Kenneth Naylor (MOLC) wrote:
> I have never quite understood the allure of fixed gear/track bikes in
> the bike messenger crowd. I understood the rational of using them as a
> training tool for road cyclist to teach a smooth pedal motion/cadence,
> but it seems that the decrease in braking ability (right?) and the lack
> of ability to choose a better gear for hills/wind/ect. would be a
> detriment. Any comments from fixed gear riders and/or messengers?
The simplicity of a fixed gear has an appeal in an environment where the bikes take a lot of abuse. Most fixed gear bikes used on the road have at least a front brake, but it generally only gets used in panic stops. You can actually lock up the rear wheel with just your legs (particularly if you're using a relatively low gear), but as we all know that isn't the ideal way to bring a bike to a controlled stop. My own experience is that the fixed gear allows you to use a higher gear on hills than you would otherwise use, but you're right -- a prudent choice of gearing prior to the ride can make a difference.
-John Thompson (email@example.com)
Appleton WI USA