Things my buddies didn't tell me about riding a fixie

I dialed in the Raleigh One Way yesterday and took it for a 10 minute ride around my neighborhood. Today, I rode it to work (8 miles), ‘fixie’ style.

Here is what I learned:

When making a turn, make sure your turn is wide enough to have enough pedal clearance. Why? Because you are still pedaling!!!

Stopping was not an issue for me, the bike has BOTH brakes. Re-starting after a dismount was a little challenging for me. If you don’t have the pedal in the correct position to start pedaling, it can be a little embarrasing as you push your bike to get the right leverage on the pedals. (Yeah, it happened to me)

The last thing I learned is that riding a fixed gear will let you know in what physical condition you really are: I’m WAAAAAAY out of shape.

I’m looking forward to the ride back home. Stay tuned for pictures and my first impression.

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0 thoughts on “Things my buddies didn't tell me about riding a fixie”

  1. Nick says:

    Pedal clearance is a big deal with a fixed-gear bike. I don’t know what your crankset looks like besides what I get from the pictures, but that’s why bikes that are designed for fixed-gear riding have specific geometry. You need a high bottom bracket, very tight cranks, and narrow pedals. It might seem strange, but if your heels are occasionally hitting the chainstays, that’s good. That means you’re nice and tight. I don’t get pedal strike until my bike is at a 45 degree angle, so I don’t need to make very wide turns.
    You might be more worried than you need to be. Put one pedal at the bottom of its rotation and lean the bike to that side – then you’ll see exactly what angle you will be at when you get pedal strike.

    Re: pedal position on a start – While stopped, reach back, lift your seat, and swing the pedal with your foot into your starting position.

    Re: being in shape – you’ll get better at it. You’re probably getting tired sooner because you’re new to the riding style and need to loosen up. Remember that the bike is moving your legs as much as your legs are moving the bike, which means that you can spin on a downhill without doing any work. Just relax your legs and let them flow with the machine. It comes, I promise – after I got used to this I forsook the freewheel entirely. Just keep it up for now.

  2. Moe says:

    Now you tell me…. Anything else I should look out for?

  3. RL Policar says:

    Pot holes…you have to some how do a bunny hop while pedaling.

    When I get to stop sign or light, I just rotate my cranks so when the light changes I am good to go. Or you can just stop yourself right when you have your crank on the 2:00 position.

    When I want to slow down I usually stand up and let my weight do the work through my legs.

  4. Nick says:

    Moe: You will learn, if you can’t already, to lift your front wheel to hop curbs and whatever while still pedaling. When I first started, I could not. After some time, I could hop when either foot was at three o’ clock. Now it’s natural, and even more reactive because I don’t have to stop pedaling and stand on the cranks ahead of every pothole. Being able to hop while still pedaling will make you a better MTN biker. I can’t bunny, but then I couldn’t with a freewheel either.

  5. fixedgear says:

    You don’t even really need to lift your seat to the the pedal in your preferred position. Just put on the front brake, push forward a little, and spin the cranks to where you want them. Oh, yeah, ‘toe clip overlap’ – even though nearly everbody uses clipless pedals nowadays – is an issue with fixes, particularly with fenders. But it’s only really an issue at parking lot speeds.

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