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Thread: Fixed gear

  1. #1
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    Fixed gear

    I am taking my jamis dragon out fixed style via tomicog tomorrow after work and wondering who else rides fixed in the dirt?

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    '09 Jamis Dragon One "one gear, one brake lever, lots of carbon and steel."

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  2. #2
    conjoinicorned
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    i've started trying it on my monstercross. i've already had some wicked falls and i have soooo much respect for those who can ride real trails with a fixed. i'm running fr/rr brakes and i can't even imagine not running both. i'm not a long time fixed rider but it's sure taught me about how often one actually coasts in the dirt, which is so much more than i ever thought.

    my goal for the year is to ride a favorite local loop fixed...it's not super tech but has some steep ups/downs and quite a few roots. so far that is my biggest issue is figuring out how to carry speed while getting over even the smallest of obstacles. going slow is fine but trying to keep trail speed has thrown me OTB more than a few times
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

  3. #3
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    I can't get enough of riding fixed offroad, it's an absolute blast. I ride an old 1991 Specialized Hardrock that is set up as a fixed gear (via homemade drilled cog) and has a drop bar and front and rear brakes on it. It is a new challenge and definitely makes you a better rider. It will wear you out, as previously mentioned, your legs never stop moving...and you will have more pedal strikes as well. Other than that, at least for me, once you get the hang of riding fixed it really isn't that much different. I can clear most of the same stuff, and if anything it makes me clear the stuff easier on my singlespeed! I do suggest riding flats as you get the hang of it. Clipless and riding fixed gear mtb can get a little hairy.

    Either way, you'll either enjoy it, or it won't be for you. It's a blast, have fun with it!
    Mountain bikers who don't road ride have no legs...
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  4. #4
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    I commute everyday on a fixie to work and I have ridden off road on my monocog fixed about 50 miles 2 years ago...but when I was cleaning up the bike room I found my tomicog and I have an extra wheelset so here I am ready to go have some fun. I ride brakeless commuting and front brake off road with a less aggressive tire out back so when I skid I don't get hop...that was bad...

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    '09 Jamis Dragon One "one gear, one brake lever, lots of carbon and steel."

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    I love offroad fixing or "scorching". I've been doing it on and off for years ("off" usually meaning injury (not through fixed riding, though)). For me personally, it's the ultimate way to ride. Yes, there may be times when you wish you can coast, or times when the gear forces you to walk (I don't gear as low as on my ss, because of the downhills), but it requires so much concentration and is so intuitive at the same time that I wouldn't trade it for any other type of riding. Cheers to 63xc.com--The Offroad Fixed Gear Site for all the stories, tips and tricks.

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    So i got out there tonight and decided that if im going to do it i may as well go all out...I picked the most technical of the trails at my local trailhead. I avereaged 2 mph slower than usual and ended about 15 slower than my good SS laps but I had some much fun. Navigated all of the rocky rooted drop off downhills and the nasty brick/rock/root switchback climbs perfectly. I felt like i didnt even touch my brake lever( only front) once. next time out there i may go brakeless, although this may be cause i have about 500 miles of commuting on a fixie with no brakes so i am used to skidding for speed control.

    i highly recommend you guys grab a tomicog and try it out get the feel of not coasting down in your yard and mess around with skids and such before you get out there though. you will love it!

  7. #7
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    Leave the brake on there. Is it in the way? You'll be glad you have it when you need it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vaultbrad View Post
    Leave the brake on there. Is it in the way? You'll be glad you have it when you need it.
    If anything I feel like it's more dangerous because if I panic and grab the lever cause I'm scared, I'll endo... All I have is the front brake and I can't run the rear since they are disc specific wheels I'm running a tiny c***(tomicog... Sorry I had to leave that that's what the google voice to text thought I said..lol)

    Sent from my PG86100 using Tapatalk 2
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  9. #9
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    I've recently returned to the fixed side, and this is the longest my bike has been in one drivetrain configuration. I fell in love with fixed riding about 8 yrs ago, but had a hiatus after selling my track bike. Back now in full fun.

    I commute daily, ranging from 10-20 miles or so. Some days more. I intend to get on the trails this weekend. Can't wait. There are some local trails that are tight, twisty, and up-and-down. Not so technical, but should be a blast. Will report back.

  10. #10
    Just Ride
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    I'll never bother with fixed. I like to coast to much. Also being able to backpedal is essential at times. Specifically in rock gardens.

