what is a fixie?

Discussion in 'Beginners Forum' started by Hectorious, Oct 7, 2009.

  1. Hectorious

    Hectorious New Member

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    hello, this is my first post, i am new to the hobby, first i would like to know what is a fixie? and second i'm looking for a bicycle for daily commute and fitness/exercise. should i get a fixie? (what ever that may be exactly.)
    -thanks
     
  2. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    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.
     

  3. Skidmark

    Skidmark Cycling for life

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    I would suggest a visit to the LBS. Tell them what your riding ideas are then test ride some bikes. Nothing beats riding.
     
  4. Hectorious

    Hectorious New Member

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    going to have to do that, seems to be the only way i would know for sure what to get,
    and thanks Industry_Hack, i finally get it,
     
  5. HandsomeRyan

    HandsomeRyan ♥'s Bicycles

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    ^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.
     
  6. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    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.

    Who do you know that commutes on a Bianchi San Jose? Yes, the majority of fixies are basically track bikes ridden on the street. Or I should say that many fixie riders try to emulate track bikes. Riding an actual track frame on the street makes as much sense as using a knife as a screwdriver.

    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.

    Noob + fixed = disaster.
     
  7. wild

    wild Yesterday tired old man, Today retired old man

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    And I taught a fixie was my bike seams like I am allways working on it:D
     
  8. HandsomeRyan

    HandsomeRyan ♥'s Bicycles

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    I'm on several forums ranging from gardening to wine making to bikes and motorcycles so probably yes.

    My point is that the argument "fixed gear bikes aren't good for noobs because they don't usually run brakes" is a silly one since almost all entry level fixed gear bikes come with brakes and the only reason you see so many brakeless bikes is that the wannabe cool kids take the brakes off.

    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.

    I would argue that sentence should be completed "...are converted 10 speed road bikes from the 70's and 80's".

    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.

    The OP didn't say they had "never ridden a bike" they said they were new to the sport.

    Almost all fixed gear bikes come with flip-flop hubs and I feel certain that this would be discussed by the salesperson at the bike shop prior to purchasing a new bike.

    I'm not saying that everyone has to ride fixed gear bikes all the time, I'm simply stating that just because someone doesn't have hundreds or thousands of miles of pedaling under their belt does not mean they couldn't learn to ride a FG. FG is different, not really harder IMHO.


    To the OP: These are mostly just opinions being presented, and you know what they say about opinions. Of course I think I am "more correct", and IH believes he is "more correct", and the truth probably lies somewhere in between. The best advice either of us could give you is find a local bike shop with helpful and knowledgeable staff and tell them what you want out of a bicycle and I'm sure they can steer you toward something that will fit your needs. :thumbsup:
     
  9. hophead

    hophead New Member Tavern Member

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    You guys forgot one of the most important points: If you ride a fixie, you have to drink PBR.
     
  10. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    I wasn't going to go there. You might as well mention Chrome bags, white belts and girl's jeans too.:rolleyes:
     
  11. hophead

    hophead New Member Tavern Member

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    Bahahahahahaha. LMAO.
     
  12. HandsomeRyan

    HandsomeRyan ♥'s Bicycles

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    Since we're this close to B-more will Natty Boh be a fair substitute?!

    [​IMG]
     
  13. hophead

    hophead New Member Tavern Member

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    No way man. No fixie riding hipster would be cought dead with a natty.

    Hey, that looks like the Pringles guy.
     
  14. HandsomeRyan

    HandsomeRyan ♥'s Bicycles

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    National Bohemian is owned by Pabst, and yes, their logo is the Pringles guy's brother who "fell off the wagon" if you know what I mean.
     
  15. Oneway

    Oneway Boston Biker

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    I am the anti-hipster.
    My Oneway has a Brooks saddle, leather saddlebag, front and rear brakes, lights and fenders. Sweet commuter and I flip it to singlespeed for rides longer than 35 miles.

    It is a great winter bike.
    I'm looking for a chaincase for better salt and sand protection.
    I prefer brown ale.