sceptisism about fixed gears.

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John Docherty

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Oct 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/21/00
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I asked this question before. No one answered. It must of sounded like
psychotic babble. Ill try again.
Is there anyone who doesn't think a smooth stroke is good? I feel more
comfortable pushing hard from about 340 degrees to about 90 degrees,
from the top, then relaxing for the rest. I can think of lots of reasons
why this would be better.


GBSHAUN

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Oct 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/21/00
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So what does this have to do with fixed gears?


Shaun
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John Docherty

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Oct 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/21/00
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GBSHAUN wrote:
I thought the purpose of training on a fixed gear bike was to master smooth
continuous pedaling. What other reason do people train on fixed gears.

GBSHAUN

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Oct 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/21/00
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>> So what does this have to do with fixed gears?

>I thought the purpose of training on a fixed gear bike was to master smooth
>continuous pedaling. What other reason do people train on fixed gears.

I think a lot of people do try it for that, but i don't think it really leads
to that skill if they are talking about cruising on road rides. Why would it be
any different to riding a freewheel bike in the same gear? If you ride a fixed
you'll notice that the bottom chain doesn't regularly go taught as it would if
the "fixed" aspect was having an effect. Spinning wildly on downhills is less
likely to cause the neuromuscular motor skill (?) that leads to smoother pedal
strokes as there is not enough power necessary to require all the muscles to be
deployed. Anyhow, this could still be done on a freewheel bike - probably
better in fact as it would be more evident if the legs were failing to drive
the pedals.

Why do people ride fixed? (presumably you're talking about on the road) -
probably because they like it.
Also in some situations one gets better control (ie bike messengers), it's less
likely to fail (winter bikes in snow), plus in time trials there's an
efficiency in the drive that's worth taking advantage of for strong riders who
can keep the speed in the efficient-cadence range.

Ed Wagner

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Oct 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/21/00
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Just two points, learned from experience:

First, riding a fixed gear seems to help in developing a high cadence
without bouncing in the saddle. It seems counter-intuitive, but in
order to go faster you have to relax. I'm thinking here about going
down a slight grade, not uphill or into the wind. Short circuits are
excellent for this type of training.

Second, after riding a fixed gear my legs feel 'loose' rather than
tight. Maybe it's that conscious relaxation, but I'm not certain.

If anyone has a better explanation, please inform all of us.

--
Ed


"GBSHAUN" <gbs...@aol.com-Wallace> wrote in message
news:20001021182141...@ng-cg1.aol.com...


>
> Why do people ride fixed? (presumably you're talking about on the
road) -
> probably because they like it.
> Also in some situations one gets better control (ie bike messengers),
it's less
> likely to fail (winter bikes in snow), plus in time trials there's an
> efficiency in the drive that's worth taking advantage of for strong
riders who
> can keep the speed in the efficient-cadence range.

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John Hansen

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Oct 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/21/00
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> Why would it be
>any different to riding a freewheel bike in the same gear? If you ride a
>fixed

Shaun,

Have you ever ridden a fixed? from your statements here I assume you have
not. Go hop on one put in a few miles, then come in here and tell us the fixed
doesnt teach you how to pedal properly,
John Hansen Sarasota Fl.
Jhans...@aol.com


scott patton

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Oct 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/21/00
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In article <20001021195852...@ng-ft1.aol.com>,

John,

It is your job, as a member of the "vast minority" to help educate
the "vast majority" as in this case, it is clear that Shaun has NO
CLUE what it is like to ride a track bike! You can not just suggest
he go ride one. Much like you educated the director of the T-Town
velodrome, you should educate Mr. Wallace as I doubt he has ever even
seen a track bike! (Never mind he has competed in the World Track
Championships before... and on any given day of the week could
probalby school most of us on the track).

Before you shoot your cake hole off any more, save up your lunch
money and buy a clue!

Scott


scott patton

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Oct 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/21/00
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In article <20001021202733...@ng-fp1.aol.com>,

Psst97 <pss...@aol.com> wrote:
>>
>>Shaun,
>>
>> Have you ever ridden a fixed?
>
>No! He raced all those years at T-Town, in Europe on the 6 day circuit, the
>Japanese Keirin Circuit and somehow he alwaysgot way riding a freewheel. Mr.
>Hansen - Maybe you should find out who's posting before you do so!
>
>Pat McDonough
>Old Track Racer

Come on Pat, that would make sense! Remember, this is the kid that
likes the WWF style bike racing!

Scott

Andrew Coggan

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Oct 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/21/00
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Everyone else thinks that John has just stuck his foot in his mouth with this
post. Somehow, though, I have the sneaking suspicion that he knew exactly who he
was replying to with his comments. If so, I'd say that this is one of the best
jobs of throwing fuel on a thread fire that I've seen in some time...

Andy Coggan

John Hansen wrote:

> > Why would it be
> >any different to riding a freewheel bike in the same gear? If you ride a
> >fixed
>

> Shaun,
>


> Have you ever ridden a fixed? from your statements here I assume you have
> not. Go hop on one put in a few miles, then come in here and tell us the fixed
> doesnt teach you how to pedal properly,
> John Hansen Sarasota Fl.

> Jhans...@aol.com


scott patton

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Oct 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/21/00
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In article <20001021221739...@ng-fn1.aol.com>,
John Hansen <jhans...@aol.compost> wrote:
>>Um, what's your definition of proper pedaling? If it's the pedaling style
>>that
>>results from riding a fixie, then I guess what you've written is true by
>>definition. But I'm still unsure whether any controlled and peer-reviewed
>>study has definitively identified what a proper pedal stroke is. Do you have
>>a pointer to such a study?
>>
>>--Robert Chung
>>
> how about this, almost of the "great" cyclist spend time on a fixed, including
>our world renowned {sp} Shaun Wallace.
>isnt that fact alone a "study"

Considering that Shaun doesn't advocate riding a fixed gear to improve
your pedal stroke, I think you will have to wipe him from your list
of "evidence".

>Need more evidence. i'll find it

Bring it on! You haven't proven anything, other than your lack of
knowledge!

Scott


dave_...@my-deja.com

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Oct 21, 2000, 8:36:03 PM10/21/00
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> Shaun,
>
> Have you ever ridden a fixed? from your statements here I assume
you have
> not. Go hop on one put in a few miles, then come in here and tell us
the fixed
> doesnt teach you how to pedal properly,
> John Hansen Sarasota Fl.

I am laughing my Fucking ass off!!!!!!!!!!!...Has Shaun ever ridden a
fixed gear?....I definately nominate this for funniest post of the
month, obviously John, YOUR wisdom of the sport of cycling isn't what
YOU happen to think it is....Shaun has made his living on the
Track...and is the former world record holder in the pursuit..amongst
elite riders by the way. And to this day is still a dominant rider and
someone to contend with in the elite ranks
Dave


Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

Robert Chung

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Oct 21, 2000, 9:21:33 PM10/21/00
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"John Hansen" <jhans...@aol.compost> wrote in message
news:20001021195852...@ng-ft1.aol.com...

> Have you ever ridden a fixed? from your statements here I assume you
have
> not. Go hop on one put in a few miles, then come in here and tell us the
fixed
> doesnt teach you how to pedal properly,

Um, what's your definition of proper pedaling? If it's the pedaling style

John Hansen

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Oct 21, 2000, 10:17:39 PM10/21/00
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>Um, what's your definition of proper pedaling? If it's the pedaling style
>that
>results from riding a fixie, then I guess what you've written is true by
>definition. But I'm still unsure whether any controlled and peer-reviewed
>study has definitively identified what a proper pedal stroke is. Do you have
>a pointer to such a study?
>
>--Robert Chung
>
how about this, almost of the "great" cyclist spend time on a fixed, including
our world renowned {sp} Shaun Wallace.
isnt that fact alone a "study"
Lance rode a fixed prepping for the tour,
thats a bit of evidence.

