For some reason, I'm increasingly fascinated by fixies. I'm thinking about buying one. I think I would want a fixed/freewheel switching option and a brake. Any recommendations? Thoughts?
You can convert a geared bike pretty easily, but if you want to buy a new one, and who wouldn't, I'd recommend the Swobo Sanchez or Del Norte, Surly Steamroller or IRO Mark V.
If you want to convert, make sure you get a frame with horizontal drop-outs or track forks. Otherwise you will have to run a chain tensioner. If you plan on riding it as a single speed with a freewheel, you may want to consider two instead of one brake. I never thought that brake cables break, until one separated on me at the lever just a couple of weeks ago. A brake is also a good idea for a fixie just incase your chain breaks, and it also allows you to avoid those stupid skid stops.
You don''t strike me as a hipster - Columbia Heights must be rubbing off on you! Make sure you only put bull horns on , and some baseball cards in the spokes - or just put some wheel covers on for all those bike polo matches in the park. You're going to need a few more ironic t-shirts, and some tats too! ;)
In all seriousness: horiz. dropouts, flip-flop hub, ONE front brake, monkey bars - READY TO ZIP through traffic in style!
In one Gear we trust,
Go for it! Best way to commute in DC area, added trainning benefits (better spin technique, better cardio since no coasting), and nice way to changes things up from your usual routine.
Front brake only, go flip-flop fixed/fixed not freewheel/fixed. Go for the track frame/droupouts (w/ front brake) if can - added "zippyness"
Another vote for Surly Steamroller if purchasing new (but upgrade the seat post and saddle).
Experiment with different cog sizes.
Have more fun than the guy/gal riding next to you!
Bonus points if you build your rear wheel up yourself!
If you decide to build your wheel up yourself, go with a White Industries Eric's Eccentric ENO Hub - then you don't have to worry about horizontal drop outs or a chain tensioner.
Anyone have experience with the Giant Bowery? I was in the Bike Rack a couple weeks ago and they way they had it set up made it a captivatingly beautiful bike.
What's the difference between flip-flop fixed/fixed and freewheel/fixed?
A flip-flob hub allows one to attach either a fixed cog to one side of the hub and a freewheel to the other(fixed/freewheel) or a fixed cog to both sides (fixed/fixed).
The fixed/fixed allows one to use 2 different cog sizes (but note the cog sizes generally must be within one size/tooth of each other in order to use the same chain length), with purpose to have the ability to flip your wheel into the easier cog for hilly terrain or to focus on a higher cadence.
The Fixed/freewheel setup gives you the option of flipping the wheel from fixed to freewheel (either same size/tooth cog or one size difference) for longer rides, coasting downhill after a long-climb or for just changing things up.
I started with a fixed/free setup and never once used the freewheel. I now run a fixed/fixed, but honestly only flip the wheel once or twice per year. But I also don't ride my fixed gear on rides over 40 miles.