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I fixed it!(4 posts)

I fixed it!SS_Billy
Aug 30, 2001 6:52 AM
I replaced my freewheel on my road bike with a fixed gear (42x15). Yesterday was my first ride on the recent conversion and it was tough, yet fun.

A few things I learned:
Stopping is a pain in the @SS, hence, traffic sucks!
Getting clipped back in after stopping is difficult.
Going fast (35mph+) isn't easy.
Climbing steep hills isn't easy.
I don't think I need the rear brake anymore.
No resting while moving, this is good.
Taking fast corners is a little scary.
If I go down, it is really gonna hurt!
Riding one handed is more difficult.
Getting the water bottle from its cage while riding isn't easy.
My average speed jumped from 18.5 mph to 19.4 mph on my local 30 mile loop.

One concern is my crank length. If you have suggestions, please help. I am running 175mm cranks on a 54cm frame, At 66", I have a 33" inseam, should I go with 170mm or even 165mm cranks? The length feels right until I get going really fast or when taking a tight corner. Should I give my legs more time to get used to going at such a fast cadence?
Has anyone got any advice as far as technique on a fixed is concerned?
Oh, yeah!Humma Hah
Aug 30, 2001 7:14 AM
I well remember my intro to fixed gear on a velodrome. We were expected to go for speed after a remarkably few laps. I'd been a singlespeeder for 42 years, but fixed was an eye-opener.

We all started out using toe-clips, the system trackies prefer. They double-strap themselves in to be SURE they stay that way. Everyone else in the class quickly switched to their own favorite clipless pedals, but I don't even own a set, so stayed with clips.

Going fast was not all that hard for me. However, the first time I tried to slow down (no brakes at all on the track bikes), I was flabbergasted at how much force that mutha kicked back into the pedals. This happened when we ran a reverse-paceline, where the last rider sprints to the the front, then drops in to the lead.

My inseam is slightly longer than yours, about 34". I used 170 mm for years, have tried 175 and rejected it as possibly responsible for an IT band injury, and noticably less efficient, for me, at least. I also have a set of 160 mm cranks (used off-road for better ground clearance), and I absolutely adore them -- they work much better than I expected.

Don't be afraid to experiment with short cranks, particularly if you can do so at low cost (like, maybe, borrowing some from a junk bin). You may like them.
Some thoughts on crank lengthAlex-in-Evanston
Aug 30, 2001 9:08 AM
If you were starting from scratch, I'd suggest a short crank arm for a fixie, but since you've already got one, and you're 6'6, I don't think the 175 will kill you if you. Just stay aware and try not to lean deeply into corners.

If you can't already, this is a great opportunity to learn to trackstand. Then you'll understand why fixies are BETTER in traffic than gearies.


That is 66"=5'6"...thanks for the input guys...nmSS_Billy
Aug 30, 2001 3:29 PM