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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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  2. #2
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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!

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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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    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)

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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
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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
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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.

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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.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  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)

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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
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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
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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).

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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
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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

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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.

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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
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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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    Nope. Not yet. Grand plans to try it out with a Fixxer are on the drawing board. I could think of a bunch of reasons why it might suck, and a bunch or reasons why it might be amazing. I need to run the experiment and just see what happens. Your Vertigo with the super tight chain stays would make a fine candidate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by buddhak View Post
    Tight and technical, like we have in the East, is perfect.
    Got the Mouse down to about 4-5 "foot downs" now... almost there! (the day I can clear those two vertical rocks I will buy anyone within a 5 mile radius [on a bike] a beer)

    Riding Hellmont this sunday with some gearies, wanna come show them who's boss?

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by bike for days View Post
    Got the Mouse down to about 4-5 "foot downs" now... almost there! (the day I can clear those two vertical rocks I will buy anyone within a 5 mile radius [on a bike] a beer)

    Riding Hellmont this sunday with some gearies, wanna come show them who's boss?
    Would that I could. Travelling this weekend. I will PM you when I return to see if you, Ethan and I can re-unite.
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    Got out for several incredible hours of wet, rooted, leaf-covered, twisty up and down singletrack this morning. Found the limits of the xcheck and the narrow (44mm) tires. I think an ogre frameset will be replacing this one in the future. Probably no time soon, but eventually. Unless I can find a deal on an old canti compatible monkey frame in size big.

  30. #30
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    I don't blame the tires. I blame the rear rack.

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    Don't hate, marth. Also the tired performed really well given that I push them beyond their intended purpose.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by vaultbrad View Post
    Don't hate, marth. Also the tired performed really well given that I push them beyond their intended purpose.
    When I look at your bike, the rack is all I can see.

  33. #33
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    I flipped my flop last weekend. Did all of one mile on it before flipping back to fixed.

    I think I have a broken brain when this feels "normal" :P

    Also, decided to gear down a bit for winter and to experiment and lo and behold there was a 19tooth 3/32 Surly cog waiting for me at my lbs, from a customers Steamroller swap. The FGMTB Gods smiled at me. Then ***** slapped me.

  34. #34
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    Don't own FGMTB but own road FG. There were no XC bike in my fleet this summer so I rode my FG exclusively everywhere. It has sraight bars, flipflop hub, both brakes, steel frame, 48/17 gear and 25 mm slicks. All I can say - everyone must try fixed. Riding fixed is the ultimate fun. I even used it in time trial XC race (moderately technicall but with some short steep sections) and was not the last one!

    Not going to flipflop it to freewheel mode on this bike.
    I'm the type who don't like to use the brakes much so the FG with opportunity of controlling speed w/o brakes is the thing I really appreciate.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Igoreha View Post

    Not going to flipflop it to freewheel mode on this bike.
    I'm the type who don't like to use the brakes much so the FG with opportunity of controlling speed w/o brakes is the thing I really appreciate.
    +1 to the speed modulation. I started mtb late, and not that interested in bombing hills and DH anyhow, so I like the challenge that fixed gives to a moderate course.

    Oh, and I like everything about that pic/bike. Nice subtle color scheme.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by bike for days View Post
    +1 to the speed modulation. I started mtb late, and not that interested in bombing hills and DH anyhow, so I like the challenge that fixed gives to a moderate course.

    Oh, and I like everything about that pic/bike. Nice subtle color scheme.
    That's 2011 steel giant bowery mashup stock except pedals and tyres. Bought it as I broke my 26er ss and wanted smth. to pedal. This thing was in stock at the LBS. Glad I got it.

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    Fixed MTB roll call! As others have noted, I also started out with fixed as an experiment, which is why my bike is set up; 2x SS, 1x fixed, flip-flop. But I haven't ridden SS in years now. It sounds odd, but I can't even imagine how I'd approach an obstacle SS these days, because my mind goes straight to modulation and muscle memory from years of fixed riding.

    Unfortunately I've been bike-free for the last few months, and feeling out of shape as hell. I need to ride this winter, but due to a combination of factors, motivation to actually get out and do it has been pretty low.

