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My first fixed gear ride(4 posts)

My first fixed gear rideLone Gunman
Jul 18, 2002 3:54 PM
I picked up my sprockets today, mounted them on the new hub, cut the chain to correct length got all set up for the first shakedown ride. Took the bike to a newly paved parking lot driveway at the local high school. I had put on the platform pedals, brought the clipandstraps just in case I was feeling brave.

I started off okay and after about the first 10 pedal strokes I needed to make a turn and unconsciously stopped pedaling and was almost launched into the bars. You WILL lose that habit in a hurry on a fixed. Took a few laps around the school, testing out what I could and could not get away with while trying to use leg brakes. I discovered that I like using the hand and legs together to stop, seemed to be the most efficient and natural feeling for me. Did a few more laps and decided to put the clips and straps on. Kinda tough getting the foot into one pedal, will have to work on the proficiency of that move. I thought that I may have chosen too high a gear for the rig; a 43Tx16&17. Not so, felt okay, time will tell when I am on the bike longer. Other than a loose headset and a mild hum from the new brake pads all went well. This is defininetly a nice change of pace trainer.

I have read/heard that the time to use the freewheel is when you are tired and don't feel like constant pedaling. What about group riding? Wouldn't paceline type riding be the time to use the free as well? I ask because I plan on riding with a group tomorrow night and do not want to kill self or others cause I could not control the chromie. Comments?
Congrat's on a successful first ride! nmDave Hickey
Jul 19, 2002 2:46 AM
re: My first fixed gear rideGTDave
Jul 19, 2002 8:17 AM
Cool, I too found the getting-into-the-second-toeclip business pretty tricky too. After riding the fixed for a while, a freewheel bike feels a bit like cheating, particularly downhill. There will be times when you ALMOST forget and try to coast, but the bike will remind you.

I have not ridden the fixed in a group yet, but I have ridden with others on fixies in a pace line, but they were real experienced. If I were you, I would probably hold off on the fixie pacelining until I was a little more comfortable with the bike.

Fixed gear on platforms ... THAT's brave!Humma Hah
Jul 19, 2002 2:34 PM
I adore platform pedals for singlespeed, but on a fixed, if your feet ever come off the pedals at any significant speed, they're a bitch to get back on.

My intro to fixed was a track class at a velodrome. They gave us a couple of laps to get used to the effect, then immediately had us start some sprints. Yow! Learned some lessons really FAST!

Turns out I have a singlespeed habit: I stand to sprint, but when I sit down I have a tendency to stop pedaling for an instant. At 20+ mph, the bike will attempt to launch you to the moon, and probably hop the rear wheel.

Hauling the speed down quickly without brakes was also an eye-opener. All the power you used to store that kinetic energy? Well, you gotta expend it again to stop, using muscles you ain't developed yet.

We practiced pacelining with the track bikes -- that is a main skill in track. Trackies paceline CLOSE, and it really takes some concentration to hold your bike within inches of the bike ahead with no brakes to modulate the speed. It can be done with practice, but be prepared - keeping your desired distance is a new skill on a fixed.