Monday, September 14, 2009

it's raining: the fixed gear guide to wet condition

last night the weather turned to sh*t here in (hella) nor cal and i was forced to run my bike in the wet streets. as i rode to school i realized many things i should share with the NOOB riders out there who are running fixed gears under wet conditions.
1) dont ride.
the best thing to do is NOT RIDE IN THE RAIN. first of all, think about what a fixed gear is used for- TRACK RACING. ideal track conditions for any track, whether it's NASCAR, drag racing, cyclocross, bmx, airplane racing- you get the picture, most likely never involve wet conditions or rain. so if you see it's wet out there the best thing is to NOT RIDE. but if you have to....
2)bring a towel. not for you, for the bike.
chances are, the bike is going to get wet, and a wet bicycle is not a happy bicycle. keep the bike as dry as you possibly can, if you stop somewhere and happen to leave the bike out in the rain. make sure you  dry it off when you store it.
3)have a wet setup.
invest in fenders! sure your bike will look a little silly, but believe me, theyre worth it. see that brand new vittoria rando sitting in the corner of your room? it's not made for skidding, it's made for multi condition riding ESPECIALLY rain. so assuming by now that your rear tire is pretty much slick, slap that sucker on. if you dont have a rando sitting around, go grab a cheap tire with TREAD on it. youre not going to be skidding anyway. which brings me to....
4)dont skid!
we get it, skidding is fun. skidding on a wet surface- hella fun. but not smart. if you skid, YOU WILL FALL. so dont rely on long skids to help you stop. dont ted shred either on a slick tire. it doesnt work. if youre going to skid, find a dry patch. but the best thing would be to....
6)put a brake
i dont care if youre a hardcore dude. the safest thing to do in the rain on a fixed gear is to throw some B's on that b*tch. it'll save your life.
5) stay on dry pavement and ride smart.
avoid wet patches as well as puddles. when your tires are wet, you have less control. in addition, dont get all speed racer on the bike. this means dont lean into corners too much, get close to cars, weave through traffic, etc.
7)avoid riding.
again, the best thing to do for riding a fixed gear under wet conditions. these bikes were not made for rain/wet conditions. so if you can use mass transit over mash transit, do it.


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