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I've been riding a fixie for about 3 months, without foot retention, for commuting. As I ride at about 10km/h I don't feel the need for it.

I've learned I can reposition (lift) my right pedal (dominant side) with my right foot by using the the front wheel brake.

I'm always trying to stop with my right foot to the front of the left one, but often I can't and have to lift the rear of the bike to push the right pedal back to the front and sometimes the lights goes from red to green while I'm doing this.

I know I could just learn to reposition and start with the left foot. But is there an easier way to reposition my right pedal? I know I could use foot retention for this, but I feel safer without it amidst cars.

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    You don't have many options for repositioning the pedal on a fixie. The rear wheel has to move, so you have to do something. As for not using clips of some sort (clipless or toe straps or whatever), note that this an advanced skill. I highly encourage you to use some sort of retention system for your own safety. – Batman Sep 26 '17 at 16:06
  • Fixie riders are afraid of the pedals hitting their legs, I'm aware it's an issue. What other issues would there be? I am more afraid of falling sideways over cars than getting hit by my pedals, it's probably what everyone who doesn't use retention feels. It would certainly be easier to reposition the pedals with retention. – Eric O. Sep 26 '17 at 16:15
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    Hold Fast straps or equivalent are very easy to get in and out of if you don't want to learn to ride clipless around traffic. – Alan Gerber Sep 26 '17 at 16:49
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    @EricO. - you need to be 100% in control of the pedals on a fixie all the time, unlike on a bike with a freewheel. Without some clipping mechanism, you stand to lose control when braking or other times where you may not have appropriate contact. Slipping off the pedals is not good on a fixie, nor is having something get caught in the drivetrain (since it acts basically like a primitive chainsaw). – Batman Sep 26 '17 at 18:29
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    @Criggie I think I've read about this (actually, maybe it was a comment of yours elsewhere). I don't push the handlebars, that's why I can't adjust the pedals in any position. I'll try that, thanks. Can you post this as an answer? – Eric O. Sep 27 '17 at 0:56
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I've seen roadies lock up the front brake when stopped still and standing over the toptube, and push the bars down and forward. This lifts the rear wheel clear of the ground so they can change to an easier gear for starting.

For you that would allow the rear wheel to turn and reposition the pedal up or down as required. Retention's not needed - to raise a pedal just lift it with the top of your foot and your rear wheel will turn backwards.

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Have you learned how to skid the rear wheel yet? As you are coming into the stop you can give a few hop/skids to re-position your pedals before you come to a stop. After a while you get good at judging distances so you can nail getting the dominant foot forward at each stop.

  • I have both brakes so I use them in traffic — I trust them more than my lockring. Sometimes I ride in zig-zag before coming to full stop with the intention you mentioned, but it's not intuitive to me yet. – Eric O. Sep 26 '17 at 16:28
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    @EricO. I am not suggesting you remove your rim brakes, only that learning how to skid the rear wheel is a good way to re-position the pedals. The lockring will hold fine... I have however folded over two cranksets over the years. – Rider_X Sep 26 '17 at 16:31

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