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jrenaut
05-29-2012, 09:03 AM
I have never ridden a fixed gear bike. I've somehow got it in my head that I'd like to. Because my commute is so short relative to nearly all of you, and because it goes through the city and the associated stop lights, and because it's very difficult for me to find time to go for long weekend rides, I think I've plateaued in terms for biking for fitness. So I'm thinking that commuting on a fixed gear would change that.

Never mind that I have no idea where I would put it (I couldn't replace my road bike with a fixed gear because there's no way I could pull the kids in the trailer up 19th Street on a fixie) or any of those other things.

What's great about fixed gears? What sucks? I know we have a lot of people on the forum who ride them and I'm really curious to hear all sides (without starting a flame war).

americancyclo
05-29-2012, 09:17 AM
More importantly, who has one in/around 60cm that I can try to ride!?

Dirt
05-29-2012, 09:29 AM
As someone who has put 4000+ miles on a fixie this year, I guess that makes me the poster child for these things.

They're fun to ride! I got back to riding fixie to get a bit more of a workout with my 15 mile commute. I had so much fun with it that I really don't ride my other bikes that often.

I've seen lots of different incarnations of fixies. I've got 4 different incarnations: 1) Surly steamroller as a beater with fenders. I can ride it in virtually any weather; 2) Surly Troll with a rack up front for panniers if I need to haul stuff; 3) Big Pink is my bike for long rides... though I've been using it for commuting lately too; and 4) Mountain bike which is really fun on trails, in the mountains and around town.

Many talk about how they're easier to care for. Many use them as an expression of style. I guess I do that too... with Big Pink at least. There certainly is a fixie culture in DC. I don't do so much with that... except that I photograph, observe and comment.

If I were starting on a fixie for the first time, I might try something with flat bars. You don't need to cut them down super narrow... maybe a little more narrow than a mountain bike since you may not need the width for honking up steep hills. All of my fixies are drop bars except for the mountain bike. I basically set them up like road bikes... same saddle height, bar height and width.

I hope that helps a little.

Pete

baiskeli
05-29-2012, 09:31 AM
What specifically makes a bike with no gears fun? I don't get it.

Dirt
05-29-2012, 09:31 AM
More importantly, who has one in/around 60cm that I can try to ride!?
Mine are probably a little tall for you, sir. I just found out that the seatpost and frame on Big Pink have become one. I don't really want to take any measures to extract it until the end of the month since that is the bike that I'm using for Total200. Everything is right on the bike at the moment, I don't want to mess it up. I could probably set up the troll as something you can mess around with.

Dirt
05-29-2012, 09:49 AM
What specifically makes a bike with no gears fun? I don't get it.
Great question. I have absolutely no answer for you in general terms. I can list some of the reasons I love it.

I like that I'm much more in touch with the terrain that I'm riding. Hills take a little more planning and technique.. both going up them and down them. I like the simplicity. I enjoy the challenge.

I like that many, if not most fixie riders have put their bikes together themselves. For some, that is a matter of necessity... the bike gets put together from parts cast-off or left over from other bikes. For others it is a matter of building a bike that does exactly what you want it to be... functionally, personality-wise or both. I guess that's as close to the fixie culture as I really get.

Ultimately YOU are the one that needs to decide if it is fun for you or not. It really isn't for everyone. Test ride one. Borrow one. If you're bold and have the ability, build one.

jrenaut
05-29-2012, 10:02 AM
I would like to build one eventually, though at the moment I'm not sure I'm entirely capable. Though I suppose it's the gears that are really the hard part to set up, right?

ShawnoftheDread
05-29-2012, 10:04 AM
I think Dirt should set up a "play with a fixie" day for all us wannabes to give it a whirl. We could each take a lap or two around Haines Point after work. Payment would be a pack/container of his favorite beverage.

jrenaut
05-29-2012, 10:06 AM
I think Dirt should set up a "play with a fixie" day for all us wannabes to give it a whirl. We could each take a lap or two around Haines Point after work. Payment would be a pack/container of his favorite beverage.
We'd each have to grow a foot taller.

jabberwocky
05-29-2012, 10:11 AM
I did the fixie thing when my commute was down the W&OD into Tysons. It made the daily slog down the W&OD more entertaining and added some variety. I still ride mine occasionally but not nearly as often.

