Why Ride a Fixed Gear Bike?
I love the quote from Henri Desgrange in 1902, “I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn’t it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailleur? We are getting soft…As for me, give me a fixed gear!”
A fixed gear bike is based on a track bike, it has no gears so it’s a single speed, the bike doesn’t coast, so if the back wheel spins the pedals spin and many don’t have hand brakes.
Many people think riding a fixie without brakes is crazy, but you can stop it by locking up the rear tire, although it isn’t the greatest way to stop, it does work. I should know, when I used to bike messenger I had a single speed coaster brake with no front brake. Skidding to a stop is not a fast way to stop. There were a number of times when I slid into the back of cars because I couldn’t stop fast enough.
I enjoy riding my fixie because it’s very quiet, the bike is solid feeling because the chain isn’t bouncing around on the derailleur, and you have a nicer feel for the road. It’s just a simpler way to ride.
The fixed gear is great for exercise since you can’t coast and when you go up hills you really have to work. Riding a fixed gear bike is a nice way to work on your pedaling technique. When you go downhill you will be spinning very fast and if you don’t have a good technique you’ll be bouncing all over the place.
-By: Robbie Becklund