    [Side note/***** sesh:] I ****ing hate the process of trying to find functional/fitting bike wear. I feel like I spend hundreds on absolute crap, that takes forever to get here via post, and then of course, I have to send back. If I just had winter gear that wasn't total bollocks, I'd probably ride, but every time I think about having to purchase gloves, or shoe covers, or arm warm ****, I want to throw my bike in a trash compactor. Maybe I need to buy 3 sizes of all of the reasonable looking options, for each thing I need, keep what works and 'bay the rest. Baahhhhh! [/endrant]

    Ok, bummer-time over. This pic always makes me want to ride. It's my bike the day I got over this stinking log that's got a super tricky approach. It's thwarted me dozens of times. No more!


  38. #38
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    If you don't have enough skills with a bicycle to use a front brake properly, the last thing you should ride is a brakeless fixed bike on mountain trails.

    Sometimes I flip my SS 29er rear wheel and mount a Velosolo Disc Cog in place of the brake disk and ride fixed. Obviously this disables the rear brake but the front remains on the bike.

    I like lower gearing (I don't have that strong knees and thighs but I spin like a madman), but for fixed riding I go a bit higher, 34/18 is good for general trail use. Tires are 2.35" and cranks 175 mm.

  39. #39
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    Firsts

    So I have a buddy who has been wanting to ride with me, but doesn't want to buy his own bike. So I threw some cross tires on my SS road bike and flip my hub to SS on the FGMTB for him.

    Sat he wanted to ride, and I wanted to shed some on the FG, so he rode the psycho cross bike and after about .5 mile he didn't like it. I said "welp, the Surly is fixed but you can try it " and figured he'd want to switch back or walk out after ten feet. Nope.

    When we got back to the trail head he was like: "*sigh* so how much is one of these going to set me back??"

    Also, those who maintain our barely legal trails in Philly do a great job and re-routed or otherwise made features out of Sandy's damage. This log-amid (~0:20) is one of the new features, and I only tried to get a wheel up on it the last two times out. Having a spotter I decided to give it a go for real. I surprise myself and cleared it the first time!


    The following 7 min are of a different trail in that system. Tuff but fun. I decided to not edit out what I can't clear. Hope to clear the whole thang by the end of '13. Buddhak, I'll need your sage advice on the biga** rock.

  40. #40
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    Yo Rob,

    I am getting 1:45 of bikes and trail, and the rest is green screen.
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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by buddhak View Post
    Yo Rob,

    I am getting 1:45 of bikes and trail, and the rest is green screen.
    Hmm, might be Vimeo. It was being all cranky about the fps that I exported the video at.

    The whole thing (meaning the link, not the file) plays on both a Mac laptop/iPad?

  42. #42
    Really I am that slow
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    been known to ride just a wee bit fixed

    i run a front brake, fairly high ratio gear, and like pretty big tires to give a nice cushy ride...

    my main ride pictured below
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fixed gear-036.jpg  

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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlowerThenSnot View Post
    been known to ride just a wee bit fixed

    i run a front brake, fairly high ratio gear, and like pretty big tires to give a nice cushy ride...

    my main ride pictured below
    Love that bike. Now let's get a picture of your other bike with the Larry tires stuffed in there!

  44. #44
    Really I am that slow
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    Quote Originally Posted by vaultbrad View Post
    Love that bike. Now let's get a picture of your other bike with the Larry tires stuffed in there!
    okie dokie
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fixed gear-024.jpg  

    Fixed gear-010.jpg  

    Fixed gear-001.jpg  

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    Thanks! Too awesome. Did you have to do anything to the frame to get the big rubber to fit?

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    Quote Originally Posted by vaultbrad View Post
    Thanks! Too awesome. Did you have to do anything to the frame to get the big rubber to fit?
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  47. #47
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    Converted my El Mariachi to fixed today. Made 6 bolt cog from dmr 16 t. 34/16 gear, easton haven wheels. So far so good. Going to ride through winter in this configuration.

  48. #48
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    Is it safe to ride such drilled cog? Has anybody tried this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Igoreha View Post
    Is it safe to ride such drilled cog? Has anybody tried this?
    not the safest, and can be a real pain to drill....

    just get a cog TomiCOGs
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  50. #50
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    Well...the TomiCog is just a drilled cog. But the guy does it right, and does it for you, at a very reasonable price. My TomiCogs have about 1-2 decades of life left in them, I reckon.
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  51. #51
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    I know about TomiCog and would be happy to get it. But It's very hard to get in Russia. Not available in most online stores also.

