Are you an avid cyclist who is thinking about investing in a fixed gear bike? If so, then you are one of the many who is making the switch over to this particular type of bike.
In this article, we will explain just what it is, the advantage of having it, and offer some potential models that can help you out when purchasing your ideal fixed gear bike. Without further ado, let’s get rolling!
What is a Fixed Gear Bike?
Also colloquially known as a “fixie,” a fixed gear bike is one that contains a cog (a gear that resembles a spoke wheel on which the bike’s chain rotates) that allows you to, literally, fixes the wheels to the gear.
In other words, having a fixed gear bike allows you to control your bike more. For instance, you can choose to pedal forward or backward, depending on what you choose to do.
A fixed gear bike is different from a freewheel one, as it requires you to continuously pedal in order to propel the bike. It also single speed, or has a single gear ratio to it.
On the other hand, a freewheel bike does not require the cyclist to constantly pedal to keep the bike moving. Especially if you want to stop pedaling and allow the bike to cruise, then the freewheel mechanism does exactly just that.
Advantages of Fixed Gear Bikes
Fixed gear bikes are typically regarded as being simpler in design (i.e. contains fewer bicycle gear parts) than other ones, e.g. freewheels. Because of this, it attributes to it being more lightweight, which is always a plus for such a large object.
In addition, it allows you to be more “in tune” with your bike, as it gives you more control over how you maneuver it. Unlike freewheel bikes, fixed gear bikes have pedals that directly connect to the wheels, thereby making it easier to manage your riding experience. It’s true that you become “one with your bike” when using fixed gear!
Since the pedals directly move with the wheels, it does not allow for energy to be wasted when you pedal the bike. In this case, every pedal counts, and so you can rest assure that you are being efficient when cycling.
Finally, you do not need brakes! Many fixed gear bikes do not come with this type of gear, for you can simply use the pedals to stop yourself. Granted, stopping a fixed gear bike might require some practice (especially for novices), but it is a good first step on how to start riding professionally!
Our Picks – Top 5 Best Fixed Gear Bikes
This particular bike has been shown to have good durability, whether you cycle short distances or long distances. It is good for commuting to work or for logging in several long miles on the weekend.
In terms of size, you will have to determine how high you want the bike to be, depending on your height. For instance, if you are 5 feet 7 inches, then a 54 cm bike is a solid one to purchase. Handles might be a bit low to start off with, but can be adjusted for comfort.
Braking might take some time to get used to, especially if you are not experienced in riding fixed gear bikes. However, Pure Fix Cycle’s design helps you to ease into this process, so you can learn quickly how to stop when you need to!
I bought and received Pure Fix Cycle’s fixed gear bike, and was a bit surprised to discover that some of the parts came slightly twisted upon opening the package. However, the damage was not too serious.
Assembling the bike took quite a while, about an hour or so. However, once I finished putting it together, riding it went very smoothly. I liked how it was easy to steer and had no problem braking and starting again.
My only issues with Pure Fix Cycle’s bike are that it tends to scratch easily, so it might not look as brand-new as before you started using it. Also, it can be quite heavy at 24 pounds, depending on your strength.
- Comes with a variety of accessories and add-on gears to choose from.
- Long durability that can be used for logging in hundreds of miles.
- Easily scratches.
- A bit on the heavier side.
This fixie comes with bolts and chain that are already well-lubricated, so that the bike itself operates smoothly when you put your pedal to the metal (as the old saying goes). The handlebars are also solid, with a good grip and even some cushion added to it for comfort.
As mentioned above, 6KU’s bikes come in a variety of different colors, up to ten. Not only can you customize your bike’s design, but it also comes very sleek and of high-quality. You will not be afraid to show off this bike to others when riding in public!
When I got this bike, I was happy to see that it survived the shipping process upon opening it; none of the parts seemed scathed. Assembling the entire bike was quick and straightforward, taking up less than half an hour of my time.
Once I started riding it, I was taken back by how light and smooth it went; the flow was comfortable and made my first riding experience an enjoyable one.
