why fixed?

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  • why fixed?
  • meeeee
    Member

    not a troll, a genuine question!

    i was on the way to work this morning and got there were a couple of fixed wheel riders in front, i thought nothing of it until they descended a reasonably steep hill and as i watched their legs going round at a comical speed i started wondering what the point / advantage of it is. I can understand using a single speed but whats better about riding fixed?

    uplink
    Member

    it’s a fashion/niche thing – they’ll grow out of it

    aP
    Member

    Develops souplesse and leg speed, also good for wet riding as you have better control.

    Unless you’re riding in your sister’s jeans at which point you’re only doing it because someone else has told you that a mate of their’s has told them that its mildly fashionable.

    bigeyedbeans
    Member

    more smiles per mile?

    zaskar
    Member

    Develops fecked knees too.

    thomthumb
    Member

    i originally tried it as seemed something different (to what i already had) and i had recently put gears on my SS. and it made a good beater. i was surprised by how efficient it felt.

    now i just see it as another bike. full suss, ss, road bike, fixed. I think it is a nice balnce i have in the shed. Dont like it off road (cross set up) but i’d like to try a fixed mtb.

    thomthumb
    Member

    zaskar – Member

    Develops fecked knees too.

    why so? genuine question

    ski
    Member

    Try it.

    Its one of those bike marmite things, you will either love it or hate it ๐Ÿ˜‰

    bigeyedbeans
    Member

    wot ski said

    meeeee
    Member

    i have tried it (well at the velodrome a few times but not on the road), but couldnt really see any advantage of using it on a commuter bike, especially as its pretty hilly round here. Unless these guys do a lot of track riding as well and like riding fixed all the time or something.

    soobalias
    Member

    two reasons:
    1. winter fitness for roadies
    2. fashion

    anything else is just as well covered by a SS

    ive read just as much pro/con for the knee thing – IMO its no worse than any other cycling. knee pain has much more to do with saddle height, seat post angle, crank length, riding style. Fixid/SS stops you from sitting and mashing pedals.

    MrSmith
    Member

    Easier way of modulating speed in traffic that speeds up and slows down often.
    Better in the wet (engine braking on the rear wheel, no locking up)
    Fitness, more of a workout on shorter rides (they say 2hrs fixed is worth 3 geared)
    Souplesse and cadence,riding fixed will improve your geared riding. pro road racers spin at 80-100rpm when just cruising whereas nodders on hybrids thrash around and mash gears on the bike (sweeping generalisation)
    the best bit about riding fixed is the annoyance, consternation and opinions it generates from those who don’t ride fixed.

    it’s not ‘a zen experience’ or particularly difficult. people just spread those rumours to make themselves look good/hardcore/different* to those that don’t ride fixed.
    *delete as appropriate

    geetee1972
    Member

    What AP said – it teaches you to pedal: cadence, rhythm, smoothness of power etc. You don’t have gears so if go faster, you have no choice but to pedal faster so you also get fitter because you can’t slack off.

    Premier Icon Richie_B
    Subscriber

    The true reason for riding fixed is the anticipation of the day when you see the panic in the face of the deviant who’s just nicked your bike as he turns round to sneer at your pursuit and realises that trying to free wheel isn’t a healthy idea ๐Ÿ˜€

    alpin
    Member

    found it was a good way to scare the shit out of the near-father-in-law when he had a go….

    see a clip once where some fella had left a bike outside a store. only the bike was a fixed bmx with a lose stem. cue funnies when some kid tried to steal it…

    aP
    Member

    I rode a fixed in town for 7 years, bunnyhopping potholes was pretty disturbing as was catching a kerb at the wrong moment. 66″ fixed, front and rear brakes, full guards and a Rolls saddle – fixed doesn’t get more sensible than that.
    First time I rode out into Surrey I rode down Combe Bottom, up Shere hill then over Holmbury before going back up Combe Bottom and back in via Hungry Hill cafe (where I was very hungry)

    richpips
    Member

    Develops fecked knees too.

    Rubbish.

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    a couple of fixed wheel riders in front

    Were they on penny farthings?

    Fixed wheel = pedal axle is the wheel’s axle

    Fixed gear = like the track bikes and converted racers you see the asymetric haircut kids riding/old school roadies who, in spite of being 75, will kick your ar*e all day long*

    *delete as applicable

    colande
    Member

    apparently if you ride in traffic it’ll make you a better smoother rider,
    as you’ll concentrate on the road more, and thus able to read the road better

    dunno if that’s true! but that’s what one cycling instructor said when justifying riding fixed.

    juan
    Member

    The knee thing is just rubbish.
    Problem with knees is using to big gearing. To be honest most entry level, recreational bikes should be sold without a big ring.

    MrSmith
    Member

    when justifying riding fixed.

    you don’t really have to justify any kind of riding.
    paying ยฃ65 to go round and round a muddy field in the dark is a pointless exercise as is going up and down hills when you can go round them on a flatter route but if it’s what you want to do then so be it.
    ๐Ÿ™‚

    zaskar
    Member

    I guess its like running-some will knacker their knees easily while the 96 yr old still does the London marathon and smokes etc.

    I do SS but use an easy ratio of 18-36 off road.

