“You can always add something to the bike, but you come to a point where you can’t take anything away and that’s a fixed gear bike” – Graeme Obree (Scottish cyclist)
Fixed Gear bikes are the most unique bikes on the planet, if you doubt me, you can compare them to any other bike in the world nothing gives you the experience and that connection to the road that a fixie bike gives.
As a beginner, it is fun to ride a fixed gear bike, but it gets tricky because it is not like any other shifts geared bikes or single-speed bikes, etc.
There are a lot of people with years of experience riding a different bike their whole life but once they experience the joy of a fixie a majority of them convert to just using fixed gear for the rest of their life.
Even though fixies do not come with breaks but people still love to ride the bike for most of them riding a fixie is about feeling, joy, fun, and actual experience you get out of it.
This article gives you everything you want to know about fixed gear bikes as a beginner, I will explain every bits and piece of information that you should know about fixed gear and in the end, I will tell you if the fixed gear bikes are right or wrong for you with the list of best reliable quality fixed gear bikes on the market so you can have fun riding a fixie.
- What is a fixed gear bike?
- History of fixed gear bike
- Components of fixed gear bike
- The simplicity of fixed gear bike
- Why fixed gear bikes don’t have breaks?
- How to stop a fixed gear bike
- How to ride a fixed gear bike uphill
- How to ride fixed gear downhill
- Which terrain is most suitable to ride fixed gear bikes
- Advantages of riding a fixed gear
- Disadvantages of riding a fixed gear
- Why fixed gear is popular
- Why fixed gear is called a hipster bike
- How do you know if you need a fixed gear in your life?
- Is fixed gear a good bike to learn how to ride a bike
- The most expensive fixed gear bike
- The cheap fixed gear bike
- Popular fixed gear brands
- Electric fixed gear
Table of Contents
What is a fixed gear bike?
As the name itself says fixed gear means the bike’s back wheel cog is directly connected to the back wheel means that when you pedal the bike it will move forward, and if you pedal backward the bike will go backward.
Fixed gear bikes have no freewheel, the freewheel is when you stop pedaling but the bike will keep going forward which cog allows the rotate the wheel without pedaling all the time.
Fixed gear bikes are a type of bicycle that use fixed gear to rotate the pedals. This type of bike is typically more efficient than other types of bicycles, as the rider can rely on the gears to rotate the pedals, rather than using their own power. Fixed gear bikes are often used by riders who are looking for a more challenging ride, as they require more skill and coordination to use.
Fixed gear is more fun to ride when you learn how to stop the bike by using a rear-wheel skid stop, fixed gear bikes give you a direct connection between yourself and the road meaning you have full control over the speed you ride, if your want to go in full speed there is always room for more cadence, and if you want to slow your speed you can just decrease pedaling rotation the bike will automatically come to moderate speed.
History of fixed gear bike
Fixed gear bikes, or “fixies” for short, have a long and rich history. Fixed gear bikes have been ridden by some of the world’s greatest cyclists, including Lance Armstrong, Greg LeMond, and Chris Hoy.
Fixed gear bikes are simple in design, with just a chain and gear system between the rider and the ground. The simplicity of the design means that fixed gear bikes are very efficient, and can be ridden quickly without much effort.
Fixed gear bikes first emerged in the early 1900s, as a means of transportation for the urban poor. They quickly became popular among bike enthusiasts, as they’re incredibly efficient and fun to ride.
Fixed gear bikes are invented to ride on velodromes which are specially built to ride fixed gear bikes, these tracks have 2 180 degrees of circular bends curves, and 2 straight tracks, riders are known to ride up to 60 to 70 miles an hour on tracks.
Today, fixed gear bikes are still popular among young people who like to ride gearless which makes them feel badass, fixie just gives you so much joy and fun to ride today’s culture seems to that enjoy the bike so much among the young generation.
Components of fixed gear bike
Handlebars define your comfort and riding style for most parts of the fixie bike handlebar is an important component that allows you to handle the bike in every situation as you desire.
Types of handlebars you can use on your fixie bike:
Flat bars are most commonly seen as handlebars on a fixie bike it is simple, easy to turn, and easy to control but not suitable for long rides since in a flat bar most of the bodyweight is on your seat and legs.
