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View Full Version : Fixies + No Brakes = Just plain stupid


heavyj
08-31-2007, 08:01 AM
And let the flame war commence!

But seriously folks, this is just getting crazy. After watching the fourth rider in as many days "attempt" a controlled stop either approaching the Broadway bridge from the East or coming off the Bridge I just can't believe that anyone thinks this is a good idea or should be legal. Fishtailing, skidding and generally bouncing around all over the road is NOT a controlled stop.

Get some brakes people. And some lights while your at it :-)

Just had to vent. I feel better know.

flj^
08-31-2007, 09:05 AM
but they're all color coordinated and stuff...

Donald
08-31-2007, 10:19 AM
Have you seen the sea of skid marks littering the downhill sections of the Broadway bridge?

At long last, have these brakless hoodlums left no sense of decency or decorum?

toddistic
08-31-2007, 02:21 PM
And let the flame war commence!

But seriously folks, this is just getting crazy. After watching the fourth rider in as many days "attempt" a controlled stop either approaching the Broadway bridge from the East or coming off the Bridge I just can't believe that anyone thinks this is a good idea or should be legal. Fishtailing, skidding and generally bouncing around all over the road is NOT a controlled stop.

Get some brakes people. And some lights while your at it :-)

Just had to vent. I feel better know.

GRR THOSE DAMN KIDS ARE AT IT AGAIN!

rubbish heap
09-02-2007, 02:33 PM
Wow, the OP definitely has never seen an experienced messenger ride one. Cmon guys, there's a big difference between a newbie frantically trying to stop his track bike going down the Hawthorne hill into a red light and a seasoned daily rider that has control over every aspect and could get the thing stopped as fast as someone with relying on their rear brake. Besides, your opinion is a bit irrelevent unless you can actually ride one and stop it properly as opposed to just subjectively observing those around you.

I'll gladly take the invitation of anyone who wants to ride through the city, set a pace and watch me safely keep up riding brakeless on a fixed gear. Hell, I may even pass you going up the hills... and yes, I have lights on my bike.

mizake
09-02-2007, 03:23 PM
just another sucker for the anti-fixie bandwagon.

rainperimeter
09-02-2007, 05:01 PM
boooorrrrrrrring.

wsbob
09-02-2007, 08:33 PM
"Besides, your opinion is a bit irrelevent unless you can actually ride one and stop it properly as opposed to just subjectively observing those around you." Rubbish Heap

Well, I'm aware that some fixie riders are sufficiently skilled in emergency stopping their bikes, but I wouldn't go quite so far as to say the OP's opinion is irrelevant unless he can stop and ride such a bike properly. Actually, I'm not sure the ability of any critic of fixie bikes to ride and stop one of those bikes properly has anything to do with the greater concern here: the question of whether other users of the road are going to be able to avoid a brakeless fixie rider that goes into an out of control dump in the middle of traffic because the fixie rider lacks the effectiveness of caliper, coaster-brakes, centerpulls, discbrakes, or some other kind of nonfixie type "brake" system. Of course, some people don't believe that would ever happen.

rubbish heap
09-02-2007, 08:47 PM
Than you have the shared responsibility of not drafting said fixed gear rider - you shouldn't be riding close or directly behind a stranger anyways because if they don't know you're there and they hit the brakes (whether it's skid stopping or full on calipers) you're down to split second reflexes to get out of the way or rear-end them, and that's simply a matter of responsible traffic maneuvering that every cyclist should know. With friends or in group rides these rules generally don't apply because the behavior of the group/individual is usually more predictable.

For entertainment and of mild relevence, a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rUD7T4g9Q0

SpyT
09-02-2007, 10:52 PM
Than you have the shared responsibility of not drafting said fixed gear rider - you shouldn't be riding close or directly behind a stranger anyways because if they don't know you're there and they hit the brakes, skid stopping or full on calipsters, you're down to split second reflexes to get out of the way or rear-end them, and that's simply a matter of responsible traffic maneuvering that every cyclist should know. With friends or in group rides these rules generally don't apply because the behavior of the group/individual is usually more predictable.

100% Agree!

flj^
09-02-2007, 11:08 PM
http://agoldenworld.files.wordpress.com/2006/04/StewieGriffin2%20400w.gif

For every fixie i see, i shall kill you!

toddistic
09-03-2007, 09:54 AM
And let the flame war commence!

But seriously folks, this is just getting crazy. After watching the fourth rider in as many days "attempt" a controlled stop either approaching the Broadway bridge from the East or coming off the Bridge I just can't believe that anyone thinks this is a good idea or should be legal. Fishtailing, skidding and generally bouncing around all over the road is NOT a controlled stop.