Need more evidence. i'll find it

dusto...@my-deja.com

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Oct 21, 2000, 10:45:30 PM10/21/00
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In article <xirI5.345108$i5.52...@news1.frmt1.sfba.home.com>,
> Some pretty hot rhetoric in here, and some heavy experience, too. Old
slug (but did ride with Mr. Coggan a few times) suggests: If you're
a "doubter", do your own study. Try riding a 42-17 fixed on a few 35-
mile rides. Flat ground is preferable. A single-speed freewheel is
another option, as are smaller/bigger gears. See what you think! I
think it is a big help; only issues I have with fixed lore are (1)the
idea that you can somehow have better control of a bike if you can't
stop pedaling. Duh. Have also heard opinion that (2) some messengers
can stop faster with legs than I can with two good-operating brakes.
Double duh, will now put wetsuit/facemask on and watch replies.
--Tom Paterson

dave_...@my-deja.com

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Oct 21, 2000, 10:57:22 PM10/21/00
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In article <8stkca$5rb$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,

Take a crit for instance ...and you nail a corner fast and start to get
your back wheel to slide....what is your reaction?...most people stop
pedaling (very wrong) if your wheel is about to come around you, why
would you want to stop putting power to the wheel to help it high side?
if you keep accelerating, driving the front of the bike forward the
rear will follow back to it's line. (duh)

Duh. Have also heard opinion that (2) some messengers
> can stop faster with legs than I can with two good-operating brakes.
> Double duh, will now put wetsuit/facemask on and watch replies.

Most bike messengers are incredible riders, but I personally have saw
many track riders, Paul Swift, Mark Whitehead, Mark Garrett. Lock a
back wheel up on the track while at speed. (double duh)
Dave

Stephe

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Oct 22, 2000, 12:35:29 AM10/22/00
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John Docherty <doch...@onlink.net> wrote in message
news:39F1DBA1...@onlink.net...

> I asked this question before. No one answered. It must of sounded like
> psychotic babble. Ill try again.
> Is there anyone who doesn't think a smooth stroke is good?

No.

> I feel more
> comfortable pushing hard from about 340 degrees to about 90 degrees,
> from the top, then relaxing for the rest.

Most new cyclists do. Most try to push huge gears and stomp the pedals. They
also get dropped :-)


> I can think of lots of reasons
> why this would be better.


Such as? My guess is if this was more efficient at least ONE pro rider would
pedal like that. They don't for good reasons.

--

Stephe


Warren

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Oct 22, 2000, 1:33:25 AM10/22/00
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In article <8stjc7$728$1...@babu.pcisys.net>, scott patton
<spa...@babu.pcisys.net> wrote:

> In article <20001021221739...@ng-fn1.aol.com>,
> John Hansen <jhans...@aol.compost> wrote:

> >>Um, what's your definition of proper pedaling? If it's the pedaling style
> >>that
> >>results from riding a fixie, then I guess what you've written is true by
> >>definition. But I'm still unsure whether any controlled and peer-reviewed
> >>study has definitively identified what a proper pedal stroke is. Do you have
> >>a pointer to such a study?
> >>
> >>--Robert Chung
> >>
> > how about this, almost of the "great" cyclist spend time on a fixed,
> > including
> >our world renowned {sp} Shaun Wallace.
> >isnt that fact alone a "study"
>

> Considering that Shaun doesn't advocate riding a fixed gear to improve
> your pedal stroke, I think you will have to wipe him from your list
> of "evidence".

What I've noticed is that most track racers develop a nice pedalling
motion-relaxed, a bit of pull-up (or at least relaxed enough not to
resist the pedals as much) on the upstroke, efficient both at high
rpm's and more normal rpm's, good acceleration while seated, etc. Maybe
track racers get this way from riding a fixed gear, or more accurately,
one gear during all facets of racing, unlike most road riders who use
more than one gear during races.

Learning to relax going down hills with your legs going 150+rpms seems
to be easier to learn when there's the fixed gear pulling your legs
around. It's easier to relax when you don't have to push down on the
pedals to keep your legs moving fast. It used to take me about 2 weeks
before I could relax enough to be smooth for extended periods at 150+
rpm's. Once I did that all of my pedalling seemed smoother.

When I've finally convinced a roadie to try some fixed gear riding
during the winter virtually all of them have said it helped them become
better pedallers.

As for myself, I don't seem to benefit from fixed gear training on the
road anymore because I've done so much of it in the past on the track
and road and I tend to train at 95-110 rpm's up and down little hills
all the time anyway.

When I started racing in the late 70's I recall that many great pros
including Eddy Merckx suggested doing 500-1000K's on the fixed gear to
begin each season of training. I remember getting dropped on the group
rides every Spring going up the hills and not being able to catch back
on going down the hills but I was learning to be efficient at a wide
range of rpm's-especially for sprints. In June someone would ask me how
they could train to be a faster sprinter and I'd remind them of what I
was doing in March.

-WG

Psst97

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Oct 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/22/00
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>
>Shaun,

>
> Have you ever ridden a fixed?

No! He raced all those years at T-Town, in Europe on the 6 day circuit, the

John Forrest Tomlinson

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Oct 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/22/00
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Warren <war...@usvh.com> wrote in message
news:211020002231219870%war...@usvh.com...

> What I've noticed is that most track racers develop a nice pedalling
> motion-relaxed, a bit of pull-up (or at least relaxed enough not to
> resist the pedals as much) on the upstroke, efficient both at high
> rpm's and more normal rpm's, good acceleration while seated, etc. Maybe
> track racers get this way from riding a fixed gear, or more accurately,
> one gear during all facets of racing, unlike most road riders who use
> more than one gear during races.

> Learning to relax going down hills with your legs going 150+rpms seems
> to be easier to learn when there's the fixed gear pulling your legs
> around. It's easier to relax when you don't have to push down on the
> pedals to keep your legs moving fast. It used to take me about 2 weeks
> before I could relax enough to be smooth for extended periods at 150+
> rpm's. Once I did that all of my pedalling seemed smoother.

> When I've finally convinced a roadie to try some fixed gear riding
> during the winter virtually all of them have said it helped them become
> better pedallers.


I never use a fixed gear to train and over the last few years have developed
some upper body motion. But my pedalling is rather smooth. I work on it
when I ride. A fixed _might_ _force_ a rider to do that but it is possible
without one.

When I started racing my coach was, in general, a huge fixed gear advocate
to help with pedalling. But I was reluctant. So had me to do a group ride
with him in which he asked me to switch around gears to all sorts of weird
things so I had to ride at a low of different leg speeds. Afterwards he
said I didn't need the fixed.

That was a long time ago. More recently I've used the Spin Scan thing on a
computrainer to look at my pedal stroke. It's fine.

> As for myself, I don't seem to benefit from fixed gear training on the
> road anymore because I've done so much of it in the past on the track
> and road and I tend to train at 95-110 rpm's up and down little hills
> all the time anyway.

> I remember getting dropped on the group


> rides every Spring going up the hills and not being able to catch back
> on going down the hills but I was learning to be efficient at a wide
> range of rpm's-especially for sprints. In June someone would ask me how
> they could train to be a faster sprinter and I'd remind them of what I
> was doing in March.

I never use a fixed gear but train at a wide range of rpms on my bike (40 to
130+) -- big gear strength work at low rpms, undergeared sprints, overgeared
accellerations, long intervals at slightly high rpm, etc.. The fixed may
force you to vary your rpm, but it's entirely possible to do it on a
freewheel with discipline. Indeed, it may be better to do it with a
freewheel because you can decide when to work on low or high rpm rather than
having the terrain and/or training partners dictate it.