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    I've got 18t and 19t Tomicogs, and a 17t VeloSolo cog. The VS has a much nicer finish, as it's polished and looks nicer, but functionally, both brands work great. Although I've never dropped a chain with either brand, the Tomicogs look to have a taller tooth profile, so if you're paranoid about dropping a chain or prefer to run your chain on the looser side of what's acceptable, the Tomicog might be a better choice.

    Currently running 38:17 on a 26" fixed wheel, 1998 Rockhopper Comp (love the old steel "Nitanium" Rockhoppers!) with a White Industries Eno Eccentric Disc hub.

  53. #53
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    I use Velosolo cogs.

    VeloSolo Shop - Disc Hub Mount Cogs and Accessories

    Lifetime warranty, too. Even if they just wear out.

  54. #54
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    Fixed Gearing

    I have a fancy new set of wheels but I'm going to keep my old ones and rjn the fattest tires I can get in the hope that it helps stave off my fatbike craving. They are flows laced to surly hubs, which I think I should be able to mount a fixed cog on instead of a freewheel.

    When looking for a cog, what kind of gearing should I look for? Was thinking the low end of what I run SS, maybe even a bit smaller to help with downhills, does this seem readonable? Sorry if this was answered elsewhere, couldnt find it.
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  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexCuse View Post
    When looking for a cog, what kind of gearing should I look for? Was thinking the low end of what I run SS, maybe even a bit smaller to help with downhills, does this seem readonable? Sorry if this was answered elsewhere, couldnt find it.
    By smaller do you mean smaller cog (higher gear) or smaller ratio/inches (lower gear)?

    This is the part where you'll get 5 riders with 8 opinions, but personally I would think about a little harder/steeper gear for fixed than free because it sucks to be thinking about losing control spinning out on the downhills when there are 5 other concerns ahead.

    I guess the best way to put it might be, what is that hardest gear you could actually do your usual trail loop on, but not be miserable? Start with that for fixed.

  56. #56
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    Yeah sorry meant smaller cog / higher gear. That is about what I was thinking. Probably could ride local trails at 16 but wasn't thinking smaller than 18 just so I can ride at more places. Maybe starting smaller and only riding fixed on smoother trails to start is the way to go though.
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  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexCuse View Post
    Yeah sorry meant smaller cog / higher gear. That is about what I was thinking. Probably could ride local trails at 16 but wasn't thinking smaller than 18 just so I can ride at more places. Maybe starting smaller and only riding fixed on smoother trails to start is the way to go though.
    Split the difference at 17 then! Personally, I would say don't skip the technical stuff just because you roll fixed. Try what you can, then try again, and when you you get it it will seem monumental!

  58. #58
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    [QUOTE=AlexCuse;10063011]I have a fancy new set of wheels but I'm going to keep my old ones and rjn the fattest tires I can get in the hope that it helps stave off my fatbike craving. They are flows laced to surly hubs, which I think I should be able to mount a fixed cog on instead of a freewheel.[QUOTE]

    If I am reading you correctly, you plan on running Surly freewheel hubs with a thread-on fixed cog but without a lockring. Not a good idea . If you do not have a fixed specific hub, then you should probably run a TomiCog or VeloSolo cog that mounts where your disk rotor normally would.
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  59. #59
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    You "can" do what they call suicide fixed...which is a fixed cog threaded onto a freewheel hub and locked on with a bottom bracket lockring with a bunch of loctite...but I wouldn't trust that. If you don't want to buy a Tomicog, drill out a cheap stamped cog. That's what I'm running because I didn't know if I'd enjoy FG offroad. No problems in the last year or so

  60. #60
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    Thanks guys didn't know there was a difference in the hubs. Will look into other options but not sure I want to go without rear brake. I guess that is the cheapest way to try it though, and I am sure I could get away with just a front on a few trails close to home.
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  61. #61
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    If your wheelset and frame are rim brake compatible you can throw a cheap v-brake on the back.