Get some brakes people. And some lights while your at it :-)

Just had to vent. I feel better know.

translation: i just spent $2000 on a new tricked out road bike and some fixie rider totally burned me up the williams / vancouver cooridor on his $100 junker.

wsbob
09-03-2007, 09:22 PM
"Than you have the shared responsibility of not drafting said fixed gear rider - you shouldn't be riding close or directly behind a stranger anyways because if they don't know you're there and they hit the brakes (whether it's skid stopping or full on calipers) you're down to split second reflexes to get out of the way or rear-end them, and that's simply a matter of responsible traffic maneuvering that every cyclist should know. With friends or in group rides these rules generally don't apply because the behavior of the group/individual is usually more predictable." rubbish heap

This sounds as if you're thinking about a fixie rider on a bike path or lane with only other cyclists behind the fixie rider, rather than cars, buses and semi-tractor trailers. I don't recall hearing about an incident where a fixie rider, unable to stop or otherwise control the bike for lack of conventional brake equipment, was run over by a heavy vehicle or caused an accident due to not having such equipment, so maybe this is a wait and see situation.

heavyj
09-04-2007, 09:23 AM
translation: i just spent $2000 on a new tricked out road bike and some fixie rider totally burned me up the williams / vancouver cooridor on his $100 junker.

Actually, no. I ride a 5 year old road bike, although it is a very nice one. With 22 years of riding, racing on the road, off-road and on the track (picking up 2 district championships along the way), commuting, working in shops and generally living life on my bike I rarely am passed by anybody, let alone fixie riders on $100 junkers.

But anyway, that's not really the point. The point is that it's funny at first to watch inexperienced fixie riders coming off the Broadway at a high rate of speed and "trying" to stop. But then you start cringing and waiting for them to crash. And then you think, this is just stupid, and you post up on Bike Portland because you want to know that other riders feel the same way. And you want to vent, plain and simple.

Alas, I must respond to the defenders of the fixie w/o a brake. I challenge the most experienced fixie rider to pull off a controlled stop from 20 mph to 0, going downhill, in less than 100 feet. It just ain't possible, especially if there is even a small amount of moisture on the ground. If you want to ride slow on every downhill approach in Portland, that is your choice, but the riders I have seen do not approach these sections carefully.

I respect everyone's right to do what they want and ride what they want but when I see something stupid I have to point it out.

I close with some great advice from Sheldon Brown:

http://sheldonbrown.com/fixed.html#braking

Cheers.

Audioel
09-04-2007, 12:01 PM
Heavyj,

I sympathize with your frustration, but you're getting into one of the "classic" online arguments that has no resolution. Anyone can choose to ignore both physics and common sense - and be obnoxious about it too.

And of course, a lot of young guys riding fixies imagines themselves Eddy Merckx in shants... or at least POST as if they were.

People do what they want to do. You can't legislate (or sadly, even expect) common sense and intelligence. All you can do, is be open-minded, friendly, and call the ambulance when someone's luck runs out. :)

Cheers,

- Gustavo
Fixed-gear rider with TWO brakes, lights, and always wearing a helmet.

Attornatus_Oregonensis
09-04-2007, 01:03 PM
I challenge the most experienced fixie rider to pull off a controlled stop from 20 mph to 0, going downhill, in less than 100 feet. It just ain't possible, especially if there is even a small amount of moisture on the ground.

My man has thrown down the gauntlet. Which of you will take it up, rather than live in ignominy?

Seriously, this is what we call "an empirical question." What happened to the thread where we were gonna test this? Let's get it done and stop wasting time.

brock
09-04-2007, 01:39 PM
Let's get it done and stop wasting time.

I think that any cyclist with a rudimentary grasp of physics and/or a modicum of understanding how to use caliper brakes consider the "empirical question" a waste of time... :)

Attornatus_Oregonensis
09-04-2007, 02:57 PM
I think that any cyclist with a rudimentary grasp of physics and/or a modicum of understanding how to use caliper brakes consider the "empirical question" a waste of time... :)

You let me know when you want to put your money where your mouth is.

mizake
09-04-2007, 08:15 PM
My man has thrown down the gauntlet. Which of you will take it up, rather than live in ignominy?

Seriously, this is what we call "an empirical question." What happened to the thread where we were gonna test this? Let's get it done and stop wasting time.

i'll pass on this.

fetishridr
09-05-2007, 07:41 AM
you can pedal your ass off and beat other non combatants but if you really want to race, keep going north and ride in the PIR races.

And, a beater fixie is still way fast. one gear is light, and 23c tires roll fast, so to state that a $100 clunker fixie is slow isnt all that accurate. my fixed gear is quick.

I've never been passed on my way up williams to PIR tuesday nights, so lets not make blanket statements for how badass your commute is cuz you smoked another commuter. most people dont race while they commute. if they were racing theyd have numbers on their sides. :)

toddistic
09-05-2007, 11:42 AM
hey! his bike is 5 years old but pretty nice.

nishiki
09-05-2007, 02:56 PM
you can pedal your ass off and beat other non combatants but if you really want to race, keep going north and ride in the PIR races.

