Why SS/Fixie

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AlexHuggs
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Why SS/Fixie

Postby AlexHuggs » Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:35 am

Hi, I'm wondering what the attraction of a SS and/or Fixie road bike is. I never new this was a thing beyond BMX bikes. Is there a practical benefit or is it one those quirky personal things (which I'm all into, so no offence intended)? Why do you ride a Fixie?

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bychosis
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Re: Why SS/Fixie

Postby bychosis » Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:45 am

I asked similar a while ago here

More conversations here

I like the simplicity, extra workout and clean look of the bike.
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Re: Why SS/Fixie

Postby Gunlock » Wed Aug 26, 2015 8:53 am

For me it's the simplicity.

my SS commuter has led a very tough life without a lot of love and it just keeps on working.
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clint66
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Re: Why SS/Fixie

Postby clint66 » Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:49 pm

It's fun and challenging.

I commute about 50kms a day on my single speed. I live in Perth, so not particularly hilly, maybe 300-400m a day in elevation. But some of the hills are a challenge and so are the flats at times. I think its great fun to be on the cycle path and look behind to see that you are towing 3 or 4 guys with gears.

Generally though, I do think it has build a bit more strength in my legs from doing it. Plus it does teach you to carry a broader range of cadence.

We had organised a few single speed/fixie only group rides at my cycling club. We didnt get huge turn outs, maybe 10-15 each time. But doing a 50km group ride on a SS changes the dynamics of the group ride and does make for a fun ride. We even included the sprint and hill climb points.

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AlexHuggs
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Re: Why SS/Fixie

Postby AlexHuggs » Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:38 pm

I'm in Perth. Slightly shorter commute (when I start - a few medical complications) and less elevation. But I think I'll still start with a geared bike. Not great knees and not fit.

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Re: Why SS/Fixie

Postby dalai47 » Wed Aug 26, 2015 4:04 pm

Simplicity plus running costs... My old fixed gear conversion is given little TLC other than changing the chainring, cog and chain infrequently and cheaply and it just keeps running! Probably could give it its annual clean and lube. :wink:

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Re: Why SS/Fixie

Postby jaseyjase » Wed Aug 26, 2015 4:14 pm

I do miss running a SS to commute on, will try and build another in the coming months.

As mentioned above, simplicity, maintenance, clean look as well as strength/cadence training are all good reasons enough!

Of course having a relatively flat geography helps alot too!

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Re: Why SS/Fixie

Postby Thoglette » Wed Aug 26, 2015 4:23 pm

AlexHuggs wrote:I'm in Perth. Slightly shorter commute (when I start - a few medical complications) and less elevation. But I think I'll still start with a geared bike. Not great knees and not fit.


Good choice - until your knees harden up. Plus commuting is different to "going for a ride" - some days you're full of beans, some days full of flu. Different gear ratios are applicable!


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Re: Why SS/Fixie

Postby nickobec » Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:13 pm

Another Perth commuter, except mine is 80km round trip.

I have a singlespeed in my stable, I use to commute regularly on it. Went from 52/19 to 52/16 over a couple years.

Still ride it, not as often, because I got a little more serious about my training and like to track my TSS ( I have a powertap wheel for my geared bikes)

The Good of single speeds- fun to ride, easy, simple, get you legs working at different cadences, CCR.
The Bad, gearing that works for the ride in, does not work into 30kph+ Freo Doctor on the way home, you get stronger (I did) or catch the train home (did that too). Also gearing for the 32km on the bike path with one intersection, does not work well in the CBD, ie stopped at the lights at Barrack and Wellington and having to climb the Beaufort Street bridge

First commuter, go geared, after a while try a singlespeed or fixed to see if it works for you.

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AlexHuggs
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Re: Why SS/Fixie

Postby AlexHuggs » Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:21 pm

Wow. How long does 80km take you?

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Re: Why SS/Fixie

Postby nickobec » Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:23 pm

AlexHuggs wrote:Wow. How long does 80km take you?

42kms one way, depending on weather, training plan for the day, mood, traffic and bike chosen

Currently anywhere between 1:12 and 1:40

When I first started riding Calista to West Perth
90 minutes to ride, drive or catch a bus.
Took close to 120 minutes on return trip into the headwind, instead of 90 minutes driving or bus,

Which meant for 30 minute investment got 3:30 of aerobic workout.
Last edited by nickobec on Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why SS/Fixie

Postby Cycleops70 » Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:13 am

I'm not a fast road rider, or do any 'training'. But earlier this year I bought a fixie, and I absolutely love it.

It's just good simple cheap fun.
Shame I live at the top of a hill really.

It is hard work, but feels smooth & compelling.

For the first couple of Km I'll forget it's fixed & almost get ejected over the bars, but then it's all good.

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Re: Why SS/Fixie

Postby mitchj » Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:38 pm

I'm new to the fixie world - just got my first one up & running a month or so ago, but I have to agree with all of the above - simple, clean lines, good exercise etc - grass roots cycling really. As soon as you leave home, that's it - up hill, down hill, head wind, stop signs, whatever - no gears, no freewheel - you have to deal with it. Love it!

