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hey, is this the singles forum? SWM wants to be 'fixed'(14 posts)

hey, is this the singles forum? SWM wants to be 'fixed'JS Haiku Shop
Mar 12, 2003 9:54 AM
big thanks to MB1. he's been asking me for months (and longer, actually) if i was ever going to "fix" my steamroller. i was riding 42x16/18, both freewheel. out of the goodness of his fixed-dom, he sent a 14t fixed cog & lockring. i think he just wanted to see the carnage after i crashed.

the 14t went on last week after a trip to the LBS; i couldn't wrench the 16t fw off the fixed cog side, and don't have a bench vise at home. the LBS put 'er in the vice and spun it off with zero effort. i swapped sides and dropped the 18t fw, and rode home "free" (high traffic area between LBS and home).

after getting home, flipped to fixed. let's just say things are a little bit different. it's another world--closest equation is when i moved from platforms to clipless on the mountain bike. can't really compare it to road, since it's no really applicable (always clipless road). same element of danger when unclipping for obstacles and emergencies.

on the fixie, starting and stopping are the biggest challenges so far. i typically keep the spinning up while riding, and haven't had too much of an issue there. the first time i stopped for a stop sign, it was pure panic. unclipped both feet and went diving off backwards with hand on saddle. though that 40 minute ride around church parking lots and backroads was death-defying at best, the whole ride was enjoyed with a huge, stupid grin. onlookers probably thought i was learning to ride a bike. in a way, i was (am).

I figure it'll take a few weeks to get the hang of this fixed thing. RBR's Wonderdog, who's been riding fixed on a 25-mile commute most workdays for about a year now, says he's still not 100% when things like sudden road hazards, bad drivers, and dogs are interjected. ah, well.

if riding my Merckx is like enjoying a fine work of art, riding fixed is like fully immersed/interactive concept art. now i'm looking forward to more snow. maybe i'm "fixated". :)

thanks MB1!

First commute on the fixie today.dzrider
Mar 12, 2003 10:25 AM
Getting off the bike is easier and easier and using the legs as brakes as well as pistons is becoming second nature. I suppose one day I'll be on the touring bike and try to slow down by back pedalling. I hope my hands are somewhere near the levers when it happens.

I can't wait to teach my son how to ride it. The older guys on his swim team were intrigued which is enough to inspire him. They made him promise not to ride it until after the state meet.
The fear factor dissipates quicklybigrider
Mar 12, 2003 10:51 AM
I did a couple of front wheel stands going about 15mph when I tried real hard NOT to pedal. After that it has been fun only. I ride in an area that does not have a lot of unknowns so I haven't been exposed to panic conditions on the fixed yet and don't know how I would react under pressure. Maybe one day we will all get together and ride fixed. JS, you will have to east coast it.
You bet.look271
Mar 13, 2003 5:42 PM
Let's get his midwestern arse out here on our side of the USA and spin him silly(er) =)
Feels strange to go back and forth between bikes...biknben
Mar 12, 2003 10:54 AM
After a few months, I still forget what type of bike I'm riding. I pull up to lights pedaling ever so slowly on my geared bike. Then I try to stop pedaling the next day on my fixed.

Oh yeah, trying to use the rear brake while signaling a left turn is interesting. I have a lever but no brake. That split second of panic always wakes me up. :-)
agree. weird to 'test' the freewheel after riding fixed. -nmSmogRider
Mar 12, 2003 5:05 PM
we run into the door at the shop all the time.Frank Tuesday
Mar 13, 2003 5:44 AM
A lot of the shop guys ride fixie. Actually there are two camps, the racers and the fixies. Anyway, I can't count the number of times when one of us will hop on a repair bike to take it for a spin, roll up to the door and try to backpedal to slow down. inevitably we hit the door, sometimes pretty hard. The best advice is to just put away your coastie, and do it all fixie.