Bull horns handlebars are similar to flat bars but with horns in the front, bull horn handlebars become more famous from the movie call premium rush (released in 2012)
Drop bars are the most suggested handlebars on the market for fixed gear, drop bar handle style came from racing bikes where the rider needs to bend their upper body while riding to become aerodynamic through the wind.
Riser bars as similar to flat bars but slightly raised on the ends of the handlebars, riser handlebars are beginner-friendly with easy to control.
Butterfly handlebars are not used by fixed-gear riders more often because of its design and it is not suitable for riding fixed gear bikes
If I were to suggest to you one handlebar for beginner riding a fixed gear is falt handlebars you couldn’t find any more beginner-friendly handle than a flat bar.
Most of people ignore how important a saddle is, not every type of saddle is suitable for everybody, there are different types of saddle-like road saddle, mountain saddle, touring saddle, comfort saddle, and woman-specific saddle
Most of the saddle that comes with today’s bikes are universal means it is suitable for all types of riding.
Types of pedals:
Flat pedals are the most popular pedals in the bycycle world, in simple words, flat pedals are not the best pedals for fixed gear bikes, because in flat pedals your foot can slip anytime.
Toe clip pedals
Most fixed-gear riders suggest these toe clip pedals but it is hard to learn a fixed gear bike with toe clip pedals for beginners it takes some time to get used to it.
Toe clip with strap pedals
After you get some experience riding a fixed-gear bike you can use a toe clip pedal with straps, it allows you to generate full power while pedaling and you can jump lift your bike a couple of inches off the ground.
To use a clipped pedal you have to use clip pedal shoes which come with a clip at the bottom of the shoe, you fit your shoe clip to your pedal to get control to your bike.
Usually, fixed gear bike tires come with 28c and 700 overall diameters, 28c width tires are the best suitable tires for fixed gear bikes, having wide tires can give you good grip but it is not commonly used tires for fixed gear bikes
There are tires called slick tires which are specially built to skid on fixed gear bikes, it is one of the ways to stop a fixie, but these tires are meant to skid on roads and dirt roads but on wet roads slick tires are not meant to hold the grip so it is not ideal to use slick tires on wet roads.
A typical frame comes with an aluminum frame or Chromoly frame which is a steel frame, you can expect to see these frames in bikes between the 200$ to 700$ prices range.
For carbon material built frameset, bike price is higher, carbon material frame is lightweight and comes with aerodynamic design, but since you are starting out with fixed gear aluminum and Chromoly frame will do just fine for you.
Fixed gear cog
The cog is where a chain is attached to crankset when you pedal from the crankset the cog will turn which makes the bike move forward, the only difference between single speed cog vs fixed gear cogs is that single speed cog allows you to freewheel means when you stop pedaling the bike still be moving, whereas fixed gear cogs are opposite, if you stop pedaling the back wheel of the bike will also stop moving.
Seat post which connects the saddle to the bike frame according to your desired height preference.
Quick tip don’t keep your saddle above your waistline in beginning.
The stem is from where you handle connect your headset to the bike, the length of the stem can determine your turning the bike, and your arm length will allow you to ride with your body weight balanced on your handlebar and on your legs as well.
The headset connects your handlebar and stems to the bike”s frames and front-wheel rim of the bike.
Hub is a back wheel component, you can buy a variety of hubs like flip flop hubs, cassette hubs, track hubs, freewheel hubs
For beginners, flip flop hubs are best because one side comes with fixed gear and the other is a single-speed cog you can change where ever you want.
Tires, tubes, spokes, rim, and hubs are all combined is called a wheelset, buying an expensive wheelset comes with an option of customizing your wheeler in the future.
The simplicity of fixed gear bike
Fixed gear comes with simple components which make it easy to maintain the bike, which means you have to spend less time maintaining the bike than you have to do with other bikes.
Fixed gear bikes are customizable from top to bottom you can upgrade or customize any component you want of your fixie bike, once you buy a bike you can even add high-quality components to it but the frame stays the same.
Fixie bikes weigh around 9 to 11.5 kg on average, the weight of the bike is important because the heavier the bike is hard it becomes to handle or ride on.
If you want a simple bike for riding a distance of 20 or 30 miles every day, fixed gear perfectly suits your needs, it does serve you well in the long run, buying a high-quality fixed gear bike is more durable and reliable for daily and rough use.
