Fixies (or fixed-gear bikes) are a classic type of cycle that rule the urban roads. They don’t have a freewheel, which means you have to pedal to move, and there is no coasting. But what are fixie bikes good for?
Fixie bikes are suitable for commuting, urban cycling, and outdoor exercising. You can also ride these bikes uphill and downhill for exercising, and they are the perfect pick when you prefer to ride silently.
As I mentioned, a fixie is best for all that because they have no freewheel. And given that these bikes generally come with single-speed drivetrains, they’ve fewer maintenance costs.
I’ll help you understand what fixies are best for you. I’ll also review a few top fixed-gear bikes and answer top FAQs that are fixie-related.
What Are Fixie Bikes, Exactly?
Fixies are a type of bike with no freewheel. For that reason, the pedals move whenever the rear wheel turns. And when it comes to braking, your feet are the accelerator and the brakes.
The bike moves when you pedal and stops when you stop pedaling. It’s that simple! However, nowadays, some fixies come with brakes, which means you don’t have to depend on your feet to bring them to a stop.
Fixed-gear bikes generally come in single-speed, thus easier to maintain. They are widely famous on urban roads because of their simplicity.
What Are Fixie Bikes Good For?
Fixies are known for a lot of application but below are the most notable ones:
Compared to road bikes, fixies are inherently simpler in design, thus low on maintenance. They are also lighter, given that they don’t come with freewheel. All that makes them perfect for commuting.
Fixies allow you to cycle at your own pace as you push yourself beyond your limit. Cost-wise, you’ll save money commuting with a fixie than grabbing the bus.
2. Outdoor Exercising
Riding a fixed-gear bike takes a lot of stamina. It takes sweat, and that’s something you want when exercising outdoors.
The bike pushes you to work extra hard to move it, making you stronger, fitter, and more enduring. The more regularly you cycle, the more you engage your muscles.
For someone who runs often, the experience is almost similar to riding a fixie.
3. City Cruising
It’s like fixie bikes were designed for urban cycling. They are fun to ride around the city, even if it takes extra stamina to do it.
Considering that they lack a gear shifter, they are less appealing to thieves who are more rampant in cities.
Riding a fixie stimulates your instincts and reflexes and makes you always self-aware. It will help if you have such abilities when cruising the city on a bike.
4. Uphill and Downhill Cycling
With a fixed-gear bike, you’ve no choice but to pedal your way on whatever terrain you find yourself in. That includes the hills and slopes.
There is no shifting up and down with a fixed-gear bike. So, it doesn’t matter if you are cycling uphill or downhill as you’ll have to pedal. There is absolutely no coasting advantage with a fixed-gear bike.
5. Silent Cycling
Most seasoned cyclists call fixies intellectual bikes, and it’s hard to argue with that assumption. That’s because fixies run silently regardless of how much effort you put.
You don’t have to worry about some clicking noise or clanking sound coming from the drivetrain. And you guessed it, that’s because there is no freewheel in the first place.
6. Fun Cycling
Lastly, fixed-gear bikes may be hard to ride by some people or even silent on the road, but that doesn’t take away the fun of riding them.
Their ability to tackle all manner of terrains is one reason why they are fun to ride. If you have a road bike or a mountain bike and want to spice up things, get a fixed gear bike.
Fixies Vs. Road Bikes
Fixie bikes generally have no freewheel, which means their pedals move back and forth whenever the rear wheel turns. That makes them the best for urban cycling.
They also have fewer parts, thus easier to maintain. They are, however, not great for long-distance cycling, and that’s where a road bike comes in.
Given that most road bikes come multi-geared and allow easy shifting, they are best for long rides and speed cycling.
Overall, consider a fixie bike for the following reasons:
- City cruising
- Fun short and moderate rides
- Outdoor Exercising
And consider a road bike for the following reasons:
- Long rides
- Fitness cycling
- Fast riding
- Competitive racing
Below is a table comparing fixies to road bicycles:
|Bike Property||Fixie Bike||Road Bike|
|Gearing||Generally single-speed||Generally multi-geared|
|Maintenance||Low maintenance||High maintenance|
|Customization||More customizable||It comes with almost everything you may need|
|Speed||It depends on your pedaling power||Fast on the road due to quick shifting|
|Braking||Your feet mostly acts as the accelerator and brakes (apart from a few fixies that come with brakes)||Brakes come attached to the bike|
|Cost||Often cheaper because of fewer components||Costlier because of more components|
|Cycling Preference||Urban roads, shorter rides||Any terrain, long rides|
What Are Fixie Bikes Good For? 3 Best Fixed Gear Bikes
1. Golden Cycles Single Speed Fixed Gear Bike (Best Overall)
Whether you want to ride for fun, exercise, or commute, the Golden Cycles Single Speed Fixed Gear Bike is a safe bet.
This size-41 fixed-gear bike comes in a high-tensile steel frame to hold your weight and last longer.
It has both front and rear brakes, something that’s not common with most fixies. That makes it safe on urban roads.
Golden Cycles Single Speed features riser bars that offer you optimal riding comfort and encourage ease of navigation.