And I've noticed something bad about fixed gears. A basic tenet of
improving a skill, say learning to pedal at a higher rpm, is that you want
to just push the envelope of what you're capable of. If you can be
comfortable at 110 rpm then the next step is 115. If you try to improve the
skill too much too soon, say trying 130, you'll lose form and actually
practice riding with poor form.

I see this problem all the time with riders on fixed gears in group rides.
They end up going downhills at speeds beyond their capability and are
actually _practicing_ bouncing. It's bad. If they used the fixed alone on
gently rolling or flat terrain OK.

I had a roommate who road fixed tons in the winter. And his pedal stroke
still sucks when he gets on the road bike. He'd spend the winter with his
legs being forced to do things he wasn't ready for and he'd benefit zero.
Maybe a little leg strength from going uphill slightly overgeared.


JT

--


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Dan Connelly

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Oct 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/22/00
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There are two issues in steady-state:

1. At higher cadence, for a given power, force on the
pedals is, on average, less
2. For a given cadence and power, a uniform pedal stroke
will have a lesser peak power over the cycle than will
a nonuniform or irregular one.
3. For a given cadence and power, a sufficiently noniniform
pedal stroke will result in a loss in chain tension,
which is inefficient.

Higher force engages more fast-twitch fibers, accumulating
lactic acid, and hurting performance.... at least under high-intensity
efforts. For low-intensity efforts (wrong newsgroup), slower
cadences are more acceptable.

4. And, for acceleration, at lower cadence you are closer to your
force application limit, making it perhaps a bit harder to
apply a sudden acceleration.

When climbing or under other conditions where the bike is moving
slowly at a given power (headwind, flat tire, rough road,
towing a trailer, etc), the force against your center-of-mass at a given power
is greater, meaning there's more feedback allowing a nonuniform
pedal stroke (ie the derivative with respect to time of the logarithm
of the speed is greater at a given change in applied power, meaning
at a given variation in cadence one is less likely to lose chain
tension). This allows a somewhat less cadence by reason
3, yet still a very low cadence isn't wanted, for reasons 1 and 2.


Dan

P.S. The Shaun Wallace hasn't ridden fixed comment was amusing. Carl
Sundquist either, right? :)

I, on the other hand, have never ridden a fixed gear.

To Shaun's comment : I know a guy who rides a single speed with
freewheel in the winter. This avoids the problem of momentum carrying
the foot through dead spots in the pedal stroke. Actually, I have
a spare road bike for which I am trying to find a purpose. This seems
a good option for it.

John Docherty wrote:
>
> I asked this question before. No one answered. It must of sounded like
> psychotic babble. Ill try again.

> Is there anyone who doesn't think a smooth stroke is good? I feel more


> comfortable pushing hard from about 340 degrees to about 90 degrees,

> from the top, then relaxing for the rest. I can think of lots of reasons

Jon Isaacs

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Oct 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/22/00
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> Have also heard opinion that (2) some messengers
>can stop faster with legs than I can with two good-operating brakes.

Do you believe this opinion given the fact that most of the braking force comes
from the front wheel, and skidding the rear wheel is an ineffective way to stop
a bike?

Jon Isaacs

dusto...@my-deja.com

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Oct 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/22/00
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In article <20001022083141...@ng-ck1.aol.com>,

joni...@aol.com (Jon Isaacs) wrote:
> > Have also heard opinion that (2) some messengers
> >can stop faster with legs than I can with two good-operating brakes.
>
> Do you believe this opinion given the fact that most of the braking
force comes
> from the front wheel, and skidding the rear wheel is an ineffective
way to stop
> a bike?
>
> Jon Isaacs
>
That was my point--how effective in stopping is a sliding rear wheel,
esp. if the one that does (by far) the most stopping is rolling free?
And if someone can slide a rear on the track, well that's a neat trick,
unweighting the rear while pushing back pretty hard, but did he stop?
Isn't pedaling while your rear wheel is already trying to come around
(ie sliding) like jumping up and down in the falling elevator? Sounds
good, but it only adds energy to the system! Next argument from
the "only cowards stop pedaling" group of manly manly men will
be "gyroscopic action". It'll be more BS, but c'mon guys, I'm not even
spattered to the knees yet! Tom P.

Jon Isaacs

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Oct 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/22/00
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>>
>That was my point--how effective in stopping is a sliding rear wheel,
>esp. if the one that does (by far) the most stopping is rolling free?

We need to think outside the box on this one.

I guess you can always set the bike sideways like a AMA flat tracker and have
both tires skidding to rub off your speed. Or for an even quicker stop, how
about just nailing some stopped car or tree. That will get you stopped in a
hurry.

There is always a solution.

:-)

jon isaacs

hendric...@hotmail.com

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Oct 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/22/00
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In article <39F2D03E...@ieee.org>,
Dan Connelly <djco...@ieee.org> wrote:
> Dan
>

>>Lot's of stuff snipped here.<<


> P.S. The Shaun Wallace hasn't ridden fixed comment was amusing. Carl
> Sundquist either, right? :)
>
> I, on the other hand, have never ridden a fixed gear.
>
> To Shaun's comment : I know a guy who rides a single speed with
> freewheel in the winter. This avoids the problem of momentum
carrying
> the foot through dead spots in the pedal stroke. Actually, I have
> a spare road bike for which I am trying to find a purpose. This
seems
> a good option for it.

A single speed freewheel will work no better than a 'normal' road bike
in teaching pedaling technique. A better way to teach a fluid pedal
stroke with near-360 deg. power application is to climb on a fixed gear
w/ a fairly slack chain. (Not so slack that it comes off easily, but
almost)

If you don't keep tension on the chain throughout the stroke, you'll
feel it every time the bike decelerates as tension on the chain relaxes
(twice per revolution). Your chain will make a clear 'klunk'-ing sound
each time the tension goes slack and then is reapplied.

By focusing on your stroke so that this doesn't happen, you'll be much
smoother. You can use this for seated climbing w/ a slightly higher
than normal climbing gear, or for standing climbing w/ a slightly lower
gear. The effect is particularly noticeable when standing. Try this
technique for awhile and you'll notice a huge improvement in your
stroke, so it appears as if you are 'dancing on the pedals'.

Another clear benefit to riding fixed for endurance training is
relative increase in training effect for a given time. You'd be
surprised how much time you spend coasting on most rides. Even if
you're just soft-pedaling on a fixed gear, you're still forcing the
muscles to fire.

And of course, all the typical comments about reduced maintenance
and 'feeling one with the bike' are nice benefits, too.

Warren

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Oct 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/22/00
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In article <8sv5m9$7fn$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>, <hendric...@hotmail.com>
wrote:

> In article <39F2D03E...@ieee.org>,
> Dan Connelly <djco...@ieee.org> wrote:
> > Dan
> >
>
> >>Lot's of stuff snipped here.<<
>
>
> > P.S. The Shaun Wallace hasn't ridden fixed comment was amusing. Carl
> > Sundquist either, right? :)
> >
> > I, on the other hand, have never ridden a fixed gear.
> >
> > To Shaun's comment : I know a guy who rides a single speed with
> > freewheel in the winter. This avoids the problem of momentum
> carrying
> > the foot through dead spots in the pedal stroke. Actually, I have
> > a spare road bike for which I am trying to find a purpose. This
> seems
> > a good option for it.
>
> A single speed freewheel will work no better than a 'normal' road bike
> in teaching pedaling technique. A better way to teach a fluid pedal
> stroke with near-360 deg. power application is to climb on a fixed gear
> w/ a fairly slack chain. (Not so slack that it comes off easily, but
> almost)

How about pedalling with one leg?

philh...@my-deja.com

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Oct 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/22/00
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In article <221020001006399903%war...@usvh.com>,

All these suggestions are the reason why Power Cranks were invented.
Phil Holman

Izzy...