I have two fixies for anyone who wants to try them. One is actually in Dirts basement at the moment. Both are midget sized.

baiskeli
05-29-2012, 10:25 AM
Great question. I have absolutely no answer for you in general terms. I can list some of the reasons I love it.

I like that I'm much more in touch with the terrain that I'm riding. Hills take a little more planning and technique.. both going up them and down them. I like the simplicity. I enjoy the challenge.

I like that many, if not most fixie riders have put their bikes together themselves. For some, that is a matter of necessity... the bike gets put together from parts cast-off or left over from other bikes. For others it is a matter of building a bike that does exactly what you want it to be... functionally, personality-wise or both. I guess that's as close to the fixie culture as I really get.

Ultimately YOU are the one that needs to decide if it is fun for you or not. It really isn't for everyone. Test ride one. Borrow one. If you're bold and have the ability, build one.

Thanks! First rational answer to that question. Of course, it's the first time I've asked.

baiskeli
05-29-2012, 10:26 AM
I think Dirt should set up a "play with a fixie" day for all us wannabes to give it a whirl. We could each take a lap or two around Haines Point after work. Payment would be a pack/container of his favorite beverage.

You could simply not shift on your current bike, I presume.

Dirt
05-29-2012, 10:33 AM
We'd each have to grow a foot taller.
Sorry. It would be a lot easier if I were human-sized. :D


Thanks! First rational answer to that question. Of course, it's the first time I've asked.
I'm rarely accused of being rational, so this is a unique honor for me. :D Thanks!

The only other thing that puts it in perspective for me as to why fixies are fun is to think in other terms: Why is golf fun? Tennis? Yoga? Hot dog eating contests? The answer to those completely depends on the individual. :D The answers to all of the above may be "They're not fun."

Rock on, y'all!

jabberwocky
05-29-2012, 10:36 AM
Just to repeat, I have two fixies that I'd be happy to loan to any shorter folks who wanna try one. The first is a 50cm Milwaukee Orange one, the other is a 52cm Lotus Legend. Good for folks in the 5'4" to 5'8" range.

DismalScientist
05-29-2012, 10:48 AM
You could simply not shift on your current bike, I presume.

You need to have the cassette sufficiently rusted to the hub so you can't coast.

bikesnick
05-29-2012, 10:52 AM
You could simply not shift on your current bike, I presume.

yes, that is exactly what i did before getting my fixed gear. i rode in a gear that was equivalent to the bike i bought. true, i could coast, but i wanted to see if riding in that gear was doable.


I like that I'm much more in touch with the terrain that I'm riding. Hills take a little more planning and technique.. both going up them and down them. I like the simplicity. I enjoy the challenge.
i totally agree!
my bike has a flip-flop hub - one side is fixed, other side is standard freehub for single speed. i have only used the fixed.
i am 6'2", if anyone wants to try the bike, we can arrange a place/time.

Dirt
05-29-2012, 10:55 AM
You could simply not shift on your current bike, I presume.
That can give you the feeling of a single speed for sure. I've ridden with people on mountain bikes who did that to get the feeling of it. It is still different though. With a true single speed, the mindset is a little different in that you couldn't shift if you wanted to. You're either gonna honk up that hill or walk it.

The is no way to replicate a fixie on a geared bike. You can say to yourself, "I will not coast, I will not coast" and you still will coast.... even for a split second. You can't use your legs to slow your momentum. It won't get close to the feeling of a fixie.

baiskeli
05-29-2012, 10:58 AM
Sorry. It would be a lot easier if I were human-sized. :D


I'm rarely accused of being rational, so this is a unique honor for me. :D Thanks!

