If you are an avid cyclist, then you are more than aware of what a fixed-gear
As the name suggests, a fixed-gear
In essence, the only real way to slow down and come to a halt is to oppose the
Since then, fixies have gained in popularity, particularly amongst young so-called “hipsters.” Fixies are seen as cool, chic, and somewhat elitist and are very popular in big metropolitan cities around the world, such as New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong, and Sydney.
Now, although it may seem like fixies are challenging to ride, just like anything, they can be mastered and even become a lot of fun with enough practice. The purists love fixed-gear bikes because they feel it brings them closer to being “one” with the
There are many benefits and disadvantages to riding a fixed-gear
A Quick Look
Whether you’re a fan of fixed-gear bikes, fixies have become increasingly popular. So if you are sitting on the fence and unsure if you should go down the “fixie” route, keep reading, and let’s see if we can help you make up your mind.
What’s The Difference Between A Single Speed
Bike & Fixed-Gear Bike?
When it comes to the main differences between single speeds and fixies, there are really only two that stand out. Now while the average person looking at both bikes would be hard-pressed to see the disparities, those of us who love cycling can easily spot the difference.
First and foremost, single-speed bikes always come equipped with brakes for both the front and back wheels. Can you imagine a
To combat this, most fixie manufacturers will now deliver your
The next main differences between single-speed and fixies are the flywheel. Just in case you’ve forgotten, the freewheel allows you to “coast,” which simply means not pedal. Single-speed bikes allow riders to coast and take advantage of a nice downhill section where you can get a bit of a rest.
Fixies don’t allow riders to coast, and in fact, it’s when going downhill that fixed-gear bikes can be downright dangerous, even for the most experienced riders.
Top 16 Benefits Of Owning A Fixed-Gear
Bike (Plus BONUS Benefit)
Ok, so this article is all about highlighting the many benefits and advantages of owning a fixed-gear
1. Fixies increase your pedaling efficiency and stroke
If you’re a keen cyclist, then you probably love the word “efficiency,” and when it comes to fixies, they have bags of it. Because the chain is straighter and there’s no gear pulley, the pedaling technique and method are much more efficient than, say, that of a road or mountain
There are two ways to look at this; one, you can develop into a much stronger and more efficient rider over time because you’re always pedaling, or two, you become worn out and tired pretty quickly because there’s no chance for you to “coast.”
Either way, to really improve your pedaling stroke and efficiency, you should invest in some good clipless pedals to get the most out of your leg power.
2. Boost your aerobic
Riding a fixie is not only a lot of fun, but it also provides one hell of an excellent aerobic workout. Why; well, simply put, you’re unable to coast on a fixed-gear
3. Fixies are pretty light
Because fixed-gear bikes have fewer moving parts and components than regular mountain or road bikes, they tend to be much lighter. Remember, fixed-gear bikes have no:
Less weight means everything when it comes to cycling, which is one of the main reasons many people have turned their attention and passion toward the fixie. Trust me, although your fixed-gear
Fixies are favored amongst
4. Like to go fast? Fixies are super quick
Do you know where the fixed-gear
If you have the leg power, and that’s a pretty big if, fixies can reach some pretty impressive speeds, and the fact that fixes are lightweight makes them even faster. Couple that with clipless pedals, and you’ll be absolutely flying on your daily commute.
5. Fixies win races, and lots of them
Remember when you were a kid, and you used to race your friends up and down the street? Well, owning a fixie will help rekindle some of those memories. As you’ve just seen, fixed-gear bikes get their technology from track bikes and, as such, have the perfect pedigree for racing.
Most fixies these days are manufactured with racing in mind, with many of the brands ensuring their bikes are race-ready right out of the box. Fixies are also pretty easy to control at high speeds, so it makes them quite a bit safer and easier to avoid collisions than your regular
6. Pimp my ride with a fixed-gear
Do you remember the popular TV show “Pimp My Ride”? It was a show where they would take someone’s car and “pimp it out” with all the latest tech and accessories. Well, fixies are also the perfect piece of machinery to customize in any way you want.
