Print Story Riding fixed - An update
Cycling
By hulver (Thu Mar 11, 2010 at 05:45:00 PM EST) (all tags)
It's been a while since I finished my fixed bike and started riding it.

Here's how I've been finding it.



(For the uninitiated, fixed wheel is exactly that. The cog on the back wheel is fixed, it doesn't freewheel. When the bike is moving you pedal or bad things happen. No gears except the one you're in.)

So, how am I finding it?

I love it. I love it lots. A quite unhealthy amount actually.

Riding fixed is fantastic. It's not just that the bike is lighter, as usual I've loaded it up with stuff I need to take to work and it's really quite heavy again.

It's the feeling that you get riding fixed. A real connection with the machine. You're not just sat on it riding, you're part of it. You and the bike are intimately connected (rather too intimately if you forget to keep pedalling.)

As the road changes so does your riding. You slow down as the gradient of the road increases, shifting position to get the most out of each pedal stroke. The bike itself helping you as the wheels keep turning and your pedals keep moving. From almost stopping as stand on the pedals to turn them round, to that moment when you crest the top of the hill and you start spinning, and spinning, faster and faster as the bike picks up speed. You reach for the brakes but hold off for now and just keep spinning your legs. Your legs whirling faster and faster as your speed increases.

It's absolutely fantastic.

I get home after climbing the hill and my legs are burning. All I want to do is turn around and ride some more.

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Riding fixed - An update | 11 comments (11 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
You are tempting me by Herring (2.00 / 0) #1 Thu Mar 11, 2010 at 06:18:41 PM EST
I was thinking while commuting today that gears are really just a liability on a short (10 mile) ride in traffic. And the winter bike has horizontal(ish) dropouts...

If I can pick up a cheap 2nd hand wheel somewhere I might try a temporary conversion of the winter bike now that the weather is improving. If I take off the big ring, put back the 42 in place of the 39, then that might give me OK-ish chainline and gears.

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky

this still seems crazy to me by garlic (2.00 / 0) #2 Thu Mar 11, 2010 at 06:33:41 PM EST
ok as a lark, but not the main bike for getting places.


IAWTP by yicky yacky (2.00 / 0) #5 Fri Mar 12, 2010 at 01:32:46 AM EST

But I felt the same way about trackballs and Dvorak layouts in the past, and they both later won me over. So each to their own, I guess.

I don't doubt that they teach you a more optimum way of riding a bicycle, and an awful lot of people seem to 'get it', but they just don't seem very safe to me, either to the rider or to passers-by. I get the fact that an 'expert' can use the pedals as an extra break; I just query the number of genuine experts versus those who think they are.

Maybe I just like the feeling of free-wheeling down hills too much; it's like money for nothing.


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Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
[ Parent ]
I love freewheeling... by Metatone (4.00 / 3) #7 Fri Mar 12, 2010 at 05:04:54 AM EST
I think it's one of my favourite parts of riding a bicycle... if I wanted constant effort and pain I'd be a runner... 

[ Parent ]
brakes? by dev trash (2.00 / 0) #3 Thu Mar 11, 2010 at 10:02:52 PM EST


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Curses, hulver! by R343L (2.00 / 0) #4 Thu Mar 11, 2010 at 11:16:08 PM EST
You make me want to try a fixie out. I'm sure my single-speed could easily be converted. Horrors!

(At least I'd have brakes unlike some of the asshats around here.)

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot

Single speed by hulver (2.00 / 0) #6 Fri Mar 12, 2010 at 01:57:24 AM EST
You're already most of the way there. If you've not got a chain tensioner on.

Is your back wheel a flip flop hub? You might just be able to screw on the right cog.

Do it! It's great.
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Cheese is not a hat. - clock

[ Parent ]
not flip flop by R343L (2.00 / 0) #9 Fri Mar 12, 2010 at 11:49:05 AM EST
Presumably I'd have to have a wheel built up or swap out the cog or something. It doesn't seem hard anyway.

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot
[ Parent ]
Sprockets by Herring (2.00 / 0) #10 Sat Mar 13, 2010 at 02:29:48 PM EST
I've heard good things of this Miche system that is supposed to make it easy to swap sprockets and align chains and things.

But when I search on Miche stuff, it comes back with "Large flange hubs" and I don't know if you want a large flange.

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky

[ Parent ]
This is the first time by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #8 Fri Mar 12, 2010 at 05:11:56 AM EST
I've seen someone actually explain what's good about a fixed wheel.

I'd like to try one, but I don't think it's for me.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

Yay! \o/ by Driusan (2.00 / 0) #11 Mon Mar 15, 2010 at 02:30:29 PM EST
You've become one of us!

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Vive le Montréal libre.
Riding fixed - An update | 11 comments (11 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback