Cycling Tips

What is the benefit of a fixed gear bike?

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What Is A Fixed Gear Bike?

Here’s just a quick description for those who are not very familiar with fixies.

Fixed gear bikes are those that have only one gear. That gear is fixed at the rear wheel of the bicycle. Technically, all fixies are single speed bikes.

This means there’s only one speed on the bike. Because of this, maintaining or fixing any issues will be super easy and hassle-free.

Many riders choose a fixie as their means of transportation around the city, to work, to school, or to the beach. It’s a great bike to have!

Let’s check out what the benefits of fixies are next!

Cheap

The operating manual
The operating manual

First of all, fixies will make your wallet smile happily because they are cheap. You’ll often find their price range falls between $100 and $400. You generally won’t find any fixed gear bikes that are priced over $500.

If there is, we highly doubt that the bike is overpriced. The reason why fixies are cheap is that the components on the bike are reduced to a minimum amount.

There’s nothing overly fancy on it. What’s there on the bike are those essential parts that guarantee the bike will work nicely.

Have a look around the other bike categories on the market. You’ll find some mountain bikes or race bikes that cost way over $700 or even $10,000. These prices are scary for beginners to look at. Compared to these beasts, fixies are much cheaper but still super functional.

Exercise

Riding a fixie is not easy, my friends. It takes a lot of power. You have to exert quite a lot of effort to move the bike forward.

Note:

You can’t coast on a fixed gear bike. Some people think coasting is cheating. This is because when you coast you can take your feet off the pedals and have a short break. But, there’s no coasting on a fixie. You’ve got to pedal all the way through.

This is why fixies are great for exercising and muscle building. In fact, compared to single speed models, fixies offer a way better workout experience. Your legs, as a result of this, will grow much stronger and have higher endurance.

Fixies are not particularly great for riding downhills. You do have to pedal a lot to keep up with the bike. You can put your feet off. However, because the pedals will keep rotating even when you stop pedaling, it may be hard for you to put the feet back on the pedals.

Low maintenance

Macro photo tooth wheel mechanism
Macro photo tooth wheel mechanism

This is our favorite feature! If you’re really into biking, you wouldn’t mind spending hours upgrading or fixing your bike. However, if you just want a bike for the sake of a bike without any hassles, you’ll love the low maintenance feature fixies offer.

Because there’s basically no gears on the bike, you don’t have to upkeep them from time to time. Just like a house with fewer furniture, you don’t have to clean and dust off all the time.

In fact, the average time you can spend to maintain your fixie is around 5-10 minutes a week. That’s super awesome for busy folks who don’t have a lot of time to take their bikes to the bike shop every single time.

Also, with fewer gears, there are fewer possibilities for things to go wrong compared to a multiple-geared setup.

Lightweight

Fixies bikes are super lightweight. They weight around 20-30 lbs. Traditional bikes usually weigh around 40 lbs on average.

You can pick the bike up easily. Popping it in and out of the car will also be no big deal. You can place the bike on the bike rack in front of buses quickly and easily.

The reason why fixies are light is that they have a minimal amount of components. Second, the frame is usually made from lightweight aluminum.

If you spot any fixed gear bikes that are made from 6061 double-butted aluminum, you’ve found a very good bike. That material is aircraft-grade and super lightweight.

Fast

Schwinn Protocol 1.0 bike
Schwinn Protocol 1.0 bike

Fixies are fast. Because it’s lightweight, you can move the bike pretty fast. Part of what makes the bike fast is your power. If you can pedal more rounds per minute, the bike will certainly go faster.

With fixed gear bikes, you can expect to have a nice cruise at 3 MPH. Or you can ramp it up to 15 MPH if you want. When you go downhills, your top speed may reach 30 MPH.

You know, this British creation has already reached a whopping 60 MPH on the flat open road. However, the creator Tom Donhou is not yet satisfied with this speed.

He wants to take it to 100 MPH with a monster 105-teeth chainring that measures 17 inches in diameter!

Doing tricks

Fixies are perfect for doing tricks. Some of the tricks you can do on the bikes are whipping, skidding, bar stand, bar spin, etc.

You’ll look so cool and professional pulling these moves off on the street. It takes time to practice these tricks, however. But, it’s not that difficult. Whatever you’re doing now, you’re capable of doing so much more.

The hardest part for beginners may be stopping the bike. To stop a fixie, you have to use all of your body weight to lean forward. You can use foot straps to help you do this easier. Once you’ve got used to it, you may not even need the straps.

For beginners, we recommend putting the hand brakes on. You can get familiar with the bike first and practice the moves.

Once you’re comfortable, you can remove the brakes. Some people see this as showing off, while others say removing the brake cables makes it easier to do barspin tricks.

Control

Close modern red full suspension
Close modern red full suspension

Fixies give you an unrivaled sense of control with your bike. The drivetrain is directly connected to the pedals. Many riders find this an amazing feature, especially when riding at very slow speeds.

Stopping at traffic lights will feel much more natural. You stop whenever your feet stop. You don’t have to wait for the brakes to respond and clamp onto the wheels for stopping.

You’ll have a very different feel when riding a fixie compared to riding a regular bike. You’ll have this incredible sense of connectedness to the road. It’s very intuitive overall.

Conclusion

There may be even more benefits to a fixie that we haven’t talked about. If you think we miss any good ones, be sure to let us know. We think fixie riders look cool when riding their bike. Thanks for checking in today. We’ll see you next time!

 

Author

David E. Rodriguez

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