The point of a fixie...

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The point of a fixie...

Postby tommygunn » Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:06 pm

This may be a suicide mission, especially to ask this on a site dedicated to fixed gear bikes, but I live and ride in Brisbane and am seeing heaps and a growing number of fixies around the place...

Now - I don't want to offend people - in fact I'm asking a genuine question - why would people in brisbane want a fixie? it's one of the hilliest cities i've ridden in try riding up the hills of paddington, red hill, spring hill, etc...on a fixie...i can understand a fixie in flat places like new york, or even melbourne...but brisbane?

i suppose that it means less moving parts etc., but to me it seems a whole lot of expense for not much benefit (that is the new wave of ready-made fixies bike shops seem to be selling these days...).

The reason i'm asking is i ride an old steel/cromolly frame bike that i've got working again (a repco superlight, commute to work 23 kms each way) and several other riders are telling me to convert it to a fixie...i like gears...and i think they're practical for brisbane...

I know the phrase "Unto each their own", but is fixie a fad or does it actually really improve your riding that much? (i've heard it teaches riders about cadence, smoother power, etc...)

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by BNA » Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:17 pm

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Re: The point of a fixie...

Postby rustychisel » Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:17 pm

have you been to NYC or Melbourne?
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Re: The point of a fixie...

Postby tommygunn » Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:29 pm

yeah been to both and they both seem much flatter than brisbane...i've walked all over NYC's upper west side down through to the the bottom where you get the ferry over to the statue of liberty, and up again through central park...seems a bit more of a sensible choice of ride somewhere like that...not sure about having a fixie in brisbane though.

melbourne also seems reasonably flat - though saying that i've only really walked around from the city centre to fitzroy north and carlton, and took trams out to st kilda...seems you can access of lot of parts of melbourne without scaling steep hills like we have in bris...
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Re: The point of a fixie...

Postby brauluver » Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:33 pm

Image

Question is.....Do you have the Balls to post this Q on fixed.org http://www.fixed.org.au/forums/forum.php

You'd create a threadlock record for trolling I'd say :wink:

tommygunn wrote:I know the phrase "Unto each their own", but is fixie a fad or does it actually really improve your riding that much? (i've heard it teaches riders about cadence, smoother power, etc...)

Peace and Cheers.


Probably a valid argument from days of old, but i don't think most of the fashion driven kids on their colour co ordinated ponies race road in summer ,or have even been to, let alone ridden on a Track.
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Re: The point of a fixie...

Postby tomns » Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:52 pm

They are just so much fun - you are always in the right gear

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Re: The point of a fixie...

Postby singlespeedscott » Sun Aug 01, 2010 8:43 pm

I ride a fix in the Brissie area, 200 - 300 km a week (commuting and training) and I don't think it's that bad. Most of the hills are rolling, it's no like your riding the Alps, 30 sec out of the saddle and your over.
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Re: The point of a fixie...

Postby mikesbytes » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:50 pm

Hi tommygunn,

If you are happy with your current bike, then there is no need to understand alternatives.

Fixie riders love the way their bikes ride. The only way to truly understand this is to ride one for a couple of weeks.
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Re: The point of a fixie...

Postby Mulger bill » Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:24 pm

Where's the kaboom? There's supposed to be an earth shattering kaboom...

I tested one today. :D (More on that later)

I'd guess it's the 100% organic flavour of truly being a part of the machine
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Re: The point of a fixie...

Postby jaseyjase » Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:28 pm

mikesbytes wrote:The only way to truly understand this is to ride one for a couple of weeks.


game over.

ps. dont forget a front brake.
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Re: The point of a fixie...

Postby Crawf » Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:20 pm

Those that ride fixed allot, can you pull up faster on a freewheel or fixed - both with brakes?

I only ask because when I tried my bike on fixed it scared the sh*t out of me, I felt that I'd never be able to ride at the same speed as what I would on the freewheel with all the 'hazards' of my London commute.
...or maybe my bike skillz are just crap :oops:
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Re: The point of a fixie...

Postby aaron » Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:12 am

I ride a fixed gear bike in Brisbane for 2 or more years now. I commute 60kms per day.
Brisbane is not hilly and as mentioned before if you do have a hill it's nothing to cry about. You just ride up it!
The reason I ride fixed is purely because it's a simpler drive shaft. Very little maintenance and nothing much to go wrong.

As mentioned earlier you have to have a go at it for a few weeks to understand the appeal.
Is it a fad? Yes and no.
Currently it's in a fad peak but if you remember there have always been fixed gear bikes so I think there are here to stay.
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Re: The point of a fixie...

Postby rkelsen » Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:26 am

Mulger bill wrote:I tested one today. :D (More on that later)

Details! We need details MB! 8)

To answer the OP: There was a really dumb kid in my year 8 class (twenty-something years ago... :( ) who once said something so deep and meaningful that it has stuck with me as one of the few things I remember from that year. He said, "don't knock it until you've tried it."
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Re: The point of a fixie...

Postby yehuda » Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:15 pm

rkelsen wrote:
Mulger bill wrote:I tested one today. :D (More on that later)

Details! We need details MB! 8)

To answer the OP: There was a really dumb kid in my year 8 class (twenty-something years ago... :( ) who once said something so deep and meaningful that it has stuck with me as one of the few things I remember from that year. He said, "don't knock it until you've tried it."
It's as easy to ride a fixed gear as a freewheel if you have had enough practice. Mulger Bill, you didn't test this bike in BSC on Elizabeth st did you?
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Re: The point of a fixie...