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    Not an option. No big deal though, pretty sure if I cant coast I won't need the back brake as bad. Just got a beefier front rotor set up too
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  63. #63
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    no need for a beefier front brake if you're not running a rear, i've run v's on a scorcher with no rear brake. you control the speed of the rear wheel with your legs.

    nothing wrong with suicide fixing either if it's done correctly. before tomicogs, velos, the proliferation of disc hubs, and fixed mtn hubs it was pretty much the only way to go if you wanted to ride fixed off road. same with converting old 27" roadies to fixed.

    i've got some that are nearing a decade of hard use and still going strong and there's more than a few running around town that i did for other people that are still in use too. "correctly" is the qualifier.

    that being said the above was done out of necessity as it was the only option. there's really no need to do that any more unless the wheel you're using is v's only since a tomicog is less than $30 shipped right to your front door. i purchased one of the very first ones he started producing and there is no discernible wear despite years of hard use in all kinds of weather.
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  64. #64
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    I finally scored a tomicog via trade, but I saw a pretty good deal on an WI eccentric rear wheel on craigslist so now I'm thinking of making my 26" bike the experimental fixed gear. Mostly because it will keep me on the bike I've had for more than half my life more often, and give me get a bit more exercise out of my commute (and save the wear and tear on my cross bike too I guess). It will be nice to get the hang of fixed riding with a rear brake that I can use when I need to bail too.

    Are there any gotchas that I'd need to be aware of when setting one of these hubs up as fixed?
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  65. #65
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    I can't speak to the WI hub, although I wouldn't think there would be anything that would cause an issue. I've had a tomicog for about 3 months now and I absolutely love it. Bulletproof, pretty (for what it is) and the price is solid. Going fixed was the best decision I ever made. And what rear brake will you have? Rim brake? I ultimately went fixed because my rear brake kept giving me headaches. Not any more
    Calmer'n you are.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexCuse View Post
    I finally scored a tomicog via trade, but I saw a pretty good deal on an WI eccentric rear wheel on craigslist so now I'm thinking of making my 26" bike the experimental fixed gear. Mostly because it will keep me on the bike I've had for more than half my life more often, and give me get a bit more exercise out of my commute (and save the wear and tear on my cross bike too I guess). It will be nice to get the hang of fixed riding with a rear brake that I can use when I need to bail too.

    Are there any gotchas that I'd need to be aware of when setting one of these hubs up as fixed?
    the only gotcha to the eno ecc hub is making sure you get the fixing bolts tight enough. the axle end has a little lip that bites into the inner dropout to keep it from slipping and if it's not tight enough it may move. other than that it's a solid, bulletproof hub that will more or less last indefinitely.

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  67. #67
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    Thanks guys. Picked up the wheel yesterday, that hub really is an impressive bit of engineering. I like that its a flip/flop so if I prove to be too soft to ride fixed its not a total loss - seems like the best way to get a freewheel SS setup on my old frame too. The guy selling it threw in end caps to convert from 135 to 130 mm spacing too, so if I ever want to lace a bigger rim to it for my cross bike it should be doable. Now I just need to wait for spokes to come in so I can lace up a new front wheel and a couple other parts to trickle down from my 29er over the next week and I should be in business.
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  68. #68
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    sweet!

    don't forget to post pics...
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  69. #69
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    I love WI parts. The bearings on my ENO did not last as long as I would have liked, but the replacements were easy enough to obtain. Just a great hub.
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  70. #70
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    From inspection I suspect the bearings will last longer than the bearings on my Surly hubs typically last - and even if they don't, I think they use a standard bearing. The angular contact bearings the Surlys were spec'd with are *never* available locally - I suspect this is part of the reason they introduced the "Ultra New" hubs. By the time I learned to keep some bearings on hand, I had a new wheelset on the way with DT's SS hubs. Heh, guess if I end up posting those wheels in the trade thread someone will get a free set of bearings.

    Gotta admit I'm pretty psyched to try this - haven't been so excited since I first got a 29er and was itching to get it on the trails.
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  71. #71
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    Re: Fixed gear

    Not quite ready to post up pics (got uncabled v-brakes flopping around) but built a front wheel yesterday and got the fixed drivetrain set up today. That hub might be the most genius piece of gear I have.