Mamy hipsters love to paint their bikes and make them stand out from the pack and because fixies don’t have many moving parts customizing them is relatively straightforward. I must admit, I do love the simplistic and minimalistic nature of the fixed-gear
7. Fixies are relatively cheap
If you’re on a “fixed budget,” pun intended, then the fixed-gear
Another bonus is fewer moving parts also equates to less that can go wrong, meaning you save money when it comes to regular checkups and maintenance issues.
8. Hate maintenance? Fixies are for you
In my opinion, one of the biggest advantages of owning a fixed-gear
When you think of today’s road bikes, and all the fancy components like disc brakes and electronic shifting, maintenance and parts upgrades can frequently run into the $1000s. Not to mention that chains wear out quicker, and replacement parts are required more often than not.
As long as you are lubing the drivetrain and regularly washing your fixie, you should have very little worry about any significant mechanical issues. If you have installed a brake on your fixie, ensure you keep the pads in good working order and check them regularly.
Lastly, you won’t need to replace any expensive Shimano or SRAM derailleurs, which can save you pocket loads of money in the long run. Sure, something could go wrong, but the chance of something drastically going wrong on your fixie is much lower than on a regular road or mountain
9. Fixing your
bike has never been easier
I still remember the first time I decided to start working on my
That being said, several excellent channels on YouTube go into depth about how to fix everything from a punctured tire to a rubbing disc brake. Learning to fix your
Bonus Benefit: You can save your money too.
10. Tight-knit, slightly excentric community
The cycling community has been called many things, some of which I can’t repeat here, but all in all, most cyclists are a very tight-knit bunch, and the “fixie” community is no different. Most fixie fans have dedicated social media channels on platforms like Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and TikTok.
The fixie community is also very well known for planning heaps of events such as races, hill climbs, and even leisurely cafe rides. You’ll meet lots of like-minded cyclists who are just as passionate about their fixie as you are about yours.
11. Storing your
bike is convenient and simple
Do you live in a small apartment or have limited space to store your fixie? Well, because fixies are easy to disassemble, it makes them very practical bikes to store in tight spaces. Taking the front and back wheels off is a piece of cake and taking the handlebars off is even easier.
Because fixies are super lightweight, I’ve even seen people hanging their fixies on the wall with some really cool handmade
12. Fixies make it easier to concentrate on the road
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to drive an automatic car compared to a manual car? Personally, I love to drive manual cars, but you get what I mean. Riding a fixie
Because you’re not focused on your gear selection, you have much more energy to concentrate on the road making your ride safer and, quite frankly, a lot more fun. Focusing on the
13. Stand out from the crowd with your fixed-gear
If you’ve never ridden a fixie before, you’re in for a pleasant, unique, and exhilarating experience. In short, riding a fixed-gear
14. Easy to control
There is a reason why most
15. Fixies are perfect for
bike couriers because they are:
- Easy to control
- Require little to no maintenance
- Are easy to store and
- Look cool
16. Fixies are an excellent teacher
You’re never too old or too good to stop learning. Fixies are excellent teachers, as a matter of fact, fixies may well be the best cycling coach in the entire industry. Why?
Well, fixies improve your
Fixies allow riders to ride in reverse and perform other tricks, such as bar spins; now, how cool is that? Just make sure you practice on your own before trying the tricks in public LOL!
Drawbacks and Limitations Of Fixed-Gear Bikes: What Are The Users Saying?
Norbert Korzus, a mountain biking journalist with more than 15 years of experience, summed it up best when she said. “most benefits are only speculative and appear on paper, unless you are a track racer that has outlandish leg power.”