The only other thing that puts it in perspective for me as to why fixies are fun is to think in other terms: Why is golf fun? Tennis? Yoga? Hot dog eating contests? The answer to those completely depends on the individual. :D The answers to all of the above may be "They're not fun."

Rock on, y'all!

Golf would be fun if it involved eating lots of hot dogs.

baiskeli
05-29-2012, 10:59 AM
That can give you the feeling of a single speed for sure. I've ridden with people on mountain bikes who did that to get the feeling of it. It is still different though. With a true single speed, the mindset is a little different in that you couldn't shift if you wanted to. You're either gonna honk up that hill or walk it.

The is no way to replicate a fixie on a geared bike. You can say to yourself, "I will not coast, I will not coast" and you still will coast.... even for a split second. You can't use your legs to slow your momentum. It won't get close to the feeling of a fixie.

That's true, you've still got the freewheel/hub. Didn't think of that.

jrenaut
05-29-2012, 11:02 AM
yes, that is exactly what i did before getting my fixed gear. i rode in a gear that was equivalent to the bike i bought. true, i could coast, but i wanted to see if riding in that gear was doable.
So I have a 30/42/52 up front, and an SRAM PG 850 12X26 8-speed cassette. If I want to try a day without shifting, about where should I be for a typical fixed gear setup? Or does such a thing not exist?

And Bikesnick, I'm just shy of 6', so I might take you up on that sometime.

baiskeli
05-29-2012, 11:03 AM
You need to have the cassette sufficiently rusted to the hub so you can't coast.

I'm working on that.

Dirt
05-29-2012, 11:05 AM
The down side...

There are things to think about when you do get to riding a fixie... There is a learning curve. The bike will remind you that you cannot coast. Mild cases are no big deal. It feels like someone bumps you from behind and you wobble for a moment. Moderate cases will feel like someone hits you in the back and throws you forward on the bike... You still have control of the bike, but it definitely shakes you a bit. In the worst cases... if you're moving fast or under big power and you forget that you cannot coast, it throws you off the bike.

When I introduce someone to riding fixie, I always suggest they ride somewhere flat and mellow for the first 20 miles. That is usually all that it takes to get the feel for it.

I've been riding so long that it feels very odd when I get back on a geared bike where I can coast. It takes me a few hours to get used to being able to coast. When I get back on the fixie, it is like hanging out with an old friend. It is easy and mellow and I feel right at home.

Emergency stops are interesting. You can stop very well on a fixie if your front brake is good. It sometimes takes a little longer to stop, so it is good to have a little more space to stop. I generally don't hit the same top speeds on a fixie that I do on a geared bike. In 35+ years of riding fixies, I've never had a time when the fixie had anything to do with me not being able to stop in time. Basically times when I couldn't avoid something that happened in front of me, I would have hit what-ever it was if I'd been on a geared bike.

Like with anything you pick up, start easy and expand what you do as you gain confidence and skill.

Dirt
05-29-2012, 11:12 AM
So I have a 30/42/52 up front, and an SRAM PG 850 12X26 8-speed cassette.
Again, you'll be simulating a single speed.

Your gearing depends on your terrain and your fitness level. It evolves and changes over time. I generally start people with 44x16 or 44x17. In your set-up, John, that would be 42x15 or 42x16 respectively. As you get confidence and strength, the gearing will get taller. I rode 46x16 in this area for a long time and was really happy with it. Keep in mind that these gear ratios are all for bikes with 700x23 or 25 tires.

I'm currently running 48x16 everywhere. For my riding style, where I'm riding and my fitness level, that gives me the best balance of ability to climb reasonably well and still keep up with the pedals on the downhills.