And, a beater fixie is still way fast. one gear is light, and 23c tires roll fast, so to state that a $100 clunker fixie is slow isnt all that accurate. my fixed gear is quick.

I've never been passed on my way up williams to PIR tuesday nights, so lets not make blanket statements for how badass your commute is cuz you smoked another commuter. most people dont race while they commute. if they were racing theyd have numbers on their sides. :)

No s***? You race your fixie at PIR? Cat-wannabe?

mizake
09-05-2007, 06:31 PM
i think i've had enough of most of the folks who comment on bikeportland and the associated forums.

rubbish heap
09-05-2007, 08:52 PM
well, i told heavyj i'd take up his offer to stop in 100 ft. going 20mph down a hill, brakeless. no reply as of yet. i guess we just need to find a suitable hill, something on a side street with low traffic. maybe SE salmon around 20th?

heavyj
09-05-2007, 08:54 PM
Perhaps my original title should have been "Posting inflammatory messages on Bike Portland forums = just plain stupid"

This is the last you'll here from me on this subject of fixies w/ no brakes/$100 junkers or burning up the Vancouver/Williams corridor.

Cheers.

My apologies to everyone for starting this inane thread.

fetishridr
09-05-2007, 09:51 PM
Nishiki,
i dont race my fixie at PIR. i do race it at Tabor, on group rides, and the like. there are races at PIR mon and tues nights from april to sept. i wont
i race, so i pin a number on when i do.

i would call the wannabee the person who is proud that they can pass everyone in N portland when no one is trying.
do you race old people on rascals too, or how about people on skateboards, or fast walkers.

i give up, i'll never be as cool as you are with your uberfast commute up williams, we people who just commute or race arent worthy.
your badassness is way more badass than my badassness so i guess you win and i lose.

wsbob
09-23-2007, 11:14 PM
Corny, but...he-he!

http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/bik/430463636.html

Audioel
10-12-2007, 08:45 PM
Funny thing about the post that started this thread - I was considering posting a similar one with a less inflammatory title. :)

I was sitting in the car with my wife 3 days ago, about 4pm. Headed out of downtown on Broadway, headed for the bridge. Right as you get on it, at the light, we're stopped about 2 cars back.

I'm watching all the different types of cyclists lining up in the bike lane, waiting for the light to change. Mid 20's female on Electra bike, 40's guy on ancient 10-speed, teen on a BMX, and behind them all, guy on a black brakeless fixie, with red deep-v's. Could be a Pake or something similar. He slows down a bit, and squeezes through to the front, slow, but not stopping. The light has not changed yet. He's very dapper in his cut-off pants and roll-top messenger backpack. So he continues to roll slowly into the intersection, but develops a pronounced wobble that he corrects by circling and wiggling into the far left lane, across both lanes of cars. He keeps rolling slowly and the light changes at this moment.

The car in the right lane in front of us doesn't know what fixie guy is doing it, so he floors it, going by inches from mr. fixie. We stop. Meanwhile mr. fixie is eliciting a lot of negative attention from the other cars, and even cars in the oncoming lane at the intersection.

Finally, after almost causing several accidents, pissing people off, and being extremely idiotic in his riding style, he manages to get to the bike lane, and squeezes in, forcing the other riders to stop suddenly to avoid hitting him.

And, as he and his trusty steed sail on into the sunset, we manage to pass him, and drive home.

I ride a fixed gear bike. I try to trackstand at lights sometimes - I'm getting better! But if I cant do it, I put a foot down. I have brakes on my bike because it makes stopping easier. But most of all, I try to be considerate to OTHER people who I might be sharing the road with.

Wether you ride with brakes or not, don't be a prick.

beelnite
10-15-2007, 01:01 PM
Not sure if another post covered this:

Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 815.280
Violation of Bicycle Equipment Requirements

Clearly states... "A bicycle must be equipped with a brake."

toddistic
10-16-2007, 11:24 AM
Not sure if another post covered this:

Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 815.280
Violation of Bicycle Equipment Requirements

Clearly states... "A bicycle must be equipped with a brake."

the cranks on a fixie are the brake. I ride a single speed but I can tell you yesterday in the rain I wished I was on a fixie, wet rims and caliper brakes do not equal stopping power. in that case, a fixie would actually be safer.

wsbob
10-16-2007, 10:56 PM
I've ridden in extremely wet weather when the calipers weren't so helpful. For me, it had to be really, really wet though. It helps to ride the brakes just slightly to keep them kind of dry. I wonder if there's some kind of hub shifter out there that would allow a rider to shift their bike from geared to fixed while riding.