If you are a beginner at riding a bicycle, when you see a fixed gear bike on the road you might have thought it is easy to get used to riding fixed gear bikes.
Riding a fixed-gear bike is the same as riding other bikes, but the only difference is that as the name itself says fixed gear cog is connected to the back of the bike, which means if you pedal forward the bike will go forward, if you pedal backward the bike will go backward.
As a beginner you can easily learn to ride a fixed gear bike, one thing to remember is that there is no freewheel option means you can’t stop pedaling, a popular suggestion for beginner fixed gear riders is installing front brakes on your bike can help you to stop the bike in an unpredictable situation and it is safe for you and for pedestrians as well.
For beginners, fixed gear can be a little tricky to get used to riding but it is not as hard as people make it out to be.
Riding to learn a fixed gear bike is the same as learning a shift gears bike, but in the fixed gear, you cannot stop pedaling, like other bikes you can cruise downhill without pedaling but in fixie, it is not possible.
In this article, I will discuss everything you want to know about IS fixed gear bikes suitable for beginner riders.
Things you should know about fixie bikes? (As a beginner rider)
Fixed gear bike has one gear
Fixed gear is a direct drive meaning the cog is connected to the rear wheel, which means if you drive forward the bike will go forward, and if you pedal backward the bike will go backward.
Fixed gear bikes come with one gear ratio, which means you have to choose which one is suitable for you the most and the terrain you ride, if you ride on hilly roads your gearing should be in 2.28 to 2.50 gearing ratio (starts from 42 tooth on crankset and 18 or more on cog) which helps you to climb up hills, or if you live in flat road cities you can use 2.7 to 3.2 is good gearing ratio, you can cover more distance in less time.
When you divide the number of the tooth on the crankset by the number of the tooth on the cog you will get a gearing ratio, for example, let’s say you have 42 tooth on the crankset and 18 tooth on the cog
42 divided by 18 = 2.33 is your gearing ratio
Here is a fixie gear ratio calculator
Fixie’s are easy to maintain
Fixed gear bikes do not come with unnecessary components, that add weight to the bike, which makes fixed gear bikes easier to maintain without many hurdles.
Since fixie bikes don’t have many components in them, results in a lightweight
You can customize the bike however you want
You don’t have to bother about sticking to one bike, you have a wide range of options to upgrade your bike.
You can customize your fixie bike from top to bottom, you can change tires, pedals, handlebar, saddle, wheels, and more, so you can ride in your desired style and design of the bike.
In short words, fixies are the simplest bikes you can ride, compared to all the other bikes out there.
How much budget You Should spend on your first fixed gear bike purchase?
How much you should spend
As a beginner to riding fixed gear bikes don’t spend more than 300$ on your first fixie, because you won’t have the experience or the knowledge.
Spending more money on something that you don’t know more about or have little to less knowledge about is not a good investment.
First, buy a cheap fixie and get the feel of it, test the bike by riding for 5 to 10 miles, and see if it suits you the best, if not then don’t buy an expensive fixie.
What type of fixed gear bike you should buy
Hurley adult cycles
Schwinn Kedzie (best suitable for beginners fixed bike riders)
Wabi lighting (they do not sell below 900$) but it comes with a double steel frameset
These bikes are best suitable for beginner riders, these bikes will serve you well in the long run, you can use these fixed bikes as you desire, and most of the brands sell their bikes for 250$ to 400$ but these bikes are worth buying, especially great for new riders.
These bikes are reliable, durable, and give you the actual fixie riding experience.
Where you should buy from
Walmart and Amazon have the best beginner fixed gear bikes for the price of 200$ to 400$.
And the majority of the fixie riders buy from these platforms, they hold the reputation for selling good durable fixed gear bikes, and they have earned the people’s trust too.
Is a fixed gear bike safe for beginners?
Riding a fixed-gear bike for beginners is totally safe, as long as you are wearing a helmet, shoes, knee, and elbow guard, it is the same as riding a single-speed or shift bike, but first, you have to learn how to stop a fixed gear bike.
There are 2 ways you can stop a fixie
- One is to skid a back wheel to stop by putting pressure on the pedals, but to do this it takes practice and a lot of bike riding experience to build that brain memory.
- The second option is to add front and back brakes to your fixed bike, so you don’t always depend upon skid-stopping your bike.
In my opinion, it is better to have brakes on your bike, at least a front brake, even if you have the skills to stop your bike, it is always a good idea to have safety precautions.
In simple words, yes, fixed gear bikes are safe to ride for beginners considering you will install brakes on your bike and follow safety precautions, you will be alright.
Are fixed gear bikes hard to learn for beginners?
Fixed gear bikes are the same as learning single-speed bikes or shift gear bikes, when you can ride other bicycles easily, you can learn how to ride a fixed-gear without a problem.