Dirt
05-29-2012, 11:14 AM
You need to have the cassette sufficiently rusted to the hub so you can't coast.
I think you're actually joking here, but I will talk to this since we're in a question/answer type thread. :D

That actually doesn't work. If you've ever had a sticky freehub. you'll know that the chain keeps rolling and the derailleur wraps around the hub and gets pulled into the spokes... usually breaking the frame.

jrenaut
05-29-2012, 11:18 AM
Again, you'll be simulating a single speed.

Your gearing depends on your terrain and your fitness level. It evolves and changes over time. I generally start people with 44x16 or 44x17. In your set-up, John, that would be 42x15 or 42x16 respectively. As you get confidence and strength, the gearing will get taller. I rode 46x16 in this area for a long time and was really happy with it. Keep in mind that these gear ratios are all for bikes with 700x23 or 25 tires.

I'm currently running 48x16 everywhere. For my riding style, where I'm riding and my fitness level, that gives me the best balance of ability to climb reasonably well and still keep up with the pedals on the downhills.
Right, but I can simulate a single-speed for no money and on a bike that fits me, so that's a good start.

The bike is downstairs in the garage so I can't check, but will the 15 or 16 be marked on the cassette? Or is there a standard size for gears 1, 2, 3 etc on a 12X26?

Dirt
05-29-2012, 11:21 AM
Right, but I can simulate a single-speed for no money and on a bike that fits me, so that's a good start.

The bike is downstairs in the garage so I can't check, but will the 15 or 16 be marked on the cassette? Or is there a standard size for gears 1, 2, 3 etc on a 12X26?
It is a very good start. You might have to count teeth to figure out which gear. It likely won't have both on an 8-speed cog set.

OneEighth
05-29-2012, 11:33 AM
1. 48x16 and 46x15 are decent for this area. If you want to compare the feel to your geared bike, a cadence of 80 will get you roughly 19 mph in a 48x16. 95 will get you 22 mph or so.
2. I find that riding a fixie is a lot like walking. Think about what you are doing the next time you are walking on a crowded sidewalk during lunch---you constantly adjust your pace based on what is going on around you. It's the same approach on the fixie...you're just moving faster.

vvill
05-29-2012, 11:36 AM
Interesting... I like the walking analogy.

I've always liked the idea of a fixie too, esp for the clean/minimalist/efficient aesthetic (which is part of riding a bike really) but I have bad knees and having to (help) brake with my legs or go downhill at a very high cadence scares me a bit. I don't have very strong leg muscles either so I think I'd have to go something like 44/18 or even lower. Also there's lots of hills around me so that's intimidating as well.



That can give you the feeling of a single speed for sure. I've ridden with people on mountain bikes who did that to get the feeling of it. It is still different though. With a true single speed, the mindset is a little different in that you couldn't shift if you wanted to. You're either gonna honk up that hill or walk it.

Yeah I tried to "single speed" a couple times on my MTB last year and always ended up shifting halfway up the Custis/Rosslyn hill. It's hard to get past the mentality of having shifters/a cassette.


Just to repeat, I have two fixies that I'd be happy to loan to any shorter folks who wanna try one. The first is a 50cm Milwaukee Orange one, the other is a 52cm Lotus Legend. Good for folks in the 5'4" to 5'8" range.

I might take you up on this one day. I think I could fit on the 52cm. I'm 5'9" but have shortish legs for my height.

jrenaut
05-29-2012, 11:39 AM
Maybe we just need to have a "try everyone's bike" day at Hains Point sometime.

OneEighth
05-29-2012, 11:41 AM
Maybe we just need to have a "try everyone's bike" day at Hains Point sometime.
Pedal/cleat compatability.

vvill
05-29-2012, 11:51 AM
Maybe B.Y.O.P.?

americancyclo
05-29-2012, 12:28 PM
Maybe B.Y.O.P.?
Pedal Wrench party?

I think the willingness to share and let others try bikes on this forum is fantastic. possibly some day I will take advantage of that. It could be easier if this is organized for those with the bikes to let others know what type of cleat to have installed on their shoes.

