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Switching fixed<>free on a regular basis

sqwerl_mk2sqwerl_mk2 Posts: 31
edited July 2007 in Road general
I haven't ridden a free-wheeling bike for over 3 years. I commute, daily, on a fixed.
But I'm planning on doing the 2008 etape so today I'm picking up a shiny new Spesh Roubaix Pro.
Do any of you ride both types on a regular basis? I plan to ride the fixed for commuting and then use the Spesh for weekend training rides etc. I'm concerned though that I'll either:

A) Find a freewheel, geared bike hard going and difficult to use fully
B) Find myself getting confused and trying to freewheel on my fixed. Or finding myslef unable to freewheel on the Spesh.


  • Big Red SBig Red S Posts: 26,890
    Yeah, ish. I commute on my fixed daily, and occasionally go out on my mountain bikes, one of which is bendy and geary and flat pedally, and the other is just geary.

    At first, the changeover was a bit odd - I'd pedal through sections that really I should be freewheeling for, though I don't think I've ever forgotten to brake. I don't change gear anywhere near as much as I used to, either.
    Getting back on the fixed has never been a problem, though. Since the initial learning, I don't think I've ever tried to freewheel it, even after spending two weeks on the mountain bike.
  • BentMikeyBentMikey Posts: 4,895
    I don't currently have a problem, but I have an unusual situation - fixed is upright, gears is recumbent, so that's an easy one for my brain to understand instinctually.
  • steowensteowen Posts: 59
    I do exactly as you're proposing SqwerI, commuting a round trip of 19 miles every day on my fixed and doing weekend rides on a geared road bike.

    I find it takes no more than 10 mins to adapt when switching to a geared bike - it mainly feels less responsive and sluggish to start with. And no more than 5 mins to adapt to the fixed - once you start pedaling you can feel the pedals begin to carry your feet round and this helps to remember not to stop pedalling!
    All that glitters is probably glass
  • My fixed machine is the everyday bike, the long rides bike, and the most-of the-rest bike. But It is only a light tourer, and I only ride fixed when it's the best option for me. So fixed is only a bit over 90% of my mileage.
    If I need to carry heay loads, or choose to ride in hilly terrain, then I use the Galaxy. The geometry is almost identical to the fixie. But I don't have much of a problem swapping from one to the other. They just feel different. The odd surprise does happen, though. A couple of weeks ago I was descending on a well-laden Galaxy and had deliberately left it at 48x18, which worked well mixing with light traffic. However, arrival at an unanticipatedly sharp bend did cause a little extra excitement as I realised that leg-braking didn't work :shock:.
    IME it takes a perverse excercise like that to suppress the instinct that they're different riding styles.
    One lady owner, never raced or hunted.
  • ajbajb Posts: 27
    I use fixed in the week, geared at weekends as well.
    Only problem I've noticed since I started commuting on the fixed is that, when on the geared, I've become far worse at thinking ahead re changing gear. Consequently keep finding myself setting off from junctions and halfway up hills in a far higher gear than I manage.
    Haven't had any problems (yet) remembering that I'm on the fixed when I switch back come monday morning
  • steverilesteverile Posts: 514
    I wouldn't worry about it, it's only riding a bike! I ride fixed, geared road and geared MTB and ss MTB. All the miles counted for my Etape 2005 training :)
  • GreenbankGreenbank Posts: 731
    It's easy, just as everyone else says. It only takes a short time to get used to swapping.

    I did 700km of commuting and training rides on my fixed bike and the first time I rode my geared bike was a 200km Audax. Not a problem.
    If I had a baby elephant signature, I\'d use that.
  • AndyGatesAndyGates Posts: 8,467
    I ride both. No problem. Takes about half an hour to adjust during which time I either get one "ooer that's weird" freewheel sensation, or one fixie hoik when I try to freewheel.
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    Advice for kilted riders: top-tubes are cold.
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