Fixed wheel: Why? Why not? Vote now please!

For discussions about bikes and equipment.

Fixie: Why? Why not?

Fixed is my first choice
9
23%
Love fixed, love freewheel
10
26%
Used to ride fixed, no more
2
5%
Not tried fixed. Yet
6
15%
Fixed where suitable
1
3%
Fixed in winter
0
No votes
Fixed when I was young and free
1
3%
Freewheel only, lots of gears
5
13%
Prefer single freewheel
4
10%
Love to try fixed with gears
1
3%
 
Total votes: 39

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Paul Smith SRCC
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Location: I live in Surrey, England
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Re: Fixie: Why? Why not?

Postby Paul Smith SRCC » 23 Apr 2020, 10:57am

When I first started cycling it was common practice to ride a fixie through the winter, one theory being it taught you to pedal smoothly. Add to that the 1/8" transmission is longer lasting than 3/32", having to pedal all the time keeps you warmer, you have more control when it's slippery and it's easier to keep clean; all combine to make a fixie an ideal all weather bike.

For me those values are as valid now as they were then, I still use my 30+ year old 531 Dave Yates built Pearson, sadly I am no longer fit enough to enjoy the Surrey hills on it but I still use it regularly as my commute bike; especially in the winter. There is something else that love about a fixie, they have a simple, minimalist classic back to basics beauty that I have always found very appealing

A fixie is for sure a Marmite bike, many hate them and many love them.

Image[

robc02
Posts: 1749
Joined: 23 Apr 2009, 7:12pm
Location: Stafford

Re: Fixie: Why? Why not?

Postby robc02 » 23 Apr 2020, 11:39am

Paul Smith SRCC wrote:When I first started cycling it was common practice to ride a fixie through the winter, one theory being it taught you to pedal smoothly. Add to that the 1/8" transmission is longer lasting than 3/32", having to pedal all the time keeps you warmer, you have more control when it's slippery and it's easier to keep clean; all combine to make a fixie an ideal all weather bike.

For me those values are as valid now as they were then, I still use my 30+ year old 531 Dave Yates built Pearson, sadly I am no longer fit enough to enjoy the Surrey hills on it but I still use it regularly as my commute bike; especially in the winter. There is something else that love about a fixie, they have a simple, minimalist classic back to basics beauty that I have always found very appealing

A fixie is for sure a Marmite bike, many hate them and many love them.

Image[


I agree with all of these sentiments, but would add that a three speed hub fulfils several of them while adding a bit more flexibility. I have been using a drop bar three/four speed commuter for several years now, but could easily be tempted back to a fixed.
Your bike is very nice, mine is definitely at the rough end of the spectrum!
ImageIMG_0069 by SturmeyRob, on Flickr

Cyril Haearn
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Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am

Re: Fixie: Why? Why not?

Postby Cyril Haearn » 23 Apr 2020, 12:01pm

When I ride the same easy route on gears I change gear many times. Why? For efficiency, to save energy, because I can? The route is easy enough on fixed
Fixed forces me to work a bit harder, very desirable I think as one gets older
Entertainer, juvenile, curmudgeon, PoB, 30120
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we hate bullies

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Fixie: Why? Why not?

Postby Cyril Haearn » 23 Apr 2020, 12:05pm

Poll added :wink:
Entertainer, juvenile, curmudgeon, PoB, 30120
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we hate bullies

Pneumant
Posts: 211
Joined: 7 Oct 2010, 8:25pm

Re: Fixie: Why? Why not?

Postby Pneumant » 24 Apr 2020, 8:59pm

Riding fixed is definitely my first choice for iffy weather and winter riding.
Last edited by Pneumant on 29 Apr 2020, 4:36pm, edited 1 time in total.

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Freewheel: Why? Why not?

Postby Cyril Haearn » 27 Apr 2020, 3:23pm

Johann Puch, Austrian cycle manufacturer, explained in 1899 why new-fangled freewheels were madness
Most cycleries including his did not waste any time on them because the disadvantages were so obvious, how could one possibly control speed going downhill using a handbrake? Overcoming TDC would surely be an insuperable problem
The complicated freewheel mechanism is heavy and unreliable
The freewheel was just invented as a useless gimmick to try to sell more cycles

'I shall not be wasting any time on concerning myself with cycles with freewheels!', snorted Mr Puch
..
No-one has objected to my use of the word 'fixie'. I think we are getting younger :wink:
Entertainer, juvenile, curmudgeon, PoB, 30120
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we hate bullies

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simonineaston
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Location: ...at a cricket ground

Re: Fixie: Why? Why not?

