^The green text above is correct. The term "fixie" refers to a single speed bicycle drivetrain that can not freewheel. (No coasting!)It's a bike with a fixed rear cog. One speed, pedal faster to go faster, pedal slower to go slower. Sometimes brakeless, as they're basically a track bike ridden on the street. Not so good for beginners.
Do I know you from another site? The question of brakes is certainly relevant for someone new to cycling, and looking for a commuter. And with the exception of some foolish BMX riders, brakeless is pretty much a characteristic specific to fixies.^The green text above is correct. The term "fixie" refers to a single speed bicycle drivetrain that can not freewheel. (No coasting!)
The red text is conjecture.
•True, some fixed gear bicycles do not run brakes (because you can slow or stop using only back pressure on the pedals) but this is irrelevant in answering the question "What is a fixie" since brakes or brakelessness has nothing to do with a bike being a "fixie" or not.
• Not all fixed gear bikes are "track bikes ridden on the street" The Bianchi San Jose for example is a cyclocross bike with a fixed drivetrain.
• Riding a fixed gear bicycle with at least a front brake requires no more skill than riding a freewheeling singlespeed bike (eg. beach cruiser). Since you can never coast, it will require more effort at first but it's a great way to get in shape. The idea that beginner cyclists shouldn't at least consider fixed gear bikes is not a good one.
I suggest going to a local bike shop and seeing if they have a fixed gear bicycle you can ride around the parking lot. It isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I really enjoy it as do many others of all cycling ability levels.
If you want to commute- a single speed or fixed gear bicycle can be nice because the simple drivetrain means no fussing with derailleurs and shifters.
Good luck whatever you decide.
I'm on several forums ranging from gardening to wine making to bikes and motorcycles so probably yes.Do I know you from another site? The question of brakes is certainly relevant for someone new to cycling, and looking for a commuter. And with the exception of some foolish BMX riders, brakeless is pretty much a characteristic specific to fixies.
Plenty of these people commute on FG's, not just the SJ either- What about the BikesDirect Fantom Cross Uno, the Surly Streamroller, the Marin Hamilton, the Raleigh One Way, just to name a few more non-track FG's.Who do you know that commutes on a Bianchi San Jose?
I would argue that sentence should be completed "...are converted 10 speed road bikes from the 70's and 80's".Yes, the majority of fixies are basically track bikes ridden on the street
Who said anything about riding a track frame?! As I pointed out above, there are many fixed gear bikes that aren't track bikes. Even my Motobecane Messenger, which is "track-ish" in its geometry, makes a fine street machine with some 28mm tires thrown on.Riding an actual track frame on the street makes as much sense as using a knife as a screwdriver.
The OP didn't say they had "never ridden a bike" they said they were new to the sport.Riding a fixed gear bicycle certainly requires more skill than riding a freewheeling single speed. You get zero credibility for even trying to state otherwise. Do you really think that someone who has never ridden a bike should start on a fixed gear? A much more rational suggestion for someone considering the simplicity of a single speed or fixie would be to check out a bike with a flip flop hub, so they can start with a freewheel, get used to everything else about riding, then try fixed.