Picture this ...Humma Hah
Mar 12, 2003 5:53 PM
... you've been singlespeeding for a while (4 1/2 decades) when you get the itch to try fixed. The local velodrome has a class for a wonderfully reasonable price, and provides the loaner bike. You sign up for a "beginner's class."

So they hand you this ancient thing with no brakes, that maybe is roughly your size but could use a couple of hours of adjusting to get you comfortable, and is intended for a racing posture. They tell you to strap your feet solidly to it while leaned up against the outer railing of the front straight of the velodrome, and then have you start out for a few gentle laps around the track to get used to it.

Imagine this is the first time you've ever been on a banked track. Imagine trying to ride a bike across a pitched roof. Its not too bad after about the third time, but the first one you're SURE you're gonna crash.

Your first couple of attempts at slowing down are an eye-opener: it takes as much power to slow down as to speed up!

So they give you about 10 laps at a modest pace, having you speed up and slow down to get used to it. Then the instructor says, "OK, now pick up the pace, like you're doing a TT." Then two laps later, "Now sprint for all you're worth ... stand up, pedal until your stroke get crazy, and sit down and hold the pace."

You stand up, spin the sucker up as fast as your feet will go, and sit, forgetting for about 1 millisecond that this particular bike won't coast. It is an experience you never forget, except for about 3 more milliseconds the next few times you try it. Each time it tries to pitch you to the Moon, and leaves a little mark on the track where the wheel hopped and skidded.

Then imagine, by the end of the night, less than 2 hours after starting, they've got you doing pacelines with the rest of the beginners, as fast as you can go, and yelling at you to get in closer to the bike in front of you.

That's the other way to learn fixed.
sounds like grand funJS Haiku Shop
Mar 13, 2003 6:24 AM
'cept the closest velodrome is 450 miles from home, and ill-kept. :(
Now aren't you sorry you waited so long to fixte your ride?MB1
Mar 13, 2003 10:11 AM
Now you have to get up here for the NSA/OCE fixte century.

Or maybe run one there.
:) :) :) :) :)JS Haiku Shop
Mar 13, 2003 10:25 AM
actually i'd considered asking for your blessing to run a NSA/OCE century here, but there is only one other ss/fixer 'round town (to my knowledge). there are a handlful of SS MTBers, though. we aren't lucky enough to have an equivalent to the towpath or an extended MUT; it would be all road. i've also been searching for adequate gravel, but we'd have to ride 50+ miles out of town just to get there.

I put together routes and cues and announce rides quite often, but unless it's 70*F and sunny, forget about it. then, when it *is* ideal outside, everybody turns around at 25 miles out to get 50 instead of 80-100+. the local "scene" isn't conductive to this type ride--try as i might, it's not getting much better, either.

thanks again, Mark. maybe my enjoyment and enthusiasm will affect others, and i'll eventually have some "singles" join me on rides.
Our NSA/OCE Fixte Century is all on roads.MB1
Mar 13, 2003 11:34 AM
Humma lives in the area and had never been on most of the roads we used until he showed up for one of the first NSA/OCE Fixte Centuries.

Just find a fun route with some shorter options (I offer 50/75/100) and advertise the ride. I have often been amazed at how many riders show up out of nowhere to do the ride. At the very worst Miss M and I get a nice outing and lots of good karma out of putting on the ride.

Pick any name you like or use ours. I liked "NSA/OCE Fixte Century" because it amused Miss M. No copyright on it so feel free to use it.

BTW the Snow Cone option was a big hit the only time we offered it. Every other time we have run the ride it has just been a bit too cold (or wet) for snow cones.
Hey JS--there's another hereSpecialTater
Mar 20, 2003 8:59 AM
I rode with him on the Hightailers' slow ride last Sat. His name is Bill (he's in a pic or two on the site) and kept up very well on the faster 2nd portion through Frasier. Of course my newbie-ness shows in that I can't remember crap about the bike, except it's an older steel.
hmmmm....JS Haiku Shop
Mar 20, 2003 10:45 AM
Bill? hmm...on a mountain bike or road bike?

can you e-me specific link to the pic off the website?