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    • CommentAuthordimpler
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2011 edited
     
    Ok, so some of you may think this is a stupid post and a personal preference sort of thing, but I just want to know everyone's thoughts on what they like best for city riding. As some of you may know I am starting my first build and am torn about the hub type to go with. I live in Chicago and the passed few years I have been doing my street/city riding with a multispeed Specialized. Well, I got rid of it and and building my first bike in the next month or so and haven't decided on if I am going to go fixie, single, or go with a coaster brake. Basically, I am asking for opinions based on one word, "control". Which of the three options I listed offers the most control? I know this is sort of general but my concerns are this:

    Fixie: cornering and tight traffic. Seems like not being able to coast during fast cornering, or times in heavy/tight city traffic might be a problem.

    Single speed: no option for a foot brake/only rely on hand braking. I am not hugely keen on having brake cables, etc, the need for machined rims and the fact that I have to move my hands to the same spot on my bars whenever I need to brake.

    Coaster Brake Hub: Added weight? This one I am not really sure . Anyone that rides them I would like to hear what you have to say. This is the type of bike I rode as a kid, the single speed bmx style. Anyway, I really loved it and felt like I has tons of control. You can skid if you want, have the foot brake option, and can also coast. Thing is, I never hear of many people riding them for city bikes so there must be issues.

    I am sure many of you have seen the NYC bike messenger video, I'll include it if not. I need control for that type of riding. No, thats not to say I will be riding like that all the time, just want a setup that allows for it.

  1.  
    I'm not going to comment on the type of riding in that video, and whether or not you should be doing it, but I will say this: That video is about the riders, not what they are riding. If you notice, some are riding fixed/ss/multi road bikes, some are riding geared mountain bikes. It doesn't matter what you ride, as long as you are comfortable with controlling it. The only caveat to that is that bars need to be sufficiently narrow to pass between buses and things like that. Otherwise, you need to figure out which gearing style you are most comfortable with, then get better at riding your bike.

    If what you want is to be as fast and nimble as possible, get a geared road bike, then learn how to ride it.
    If you just have to have only one gear to work with, follow this: fixed gears need a front brake; single speed, two brakes; coaster, front brake.
  2.  
    I ride a fixed gear with no brake. I would say its not the best of options for an all around smart biking experience. It can get dicey sometimes due to having to think ahead when skidding to stop, cornering (due to pedals hitting the ground and hitting front wheel). Although, the up side to this is that its incredibly fun to ride for these same reasons. Its all about preference really. I would say (for what it sounds like you want to do) go with a brake and a single speed. I dont know anything about the coaster brakes so I cant comment on those.
    • CommentAuthorscmalex
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2011
     
    Traffic is a force to be reckoned with. If you want to look like an asshole, then emulate these guys.
    Unless your a messenger, you probably have no reason to ride like that anyways, because you are endangering OTHER PEOPLE. Doing dangerous stuff on bikes is fun, but its not fun when you ruin someone else's day.

    every setup has its disadvantages and advantages, its all personal preference. I see messengers on singlespeed or geared mountain and roadbikes, fixed gears, bmx cruisers... whatever.
    i would ride a 1x9 rigid mountainbike with slick tires if i had to ride in the city all day, but riding my fixed gears or criterium bike are tons of fun in the city too.
    • CommentAuthortimmy240
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2011 edited
     
    The title of that video is aptly put, those guys are douches and a half! I'm simply going to echo what's already been posted but there's no specific setup that's ideal for city riding and that's the beauty of riding a bike: it's all about you! I've done fixed geared, single speed, geared road and mountain bikes in the city and they all work fine. I prefer SS b/c I already have bad knees and using my legs to brake on a fixed gear put added stress on them; the mountain bike thing was cool, but the bike itself was so heavy it tuckered my out quick as well as the geometry was not ideal for me. I could go on with all of my experiences but they'll do nothing more than continue to reinforce: it's all about you! My advice to you with this build is to get an idea of what you want and run with it. My first build was a 70s Schwinn Varsity conversion with a flip flop hub and 28c tires. I got to try out both fixed and single speed and then rode my Trek that I already had to see if I liked that or not. Just quit worrying about what's "best", build your bike and put some miles on it!
    • CommentAuthorwaltsmith
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2011
     
    Posted By: scmalexTraffic is a force to be reckoned with. If you want to look like an asshole, then emulate these guys.
    Unless your a messenger, you probably have no reason to ride like that anyways, because you are endangering OTHER PEOPLE. Doing dangerous stuff on bikes is fun, but its not fun when you ruin someone else's day.


    +1
    • CommentAuthoriliketoes
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2011
     
    Posted By: timmy240Just quit worrying about what's "best", build your bike and put some miles on it!

    +also this
  3.  
    Fixed with no brakes is the best period. If you ride a singe speed or a coaster brake then your just a trendy wanna be douche bag.


    Naw. Just kidding. These guys allready said the best.
  4.  
    Fixed with no brakes is the best period. If you ride a singe speed or a coaster brake then your just a trendy wanna be douche bag.


    Naw. Just kidding. These guys allready said the best.
    • CommentAuthorveggie
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2011
     
    Posted By: hardsole5280ss with no brakes is the best period


    Thats better.
  5.  
    Ted Shred all the way.
  6.  
    Posted By: veggie
    Posted By: hardsole5280ss with no brakes is the best period


    Thats better.


    Dammit. That is much funnier.

    Ripping good laugh sir.
  7.  
    Posted By: veggie
    Posted By: hardsole5280ss with no brakes is the best period


    Thats better.


    Dammit. That is much funnier.

    Ripping good laugh sir.
  8.  
    fixed implies more effort
    ss implies front and rear brakes
    coaster brake hubs are subject to snap as every time you brake with them your putting strain on the hub.
    I rode the hell out of my bike as a kid and the hub snapped on me one day as i was braking and that was my first real bike crash (had a gnarly ass gash in my leg)
    if you really want 1 gear (which is what a i prefer b/c they're easy to maintain and you don't have to worry about derailers and crap) I personally say learn how to ride fixed with a front brake
    I never saw the appeal of SS besides being able to coast but at the same time i LOVE the fact i can't stop moving my legs. Riding fixed is awkward for a while but as with anything you get used to it
    If this seems like way too much work
    keep it roadie, nothing wrong with that, and it really is nice being able to stop on a dime with hand brakes. If you want different hand positions ride drops.
    • CommentAuthorthe rabbi
    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2011
     
    Turning my bk into a ss.
  9.  
    or you could always just get a flip flop hub in the back. arent all the formula (and rebrands too) flip flop? that way you can try 2 of the options pretty simply
    • CommentAuthorncecchi
    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2011
     
    I would get the above ^ and leave both brakes on. SS or fixed, and if you are used to riding road, you are still kinda going to want a back brake. It's necessary if you are going to ride any kind of distances or semi-road type circuits or training, etc...
    • CommentAuthorMANNY E
    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2011
     
    Fixed, no brakes, no handle bars all the way.
    • CommentAuthorstalag13
    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2011
     
    Posted By: MANNY EFixed, no brakes, no handle bars all the way.


    seatpost, but no saddle. out of the saddle all day, everyday.
    • CommentAuthorMANNY E
    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2011
     
    Posted By: stalag13
    Posted By: MANNY EFixed, no brakes, no handle bars all the way.


    seatpost, but no saddle. out of the saddle all day, everyday.


    That cannot be comfortable or safe dude.
 
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