Just curious, but what's the point of riding a fixed gear bike?
The FG is totally 100% a personal preference thing. I enjoy them because they're simple and I enjoy the aesthetics of not having cables/deraliers and brakes. The only comparison I can make is going from driving a car with an automatic transmission, power steering and the works to an old VW. It's a little bit more work, but I find it to be really rewarding.
Right, I first figured there had to be some sort of advantage to it, but it makes just as much sense if you just happen to enjoy them.
I have to admit I use brakes after having a bad crash which dislocated my shoulder in London.
However, is an instaneous reaction thing. When you want acceleration it is there/ shame for braking.
In London, as it is flat, it is very suited to the environment. Here in HK. Well I will be sweating even more than the humidity makes me already.
Fixed gear and singlespeed bikes are much more power efficient than their geared counterparts. The derailleur or internal hub systems of geared bikes sucks a little energy out of pedalling. If I recall correctly, I have read that standard derailleur systems have around a 9% energy loss, and Rolhoff hubs (premium internal geared hubs) suffer from a 14% loss. But that's based on a pretty hazy memory.
So within their workable gear 'range' they are very good to pedal. Outside of this operational range (i.e. on steep ground or going really fast) they are not as convenient. Fixed gear bikes are definitely an urban thing- you can't ride fixed gear offroad, though you can ride singlespeed offroad.
In my opinion, neither makes much sense in HK given the steepness of our terrain- from what little I've seen of it here, it's mainly a fashion statement by locals with little exposure to the wider possibilities of cycling.
Oh, I forgot- I believe that all the China utility bikes you see about HK are singlespeed, but they're not exactly recreational vehicles
Last edited by jgl; 26-06-2010 at 07:23 PM.
There is actually quite a big fixed gear mountain biking scene in the US and the UK. But they are crazy. Or just very brave :L
I see myself mainly cruising around on the reclaimed land in HK island and the new territories. It does give me the excuse to get a new bike tough...
Saying riding fixed on hills is somewhat true, but even in San Francisco tons of people ride fixed...and their city is built in the hills, whereas here you could ride for days here and not HAVE to go up a hill.
I think i'm just missing my bike a lot, I used to ride every day and knowing it's just collecting dust on a ship somewhere makes me sad.
zbreedlove - are you having yours shipped over to HK as well?
yeah, my trusted fixie should be here in 42 days, according to the shipping company's tracker.
also, there is a great story about cycling in HK today in the SCMP talking about the rise in advocacy and the hurdles still facing cyclists in HK, worth the read for those like myself who are still new to the HK cycling scene.
I've only been here a couple of days but looks like it could be an interesting experience.
Also companies don't really seem set up to support it. As far as I understand my firm which is based in the Landmark tower doesn't have showers or anywhere to store bikes etc.