Fixed gear braking- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Fixed gear braking

    Just did my 2nd FG ride this evening. As an experienced SS'er I know all about one gear. The ride felt just like my freewheel SS bike (with the exception of the gentle kick when I tried to coast ). It was the same feel on flats and climbs but going downhill was TOTALLY different.

    I tried skids, sitting on the pedals between 9 and 12 o'clock, crawling slower than I climbed, and finally using the disc brakes.

    Using the brakes is obvious but is there a right and wrong way to descend on a FG Mtb. And is there a training advantage. My legs were certainly a bit tired after the ride but will I be better conditioned from riding downhill on FG without the brakes or is it better to just screw it and use the discs?

    Thanks for some insight from the experienced guys.
    P.S. I have no idea how Dave Nice ever, ever made TDR with a Fixie

  2. #2
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    No "right" way really. Use your brakes for downhill. Legs for speed modulation on flats and rollers. Downhills see me using my brakes.

  3. #3
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    I never thought my legs would be more sore from riding downhill on a bike than riding up. Guess FG has some surprises in store. It's got me fascinated. A friend asked me "why, what's the point?". It wasn't critical, just curious... I have no idea why I like it, I'm just trying. Maybe I'll come to a point to understand why I am doing it. Anyone willing to give some insight?


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  4. #4
    meh... whatever
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    why? because it's fun, different, and challenging.

    as to descending, try to float over the bike letting it undulate under you while relaxing your legs as they cycle with the cranks. once you find the zen you'll be amazed at how fast you can descend the flow AND the gnar on a scorcher.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by monogod View Post
    why? because it's fun, different, and challenging.

    as to descending, try to float over the bike letting it undulate under you while relaxing your legs as they cycle with the cranks. once you find the zen you'll be amazed at how fast you can descend the flow AND the gnar on a scorcher.
    Sounds cool. Thanks for the explanation. Do you mean that you are using the brakes to slow down or modulating with your legs?

  6. #6
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    I run a disc brake up front, and just the fixie on the back. Skidding is not necessary, your legs are one of the best anti-lock brakes around. Steep technical descents are very doable, but you it take a bit of practice to brake with your legs while hanging over the back of the saddle, and using your front disc.

    Hovering (as monogod said) or "posting" (the way horse riders hover and bounce on the saddle) works on the fast bumpy downhills.

    Pedal strikes are an issue, shorter cranks / higher BB helps. But you just live with it.

    Log overs are fun (more challenging).

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the insight. It helps to know where one can go with form. I won't be abandoning my rear disk too soon. It is good insurance atm for me until I become more proficient. On lesser grades I try to keep hands of the levers.

  8. #8
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    Im glad this thread popped up. After today my Fatboy will be fixed with a front brake... the only concern I have is descending, since I like to be out of the saddle a lot (old bmx guy here).

  9. #9
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    You'll get good quickly at what monogod and itsdoable describe. I've lately been itching really bad for another really trail worthy scorcher. My fixed 650b conversion is fun in dirt but not the ticket for any fun singletrack. I think my pug might be fixed soon.

  10. #10
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    Just like the eccentric phase in any training, where you focus on "braking" the movement (as opposed to isometric contraction (no movement) and a concentric contraction (contracting)), downhill when fixed should make your body work hard. Eccentric training has helped me a lot with basketball injuries in the past and is also the hardest workout for me personally. So no surprise that fixed downhill is a lot harder.

    But damn, now I wanna try out fixed mountain biking as well.

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