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n00bsauce
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How do you feel about an experienced rider who can handle himself well in a group ride and/or a pace line showing up at a ride with a fixed gear bike, one front brake and bullhorn handlebars? Would you be nervous even though you knew the rider and were comfortable with his regular bike handling skills?
 

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He'll be fine...

Mel Erickson said:
How do you feel about an experienced rider who can handle himself well in a group ride and/or a pace line showing up at a ride with a fixed gear bike, one front brake and bullhorn handlebars? Would you be nervous even though you knew the rider and were comfortable with his regular bike handling skills?
He'll be fine, until he gets dropped.

I wouldn't worry about it.
 

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duh...
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Mel Erickson said:
How do you feel about an experienced rider who can handle himself well in a group ride and/or a pace line showing up at a ride with a fixed gear bike, one front brake and bullhorn handlebars? Would you be nervous even though you knew the rider and were comfortable with his regular bike handling skills?

I would definitely try to stay the hell away, or at least stay behind, esp if I never saw the guy and/or never saw him riding a fixie before.
 

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I avoid group rides with my fixie-you can't vary your speed as easily as geared bikes can.
 

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I wouldn't care for it one damn bit. If nobody else saw a problem with it, I'd probably just ride solo that day.
 

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Dave_Stohler said:
I avoid group rides with my fixie-you can't vary your speed as easily as geared bikes can.
Really? I like riding fixed in groups for exactly the opposite reason - I have micro-level control over my speed, and so can stick to a wheel like glue, even if it's not the smoothest rider on board. Don't have to dive on the brakes for every little bit of stupidity ahead, either. Someone randomly decides to sit up for a drink? No problem. PITA on a geared bike.

It's flattish around here, so hill gearing isn't an issue. I might not come off a dead stop quite as fast, but I get it back not racking my way through a cog, coasting to find the other pedal, and so on, though those are transferrable skills.

The problem I have riding fixed in a group is the folks behind. They don't have the usual subtle clues about slowing (clicking hubs and rubbing brakes) and run up on you a lot. More their problem than mine, but it doesn't make you very popular, and someday I'll get bumped hard enough to matter. I've taken to calling "slowing!" too keep them off my tail.

To be clear, this is Tuesday evening B group, not the hammerheads. And I'm riding drops and two conventional brakes, not bull-horns and a cross lever. I wouldn't want to ride alongside that bike, or on it. I'm OK in my group and they're OK with me, but most of the time I'll ride the geared bike - it's easier to fit in with the pack's mood any given night.
 

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Turn it around

danl1 said:
The problem I have riding fixed in a group is the folks behind. They don't have the usual subtle clues about slowing (clicking hubs and rubbing brakes) and run up on you a lot. More their problem than mine, but it doesn't make you very popular, and someday I'll get bumped hard enough to matter. I've taken to calling "slowing!" too keep them off my tail.
I don't suppose there's ANY chance that it is your oscillating speed that causes the problems for the people behind :) If people are having to hit the brakes in your pace line, I don't want to ride there - it implies some not-so-steady riders.
 

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Mel Erickson said:
Would you be nervous even though you knew the rider and were comfortable with his regular bike handling skills?
If its exactly that situation, no way.

I feel like the way its worded is like asking if I thought I would be nervous trying penne pasta even though I knew I like spaghetti. Same rider... just a different bike.

However if it was someone I didn't know on a fixie...
 

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Kerry Irons said:
I don't suppose there's ANY chance that it is your oscillating speed that causes the problems for the people behind :) If people are having to hit the brakes in your pace line, I don't want to ride there - it implies some not-so-steady riders.
Ouch!

Honestly no, it's not my 'oscillating speed.' This is a b ride - no-drop, 16-17ish mph. This isn't a paceline, it's an accidentally tightish pack. There's only a few riders that would have any clue how to form up, and mostly they're not interested. Mirrors and frame pumps abound, no contact, only about half can hold a line, let alone a wheel. I can't hang with the club riders, and the group I'd be happier with doesn't fit my schedule. This is social time, and a pretty mixed crowd. You must have rode 'down' once or twice, maybe as a ride leader? It's definitely them riding up, and admittedly so.

The trouble from the back comes at traffic stops. Riding fixed, you don't have the 'tells' that these folks are used to. They say I'm smoother to follow than others, but when the pack slows, my legs don't pass the 'coast' message back. That's the part they find frustrating - they actually have to pay attention to the riding. Be a much happier time if everyone was paying better attention, but that's not the dynamic of this group.

I wouldn't want to ride fixed in a paceline. Can't think of a gear that would suit that wide of a range of speeds. If on a flat open course where you only had to spin it up once, it'd be great. But that's fantasy.
 

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I think it totally depends upon the group and the ride.

My team did "fixie friday" for a while. Some would show up on fixies, some not. One fixie had bullhorns. The only requirement was a brake.

Turned out fine, but we all knew / trusted each other.

I've ridden fixed to group rides plenty of times. No one's ever complained -- hell, usually they don't even notice.

But if you've got a group where all they do is a 25mph paceline, it might not be the best choice.
 

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Mel Erickson said:
How do you feel about an experienced rider who can handle himself well in a group ride and/or a pace line showing up at a ride with a fixed gear bike, one front brake and bullhorn handlebars? Would you be nervous even though you knew the rider and were comfortable with his regular bike handling skills?
I rode a few GTF hill rides out of St. Paul last year where I guy showed up on a fixed gear with bullhorms and a front brake- wearing a wife-beater- and proceeded to stay with the group whose sole purpose in life is to drop as many riders as possible. The race is a festival for hammerheads, but this hairy-legged guy was an animal. I can't figure out how he went down the hills so fast- much less up. Nobody appeared nervous.
 

