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Fixie advice !!!

datpat64datpat64 Posts: 85
edited November 2011 in Road beginners
So I take some advice and get a Fixie for Winter commuting and all of a sudden I've entered a new world (of pain) !

Really taking some getting used to but it is fun. Just after some advice from other fixie riders who have been riding them a bit longer. Mainly should I have started on single speed or bang straight on with Fixed (got Flip Flop back wheel).

Am planning routes to avoid too steep a hill but am struggling with entries to roundabouts and junctions. Any advice appreciated.

And does the burning in my thighs get better soon ?


  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Whilst riding a singlespeed may help with your cadence, it won't help you to learn to never stop pedalling which is the biggest worry for new fixed gear riders - I still lapse and I've been riding one since the 80s. Keep both brakes fitted if riding hills to control your speed downhill. Try and read the road well ahead to avoid coming to a halt so you can gauge your speed.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • chill123chill123 Posts: 210
    as suggested above do you have brakes fitted? i'd advise you do.

    riding fixed has forced me to be so much more aware of the road around me - especially up ahead. i struggled at first but my legs soon got used to it. i love it now - no need for that flip flop hub i got afterall - the freewheel has never been used!
  • From my experience of riding a fixed for several years....
    Good anticipation and look well ahead and read what's going on.
    If approaching a junction where you are almost certain to stop, unclip one foot ready, but keep your foot on the pedal and keep keep pedalling slowly ready to stop, if you don't have to, clip straight back in and off you go.

    Thigh pain is caused by:-
    Having to pedal all the time, no freewheel time - on a 20 mile ride for example, you pedal the lot!
    Thighs also get used to slow down and stop the bike - this makes the muscle work in the "wrong direction" (sorry for my lack of medical terms) to what it normally does when riding a freewheel bike - for me that's what causes the most hurt after riding a fixed when you are not familiar with one. With enough riding - the thigh pain goes.

    I ride 48 - 20, 66" gear, good on most hills where I live and OK on the flat at around 90 - 95 cadence.

  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Gear selection will depend on both your fitness / strength and your local terrain. I would not recommend you start on 72" unless you live in a flat area unless you want to avoid struggling on hills. Aim for something that gives you a smooth cadence of 90-100 rpm at your average riding speed. As said, if it is hilly you're better controlling the speed with your brakes rather than trying to control it with your legs - certainly until you have developed a smooth pedalling style and leg strength.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I don't know how people ride fixed without brakes. I've been doing fixed in the winter for 10 years now and swear by my brakes. Especially as there's some 3 mile descents round here - dragging the brake is essential or my legs would unscrew. Also I need the brakehoods to hold onto to climb.
  • John.TJohn.T Posts: 3,698
    cadseen wrote:
    Does anyone ride fixed wheels without a brake.
    I could not train or ride on one without a brake, even if it was flat.
    Not legal (or sensible) to use a bike with no brakes even on fixed. Back in the late 50s / early 60s we all just used one brake. I gave up on this after the heat from the brake caused a burst front tyre while descending Fleet Moss on 66" fixed. things got exiting for a while. I now ride a Specialized Singlecross on either 65" or 69" fixed with 2 brakes and have fitted one of the extra cross brake levers on the front brake. This makes descending on the tops a lot easier as I can just scrub a little speed off with one finger.
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