Postby simonineaston » 27 Apr 2020, 3:49pm

Reminds me of the same sort of inflexibility shown by the Norton team head mechanic, who insisted they stick with four speed gearboxes, when Guzzi were using new-fangled five & six speeds, his thinking being that the more often you change gear, the more time you spend with the motor disconnected from the rear wheel. You can sort-of see his point except that Guzzi were starting to win races...
(rides: Brompton nano & ever-changing Moultons)

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Fixie: Why? Why not?

Postby Cyril Haearn » 5 May 2020, 4:40pm

Mr Puch was right. I went for a decent hilly ride on my fixie, new route, out and back the same way
Didnae have to hop off anywhere going uphill. Or down :wink:
Entertainer, juvenile, curmudgeon, PoB, 30120
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we hate bullies

brumster
Posts: 323
Joined: 8 Sep 2009, 7:50pm

Re: Fixie: Why? Why not?

Postby brumster » 5 May 2020, 8:50pm

Interesting thoughts in an article from 1938 Cycling Magazine just purchased from these very classifieds.
Image Attachments
DSC05587.JPG

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Fixie: Why? Why not?

Postby Cyril Haearn » 5 May 2020, 8:56pm

Can't read the article, care to post a summary? Thanks very much
Entertainer, juvenile, curmudgeon, PoB, 30120
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we hate bullies

brumster
Posts: 323
Joined: 8 Sep 2009, 7:50pm

Re: Fixie: Why? Why not?

Postby brumster » 6 May 2020, 8:00pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:Can't read the article, care to post a summary? Thanks very much


Is this any better? Maybe you can adjust and zoom in on your PC?
Image Attachments
DSC05590.JPG
DSC05589.JPG

Cyril Haearn
Posts: 14917
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Re: Fixed wheel: Why? Why not?

Postby Cyril Haearn » 9 Jul 2020, 6:39pm

Cycled with gears today, first time since March
Did not feel so unfamiliar, not sure which I prefer but I have a plan for a century ride, when the weather gets better: half on fixed, lunch at home, then half on gears :wink:
..
Poll is still open
Entertainer, juvenile, curmudgeon, PoB, 30120
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we hate bullies

Brucey
Posts: 43067
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Fixie: Why? Why not?

Postby Brucey » 9 Jul 2020, 8:55pm

brumster wrote:...Is this any better?


IIRC attachments are automatically resized to a resolution that does not favour small type. However if photos are hosted on another site they can be any resolution you like.

FWIW OCR programs ought to make quick work of these but only if the resolution is good on the scan/jpg.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

belgiangoth
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Joined: 29 Mar 2007, 4:10pm

Re: Fixed wheel: Why? Why not?

Postby belgiangoth » 10 Jul 2020, 1:07am

Almost exclusively fixed for the last 15 years. i have had to make an exception for the laidback.
If I had a baby elephant, it would point out that there is no evidence for planing. Then it would eat all my bananas.

Mike_Ayling
Posts: 270
Joined: 25 Sep 2017, 3:02am
Location: Melbourne Australia

Re: Fixed wheel: Why? Why not?

Postby Mike_Ayling » 13 Jul 2020, 5:30am

Still in lockdown here in Oz I culled the fleet.

Sold our entry level tandem, still have the Thorn tandem.
Sold my Surly LHT, still have my Thorn Mercury..
Took two nondescript bikes to the local bike recycle place.
Took a bmx which I got off a skip to the grandson.

Leaving my dust covered fixed wheel in the back of the shed.
After a quick wash I decided to start riding it again but the drop bars had to go.
Using some of the funds from the bike sales I bought a set of North Road bars, Sora flat bar brake levers and some Ergon grips.
Riding 42 X 17/18 on the flip flop 28 × 622 wheels/tyres which I think gives a gear in the mid sixties.
The 28mm tyres, old Vittoria Randonneurs, give a much harsher ride than the 36 X 622 Schwalbe Supremes on the Mercury.
I can't go more than the 28mm but can anybody suggest a more supple tyre?

Mike