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Martini time?
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I know it is sacrilidge to say, but I'm thinking about switching back to a freewheel on my Langster. Of all the reasons why I might ride my geared bike over the fixed, one is the rolling hills here in NOVA. I find myself dreading the downhills, I just don't enjoy riding the brake and backpedal force to keep the speed down. Uphill is fine, and I love the feel of fixed in traffic, but my favorite loops all have significant hills. Anyone else have this problem?
 

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twrecks said:
I know it is sacrilidge to say, but I'm thinking about switching back to a freewheel on my Langster. Of all the reasons why I might ride my geared bike over the fixed, one is the rolling hills here in NOVA. I find myself dreading the downhills, I just don't enjoy riding the brake and backpedal force to keep the speed down. Uphill is fine, and I love the feel of fixed in traffic, but my favorite loops all have significant hills. Anyone else have this problem?
How long have you been riding fixed? Downhills take a little getting used to. Most of what I ride are hills and mountains and I'm at a stage where it is almost like coasting. Sustained downhills of 3+ miles going over 35mph (~70g") does get tiring but I found that spinning faster and regulating my breathing helps enormously.
 

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Steaming piles of opinion
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An Invention is needed.

Over the last few rides, I've been pondering a freewheel with some sort of button/lever/slide dohickey on it. A flick of the finger locks it into a fixed cog, another makes it into a freewheel. There are quite a few ways to make it work for someone with a machine shop and some free time.

Wouldn't be much harder to make it cable operated, or able to be flipped by clicking a lever with your heel, or somesuch, so you wouldn't need to get off the bike.

If Cannondale, Giant, and all the rest have their way and "our" bikes become popular, this would be an enormously popular add-on.

Yeah, there's always a flip-flop, but that's such a bother.

And by documenting it in public here, I have a leg up on the patent attorneys. Of course, somebody probably already invented this in 1903. So much for retiring in luxury.
 

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you must..

FTM said:
Or this thing that was on eBay UK a few days ago. I don't really get the whole single speed thing but to each his or her own...

live/ride where it is flat...I commute 800 vertical feet daily and a singlespeed makes plenty of sense on the way home as I basically coast 4 out of the 5 miles due to speeds that spin out a 47:18. would I rather be backpedaling and wearing out brake pads? NO.
 

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bahueh said:
live/ride where it is flat...I commute 800 vertical feet daily and a singlespeed makes plenty of sense on the way home as I basically coast 4 out of the 5 miles due to speeds that spin out a 47:18. would I rather be backpedaling and wearing out brake pads? NO.
My ride to work climbs 1,350', my ride home 2,400' running 49:19. Guess I like to climb and spin. I also mountain bike fixed so I'm used to, and like, the steep stuff.
 

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twrecks said:
I know it is sacrilidge to say, but I'm thinking about switching back to a freewheel on my Langster. Of all the reasons why I might ride my geared bike over the fixed, one is the rolling hills here

The only sacrilege is riding a set-up that isn't fun because you think it's sacrilege to do otherwise. And as long as you have a flipflop hub, neither choice is permanent.
 

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Back in the days when all bicycles were fixed, the solution to the downhill problem was a pair of foot pegs on the fork blades. You can see them on almost every bicycle photo of that time.

Another solution for long, steep descents was to break off a tree branch and tie it to your bicycle as a drag brake. I used to own an old bicycle instructional book which said this about the tree branch drag brake: "Breaking off tree branches - especially from fruit trees - is frowned upon by the general populace and should be avoided."
 

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Spicy Dumpling
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I haven't setup my ss as fixed yet and I'm questioning whether I will. I live at the foot of the blue ridge mountains so there isn't anything flat around here. I like the ability to coast and use brakes on the many downhills. I'm enjoying the ss as a training tool and just for the change it gives me. I'm laying off of it this week to rest my knees and back for Mountians of Misery on my geared bike. I can't wait to get it over so I can get back on the ss. My goal for the summer is to take it up the 13 mile thunder ridge climb on the parkway. I wouldn't want to ride down that thing on a fixie...
 

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n00bsauce
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I like the idea of foot pegs. I wonder if you could use a MTB fork with V brake or cantilever mounts to attach some pegs. Is there a MTB fork that has V brake/cantilever mounts AND a hole for a sidepull brake? Guess you'd have to look for a 29er fork to get proper clearance. Maybe you could modify a set of barends to clamp onto a fork?
 

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Most 29er forks are suspension corrected. A caliper would not reach the rim even if the crown was drilled, and the long A-C would make for yucky handling in the corners. But between that and the way it would jack up your BB (along with your raised center of gravity) your handling might be goofy enough discourage you from accelerating into a pedal-strike induced wreck in a tight corner.

I have a CX fork that is drilled for a caliper brake.

I experimented with a bar-end actuated drag brake on the rear. It worked well, but I didn't really find myself using it.
 

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n00bsauce
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Yeah, why didn't I think of a CX fork? A little research is in order.
 

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wim said:
Back in the days when all bicycles were fixed, the solution to the downhill problem was a pair of foot pegs on the fork blades. You can see them on almost every bicycle photo of that time.

Another solution for long, steep descents was to break off a tree branch and tie it to your bicycle as a drag brake. I used to own an old bicycle instructional book which said this about the tree branch drag brake: "Breaking off tree branches - especially from fruit trees - is frowned upon by the general populace and should be avoided."
that dude has skeleton hands!
 

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so what you're saying..

FTM said:
My ride to work climbs 1,350', my ride home 2,400' running 49:19. Guess I like to climb and spin. I also mountain bike fixed so I'm used to, and like, the steep stuff.
is that during your ride to work you climb uphill both ways? ??
 

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twrecks said:
I know it is sacrilidge to say, but I'm thinking about switching back to a freewheel on my Langster. Of all the reasons why I might ride my geared bike over the fixed, one is the rolling hills here in NOVA. I find myself dreading the downhills, I just don't enjoy riding the brake and backpedal force to keep the speed down. Uphill is fine, and I love the feel of fixed in traffic, but my favorite loops all have significant hills. Anyone else have this problem?
Ride what feels right to you. I live in north Arlington, where I reckon it's about as hilly as anywhere around here. There are a few small streets I don't tackle on the fixie and I don't do laps on the military road hill loop on it either. Otherwise, the hills mostly seem either manageable or short (in which case, they're manageable). OTOH, I also have a geared ride on which I can do different things. If you're riding fixie only, and not liking the hills, I guess it's a relatively simple, if not entirely happy, choice between modifying your routes or your gearing (either by going to ss or by changing your gearing--if all the hills are easy going up, but a spin out going down, maybe just moving to a taller gear would make you happier). I don't buy the religious aspect to fixed gear riding--I like it and I'm glad that others do too, but if you want to experiment with a ss freewheel, then it's a free country.
 

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I say "man up". :p

My brother and I rode down the parkway out to manassas, down 234 to Balls Ford Rd, back down 234 and out to Nissan Pavillion, back down 234 and we took Purcell Rd to Hoadly. He did all of this on his 46x16 Pista. I did the whole thing in the 53 ring, until we hit Purcell. It took us 2:30 to do about 45 miles.

It's been a while. PM me so we can ride sometime.
 
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