Dumb questions, once you've stopped laughing any help would be appreciated!

Discussion in 'Fixed Gear and Single Speed' started by tomb1960, 15 Sep 2007.

  1. tomb1960

    tomb1960 New Member

    Finally plucked up the nerve to ask these. I have a Genesis Flyer, I sort of treated myself to it last Christmas. I mainly commute on it, 4 undulating urban miles each way. So far I have used it in single-speed mode, on Wednesday however the LBS is fitting a fixed sprocket.........gulp!

    I have been really noticing where I freewheel on my daily trips and am surprised at how often I do. I have three particular areas of concern. The first is a roundabout where I often have to adjust my approach speed,usually by stopping pedalling (which even I have realised is simply not an option), how do I do this manouvre fixed?

    Secondly, downhill, my route takes me down into and up out of a valley, not hugley steep, but long - do I simply relax my legs and allow them to be passively spun by my bike, allbeit at a huge rate, or do I pedal against the brakes?

    Thirdly, significant corners of which there are a few, normally I just freewheel, but not sure how to cope fixed?

    Help! I am actually getting quite nervous, beginning to think death is a real possibility!
  2. mr_hippo

    mr_hippo Living Legend & Old Fart

    First of all, I cannot answer your questions but other posters will! Now, why do you think people will laugh at you? Did you know that the dumbest question that you can ask, is the one that you don't ask?
  3. bianco

    bianco New Member

    Well, if you're bike was built for fixed gear intentionally it should have a slightly higher bottom bracket, and shorter cranks to allow a little more lean than the average bicycle.

    If not you have to learn how far you can lean, I think on Sheldon Browns site he's got a little sections advising how to take corners on fixed, I think you have to lean yourself but keep the bike upright.

    Going downhill, I allow my legs to be spun passively, BUT I always have two strong fingers on the front brake because there is a point where fast simply is too fast.

    I felt the same the first few times I went out fixed, thought I would kill myself, now I believe its much safer.
    I can control my speed better. I went out went it was icey other day, I wouldn't recommend it but I had a much greater awareness of the lack of grip below me then on a freewheel capable bicycle.

    Hope it helps
  4. yello

    yello Legendary Member

    Relax, relax, relax. Seriously, that's the best advice I can give.

    Take it REALLY easy for your first few sessions and don't be tempted to go hammering down the road. Look ahead, work out what you need to do before you have to do. Also try and predict what other road users are going to do and prepare yourself accordingly. Once you're into the swing of things, and it'll happen pretty quickly, then it all becomes second nature and you'll love it!

    Oh, and relax and enjoy! Fixed is addictive!
  5. peejay78

    peejay78 Well-Known Member

    the front brake and rear brake fitted with the genesis should give you all the braking you need. that combined with rear pressure means your stopping and bike control will be better, not worse.

    i very much doubt that you will suffer from pedal strike, unless really leaning and really fast. just relax, as thingy says above.

    and for hills, both up adn down, get into a rhythm.
  6. Canrider

    Canrider Guru

    Don't worry about pedal strike unless you're cornering like a professional racer. You've got brakes to slow your descent (I've never had much luck slowing by reverse pressure on the pedals while descending).
    Finally, given that you've got brakes, just apply them while letting your legs go slack when you need to adjust speed at the roundabout. As long as you don't tense your legs up when you need to 'coast', you won't be thrown off!
  7. steviesch

    steviesch Senior Member

    you might be surprised how much quicker you will go as the fixed wheel "rolls" you along in a way that a free wheel does not. I presume your LBS wil give you the same size sprocket - don't let them talk you into going up 10 gear inches because you will be in for a shock on the uphill bits! bonne chance!
  8. GrahamG

    GrahamG Veteran

    What's your route into Birmingham? I'm from Quinton to the city centre through Edgbaston on an unashamedly scaggy looking fixed bike with all the old man trimmings of mudguards, dynamo lighting and good old-fashionied toe-clips & straps. Don't be fooled though, I'm actually only 28 ;)
  9. OP

    tomb1960 New Member


    I come from Moseley, drop down to the River rea, then climb up from the Pershore Road to Selly Oak. I have a rear mudguard, but then I am 19 years older than you!
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