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****Okay, had to get this fixie fixation out of my system, got a Raleigh One-Way, set up as fixed only, just over a month ago. Pretty nervous at first, then willing to head out
into NYC traffic, i.e., The Big Time. Hills are still a bit scary, going down.

LOVE THE BIKE, Love the whole kind of ride and feel of total connection. Been riding
a VERY LONG TIME! Like over 40 years - mostly classic Italian road bikes (Frejus, Atala, LeJune, Holdsworth, Marinoni). So yeah, I am really THAT old.

But, this TRACK STAND thing is making me crazy, since it is so counter-intuitive to
all my years of putting my left foot down. But it's an important skill for negotiating traffic so
it's become another obsession.

I'd like to hear from other riders how easy or hard it was for them to master this
skill. Also, how do you negotiate steep downhills in busy city areas?

I don't even walk anymore, but even use the bike just to go to the deli on the corner.

Thanks.


Gene in Brooklyn

I use bullhorn bars, have one brake, but try never to use it. Frame is very comfortable,
just like a road bike geometry.
 

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Firstly, your not that old, I still ride a Holdsworth on a regular basis. And you ride a fixie, that makes you a couple years younger (or at least more youthful) right there.

For trackstands, don't concentrate on the bike, look up and out. I find that as soon as I try to consciously trackstand, I can't do it.
 

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Gene Kahn said:
But, this TRACK STAND thing is making me crazy, since it is so counter-intuitive to
all my years of putting my left foot down. But it's an important skill for negotiating traffic so
it's become another obsession.
I don't see how track standing is an important skill for negotiating traffic. Hundreds of thousands (millions?) of bikers around the world negotiate traffic successfully without track standing. It's just as good to put your foot down.

Track standing is cool. You don't need to try and rationalize it with any other reason. That's good enough.
 

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I haven't timed it, but can do it while waiting for a realllllly long red light....I just do it for fun and also as a balance exercise...did not know until recently that balance deteriorates w/ age and that exercise that requires good balance can counteract that. (Am 50 FWIW...)
 

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100% torqued
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I would bet I could trackstand for 5 minutes or until I was bored. It is one of those things that once you get it you got it. It is for me like a point of balance that I constantly wiggle back and forward over. Often I can just sit exactly at the point, but if a correction is needed, I just feel the counter effort instinctively now. Start on platform pedals and do you best to never give into putting a foot down. It gets easy fast. It is cool, and uphill trackstands are easiest, down hill hardest.
 

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haha, i track-sit... its funny the stares u get from pedestrians who look at you like you're some kind of freak...

that's right... track-sit... the lights take that long over here :(

yep, don't look down, find the curvature of the road and tilt ur front wheel in the opposite direction... when nicely balanced u should be able to roll back a lil' without concern, keep light pressure on the cranks to counteract this tendency, and that's how u keep the balance... u need to find that resistance in the cranks to counter, otherwise u will splat... keep ur hand on your brake, because sometimes u'll need to artificially induce that resistence... just my 2...
 

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oh and i disagree....re: handling.... track standing generally means u handle your bike better, and this can be crucial... altho not for things a reasonable person would take into account, so i can see where the comment came from....

put it this way - u think track standing is difficult? try instantly flipping your bike heading 90 degrees whilst travelling @ c.35km/h.. that's right - its hard..., had to do it to avoid a head-on with a crazy driver who had a brain-melt cutting me off whilst they were turning into the major road i was travelling straight ahead on....

had it not been for my manouver, it would have been my head, not my elbow, that smashed his windshield. No joke, had I been a more casual commuter, that would have ended very badly.... that flip required balance, massive brake modulation inducing a deliberate skid, man handling the bike, and split second innate decision-making to the max... there is no way, IMO, an average rider not 'in tune' with their ride can pull it off...

add to that, keeping upright on parallel tram tracks that can 'stick' your wheel, unsighted dips, potholes and markers, rapidly avoiding that opened door, etc...
 

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It probably took me about an hour to figure out the mechanics of it and it's been a sliding scale since. I just found some flat ground and discovered it was easier for me to balance with my strong foot in the 9 o'clock position. Went from there. It was quite the obsession until it became second nature and you never get tired of people staring at you when you make it look easy.

Track standing really helps your confidence with your bike and it is a sign that you handle your bike better.

At this point I can trackstand (or sit) with both hands a very long time. One hand, almost as long. No hands, maybe 30 seconds is my longest, on flat ground. Yes, the lean of the road can make it difficult at times but that's why you aren't stapled to your bike. Even the best riders put their foot down on occassion. Hell, if I know a light is going to take 4 minutes I will put a foot down. What am I trying to prove?