Postby Mulger bill » Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:44 pm

rkelsen wrote:
Mulger bill wrote:I tested one today. :D (More on that later)

Details! We need details MB! 8)



A snippet to keep you interested.... :wink:

Reid cycles Harrier, $380 with a very nice TIGged CrMo frame. I'll be putting something more together when I have more time to write rather than scribble.
If I didn't have me project happening I'd have put money down on the spot.
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Re: The point of a fixie...

Postby m@ » Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:46 pm

Mulger bill wrote:
rkelsen wrote:
Mulger bill wrote:I tested one today. :D (More on that later)

Details! We need details MB! 8)



A snippet to keep you interested.... :wink:

Reid cycles Harrier, $380 with a very nice TIGged CrMo frame. I'll be putting something more together when I have more time to write rather than scribble.
If I didn't have me project happening I'd have put money down on the spot.

Take it to this thread you spammer! :lol:
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Re: The point of a fixie...

Postby Mulger bill » Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:02 pm

m@ wrote:Take it to this thread you spammer! :lol:


It's because of that thread that I decided to front up and get the whole story. I'm now convinced of Reids legitness.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: The point of a fixie...

Postby petie » Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:15 pm

Go the superlite!!!! I also commute on my fixed up superlite.

I have a fixed gear bike. I ride it for fun every now and then, but used to commute on it. Hills are no problem, you get used to it.

As for why there are so many, fad. How many are ridden? I see more fixies getting pushed than ridden. Lots of single speeds around though and i think thats just for simplicity. As for less maintenance i'm not sure i agree. Once a geared bike is adjusted correctly and running smoothly there are no issues, maybe a service every couple of months? Fixed you constantly have to check chain tension and wheel alignment in my experience. Either that or just ride with the chain slapping everywhere?
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Re: The point of a fixie...

Postby hartleymartin » Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:16 pm

I found riding fixie surprisingly easy. I did this in Canberra, but in 76 gear inches (a gear that I would struggle with on a freewheel bicycle to get moving) I think hills wouldn't be as hard as some people make it out to be. The pedalling action felt smooth and surprisingly natural.
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Re: The point of a fixie...

Postby tommygunn » Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:38 am

interesting to hear that people commute 30kms each way on fixies...maybe my hills are too much for me...(is a 6% gradient too weak to complain about??? :oops: maybe i'm just too weak to push it up those hills (think nursery road if you're in brisbane, parts of logan road, and hills on the bikeway next to the se freeway near gaza road exit...)

i will give one a try...but i don't think i'll be converting my superlight to a fixie...i need my gears!
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Re: The point of a fixie...

Postby backofthebunch » Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:47 pm

i like my single speed. i have ridden fixed, but the problem i have is a couple steep down hills in my area that are too hard fixed.

i like SS for simplicity, i dont like things going wrong on my bike, i just wanna ride it! i raced BMX as a kid also, so its kinda a natural progression.

and it looks cool... i like the cleaner look of the bike.
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Re: The point of a fixie...

Postby aaron » Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:08 pm

tommygunn wrote:maybe i'm just too weak to push it up those hills (think nursery road if you're in brisbane, parts of logan road, and hills on the bikeway next to the se freeway near gaza road exit...)


Mate I used to ride from Holland Park to Chermside fixed everyday but now I live in Coorparoo. I know the hills (questionable) that you are talking about. Riding fixed probably helps you climb hills. I hate climbing +++ but I just knuckle down and do it. I'm not a hero and am not talking myself up but when you ride fixed you have no choice, you just have to climb it and you cannot 'coast' or think about changing to a different gear.
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Re: The point of a fixie...

Postby il padrone » Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:47 pm

tommygunn wrote:interesting to hear that people commute 30kms each way on fixies...maybe my hills are too much for me...(is a 6% gradient too weak to complain about???

Don't know about commuting..... or fixed :oops:

But a while back I did a ride with some friends who do a bit of Audax riding. So we set off one sunny day to ride 190 kms through the South Gippsland valleys and hills. They had 3x9 geared road bikes and I rode my single speed (slack I know, with a freewheel). The first section was fairly flat riding but I soon had to stop to make some adjustments - I have a double freewheel and I had to change from the 73" gear to the 65" gear, because I was leaving my buddies behind!! Later, for most of the ride, we got into hillier country, and I still found that, on the SS, I would stand up to push up the climbs, while my buddies changed down the gears and went slower. All the way through this ride I was stopping at hill tops to wait for the others, cruising fast and free on the descents, and I arrived at the end, after 190 kms, just as fresh as my companions.

So don't be afriad of the hills. The beauty of a single speed is the simplicity and light weight, honking up a few hills out of the saddle is no real trouble. 6% will be fine, especially if it's only 2-3 kms. Mind though, if you need to carry a load of gear, the fixie will lose it's appeal.
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Re: The point of a fixie...

Postby aaron » Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:48 pm

il padrone wrote: Mind though, if you need to carry a load of gear, the fixie will lose it's appeal.



Why?
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Re: The point of a fixie...

Postby aaron » Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:50 pm

Your 'buddies' sound soft (with all due respect)
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Re: The point of a fixie...

Postby damhooligan » Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:09 pm

mikesbytes wrote:Hi tommygunn,

If you are happy with your current bike, then there is no need to understand alternatives.

Fixie riders love the way their bikes ride. The only way to truly understand this is to ride one for a couple of weeks.



I dissagree with that.
I have no intention of riding fixed, but i am interested to know why people do.
It is interesting to see why, and knowing this helps me understand why they ride them so much.
O.k. this doesn't change my interest levels of riding fixed, but stil interesting.

Just for argument sake, because i am happy with my current bike, (carbon-road) does this mean according to your logic i am not 'allowed' to understand ;
unicycles /tandems/recumbrents/downhill bikes/MTB's/titanium frames/touring/trikes/ and other type of bikes ???

Just wondering.....
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