    I watched a documentary called Live and Ride in LA. There was a guy in there riding a fixie who also races em who smokes. I couldn't understand that at all. I'm a former smoker and maybe that's why I like to coast? I dunno but how could you ride any kind of bicycle and be a smoker? Especially fixed?
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  11. #11
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    I've done it a handful of times, and it is fine, but I like going fast when I can and fixed usually means not doing that. And since I am sure I'll get some arguments, try gearing for 4mph climbs and then 20+mph descents....

    And seriously guys, get brakes on your bikes. Personally, I don't care if you chain brakes and you fall off a cliff- afterall, if you all do that I won't have to have that ****ing discussion over and over again. But do it for the trail. Skidding and skip stopping is **** tons of fun, but it the same has the ****er with a ham-fisted rear brake and contributes to trail wear. And no, doing trail work doesn't offset this.

    Over and out.

  12. #12
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    What umarth said. Skidding on dirt trails is a negative. Don't be a self absorbed ass and run brakes on your bike.


    Quote Originally Posted by the5ifty View Post
    If anything I feel like it's more dangerous because if I panic and grab the lever cause I'm scared, I'll endo...
    Learn how to use your front brake.

  13. #13
    meh... whatever
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    was scorchin' before it was cool....

    before the tomicog and nifty fixed mtn hubs came into being just rotofixed a cog onto a threaded ss hub with red loctite and then locked it on with a bb ring.

    it's a wholly different experience in the dirt, and it sounds like you're hooked. i've ridden all over fixed, including moab, etc., and it's BIG fun!

    as for riding brakeless? don't. just learn how to use it. i only run a front brake on my scorcher as well, but wouldn't dream of riding the trails (especially the gnar-gnar) sans front brake. without it you're more of a danger to both yourself and others on the trail.
    "I never TRY anything... I just do it." ~ Varla

  14. #14
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    Indeed. One will not see my velocipede sans manually opperated decelerator.

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    you'll either get it, or ya won't

    I had done a little mountain biking, but not much before diving in fixed.

    My first fixed mtb experience was going to customer appreciation day at Iro Cycles (ie: Tony from Iro's backyard) to get a small frame Mark V for my ex. He had one of his 29er set up with platforms (since everyone had sneakers on) and no brakes and I took it for one spin over a small trail in his yard, and I was hooked. I know everyone loves to bash on how "bike zen" is over used, but I don't know any other way to describe it. Ended up breaking up with the ex after I built her up a nice new Mark V, but at least I now have a solid long term relationship with fg mtb-ing (which ironically causes fewer bruises).

    Scoured the internets for months and I ended up finding a Surly fixed/free hub (laced to a nice Mavic) for $60 on cl. No one would drive the 30 min out to see the guy so that's why it was so cheap.

    I flip my flop every couple of months or so, but honestly coasting just feels weird to me now. Also I dont' clear stuff well rolling free because I feel like I've finally got a rhythm to when the cranks will be lined up. And when they ain't, well, that's fun in a different way!
    The learning curve is high on FG MTB and I figuerd I"d learn a bunch of skills and then apply it to regular SS, but everytime I get out to the trails and I think about flipping the wheel I"m like "F it, lets roll"


    I upgraded from a project Nashbar frame to a Surly Troll. the only downside to this frame is the BB is much lower... I can't afford *****ing 165mm cranks yet (White Ind or Middleburn) so pedal strike has become more of an issue.. but I feel like it makes me more aware.

    I run both brakes, in case I need or want to flip, but also for an assist with modulating the rear wheel. However I've gotten a lot better at doing a little flip kick to line up the pedals, or to scrub off speed with the wheel in the air(I try to avoid skidding as much as possible, but once I hit the fire road or gravel pile it's on... )

    So can we talk some FG MTB tactics up in here? I don't see the old discussion thread, only the pic thread.

    I feel like I am developing some "fake" bunny hopping skills by pulling up with my feet/pedals to get the rear up clearing logs/etc, but I just can't seem to find a better way to do it while constantly pedaling. Should I just stick with what works and get it clean and worry about learning "real" bunny hops in a decade when I finally give up FG MTBing? (hint: won't happen)

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth View Post
    I've done it a handful of times, and it is fine, but I like going fast when I can and fixed usually means not doing that. And since I am sure I'll get some arguments, try gearing for 4mph climbs and then 20+mph descents....

    And seriously guys, get brakes on your bikes. Personally, I don't care if you chain brakes and you fall off a cliff- afterall, if you all do that I won't have to have that ****ing discussion over and over again. But do it for the trail. Skidding and skip stopping is **** tons of fun, but it the same has the ****er with a ham-fisted rear brake and contributes to trail wear. And no, doing trail work doesn't offset this.