Cheaper bikes are okay for a beginner but once you start to get good at riding fixed gears then you might want to change to high-quality fixie which comes with a higher price.
Why fixed gear bikes don’t have breaks?
Basically, fixed gear bikes were invented to ride on velodromes tracks, on the track an average fixie rider goes in the speed of 50 to 70 miles per hour with nothing but helmets and a couple of guards on the knee and elbow, if any of the front riders applied breaks then there will be a huge crash on the track which results in rider can face really serious injuries, this is the only reason why fixed gear bikes do not have breaks.
Instead of breaks, fixed gear bikes are designed to stop by the pedals locking the back wheel with a fixie cog the outcome will be skidding the back wheel of the bike.
They’re designed to be more efficient and easier to pedal. Without brakes, you have to use your legs to stop the bike, which can be more efficient. Second, they’re not typically used in situations where you need to stop quickly, like when you’re riding on the sidewalk. Finally, they’re less likely to be damaged if they do break, which is another reason why they’re popular among cyclists.
What makes fixed gear bikes so unique
because fixie were invented to ride on tracks
How to stop a fixed gear bike
If you’re new to fixed-gear riding, or just looking to add another bike to your stable, you might be wondering how to stop a fixed gear bike. Learning how to skid stop your fixed gear bike adds more fun riding a fixie, skid stopping a fixed gear is a core skill to learn if your want to ride a fixed gear bike, and it is not that hard.
There are 2 ways you can stop your fixed gear bike, the first is by using breaks and the second is skid stopping your bike, here are a few tips to help you out:
- Use your brakes! Fixed gear bikes are equipped with brakes just like any other bike, so make use of them, even professional fixed gear riders keep breaks on their bike because with breaks you can prevent unpredicted accidents.
- Skid to stop. If you don’t have brakes, or if you’re just looking for a bit more of a challenge, you can skid to stop. Just pedal backward and let the rear wheel skid on the ground until you come to a stop, yeah, of course, it is not easy to do but with a couple of weeks’ practice you can master this skill and it is an essential skill to learn as fixie rider.
How to ride a fixed gear bike uphill
Riding a fixed-gear bike uphill is the hardest thing to ride, even a professional rider cannot successfully do it, it takes a lot of energy and burns tons of calories, riding uphill in fixed gear is one of the struggles you have to prepare for it, for sure you will have to encounter riding uphill on a fixed gear, here are some tips for riding uphill:
- Use a lower gear than you would on a regular bike. This will make pedaling easier and help you maintain control, by using a lower gear ratio of 50 to 70 gearing (42 teeth on crankset and 18 on cog) this gear ratio will help you to climb hills with less pressure and makes you feel lighter on pedals.
- While riding uphill you can actually stand up and pedal, in this manner you can easily transform the energy directly to pedal when you pedal in a sitting position most of the power you have to generate from the knee but when you stand up and pedal it will be a lot easier for you to pedal.
- Try to breathe from your mouth when climbing uphill you will be burning more calories, and energy as well your body requires more oxygen than usual when you breathe from your mouth your breathing will be in control.
- Practice! It takes some time to get used to riding a fixie, but the more you do it, the easier it will become.
How to ride fixed gear downhill
If you’re like most people, you probably think that riding a fixed gear bike downhill is impossible, or at least very dangerous. But with a little practice, you can safely and confidently ride your fixed gear bike downhill. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Start slow and take your time. Don’t try to go too fast at first. Just focus on getting comfortable with the feeling of riding your bike downhill, just let it cruise with a moderate speed, and make sure to choose to ride on an empty descent road.
- Use your brakes! Just because you don’t have gears doesn’t mean you can’t use your brakes. In fact, you’ll probably need to use them more than you would on a geared bike, especially while riding a fixie downhill you need to gently apply breaks if you think you are going fast.
- Lean into the turns. This will help you keep your balance and avoid wiping out, typically people will learn this naturally with enough practice.
- Practice, practice, practice. The more you practice the better you get good at riding a fixed gear.
Which terrain is most suitable to ride fixed gear bikes
Since we are talking about a fixed gear bike means you don’t have any other option than riding in one gear that makes hilly roads, going up and down makes it hard to ride on a fixed gear bike.
