5 reasons for choosing fixed gear
July 21, 2020 / By jeremie
Remember those good old childhood years when we used to make the biggest burns possible by braking backwards? Where there was only one gear on your bike? Well if you were tripping, you might get the same buzz riding a Fixed gear bike. Here are 5 reasons why you should opt for a Fixed Gear this summer!
Photo : Vincent Sauriol /JACKALOPE
1. Bull legs
The so-called Fixie (or fixed) bicycles are single-speed bicycles with a fixed sprocket without neutral. You can therefore move forward, brake and backward using the pedals without hand brakes. The rear wheel turns when you pedal. If you pedal forward, you go forward; if you stop the pedals you brake and if you pedal backwards, you go backwards. Are you following me? By the same occasion you always force yourself to a certain intensity and can’t afford any lazy moments. Once the train is started it’s the movement of the bike that pulls your feet over the pedal stroke and you’ll have the feeling of flying away like a rocket. Many muscle groups cooperate, more than they would in a situation where you are riding a conventional bicycle. You may not have spiritual enlightenment on a fixie, but it is a very pure form of riding
2. Learning to maneuver differently
You want to give a try at the Camilien Houde road? You’re going to have to follow this little piece of good advice. Driving at a fixed speed forces you to adapt to a wide variety of speeds. When you get off the bike, it’s not impossible that you’ll reach 200 rpm and have to take your feet off the pedals. On the other hand, a steep climb can make you feel like you’re dragging a cart because the force that needs to be applied to your legs is so great. However, if you plan ahead, you’ll be looking good for the rest of the challenge. Your movements will gradually become clearer and faster so that you will be able to pedal always and evenly.
Photo : Sole Bicycles
3. The handbrake becomes a bit secondary
We don’t approve of driving without brakes because it is technically illegal, but you will certainly use them less, adjusting your speed with the resistance of your legs. In the jargon we call that skidding. By locking your rear wheel, you track and skid, just like back in the days when you were Kid. The technique is still essential however because serious injuries can happen if you block your legs badly and end up over the steering wheel or worse… if you burn the fire. Real purists drive without a handbrake and without a strap. It’s called a suicide bomber.
Photo : Yann Roy / JACKALOPE
4. No more multiple visits to the mechanic
The Fixie is perfect for cyclists who hate taking care of their bikes. You still need to lubricate your chain from time to time, but there are no gear cables and derailleurs that can get dirty or out of adjustment. The simplicity of fixed gear drives can make beautiful bikes and they can also be cheap. There aren’t many parts to wear out, so your wallet will be spared.
5. Art on wheels (and on a small budget)
We didn’t necessarily want to go into that, but it’s still a must. A fixed one has a lot of face and it looks good. It’s easy to make your bike look the way you want it, considering how easy it is to change parts. Quickly you make it your own and your bike will become an extension of you. It’s got style and even though it’s been associated for so long with the hipster movement (which some people don’t necessarily like), there’s a little jealousy hidden in many people. Moreover, the accessible price of the different components means that you don’t have to sell your soul to the devil to get your ride. We’re almost talking about a cult for some people. Even if others find that fashion has taken over utility and functionality, it’s still nice to have a wrinkle that is aesthetically appealing.
Photo : Robert Bye
The transition might be a bit hard but we promise you that this love will grow little by little… so much so that getting back on a normal bike will give you a weird feeling. By sharpening your reflexes and technique, you will gradually fly away like Pegasus on your bike. If you have more questions, we recommend a little detour to our iBike friends to continue your education.