Dirt
05-29-2012, 12:32 PM
Pedal Wrench party?
That could be fun. As a side note, I dated a pedal wench in high school. It wasn't that fun. ;)

RESTONTODC
05-29-2012, 01:16 PM
I joined group ride over the weekend and it’s funny that I found its little irritating when everyone was coasting downhill on a clear open road. I was thinking what is wrong with these people?

Dirt
05-29-2012, 01:28 PM
I joined group ride over the weekend and itís funny that I found its little irritating when everyone was coasting downhill on a clear open road. I was thinking what is wrong with these people?
That brings up a good point. I do notice that riding with people on geared bikes is a little different when I'm on a fixie. My pacing is generally off a bit. I tend to climb a little faster and descend a little slower. Very rarely has it ever been an issue. There was one group ride about a month ago where we were pace-lining and I finished my pull toward the top of the hill. That shelled me off the back just enough that I couldn't call up to let people know that we'd missed a turn. I chased on like crazy, but didn't catch them until the bottom. Seems to me vvill, americancyclo and Skreaminquadz were the ones hammering down that hill. They were good sports about climbing back up again. :D

SpokeGrenadeSR
05-29-2012, 10:14 PM
i've got a fixed gear at 58.5cm st and 57.5 tt that i can bring to this party if it ever happens.
im 6'1"

KLizotte
05-29-2012, 10:31 PM
Where are all the short people on this forum?!? Arghhhhhhhhh

jabberwocky
05-29-2012, 10:46 PM
Where are all the short people on this forum?!? Arghhhhhhhhh*raises hand*. How short are you?

KLizotte
05-29-2012, 10:47 PM
5' 2.25"

I had a growth spurt at the age of 21(!). I'm still waiting for another one.

Tim Kelley
05-30-2012, 08:31 AM
Someone propose a location and some dates for this Fixie-stravaganza and let's make it a forum happy hour/meetup!

ShawnoftheDread
05-30-2012, 08:44 AM
Ain't no party like a fixie party, 'cause a fixie party can't stop (pedaling).

jabberwocky
05-30-2012, 08:58 AM
5' 2.25"

I had a growth spurt at the age of 21(!). I'm still waiting for another one.My milwaukee fixie would fit you fine. I'm 5-6" and its a bit small for me.

dcv
05-30-2012, 11:16 AM
Someone propose a location and some dates for this Fixie-stravaganza and let's make it a forum happy hour/meetup!

41st Street

edit: i have a few 55cm - 56cm FG bikes with eggbeaters / look pedals if anyone wants to try

Dirt
05-30-2012, 12:12 PM
41st Street
I rode it last Thursday on my fixie. I kept saying "I don't have the legs for this" as I rode up it.

As for scheduling it... My calendar is beyond insane at the moment. We could maybe figure out a happy hour thing.

OneEighth
05-30-2012, 06:44 PM
Just in case...
I wouldn't recommend riding a single speed with a freewheel---you completely miss out on the control and feeling you get from adjusting your speed with every pedal stroke. Because you are still reliant on your brakes, you will end up riding the same way you do on a geared bike but without the benefit of the gears. Waste of time in my opinion unless you are just going for a look or ease of cleaning/maintenance.
On a related note, if anyone 5'10"-ish comes away from this thread with hankerin' to build up a fixie of their own, I've got a 56cm Langster comp frame with two forks(x2) and a tubular wheelset that needs a new home.

jrenaut
05-30-2012, 07:33 PM
Just in case...
I wouldn't recommend riding a single speed with a freewheel---you completely miss out on the control and feeling you get from adjusting your speed with every pedal stroke. Because you are still reliant on your brakes, you will end up riding the same way you do on a geared bike but without the benefit of the gears. Waste of time in my opinion unless you are just going for a look or ease of cleaning/maintenance.
On a related note, if anyone 5'10"-ish comes away from this thread with hankerin' to build up a fixie of their own, I've got a 56cm Langster comp frame with two forks(x2) and a tubular wheelset that needs a new home.
I'm just shy of 6' and would love to build a fixie, but your frame would have to come with someone who can convince my wife (a lawyer who thrives in oral argument) that I need a second bike.

