Explanation about the fixie
A fixie can also be called a Fixed Gear. A fixie is a bike where the drivetrain is solid meaning your pedals never stop, this happens because the sprocket is directly mounted on to the wheel.
The fixie bike has been around for decades, and has its heritage from track bikes. During a track race the rider wants to gain as much momentum and speed as possible and not waste a moment, which is why the solution is to directly mount the sprocket to the wheel which requires constant pedalling. Currently all track bikes are still with a Fixed Gear setup. Down below you can find a video which will show you how cool it is to ride a fixie and how much fun you can have!
The first time these types of bikes were used on the public roads was in New York by bike messengers. It has led to a great hype throughout the whole of America. A lot of bike lovers in America have switched to a proper fixed gear. Rather quickly it seemed that this kind of bike was very much suited for the bike enthusiast. This trend from America has been exported to Europe. England was the first country to take part in this trend, after that many other countries have discovered the benefits of the fixie bike. Discover the benefits of these bikes yourself in the paragraph below.
Benefits of a fixie bike?
There are many benefits of a bike with a fixed gear, however it is important that you are open for the way it rides. Below you will find the benefits neatly ordered.
Lightweight: A Fixed Gear bikes has a weight between 10KG and 15KG, the big advantage coming from this is the fact that the bike is easy to handle. Going uphill is no problem. A city bike easily weighs 25KG, it may speak for itself a bike half that weight is much easier to ride.
Feeling with the bike: By fixing the gear to the rear wheel the riders has a very delicate feel of the bike. He can feel almost everything, if the road is slippery or if he hits a certain surface he will now.
No (unnecessary) parts: A fixie bike is commonly named a naked bike, because there are no weird unnecessary parts on it. It is a decent bike which completely and 100% is built for the quality of the ride. Of course you can add a lot of parts and accessories to your bike to make it your own.
Tariff: A fixie bike can be bought as a whole for around €350,--. That already means a very decent bike. The prices go up to about €1500,--. Other websites offer singlespeeds for as little as €250,--, remember those bikes are of a little less quality which only lasts about a year. These kind of bikes require a lot of maintenance.
Easy to balance: Also due to its weight the bike is very easy to balance. The balance is almost perfectly centred which makes for easy top speeds and being able to balance the bike stationary.
No gears: Gears are not cool which are why they are not on it. This gives you the feeling that you always paddle with the same resistance. The bad part is when you have to ride against the wind or uphill and you have to give more power than when you are on a flat road. Having no gears on the other hand is what gives you the purest riding experience of a fixie bike.
Easy to maintain: A fixie bike is very easy to maintain since there are so little parts on it, and the parts which are mounted are very easy to get by and very easy to replace as well. Besides that there is loads and loads of information to be found on the internet about the maintenance of your fixie bike. More tips about maintenance? Click here.
Unique design: Riding a fixie is a hobby, and just like any other hobby it is something unique which you gladly put in hours and hours. You can swap parts and design everything to your own taste. The end result of your fixie is unique.
difference between a fixie and a singlespeed
There is still a lot unclear about the difference between riding a fixie and a singlespeed. Even though there is a big difference between the two types of bikes. On the outside they can look exactly the same, however the difference is in the drivetrain. Even though they have many similarities, it is still a big difference. The difference is also in the way the bike is build and setup.
A singlespeed just like a fixie only has one gear. This bike has a mechanism which lets you rest and gives you the ability of back paddling. This has the exact same effect as riding a normal bike with gears. With a singlespeed it is possible to paddle in the wrong direction without backpressure. This is why you can rest your feet when riding a singlespeed.
With a fixie it is a bit different. The bike has a fixed gear. The consequence of this is that the paddles will always keep turning and cannot be kept still. Your speed lowers by paddling slower. This system is often wrongly compared with the coaster brake on regular bikes even though this is far from the same. This is the most known mechanism used on a bike where you slow down by putting backpressure on the paddes.
What is the system on a fixie?
Do you want to know if your bike is a fixed gear or single speed bike? You can easily find out. Roll your bike backwards a bit over the ground and check if your paddles keep stationary or turn accordingly. Are they stationary? Then it is a singlespeed bike. Are they moving together with the wheel? Then it is a fixie.
The preference differs from person to person. Many people start riding a single speed, and then move over to a fixed gear. This form of riding is much more difficult, since you always need to think about when to brake and how long it is going to take to slow down. This is a lot easier with a single speed.
Riding a fixie is extremer then riding a single speed bike. You cannot keep your legs still and stop paddling when riding. Because of this reason it is commonly seen as a more intense ride. These types of bikes are therefore seen on the streets rather than on long distance rides.
It takes a lot of practice to get to know your fixed gear. If you have to think about every corner you have to asses and the correct speed you need it can be very difficult to learn. Besides that it takes longer to come to a stop when braking. Of course it is possible to mount a normal brake on your fixed gear bike. This gives you the possibility to have some extra help when braking, it can make all the difference!
Riding on a singlespeed bike is way easier. When riding you do not have to worry that much about corners. You can brake way faster too, since you can keep your legs stationary. Also, you do not brake by moving your paddles slower but rather using the normal front and back brake. These types of bikes are therefore more commonly used in mountain areas which would be a real struggle for fixies.
Why choose a fixie?
After reading the benefits of it you have probably managed to get a good view on what a fixie bike is and what the benefits are. Now it is up to you to decide if you are going to get involved in this hobby. A lot of riders say they are instantly hooked on riding such a bike, it is definitely addicting! It is a form of art in which you are able to find the pure feeling of riding combined with natural surroundings. We of TheFixedGearShop advise you to buy a fixie and enjoy the heck out of it.
Which frame size do you need?
The frame size of your fixie is linked to the frame height of your bike. You can see the sizes when buying the frame for your bike. Next to the frame size it says which body length is correct for that specific frame size, only to be used as an indication. The frame size or frame height is the distance between the crank and the seat post in centimetres. To correctly calculate the frame size of your fixie a little bit more in detail you can do the following calculation method:
Measure you inner leg length by spreading your legs about 15 cm apart and measuring the distance between the ground and your crotch. If you multiply this length, in centimetres, by 0,68, you get the proper frame size.
If the number is in between two sizes the following rule applies: if you are using your bike in a sporty fashion then choose the smaller one of the two. If you are using your fixie primarily for touring, then take the larger size. Of course you can measure the frame size of your old bike as well. To do this you take the distance between the seat post and the centre of the crank. As we said above, for bicycles with a spring-loaded seat post a correction of 4cm applies.
There are many different sizes and types of fixie bikes which give the preference to a specific measuring system. This can be confusing which is why we have but them next to each other down below. The measuring tables help you to get a clear picture of the possibilities the different brands offer per use or type of bike.