So, you have made the bold decision to join the bandwagon and jump on the trend which is fixed bike riding? Good for you. The bad news comes in when you realize that fixie bikes are the most challenging types of bikes you can ever come across. Unless you learn to control these brakeless wonders, you can find yourself in the ER. You do not want that, right?
These bikes are basically built for extreme tricks and you should be careful before you hop onto one. The injuries that you can get are at times life-threatening, so you need to learn the basics of how to control your fixed gear bike. Here are some tips on how you can reduce the speed of your roll on a bicycle with no brakes.
What you will need
You shall need all the necessary safety gear. Do not neglect any padding you can get. Remember, safety first. You should have a helmet for your head, you do not want your skull to be bashed into the sidewalk. Have pads on your shoulders, your knees or basically anywhere else you can have a pad. If you live in a densely populated area have road marks on the areas you will be practicing. The most important thing you should have a fixed gear bicycle with pedal retention mechanisms and also a lock ring which is really tight.
If you choose to do your training in an area with traffic it should have brakes. The reason why you should consider this is that no matter how well you execute your tricks you will never stop as fast when you don’t have brakes than when you had brakes. The whole point is that you learn how to stop your fixed gear bike so you should at least have the front brakes.
Find a safe place for practice
Stuntmen and women, or in general, bicycle couriers have popularized fixie bike riding, but it would be foolish for a beginner to start practicing in an area with dense traffic. That will really hazardous. A traffic heavy setting is only good if you have perfected the art of bike riding and of course if you have the stones to do it. Bravery is one thing that you should have. Before you take part in such a dangerous activity ensure that you are at least well versed in the act of stopping your fixie bicycle.
As a beginner, you should look for an area with a lot of space to maneuver or in particular, fall. You should sue abandoned car parking lots or cycling tracks, go for the indoor ones. This is because you are going to be suing a brakeless bike any type of accident could end your life because you will be at very high speeds.
Expect your stops
For you to perfect fixie bike riding and stopping in general, you should be aware at all times. Riding a fixed bike is very involving and any loss of concentration will lead to an unexpected incident. You need to be aware of your surroundings and ensure that you are continuously scanning your road or pavement. For you have the capability of stopping you should be able to anticipate your stops.
You should have a defined stopping point and ensure that set your goal around that. You can have markers at these specific points. When you have a set, red zone, you can practice stopping with ease. The other advantage to doing this is that you might even have the capability of skidding around obstacles in the long run. You might learn a whole new trick.
Choose the method of braking
When doing this you should be very confident because of the inherent danger. The added advantage you will have is that when it comes to slowing down you are afforded a couple of choices. The most common styles of braking are the following.
• Pace pedaling: this is a type of braking were you reduce the pace of your pedaling when you get close to your stopping point. This is among the easiest ways if slowing a fixie down. This is because the rotation of the back wheel and the rotation of the pedals are usually interconnected. Reducing an end brings about the same end on the other end. When you’re low down your pedal motion you will most probably have put a damper on your forward momentum. The only drawback to this type of braking I that when you try to stop hastily the pedals will just continue to turn, this happens mostly when you are almost hitting something.
• Skid stopping: this is the most dangerous type of stopping and it involves leaning forward and relieving the back wheel of your weight. This will enable you to reduce the speed you will be moving at because the traction of your rear wheel will no longer be there.
We hope you have learnt the basics of how you can control your fixed gear bicycles. If you want to buy one, talk to us today and find out more!