Top 6 reasons to ride fixed

Why fixie?

  1. A new experience
  2. Simplicity
  3. More stylish
  4. Lightweight
  5. Good for strength training
  6. Every fixie is unique.

Because….

  1. A new experience. Riding a fixie is a whole new experience from riding a standard bike. It’s like changing from automatic transmission to manual transmission. This analogy captures idea that riding a fixie, like driving a manual transmission car, is a much more involved experience.
  2. Simplicity. Fixies are, by definition, simple! They have no gears, and thus no need for derailleurs. Furthermore, with the ability to slow down manually, there is not even a need for brakes! Generally though, at least one brake is used.
  3. More stylish. Since fixies are not produced in bulk (for the most part), almost all fixies garner a unique style. Often featuring showy color schemes, these fixies stand out among “production” line bikes
  4. Lightweight. Being simple, fixies are also lightweight. The small components really do add up. Combining the lost weight of extra gears, and freewheel, derailleurs, derailleur cables, brakes, brake cables, and extra chain links, and you’ve saved yourself at the very least several pounds. This may seem insignificant, but it does not go unnoticed while riding.
  5. Good for strength training. With only a single gear, accelerating and slowing down takes extra muscle. Spend a few months riding around on a fixie, and your quads will definitely get a bit bigger.
  6. Every fixie is unique. As you will see from the rest of my blog, no one fixie exactly the same. And this makes building/modifying fixies so addicting. In each future blog post, I will feature a unique fixie and detail its specs, riding style, and overall feel.

 

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8 Responses to Top 6 reasons to ride fixed

  1. Greg says:

    Michael, I am thinking about buying a fixie. Can you elaborate more on the strength training sector of your blog? The added strength capabilities are a very appealing option to me!

    • ricefixie says:

      There a few reasons why riding fixed improves leg strength. The amount that your strength improves is largely dependent on what your gear ratio is. The gear ratio is the ratio of the amount of teeth on your front chainring to the amount of teeth on your rear sprocket. So the larger the gear ratio, the more strength it takes to accelerate and decelerate. The reason why fixies are better for strength training than multi speed bikes is that, when you accelerate on a multi-speed bike, you use a lower gear (gear ratio is lower), and then change into higher gears once you get up to speed. Furthermore, on a multi-speed bike, you can’t decelerate with your legs, so you don’t get the extra workout from that. Another factor you should consider is how much elevation changes around the area in which you’ll be riding. Riding up a hill on a fixie can be extremely strenuous, and is definitely helpful for improving strength. Does this make sense? Let me know if you have any other questions.

      • Greg says:

        Thanks Michael! That makes perfect sense! Any suggestions where I can find a fixie for myself? I’ve been looking around quite a bit for a starter fixie but could use some advice.

      • ricefixie says:

        Greg,
        Definitely look at craiglist first. Sometime you can find a decent fixie on there for 100-200 dollars, which is a pretty good deal. You can also check out http://bigshotbikes.com. I actually just posted a review of their bikes. Another option would be to build one yourself, but this takes a lot more time, and can end up being quite expensive (depending on what you have to start with). Any other questions?

  2. How do you buy a fixie? Do you pick out the individual parts like ordering a Freebirds burrito?

    • ricefixie says:

      Yes, you are correct. That is the standard way that someone would buy a fixie for non-racing purposes. With fixies becoming so popular in the past few years, some bicycle companies have started making “production line” fixies that are all the same.

  3. tomyxia says:

    i find the best part about riding a bike is when you accelerate a lot, and then just coast without pedaling. fixies can’t offer that for me, unfortunately. 😦

    • ricefixie says:

      Yes, you do bring up a common complaint about fixies: there’s no such thing as coasting. While coasting is something that I did miss early on when I first started riding fixed, I was surprised how quickly I was able to become used to never coasting. After a few weeks, the only I never noticed my lack of ability to coast was when going off/up curbs, which takes quite a bit of time to get used to.

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