Re: Re[CR] Fixed Gear Braking


From: "John Pergolizzi" <jtperry@worldnet.att.net>
To: "Doc Simont" <mdsimont@snet.net>, <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
References: <3E74FDC8.5A76C6B8@earthlink.net> <3E751242.9BF987F4@snet.net> <3E75054E.DAA850F2@earthlink.net> <3E75C05E.547A62E5@snet.net>
Subject: Re: Re[CR] Fixed Gear Braking
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2003 11:04:15 -0500


Doc Simont wrote (snip): "I think the relevant point here is (cut)it's the (mis)use of a bike designed for a particular use in an inappropriate environment."

Sorry Doc, but your wrong one this one. I believe Chuck's "heh,heh" was tough in cheek sarcasm. What youse guys are missing is the use of the fixed gear on the road as a training device. Remember that fixed gear on the road was the "only" way not all that long ago.
      The specific benefits of fixed gear on the road were first explained to me by Sam Zeitlin (2ed to Disney, match sprints Nats in 67) Sam published an article on the subject in Velonews in 1977. I will gladly send a copy to any list member after my return to N.Y. at the end of the month.
      Basically, benefits include: developing muscle memory, development of opposing muscle groups, learning how to get "the BIG picture" (just like in driver's ed). You Loose dependency on brakes because you ride more conservatively and don't get your ass into "tight situations".
      For sure, it takes allot of rider attention, getting use to, and is not a training technique that would be used by a rider living in a super hilly area. Don't try a 48x14(92inchs) to start. 48x18 (72) would be much more appropriate. Even a little lower.
     The idea is to develop "spin", which is really the ability to relax. Since muscles can only so two things,contract or relax, you'll push down allot harder unless the opposing muscle group relaxes pretty quickly. That , plus power, is what sprinting is. Plus a little technique and tactics. Heh,heh.
       It is fun to ride the fixed gear road bike. You don't have to use it only to "train". And ANY bike can be fitted with at least a rear brake with out degrading the originality or integrity of the frame( through the use of a double brake hanger "plate" that sandwiches the seat stays at the brake bridge area). Even among racers traing on the road, it was common enough to see it installed.