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Oct 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/22/00
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<hendric...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:8sv5m9$7fn$1...@nnrp1.deja.com...

>
> A single speed freewheel will work no better than a 'normal' road bike
> in teaching pedaling technique. A better way to teach a fluid pedal
> stroke with near-360 deg. power application is to climb on a fixed gear
> w/ a fairly slack chain. (Not so slack that it comes off easily, but
> almost)
>
> If you don't keep tension on the chain throughout the stroke, you'll
> feel it every time the bike decelerates as tension on the chain relaxes
> (twice per revolution). Your chain will make a clear 'klunk'-ing sound
> each time the tension goes slack and then is reapplied.

There's another way, that I used, that does not require purchasing
anything. Listen to the sound your tires make on the road - are they
a warbling, oscillating hum-hum-hum? Smooth that out.

> By focusing on your stroke so that this doesn't happen, you'll be much
> smoother. You can use this for seated climbing w/ a slightly higher
> than normal climbing gear, or for standing climbing w/ a slightly lower
> gear. The effect is particularly noticeable when standing. Try this
> technique for awhile and you'll notice a huge improvement in your
> stroke, so it appears as if you are 'dancing on the pedals'.

I also notice that when I concentrate on "pedaling round", before I
know it I'm going significantly faster than before with no percieved
extra effort.

> Another clear benefit to riding fixed for endurance training is
> relative increase in training effect for a given time. You'd be
> surprised how much time you spend coasting on most rides. Even if
> you're just soft-pedaling on a fixed gear, you're still forcing the
> muscles to fire.

And keeping the blood flowing in your legs, which is the best thing
for them after hard efforts.


Mark McMaster

unread,
Oct 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/22/00
to
hendric...@hotmail.com wrote:
>
> A single speed freewheel will work no better than a 'normal' road bike
> in teaching pedaling technique. A better way to teach a fluid pedal
> stroke with near-360 deg. power application is to climb on a fixed gear
> w/ a fairly slack chain. (Not so slack that it comes off easily, but
> almost)
>
> If you don't keep tension on the chain throughout the stroke, you'll
> feel it every time the bike decelerates as tension on the chain relaxes
> (twice per revolution). Your chain will make a clear 'klunk'-ing sound
> each time the tension goes slack and then is reapplied.
>
> By focusing on your stroke so that this doesn't happen, you'll be much
> smoother. You can use this for seated climbing w/ a slightly higher
> than normal climbing gear, or for standing climbing w/ a slightly lower
> gear. The effect is particularly noticeable when standing. Try this
> technique for awhile and you'll notice a huge improvement in your
> stroke, so it appears as if you are 'dancing on the pedals'.

How would riding with a loose chain on a fixed gear be any
different than using a freewheel when riding up hill? Are
you suggesting that with a freewheel, the pedals slow or
stop during the pedal stroke, allowing the freewheel to
ratchet? I've ridden up many long and steep hills with many
people, and I don't recall ever hearing freewheels ratchet,
and certainly mine never does. Does yours? (i.e., is your
pedal stroke really that choppy)? If it does, perhaps you
shouldn't be explaining pedalling technique to others.

I haved ridden both fixed gears and freewheels many miles.
Certainly when descending, a fixed gear feels very different
from freewheel (not being able to coast with the fixed
gear); but when climbing the chain is always under tension
regardless of whether the gear is fixed or ratched, and
pedaling either feels identical.

Mark McMaster
MMc...@ix.netcom.com

Gerard Lanois

unread,
Oct 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/22/00
to

John Hansen wrote:
> Have you ever ridden a fixed? from your statements here I assume you have
> not. Go hop on one put in a few miles, then come in here and tell us the fixed
> doesnt teach you how to pedal properly,

> John Hansen Sarasota Fl.
> Jhans...@aol.com


Tell me he didn't just say that.


-Gerard

Gerard Lanois

unread,
Oct 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/22/00
to

Warren wrote:

> How about pedalling with one leg?

Because that would actually make sense, unlike all the other babble
in this thread.

And you wouldn't be able to justify the expense of another bike
and/or wheels/gears/chains, etc.


-Gerard

Gerard Lanois

unread,
Oct 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/22/00
to

John Hansen wrote:
> Shaun,


>
> Have you ever ridden a fixed? from your statements here I assume you have
> not. Go hop on one put in a few miles, then come in here and tell us the fixed
> doesnt teach you how to pedal properly,
> John Hansen Sarasota Fl.
> Jhans...@aol.com


I think we might have the first dual-winner of the SSotM and
"Funniest Post" awards!

-Gerard

Stephe

unread,
Oct 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/22/00
to

<hendric...@hotmail.com>

>
> A single speed freewheel will work no better than a 'normal' road bike
> in teaching pedaling technique. A better way to teach a fluid pedal
> stroke with near-360 deg. power application is to climb on a fixed gear
> w/ a fairly slack chain.

Actually one leg pedaling works WAY better and doesn't require a different
bike. When you can climb with one leg at a time, you have to be pedaling
using the whole stroke.

--

Stephe

philh...@my-deja.com

unread,
Oct 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/22/00
to

> How would riding with a loose chain on a fixed gear be any
> different than using a freewheel when riding up hill? Are
> you suggesting that with a freewheel, the pedals slow or
> stop during the pedal stroke, allowing the freewheel to
> ratchet? I've ridden up many long and steep hills with many
> people, and I don't recall ever hearing freewheels ratchet,
> and certainly mine never does. Does yours? (i.e., is your
> pedal stroke really that choppy)? If it does, perhaps you
> shouldn't be explaining pedalling technique to others.

The freewheel won't rachet until it has reversed about 1 chainlink
(1/2") and the chain will have slackened considerably long before that.
Riders who can ride with a constantly taut chain with either a fixed
gear or freewheel only have to provide torque with either leg at one of
the areas where the chain can go slack (either over the top or at the
bottom) and not both. The fact that the cranks are one rigid piece
means that the powering leg can push the other leg through a
significant portion of the return stroke. Power Cranks ensure that both
legs provide positive torque for 360 degrees. I would say that 100% of
riders would not be able to keep up a 360 degree torque with both legs
for more than a few hundred meters along the flat at their normal
criuse speed. When climbing it is much easier to keep the chain taut
mainly because of the lower cadence which makes it easier for the less
trained muscles to keep up.
Up hill training has limitations and I do not think is a good method of
improving ones spin at higher cadence. As for the one legged crankers,
how many of them have ridden more than a couple of miles.
Phil Holman


>
> Mark McMaster
> MMc...@ix.netcom.com

David L. Johnson

unread,
Oct 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/22/00
to
hendric...@hotmail.com wrote:

> A single speed freewheel will work no better than a 'normal' road bike
> in teaching pedaling technique. A better way to teach a fluid pedal
> stroke with near-360 deg. power application is to climb on a fixed gear

> w/ a fairly slack chain. (Not so slack that it comes off easily, but
> almost)

I don't recommend this. The difference between "so slack that the chain comes
off easily" and "almost" is too fine. Losing a chain is not good.

--

David L. Johnson

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries,
and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove
mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. [1 Corinth. 13:2]

Tim McNamara

unread,
Oct 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/22/00
to
I rode every spring for 500-1000 miles on a 39 x 16 fixed gear for 5-6
years in a row. It was fun, I was able to ride on Minnesota's crappy
roads in February and March without worrying about gunking up
derailleurs etc. Did it make me pedals circles? No- in fact, every
spring when I got back on my road bike I was pedalling squares BIG
time. Took me a week or so to smooth out my pedal stroke to where I
felt smooth and comfortable.

You want to learn to ride smooth? Get a pair of rollers. With no load
to speak of and high cadences, you'll learn to be smooth much more
effectively than you will on a fixed gear IMHO.