    Rode brakeless around my neighborhood for a bit. Never rode fixed before but it feels pretty cool. Almost feels like I need to put pressure on pedals in both directions when going downhill. Should make commutes and local trails a bit more interesting.
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  72. #72
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    So I've got a question. Rode fixed to work for the first time today (~10.5 miles) and it seemed to work pretty good. Only tapped the brakes once to get into a skid for a stop sign immediately at the bottom of a steep hill (I thought the guy coming the other way might not let me california roll it, but he did). Felt great to be constantly pedaling. However, during the first big downhill (one that I typically get up to at least 30 mph on if I'm coasting) I started noticing a strange tick tock noise. After that hill it didn't really stop. It didn't seem to be coming from the hub so I kept riding. When I got to work I gave the rear wheel a more thorough inspection and noticed HUGE tension loss in probably about half the spokes - I'm really surprised it held its shape and no spokes broke to be honest.

    Is this a normal thing? I was slowing down on the hills by applying downward pressure on the pedal that is moving up. It seemed to work but I can see how that would be hard on the wheel. Is what I was doing totally wrong?

    I think I should be good to get home, I'll just use the brakes to slow down. For now I'm going to true the wheel back up at home and hope this is just a freak occurrence - I bought the wheel used and have no idea how long it was sitting.

    If this is a common problem and/or one with an easy solution I'd love to know more about it though.
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  73. #73
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    It sounds like there was not proper tension on the spokes from the beginning. I had this issue with my first wheel build a few years ago. I trued and tensioned the wheel properly and haven't had any issues since.

  74. #74
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    Yeah, it's probably because when you flipped the wheel around, all your pushing spokes became the pullers, though on a properly built disc wheel that shouldn't be an issue.

  75. #75
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    Ok thats good to know sasquatch - tension felt ok but I could see it having been a bit low. Was more concerned that it was a technique issue having never done this before.

    Its a non-disc wheel so that makes some sense p4nh4ndle.

    Thanks guys - now if the wheel can just get me home to retension it
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  76. #76
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    There's a bike shop 3 miles from work so I decided to head there at lunch and pick up a spoke wrench (that will be going in the seat pack I eventually put on this bike). When looking again almost all the loose spokes were on the drive side so it seems like p4nh4ndle's theory was right. For now its not creaking and I was able to get it reasonably true (not getting any rub on the rear brake pads - I knew there was a reason I left that brake on there ) but I'll get it up on the stand in the near future. Hope I didn't use up all the thread left on these nipples getting it tightened up.
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  77. #77
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    When I read your description, Alexcuse, I was thinking it may have been a problem of inadequate stress relieving during tensioning. Are you using butted spokes? What is your routine when bringing the wheel up to tension?

    Also, and this is a Public Service Announcement that has little to do with your problem, but whenever working on a fixed wheel, avoid spinning the wheel idly. It is not unheard of for folks to accidentally get their fingertips amputated when they get between cog and chain on a moving fixed gear wheel. Respect the FG.
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  78. #78
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    On Sheldon Brown's Wheel Building page there is a section header called "Initial Spoke Adjustment" which should explain everything. This is one of the most important steps in wheel building.

  79. #79
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    had the wheel been properly tensioned/relieved in the first place that would have never happened irrespective of which direction you ran the wheel. FG flip-flop wheels have been in use worldwide since the 19th century and don't require any kind of special truing technique compared to a disk wheel.
    Last edited by monogod; 03-27-2013 at 11:41 AM.
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  80. #80
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    I should have been more clear I thought it may have been a problem with my slowing down without using brakes technique, not a problem with wheel building technique, though it seems that may have left a bit to be desired.

    I got the rear wheel used - didn't check much more than the hub bearings for smoothness and that the spoke tension felt reasonable - clearly something was a bit off, I'll give it a proper truing when I can get it off the bike. Spokes appeared butted when I checked, not sure on other build details though. I could definitely see lack of stress relief being a problem here - and one that the original owner may not have run into if he was running on the freewheel side (I only met him once but I'd guess he weighs at least 60 lbs less than me, imagine that could hide a lot of issues too). Lack of spoke prep could have played a role as well - if this becomes a constant thing I will probably try and get some of that wicking loctite into the threads.
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  81. #81
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    As long as you're applying forces to the wheel by pedaling, it doesn't matter how hard you do it or which way you push: you can't do it wrong. A properly made wheel can take all the pedaling you can give it, doesn't matter which way the spoke heads are, doesn't matter if it's flipped, flapped or flopped, doesn't matter if you have disc brakes or none at all.

