So you think you might want to start writing a fixed gear bike. Maybe your friend has one, you’ve heard they’re dependable, or you’ve seen the bike messengers ripping around your city and want to get a piece of the action.
Fear not, because we have the complete guide to deciding whether riding fixed is the right choice for your riding habits and lifestyle.
What Is a Fixed Gear Bike / Fixie?
Fixed gear bikes, or fixies as they’re commonly called, have a single gear that is connected directly to the rear wheel. This means there is no coasting – when the bike moves, so does the rider.
This makes for an incredibly responsive bike that needs very little maintenance and can take on a wide range of terrain. There are some things you’ll want to consider before making your purchase, which we’ll outline below.
Decide Whether a Fixie is Right For Your Riding Style
The first question you need to ask yourself is what type of riding do you plan on doing? If you’re looking for a fast and nimble bike to commute on in a city setting, then a fixie might be right up your alley. Fixies offer great maneuverability through tight traffic and are a blast to ride just for the fun of it.
Where to Buy a Fixie Bike?
You have three options when it comes to buying a quality fixie bike for a good price:
- Buy a new fixie from a bike shop
- The advantages of buying new from a shop are that you can walk out with the bike and you can inspect what you’re buying before you pay. On the downside, Bike Shops typically charge a bit extra because of their overheads. Many bike retailers also have online stores which can be a bit more convenient.
- Find a private seller
- Buying private is a tremendous option if you have time to spend looking for the right bike. We published an article about how to find your dream bike online for cheap, but be aware that you have to do your due diligence. You won’t have the same peace of mind that comes with buying from the shop.
- Buy a brand new bike online
- Far and away the best option on this list, buying a new bike online saves you time and money. As long as you buy the right size, you can make any necessary adjustments when you receive your bike. Buying a complete fixie online is the cheapest way to buy a quality bike, which is why it’s such a popular option. Online marketplaces like Amazon have a great selection of trusted brands at competitive prices.
What’s The Downside of Riding a Fixie?
These bikes aren’t terribly comfortable, however, and if you plan on riding more than 15 miles in one day you’re going to want something with at least some shock absorption. If your commute is usually less than two miles or so each way then a fixie will do fine as long as there isn’t anything too crazy about the terrain that you’ll be navigating (like lots of cobblestones).
Consider Your Alternatives
If commuting isn’t really what you’re looking for when buying this bike then we recommend choosing another style – hybrid bikes tend to have wider tires with greater traction which gives them better comfort over longer distances, cruisers offer great speed without sacrificing stability and hybrids can take off-road trails as well as paved roads with ease.
If you’re looking to get into some serious riding, then a fixie is also something that should be on your shortlist. Since there are no gears involved in these bikes they can hit thrilling speeds and rip some sweet skids and tricks – which means more adrenaline!
If You’re Going Fixed, Make Sure To Get The Right Sized Bike
An important thing to keep in mind when buying any bike (fixed or geared) is whether it’s the right size for you. Every manufacturer makes their frames different so even if two people have the same height, weight and body shape one person may still feel cramped on another person’s bicycle frame. The best way to make sure this isn’t an issue is by trying out multiple bicycles at various stores before making a final decision.
Conclusion: Is The Fixie Life The Life For You?
Fixies are a great choice for people looking for an affordable, durable and low-maintenance bike that is also fun to ride. They’re not ideal for long commutes or serious riding, but they can be perfect for getting around town quickly and easily. So before you write off this style of bicycle completely, take some time to figure out if it’s the right fit for you!
Now that you know all there is to know about fixie bikes, head over to our list of the top fixies you can buy online right now!
Good luck and happy riding 🙂