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I have ridden with group rides on the fixed before. The most annoying part to other riders is the oscillation with the pack on hilly rides. Fixed you can climb just about as fast as normal but you lag on steep downhills.so if you are a strong rider you are constantly going from the front to off the back a little and then back to the front again.
 

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danl1 said:
Really? I like riding fixed in groups for exactly the opposite reason - I have micro-level control over my speed, and so can stick to a wheel like glue, even if it's not the smoothest rider on board. Don't have to dive on the brakes for every little bit of stupidity ahead, either. Someone randomly decides to sit up for a drink? No problem. PITA on a geared bike.

It's flattish around here, so hill gearing isn't an issue. I might not come off a dead stop quite as fast, but I get it back not racking my way through a cog, coasting to find the other pedal, and so on, though those are transferrable skills.

The problem I have riding fixed in a group is the folks behind. They don't have the usual subtle clues about slowing (clicking hubs and rubbing brakes) and run up on you a lot. More their problem than mine, but it doesn't make you very popular, and someday I'll get bumped hard enough to matter. I've taken to calling "slowing!" too keep them off my tail.

To be clear, this is Tuesday evening B group, not the hammerheads. And I'm riding drops and two conventional brakes, not bull-horns and a cross lever. I wouldn't want to ride alongside that bike, or on it. I'm OK in my group and they're OK with me, but most of the time I'll ride the geared bike - it's easier to fit in with the pack's mood any given night.

That may all be true but not all people have that control... sometime packs come to a quick stop, due to obstracle or emergency or just plain fredness, and I don't want to be the guy getting run into from behind and I don't want to have to worry about that possibility. BTW, the bullhorns are not the issue, FG is the issue. I'm also assuming group ride = paceline, which may not be the case. If it's a disease ride, hey, go for it.
 

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You're less likely to be run up by someone on a fixed (with brakes, as is the discussion here) than someone on a geared. Geared riders try semi-useful ways to slow without braking, like sitting up to catch air. It doesn't always work, which is why many runups happen. In contrast, fixed riders can control their speed more precisely, and less often have to touch the brakes to maintain their gap when the riders ahead fred out.

On the other hand, what's an advantage to the fixed rider can be a problem for the inattentive guy behind. Fixed riders have to concern themselves with runups a lot because they'll maintain their gap without transmitting the "fred alert" back the line - no sitting up, no coasting, no grabbing brakes, no swerving, no cussing - just calm, perfect gap control. Then the fixed rider gets blamed for the sins of the guys ahead.

I don't like mixed pacelines as a fixed rider. Never had a fixed rider in a line when I was riding my "weakling bike" :p , but I'll assume I'd dislike it equally.
 

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danl1 said:
You're less likely to be run up by someone on a fixed (with brakes, as is the discussion here) than someone on a geared. Geared riders try semi-useful ways to slow without braking, like sitting up to catch air. It doesn't always work, which is why many runups happen. In contrast, fixed riders can control their speed more precisely, and less often have to touch the brakes to maintain their gap when the riders ahead fred out.

On the other hand, what's an advantage to the fixed rider can be a problem for the inattentive guy behind. Fixed riders have to concern themselves with runups a lot because they'll maintain their gap without transmitting the "fred alert" back the line - no sitting up, no coasting, no grabbing brakes, no swerving, no cussing - just calm, perfect gap control. Then the fixed rider gets blamed for the sins of the guys ahead.

I don't like mixed pacelines as a fixed rider. Never had a fixed rider in a line when I was riding my "weakling bike" :p , but I'll assume I'd dislike it equally.

you're talking about closing gaps gradually, I'm talking about more sudden quick stops
 

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Why the commotion?

Mel Erickson said:
How do you feel about an experienced rider who can handle himself well in a group ride and/or a pace line showing up at a ride with a fixed gear bike, one front brake and bullhorn handlebars? Would you be nervous even though you knew the rider and were comfortable with his regular bike handling skills?
I have no clue what the others are prattling on about. A rider with a fixed gear and a front brake has the same speed control ability as a (derailleur) freewheel bike with two brakes. About the only place it would make a difference is on steep downhills, if the fixed gear rider had trouble making the necessary cadence to keep up - but if the downhills are that steep, groups tend to break up a bit anyway. Riding in bullhorns is pretty much the same as riding in the hooks on a drop bar. This all seems to be a non-issue.
 

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FatTireFred said:
you're talking about closing gaps gradually, I'm talking about more sudden quick stops
Fine.

On gradually slowing gaps, the fixed rider has the advantage.

For sudden quick stops, the fixed rider is on at least equal footing to his geared cousin, and at no disadvantage.

Matter of fact, I am more confident stopping with the old Suntour brakes on the fixed than I am with the ShimaNo's on the Litespeed.
 

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it was said before but i'll repeat it because i agree very strongly.

Communication. The fraction of a second that the rider behind a fixie doesn't get when slowing quickly (seeing/hearing you stop pedaling :eek: ) might send someone to the hospital. Remember, that momemnt of warning you lose trickles back and grows.

Riding in a paceline and in a group is dangerous. Road hazards, others lack of skill and the worse of them, traffic. Why put others at greater risk?

I could care less about bullhorns or TT bars IF the rider can maintain good control.

Fixie rides are great, but only when those in the ride, free wheel or not know what they are getting into.
 
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