Every year, people constantly predict the end of the single-speed bicycle, but it has continued to remain a top choice for a lot of people. They might go in and out of trend, but they have always been there. After all, there were fixed-gears long before freewheel bikes. There is no doubt that you’re always going to be able to find quality fixies for sale.
Just because a fixed gear bicycle is simple doesn’t necessarily mean that buying one is also going to be quite as simple. There are as many complexities in looking for the best fixed gear rides as you’d come across in a search for other types.
To make sure you are going in the right direction, here are some things you should keep in mind.
The word “Fixie” is a slang term for “fixed gear”. A fixed gear bicycle is one that has a drivetrain with just one gear. The gears are fixed to the rear wheel, meaning that you cannot coast. Basically, you have to keep pedalling if you want to keep moving. Fixies are quite simple because they don’t come equipped with derailleurs, double or triple chainrings, cranksets, or shifters, and in some instances, not even brakes.
The First thing you should consider is why you want one of these. Do you want to use it for commuting, carrying messages, or to perform stunts at the nearby alley? What you want to use it for determines a lot of other things in your search for the perfect one for you.
These bikes only have one gear, so you need to make the right choice when deciding the type of gear you want. You also need to keep your pedalling speed in mind. You’ll need to recognise where you want to ride the bicycle, be it on a hill or flat areas. Finally, you need to consider how fit you are. This is because hard gears will become rapidly tedious if you don’t have the commensurate fitness.
With a single-speed, you can easily use a higher gear than you normally do. This is because the efficiency of the back wheel and fixed gear keep the pedals turning. You can also pick your kind of gear by selecting one that is easy enough to get you up a hill. However, it should not be so easy that it’d be likely to make you lose control when you are coming down.
Before buying a single-speed, this is the first bit of soul searching you need to do. Have you ever ridden a fixie bike? Do you know how different it is from a regular one? If you haven’t, you should look for a bike with a flip-flop rear hub. This kind of bike is fixed on one side and freewheel on the other. When you start with this, you can be confident that you won’t be having too many falls as you navigate the learning curve.
You can get a cheap fixed-gear bike for less than $500. You can also easily get a higher end one. What you end up spending depends on what you want to use it for. You need to determine if it is something you’ll be using for daily commuting or the occasional getaway, and what the experience is worth to you.
There are numerous colours to choose for your bicycle. It can be all-black, chrome and so on. A lot of manufacturers have the whole pantone of colours; the choice is what is left for you to make. Also, your colour should reflect what you want to do with it. You can decide to use all-black paint; even if it doesn’t really align with your personality. One reason why some people do this is to make their cycle unattractive to prospective thieves.
The geometry of a single-speed bicycle is quite different from its sizing. Fixies originate from track bikes, which are made for riding in circles quite fast. This means that a real track bike for sale might not be ideal for a person who rides daily. A lot of them have the tight geometry that makes them ideal for their original purpose. This leads to a short wheelbase that would require constant pedalling. Your foot might occasionally bump the wheels, but if you have the right size, it won’t be much of a problem.
When you’ve sorted the geometry out, the next thing to deal with is the size. When searching for the right size for a fixed-gear bicycle, it should be a bit lesser than the size of your road bike, if you have one. This means that if the size for your road cycle is 57, then you should get a fixie with size 55.
The fixie frame; like those of other bikes, are mostly made from four metals: steel, carbon fibre, aluminium or titanium. Steel is the cheapest frame material and it can be quite heavy. Aluminium is a material that is lighter than steel and is also quite resistant to rust. Carbon fibre frames combine the best of both worlds since they are lighter than aluminium and stronger than steel. You could go for titanium too, especially now that it’s much cheaper than it used to be.