In recent years the popularity of fixed-gear bikes, or “fixies” as they are often called, has waned. I remember a time back in the late 90s-early 2000s when you couldn’t walk through a
It would seem that the “fixie” is making somewhat of a comeback, especially amongst young hipsters from bigger cities like New York, London, Sydney, and my home city of Tokyo. As a matter of fact, fixies have exploded in popularity in Tokyo, with every
But you might be surprised to learn that even some of the most experienced cyclists have never actually ridden a fixed-gear
So why would you want to own a fixie? And are there differences between a fixie and a geared
In-Short: What Are The Main Differences Between Fixed-Gear Bikes and Geared Bikes?
When it comes to the main differences between fixies and geared bikes, there are probably many more than you actually think.
Fixie: What is it, Pros, Cons
There are many definitions of what exactly a fixed-gear
On the other hand, a single-speed
However, a single-speed comes with a freewheel which allows riders to take a break and coast if they so wish. In this instance, you can say that single-speed bikes act just like a normal road or mountain
Generally speaking, the vast majority of fixies now come with a flip-flop hub connected on one side of the wheel, allowing you to ride your
Bike: What is it, Pros, Cons
As their name suggests, geared bikes come with multiple gears allowing the rider to choose or “find” the gear that suits their riding style and the road they are riding. Going Uphill? Simple, gear up, and away you go. What about riding fast? No problem, simply gear down and smash on the pedals.
Geared bikes offer incredible flexibility in terms of riding styles and positions, and because so many gears are available, different people can ride the same
Geared bikes, however, tend to be much more expensive than “fixies”; that’s because geared bikes have more moving parts and components than a fixie. Because these components are constantly in use, they tend to wear out much quicker, meaning they need to be maintained and, at some point, replaced, which can get expensive.
They Include Bikes Like:
- Road bikes
- Mountain Bikes
- Kids bikes
My daughter has a geared road
We live in a very mountainous area of Japan, and coasting comes in handy, especially after a long ride home. Geared bikes are perfect for mountainous regions because it’s easy to grab another gear and get over the top of any mountain with relative ease, well, compared to a fixie.
Ok, so why would you want to own a fixed or geared
Practical and Simple
Single-speed bikes are generally equipped with much wider chains, particularly compared to bikes that need derailleurs. Here’s the thing, though, if you want to customize your
This leaves you with a
Geared bikes are practical and easy to use. Whether you’re a beginner cyclist or a seasoned veteran, riding a road or mountain
Cost-Effective For The Budget Conscious.
Do you have a tight budget you need to stick to? Don’t worry; you’re not alone; most of us do. Would you believe that a tight budget is one of the main reasons many people opt for a single or fixed-gear
These types of bikes have fewer moving parts, and as such less can go wrong. This results in a durable and robust
Most fixes are well under the $1000 price point, but that being said, as with any type of
Alternatively, geared bikes are more costly, but that being said, just as with any
Weight Is Everything In Cycling
Believe it or not, some cyclists actually prefer to ride fixed-gear bikes for specialized hillclimb events; this is because, generally speaking, fixies have fewer components meaning a lighter
As a matter of fact, some of the lower-end fixies and single-speed bikes are made from steel which, although it’s cheaper than alloy and carbon, its also a lot heavier. Geared bikes these days tend to be made from either carbon fiber or high-grade lightweight aluminum. Typically speaking, the lighter the
With that being said, if you have your heart set on building a truly super lightweight climber, then a fixed-gear
Bike Handling And
OK, this is one of my favorite benefits of owning a fixed or single-gear
Generally speaking, fixed-gear bikes give the rider no option to “coast,” which means that if you want to go anywhere, you have to move your legs. RESULT? Massive leg muscles that will have you smashing out the power and riding around looking like a World Champion Track racer.
You can make it tougher to ride on a geared
Fixies also teach you to ride and produce power at different cadences, such as descending when your cadence is higher or climbing when your cadence is lower. This simultaneously improves your pedaling technique making it smoother and more efficient. One final benefit is fixies force you to improve your
Ideal For The Colder Winter Months
With less that can go wrong, fixies make the ideal
Many cities, mine included, dump large quantities of salt on the roads during winter, which can damage expensive geared
Easy To Maintain
Let’s be honest, what cyclist doesn’t want a
As long as you regularly wash, degrease and lube your chain, your fixie and the single-geared
Geared bikes need to be maintained and washed on a regular basis to avoid prematurely wearing out expensive components. I highly recommend spending ten minutes after each ride to give your
Stand Out From The Crowd
There is no denying that fixies are sexy bikes that draw the attention of even the most devoted and passionate “roadie.” Apart from being relatively cheap, fixies and single-speeds have that “WOW FACTOR” making you stand out from the crowd. Sounds like a win-win for most people.
That being said, brands like Pinarello, TREK, and Specialized have some pretty cool-looking bikes too. They’ll just cost you an arm and a leg.
Bike Is Best For Me?
If you’re new to cycling, I recommend you steer clear of getting a fixie until you have enough confidence and riding experience, especially in the busy streets of big metropolis cities. Fixies typically have no braking ability, which is the last thing a panicked newcomer to cycling wants to deal with in peak-hour traffic.
Fixed-Geared Bikes Are Perfect For:
- People who want to build their
- Riders that are trying to improve their
- Cyclists who want a reliable and durable
- People who want to look “hip”
- Those riders on a tight budget
On the other hand, geared bikes allow riders to coast and are much easier to handle and maneuver than fixies. Geared bikes also have front and rear disc brakes, making them the perfect option for beginners to cycling.
Geared Bikes Are Perfect For:
- Riders who want the option of coasting
- Those cyclists who are serious about the sport
- People who commute to work or school
- Delivery cyclists or
- Mountain bikers
Although geared bikes and fixies may look similar, and they are in many ways, there are also plenty of differences that help to separate the two bikes.
Fixies, for instance, are a much better option if you plan on building your
As with any
Your skill level also plays a vital role in which