"Miscellanious Notes "

Fixed Gear - Single Speed - Internet Age Communications - Bridgestone Serial Number Scheme

Fixed Gears downhill:

What I found to be helpful on my commute was letting the brakes off slightly earlier on the descent on successive trips. Let 'em off maybe 10 yards earlier than the previous trip down the hill. You get a little leg-wacky the first few times, but you'll build up confidence and leg speed. Also, if you adjust your speed so that you start off slower at the top of the hill, you can always let go of the brakes earlier to regain your speed.

Why Go Fixed?:

The simplicity acted as the core inducement. The ride, the quiet, the utter lack of required maintenence all have contributed to the spread of the disease. Before building up my first fixed gear, I'd migrated from a front suspension mtb to a cyclocross bike on the trails, then a rigid singlespeed mtb. The simpler the system the better it seemed to hold up. The simpler bikes were lighter and more fun. You won't survive cross-on-trails unless the brain is engaged. The singlespeed challenged me to appreciate the fickle mistress of momentum. Fixed gear riding calls upon those two ideas, plus a few of its own. They've become the bikes I ride most. You can always run full brakes if the hills are too steep (just north of SF for me, so it ain't flat). Sometimes a slight modification of route can take care of "problem" climbs or descents.

So Far:
#1 - Fixed Gear Panasonic DX-5000
#2 - Fixed Gear Dawes Double Blue

and I wouldn't have ever done either if not for these pages on Sheldon Brown's site.

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So, Grant P writes about a new tire size and people respond harshly:

There have been so many pithy little comments tacked into posts based on this that it makes me literally shake my head and laugh...

But, it also vexes me a bit, so I thought I'd share why. It's so very easy to type and send a quick response with email, and over the past years, it seems to have lead to arenas where everyone has a strong position on something they may or may not know anything about. Actually, Matt Chester's interview answer #21 really summed it up better than I can right now.

My RR hasn't arrived yet, so maybe somewhere in there Grant states, "...and therefore we will be discontinuing all frames in widely-distributed tire sizing...." But, I'm betting it probably doesn't actaully say that in there.

Nevertheless, a number of folks pretty much stomped on him for even considering the idea, and many of those people went on to publicly compare Rivendell to companies which have failed or flailed. If you read back through the archives on 603 (and even some of the 650b) threads, a lot of those comments strike me as unnecessarily rude. There are people behind these posts, and even though it is a semi-public forum, we serve one another better when we remember that.

To me, one of the great things about the RR and Grant's _musings_ is that they cause me to reconsider ideas which Giant, Trek, Specialized and the rest of the mainstream bicycle manufacturers and marketers would have you believe are set in stone. If Grant wants to consider what sounds on the face of it to be an "interesting hack", it doesn't undercut what his company does on a daily basis with the Ramboullet, Atlantis, Quickbeam, Romulus and the full-blown Rivendell frames. It hardy smells of a "rudderless ship" or some increasing dependence upon the archane of the obscure.

He wrote a column about it, right? He's not making you buy one if you don't want one. Certainly, Grant doesn't need me to defend him. (And if it _was_ a 4/1 column, the joke is on all of us...) And, that's really not what this post is about. We don't really need to resort to hyperbole when all that was raised was a simple question. It drives people away and increases the noise. There's enough crazy-making stuff in this world without grinding one another here as well.

Ok, back to what I _should_ be working on...

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updated: May 11, 2006






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