Its tig-welded fork promises bump absorption, while its BMX platform pedals let you pedal with ease.
And more, it comes with 700c Kenda tires that roll seamlessly on paved roads and deep-v rims that improve its stability.
- Hi-ten steel frame
- Dual brakes
- Deep-v rims
- Raiser bars
- 700c Kenda tires
- Tig-welded fork
- BMX platform pedals
2. 6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Single-Speed Fixie Urban Track Bike (Best for Urban Cycling)
You want your urban bike to come in the most attractive, lightweight, and simple design. Luckily, that’s what you get from the 6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Single-Speed Fixie Urban Track Bike.
6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear features deep-v double-wall wheels that offer it unmatched stability, and it comes in a stunning black shadow color.
This fixed gear bike comes in a full-aluminum frame that makes it lightweight and enjoys an aluminum fork for bump absorption.
The single-speed bike comes with front and rear brakes, thus safe on urban roads. Plus, it’s available in three sizes that suit riders who are 5’2”-6’2” tall.
- Full-aluminum frame
- Aluminum fork
- Dual brakes
- Double-wall wheels
- Single-speed drivetrain
- Black shadow color
3. Retrospec Harper Single-Speed Fixed Gear Urban Bike (Best for Commuting)
The Retrospec Harper Single-Speed Fixed Gear Urban Bike is everything you want in your day-to-day commuter bike.
It comes in a hand-built hi-tensile steel frame, which enables it to hold up to 220 pounds. Remarkably, this size-43 bike only weighs a kilo, thus lightweight and more comfortable to ride.
Its 700C Kenda tires enable it to move smoothly on urban roads, while its VP freestyle pedals allow you to pedal with a lot of power.
Furthermore, its deep-v rims give it extra stability while its high-tensile steel frame absorbs bumps.
Like the fixies above, Retrospec Harper Single Speed has dual brakes to allow you to pedal safely on urban roads.
- Hand-built hi-ten steel frame
- 220-pound load capacity
- VP freestyle pedals
- 700c Kenda tires
- Deep-v rims
- Single-speed drivetrain
What Are Fixie Bikes Good For FAQs
1. What Is A Fixie Bike Used For?
A fixie bike is used for the following reasons:
- Urban cycling
- Exercising around the neighborhood
- Fun cycling
- Silent cycling
2. Is A Fixie Bike Good For Commuting?
There is no doubt about that.
A fixie bike comes with fewer components, thus lighter to pedal. It has no freewheel, which means you have to pedal it to move, and that’s essential when commuting.
It’s also easier to maintain because of fewer components. Plus, fixies allow you to cycle at your own pace.
3. Are Fixie Bikes Good For Exercise?
Fixies only move when you pedal. That means you have to exert a lot of stamina, and it also takes endurance to ride them.
Riding a fixed-gear bike will make you stronger, fitter, and more enduring. So, yes, fixies are suitable for exercises.
4. Why Are Fixies Better?
Fixies are generally cheaper to maintain and simple but attractive. They are comfortable riding on urban roads, downhill and uphill, too, as there is no coasting.
Plus, they are cheaper than most bikes. That makes fixed gear bike brands better than most bikes.
5. Do Fixies Have Brakes?
Some fixie bikes don’t have brakes. So, you have to depend on your legs for acceleration and braking. In such a case, the more you pedal, the faster the acceleration, and the less you pedal, the slower the bike becomes.
6. Are Fixie Bikes Dangerous?
If you ride a fixie with no brakes, then it’s a safety concern. But if it has brakes, it would be as safe as any other bike type with brakes.
Note, however, that you are always in control of the bike’s speed since you have to pedal. That makes it safer than road bikes.
7. Should I Get A Fixed Gear Bike?
If you want an easy-to-maintain bike for commuting or exercising, then yes, you should get a fixed-gear bike. After all, it’s cheaper than a road bike and will allow you to cruise around the city more confidently.
Their simplicity also makes them appealing on urban roads.
8. Should I Buy A Fixie Or Road Bike?
Speed-wise, road bikes ride faster than fixies. That’s mainly because of the freewheel and the fact that they feature multiple gears.
But if you are looking for an easy-to-ride urban commuter bike, nothing fits the description better than a fixie.
Cost-wise, fixed-gear bikes are cheaper than road bikes. Cheap fixie bikes are an affordable way to commute and exercise outdoors.
9. Can You Ride A Fixie Uphill?
Provided you have the foot stamina to pedal consistently; you can ride a fixie uphill. It won’t be easy, especially at the start, but it’s achievable.
Mainly, cycling a fixie uphill is hard because you’ve to pedal at all times as there is no shifting.
10. Are Fixies Good For Long Distance?
Given that fixed-gear bikes generally come with single-speed drivetrains, they are not the right choice for long-distance cycling. You’ll struggle to cover more ground with such a bike.
Besides, it takes longer to master how to cycle a fixed-gear bike, and the fact that there is no freewheel means there’s no coasting.
So, what are fixie bikes good for? There is no doubt that fixies are great for urban cycling, exercising, urban cycling, and short fun rides.
So, if you’ve always wanted to spice up your cycling adventures, what you need is a fixed-gear bike.