I'm a noob.

I have a single speed with 48/16 ratio with flip-flop wheel.

I wanted to try what is a fixie and installed pedal straps.

I tried to lock a rear wheel, but it just pushing my hard and keep spinning. I don't see how I can stop it :(

I guess it may be related to ratio/speed/surface.

What is the minimal advised ratio for a fixie? Advises are welcomed.


3 Answers 3


the easiest way to start learning how to lock your legs correctly is to alleviate weight to rear wheel.

The less weight on the wheel the easier it will be to skid. Lean forward (BE CAREFUL) and then try to lock your legs, think about where your legs are the strongest and try there.

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Many people also do "hop skids" where you hop your rear wheel (lift it off the ground) and lock it while it is in the air, then return it to the ground while it is locked.

48/16 isn't a bad ratio (pretty normal). you don't wan to dictate your ratio based on your skidding, you want it to be based off your riding cadence.

  • 4
    48/16 is quite high ratio. It's good for track racing and long rides on flat ground, but the messenger types usually go for 42/16. For skidding 48/16 also has the drawback that skid always happens on the same spot on the tire. One tooth up or down at the front distributes load far more evenly.
    – ojs
    Jan 12, 2018 at 19:48

I'd suggest thinking less about 'locking your legs', and instead think more about pressing down hard with your trailing leg. I find that if I put too much effort into pulling up my leading leg I end up pulling the muscles in my groin.

You'll still need to pull up a little and lean over the front to initiate the skid, but focus on the push to make it easier on your legs.

Also, practicing in the wet makes it much easier to get the rear wheel to slide. Anyway, install a front brake for when someone pulls out on you or jumps out from the pavement so you can stop it quickly, and practice skid stops in more controlled environments first :)


Using a fixed gear develops muscles that you don't normally use on a geared bicycle. It'll take time for your body to get used to using those muscles and until then skidding will be difficult. First focus on hopping the rear wheel. When you're comfortable doing that, hop the wheel and then hold your legs in place on the landing to get a short skid. When you're used to that you can practice shifting your weight forward ("unweighting" the rear wheel) and dragging the skid out further. You must make sure your feet are in the correct position - they'll be relatively flat horizontal to the ground.

Also be aware that skidding ruins tires quickly. I commute using a fixed gear and I scrupulously avoid skidding. I can stop as quickly or even faster by keeping my weight back on the rear wheel and using my leg muscles to slow down. That being said, being able to skid is a practical skill - a short "hockey" skid has saved my ass at least once from getting creamed by a car.

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