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76

Your understanding is correct. Why do people ride them? Some random answers: Maintenance is very, very low. You have to keep the tires and chain in good working order and, on a bike you ride on the road, hopefully some form of a brake. That's it. On most velodromes, you have to ride a fixed gear bike, so if you race track, you have no choice. There is ...


46

It's harder work than a normal free hub, your legs are constantly moving so there's no rest. Going up hills without having to think about gear selection just forces you to think about optimisation of effort Going down hills is hard, too - spinning your legs in a why you can rarely achieve on a free hub This constant movement translates to a much smoother ...


32

Reasons I ride: There is a direct feel of the road. There is no slack going forward or backward before the "catch" on the chain. No derailleur maintenance. No clicking. No wait on gear shifts. No finding the right gear. Where I ride, it is completely flat, in and out of neighborhoods, constant speed changes. I could shift gears all the time, or I ...


23

Um, elephant in the room I'll address the answer to you: because it's trendy. C'mon, you can't tell me that fashion is not a major factor. No that that's a bad thing, anything that gets people into cycling is a good idea if you ask me.


19

A track bike (fixed gear) has no front or rear brakes. You slow the bike down by resisting the turn of the pedals but you need to be careful to not push too hard, which can lock up the rear wheel and cause a skid. But most fixed gears aren't true track bikes. You should be able to find one that has standard brakes on both the front and rear wheels. The ...


18

Fixed-gear bikes, as compared to single-speed bikes: Trackstands. The ability to move the bike backwards with the pedals makes it possible to keep balanced while stopped. This is useful (while waiting for cross traffic, for example) and is a demonstration of the skill of the rider. Brakes are optional. You can apply back-pressure to the pedals to slow the ...


15

Yes. The front brake provides basically all of the stopping power in a bicycle, and recent tests in Bicycle Quarterly show that, in emergency stops, the distraction of attempting to use the rear brake may even increase stopping distance. Maximum bicycle braking power is achieved just before the bicycle starts to pitch over, as the rear wheel lifts off the ...


14

A single speed bike has a single speed freewheel threaded onto the rear hub. The freewheel allows the rider to coast. A fixed gear has a single cog threaded on the rear hub, along with a reverse threaded lockring, to prevent the cog from getting loose. The cog has no freewheeling action, so any time the wheel is moving, the pedals are moving too. This setup ...


14

Put a front brake on it if you're using it on the street. Don't get distracted and forget to keep your legs turning, this comes with practice. Watch out for peddle strikes in tight fast corners, not sure how you can practice this safely. Other than that, it's just like riding any other bike.


14

For practical day to day commuting I would stay away from a fixie because: You are not a very experienced cyclist, riding a fixie in traffic is actually not that easy. No fenders, so dirty clothes/mud in the face on rainy days. No rear-rack, so for luggage you are forced to use a backpack. I also wouldn't go for the type of urban bike you link because: ...


13

There's not really enough information in your question to tell for sure what the problem is, so let me just list a few possible explanations that come to mind: As others have noted, your gear ratio might just be too high for you (since you say it takes a lot of effort to get going). You can take your fixie to a bike shop and have them swap the rear cog ...


10

Some people ride a fixed-gear bike to play Cycleball, the most awesome of all competitive cycling sports.


10

You surely must mean a fixed gear bike. A freewheeling bike with no brakes is going to require you to stop via crashing, some sort of flinstones-esque maneuver, or a ted shred move. A fixed gear bike can be ridden marginally safely because the pedals are locked to the rear wheel in both directions, so locking up your legs can slow down the rear wheel. ...


10

You're not exaggerating the risk as far as what would happen to the object that managed to get jammed in to a fixie drivetrain at speed. You are perhaps exaggerating the risk of that happening, though. I don't see many objects managing that feat, without serious planning on someones' part, and unless it's flesh and bone, or something that was hard enough ...


10

If you have brakes, then a fixie is no more dangerous than a single speed once you get accustomed to not being able to coast. Simply put, on a fixie, if the bike is moving, you must be pedaling. Take it easy at first and you will adapt to this quickly. I would recommend spending a bit of time where there isn't other bikers/pedestrians when you first ride as ...


