DIIV asked in SportsCycling · 1 decade ago

What is this trend about fixed gear bikes all about? ?

My friends are all indie hipsters and they all have or are getting fixed gear bikes. I'm getting a bike, but i'm probaly getting a 12 speed or 10 speed vintage 80s bike... Why the sudden demand for fixed gear bikes? I would think it would be harder to get across the city and tougher to navigate in traffic... how is that funner???

14 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Some interesting answers... when going downhill single speed or muti-gears is not relevant. However 1st guy said he did 78 downhill on a fixie??? I say prove it. And curriers tend to use them because they 1st used beater bikes do to theft and need for little maintenance. Doing a track stand is little reason to use a fixie. But it's really a cult type thing.

    Why it's popular now? IDK, but like all fads - how it came to be embraced is hard to say. There is no particular advantage except for the simplicity and maintenance issue and several disadvantages. Single speeds are more useful.

    As for training - well it's great for track training! But for road not really. I do ride my road bike as a SS by simply not shifting on a regular basis - I get a workout similar to MTB trail riding - pushing hard at low RPM and spinning like crazy on down hills. But I do this <5% of the time and most riders I know never do this.

    Another curious trend is cruisers. About 5 questions a week here read like this: "What type of bike is this?" and "Where can I get a bike like this?" the question is posed by a girl and posts a picture of Miley Cyrus on a cruiser. Girls want cruisers BAD because they see their teeny-bop idols riding them.

    And you pretty much know why your indie hipsters friends are doing it. The very people who think they are independent thinkers all do the same thing. When they're 40 and looking back I hope they can laugh at what goofs they were. We've all done it to some extent.

    One other reason SS and fixies are popular - it gives guys with a lot of extra parts something to do!

  • M V
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Fixies are for those getting back to the basics. Simplicity. Personally I think they are not a good idea. Gimme a single speed with a freewheel. That way you can coast down hills and whenever else you want to coast. Putting your feet up on the fork crown on a fixie to coast is a recipe for hurt.

    I have been looking for a 29'er SS for my short commute(1 mi each way). Right now I have a 26" rigid fork MTB and kinda use it as a 2 speed since its a $40 bike and the derailluers are cheap, old, and about shot. I leave the rear on a mid gear and shift the FD; granny for slow or uphill stuff and middle ring for the bulk of the ride. Its a blast here in Minnesota for the snowy commutes, and it saves my 'good' bikes for better weather.

  • 1 decade ago

    Like you said,

    It's a trend, I work at a bike shop and most people that want to buy fixies are either following the trend or just don't know how to use gears and therefore the fixie appeals to them (for reason already explained above)

    Most hardcore riders already have a fixie so they are not buying them, if they needed one they would build it themselves anyway...

    I'm not trying to piss anybody off, I'm a bike nut and as long as people are converting over to bikes it's cool with me but in my honest opinion, Fixies are NOT for everybody, it takes a liitle bit of talent to ride with no brakes and the city is no place to learn. You will be easily picked out as a "poser" by all the people in the know, I know this part, I work with this people. The things you don't hear are most interesting as well since you never hear from the people that developed knee issues from riding fixed do ya?

    Fixed geared bikes are just like many other trends, if you can just walk into a store and buy that "cool" whatever it is you must have to be "cool" then you are too late and need to spot the next trend before you make an *** out of yourself.

    Me? I'm just waiting for the tons of unused track bikes sitting in garages all over San Francisco, a couple of years from now you ought to be able to snag some crazy Japanese lug job for a couple of benjamins

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    chrisarrow222... 78 mph uh...sure you did. And no one gets a track bike up to 60-70 mph in any race. I actually ride and have completed on the track in sprint. The very BEST can hit about 45 mph for a few seconds.

    Then you say you weren't using a fixie down hill, even though you implied it. And if you didn't mean to BS us (which you now know you can't) What would going down hill on a non-fixie have to do with this question??? ADD maybe?

    A lot of what I hear sounds like folk lore. Pedaling in circles? I pedal 99% of the time I don't NEED that extra 1%. Less parts I agree, more reliable (in therory yes) in reality my bike rarely messes up. Trackstands? quite unimportant in the scheme of things

    As for the question, someone said fads happen and I agree... and I think it's something to do cheap if you have a lot of used parts like I have. If I find a steal on a vintage CrMo or 531 frame I'll give it a go - I have EVERYTHING else. But I'll build a SS 'cause them's the wheels I got.

    EDIT: 78 is NOT normal, TDF pros flying down the Alps and Pyerinees hit 60 mph or so. (look it up) and you think we believe it's normal to go 20 mph faster then the very best pros flying down steep mountains??? I see you dis-regarded your 60-70 mph race comment as well.

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  • 4 years ago

    I truly don't get this either !!! Why would any one get on a bike, on the road, with traffic with out brakes ???? I believe this has got to be a fashion trend, can't see any other reason.

  • Ron S
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    It's sheep mentality... just like ipods.. There are other music players cheaper and works better, but people decided on the fashion factor rather than the practical concerns.

    That said, there are definitely merits to a fixie: the simplicity and less need of maintenance, and it trains your pedalling since you cannot coast. With brakes installed, it makes a decent urban transportation.

    But, I'm no expert on this.. Read on Bike Snob's blog to get the best idea and the amusement.

  • 1 decade ago

    it's actually easier to navigate in traffic because of the geometry. indie/hipster kids are always looking for new trends, and fixed-gears are associated with the DIY culture that's getting popular right now. i'm on a track team so i actually ride at a velodrome and for me it's a lot more fun than regular road races.

    the appeal of fixed-gears (other than being a fashion statement) is that they're simpler (no derailleurs, no shifters, no cassette, usually only a front brake if any), more mechanically efficient, they're lighter, and for some, fixed-gear freestyle riding (similar to bmx) is getting popular.

    Source(s): been riding fixed for 4 years, track cycling team for 2 years, worked as a messenger, ride in criteriums (road races), biked across the US last summer, worked in a bike shop, built a few fixies
  • 1 decade ago

    Check out the Mash SF and Macaframa videos on Youtube and elsewhere. You can see the crazy things people are doing with a bike that was only envisioned to go around in circles on a wooden track. Do not try this at home... unless you are uber cool. It is tougher to ride...it willl make you a better rider if you survive. mu ha ha ha ha.

    Vintage bikes are cool too. (Cooler than getting a new Trek anyways) Many hipsters don't care what you ride as long as you ride. Hope it is the same for yours.

  • 1 decade ago

    78 on a fixie?? I'm not going to do the math, but since most fixies have a mid-range gear, his cadence would be what? 250, 300?

    Edit: Actually, I just did the math. To go 78mph on a fixie, assuming a 42 x 18 gear, your cadence would have to 400+! Even 78kph, cadence would have to be over 250!

    Even with a 53 x 11 gear, to reach 78mph would be 200rpm!


  • 1 decade ago

    In addition to the simplicity of not having multiple gears, derailleurs, cables, and the weight they bring, the fixed gear bike contributes to a more circular pedal stroke. If you are moving, you are pedaling on a fixie. Additionally, the fixed gear allows you to do a track stand (i.e., you are stopped and balanced on the bike) more efficiently at stop lights. This can be a real advantage in the busy city and one reason why bike couriers use fixed gear bikes.

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