Fixed gear riders

I know there are at least 3 of us here who ride fixed. So here's a thread to discuss everything about the best form of cycling in existence.

Me first. I've got my skids pretty dialled in now but it burns through tyres, trashed a Conti GP last night. It had a torn sidewall so that was the intention, but now I need a decent, hard-wearing tyre. What are the brakeless amongst us riding? I've just put some Marathon Plus's on there, hoping they last a good while but they're heavy so might find something lighter until the bad weather comes (Ok, technically it's here anyway). Thinking about Durano Plus, Thickslick and Panaracer RiBMo. Any thoughts?
 
I hadn't seen this. I know there are more than 3. Some of the Oz contingent ride or have ridden.

I haven'tburned through tires in years. I think it's rough grade and a death stop (turning semi, but you can slide under). Conti chilis work well enough on NY and London pavement that you can slide w/o tear.

The first you list could be the same; not sure which you mean for the others. Do you have your weight away from both tires and suspended above the frame when you skid?
 
My weight is up and away from the tyres most of the time on the flat/commuting, but I do a lot of riding in the hilly areas around me so I sometimes have to move it backwards a bit to get a bit more braking power going downhill. The tarmac around here can be pretty terrible too, basically rocks held together with glue and loads of nice, sharp edges to catch thin rubber on. Maybe I just need to work on technique more?

It's very possible that it was just bad luck and I caught something now I've properly inspected the tyre. It seems to be more ripped than worn around the edges. I've also done a few rides on the Marathon Plus and purposefully skidded when it wasn't needed and they're hardly even showing signs of wear.

Spoke to a mate who used to race RH and he told me to go with a RiBMo out back and leave the GP on up front so going to try that then stick the Marathons back on when the weather gets bad.

I have one fixed wheel bike and it gets used for commuting, training, sportive-type riding, club runs, alleycats etc. so I'm looking for a do-it-all set up. I gave my spare wheels away to a refugee charity because a) I wanted to donate something but b) they were a different rim with and at the time I was using brakes. I might consider getting a second set of beaters I can use for commuting if something pops up second-hand.

do you ride totally brakeless or do you have one fitted "just in case"?
 
I'm probably very much in the minority but I always ran front and rear brakes on my last fixed wheel. When people legitimately try to kill you, you're going to want as much control over the bike as possible. As for tyres, I used Continental 4 Seasons.

I'm only truly comfortable riding brakeless on the track, but maybe if I lived somewhere more regional I may change my mind.
 
@ KB, I also only have the one fixed for everything. I gave up the road bike as it felt indulgent( and inpractical) to have more bikes stuffed into a Manhattan apt. The first fixed I built ( some Fuji beater) had a front brake. And a guy on the cycling team in grad school sold me a De Bernardi with a front; I passed that on to friend eventually.

Most of my recent fixed's havent even been drilled for brakes. My current one is and I toy with the idea as I get older.

@ hat, lots of fixed riders are more responsible and skilled than the average recreational cyclist or bro on an expensive. Brakes/no brakes are not part of that equation. It's how you ride and your awareness of your surroundings.


@42, I definitely ride more conservatively now and the reports from Aus make it sound like the 80s in the US with people yelling "my wise and beautiful friend" and throwing things out of trucks at you
 
@ aphro I do have a geared bike, it gets used mainly on dry days for very hilly runs but I prefer riding my fixed. I go through phases of wanting to sell the geared bike and to have two fixed gears, one for commuting, shopping, general weekend stuff etc. and one for proper riding but then I ride with gears on a really long hilly run and remember how fun it can be.

A mate of mine has just added a front brake and he's happy he did. A lot of our riding takes in some steep (but fairly short) climbs and descents and he says he feels much more confident carrying some speed.
 
Re:

42x16ss said:
I'm probably very much in the minority but I always ran front and rear brakes on my last fixed wheel. When people legitimately try to kill you, you're going to want as much control over the bike as possible. As for tyres, I used Continental 4 Seasons.

I'm only truly comfortable riding brakeless on the track, but maybe if I lived somewhere more regional I may change my mind.
Probably wouldn't be in a minority over here. Loads of old-school club riders use a fixed gear through winter and they all run front and rear brakes from what I've seen. I'll always have a front brake at least. My feeling is you don't need to use it all the time but it's there if you do need it.

I'm just building up a new frame and it doesn't have bosses for a rear cable, although it is drilled. I'm keeping my drop levers as I like the position options, but I'm wondering about having a rear brake with a cross-top lever that I just fit when I think I'll need it (group riding on hilly routes etc.). Although I honestly think that, combined with a front brake, my legs can probably provide similar braking to a rear brake just but resisting the momentum. I'm going to see how one brake goes for a while then decide.
 
Oct 27, 2017
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I ride a fixed-gear bike. It has a single speed. One thing I've found from experience is that the best single-speed bikes always have a flip-flop hub, to switch between fixed-gear and freewheel. Fixie bikes get tiring for me after constant use, because you can't coast and you always have to be pedaling to move
 
It sounds like your experience is pretty limited with fixed wheel. Loads of high end fixed hubs are single-sided and most people who ride fixed for anything other than cafe runs usually won’t mind constant spinning and don’t want the extra weight of a freewheel. Personally I really dislike single-speed riding, if I’m going to have a freewheel I might as well have gears.
 