    If you’re fit and have no history of knee probs-go for it but use an easy ratio to start and build up to it.

    thomthumb
    Member

    zaskar 2:1 ain’t that easy really.

    aP
    Member

    There’s a reason that the classic fixed gear is 66″.
    18/36 – that is easy ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    Premier Icon BigJohn
    Subscriber

    I commute every day on a fixie. I’m so old and fat that it can’t be a fashion thing.

    It just feels the right thing to do, its nice & easy, no pressure on the knees – even on the Monday morning after a 3 day weekend in the lakes.

    I guess its the trackstanding at junctions that makes it worthwhile.

    Premier Icon BigJohn
    Subscriber

    I ride 36:15 on 27″ wheels with slick narrow tyres, and its even fun over Cannock Chase – although the mudguards rattle and things fall out of the pannier on some of the bigger drop-offs.

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    18/36 – that is easy

    I had my ar*e kicked by someone on the early season chaingangs who was riding 66″ fixed….

    Premier Icon eddie11
    Subscriber

    good question and having ridden fixed a bit I still don’t know the answer.

    i picked up a cheap fixed wheel to stick on an old racer to dip my toe in the water and was deeply underwhelmed. Its like singlespeed really. Like someone further up said, no zen experience, just single speed but perhaps slightly easier to get over the deadspot at the top of the cranks when going up a hill. Oh and possibly the odd lovely brief moment when you see something up ahead, say red light, and instead of reaching for the brake you just pedal slower and drift to a halt.

    Track racing looks fun, but i think despite rather than because its fixed.

    aP
    Member

    18/36 is something around 15″ ๐Ÿ˜›

    I’ve ridden with boys on regular bikes with 66″ and its only on the fast big ring stuff that it goes wrong.

    @ourmaninthe north – I think what the yanks call ‘fixed gear’ has traditionally been called ‘fixed wheel’ in these fair isles. Sturmey used to make a variable-gear hub without a freewheel, so ‘fixed wheel’ (as opposed to ‘free wheel’) but not ‘fixed gear’.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    you can’t slack off.

    Course you can. It just means when you do, the bike makes your legs keep going round.

    I don’t buy the ‘more control in the wet’ idea. What exactly can you do on a fixie that you can’t do with brakes?

    When riding fixed, it’s very difficult to stand up to adjust your shorts or something… Or to get some blood flowing into your knob when the crappy hired track bike you are on cuts off the flow.

    aP
    Member

    Re – riding in the wet, the number of people I know that skid like kids in the wet because they can’t modulate their road brakes – with fixed you really reduce that, and also because you can also ease off and gradually slow the bike down (as you look ahead, not like an Atherton) you get more control.
    …and as far as adjusting yourself, its called practice ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Dibbs
    Member

    I’ve tried it once on my Genesis Flyer, scared the sh1t out of me! I’m not sure if I’m brave/stupid enough to try again.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    I tried fixed on my Solitude and like it, but not for riding in traffic. While I’ve been using my MTBs for riding to work, I’ve been in freewheel mose, but the arrival of a new bike for commuting (have I ever mentioned that?) soon means that I’ll be able to go back to fixed on my Solitude.

    aP
    Member

    Fixed is good in traffic, it makes you time your run into a junction so that you never quite stop and then you can sprint out of the lights before the cars get going. Wandsworth one-way system was always good in rush hour traffic, and Hyde Park Corner as well. Actually Old Street roundabout and Shepherds Bush roundabout are both fun.

    MrSmith
    Member

    “I don’t buy the ‘more control in the wet’ idea. What exactly can you do on a fixie that you can’t do with brakes?”

    you know those landrovers with the hill descent button? the ones where it goes in a super low gear and take your feet off the pedals and let the engine do the braking? it’s similar to that, how can you lock a wheel if it’s still being turned round by you? with a freewheel a touch of the brakes can stop the wheel and start it skidding. that’s not going to happen if you are still turning the wheels (or slowing them down with your legs).

    Goz
    Member

    When I first rode fixed wheel back in the 70’s, it was all my dad could afford + it was a traditional set up for winter riding….gears in the summer months only!
    I spent the first two years of club riding on a fixed wheel (66″), this included a winter weekend in the Breacons, crossing the roman road/ gap route in a blizzard, all done with a carradice saddle bag + plus 4’s!….
    The way people bang on about fixed , you would think its something new….

    MrSmith
    Member

    i was told it was invented by london couriers and then appropriated by hipsters/students.
    ๐Ÿ™‚

    thumbie
    Member

    I’m with aP & the other sensible folk on this.

    I do love the reaction fixed gets from folks – sure there are a lot of people exploring it at the moment, & there are some shockingly awful fixies about that are trying to be ‘oh so cool’, but I love the variety it brings to cycling. In fact, a quick blast for an hour on one of my fixed wheel bikes really feels like a good workout.

    stumpy01
    Member

    When I used to do Spinn classes, the first thing we were told to NEVER do was try to slow the flywheel once it was moving, as it is fixed and you MUST always stay pedalling. If you needed to stop quickly, we were told to pull up the resistance knob which acted as a brake.
    I always assumed that braking on a fixie, must be a similar sensation? I know your back wheel doesn’t have the same weight/inertia as a large solid flywheel, but the Spinn bike isn’t moving so you are only slowing the flywheel, not the whole bike.

    I have always assumed that a fixie would put extra strain on your knees. I should perhaps try one, one day.

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