So which are some best suitable terrain to ride fixed gear bike
First is flat roads riding fixed gear on flat roads gives you more fun than on any other roads, while riding on flat roads you will have full control over your bike speed, on the flat road you can even beat a road bike because, fixed-gear gives you more pedal rotation means you can pedal as fast as you can and you will still have some room left to pedal more, unless like single-speed where you can’t pedal more like a fixed gear.
City roads are another good place to ride fixed gear bikes, city roads are mostly flat roads too, If the terrain is flat you will have no problem riding a fixed gear bike in fact you will have more fun riding a fixie than other bikes on flat roads, but one thing to remember is that while riding a fixed gear bike in the city you cannot predict a situation, anyone at any movement can hop in front of the bike now it is your it becomes your responsibility to stop the bike successfully without crashing into anybody, so breaks are important to have on fixed gear bike.
Advantages of riding a fixed gear
There are many advantages to riding a fixed gear bike, including the fact that they are very low maintenance and easy to ride. Additionally, fixed gear bikes are great for building up leg strength and stamina, and can be ridden in all weather conditions. Here are just a few of the many advantages of riding a fixed gear bike:
- They are very low maintenance – Fixed gear bikes don’t have any gears or shifters to worry about, which means they are very easy to maintain. All you need to do is keep your chain clean and lubed, and your bike will be good to go.
- They are easy to ride – Fixed gear bikes are extremely simple to ride since there are no gears to change. This makes them great for beginner cyclists, or for anyone who wants a low-maintenance bike to ride around town.
- They build up leg strength and stamina – Fixed gear bikes are a great way to build up leg strength and stamina, riding fixed gear burns more calories than any other bike because you don’t gear to swift, which means you have to ride in one gear on all terrains.
- You can buy fixed gear for low as 100$ from Walmart, fixed gear bikes are cheap which makes them budget-friendly and beginners friendly.
- Fixed gear bikes are customizable you can change or upgrade any component in fixie I mean literally any components like tires, saddle, handlebars, wheelset, pedals, cogs, and even frameset, the components are widely available in all the bike shops and in online as well.
- Fixed gear bikes weigh around 20 to 25 lbs (9 to 11 kg) which are considered lightweight bikes, riding with lightweights bikes can be helpful while riding uphill or carrying some luggage in your backpack, riding with heavy bikes makes feel sluggish and it can drain a lot of energy.
- Fixed gear bikes give you a direct connection between you and the roads while riding a fixed gear bike you have full control over the speed of the bike, if you want to go faster, you can or if you want to ride at moderate speed, you can, since it is a fixed gear you can control your movement of the bike easily.
Disadvantages of riding a fixed gear
There are a few drawbacks to riding a fixed-gear bicycle that is worth mentioning.
- it can be difficult to stop quickly on a fixed gear bike, so you need to be extra careful when riding in traffic, this is where breaks come in very handy not only it stops the bike but it can also help you to prevent any unpredicted accidents, using breaks in fixed gear bikes are good so use them.
- fixed-gear bikes can be more difficult to ride uphill than bikes with one gear option, so you may need to walk your bike up steep hills, or with enough practice, you will learn how to ride your fixie uphill, and riding on the descent roads can be a little tricky and dangerous too if you don’t have breaks.
- Fixed gear is not touring or long-distance bikes, since fixed-gear only has one gear ratio this makes it hard to ride for long-distance, there are people who ride long distances on fixie but it depends on you.
- Fixies are not beginner-friendly bikes, if you are new to riding fixed gear you might find it hard to get used to riding fixies, fixed is are not beginner-friendly because a beginner rider is not used to pedaling continuously in all situations, with a couple of weeks of praxtice anybody can learn to ride fixed gear.
Finally, fixed gear bikes can be more difficult to ride in bad weather conditions, so be sure to dress appropriately and take extra care when riding in the rain or snow.
Why fixed gear is popular
There are a few reasons why fixed gear bikes are becoming increasingly popular. There’s no need for gears or shifting bikes, so they’re easy to maintain and ride. Additionally, many people find the fixed-gear riding experience to be more pure and connected than riding a bike with gears. When you’re riding a fixed gear bike, you’re constantly pedaling, which can give you a better workout.