And yeah, you don't need to know how to trackstand, but if you really want to sprint off the line you do(if you use clips rather than clipless). When i put my foot down I have to get my foot in before I start spinning to fast or it isnt going in. If i slip at all getting it in there it slows me and everyone else down.

Telling me I don't need to trackstand is like telling a pro racer they don't need clipless pedals. I mean, they don't, but they do.
 

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^^ true... half the reason i even bothered to try was to avoid unclipping and clipping back in at the lights.... campy pro-fit induces that kinda behaviour, so i do it at every light pretty much...

campy pedals are a bit of a small target to hit, but god i love em...not that difficult, but i have missed it more than just once on a ride...

on a side note, its pretty cool to be able to 'dry clip' just before you know the light is about to go after waiting for ages and thus putting your foot down... can't do that unless u can track it.
 

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I suck at trackstands. Maybe 15-20 seconds tops at any given time.

I figured my legs aren't strong enough for my stupid 42*14 ratio. Maybe if I'd give in and spend another 10 bucks I could trackstand anywhere!
 

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ukiahb said:
I haven't timed it, but can do it while waiting for a realllllly long red light....I just do it for fun and also as a balance exercise...did not know until recently that balance deteriorates w/ age and that exercise that requires good balance can counteract that. (Am 50 FWIW...)
I'll be 40 in a few weeks and I can track stand long enough to wait for red lights and such on my commute to and from work. never timed it. i find it easier when looking out as opposed to looking down at my feet. And it's easier for me to do when I'm focusing on something else and not really thinking about it...like watching lights at traffic stops etc...
 

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I don't think trackstand skill- in and of itself- is important at all for negotiating traffic... but you'd better be dam good and confident to try at a light surround by cars. that said, I'm sure I can do it for minutes on end, and have for a few but it's just that (as someone else wrote) it gets boring
 

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I can track stand fairly easily for 5 minutes or more, but I want to emphasize that the only use of track stands is for fun. I know of no practical value to track standing. None.

I trackstand in traffic, but really it's safer to put the foot down because then you can concentrate on looking at the traffic instead of concentrating on your balance. I'll trackstand at lights just for the fun of it, but at stop signs it's much safer to put my foot down and concentrate on looking right and left for traffic.

And, I'm sorry to report that although I've done trackstands for awesome lengths of time in front of cute women many times, not one of them was impressed in the slightest.

Track stands seem much more effective at impressing cute boys, since I've had a good number of them offer compliments. I'm just saying...

Learning is not that difficult, but it takes some time. It seems absolutely impossible to do it at first, but after a bit of consistent practice, something will click and you'll get the idea. From that point on, it will come quickly with practice.

It's much easier to track-stand when you're very relaxed, but it's hard to relax until you get used to track-standing, so there's something of a Catch-22 that you have to overcome.

I learned by going in my driveway for an hour or so after dinner every evening for a few days and just practicing over and over again. By the third day I was able to do it briefly, and then within a week I could stand for fairly long times.
 

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One thing I do love about trackstanding, and really, fixed gears in general, is that it gives me somethign to focus on and try to improve. I don't know if I would love riding a fixie as much as I do if it wasn't so involved.

For those of us who either ride brakeless or just never touch the things, you have to be aware of your surroundings and the capabilities of yourself and your bike at all times and trackstanding is just another extension of that.

If it it looks like rain is coming or I have someplace to be that won't let me get a good ride in then I can just go outside and practice without going anywhere as opposed to a full carbon tri bike that I might not ride unless I can go for 20 + miles.

And I realize that racing is incredibly involved, what with all that shifting and cadence etc, but it's like the difference between me riding my fixie and riding my full squish mountain bike. If i want to go out to the trails I have to get my gear together, load my bike on my rack car, and take it to where the good riding is.

The zen experience (and frustration in getting to it) with my fixie is a mere 20 feet away.
 

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I am going to enter my first bike race tomorrow at the local college and do the citizens fixed class and they do a track stand contest at the end. I can do a 2 hour bike ride through town and around county roads with lots of stops and lights without clicking out of my pedals. I do this just to challenge myself and have fun. I find it easier to track stand in a bigger gear and can generally figure out most bikes in a few minutes, I just wish this would transfer to riding a unicycle. Track stands are fun and cool.
 

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Fredke said:
And, I'm sorry to report that although I've done trackstands for awesome lengths of time in front of cute women many times, not one of them was impressed in the slightest.
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lol, this is true. But what did u expect? trackstanding gives us something to do at the lights.. that's about it.... and seperates cyclists from the fair-weather-f*kers...
 
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