You want to have fun? Ride a fixed gear. It's a blast. But don't kid
yourself with the myth that you are improving your pedal stroke. The
best way to improve your pedal stroke is to get your position right and
ride lots- it doesn't matter if you can coast or not.

scott patton

unread,
Oct 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/22/00
to
In article <20001022233035...@ng-cf1.aol.com>,
John Hansen <jhans...@aol.compost> wrote:
>>One leg training on rollers did more for my stroke than fixed ever did.
>>Though fixed on rollers is pretty fun.
>
>how about one leg pedaling on rollers, on a fixed, with a loose chain, uphill
>with power cranks and power pedals?
>
>Lets check with the mighty Shaun Wallace for his thoughts on this one
>

Please, do not disrespect Shaun Wallace based on your screw up. He
responded to your worthless post with his experience based on years
of bicycle racing, something I am pretty sure you have never experienced.

The hilarious thing about this is you have failed to respond to any of
the posts showing how wrong you really are.

Scott

Graham Fisk

unread,
Oct 22, 2000, 8:51:13 PM10/22/00
to
ste...@pipeline.com (Stephe) wrote in <8svhn3$3r8$1
@slb6.atl.mindspring.net>:

>
><hendric...@hotmail.com>


>>
>> A single speed freewheel will work no better than a 'normal' road bike
>> in teaching pedaling technique. A better way to teach a fluid pedal
>> stroke with near-360 deg. power application is to climb on a fixed gear
>> w/ a fairly slack chain.
>

>Actually one leg pedaling works WAY better and doesn't require a different
>bike. When you can climb with one leg at a time, you have to be pedaling
>using the whole stroke.

One leg training on rollers did more for my stroke than fixed ever did.


Though fixed on rollers is pretty fun.

/g

John Hansen

unread,
Oct 22, 2000, 11:30:35 PM10/22/00
to
>One leg training on rollers did more for my stroke than fixed ever did.
>Though fixed on rollers is pretty fun.

how about one leg pedaling on rollers, on a fixed, with a loose chain, uphill


with power cranks and power pedals?

Lets check with the mighty Shaun Wallace for his thoughts on this one

Nick Payne

unread,
Oct 23, 2000, 12:53:17 AM10/23/00
to
A better plan is to spend a couple of minutes each day on each side
pedalling with just one leg...that's the quickest way to learn to pedal
smoothly.

At the weekend I watched some of the one-legged Paralympics riders in the
4km pursuit. Most of them were amazingly smooth. The fastest qualifying time
in that category was 5:16, which is an average speed of slightly over 45kph.

Nick

<hendric...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:8sv5m9$7fn$1...@nnrp1.deja.com...
>

> A single speed freewheel will work no better than a 'normal' road bike
> in teaching pedaling technique. A better way to teach a fluid pedal
> stroke with near-360 deg. power application is to climb on a fixed gear

Jon Isaacs

unread,
Oct 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/23/00
to
John Hansen wrote

>Lets check with the mighty Shaun Wallace for his thoughts on this one

Your sarcasm in unbecoming and ill suited to your cause.

Shaun Wallace, as you have no doubt found out, is a truly amazing rider and is
deserving of the title "mighty." Anyone who has met him or ridden along side
(should I say behind) him knows that Shaun is not only an extremely talented
rider but also extremely knowledgeable about many aspects of cycling,
especially riding a fixed gear as that is really his specialty.

In newsgroups such as this one, I believe it is important to have resources
such as Shaun because we are really getting from the horses mouth when he
speaks. Rude and sarcastic replies such as yours only reduce the likely hood
that people of his caliber will join in these discussions.

I suggest that you might reconsider your attitudes and that an apology is in
order.

I also suggest that you might come out sometime to San Diego and watch Shaun
ride. It is truly a pleasure to watch him as he calculates the exact moment to
make his move so that he will scoot by and win by a hair. Usually the riders
in front have a seemingly impossible lead but then Shaun winds it up and it is
a thing of beauty to watch as he spins somewhere up around 150 rpm.

Jon Isaacs


Andrew Coggan

unread,
Oct 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/23/00
to
philh...@my-deja.com wrote:

> As for the one legged crankers,
> how many of them have ridden more than a couple of miles.

Those of us who owned D-A AX cranks often rode for many miles using just
one leg...

Andy ("Mansfield Dam to Zilker Park via Mt. Bonnel using one leg") Coggan


John Hansen

unread,
Oct 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/23/00
to
>The hilarious thing about this is you have failed to respond to any of
>the posts showing how wrong you really are.
>
>Scott

Scott,

I'm not wrong, Fixed gear riding works,
Almost every top "great" cyclist spends
time on one.

John Hansen

unread,
Oct 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/23/00
to
>in front have a seemingly impossible lead but then Shaun winds it up and it
>is
>a thing of beauty to watch as he spins somewhere up around 150 rpm.
>

Jon,

Did he develop this spin spending time on a fixed? or does he ride a standard
road bike to train then hops on the track bike for the event. He obviously has
spent countless hours on a fixed yet claims the fixed has done nothing to
develop spin.
since shaun says fixed gear riding should
Chris Carmichael, Lance Armstrong, anyone who rode under the eye of Mike
Walden. and the countless pros whos names I cannot spell all trade in their
fixed??

Bart Van Hoorebeeck

unread,
Oct 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/23/00
to
Warren wrote:

> When I started racing in the late 70's I recall that many great pros
> including Eddy Merckx suggested doing 500-1000K's on the fixed gear to
> begin each season of training.

Merckx has even advocated the fixed gear for juniors races. I'm sure
many Belgians of his generation did some pre-season work this way. My
unscientific perception cannot judge whether it just felt rightly to
them, or has proven benefits.

Frank VDB was said to have ridden 1000's of Kms with fixed gear
preparing for his Summer 2000 comeback. Well, he'll always be the
outlier...

Bart

Jon Isaacs

unread,
Oct 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/23/00
to
>Jon,
>
> Did he develop this spin spending time on a fixed?

I am not the one to ask, but its seems clear that Shaun does not think that
riding a fixed gear rather than a freewheel bike helps one develop a smooth
stroke, Sure riding in general will help one develop a stroke, but I believe
Shaun remarked that a fixed gear was not particularily appropriate for
developing a good pedaling style.

One thing about Shaun is that he is one smart fellow and does not fall for the
normal dogmas. Since Lance, Chris Carmichael etc do not seem to add their 2
cents to this newsgroup, you cannot ask them the reasons they have for riding a
fixed gear.

So this is what I say: If someone with Shaun Wallace's skill as a rider and
knowledge of bicycles, cycling and bicycle racing says something, you might
take the time to rethink those old Dogmas.

Jon Isaacs


scott patton

unread,
Oct 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/23/00
to
In article <20001023085653...@ng-ci1.aol.com>,

John Hansen <jhans...@aol.compost> wrote:
>>The hilarious thing about this is you have failed to respond to any of
>>the posts showing how wrong you really are.
>>
>>Scott
>
>Scott,
>
> I'm not wrong, Fixed gear riding works,
> Almost every top "great" cyclist spends
> time on one.

So, answer some of Shaun's points/questions! You have failed to do just
that!

I am not sure that a top "great" cyclist is, perhaps Shaun is a low "Great"
cyclist or a top "bad" cyclist.

Scott


noel crowley

unread,
Oct 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/23/00
to
In article <39F423D6...@erols.com>,

Some cyclists use only one leg, some use two legs, others use hand
power alone but the cleverest and most stylish of all was Jacques
Anquetil, who combined the power of all four limbs for time trial
supremacy throughout his cycling career. It is pointless trying to
justify your claims in any of these forums. One can imagine what a
difficult task Boone Lennon would have had, in trying to convince the
contributers to this forum that his aero bars had a distinct
aerodynamic advantage in time trials over the expensive low-profile
bars.

