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Ok, Without starting another war....

You crazy people that ride fixies on MTB trails (Crazy meant as a compliment, because I am not yet crazy/gutsy enough to try),

Do you typically run the same gear that you would use if you were riding a typical (FW/free hub) SS?

Do you descend hills at a rate close to the guys that use a freewheel or free-hub?

Again, not wanting to ruffle feathers...the whole concept of scorching looks cool. I just want to figure out what you guys do, and not learn any lessons the hard way (learn from your experience so-to-speak).

It would seem to the untrained observer (me) that a guy that descends slowly and in control, would not have as much/any need for a rear brake...the other guy (that seems REALLY crazy to me) who descends quickly, probably would rely on a rear brake a bit more....am I anywhere close to correct?
 

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I run a slightly higher gear - about one gear in gearie land.

I do not descend as fast as those who coast. I can't get my legs to spin that fast. On technical descents, I descend close to (but not quite) the same speed as those who pick their way down, or those who ride rigid/hard-tail.

I run a front disc caliper only, on a rigid fork.
 

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Same here...

itsdoable said:
I run a slightly higher gear - about one gear in gearie land.

I do not descend as fast as those who coast. I can't get my legs to spin that fast. On technical descents, I descend close to (but not quite) the same speed as those who pick their way down, or those who ride rigid/hard-tail.

I run a front disc caliper only, on a rigid fork.
Except I run a mid 90's XTR canti set-up up front. It is a X-bike therefore it has cantis. Also, I run a flipflop hub...42X17 DH and X-town gear with the other side being 42X21, an uphill and techytrail gear. Super fun. Makes all the trails new again and is just another fun way to ride a bike. There is nothing magic or crazy about it. You ever see a coyote at stride? Well, that is what I feel that I look like on the DH. Fast legs under a flat-backed quiet upper body. Well maybe a coyote that runs on its rear legs!
 

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I run a 32x16 on my 29er fixed gear and a 32x18 on my 29er SS. I'm probably a little slower on the dh stuff. It's wierd at first having to spin like crazy sitting down. I ended up putting a suspension seatpost on mine just so I could be more comfortable on the downhills. Works great for me but I've only been doing the off-road fixed gear thing for two months now. The thing I have the hardest time with are the log crossings. No matter what I try I always hit the logs with my pedals. My new technique is once the front wheel is over the log I put all my weight on the front end and try to float the rear over the log.

Have fun and stick with it.
 

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I hear ya...

UzziDH said:
IThe thing I have the hardest time with are the log crossings. No matter what I try I always hit the logs with my pedals. My new technique is once the front wheel is over the log I put all my weight on the front end and try to float the rear over the log.

Have fun and stick with it.
Them logs and ledges require a little approach set-up. I am right foot forward dominant and when my front wheel is a couple inches from the obstacle I'll set my feet in a 9 & 3 position with my left foot forward. Whilst pushing down with my left foot I float up the front end by combing a mellow pull with the arms and a fairly aggresive pedal kick. As soon as the front wheel touches down then like you I continue to float the rear if necessary to clear the obstacle or just let it continue its arc and resume contact with the dirt. Fun sh!t. Also, experimenting with micro brake taps for foot/crank set-ups will tend to add more diddys to your Bag!

giv'R
 

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UzziDH said:
...The thing I have the hardest time with are the log crossings. No matter what I try I always hit the logs with my pedals....
I've found that anything up to ~8" I can lift the front onto it, regardless of pedal position - and if the pedal/foot hits the log, thats OK, just keep turning and your other pedal will come over and you are over the log. On larger logs, & rocks, I need to time my pedals, and that can mean some zig-zags, hops or backup up and reseting. One of the neat things about a fixie is you can stop and back up, without taking your foot off the pedals.
 

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donkey
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I run the same ratio for fixed and free riding. I wish the fixed ratio was "harder" so downhills would be less taxing on my legs, but when i bought my bolt on fixed gear cog from kogswell, it was only available in 16 and 18. I am no where near as fast on the downhills as guys running freewheeling bikes.

I don't know why, but i never have problems with my cranks hitting log crossings/ log piles. It seems unreal, but the timing just always works out.

to the original poster: I would say go for a higher gear on the fixed side of your hub, or on your fixed gear bike (whatever your set-up is) I think most bike shops would let you try/ exchange a few different cogs, especially if you are a regular customer. If you are running a flip flop, try to keep the cogs in the same nieghborhood so that your chain is a suitable length for both.
 

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unit said:
Do you typically run the same gear that you would use if you were riding a typical (FW/free hub) SS?

Do you descend hills at a rate close to the guys that use a freewheel or free-hub?

It would seem to the untrained observer (me) that a guy that descends slowly and in control, would not have as much/any need for a rear brake...the other guy (that seems REALLY crazy to me) who descends quickly, probably would rely on a rear brake a bit more....am I anywhere close to correct?
Don't know, always ride fixed - probably a little bigger gear than if I ran a FW.

slower

front disc on rigid fork only, and I spin like crazy (can spin 150+ rmp pretty comfortably) - still feel no need for a rear brake
 

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When I first fixed my ss, I used the same gearing, 32:18. After three rides I changed up to 32:16 to prevent getting spun out too quickly. With the fixed, you'll want to consider the downhill as much as the up when picking your gear.

On downhills, the limiter for me seems to be fitness, being able to keep the legs turning over a sustained high cadence can be a bit taxing, and eventually I need to just sit up and let the freewheelers go. (got ahold of a road fixy this winter, so I'm working on this shortcoming.....) Steep pitches where you'd like to slide off the back of the saddle can be a bit interesting also, usually give up some ground there. Otherwise, if it's twisty turny flowing fun, no handicap at all. If a trail doesn't spin you out on your coasty bike, there's no reason you can't ride that same pace on a fixy.

I don't run a rear brake and have honestly never seen the need for it while fixed.
 

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Do you typically run the same gear that you would use if you were riding a typical (FW/free hub) SS?

Nope, I run a slightly taller gear so that I can go more than 10mph on the flats and down hills, a 34/16

Do you descend hills at a rate close to the guys that use a freewheel or free-hub?
Open fire roads, no. Tight twisting single track, I can hold my own.

Again, not wanting to ruffle feathers...the whole concept of scorching looks cool. I just want to figure out what you guys do, and not learn any lessons the hard way (learn from your experience so-to-speak).

?

It would seem to the untrained observer (me) that a guy that descends slowly and in control, would not have as much/any need for a rear brake...the other guy (that seems REALLY crazy to me) who descends quickly, probably would rely on a rear brake a bit more....am I anywhere close to correct?

Yup, depends on the trail though. It can be just as much work keeping a reasonable pace down hill as it was going up.
 
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