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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 07-15-10, 08:02 AM   #1
tobywuk
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'Fixie' for Town Cycling

Hello,

Fixed gear or 'fixies' seem very popular around towns and cities at the moment. I often see people zooming around the roads, through traffic and up/down curbs on them. Bike messengers also seem to use them for there profession, which to me suggests its not just a fashion thing?

Why is this, Do they make the perfect 'get around town' bike?
Are they more durable, strong, nimble and more suited to this style of cycling than normal road bikes?

I am moving soon and will be doing the above. I currently have a normal road bike and am wondering if getting a fixie for this would be better and save some wear and tear on my road bike. I am considering something like this Felt Brougham but i dont want it just sitting in the shed with no use.

Thank you
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Old 07-15-10, 08:21 AM   #2
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low maintenance.

i thought this was gonna be a townie thread or something
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Old 07-15-10, 08:31 AM   #3
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I too, was hoping for a townie.

I think they are great city bikes because they are reliable, comparatively light weight, can be had for pretty cheap, very low maintenance.

Also, they are great for the beginning bike hobbyist. Without dérailleur, the bike is less complicated. Or at least less intimidating from a mechanical standpoint.

Fixies have a 'get up and go' feel about them. It may not be a 'logical' reason, because there is nothing stopping you from hopping on your road bike and doing the same thing, but something about riding a fixie just requires less thought.

I don't think about it at all, I just get on the bike and go. Don't worry about water bottles or lycra, or special shoes.
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Old 07-15-10, 09:49 AM   #4
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Don't worry about water bottles
er...
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Old 07-15-10, 09:55 AM   #5
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er...
I know that sounded kind of funny, but for me, when I ride my road bike, I just have to fill up the bottles and put them in the cages. maybe it's OCD, who knows. But point is, there is zero preparation for riding my fixed other than getting on it and riding.

And some people don't have that problem anyway, but I usually end up thinking more when I am riding my Roadie.
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Old 07-15-10, 09:56 AM   #6
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i get it
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Old 07-15-10, 09:56 AM   #7
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ok i was lazy to offer much explaination (and still kinda am), so please refer to Sheldon Brow's Fixed Gear Page on the pros and cons of FG riding
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Old 07-15-10, 09:59 AM   #8
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I use my bike to get around everywhere. They are incredibly low maintenance, but I still end up fiddling with mine almost every day (not because anything is wrong, just adjusting, tightening, experimenting, etc). My fixie makes me want to bike, whereas my older road bikes didn't give me the same feeling. To answer your question, yeah a fixie is perfect for riding around town.
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Old 07-15-10, 10:17 AM   #9
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it's fun and no one can knock my bike over and bend the derailer hanger
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Old 07-15-10, 11:20 AM   #10
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I just think they look cool.
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Old 07-15-10, 02:17 PM   #11
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I just think they look cool.
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Old 07-15-10, 02:25 PM   #12
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Touche.
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Old 07-15-10, 03:13 PM   #13
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au contraire



FG does look cool.

to OP: I like its simplicity, no need to worry about gears or such(i never change gears on my road bike anyways) and i know its cliche but i do feel more "one" with the bike. Also the main thing i like about FG is the ability to go slow, but still maintain control which is crucial when you are riding in the city/town.
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dude u need that trixie tool its the best tool ever it even comes with a bottle opener ! dude all the messengers reccomended it to me and evr since i got it im basically a mechaninc now and all the bike shops want me.
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Old 07-15-10, 03:25 PM   #14
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i too like the simplicity. plus it's a fun workout.
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Old 07-15-10, 03:27 PM   #15
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I guess I'll be the one to go against the grain, and say that fixed gears (please don't call them fixies) make acceptable town bikes, but not great ones. Contrary to popular belief, they aren't that hard to ride, and thieves won't crash within a few feet of jumping onto them. Not only that, but because of their popularity, they are actually more targeted because of their high resale value. Don't believe me, just check your local craigslist.

Also, city riding (at lease where I live) tends to involve lots of stopping and starting; and when there is a line of cars waiting for you to move, I find quick acceleration to be a virtue. Having a bike with variable gears allows me to start in a low gear to accelerate quickly, and then shift to a higher gear to maintain a reasonable speed.

Fixed gears are great for medium to long distance solo rides though varying terrain; going up and down rolling hills is when you really feel one with the road, none of this nonsense about weaving in and out of traffic. Oh, and the occasional cyclocross trail on a fixed gear is about as much fun as you can (legally) have on a bike.
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Old 07-15-10, 03:28 PM   #16
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Simple, fun, reliable, low maintenance.
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Old 07-15-10, 03:58 PM   #17
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I guess I'll be the one to go against the grain, and say that fixed gears (please don't call them fixies) make acceptable town bikes, but not great ones. Contrary to popular belief, they aren't that hard to ride, and thieves won't crash within a few feet of jumping onto them. Not only that, but because of their popularity, they are actually more targeted because of their high resale value. Don't believe me, just check your local craigslist.