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Re: Why SS/Fixie

Postby clint66 » Tue Sep 01, 2015 6:18 pm

Yeh stopping at the lights on a hill is a bit of a challenge to get going again.

Plus depending on your frame (horizontal/semi vertical) dropouts, changing gear ratios is a little difficult. Mine is an old steel frame with semi vertical drop outs. I just don't have quite enough adjustment on some ratios. I have been contemplating running a chain tensioner, but I don't like the look of them. I just run it with an overly slack chain. I get a lot of comments about my chain being loose, but it has never come off.

Also trap for young players.... an 8 speed chain is different to a single speed chain.

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Re: Why SS/Fixie

Postby Mulger bill » Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:44 pm

mitchj wrote:I'm new to the fixie world - just got my first one up & running a month or so ago, but I have to agree with all of the above - simple, clean lines, good exercise etc - grass roots cycling really. As soon as you leave home, that's it - up hill, down hill, head wind, stop signs, whatever - no gears, no freewheel - you have to deal with it. Love it!


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AlexHuggs
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Re: Why SS/Fixie

Postby AlexHuggs » Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:33 pm

I do like the clean lines of a SS. But I think I'll opt for an internally geared hub. Of course I may invoke N+1 on the wifee.

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Re: Why SS/Fixie

Postby Ant_S » Fri Sep 04, 2015 12:53 pm

I started riding SS about a year ago as I bought one cheap from Reid and a mate was starting to ride SS. Then I bought a couple of retro 80s / 90s roadies for fun but when I rode them I found myself using like 2-3 gears at most and really just pushing myself anyway..

I guess I found I was just used to SS and happy to stick it out. Worst is the wind really, if there is a strong headwind it gets a bit annoying. Otherwise it's all good. I reckon if you get used to gears you'll probably miss them, whereas the other way around you won't

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Re: Why SS/Fixie

Postby Gordonhooker » Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:53 am

AlexHuggs wrote:Hi, I'm wondering what the attraction of a SS and/or Fixie road bike is. I never new this was a thing beyond BMX bikes. Is there a practical benefit or is it one those quirky personal things (which I'm all into, so no offence intended)? Why do you ride a Fixie?


Simple answer for me is - it is a fun and no fuss way to enjoy cycling.... :D
OI onya bike!!!

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Re: Why SS/Fixie

Postby Nate » Fri Sep 11, 2015 9:23 am

low maintenance...
that chunky Single Speed chain is golden & lasts a lifetime compared to a 10/11 speed chain. lube it whenever.
Add some disc brakes & its the perfect commuter.

feels more relaxed when you ride, you get rollin & up to speed whenever... just cruising along.

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Re: Why SS/Fixie

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Fri Sep 11, 2015 10:37 am

Did my first commutes on a fixie this week (lots of track racing experience, though). My legs are shagged. It has taken all week to get the pedal/braking techniques sorted, but the ride in to work today was wonderfully smooth. I'm racing track tonight and I'll be dropping my gearing down on the track bike because a week of 67 gear inch accelerating and 20km rides isn't going to pay off at 94 gear inches.

Why fixie? Initially for shots and giggles. I persisted for a good workout. I'll keep doing it because it's fun. And when I feel tired, I can just switch it to SS and ride that.

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Re: Why SS/Fixie

Postby Nobody » Fri Sep 11, 2015 11:02 am

One argument for geared is if you have knee/joint problems and are exposed to head winds for long periods of your ride, then the lower than usual cadence while seated of SS is likely to become problematic and tiresome. Although I spend most of my time in one gear (including some standing climbs) I'm happy to carry the other ratios for windy days.

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Re: Why SS/Fixie

Postby Thoglette » Fri Sep 11, 2015 12:09 pm

Nobody wrote:One argument for geared is ..


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Re: Why SS/Fixie

Postby elfoam » Sat Nov 07, 2015 11:37 pm

Ive started converting my steel road frames which are too big for me with drop bars into single speeds with flat bars, Ive finished one, cost almost nothing and weighs 10.3kg. Cruising past other old blokes in lycra on carbon bikes with my Kermit the frog replica in a fancy shirt is gold!. Pretty much my favorite bike as of now. Deceptively fast while being so relaxed to ride.

I actually have a 7kg sram force carbon bike myself that I never ride. Like as in its done maybe 500km. Never enjoyed riding it.

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Re: Why SS/Fixie

Postby HappyHumber » Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:06 am

- Kym
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Re: Why SS/Fixie

Postby europa » Sat Nov 28, 2015 1:14 am

I honestly do not understand this question. I rode fixed once and fell in love. Since then, it's been my ride of choice unless I've got a need for gears ie, stupid hills and not even then because the 24 inch gear (two feet, geddit?) works very well thank you very much. However, geared bikes have their place, SS have their place and fixed gear have their place. Cripes, even plastic bikes with stupid riding positions and a thousand gears have a place. Where they fit depends on your own personal psychosis and so any attempt to rationalise choice is just daft because you're comparing insanity with idiocy.

When I go to the bike wall, all else being equal, I choose my Hillbrick (fixed) over my beloved Europa (now geared). You're welcome to choose something else.
I had a good bike ... so I fixed it

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