    So don't worry about your technique on the bike. Get the wheel build sorted and you'll be fine. Any kind of playing with the spoke direction is not a solution. There are reputable makers who suggest either way, and most of them say the other way (not theirs) is fine as well.

  82. #82
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    Re: Fixed gear

    Thanks guys - no pings on the way home. Really liking the fixed ride - it feels faster, I guess because I dont really get a chance to let up. We'll see how it goes when I get it on the trails but I don't think rear brake is gonna be staying on too long
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  83. #83
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    Finally got out on the trails last night. Mud was an issue (I have Kenda K-Rad tires on the bike to make it a more viable commuter) and I'm glad I kept the rear brake on (the Deore brakes don't really give enough power up front, hoping a stiffer brake would allow me to remove the rear) but it was very fun. I'm probably going to have to man up and put clipless pedals on, because between the low bottom bracket and wide platforms I was mashing my pedals on everything. The clipless pedals wouldn't give much more clearance but I think the platform width was what I struggled with more than anything else.
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

  84. #84
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    Yeah, pedal strikes were abundant for my early FG MTBing days You eventually learn to take different approaches or find ways to get those pedals over obstacles.

    While this thread is current again, I thought I'd share that I sold my FG Hardrock, BUT I am planning to build a fixed wheel for my 1x1 so I have a more modern, conformable bike to ride fixed offroad I can use what I sold the bike for to build a rear wheel for my Surly. Essentially the same as what I had before, I'll just own 1 more wheel and 1 less bike.

  85. #85
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    Speaking of pedal strikes, has anyone experienced or heard of someone experiencing frame or component damage as a result of a nasty strike?
    Calmer'n you are.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexCuse View Post
    Finally got out on the trails last night. Mud was an issue (I have Kenda K-Rad tires on the bike to make it a more viable commuter) and I'm glad I kept the rear brake on (the Deore brakes don't really give enough power up front, hoping a stiffer brake would allow me to remove the rear) but it was very fun. I'm probably going to have to man up and put clipless pedals on, because between the low bottom bracket and wide platforms I was mashing my pedals on everything. The clipless pedals wouldn't give much more clearance but I think the platform width was what I struggled with more than anything else.
    clipless give you better control over the rear wheel for speed modulation as well as allowing you to time your cranks before reaching obstacles. after a while the latter pretty much becomes second nature.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldencalf View Post
    Speaking of pedal strikes, has anyone experienced or heard of someone experiencing frame or component damage as a result of a nasty strike?
    frame damage? no.

    component damage? yes. the crank arm ends take a beating and i've seen egg beaters destroyed. i use spd and have never busted one on any of the multiple nasty strikes they've endured.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by sasquatch rides a SS View Post
    Yeah, pedal strikes were abundant for my early FG MTBing days You eventually learn to take different approaches or find ways to get those pedals over obstacles.

    While this thread is current again, I thought I'd share that I sold my FG Hardrock, BUT I am planning to build a fixed wheel for my 1x1 so I have a more modern, conformable bike to ride fixed offroad I can use what I sold the bike for to build a rear wheel for my Surly. Essentially the same as what I had before, I'll just own 1 more wheel and 1 less bike.
    I forget if it was this thread or the old one, but someone mentioned that riding fixed makes you sometimes chose the *more* technical line, but attack at certain points, to avoid pedal strike. Like a rock garden with a few rocks and a gap between... well you might luck out and line the cranks just right if you take the gap, or maybe you should just huck over them rocks instead!

    Last weekend I had my first "oh it doesn't feel right, I will prob pedal strike on that..." so I did a hop/half rotation, then kept going, and cleared it just right. Felt goooooood man.

    But right now my Troll is a 1x8 since I have a commute snafu I can't real deal with single speed. I miss fgmtb already and haven't even done my Sunday ride. Soon I hope to afford a IGH so it will be a matter of a straight wheelswap, no derailer to deal with.

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