In 2012 movie called premium rush featuring Joseph Gordon Levitt, it is about commuting on a bike the hero in this movie uses a fixed gear bike, this whole movie is about doing cool stuff on a fixie bike, which shows what are some cool fixed gear riding things you can do.
The majority of people who ride fixed-gear fall in love instantly with fixies, fixed gear gives you the feel and connection that no other bike can give.
Finally, fixed gear bikes are often more affordable than bikes with gears, making them a great option for budget-minded riders.
Why fixed gear is called a hipster bike
These days, it seems like everyone is trying to be a hipster. And what’s more hipster than riding a fixed gear bike?
Fixed gear bikes are a choice of riding style and are called hipster bikes, most people think fixed gear bikes are cool for riding, because of the breakless riding style, fixed gear bikes are the trendy choice for cyclists. And while they may be trendy, they are also a great choice for anyone who wants a simple, efficient bike.
Literally, there are no extra parts on fixed gear bikes that you can take off, the fixed gear is the simplest bike you can find to ride.
Fixed gear bikes have one gear, which makes them very easy to ride. You don’t have to worry about shifting gears, and you can pedal as fast or as slow as you want. This makes them great for city riding, where you might need to stop and start frequently.
Fixed gear bikes are also very lightweight, making them easy to carry upstairs or onto public transportation. And because they have fewer parts than other bikes, they are often less expensive as well.
So if you’re looking for a hipster bike or just a great city bike, yeah, you guessed it, fixed gear bikes are best for you.
How do you know if you need a fixed gear in your life?
If your budget is under 150$
Fixed gear bikes are known for the cheap prices, you can buy one fixie right from Walmart for 100$, the price you are paying gets you a simple fixed gear bike with low components quality, you can’t expect much but riding for short distances.
If you need a simple bike with low maintenance
Fixed gear bikes come with fewer components as possible which makes fixie the best low-maintenance bike, you can use fixies whenever you want and you need to spend very less amount of time on the maintenance of the bike, just use and keep it aside, can’t get any simpler than this.
If you need a better connection riding a bike
Most people buy fixed gear bikes because of the direct drive connections it gives, you have full control over your speed of the bike while riding a fixie, you can slow down your speed by just pedaling slow and on flat surface roads there is always room for more pedal you can ride in much speed you want, but you got to have the stamina for it.
If you want to lose some weight
Fixed gear bikes are the best calories burners compared to all the other bikes out there, you will burn more fat even if you don”t want to, constant pedaling can burn more calories than freewheel just because you don’t have other options or gears to change.
Is fixed gear a good bike to learn how to ride a bike
Fixed gear bikes are becoming increasingly popular as entry-level bikes to learn how to ride. A fixed gear bike has no freewheel, so when you pedal, the chainstays are put on the sprocket.
This allows you to pedal with more power since you’re not relying on the back wheel to do the work. This makes learning to ride a fixed gear bike a lot more challenging than learning to ride a bike with a freewheel. However, with a bit of practice, you can learn how to ride a fixed gear bike with ease.
You can learn freewheel bikes quicker than fixed gear bikes, in the beginning, you have to get used to pedaling constantly which you will eventually, but compared to freewheeler vs fixie bikes it is a lot easier to learn freewheel bikes.
Final answer if you don’t know how to ride a bicycle I suggest you start with freewheel bikes, once you know how riding a bicycle works then you can switch to riding a fixed gear because learning to ride a fixie takes more time and effort than freewheel bike.
The most expensive fixed gear bike
If you’re in the market for a new fixed gear bike, and you have money to burn, then you might want to check out the most expensive fixed gear bike on the market.
The bike is from Buggati fixed gear bike priced at 39,000$, this bike is made out of high-quality carbon material which makes the bike lightweight, and aerodynamic in design, but I still think 39k is not worth spending unless you have money to burn.
The most expensive is the Aurumania gold bike crystal edition which is prised at 102,418$, this bike is made out of 24-carat gold, with 600 Swarovski crystal handle grips that are hand sewed, and it comes with chocolate brown leather molded brooks leather saddle.
I am mentioning these bikes to tell you that high-end priced fixed gear bikes are also available in the market, you don’t have to buy these as a beginner to ride fixed gear bikes it is good knowledge to have about fixies.
