I know people fly over handlebars, but I have to agree with the above article regarding why. Most endo action occurs not from braking too hard or too fast, but from braking with loose arms. Or rather, "by braking hard without using the rider's arms to brace against the deceleration."
But I'm not much of one to talk about where the "oh shit" brake goes on a fixed gear because I didn't have one. Not because I don't believe in them, but because I live in a relatively small college town with negligible traffic and enjoy the sleek look of a naked handlebar. Of course, I've had my fair share of close calls but nothing too damaging (the damage always come from riding skinny tires on patches of ice in the winter months).
Sadly though, since my previous post in this thread regarding being fixie all the way, I finally had to neuter my bike (or rather it's been un-fixed). 3+ years of riding fixed gear has taken a small toll on my knees and I'd rather not risk doing anymore damage than has already been done. It was a difficult decision but I now ride singlespeed. It's only been a few weeks and at first I hated it. I couldn't stand the extra junk on my handlebar or the darn ratcheting clicks of the freewheel hub. But then I realized how easy it is to coast sometimes. I had forgotten how descents could be relaxing as opposed to a wrenching of my legs and knees.
I'm settling into this new/old form of riding once again. I will always have a place in my heart for my fixed gear bicycles. But given the choice between my knees or fixies, I realized singlespeeds really aren't that bad...
Wow, that article makes so much sense! It makes me feel a bit less sensitive about using my front brake occasionally when riding down hills worn smooth by traffic. I've already been working on keeping my weight back when braking, anyway.
Sincere consolations on having to change bikes involuntarily. I'm glad you're enjoying those downhills.
wow, branden, i'm so damn glad you shared that article. for the past week or two i've been practicing using the brake on my fixie and, as i result, i had the skill to safely brake as rapidly as possible this morning when two cars pulled out in front of me at the same time from opposite directions. i still got clipped by the first and t-boned the other, but it would have been so much worse if i had tried to skid to a stop.
i sure wish i could still tamp level, though. the right side of my body is trashed, which makes tamping, dosing and locking/unlocking portafilters an excruciating hell.
I don't quite understand the appeal of a fixie. Some say it makes you feel more connected to the road, like you are piece of the bicycle, "If you want air conditioning, pedal faster!" . . . in any event, gears on a bicycle just make sense. It makes it smoother, a little easier, and hell, I'd say faster. If you want to be connected to the road, get off the fixie and walk . . . can't get much closer than that. I don't mean for it to sound like I'm hating on the fixie riders because what I do get is riding a fixie is tough. No coasting, constant pedaling, serious f*ing leg workout. In that regards, you have my respect . . . but like the poster earlier said, "Why does it seem to bring out the douchebag in people? We're all in this together."
Think about it this way . . . I like to work on a LM, pid'd and all, with a C-Flat tamp . . . someone else prefers a Synesso with a European Curved tamp. We have different styles, different 'spros, but it's the love of it all that is the reason we're here. So, rock your fixie, I'll rock my twelve speed, and CJ can rock her cruiser. We'll all get to where we're going. But last one there buys the first round.
Ok so this discussion may be a little old but being a big fan and rider of a fix gear, I find it a blast to ride fixed and so do these guys http://fixedgeargallery.com/ over 8,000 can't be to off base. After riding most of the last year primarily fixed, I jumped on my mtn. bike and it was a bit of a disconected feeling. I feel more in control of my speed and stopping does get easier.
I have a single speed and a cruiser (project bike), Honestly, I bought the single to change to a fixed, but found that single just worked better for what I use it for.
The cruiser needs a lot of work. It was a neglected one that I found in a shed. I will most likely use it more, once it's road worthy (more for style than anything else).
Dudes. I definitely have a hard time believing that there's a person out there who wouldn't like to coast downhill. Braking on a fixie scares the living daylights out of me, and it really doesn't seem sensible to pit your knees against however many descents you'll have for the rest of your life. I think fixies look rad, but that's kind of where it ends for me. You can achieve a very similar aesthetic with a single speed and save your knees. That's my take. I know there are all sorts of people who ride fixed, but the people who are doing it as a fashion statement really ruin it for everyone else. It just is an obvious disconnect from a bike being a useful transportation tool. Sometimes I think fixies are the kitted out Hondas of the bike world. A cheap product enhanced entirely for image, not practicality.
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