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Can you stop pedaling on a fixie? (explained)

When beginner riders see fixed-gear bikes the first question most commonly asked is, can you stop pedaling in fixie?

This is very obvious that people who are new to fixed-gear bike had this question before, or are even curious about how gear bike works

Many people around the world are familiar with single-speed bikes which have a freewheel that allows you to coast.

As the Name Itself says.

A fixed-gear bike means the cog of the bike is fixed to the back wheel of the bike meaning if you pedal forward the bike will go forward, and vice versa.

If you try to stop pedaling while riding a fixie, the back tire of the bike is locked with a cog that will force the back wheel to stop moving and to skid stop.

If you are going at a fairly slow speed the pedals will push you up.

The bottom line, you cannot stop pedaling on a fixed-gear bike. If you do, the back wheel will skid.

What happens when you try to stop pedaling?

When you try to stop a fixed-gear bike you can expect 2 things to happen.

  1. If you are riding the bike at more than 15 mp/h speed, the bike’s back wheel will be locked by a fixed-gear cog that forces the rear wheel to skid and this is what makes fixed gear bikes unique from other bikes out there.
  1. If you are riding fixie in below 10 km/h the bike’s pedal will likely push you up because you are not going at the required speed and slow movement will keep the bike moving due to slow speed.

Stopping the bike from the pedals has a different feel to experience and you can only do that with a fixed gear bike.

The majority of people cannot help themselves from falling in love with fixies, with enough time riding fixed gear bikes you can easily get used to riding fixes.

Why do people ride a bike that you cannot stop pedaling, right?

You must have thought that why do people buy fixed gear bikes when you cannot stop pedaling right?

Fun: the first thing that every rider says is that they are fun to ride compared to all other bikes in the world, Fixed-gear bikes give you direct control of yourself and the roads through pedals, which means you have full control of your bike speed if you want to slow down the speed of the bike you just have to pedal slower, and if you want to go fast there is more cadence available to pedal.

Good workout: Riding a fixed-gear bike burns more calories than other bikes because constant pedaling forces you to put in more energy resulting in burning more calories than you would on other bikes. An average cyclist riding a single speed for 30 minutes can burn around 280 to 300 calories but the same person riding fixed gear for 30 minutes can burn more than 350 calories on average, but it depends on how hard you pedal and your pedal rotation per minute.

Gives you a different feeling: fixed gear bikes are unique from other bikes, no other bike can give the riding experience of riding fixed gear, that is why people fall in love instantly with fixed gear bikes, every different bike has a different purpose to use and to ride in certain terrains, this applies to fixed gear bikes too, for some people riding bicycles is boring for those kinds of people loves riding fixed gear bikes.

Cheap price: fixies became so popular because of this simple and different mechanism, so every brand started to manufacture cheap fixed gear bikes, so there are a lot of fixed gear bikes on the market, when buying fixed gear bikes you need to do some research about fixed gear bike and the good news is that most people who buy fixed gear bike are happy with their purchase because it is low maintenance, simple mechanism, makes a good commuting bike, and it’s cheap too.

What to do instead of not pedaling?

When you are riding fixed downhill the pedals will keep on moving since it is fixed gear, you can’t pedal in downhill, instead you can rest your foot on the bike frame, and the bike take you.

And this is where brakes become very important, while descend riding you cannot rely on stopping your bike with pedals because it will be hard and there is a high chance that you can hurt yourself by doing that.

When you have brakes installed on your fixie, and when you cannot stop the bike from pedaling, you can always use brakes to slow down the speed. 

And brakes are more necessary than important on fixed-gear bikes, because for beginners fixed gear bikes are not that easy to get used to riding bikes.

Having brakes on fixed gear is a big load off of tension because, when you are starting to learn to ride fixed gear, stopping the bike becomes a problem.


On a final note, you cannot stop pedaling on fixed-gear bikes, because its fixed-gear cog is directly connected to the back wheel of the bike.

When you pedal forward the back wheel will move forward, and if you pedal the bike backward the bike will go backward, due to fixed cogs.

People love fixed-gear bikes because of their unique riding experience, fixies give you a direct drivetrain experience between you and the roads, and you will have total control of the speed and movement of the bike.

Fixed-gear bikes are not like other bikes, they became popular because of their uniqueness, simple mechanism, and ease of maintenance, which made fixie more popular.

Key takeaways 

  • You can’t stop pedaling on fixed-gear bikes
  • Fixed-gear bikes can be stopped by using pedals 
  • It is necessary to have brakes on your fixed gear (especially for beginners)
  • Fixies are unique that is why most people love riding fixed gear
  • You need to rest your foot on the frame of the bike, on descending roads