Fixed gear newbie (and a happy one)
I moved to London a year ago and for six months I commuted on a Specialized Sirrus that I bought used. I recently switched over to a Specialized Allez and really enjoy being on a quick road bike. It's easy to buy and sell used bikes in London, so I have the option of trying out new things whenever I want.
The more I rode my Allez though, the more I realized that I don't really know much about how it works. It needed some tuning so I joined this site, hoping to learn how to maintain my bike. I quickly realized that I was jumping into a very expensive and time consuming addiction.
Then it hit me - I am too OCD to have a gear bike. I am also quite minimalist by nature. I need a single speed bike. Way easier, lighter, less stuff to break and replace, etc. Fixie? They look cool right? Are fixed gears scary to learn? Are they too trendy? Will I look like a ******? Who cares!
I found a good deal on a Specialized Langster (yes, there is some brand loyalty going on) and quickly met the seller to see the bike. It is basically brand new, with upgraded tires, pedals, seat post, handle bars and brake lever. Admittedly, I sort of jumped the gun and bought it without a lot of prior inspection, just because it looked so good.
I was a little nervous but once I got on and started pedaling it was like the bike had been waiting for me. I immediately felt very comfortable riding in London traffic, just like usual. There were a few times that my legs wanted to coast, but I remedied that quick enough to avoid any wreckage.
So yea, I am now riding to work every day. It is SO MUCH MORE FUN and it is really nice to know that the number of things on my bike that can break has greatly diminished. It just feels more natural and normal.
I don't know if I'll ever do a skid stop or any other cool stuff and I know that buying a fixie that is already put together by a big name brand like Specialized is not really "hip" but it suits me and I am happy.
Anyways, I'm having a good time not having to use the brake, learning how to track stand, and just kicking traffic's ass as usual. So happy I decided to get rid of the gears.