I rode a track bike for almost a full year with a flip flop, I did not ride the fixed gear side. I thought I hated bicycling and just couldn't do it, then I rode this bike I have now and it was like waking from a nightmare.
I know plenty of people (my boyfriend included) who ride only fixed and most with no brakes! Drives me crazy.
Do you have a picture of your old bike?
fixed gear. Nah, I'm too old and lazy... maybe just lazy. Even my '74 Schwinn Sprint single w/ a front canti's is gathering dust. The stretch chopped out Cruiser is the way these days. Oh yeah, I can't forget the Schwinn StingRay I gave my little girl for her birthday. I feel like I'm riding as I run along with my hand on the sissy bar coaching her new found skills.
No offense to all you non-fixed gear riders out there, but anymore the idea of coasting just seems so disconnected from the bike to me. I've ridden and raced a few different bicycles over the years but have come to love my fixed fixed gear the most. For the last three years, it has been nothing but fixie for me...
Not that I do a whole lot of coasting (I have two speeds: full-speed and braking), but the idea of not being able to coast/focus on balance when I'm weaving between two lanes of traffic and dodging side mirrors seems disconnected from the bike to me. I hope to have the wheels for my new bike built within a week, though, so I hope to soon know what you mean. Then I can take apart my old bike and give it the loving care it deserves.
I pretty much ride anything with two wheels. I ride fixed around town, 20-speed on the road (I'm doing STP and a few other distance rides as well as a few of the PIR races this summer), 27 in the dirt, and my next project is getting my cruiser back on the road. BMX cruiser, that is. Twenty-four inches of bomb-proof street cromoly baby.
My main whip right now is a single that I found in the ally behind my friends house. Aint nuthin wrong with a free bike! I'm throwing a new wheel set and hubs on her this week, and painting it dark forest green. THE BUSINESS.
AND,... and, I just found an old frame that looks to be the right size in my garage that will be a fixed (either straight fixed or flip-flop)
I recently built a flip-flop wheel for a bike I've put together and I've been riding it almost exclusively for a couple months now. The first day in the shop I only put the fixie side on it but I've never gotten around to installing a freewheel. I don't see the point. I can handle just about any hill around Seattle (with a 42 cog in front, 15 in back, 700 wheels) while stop and go traffic isn't a problem; I actually feel more balanced on a fixie than a freewheel when cruising through a traffic jam. I regret pouring money into having my flip-flop hub built, so I recommend thinking more than twice before doing the same. But if you're confident in building your own wheel (I almost feel that I am now), it might not be a huge investment.
And, regardless of how many purists are going to have to change their pants when I say this, I suggest putting your just-in-case-brake on the back wheel. It's just so much safer.
Nah, I'll most def have the "oh shit" brake on the new whip, just because the driver's down here in Sacto tend to be pretty brainless, and routinely run through reds (I actually came about 2 feet from being plowed today on my ride home).
The single is riding a 50-17 ratio, but I'll probably go a bit smaller on the fixed.
My greater point was that if you have your "oh shit" brake on the front wheel, you're just as deep in it. What good is it if your front brake stops your bike while you fly over the handlebars into traffic? I just about died that way the other day and if I had any sense (I don't) I would move my brake to the back.
To anyone who's new to the fixie, I also recommend putting little flaps on the bottom of your pedals so that you can get a feel for your crank length without your pedals hitting the ground as you get used to it. You'll be able to hear when those guides hit the pavement so that you don't have to.
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