The cheap fixed gear bike
There are a number of options available, starting with basic low-cost models and going up to more expensive, high-end models.
Basic models start at around $100, and you can find them in a range of colors and styles. They’re typically easy to ride and have comfortable seats.
If you’re looking for a more high-end option, you can find fixed gear bikes that start at around $500. These models are typically built with a lot of durability and features, making them great for commuting or long-distance rides.
If you want a good quality component with lightweight and durability, it can cost you more than 1000$, at this price range the bike usually comes with high carbon material with an aerodynamic design, due to their lightweight these bikes can go as fast as you can pedal, and it’s good for long time usage.
But if you are starting out with fixed gear bikes, it is a good idea to buy cheap fixed gear bikes in case you don’t like them, you can always switch to other riding style bikes, and later you will not regret spending more on something that you don’t have an interest in.
Whatever your budget, there’s a great option available for you to choose from when looking for a cheap fixie bike.
These bikes are best for beginners who are looking to ride fixies at low cost:
1)Schwinn Kedzie Single-Speed Fixie Road Bike costs 275$
2)Critical Cycles Harper: A quintessential cheap single speed / fixed gear bike costs 200$
3)Vilano Rampage fixed gear bike costs under 300$
4)Takara Sugiyama fixed gear/ single speed bikes costs under 250$
5) Pure fix original fixed gear bike cost under
These above-mentioned bikes have everything that you can ask for in a fixed gear bike, and it is the perfect beginner’s bike, first, you buy any one of these to get used to riding and if you like riding a fixie then you can jump to spending more money on your bike.
Popular fixed gear brands
There are many different fixed gear brands on the market, each with its own unique style and identity. Some of the most popular fixed gear brands include
State Bicycle Co
State Bicycle Co. is one of the most popular fixed gear brands, known for its high-quality bikes and stylish designs. Aventon is another popular brand, known for its affordable prices and wide range of products. Pure Cycles is a more budget-friendly option, while 6ku Bikes offers a more premium experience.
Every brand above mentioned has a variety of products and most of the brands sell fixie bikes at an affordable price, for the price you are paying you can expect a reliable, quality bike, but if you want a higher quality components bike you have to spend little more money.
Regardless of your choice of brand, the price you are paying is enough to ride a reliable good fixed gear bike, these brands have built their trust in selling good quality fixed gear bikes in the cycling enthusiast audience, and people trust these brands too if you are buying you first cheap fixie bike, then you can choose any of the above-mentioned brands they hold a good reputation and you can trust their bike.
Electric fixed gear
You know, there is an electric fixed gear bike manufactured by a company called LUNA cycles the bike costs around 1800$ comes with 250 wh battery when fully charged you can ride up to 20 miles (32 km) with a significant pedaling, this bike goes in the speed of 15-20 miles per hour (25-32 kph) but you have to pedal often, luna’s fixie ebike weighs around 39 lbs (17.7 kg).
Electric fixed gear bikes are a great way to get around town. They are lightweight, easy to ride, and most importantly, they require little to no pedaling! This makes them perfect for commuting or running errands around town.
There are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing an electric fixed gear bike. First, make sure to get a bike that is lightweight and easy to ride. Second, choose a bike with a motor that is powerful enough to get you up hills and around town without pedaling. Finally, make sure to get a bike with a good warranty so that you can be sure it will last for years to come.
As a beginner, you don’t necessarily have to buy this 1800$ fixed gear e-bike and it is not recommended for beginners.
If you have read this whole article then you have all the knowledge and information about fixed gear bikes, fixed gear bikes can give you the thrill to ride cycles as no other bike can give.
Fixed gear bikes are best suited for those who want to sweat while they ride, it is a great cardio workout. Riding a fixed-gear bike is not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle. and that is why it is called a hipster bike.
Fixed gear bikes might look complicated but once you learn to ride one you will know it was worth it. It will give you an adrenaline rush and it will keep you fit and healthy.
There is a wide range of options available for you to buy a fixed gear bike, so you don’t have to spend more money on something that you don’t know anything about. You can check online for reviews and feedback from people who have bought fixed gear bikes in the past. This will help you to make an informed decision before you buy. You can also ask experienced cyclists to help you make the right decision. They will be able to provide you with information about fixed gear bikes that will help you to decide.