In her eyes, she sees the main advantages as:
- Barely more reliable drivetrain (derailleurs break less frequently than fixie lovers say; especially if you understand how to use them)
- Slightly lighter than traditional road bikes
- Slightly cheaper
The main disadvantages:
- Fixed-gear bikes use more energy since you have to pedal, and braking demands some decent leg muscle work on your behalf.
- Requires a raised bottom bracket since you have to pedal through corners; therefore, it heightens your cog and makes the
- No gears, so if you have to ride uphill, you’ll probably be pushing your
bike. Fixed-gear bikes also reduce your acceleration and limit your max speed.
- Lower frame availability since not all frames have dropouts, letting you tension the chain correctly.
Simply put, one of the biggest disadvantages of owning a fixed-gear
Remember, on a fixie, you have no brakes; granted, many riders do choose to attach them, but the reality is that they come from the manufacturer with NO BRAKES!!
Let’s not also forget that in many countries around the world, it’s illegal to ride a
Frequently Asked Questions
If you haven’t learned everything you need from this article, here are a few more of the most frequently asked questions regarding fixed-gear bikes.
What are the obvious Benefits of a fixed-gear bike?
Fixies are chic, cool, and trendy, especially with younger groups, bike commuters, and bike couriers. Because fixies force you to pedal continuously, many cyclists find that it brings them closer to being “one” with the bike. Ask any fixie enthusiast, and they’ll tell you how intimate the riding experience is.
Can you ride fixies on the street and in the city?
YES, fixed-gear bikes are built to be ridden on the street of even the busiest cities. Still, I would make sure you practice in quiet areas until you get enough confidence to tackle the big cities and the congested traffic. Remember, fixies don’t have a brake, so I suggest newbies install a front brake just until they have enough confidence.
How light are fixed-gear bicycles?
Because fixed-gear bicycles have fewer moving parts and components, they tend to be much lighter than traditional road and mountain bikes. Not to mention that fixies derive their designs from track bikes which are designed to be fast and super lightweight.
Can you race on a fixed-gear bike?
If you’ve got the power in your legs, then fixed-gear bikes are the fastest and lightest bikes out there; again, “if” you have the power. Fixed-gear bikes share their designs with “track bikes,” so they come from a heritage of racing, and if you’ve seen some of the track bikes, they are the coolest-looking cycling bikes.
I heard you can ride fixies in reverse; is that true?
This is an easy question to answer. Simply put, YES, you can ride fixed-gear bikes both forward and in reverse. This is because the rear cog is linked straight to the pedals meaning if you pedal in reverse, the bicycle will also travel in the same direction. Pretty cool trick to show your friends, right? Just make sure to practice beforehand!!
Why are fixed-gear bicycles so popular?
Fixed-gear bikes are perfect for those after a bike that stands out and is radically different from your regular bicycle. If you hate continuously changing gears, then fixies also make an excellent alternative to a road or mountain bike. Not to mention, fixies are super lightweight and provide riders with a good cardio workout because you need to keep pedaling; you can’t “coast” like on a road bike.
Well, there you have it, probably one of the most comprehensive guides to fixies you’ll find on a cycling website. We went deep into the pros and cons, and as you can see, the advantages of owning a fixed-gear
Obviously, there is a portion of the cycling community who think fixies are a fun option for “non-serious” road cyclists. Still, there will always be a small minority of die-hard fans who love fixies and everything about them.
Let’s quickly recap some of ther most significant advantages of owning and riding a fixie:
- Great cardio workout
- Fixies are super lightweight compared to other bikes
- Improved pedaling efficiency
- Less maintenance
- Cheaper than other bikes
- Tight-knit and passionate fixie community
- You can ride in reverse; although I’m not sure if that’s an advantage LOL
As always, drop in some comments and let us know why you love or hate fixed-gear bikes.
Be sure to check out our other articles, where we cover everything from product reviews to nutrition and don’t forget to check out our youtube channel, where we have some of the best expert video reviews in the cycling niche.