Your description of riding a fixie as being like walking is really appealing to me - that sounds like something I would really get into.

Dirt
05-30-2012, 07:36 PM
I'm just shy of 6' and would love to build a fixie, but your frame would have to come with someone who can convince my wife (a lawyer who thrives in oral argument) that I need a second bike.

Your description of riding a fixie as being like walking is really appealing to me - that sounds like something I would really get into.
OneEighth makes it an art form too. I'm gangly and awkward... definitely not that smooth on the bike. He redefines smooth.

OneEighth
05-30-2012, 07:42 PM
Having two bikes is a really good idea for several reasons. Should you have a mechanical issue with one, then you've still got another bike with which to get to work. And, if your second bike is entirely unlike your first bike (say a fixie, or a cx bike or...a different color?) it helps you avoid the injuries that sometimes come from not varying your workout routines. Keeps things fresh, too, which is very important for deriving the maximum amount of positive mental energy from your ride (which you are sure to bring home and share with the family). Something along those lines.

OneEighth
05-30-2012, 07:45 PM
OneEighth makes it an art form too. I'm gangly and awkward... definitely not that smooth on the bike. He redefines smooth.
Speaking of smooth---this from the guy who talked me into agreeing to ride 200 miles on a fixie.

DismalScientist
05-30-2012, 08:17 PM
Having two bikes is a really good idea for several reasons. Should you have a mechanical issue with one, then you've still got another bike with which to get to work. And, if your second bike is entirely unlike your first bike (say a fixie, or a cx bike or...a different color?) it helps you avoid the injuries that sometimes come from not varying your workout routines. Keeps things fresh, too, which is very important for deriving the maximum amount of positive mental energy from your ride (which you are sure to bring home and share with the family). Something along those lines.

Having six bikes are even better. My wife would be winning the argument if she could get me down to two.

vvill
05-30-2012, 08:48 PM
jrenaut - Considering you use your existing bike for every kind of riding you do, including commuting and utility/kids-in-trailer hauling, I think you're easily justified!

I have my standard road bike which is for group/faster rides, etc. I recently got a folding bike to use both in place of the road bike for commuting (esp. on rainy days - I keep the fenders on) and as a travel/town bike. My road bike is out of action for a while right now so I'm actually really glad I bought the folding bike. (I do also have two cheap older bikes as spare spares... :D but neither are all that great for riding more than a few miles on.)

jrenaut
05-30-2012, 08:52 PM
Having two bikes is a really good idea for several reasons. Should you have a mechanical issue with one, then you've still got another bike with which to get to work. And, if your second bike is entirely unlike your first bike (say a fixie, or a cx bike or...a different color?) it helps you avoid the injuries that sometimes come from not varying your workout routines. Keeps things fresh, too, which is very important for deriving the maximum amount of positive mental energy from your ride (which you are sure to bring home and share with the family). Something along those lines.
I don't NEED the bike to commute - the Metro is just as quick if less enjoyable. The injury angle might work - my knee has been a bit funny for a while now and I've avoided a doctor . . .

The biggest problem is space. You've all seen my bike hanging from the ceiling? 1200 sq foot condo and two kids. No outdoor storage. I had to make all sorts of promises just to get the first bike in the house.

jrenaut
05-30-2012, 08:53 PM
jrenaut - Considering you use your existing bike for every kind of riding you do, including commuting and utility/kids-in-trailer hauling, I think you're easily justified!
It's true that my bike is not entirely well-suited for all the things I use it for. Though a fixie wouldn't really be better for hauling kids . . .

eminva
05-30-2012, 09:54 PM
Just in case...
I wouldn't recommend riding a single speed with a freewheel---you completely miss out on the control and feeling you get from adjusting your speed with every pedal stroke. Because you are still reliant on your brakes, you will end up riding the same way you do on a geared bike but without the benefit of the gears. Waste of time in my opinion unless you are just going for a look or ease of cleaning/maintenance.