--
noel crowley

christopher a moyer

unread,
Oct 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/23/00
to
Scott says:

<<So, answer some of Shaun's points/questions! You have failed
to do just
that!

I am not sure that a top "great" cyclist is, perhaps Shaun is a low
"Great"
cyclist or a top "bad" cyclist.

Scott>>

Uh, make no mistake - Shaun Wallace is a great cyclist, period.

-Chris

Christopher Moyer

Student in Counseling Psychology Academic Advisor
Department of Educational Psychology LAS General Curriculum Center
University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign Appointments: 333 4710


hendric...@hotmail.com

unread,
Oct 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/23/00
to
In article <39F32F6D...@ix.netcom.com>,
MMc...@ix.netcom.com wrote:

> hendric...@hotmail.com wrote:
> >
> > A single speed freewheel will work no better than a 'normal' road
bike
> > in teaching pedaling technique. A better way to teach a fluid pedal
> > stroke with near-360 deg. power application is to climb on a fixed
gear
> > w/ a fairly slack chain. (Not so slack that it comes off easily, but
> > almost)
> >
> > If you don't keep tension on the chain throughout the stroke, you'll
> > feel it every time the bike decelerates as tension on the chain
relaxes
> > (twice per revolution). Your chain will make a clear 'klunk'-ing
sound
> > each time the tension goes slack and then is reapplied.
> >
> > By focusing on your stroke so that this doesn't happen, you'll be
much
> > smoother. You can use this for seated climbing w/ a slightly higher
> > than normal climbing gear, or for standing climbing w/ a slightly
lower
> > gear. The effect is particularly noticeable when standing. Try
this
> > technique for awhile and you'll notice a huge improvement in your
> > stroke, so it appears as if you are 'dancing on the pedals'.
>
> How would riding with a loose chain on a fixed gear be any
> different than using a freewheel when riding up hill? Are
> you suggesting that with a freewheel, the pedals slow or
> stop during the pedal stroke, allowing the freewheel to
> ratchet? I've ridden up many long and steep hills with many
> people, and I don't recall ever hearing freewheels ratchet,
> and certainly mine never does. Does yours? (i.e., is your
> pedal stroke really that choppy)? If it does, perhaps you
> shouldn't be explaining pedalling technique to others.
>
> I haved ridden both fixed gears and freewheels many miles.
> Certainly when descending, a fixed gear feels very different
> from freewheel (not being able to coast with the fixed
> gear); but when climbing the chain is always under tension
> regardless of whether the gear is fixed or ratched, and
> pedaling either feels identical.
>
> Mark McMaster
> MMc...@ix.netcom.com
>
Climb a steeper hill, with a slacker chain, and if you can't feel the
difference, then your stroke doesn't need that much work. My stroke is
NOT sloppy, but it was sloppier when climbing in big gears before I
started working on it.

BTW, just because your freewheel isn't ratcheting, doesn't mean you
haven't slacked off the chain tension. You just didn't relax it that
much.

hendric...@hotmail.com

unread,
Oct 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/23/00
to
In article <39F362F7...@lehigh.edu>,

"David L. Johnson" <david....@lehigh.edu> wrote:
> hendric...@hotmail.com wrote:
>
> > A single speed freewheel will work no better than a 'normal' road
bike
> > in teaching pedaling technique. A better way to teach a fluid pedal
> > stroke with near-360 deg. power application is to climb on a fixed
gear
> > w/ a fairly slack chain. (Not so slack that it comes off easily, but
> > almost)
>
> I don't recommend this. The difference between "so slack that the
chain comes
> off easily" and "almost" is too fine. Losing a chain is not good.
>
> --
>
> David L. Johnson

I guess I've just been lucky or have always erred on the side of
caution, as I've never dropped a chain, yet I've done around 3000 miles
on fixed every winter for the past 3 years.

scott patton

unread,
Oct 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/23/00
to
In article <Pine.GSO.4.10.100102...@ux13.cso.uiuc.edu>,

christopher a moyer <cam...@students.uiuc.edu> wrote:
>Scott says:
>
><<So, answer some of Shaun's points/questions! You have failed
>to do just
>that!
>
>I am not sure that a top "great" cyclist is, perhaps Shaun is a low
>"Great"
>cyclist or a top "bad" cyclist.
>
>Scott>>
>
>Uh, make no mistake - Shaun Wallace is a great cyclist, period.

Chris,

Make no mistake, I know this! He is a friend of mine as well! I am just
giving one of the Hansen brothers a hard time!

Scott


dopple...@my-deja.com

unread,
Oct 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/23/00
to

>
> I think a lot of people do try it for that, but i don't think it
really leads
> to that skill if they are talking about cruising on road rides. Why
would it be
> any different to riding a freewheel bike in the same gear? If you ride
a fixed
> you'll notice that the bottom chain doesn't regularly go taught as it
would if
> the "fixed" aspect was having an effect. Spinning wildly on downhills
is less
> likely to cause the neuromuscular motor skill (?) that leads to
smoother pedal
> strokes as there is not enough power necessary to require all the
muscles to be
> deployed. Anyhow, this could still be done on a freewheel bike -
probably
> better in fact as it would be more evident if the legs were failing to
drive
> the pedals.
>
> Why do people ride fixed? (presumably you're talking about on the
road) -
> probably because they like it.
> Also in some situations one gets better control (ie bike messengers),
it's less
> likely to fail (winter bikes in snow), plus in time trials there's an
> efficiency in the drive that's worth taking advantage of for strong
riders who
> can keep the speed in the efficient-cadence range.
>
> Shaun
>
> ******************************************************
> 01/01/01 - The new millennium for those who can count
> http://www.rog.nmm.ac.uk/leaflets/new_mill.html
> ***************************************************
> http://www.altitudetent.com
>

I ride a fixie for the following reasons

1) It's a change. My normal bike gets stale once and a while
2) Less maintenance in sloppy weather.
3) Keeps me close to home and warm when it is cold out.
4) It is something that every cyclists should try

What it has does for me:

1) Gets me some early seasons miles when I would be inside on a trainer.
2) Downhill sprints help me relax on the upstroke, and smoothes me out a
little.
3) Makes transition from sitting to standing smooth, no jumping
backwards when standing. I hate when people do that to me.
4) I can ride over anything while spinning now.


Does it help? Somewhat I think. But it is not a cureall.
It is cheap fun.

Dave Siegler

cog...@grecc.umaryland.edu

unread,
Oct 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/23/00
to
I nominate Noel for SSoM, based on A) his repetitive attempts to forward
this theory about Anquetil's pedaling style, and B) his whining below
when people demand some evidence in support of the idea, or at the very
least a cogent explanation.

Power from all four limbs my a**....

noel crowley <noel_c...@my-deja.com> wrote:

> Some cyclists use only one leg, some use two legs, others use hand
> power alone but the cleverest and most stylish of all was Jacques
> Anquetil, who combined the power of all four limbs for time trial
> supremacy throughout his cycling career. It is pointless trying to
> justify your claims in any of these forums. One can imagine what a
> difficult task Boone Lennon would have had, in trying to convince the
> contributers to this forum that his aero bars had a distinct
> aerodynamic advantage in time trials over the expensive low-profile
> bars.

Andy Coggan

new_j...@my-deja.com

unread,
Oct 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/23/00
to
A good point. When on a group ride, you can easily spot people
who need work on their pedal stroke (why not mention this to
them?). I don't think everyone needs it. And I'm not sure that a fixed
gear is the only solution for those who need the help.

Just having the knowledge that one needs to work on their
pedaling efficiency, might just be enough to provoke improvement.


