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And really, what is the big fuss over fixie's(10 posts)

And really, what is the big fuss over fixie'sKristin
Feb 22, 2003 9:22 AM
Why do you guys like fixed gear bikes? I am looking into it strickly from a cost/ease of installation stand point. And the fact that I won't need any/many gears on my commuter. There's only 2 hills on the way to work.
Feb 22, 2003 9:38 AM
the cost and ease of maintenace are 2 pretty good reasons. even more so for a daily commuter. its also a lighter weight, simpler more efficient ride. if its an older bike your setting up its a no brainer to me. youll shed a good bit of weight taking off the old heavy bits, more so if you lose the brake(s), and the bike will look cleaner and simpler when your done. youll eventually develop a better pedal stroke, youll become a better climber and most importantly you can be condescending and aloof to those who ride geared bikes.
The delightful discovery that they work GREAT ...Humma Hah
Feb 22, 2003 10:19 AM
... and that you really DON'T need 30 gears and all that clattering complexity to have fun on a bicycle.

Instead of worrying about what gear you are in, you just ride. Instead of thinking the hill is too steep and excaping to your granny ring, you just slow down a little and pedal harder.

Every now and then you discover that the fixie is actually FASTER than a geared bike in some circumstances. All the really high cycling speed records were set on purpose-built fixed-gear bikes or singlespeeds. They do wonderful things to develop leg muscles, fast spin, and power.

You're experiencing cycling at a very fundamental level that your great-great-grandfather may have done. Fixed-gear is simply awash in tradition, cycling's true roots, and what attracted folks to it in droves in the 1890's.
Elegant simplicity...biknben
Feb 22, 2003 1:25 PM
I'm tired of the expense, filth, and time required for maintenance. I currently have three bikes. I've got a crit racer, a full-suspension XC racer, and a 15yo fixed gear conversion. I built up the fixed gear just months ago. It has been so refressing to just get on the bike and go. Don't need to check stuff, adjust stuff, lube stuff, etc. I pump the tires once a week and just go. It doesn't make any noise. There's no mystery creak. I can just ride again. Ahhh, That's better.
Isn't there an element of self-flagellation going on...The Walrus
Feb 22, 2003 6:07 PM
...with fixies? Seems to me elegant simplicity doesn't preclude brakes, or freewheels for that matter, and that power can be developed even if you coast from time to time. After seeing Doug Sloan's tasty Pista do-over I got the itch for a single-speed Bianchi of my own, but twisted as I am, I'm still not strange enough to forego the freewheel--or two brakes.
then you won't get it.desmo
Feb 22, 2003 9:52 PM
the "flywheel" effect of the fixed gear is responsible for the elation of the ride, and the feeling of "oneness" with the bike. you will not understand until you have ridden one. a single speed freewheel bike is just a road bike with one gear, and in my opinion a why bother (except for a grocery getter or coffee shop bike). as far as brakes, a road going fixie needs at least one, but this has no bearing on what fixed gear riding is all about.
Just Try It - you won't be able to explain it either :)Ray Sachs
Feb 23, 2003 5:06 AM
It's one of those things that most people really dig but nobody can adequately explain why. Like your first Grateful Dead show, the first time you had really great sex, the first time you're playing your musical instrument and it starts to just FLOW. Can't really describe it well, but you KNOW. When you try to explain it, the only thing that really gets the point across is the sort of wild grin on your face and strange glint in your eyes. It'll scare off some of the less adventurous sorts, but the others will want to try it and see for themselves.

It's also cheap and simple - only maintenance is pumping up the tires and occasionally lube the chain. Go with a front brake - you won't need it much, but it only takes one time to make it worth having. The thrill of riding in urban traffic when you can just perfectly modulate your speed with your legs and nothing else, the instant accelleration, the improvements to you power and spin - all of these things just happen.

Every now and then I read of someone who tried it and didn't like it. But at least 90% of the folks who have tried it seem to love it. My $150 fixie is often my favorite bike.

-Ray "yet another totally inadequate explanation" Sachs
Feb 23, 2003 8:58 AM
Check out the "off the back" article in the last edition of Velonews. It is humorous but also describes the fixation with fixies (sorry!). It is simple, elegant,great excercise and it WILL make you stronger (or dead =)! )
got it for fitness, keep it for funDougSloan
Feb 23, 2003 9:12 AM
I like it. The simplicity is really nice. You just ride. Nothing to mess with. You push hard up the hills and from stops, then spin you butt off down hill or in tailwinds. You don't get "lazy" and choose really easy gears. No throwing chains, no missed shifts, no derailleur adjustments -- just pump tires and ride.

It's probably ideal for commuting, particularly in flat areas. No worries.

It has absolutely helped in getting my cadence up. I was an 80-85 rpm guy, and now I'm more comfortable at 100-105, and can sustain 130 and even higher no problem.

Finally, you get to learn the secret club handshake...

Slightly overratedStampertje
Feb 24, 2003 5:02 AM
but only slightly! Riding fixed is a blast but a lot of the fun and advantages can be had with a single speed freewheel, too. For commuting through traffic, I certainly like my brakes and not getting launched when I try to coast. But on a ride out in the country, especially in smooth slightly rolling terrain (try the area West of the river, north of I-88) fixed is the best. So, get a flip-flop hub.