Also, city riding (at lease where I live) tends to involve lots of stopping and starting; and when there is a line of cars waiting for you to move, I find quick acceleration to be a virtue. Having a bike with variable gears allows me to start in a low gear to accelerate quickly, and then shift to a higher gear to maintain a reasonable speed.

Fixed gears are great for medium to long distance solo rides though varying terrain; going up and down rolling hills is when you really feel one with the road, none of this nonsense about weaving in and out of traffic. Oh, and the occasional cyclocross trail on a fixed gear is about as much fun as you can (legally) have on a bike.
I have no trouble accelerating fast enough, if not faster, than most cars while doing city riding..
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Old 07-15-10, 06:22 PM   #18
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Hello,

Fixed gear or 'fixies' seem very popular around towns and cities at the moment. I often see people zooming around the roads, through traffic and up/down curbs on them. Bike messengers also seem to use them for there profession, which to me suggests its not just a fashion thing?

Why is this, Do they make the perfect 'get around town' bike?
Are they more durable, strong, nimble and more suited to this style of cycling than normal road bikes?

I am moving soon and will be doing the above. I currently have a normal road bike and am wondering if getting a fixie for this would be better and save some wear and tear on my road bike. I am considering something like this Felt Brougham but i dont want it just sitting in the shed with no use.

Thank you

Easy to do a once-over. Less expensive to fix or replace a smaller number of parts. Less stuff to get stolen, less to get damaged. A lot like a kid bike for adults. Fun and simple.

For the same reason people love specific bikes, there are people who love fixed gear bikes, and have their own sense of aesthetics about them. Because they are often built up or modified, they are also personalized. And yes, it's currently a "fad" or manufacturers wouldn't be making them. Nothing wrong with these bikes. They are often less expensive.

Lots of people here ride old geared bikes, or old 3-speed bikes, or just plain ol' converted singlespeeds that aren't fancy or fixed.

When I see these bikes around the city, many of them have a mismatch of old cheap parts, or ridiculous neon color schemes, or various stickers and doodads. I like this, it makes me smile even if it's not my personal taste. But I like the city too, for the same reasons.



Find a local shop that has them and take a few for test rides.

Last edited by KDNYC; 07-15-10 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 07-15-10, 06:27 PM   #19
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Single speed bikes have all of the advantages that fixed bikes do with the added benefits of brakes and being able to coast.

In a flat city, single speed is probably the best, safest, most practical option. No foot retention required, either.
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
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Old 07-15-10, 06:37 PM   #20
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Single speed bikes have all of the advantages that fixed bikes do with the added benefits of brakes and being able to coast.

In a flat city, single speed is probably the best, safest, most practical option. No foot retention required, either.
Oh damn, Carleton. You went ahead and said it. Just couldn't stop yourself I suppose. Now what will become of "the movement". Actually, that's not a bad term for it all. Hmmm. Regardless - Good grief.
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Old 07-15-10, 06:39 PM   #21
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Oh damn, Carleton. You went ahead and said it. Just couldn't stop yourself I suppose. Now what will become of "the movement". Actually, that's not a bad term for it all. Hmmm. Regardless - Good grief.
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Old 07-15-10, 07:04 PM   #22
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Single speed bikes have all of the advantages that fixed bikes do with the added benefits of brakes and being able to coast.

In a flat city, single speed is probably the best, safest, most practical option. No foot retention required, either.
I rode my Madison for a couple of months on the freewheel side. I just prefer riding it fixed and kept the brakes on which comes in handy once in a while. Best of both worlds IMHO.
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Old 07-15-10, 07:34 PM   #23
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I only jumped on the bandwagon a few weeks ago, but I have found that even with the slower starts and dealing with city traffic, a fixed gear is fun to ride..dunno why. I do feel more comfortable in thicker traffic with my geared bike though, but I think that's mostly because I have a lot more experience with it and am still getting used to the new bike.
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Old 07-15-10, 09:11 PM   #24
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Single speed bikes have all of the advantages that fixed bikes do with the added benefits of brakes and being able to coast.

In a flat city, single speed is probably the best, safest, most practical option. No foot retention required, either.
SS is still just as fun as fixed, and because I am still relatively new to FG, i find it easier to just mash on an SS and forget about worrying about stopping in an emergency.

But fixed is still fun dont get me wrong.

Everyone pretty much nailed it though.

Low maintenencence (splleing fail), simple, lightweight, improves your spinning technique (I guess- its what Ive heard), and yeah.

But even on SS, I like to use straps, specially if Im going to be climbing a lot.
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Old 07-16-10, 09:24 AM   #25
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Single speed bikes have all of the advantages that fixed bikes do with the added benefits of brakes and being able to coast.

In a flat city, single speed is probably the best, safest, most practical option. No foot retention required, either.
i beg to differ.
i really like riding fixed on flats and the only time I want to coast is after a long tiring day i wish i could've coasted downhill.
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