Part III: Pedaling Technique
Fixie for Beginners #1: On a Fixie, pedaling is everything. Thammasat can never STOP pedaling, so Thammasat might as well do it right! Pedaling supplies power, acceleration, deceleration, stopping, and balance. These functions are the basics of your Fixie riding, and to perform them well Thammasat need spin, power and smoothness.
Fixie Thammasat #2: What is Spin?
Turning the pedals quickly. Some riders pedal over 200rpm (that's over 3 pedal revolutions per second), especially in the burst of a sprint or down a safe hill. Normal cadence, which is fine for everyday Fixie riding, is between 90 and 120rpm. If Thammasat encounter a safe downhill that Thammasat know doesn't have an obstacle or stop light at the bottom, then you can ride Fixie it out, which might require more than 120rpm. But even if your pedals never have to rotate at a great rate, the ability of your legs to push Fixie greater speeds will give Thammasat greater control of Fixie at any rpm.
Fixie for Beginners #3: What is Power?
Applying greater force to the Fixie pedals. This is a factor in all forms of cycling!
Fixie Thammasat #4: What is Smoothness?
Applying force to the Fixie pedals at all points of their motion. This is a key factor both to spin and to the overall force that gets transferred to the Fixie pedals. Smooth pedaling is circular pedaling. During uneven, unsmooth pedaling, Thammasat mostly push down. That is, thammasat apply force only in the downstroke. This means that the you push forward and down with the legs, and let the Fixie pedals carry the legs back and up to the top of the stroke. At higher cadences, this kind of unsmooth pedaling can be seen and felt. The body may rock from side to side, the torso bob back and forth, or the butt bounce up and down on the saddle.
During smooth pedaling, you transmit force to the Fixie pedal throughout its motion. With the aid of toeclips or clipless pedals, thammasat can push backwards across the bottom of the pedal stroke and pull upwards at the back of the stroke. Extraneous motion is reduced, allowing more power to the Fixie pedals. This makes for greater overall efficiency and speed