In article <5LzI5.3597$9Y1....@typhoon2.ba-dsg.net>,
"John Forrest Tomlinson"
<jt1...@notthesewordsbellatlantic.net> wrote:
> Warren <war...@usvh.com> wrote in message
> news:211020002231219870%war...@usvh.com...
> > What I've noticed is that most track racers develop a nice
pedalling
> > motion-relaxed, a bit of pull-up (or at least relaxed enough not
to
> > resist the pedals as much) on the upstroke, efficient both at
high
> > rpm's and more normal rpm's, good acceleration while seated,
etc. Maybe
> > track racers get this way from riding a fixed gear, or more
accurately,
> > one gear during all facets of racing, unlike most road riders
who use
> > more than one gear during races.
>
> > Learning to relax going down hills with your legs going
150+rpms seems
> > to be easier to learn when there's the fixed gear pulling your
legs
> > around. It's easier to relax when you don't have to push down
on the
> > pedals to keep your legs moving fast. It used to take me about
2 weeks
> > before I could relax enough to be smooth for extended periods
at 150+
> > rpm's. Once I did that all of my pedalling seemed smoother.
>
> > When I've finally convinced a roadie to try some fixed gear
riding
> > during the winter virtually all of them have said it helped them
become
> > better pedallers.
>
> I never use a fixed gear to train and over the last few years have
developed
> some upper body motion. But my pedalling is rather smooth. I
work on it
> when I ride. A fixed _might_ _force_ a rider to do that but it is
possible
> without one.
>
> When I started racing my coach was, in general, a huge fixed
gear advocate
> to help with pedalling. But I was reluctant. So had me to do a
group ride
> with him in which he asked me to switch around gears to all
sorts of weird
> things so I had to ride at a low of different leg speeds.
Afterwards he
> said I didn't need the fixed.
>
> That was a long time ago. More recently I've used the Spin Scan
thing on a
> computrainer to look at my pedal stroke. It's fine.
>
> > As for myself, I don't seem to benefit from fixed gear training on
the
> > road anymore because I've done so much of it in the past on
the track
> > and road and I tend to train at 95-110 rpm's up and down little
hills
> > all the time anyway.
>
> > I remember getting dropped on the group
> > rides every Spring going up the hills and not being able to
catch back
> > on going down the hills but I was learning to be efficient at a
wide
> > range of rpm's-especially for sprints. In June someone would
ask me how
> > they could train to be a faster sprinter and I'd remind them of
what I
> > was doing in March.
>
> I never use a fixed gear but train at a wide range of rpms on my
bike (40 to
> 130+) -- big gear strength work at low rpms, undergeared
sprints, overgeared
> accellerations, long intervals at slightly high rpm, etc.. The fixed
may
> force you to vary your rpm, but it's entirely possible to do it on a
> freewheel with discipline. Indeed, it may be better to do it with a
> freewheel because you can decide when to work on low or high
rpm rather than
> having the terrain and/or training partners dictate it.
>
> And I've noticed something bad about fixed gears. A basic tenet
of
> improving a skill, say learning to pedal at a higher rpm, is that
you want
> to just push the envelope of what you're capable of. If you can be
> comfortable at 110 rpm then the next step is 115. If you try to
improve the
> skill too much too soon, say trying 130, you'll lose form and
actually
> practice riding with poor form.
>
> I see this problem all the time with riders on fixed gears in group
rides.
> They end up going downhills at speeds beyond their capability
and are
> actually _practicing_ bouncing. It's bad. If they used the fixed
alone on
> gently rolling or flat terrain OK.
>
> I had a roommate who road fixed tons in the winter. And his
pedal stroke
> still sucks when he gets on the road bike. He'd spend the winter
with his
> legs being forced to do things he wasn't ready for and he'd
benefit zero.
> Maybe a little leg strength from going uphill slightly overgeared.
>
> JT
>
> --
>
> ****************************************
> Note: reply-to address is munged
>
> ****************************************
> http://www.jt10000.com/
>
> ***************************************

GBSHAUN

unread,
Oct 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/23/00
to
>>Jon,
>>
>> Did he develop this spin spending time on a fixed?
>


Ok Ok,
well thankyou for the kind words ;-) Ii guess some further explaination (of my
opinion) is in order.

Here's what i see has happened:
For various reasons, track racing is conducted at a much higher cadence than
road riding. Hence good track riders generally have a far smoother pedalling
stroke than those who don't ride the track - that is they can pedal faster
before they start to "bounce".
Track racing, and training, is also conducted on fixed wheel.
I think it is this last fact that has led people to assume that the smooth
pedal-style is a result of the riding on fixed rather than free, whereas i
believe it is instead a function of the time spent developing power at high
cadence - whether done on a fixed or free wheel.

In all the high-cadence riding I have done on a fixed wheel, the chain has
almost never gone tight at the bottom (except when deliberately slowing) - and
this is the only way one would even know if the drive was fixed or free.
Likewise, a rider whose training on a freewheel has not led to a smooth stroke,
or is "bouncing" along will not improve just by switching to fixed. On his road
bike the chain is not going slack. He needs to change his training.

One of the two most common "problems" that track riders bring up when i start
working with them is how, despite working on it all winter, their "spin" just
hasn't improved.

A little background: when I started racing (about 23 years ago, gulp) one of
the main things i was told I needed to work on was my ability to pedal smoothly
at high revs. So i tried:
Riding a small fixed wheel all winter,
Riding the rollers (fixed and free wheel)
Motorpacing on the road and track (fixed and free)

Year after year none of this really helped, yet as soon as i would start to
actually RACE on the track my ability to pedal smoothly picked up very quickly.
The conclusion that i drew from this, and upon which i have based a lot of my
training since, is that (IMO) one only improves efficiency at high-revs whilst
ACTUALLY DEVELOPING A HIGH POWER whilst at that high leg-speed.
Spinning on rollers (plus the other stuff they had me do) does teach you to
relax on the bike, but the very small power required to maintain it can all be
supplied on the downstroke.
(The radial force along the rigid crank providing the acceleration of the foot
towards the BB axle that is necessary to constantly change direction of the
foot/leg).

Knowing this has helped me tremendously over the years. 1) as i can develop a
good smooth stroke when needed, and 2) i was able to spend Winter and Spring
training working on other things, knowing that i could "fix" the pedal stroke
much later (even if i did get it dialed in by X-mas- eg whilst riding 6-days ,
I'd still be back to square one by march.)

So, i certainly wouldn't want to discourage anyone from riding a fixed wheel, i
enjoy it in many situations, and would race on one all the time if practical.
But it is not the magic solution often believed.
----IMO


Cheers,
Shaun Wallace

San Diego

Mark McMaster

unread,
Oct 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/23/00
to
> MMc...@ix.netcom.com wrote:
> > hendric...@hotmail.com wrote:
> > >
> > > A single speed freewheel will work no better than a 'normal' road
> bike
> > > in teaching pedaling technique. A better way to teach a fluid pedal
> > > stroke with near-360 deg. power application is to climb on a fixed
> gear
> > > w/ a fairly slack chain. (Not so slack that it comes off easily, but
> > > almost)
> > >

It still doesn't make a difference. If the chain slackens
between pedal strokes, it doesn't matter if the slackening
is made possible due to a loose chain or a one-way coupling
between cog and hub (even if the freewheel doesn't move a
complete ratchet distance) - you would still get the same
response when crank force is re-applied and you have to take
up the amount of chain that has been loosened. Keep trying.

Mark McMaster
MMc...@ix.netcom.com

John Hansen

unread,
Oct 23, 2000, 8:14:54 PM10/23/00
to
>believe it is instead a function of the time spent developing power at high
>cadence - whether done on a fixed or free wheel.

