I've never ridden a fixie and other than the not uncommon spotto haven't really seen them ridden. I've watched a bit of youtube stuff of course - slide the rear wheel out type deceleration scenarios - but really... how on earth does an emergency brake go??
Similarly, cornering - non-stop pedaling - ok, so the bottom bracket height vrs crank length vrs lean angle must be such that you don't crash the crank/pedal into the ground - done that on my "regular" free wheel bike(s) and it can be quite an exhilarating experience, have yet to kiss the dirt.. knock wood :-) The build a fixie from old frame fad of late seems to overlook that... umm, that's a question of sorts..
AVO rides his fixie most of the time on the thursday twlightride,he would be a good place to start as to how it all works.
I wouldn't recommend fixed wheel riding on the road. Highly dangerous and illegal too, a fixie is a track tool only in my opinion. An unexpected clash of pedal on kerb could result in more exhilaration than you need on Greenhill Road for example. Single speed using a freewheel however, has many merits and is a good place to start. You will find lots of info all over the web if you google single speed. Until recently I have had a single speed commuter and done 000's of k's enjoying the mechanical simplicity and purity of just not having to consider what gear to use. I know it sounds strange and that gear changing is not too arduous but don't knock it till you tried it! My new commuter has been built up with gears but the frame is flexible for single speed too having the ability to move the rear wheel for and aft to tension the chain. This is the main problem in that majority of donor frames were never made for single speed set up and so you end up with tensioners etc which just take away from the simplicity you were looking for. Good luck and have fun with it.
for some inspiration
Yes Paul, also up to a certain extent you can climb better on a fixed gear....did the Old Freeway once last year up to the bollards first attempt on a track bike and got a real good time :)
Ian...I do find the track bike safer to ride on the road because mine has a removeable front brake and with it installed it is more or less legal as much as any other bike.....but wouldnt ride it in a group ride with roadies unless I know the other riders well.
Oh - I'm not particulary looking to ride a fixed gear bike - frankly I like gears. I usually ride straight by the fixies ;-)
I'm just curious...
Riding fixies on the road isn't illegal. Riding them without a hand-break of any sort is.
Good obseration Rossmg....yes if you are riding near someone on a fixie give them room especially when approaching roundabouts :)
Some street minded people have a removable brake for the front wheel and this set up believe it not can slow a fixie down much quicker than a road bike....
Yes as the pedalling is continous care must be taken by the rider to continue pedalling and there are no rest breaks on a fixie...wheels go round....pedals go round.....that is how it is.
Most important about setting up an old steel street bike to a fixed version is the toe overlap with the front wheel.....dedicated track bikes dont tend to have this problem....if you are looking to convert an old roadie into fixie best to try to find an old french bike but beware the threading and size of head stem diameter and bar diameter will not be normal or seat post diameters (LOL) but ebay is a good place to find the right gear for old french frames...
For further reading about fixed geared bikes google up Sheldon Brown :) He has covered most of the conversion issues :)
> toe overlap with the front wheel
Sure, now you point it out my roadie (giant) has that as a feature if it can be called a "feature"! Not really a problem except on the odd occasion when making a sharp turn invariably at v.v.v slow speed, but it is of course a free wheel hub so... At any kind of speed I don't need to turn the front wheel that much to achieve even very tight turns.
An interesting sport which requires a fixed gear bike worth finding out more about bicycle polo :)
I tried polo and I found that it was about 50% fixies and only some of those were dedicated polo bikes. It did help with the slow speed stuff but wasn't necessary.