When you are about to ride your fixie for the first time I suggest you go to the grass area, so you don’t hurt yourself in case you fall, learn how to skid the back wheel, It will be more fun for you and helps you to build that confidence of riding a fixie without brakes.
Find different places to practice riding fixed gears. It might be cement, tarmac, gravel, grass, wet mud, these roads will automatically teach you how to handle your bike in different riding environments.
Become skillful in maintaining your cadence and pedaling, maintain an average RPM of 60 to 90 to ride smoothly as possible with controllable speed, and practice how to skid stop your fixie, it is the no1 skill you need to learn as a fixie bike rider.
Finally, get used to riding your bike with straps pedals or toe slip with strap pedals this will help to dodge speed humps or any potholes, with straps you can left your bike up to a couple of inches, and it’s one of the joys of riding a fixie.
Problems you might face as a new fixie rider?
Climbing uphill in a fixed gear bike can really suck your energy fast, fixie bikes come with one gear, if your gear is in a 2.28 to 2.50 gearing ratio this will help you to climb uphill roads without putting much pressure, most of the time you just have to grid it and that is one of the things that makes fixed gear bikes unique.
While climbing uphill roads most of the time you won’t have other options except for putting everything you got to the pedal, when you just have to ride with one gear option, this can help you to burn more calories, and love fixie bikes more than gear shift bikes.
Skid stopping your bike
As a new to riding fixed gear bikes, you might struggle to learn how to stop a fixie bike successfully, and it is not easy, by riding 3 to 4 times a week 5 to 10 miles you will automatically know how you can skid stop a fixie bike.
Skid-stopping your fixie bike is fun, you can’t stop any other bike in this world as you do with fixed gear, learning to stop your bike is the main prior skill you need to learn to ride comfortably in every situation.
Controlling bike speed on the downhill
Since fixed gear bikes don’t have a freewheel option means you can’t cruise down the hill, the pedals will constantly keep on rotating, for this reason, you need to learn how to control your speed and cadence on a fixie.
When you have brakes attached to your bike then going in speed on decent roads can’t scare you cause you can apply the brakes to slow down the speed, so breaks are very important especially when you are riding a fixed gear.
Fixed gear is just exhausting to ride if you compare it to other geared bikes fixed gear bikes burn more calories and are fun to ride, with fixed gear bikes you don’t have any other option, that is one of the things that makes fixed gear bike so unique and different from other bikes.
Riding a fixed-gear bike can help you to burn more calories even if you don’t want to, fixed gear can help you get into shape fast, but once you get used to riding fixie your body will accept that you have to pedal no matter what, this is a popular reason why people fall in love with riding fixed gear bikes.
Are sporty fixed gear bikes suitable for beginners?
As for beginners buying fancy fixed gear bikes are not suitable for you, if you have experience riding fixed gear bikes before and you are looking to buy a bike with lightweight, quality components, with an aerodynamic design frameset on the bike, then you can consider buying an expensive fancy fixed gear but definitely buying a sporty fixed gear bike is waste of money for you as a beginner.
When you are new to riding a fixed gear spending more money that you don’t know anything about can leave in disappointed, the sport fixed gear bikes is built to ride on velodromes (velodromes are fixed gear racing tracks) these track bikes don’t have brakes and made of high-quality carbon material which makes it lighter and faster.
The track fixed gear bikes can cost you more than 1200$ on average for a beginner it is not worth buying, when you buy a cheap fixie and get some experience and knowledge about the bike and try out if the fixed gear bike really suits you then you can make a decision of buying higher-priced fixed gear bike.
Now you know that learning to ride a fixed gear bike is not so difficult but it is different from riding single speed or shift bikes, since you are a beginner in the fixie world installing breaks on your bike will help you more than you can think off.
And one more important skill you need to learn is to skid stop fixie bike, it is the core skill you must learn and master if you are sticking to riding with fixed gear.
Once you got the joy of riding a fixed gear bike you will not switch to any other bikes again, because fixed gear gives you a direct connection between you and the road, you can feel every pedal stroke you push, and it feels alive to ride a fixed gear bike.
You can get fit riding fixed-gear without knowing yourself, compared to other bikes which allow freewheel, whereas fixed gear is a continuous pedaling rally result in more workout for you, and great fun riding bike also.
- You can easily learn to ride fixed gear bike, it is the same as riding other bikes
- Installing breaks on your fixie can help you a lot (as a beginner)
- Spending more than 400$ on your first fixie bike is not a good investment
- Fixed gear bikes come with one gear so choose one that suits you the most
- Learning to skid stop your fixie is the core skill you should learn as a beginner
- Buying a sporty fancy fixed gear is not worth it for a beginner fixie rider.