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King Boonen said:
It sounds like your experience is pretty limited with fixed wheel. Loads of high end fixed hubs are single-sided and most people who ride fixed for anything other than cafe runs usually won’t mind constant spinning and don’t want the extra weight of a freewheel. Personally I really dislike single-speed riding, if I’m going to have a freewheel I might as well have gears.
Can you really feel the extra weight of a freewheel? I've never quite understood the difference from 17 to 18 pounds, even going uphill. Maybe it's because I'm just too fat. IDK... :)
 
Re: Re:

Irondan said:
King Boonen said:
It sounds like your experience is pretty limited with fixed wheel. Loads of high end fixed hubs are single-sided and most people who ride fixed for anything other than cafe runs usually won’t mind constant spinning and don’t want the extra weight of a freewheel. Personally I really dislike single-speed riding, if I’m going to have a freewheel I might as well have gears.
Can you really feel the extra weight of a freewheel? I've never quite understood the difference from 17 to 18 pounds, even going uphill. Maybe it's because I'm just too fat. IDK... :)
Nope, but I’m not putting extra weight on my bike that I don’t need :) 150ish km today with about 1700m climbed. 90 miles and 5500 feet in American money. Gear was 49/17.
 
Re: Re:

King Boonen said:
Irondan said:
King Boonen said:
It sounds like your experience is pretty limited with fixed wheel. Loads of high end fixed hubs are single-sided and most people who ride fixed for anything other than cafe runs usually won’t mind constant spinning and don’t want the extra weight of a freewheel. Personally I really dislike single-speed riding, if I’m going to have a freewheel I might as well have gears.
Can you really feel the extra weight of a freewheel? I've never quite understood the difference from 17 to 18 pounds, even going uphill. Maybe it's because I'm just too fat. IDK... :)
Nope, but I’m not putting extra weight on my bike that I don’t need :) 150ish km today with about 1700m climbed. 90 miles and 5500 feet in American money. Gear was 49/17.
:eek:

You're a madman! :D

I don't remember if you said you ride with brakes. Is having brakes extra weight too?
 
I swap between a 78” (49x17) and a 74” (47x17) depending on rising and if I can be bothered. To be honest, 74” is the sweet spot I think, but the 78” is on there now and will probably stay until I need to replace the ring.

I run a front brake, hills are just too steep around me and drivers to bad to run brakeless, plus it makes my bike legal. I don’t use the brake much but I’m glad it’s there. I used to run a rear brake but honestly, leg resistance plus front brake is just as good in terms of stopping and a rear brake means adjusting pads everytime you change ratio. I mainly ran it when I was running 48x16 as the skid-patches are low for that. Plus the wear on the rim is typically heavy. My frame is drilled for a rear brake so if I ever feel I need one I can run one, but I doubt I ever will.


Long distance fixed riding isn’t for everyone, but it works for me :)
 
Re:

King Boonen said:
I swap between a 78” (49x17) and a 74” (47x17) depending on rising and if I can be bothered. To be honest, 74” is the sweet spot I think, but the 78” is on there now and will probably stay until I need to replace the ring.

I run a front brake, hills are just too steep around me and drivers to bad to run brakeless, plus it makes my bike legal. I don’t use the brake much but I’m glad it’s there. I used to run a rear brake but honestly, leg resistance plus front brake is just as good in terms of stopping and a rear brake means adjusting pads everytime you change ratio. I mainly ran it when I was running 48x16 as the skid-patches are low for that. Plus the wear on the rim is typically heavy. My frame is drilled for a rear brake so if I ever feel I need one I can run one, but I doubt I ever will.


Long distance fixed riding isn’t for everyone, but it works for me :)
That's all that matters.

That's the same individualistic preference that recumbent bike riders enjoy, I just wish they noticed how ridiculous they look! :lol:
 
Jan 10, 2010
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I don't ride fixed, but have a single speed with a flip flop hub......tried riding fixed a few times and felt really uncomfortable.....more than once I nearly launched myself out of the saddle and over the bars!!

Bike is a Bianchi Pista (chrome), Sugino cranks, open pro rims with conti GP 4000's, bullhorns wrapped with leather tape, Brooks saddle and yes, I have a front brake on as well :eek:

Picked it up in Melbourne 2010 when we popped over to watch the world champs.

For a couple years it was my commuter.....flat 26kms each way......felt great to get it up to speed and go full gas to work!

Has been hanging in the garage gathering dust for a couple years now......can't remember the gearing ratio.
 
Jan 10, 2010
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Re:

aphronesis said:
Front brake on the non-fix single speed is probably the way to go.

Brooks? You a hipster?
No, I don't think so.

Just appreciate the comfort of a good quality leather saddle ;)

That saddle (B17 with copper rivets) has taken me just over 13000kms, through 8 countries in the last 7 months,on my fully loaded touring rig.
Prefer to buy quality and comfort....at my age, I don't really care what it looks like....I want it to work well,and last!
Brook saddles have a cult like following in the cycle-touring community :D
 

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