This I would agree with, the benefit of the fixed is you have no choice, on a
freewheel unless you are VERY strong willed you will shift.

it is my experience that on the fixed I quickly realized I was "mashing" the
pedals, and not pulling on the upstroke. I feel the fixed forces you to not be
lazy.
if your lazy the fixed will spank you

>yet as soon as i would start to
>actually RACE on the track my ability to pedal smoothly picked up very
>quickly.

and one can only race on the track while riding a fixed, perhaps a race
situation is what forced you to "develop" a smooth pedal?

Shaun Wallace

unread,
Oct 23, 2000, 8:42:10 PM10/23/00
to

"John Hansen" wrote

> >believe it is instead a function of the time spent developing power at
high
> >cadence - whether done on a fixed or free wheel.
>
> This I would agree with, the benefit of the fixed is you have no choice,
on a
> freewheel unless you are VERY strong willed you will shift.
>
> it is my experience that on the fixed I quickly realized I was "mashing"
the
> pedals, and not pulling on the upstroke. I feel the fixed forces you to
not be
> lazy.
> if your lazy the fixed will spank you
>

Where I said "Power", i should have perhaps said "high power". When the
power requirement is low, eg on a downhill, I feel there if very little
benefit to being forced to keep pedaling (whether forced physically, or to
avoid being so).


> >yet as soon as i would start to
> >actually RACE on the track my ability to pedal smoothly picked up very
> >quickly.
>
> and one can only race on the track while riding a fixed, perhaps a race
> situation is what forced you to "develop" a smooth pedal?


Exactly. Riding on the track is largely done at high power AND high
cadence, - and it is the combination of these two, NOT the fixed gear, that
teaches the mind/body to be able to pedal effectively at a higher rpm.

Shaun


Kathleen Gleason

unread,
Oct 24, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/24/00
to
I'm with ya on the change-of-pace thing. The other things I get out of
riding fixed in the winter are 1) it taught me that I can handle higher
speeds at lower gears and completely changed how I ride criteriums by
making me more responsive to speed changes, and riding smaller gears on the
flats helps me save my legs for the climbs in a road race, and 2) it keeps
me out of the gym for lower body work in the winter because I commute on it
up steep hills with a rack and panniers. ;-)

Personally, I think it makes my pedaling style a little choppy (lazy at the
top of the stroke) when I get back on the freewheel but that goes away.

That and we've got a group who rides fixed together on the weekend, and
there's no entertainment like watching roadies do sprints on fixed. :-)

Kathleen

dopple...@my-deja.com wrote:

> I ride a fixie for the following reasons
>
> 1) It's a change. My normal bike gets stale once and a while
> 2) Less maintenance in sloppy weather.
> 3) Keeps me close to home and warm when it is cold out.
> 4) It is something that every cyclists should try
>
> What it has does for me:
>
> 1) Gets me some early seasons miles when I would be inside on a trainer.
> 2) Downhill sprints help me relax on the upstroke, and smoothes me out a
> little.
> 3) Makes transition from sitting to standing smooth, no jumping
> backwards when standing. I hate when people do that to me.
> 4) I can ride over anything while spinning now.
>
> Does it help? Somewhat I think. But it is not a cureall.
> It is cheap fun.
>
> Dave Siegler
>

cog...@grecc.umaryland.edu

unread,
Oct 24, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/24/00
to
For the most part I'm with Shaun on this one: the physiological
(muscular) adaptations induced by pedaling a fixed gear are likely
largely the result of being forced to develop power at high
cadence...simply turning the pedals fast but at low power doesn't do an
awful lot in that regard. This became esp. obvious to me when I tried
breaking out of my grinder's rut by riding a fixed gear one winter in
Galveston...because at the time of year the wind blows mostly along,
rather than across, the island, the gear I'd picked had me working
reasonably hard at my typical rpm on the way out, and spinning against
very little resistance on the way back. I got better at "spinning" at
low loads, but it didn't really change my preferred cadence when riding
hard. This is in contrast to my prior (multi-year) experience of
training on a fixed gear in rolling terrain (and w/ others), where you
do at least occasionally have to produce considerable power while
turning a high rpm (e.g., sprinting over little hills, sprinting for
signs, closing gaps on a lively ride, etc.). It's that dang specificity
thing again (also applies to weight training, another favorite
off-season activity...but that's another story).

Having said the above, I can picture how there may be neural adaptations
as a result of spinning against low resistance, for example in the
timing of when your muscles actually "fire" (which, interestingly
enough, can actually be BEFORE the pedal has reached top dead center).
Certainly, riding around at e.g., 110 rpm for even a short while makes
100 rpm feel slow, and thus may induce you to move towards slightly
higher rpm for all of your riding (including intervals - thus fulfilling
the requirement of training at high power AND high cadence). Undoubtly,
the same effect could be achieved by simply using lower gears on a
freehub-equipped bike. However, a fixed has certain practical advantages
in this regard, in that it forces you to spin more (e.g., down hills)
than you likely would on a geared bike even if you were conciously
working on increasing your cadence.

Do you HAVE TO ride a fixed gear in the winter (or at any time) to be a
"good" pedaler, or to enjoy competitive success? Certainly not, no more
than you need to lift weights, and certainly not when you consider how
little motor skill is actually required to pedal a bicycle. Like lifting
weights, though, I do think that riding a fixed gear can be a useful
supplemental tool if applied appropriately given the circumstances.
Alternatively, though, one can likely achieve the same goals by e.g.,
deliberately undergearing on extended climbs (ala Carmichael/Armstrong),
racing on the track (as Shaun suggests), racing criteriums, in fact
almost any kind of racing except long roads races and TTs...

Andy ("there is no magic") Coggan

Shaun Wallace wrote:

> Where I said "Power", i should have perhaps said "high power". When
the
> power requirement is low, eg on a downhill, I feel there if very
little
> benefit to being forced to keep pedaling (whether forced physically,
or to
> avoid being so).

Seth Moore

unread,
Oct 24, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/24/00
to

cog...@grecc.umaryland.edu wrote in message <8t45od$4ni$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...

>Having said the above, I can picture how there may be neural adaptations
>as a result of spinning against low resistance, for example in the
>timing of when your muscles actually "fire" (which, interestingly
>enough, can actually be BEFORE the pedal has reached top dead center).

You have heard about Power Pedals
You have heard about Power Cranks
You have heard about the Power Tap

Well prepare for the future of bicycling

Introducing the "POWER SHOCKER"

That's right ! An automatic, electronic, peddling timing advance unit.

First you install the Power Tap
Then you install the Power Cranks
Then you install the Power pedals
Then you install the "Power Shocker" EMS (electronic muscle stimulator)
module
Apply the electrodes to the muscles

Then go for a ride.

The "Power Shocker" automatically senses the cadence and power output and
sends a signal to the electrodes causing the muscles to contract at the
correct times and firing order for maximum power to the pedals. The unit is
fully adjustable and can deliver power from 0-5000 watts (either forward or
backwards). In a recent animal trial "Bonzo" the chimp was able to achieve
280mph on his fixed gear going backwards although he encountered serious
burns over 90 % of his body due to an electrical malfunction when he passed
by our local Air Force base.

Seth Moore

rjk3

unread,
Oct 24, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/24/00
to
In article <39f5db9e$0$35383$53a6...@news.erinet.com>,
"Seth Moore" <jb...@erinet.com> wrote:

(Dammit, I laughed so hard I couldn't swall the dring of water I was
taking, and spit it out all over my keyboard.)

Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

Tom Biery

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Oct 24, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/24/00
to

Kathleen

you touched on something I was wondering about. Are you saying if I commute
over the winter and spring (its getting cold now by the way) in up hills in
a tall gear it will substitute for weight training. I don't want to hassle
with the gym I'd rather just ride.

This has nothing to do with fixed gear but thee thread is going all over the
place.

Jon Isaacs

unread,
Oct 24, 2000, 8:12:38 PM10/24/00