Single Speed or Fixed for a first time Fixer

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Single Speed or Fixed for a first time Fixer

Postby Rusty6149 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:31 am

I'm an experienced cyclist, just about to buy my first fixie.

The bike comes with a flip flop hub, so should I start off with the Single Speed, to get used to the concept and handling of the bike, or jump straight to the fixed gear and learn the hard way from any mistakes I make ? Advice welcome.

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by BNA » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:41 am

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Re: Single Speed or Fixed for a first time Fixer

Postby M@lew » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:41 am

Flipping the wheel is pretty easy, but if you're used to cycling a lot you might as well try the fixed side first.
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Re: Single Speed or Fixed for a first time Fixer

Postby HappyHumber » Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:45 pm

the latter of your suggestions.
Singlespeed is nothing special, really. You achieve the same effect by picking one gear on a multi-speed and not changing out of it.

Just ensure you have brakes. Riding fixed is one thing, proper speed modulation and stopping through your legs takes some muscle adjustment and habit forming.
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Re: Single Speed or Fixed for a first time Fixer

Postby rustychisel » Tue Sep 10, 2013 4:40 pm

fixed. As said, SS is a nothing ventured nothing gained equation. As with any new thing, including a new bike, take it easy at first as you learn the limits for you and the bike.
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Re: Single Speed or Fixed for a first time Fixer

Postby Mulger bill » Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:12 pm

Go Fixed and discover a whole new world of awesome. 8)

Some tips based on my 12months...
Pedal retention of whatever choice is non negotiable.
Leave no clothing items loose anywhere near the drivetrain, ever. An untucked shoelace put me into casualty overnight.
Go slowly at first until you train your legs to keep moving. Attempting to coast can range from embarrassing via uncomfortable to dangerous.

Plenty more good tips no doubt, throw 'em out there lads.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Single Speed or Fixed for a first time Fixer

Postby bychosis » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:31 pm

You said it "experienced cyclist" so go Fixed, if you've got a coastie bike there is no use for the freewheel side. Choose your route, choose your weapon. I've got a fido flop wheel set, and while it is cheap set, the SS side added unnecessary bits that I haven't used.

As above follow the tips, I've come unstuck the same way, but fortunately without damage. Keep your brakes, lock in your feet and strap down your shoelaces (must be the reason hipsters wear skinny jeans, nothing to catch)

The most shock to your system will come from when you go to coast and your feet keep going. If you are using brakes, then slowing down is almost 'normal'
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Re: Single Speed or Fixed for a first time Fixer

Postby Anthony1234 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:52 pm

Ensure that your first ride is somewhere flat!

...or learn very quickly, like I did :)
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Re: Single Speed or Fixed for a first time Fixer

Postby bychosis » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:59 pm

Anthony1234 wrote:Ensure that your first ride is somewhere flat!

...or learn very quickly, like I did :)

QFT. My very first attempt I nearly crashed into the garage down the driveway.
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Re: Single Speed or Fixed for a first time Fixer

Postby miml » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:47 pm

You in VIC? Wanna do some Rides?

Well back on topic. When i first started , i was a bit sceptical about it so i ran SS, but with a FRONT brake.

2 weeks later i took the risk and never look back.

But you have to be very careful riding fixed during busy hours or busy roads.

you cant really stop like having a front and rear brake.
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Single Speed or Fixed for a first time Fixer

Postby singlespeedscott » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:53 pm

Go fixed.

But don't do it like a hipster.

Do it like cyclist. Treat it as a training tool. Learn to spin a small gear 63-69". You want your rides to have an average rpm of 90-100. The idea of a fixed gear is about recovery, building a base and smoothing out your spin. Not monstering a huge gear and being a poser.
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Re: Single Speed or Fixed for a first time Fixer

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:40 pm

rustychisel wrote:fixed. As said, SS is a nothing ventured nothing gained equation. As with any new thing, including a new bike, take it easy at first as you learn the limits for you and the bike.


I wouldn't say NOTHING gained, a single speed is at least a bit simpler than a geared bike, so a little less to go wrong. You can get the same training benefits from a singlespeed with the advantage of not needing to keep up with the pedals on a downhill.
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Re: Single Speed or Fixed for a first time Fixer

Postby Jangari » Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:59 pm

I built up a single speed bike a few years ago, first attempt at bike building. I intended to run it single as opposed to fixed, but in an effort to save money, I used a sprocket and lockring that I had rather than buy a singlespeed freewheel, thinking I'd buy one eventually and throw it on the other side of the hub. I never bothered; got used to riding fixed pretty much immediately (only a few autopilot attempts at freewheeling before I got the hang of it) and completely enjoyed it. I'm also convinced that the power throughput is much higher when you ride fixed (the momentum takes up the slack created by the deadspots in the rotation), so you will find you can take moderate hills at a much higher pace than a singlespeed of the same gear.

Start fixed, and then if you feel you want to spend the money and get a freewheel, by all means.
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Re: Single Speed or Fixed for a first time Fixer

Postby Mugglechops » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:27 pm

singlespeedscott wrote:Go fixed.