Riding experiences aside, I did have some issues with the bike’s technicalities. For instance, the bolts on the seat pad are a bit wobbly, even after I tried screwing them as tightly as I could. I would have also liked the bike to have a bottle cage mount, so that I could attach my water bottle to it while riding long distances.
- Lightweight and smooth riding experience.
- Comes in a variety of different colors.
- Well-lubricated gears and comfortable handlebars.
- Wobbly in some parts of the bike.
- No bottle cage mount.
In addition, Vilano’s bike frame is solidly-built, despite it being a starter bike. The rims of the wheel are nice and contain black spokes for solid performance. The tires themselves tread well, thereby able to use for long periods of time.
Even further, the drop bars on this fixed gear bike are designed well, in an ergonomically-efficient fashion, which allows you to get a good grip of the bike and steer effectively from place to place.
I bought this fixie a while back and found that some parts of it were a bit dented when the package was delivered to me. Nevertheless, it was not too bad, and I was able to assemble it without much hassle.
Upon riding it, I found the design of the handlebars to be quite nice, especially when it came to maneuvering back and forth, as well as skid stopping. I found it to be a smooth experience.
Only downsides to Vilano’s fixed gear bike are that the seat pad was not very comfortable; I had to replace them after a few rides. The paint also tends to scratch easily, which made the bike look less bright and shiny than beforehand.
- Ergonomically-sound drop bars for better steering.
- Unbranded, so good for starting cyclists.
- Tires tread well on surfaces.
- Original seat is a bit uncomfortable.
- On the heavy side at 25 pounds.
The bike already comes with a built frame, so assembling it only requires that you put on the front tire, handle bar, pedals, and seat. All of the necessary tools you need to put everything together are in the package, thus making the process easy going.
Generally speaking, this fixie is good for casual rides around the city, as well as for a light workout within your neighborhood. Granted, it is definitely not for heavy racing, but for other activities it is a good bike to have around.
For me, I received Critical Cycle’s fixed gear bike and was able to assemble it together rather easily, despite having little experience doing so. I was pleasantly surprised to feel it and found it lightweight, thereby making it easy to pick up and handle around town.
Riding it was relatively smooth, but I felt the gears to be cheaply made. The pedals were made of plastic, the tires squeaked as I rode along, and I could not help but feel that it was just a tad on the fragile side. Nevertheless, it is sturdy enough for light use and can be taken around for a short bike ride.
- Versatile use for commuting, exercising, etc.
- Already comes semi-assembled, so less stress to put it together.
- Lightweight to carry and move around.
- Quality is quite cheap, which questions its durability.
- Not suitable for heavy workouts or racing.
Flashy and not very expensive, Takara Kabuto’s fixed gear bike is easy on the eyes as much as its functionality. With a simple push of the leg, you can get this bike to go fast to your heart’s desire.
Many of the gear parts, from the handlebars to the seat pad, can be adjusted to your desired height, so you can feel comfortable as you are riding the bike whether for long or short distances, or perhaps even both.
This bike can be used to commute to work or school, getting you to your destination quickly and safely, since there is only one speed on a fixed gear mechanism. It is durable and can hold up on a couple of rough surfaces, although not for an extended period of time.
I tested out Takara Kabuto’s fixed gear bike after assembling it fairly easily, heading out onto the pavement to give it a try. Being on the short side of height (under 5’8), I found it a bit difficult to hold up on the bike; it is true that the company says that these bikes are especially made for people who are 5’8 and up.
After adjusting it a lot, I managed to get it to a more reasonable comfort level, even though it was still a bit too big for me. Otherwise, the gears worked like a charm although durability started to wear off after a while.
- Speedy and efficient, able to get to places quickly.
- Stylish and relatively inexpensive.
- Designed for those 5’8 and taller.
- Material quality may not be as durable as others.
Take away message
Overall, purchasing and using a fixed gear bicycle can be a more beneficial experience for you, especially if you desire more control over maneuvering it. In a way, you become a part of your bike as you ride it, thus contributing to a more visceral cycling experience. By taking into consideration the features and your needs when purchasing your fixie, you can be sure to find your ideal fit.