gettin fixed

It’s been 6 weeks now since I built The Fooj. It’s the only bike I’ve ridden since then, as I intended to spend some quality time getting used to riding a fixed gear to see how I like it. Today I finally got out the old Scatmobile for a geared ride, so I’m feeling ready to compare the two.

Getting started riding a fixie was easier than I thought. Sure, it was a little awkward at first, but not nearly as difficult to adapt to as I expected. After a few weeks, I felt pretty comfortable on it, though I’m still leery of emergency braking and taking turns at speed. I tend to ride cautiously near intersections to avoid getting into such situations, which takes some of the fun out of it.

Riding a converted old touring frame has proven to be a bit of a downer. While I love the feel of steel, the long wheelbase and relaxed geometry are too stretched out for my tastes. It also makes it harder to do skid stops or ride no-handed. As much as I love the Fooj, I’m trolling the internets for a tighter frame. I’m not sure I want to go full-on track geometry, but at least to modern road racing geometry.

One of my expectations turned out to be spot on: I’d love the ability to turn the fixed-ness on and off at the flip of a switch. Not gonna happen, but it would be pretty neat. Most of the time riding fixed is very comfortable and fosters a feeling of greater control over the bike. But then sometimes I want to stop pedaling, duck down, and let gravity haul me down a hill at 30+ mph. That’s one of my favorite parts of riding a geared bike.

On the other hand, the simplicity of the fixed gear is sweet. Especially since my gears were acting a little squirrelly today on my road bike. I think it’s time to take it in for a tune-up. I think it has somewhere around 2000 miles on it with nary a problem, so it’s about time. Then again, I bet Bob can help me do it myself. In the mean time, I’m going back to riding the Fooj.

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