    Over and out.
    I believe at one point you followed me down Fun Girl at a very muddy ACM a few years back when my front brake went out and didn't have a rear brake on that bike (was trying a new bike y'all,usually like to ride front and rear brakes on my fixies) and all I could do is skid stop.... How'd I do?

    Here's a good fixed off road thread:
    Technical riding with an offroad fixie

  17. #17
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBaker View Post
    I believe at one point you followed me down Fun Girl at a very muddy ACM a few years back when my front brake went out and didn't have a rear brake on that bike (was trying a new bike y'all,usually like to ride front and rear brakes on my fixies) and all I could do is skid stop.... How'd I do?

    Here's a good fixed off road thread:
    Technical riding with an offroad fixie
    Jah, sure did. To be fair, it was so muddy that all you did was part the mud momentarily before the mud settled and it looked like no one had ever ridden there, ever. But we can both agree that normally doesn't happen, yes?

  18. #18
    CB2
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth View Post
    I've done it a handful of times, and it is fine, but I like going fast when I can and fixed usually means not doing that. And since I am sure I'll get some arguments, try gearing for 4mph climbs and then 20+mph descents....

    And seriously guys, get brakes on your bikes. Personally, I don't care if you chain brakes and you fall off a cliff- afterall, if you all do that I won't have to have that ****ing discussion over and over again. But do it for the trail. Skidding and skip stopping is **** tons of fun, but it the same has the ****er with a ham-fisted rear brake and contributes to trail wear. And no, doing trail work doesn't offset this.

    Over and out.
    Fixed gear isn't what's preventing me from going fast.

    I like fixed gear offroad in the Winter; it's like having traction control. I've found a front disc brake is enough when riding around here fixed (offroad).

  19. #19
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    I took my steamroller out the other day after spending some time on 63xc.com and survived. Actually had a good time. I'm considering building up a troll or 1x1 fixed for giggles. I'll keep my monkey free though. I think it will be a bit before I can race fixed lol.

  20. #20
    Dinner for wolves
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    What happened to the OP? Did he perish riding fixed? That would be heroic. FWIW, I still ride fixed. We will see how long it lasts, but so far I am still obsessed 2 years later. I think it helps to have a trail system available to you that highlights the strong suits of the FG. Long ups and fast downs like they have out West would probably suck. Tight and technical, like we have in the East, is perfect.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by buddhak View Post
    Tight and technical, like we have in the East, is perfect.
    True. I'm lucky that our trails here in east tn are similarly tight and twisty. Can't wait to get back home to Lil' Rhody

  22. #22
    Dinner for wolves
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    Rhode Island? You guys have some fantastic riding up there. Arcadia and Big River come to mind. When my in laws lived there, I would haul my SS bike up there (sadly, before I was a FGMTB rider) and gorge myself on those trails. I often dream of taking the FG to Arcadia - perfect terrain for this kind of bike. Or perhaps the North-South trail on a FG? Fat Fixie? Bucket list material.

    EDIT: Oh, and East TN! I only got to try Haw Ridge when I was visiting Oak ridge in 2007. Such a sweet trail system.
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  23. #23
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    Likewise, I haven't had a FG up in RI and haven't even been to haw ridge yet, though that may change this weekend. The knoxville trail systems near the city are pretty fun and very accessible by bike from where I live, so they are where I ride most often.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by the5ifty View Post
    If anything I feel like it's more dangerous because if I panic and grab the lever cause I'm scared, I'll endo....
    Reminds me of this "Fixation" movie I recently saw on Netflix. One of the guys says, "I've heard it's more dangerous to have a front brake, because it takes more time to reach for that lever [than backpedaling]." So the alternative is go brakeless, and if you happen to panic and get scared, you'll just go barreling into the tree or off a cliff. But at least you won't endo.

    Quote Originally Posted by CB2 View Post
    ...I like fixed gear offroad in the Winter; it's like having traction control. I've found a front disc brake is enough when riding around here fixed (offroad).
    At the risk of sounding like a hipster, the best part of winter fixed ride is 20 yard skids across frozen ice sections on the trail.

  25. #25
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    Quote Originally Posted by buddhak View Post
    Fat Fixie?
    So, it sounds like you haven't tried it yet. Wonder if traction would be so good that it'd make it difficult to backpedal (and ride)...

    Let us know how it goes. I guess I could try it myself also
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