Many riders love fixies for the pure feel of them, not to mention the carefree joy and better fitness. Are you ready to join this biking craze too?

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Image by Incase via Flickr

Fixed gear bicycles, otherwise known as fixies are the oldest kind of bicycles but they are becoming popular again in certain cultures. These bikes feature only one-speed without a freewheel. This means that whenever your legs are pushing the pedals, the bike is moving. Many bicycle enthusiasts prefer this type for that reason because it feels like you and the bike are connected. There are so many reasons to buy one and many other things to consider as you contemplate buying your first fixie bike.

Things to Consider When Buying a Fixie Bike

Consider your skill level. Have you ever ridden a fixie before or have you researched the difference between them and modern bikes? If you haven’t or aren’t a bicycle or fitness enthusiast, you may want to choose one with a flip-flop rear hub, meaning you can ride it as a fixed bike or a coasting single speed bike. This is because pedalling nonstop at various intensities may take a toll on your legs and knees if you’re not prepared.

Consider the purpose of buying your fixie bike as it factors in to what kind you purchase. Do you work as a bicycle messenger? Are you planning to learn some new tricks or join a bike race?  These factors will help you decide on an actual frame and other components.

Choose a budget. You can find cheap fixie bikes easily but you can also spend a lot if you’re splurging a designer fixie bike for fixie races. Again, this depends on your purpose and preferences.

Choose a quality frame. Generally, pick a chromoly steel frame which will last many years. However, if you’re budget conscious and will be anchoring your fixie to posts while running messaging errands, you may want to consider hi-ten steel frames. Avoid aluminium ones as they show dents faster.  While some countries sell fixies without brakes, riding them without brakes in the UK is against the law. In addition, a front brake saves you energy if you absolutely need to stop because you don’t need to pedal backwards and skid to stop.

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Determine what size works best for your body type. Some bikes are sized by numbers and you may need a size smaller than you would for a road bike, such as size 57 versus a traditional 59.  However, other companies size fixie bikes by your height where as if you’re between 5 ft to 5 ft and 7′ you’d need a small one and so on.

Ask someone to help you find the right gear for your fixie bike. This also depends if you plan on riding through more hills and valleys versus city traffic. Generally, you’ll want a larger number like 45 in front for better efficiency, and something between 15 and 17 in back, depending on if you’re commuting or racing.

As you contemplate buying your first fixie bike, make an appointment to visit some bicycle shops and test ride a few different kinds. While some shops specialise in online ordering, if you’re a bicycle novice, it would be wise to look over stock and ride some yourself to avoid any issues.