But don't do it like a hipster.

Do it like cyclist. Treat it as a training tool. Learn to spin a small gear 63-69". You want your rides to have an average rpm of 90-100. The idea of a fixed gear is about recovery, building a base and smoothing out your spin. Not monstering a huge gear and being a poser.


Great advice. I run 2 brakes on mine and started with a 65in gear and now have a 70in gear because I no longer ride it on any hills.
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Re: Single Speed or Fixed for a first time Fixer

Postby Ozzroo » Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:11 pm

I have been running SS for two years now and would not say it's a waste at all. I run 76 GI ratio and many of my rides
are with geared roadies including hill climbs and to be honest the benefits you can obtain even running SS
it noticeable.
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Re: Single Speed or Fixed for a first time Fixer

Postby alwlim » Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:31 pm

Made to move to fixed some moons back and never regretted it. Because you're constantly pedalling, you get to work on your pedalstroke - commuting with fixed is like a perpetual spin class with a destination. It's a steep learning curve but you get used to the transition really easily. What felt foreign to me at the onset quickly became second nature in less than a week!
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Re: Single Speed or Fixed for a first time Fixer

Postby HappyHumber » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:21 pm

All this sensible talk of fixed gear has got me pining for one again. I see what I can throw together from my bits.
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Re: Single Speed or Fixed for a first time Fixer

Postby penny4215 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:54 am

Hey! I am a newbie to ride bike, I am looking forward to opt for fixed as it is my first time , so shall I go for it or should go for speed. i am a fresh beginner and intend to learn it very well, so please friends suggest me !
Thank you in advance :)
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Re: Single Speed or Fixed for a first time Fixer

Postby Gordonhooker » Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:56 pm

I flipped the wheel on the Avanti Solo this afternoon and intend to take it for a spin in the morning for another try at riding fixed wheel. I have front and back brakes so I am hoping all goes well :shock: :mrgreen:
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Re: Single Speed or Fixed for a first time Fixer

Postby Tank1252 » Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:08 pm

2 weeks ago i bought a fixie to commute to work. I've used it more than i expected as i snapped the top tube on my road bike the next day. I've got drop bars fitted (as well as front & back brake). I'm still on the SS side atm & feel my pedalling is already improving. I keep thinking about switching to the fixed side, but that's as far as i get. Maybe this weekend...
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Re: Single Speed or Fixed for a first time Fixer

Postby singlespeedscott » Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:14 pm

Just make the switch there is nothing to be scared of.
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Re: Single Speed or Fixed for a first time Fixer

Postby Mulger bill » Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:25 pm

singlespeedscott wrote:Just make the switch there is nothing to be scared of.

Once you learn to clip into a constantly moving pedal :wink:
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Re: Single Speed or Fixed for a first time Fixer

Postby Gordonhooker » Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:31 pm

Not sure what that means Bill but I hope it doesn't hurt :)


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Re: Single Speed or Fixed for a first time Fixer

Postby Alien27 » Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:50 pm

I went straight to fixed, love it. Use spd pedals or similar. you need easy cip in and out from both sides of the pedal.

My comute is all up and down so my fitness improved massively and when your flying down the down hill at 140 cadence your pedal stroke smoothes up quick smart.
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Re: Single Speed or Fixed for a first time Fixer

Postby Gordonhooker » Fri Nov 08, 2013 1:05 pm

Day of reckoning has come and gone... I headed off very gingerly at first and then got down onto the riverside bikeway and headed off on the beast. It is amazing how much you realize you do free-wheel once you can't free-wheel anymore. No problem with clear run down the bike way toward Toowong, so I turned around and headed for Gardens Point to see how I went dodging the meandertalls no problem except when you have to stop and take off again.... Had to make a few adjustments as to how I mount and unmount the bike but I will be sticking with this until I become a Legend a like Alien27 :D I still have the Harrier with a free-wheel for those days when I am feeling old, fat and lazy.... :D

PS.... I am working on quick stops just pushing back on the pedals and a front brake so I can ride of the ugly cable that goes from front to back of the beast.... :)
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Re: Single Speed or Fixed for a first time Fixer

Postby singlespeedscott » Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:36 pm

Gordonhooker wrote:Day of reckoning has come and gone... I headed off very gingerly at first and then got down onto the riverside bikeway and headed off on the beast. It is amazing how much you realize you do free-wheel once you can't free-wheel anymore. No problem with clear run down the bike way toward Toowong, so I turned around and headed for Gardens Point to see how I went dodging the meandertalls no problem except when you have to stop and take off again.... Had to make a few adjustments as to how I mount and unmount the bike but I will be sticking with this until I become a Legend a like Alien27 :D I still have the Harrier with a free-wheel for those days when I am feeling old, fat and lazy.... :D

PS.... I am working on quick stops just pushing back on the pedals and a front brake so I can ride of the ugly cable that goes from front to back of the beast.... :)


Good stuff, but don't get rid of your rear brake. It has a purpose. Particularly when feathering your speed on steep descents in the wet.
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