I Have been riding bikes since I've been 6 years old, and I don't mean riding up and down the street - I mean touring with my sisters for 10-20 Km. Later on, I really got into Downhill.

Over time I have collected an assortment of bikes and then I moved to America (from Germany). I could only bring one bike so I chose my Trek Full Suspension MTB. My bike got stolen.

I'm on a really limited budget, and I could never waste $300 on a really crappy bike from Walmart, and I can't afford a nice 2 - 6 thousand dollar bike. So I spent $430 on a Mercier Kilo TT fixed gear. I am incredibly impressed, it's a complete new experience of bike riding and I love it. However, I worry about some of the dangers of fixed gear if not ridden properly, how can I do it safely?

(This is my first fixie, and I really got it for it's simplicity and cheapness, I have ridden all sorts of Road Bikes and Mountain Bikes)

  • worth searching the site to see what you can glean, questions involving fixies come up regularly
    – PeteH
    Jan 21, 2013 at 10:48
  • 1
    Have fun! Fixed gear bikes are brilliant, so long as you accept their flaws (chance of pedal strike, kicking when you forget to pedal, a bit more limited terrain opportunities). If you learn to have fun on it and accept it for what it is I imagine it will quickly become a staple bike, no matter how many more you end up owning. Also learn to skid!
    – Drew
    Feb 1, 2017 at 8:17

4 Answers 4

  1. Put a front brake on it if you're using it on the street.
  2. Don't get distracted and forget to keep your legs turning, this comes with practice.
  3. Watch out for pedal strikes in tight fast corners, not sure how you can practice this safely.

Other than that, it's just like riding any other bike.

  • 4
    I second the brakes. Brakes are important. Throw on a back brake too if your aesthetic allows.
    – klonesy
    Jan 21, 2013 at 3:15
  • I looked up this bike and it seems to come with a rear brake only. Which is very strange, imo.
    – alex
    Jan 21, 2013 at 6:07
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    After you forget to try to stop pedalling, it's not dangerous anymore. Actually you'll find free-wheel bikes defective and scary soon after you get back to them after a long time riding fixed. Jan 21, 2013 at 13:36
  • @heltonbiker - having never ridden a fixed-wheel bike, I'm curious as to the reasoning behind your comment. What about free-wheel bikes makes them seem that way?
    – Drew
    Jan 22, 2013 at 3:01
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    @AndrewHeath It's a very difficult topic to explain instead of "feel", but imagine you compare running with regular shoes and running with "freewheel" shoes. With the "freewheel", you can run forward normally, but if you stop running you would be over roller skates. Scary! Running is a very natural locomotion pattern for our brain, and running has no free-wheel. You cannot just "coast" while running and you are always 100% aware of your speed. I think this "connection" people say about fixies has to do with this "always engaged" feeling, and this feels very RIGHT after you get used to it. Jan 22, 2013 at 12:36

If you haven't already, invest in some type of pedal-retention system. You'll find that reversing pressure on the pedals is a very efficient way of slowing down without using your brakes, but without a way to keep your foot attached to the pedal (cleats, toe straps) it can be pretty easy for your foot to slip off.

  • Please explain what you mean by "pedal-retention system". What? Where? How much?
    – Fandango68
    Apr 24, 2017 at 6:26
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    @FandangoAus using either pedals with toe straps or cleated bicycle shoes with special pedals your feet will be attached to the pedals giving you much more stability and control over the bicycle as well as allowing greater pedalling power.
    – Scott
    Apr 27, 2017 at 17:01
  • Well that's another name of it "pedal-retention system" - ie: a cleat! LOL Thanks - remind me to reword a bell, a "sound alert and avoidance system". LOL
    – Fandango68
    Apr 28, 2017 at 4:39
  • lol, fair point. Though to be fair I included toe cages in my definition as well! ;)
    – Scott
    Apr 28, 2017 at 11:32

Make sure you don't have any loose shoelaces, if they get caught in the chain it could be very nasty. So just tuck them nicely.


I am a convert. Praise the Fixie Lord! Amen!

I started out riding thinking, what the hell have I got myself into. But I persisted with it, and at first I was very afraid. So I took it to a park, with grass and simply started to ride in circles to get used to riding without attempting to or thinking I could coast.

4 years later, and I am loving riding my fixie.

I have dual brake levers, like on a road bike, as it will keep me from going over the handle-bars. I ride it just like my normal road bike, but when it comes to braking, I found that it simply slows down automatically because of my natural reflexes to slow or stop. I used the brakes of course to slow down more quickly, but I was already slowing down because I "sensed" the danger ahead, and I naturally tried to back pedal or at least give some resistance.

The difference compared to a normal road-bike with gears, shocked me. I believe it actually takes you longer to react and slow down, whilst coasting because the only things slowing you are the brakes. On a fixie, you have not only that, but the back-pedaling as well. It's a weird but satisfactory feeling.

So to answer your question:

  • Just pedal.

Keep pedaling, keep it in your consciousness that you have to pedal continuously, and apply the brakes as necessary. Soon enough it will be embedded into your muscle-memory and you'll know when to pedal and when to slow down.

I am even going to say, riding a fixie is the best way to ride a bicycle.

Hills - well that's for weirdos! ;)

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