Okay, you just broke my 74-year-old mother's heart. That is the only kind of bike she has ever ridden. And yes, she is still riding . . .

:)

Liz

OneEighth
05-31-2012, 04:34 AM
Okay, you just broke my 74-year-old mother's heart. That is the only kind of bike she has ever ridden. And yes, she is still riding . . .

:)

Liz

That's fantastic!

Dirt
05-31-2012, 07:12 AM
Speaking of smooth---this from the guy who talked me into agreeing to ride 200 miles on a fixie.
There's a fine line between smooth and diabolical. :D Muahahahahaha

DaveK
05-31-2012, 09:24 AM
I don't NEED the bike to commute - the Metro is just as quick if less enjoyable. The injury angle might work - my knee has been a bit funny for a while now and I've avoided a doctor . . .

The biggest problem is space. You've all seen my bike hanging from the ceiling? 1200 sq foot condo and two kids. No outdoor storage. I had to make all sorts of promises just to get the first bike in the house.

900 sq ft apartment, 4 bikes, one giant dog. It can be done. :)

GuyContinental
05-31-2012, 01:20 PM
Just in case...
I wouldn't recommend riding a single speed with a freewheel---you completely miss out on the control and feeling you get from adjusting your speed with every pedal stroke. Because you are still reliant on your brakes, you will end up riding the same way you do on a geared bike but without the benefit of the gears. Waste of time in my opinion unless you are just going for a look or ease of cleaning/maintenance.


Looks like I get to be the sole SS freewheel defender...

As a C1 paddler (that's a whitewater kayak paddled like a canoe) and telemarker I respect the "other <harder> way" appeal but I dislike fixies. Even after a few hundred miles I thought I was going to rip my knees off and the whole not being able to stop thing wigged me out. It's superficial but I also get a bit annoyed with the faux San Fran hipster scene that goes along with it (brake-less Bianchi Pistas with stupid narrow chest constricting messenger bars).

I think that it's important to note that fixed vs SS are basically different sports. In my experience you get the tactical challenges of climbing and speed conservation from SS and add the "one with bike" thang with fixie. I ride SS MTB exclusively and love love love the simplicity, the silence, the added challenge and required attention to detail. I describe it as riding like a joyful little kid on a BMX. I set my wife up with a SS MTB and her skills went through the roof- all of a sudden it was commit or walk and hating to walk, she committed and became a much better rider.

I've been considering setting up a SS CX bike for my commute specifically because it forces you into a interval mode on climbs and just makes life a little more interesting. Sure I'll miss out on some of the zen thing but it's unfair to say that it won't be a challenge and add to my ride or that it won't make me more intimate with my bike. You keep your fixie, I'll chase up the hill like the crazed hamster that I am; we'll both be happy.

Dirt
05-31-2012, 01:28 PM
I don't think he OneEighth was saying one is better than the other... I think he was just saying that the experience is very different and one will not give you the feel of the other. That was my take on it, at least.

Part of the key to riding fixie or SS is finding the right gearing. The manifestation of having the wrong gearing is different in both, but the bottom line is the same... You don't enjoy the ride.

I ride enough hills that riding a fixie without an adequate brake would have killed me decades ago. A good friend rides with both brakes on his fixie. He's more comfy that way. Another good friend rides an MTB fixie with disc brakes front and rear. He loves it.

Ultimately ride what is fun and what you enjoy. If riding SF Hipster style is your thing, COOL! The chest-constrictingly narrow handlebars make me giggle too.

Rock and roll!

OneEighth
06-04-2012, 11:56 AM
Conducted a bit of a scavenger hunt in the garage Sunday morning and ended up putting together a complete fixie for a friend. His very first time ever on a fixed gear. The smile on his face was priceless.