velodrome,
    not spinning down a hill past some shops!

    So, *applause* well done on your progress so far and I hope you get some
    good advice.

    Tam
     
  3. dej

    dej Guest

    "Tamyka Bell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > dej wrote:
    >>
    >> gday,
    >> so i been riding my fixie to work for the past 2 weeks..its a 35km round
    >> trip with a few 2-300m hills at the start of the day on the way to work,
    >> and
    >> at the end of the day on the way home..
    >> i'm just running a front brake, and i've nearly worn the pads (which were
    >> near new 2 weeks ago) to about 50% of their life..
    >> The 1st day i was on the brake all the time, and have slowly used it
    >> less,
    >> but still use it quite a bit when heading down hills (specially those
    >> past
    >> shopping centres etc).
    >>
    >> I've read some guides on slowing down etc, i try and backpedal though i
    >> find
    >> it isnt very smooth, and kinda hurts the knees a bit. Any hints to make
    >> things a bit easier? Practice is one of course, but any techniques in
    >> particular?
    >>
    >> Also discovered trying a bunnyhop aint easy when you cant coast:( Is it
    >> even
    >> possible?
    >> thanks,
    >> gb

    >
    > I can't help, and in fact I've only ridden a fixie once (but loved it).
    > I found the backpedalling thing not too bad - but I was on a velodrome,
    > not spinning down a hill past some shops!
    >
    > So, *applause* well done on your progress so far and I hope you get some
    > good advice.
    >
    > Tam


    Thanks:)
    The 1st time i ever rode a fixie, was two weeks ago (rode it the 17 and a
    bit kms to work)
    I rekon its great for commuting, no hassles with gears being a bit out of
    whack etc
     
  4. PiledHigher

    PiledHigher New Member

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    I've put around 2500km on my fixie in the last year and a bit, mainly for commuting.

    I have two brakes and little wear on the pads.

    Downhill, better than backpedalling is trying to go with the flow and spin faster, backpedalling is good at low speeds (and without hills), much harder at high speeds to go around and holdback.

    I tend to use the gear to trim speed, and brakes to stop only. Been m,eaning to put a computer on, am very interested in top speed and therefore cadence that I do actuall acheive on the downhills.
     
  5. JayWoo

    JayWoo New Member

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    The thing I've found that works for me is to make your legs heavy but try and keep them spinning smooth. This is what I do to slow. Then when I want to stop (running brakeless) that's when the effort kicks in and I use a mixture of my body weight & muscle to resist the cranks while still keeping ("trying" sometimes) good pedalling form. And if I need to pull up in a hurry, I throw in a track skid or 2. Though this is rare. I wouldn't call what I do "back pedalling". That conjures up a vision of Michael Jackson’s moon walk on a bike:p
     
  6. Andrew

    Andrew Guest

    > i'm just running a front brake, and i've nearly worn the pads (which were
    > near new 2 weeks ago) to about 50% of their life..


    What pads are you using? Rims? 50% wear in 2 weeks on any bike sounds
    excessive to me. I have Kool-Stop salmons (front brake only), and they have
    a couple thousand km on them and are still very meaty. Plus they don't eat
    rims, leave black gunk, not work in the wet...

    > I've read some guides on slowing down etc, i try and backpedal though i

    find
    > it isnt very smooth, and kinda hurts the knees a bit. Any hints to make
    > things a bit easier? Practice is one of course, but any techniques in
    > particular?


    Not sure about braking, but I know there are other guides at 63xc.org. I use
    my front brake for everything but speed trimming and low speed stopping most
    of the time. Maybe practising skipping and skidding would help you build
    resistance, try them on dirt/wet tarmac to get the feel for it first.

    > Also discovered trying a bunnyhop aint easy when you cant coast:( Is it

    even
    > possible?


    It's possible, you need to start the hop ~45 degrees earlier. Mine are still
    very low and very messy, and not at speed.

    I'm currently attempting to master backwards circles. Best effort to date:
    180 degrees. Think I need to work on left foot forward trackstands more.
     
  7. Andrew

    Andrew Guest

    > I tend to use the gear to trim speed, and brakes to stop only. Been
    > m,eaning to put a computer on, am very interested in top speed and
    > therefore cadence that I do actuall acheive on the downhills.


    I worked out that I was doing 180-185rpm coming down a hill at 61km/hr
    geared at 42/16 on 700x28 tyres.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/gears/ helps out with the math.
     
  8. byron27

    byron27 New Member

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    I think Jaywoo has the right idea and i'll add my two cents. If i am not "actively" pedaling i will make my legs "heavy" between 7 and 11 o'clock on the pedalling cycle. Definitely dont try to back pedal to slow or push backwards with your knees. You will have no knees in about a week!
    I think it is one of those things you become in tune with over time. With a bit of time you will be doing trackskids etc with no worries and it is true, you can stop quicker with no brakes than with a front brake!!
     
  9. Koon Yong

    Koon Yong New Member

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    If you're in melbourne and looking to pick up some skills, join us for a ride. Sat mornings, 7.30am, corner of Swanston and Elgin St (behind melb uni).

    Best way to pick up skills is to watch others pull their sh!t.

    http://members.westnet.com.au/angrydwarf/skid.avi

    Cheers
    Koon
     
  10. sinus

    sinus New Member

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    Skidding and skipping become easy with a bit of practice. The biggest hurdle is learning to get the weight off your back wheel by leaning forward. It only needs to be momentary - enough to unweight the wheel. Just seems counterintiutive to lean towards where you are trying to stop.

    I got the feel for this on the looseish gravel on the bike path (like near Birrarung Marr if your Melb).

    I still use the front brake for slowing down on hills. I don't think my knees would last if I didn't. And the only comments I have heard from others about bunny hopping on a fixie are not to try it. It is enough trouble trying to cross a gutter at a stop.
     
  11. sinus

    sinus New Member

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    Perilous :eek:

    Don't try this on bumpy surfaces.
     
  12. Duncan

    Duncan Guest

    "byron27" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]

    > With a bit of time you will be doing trackskids etc with no worries and
    > it is true, you can stop quicker with no brakes than with a front
    > brake!!


    I hope you're joking. For starters the rear wheel will never have the
    stopping power of the front and a locked wheel has less braking potential
    than a moving one.
    I've been commuting for over a year fixed and have no intention of losing
    the front brake, it doesn't get used much but when it does it's a life
    saver. Plus you can ride so much faster knowing it's there and stoppies
    into traffic lights let you put your feet where you want them for a traffic
    stand.
     
  13. Duncan

    Duncan Guest

    "dej" <[email protected]@@h0tma1l.com> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Also discovered trying a bunnyhop aint easy when you cant coast:( Is it

    even
    > possible?
    > thanks,


    Anythings possible, someone on another forum was talking about a guy riding
    down stairs backwards on a fixie. I've done a bit of off road racing on my
    fixie and you learn to do most things from whatever position your pedals
    happen to be in.

    Doing jumps is still a bit tricky, when you're in the air you have a
    tendency to stop pedaling and landing with not enough cadence and your bum
    off the seat can get interesting.
     
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