10

There are more factors involved. Gearing being a major one - it is much easier to skid on a 38x18 compared to a 50x14 which is more like a track ratio. Other major factors include road surface, rider strength, dry/wet, tyre width, tread pattern, rubber compound and inflation. Indeed, as others have mentioned additional weight might actually make it easier ...


9

I use only a front brake on my fixed gear. Between that and resisting pedaling I have not had a problem. I don;t go very fast on the fixed gear so this also reduces the need for emergency/panic stops of the kind I have had to do with a road bike. you can put front and rear brakes on a fixed gear, but probably not necessary. I would not ride one without ...


9

Benzo and Glenn Gervais are right on, but I thought I'd include a photo for any visual learners. This is a typical fixed/free, high flange rear hub. Quite often they're available in 120mm and 130mm OLD to fit different width dropouts. These hubs generally have solid axles without quick releases to prevent the hub from slipping and slackening your chain. ...


8

Both have one gear, but a "fixed" requires you to constantly pedal as the back wheel turns, a "singlespeed" has a freewheel hub, ergo allowing you to freewheel.


8

A track bike has no brakes because braking would cause a pile up. When a fixie on the road has no brakes it is because someone is being macho. They will insist they can stop just as quickly or they can always see the road and path ahead. The former being easily disproven and the latter generally being optimistic. There seems to be a fair overlap with the ...


8

My fixed gear bike has brakes. And I wear a helmet when riding it. And I don't listen to my iPod while on the bike. I'm the new non-conformist.


8

If your LBS doesn't stock speedier/skinnier 26" tires, you might have to order them (either through the shop or online somewhere). They are a bit less common, but here's four options I found looking at some major tire manufacturer's websites: Specialized All Condition Elite (26x1.0 available) Schwalbe Durano 399 (26x1.10 and 26x1.35 available) Continental ...


8

You are likely going to get some opinionated comments and answers in response to this question. There are lots of good brands (frames and complete bikes) from all over the world. There are more and more options showing up in local bike stores, so if you can it will be best to go have a look. Even if you choose to purchase online, having spent some time ...


8

This can be a fairly common occurrence with a fixed wheel bike. It may depend on a few different things, ie what sort of nuts you are using, how tight they are, what style of dropouts, and what the dropouts are made of. A different sort of nuts may help. eg something with serrated nuts or washers could grip better. Also you may be able to tighten the nuts ...


7

Track standing at intersections is more about showing off than about being quick off the stop line. By the time you can track stand consistently (btw, you can learn to do this on a freewheel bike, too), you will have mastered clipless pedals and you'll be able to clip and unclip very quickly. Other than that, riding fixed vs. SS is a matter of taste. Do you ...


7

There are multiple kinds of "fixed gear" bikes, each appropriate for different purposes: Track bike Intended for the velodrome. Horizontal rear-facing drop-outs, no quick release on wheels, no brakes, drop bars for most events, 1/8 chain, gear-inches no less than 81" (48x16) and as high as 100+, riders frequently change cogs/chainrings during workouts. ...


7

The reason is historical. Fixed gear bikes have been traditionally used for track racing, long after most other bikes had switched to using freewheels. In the high-speed velodrome environment, it would be dangerous if the rider in front of you could brake suddenly: you would crash into them, and likely most of the group behind you would join in the fun ...


7

Search for chain tugs rather than a chain tensioner. You want something to hold the wheel in place rather than to push the chain up or pull it down (). On a fixed gear, the latter will just break with the first back pressure on the pedals.


7

My friend lost two front teeth and part of his face on the road when his shoe lace got caught in the chain of his track bike. With that said, do whatever you feel comfortable doing, and feel free to tell that story to anyone who makes fun of you.


7

The simple answer is, as Sheldon brown says, as tight as possible without binding. But define binding. The noises you described on your chain in your previous question were symptomatic of binding or of a worn chain. The description you've given there of how you run your chain tension is tighter than I would recommend. To clarify the tensioning - When I ...



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