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Everything You Need to Know About Fixie Bikes – The Ultimate Guide

If you’re a fan of the simplicity and minimalism of cycling, then you’re probably familiar with fixed gear bicycles. Also known as fixies, these bikes have gained popularity among urban cyclists for their unique characteristics. Unlike traditional bicycles with multiple gears, a fixed gear bicycle has only one gear, which is fixed directly to the rear wheel. This means that whenever the rear wheel is moving, the pedals are also moving, making it impossible to coast. It’s the purest form of cycling, where every movement you make is connected to the bike.

Fixed gear bicycles have a rich history and were widely used in track cycling competitions. The absence of gears makes these bikes more lightweight, efficient, and responsive. They are perfect for cycling on flat surfaces and are often preferred by city commuters due to their simple maintenance and ability to maneuver through traffic with ease. With no derailleurs or freewheels, a fixed gear bike offers a direct connection between the rider and the road, providing a more engaging and immersive cycling experience.

Many cyclists are drawn to fixed gear bicycles because of their stripped-down aesthetics and customizable nature. The lack of components like derailleurs, shifters, and brakes gives these bikes a clean and minimal look. Fixies are also highly customizable, allowing riders to express their personal style through various color schemes, frame designs, and accessories. It’s not uncommon to see fixed gear enthusiasts with vibrant, eye-catching bikes that turn heads wherever they go.

What is a fixie?

A fixie, short for fixed gear bicycle, is a type of velo or bike that does not have a freewheel mechanism. This means that the rear wheel is fixed to the cog, and whenever the bike is in motion, the pedals are always in motion too.

Fixed gear bikes are often used for track racing, where their simplicity and direct power transfer make them ideal for high speeds. However, they have gained popularity in urban environments for their minimalist design and low maintenance.

Key Features of a Fixie

A fixed gear bicycle has several distinguishing features:

  • Single Speed: A fixie has only one gear. There are no multiple speeds to shift through, simplifying the design and making maintenance easier.
  • No Freewheel: Unlike a traditional bike, a fixie does not have a freewheel mechanism. This means that the rider cannot coast and must always be pedaling when the bike is in motion.
  • Track Cycling Origins: Fixed gear bikes were originally designed for track cycling. They have a long history in professional racing and are still used in velodrome competitions today.

Overall, fixies offer a unique riding experience with their direct power transfer and simplified mechanics. Whether you’re a seasoned track cyclist or a casual urban rider, a fixie can be a fun and versatile option.

History of fixed gear bicycles

Fixed gear bicycles, also known as fixies, have a long and fascinating history. Originally, all bicycles were fixed gear, with a single speed and no freewheel mechanism. This means that the pedals are always in motion when the bike is moving, and you cannot coast or freewheel.

The fixed gear bike traces its origins back to the early days of the bicycle, when it was first invented in the late 19th century. The simplicity of the fixed gear design made it the preferred choice for many cyclists at the time. Without the need for multiple gears, the fixed gear bike was lightweight, efficient, and easy to maintain.

In the early 20th century, as the technology of bicycles improved, the freewheel mechanism was introduced. This allowed riders to coast and not have to constantly pedal. The freewheel mechanism became popular, and multi-speed bikes became the norm. However, there has always been a devoted group of cyclists who continued to ride fixed gear bikes.

The resurgence of fixed gear bikes

In recent years, fixed gear bicycles have experienced a resurgence in popularity. This can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, fixed gear bikes have a distinct aesthetic appeal. The minimalist design, with its clean lines and lack of gears, has become a fashion statement for many cyclists.

Secondly, riding a fixed gear bike offers a unique and challenging experience. With only one gear, riders must constantly pedal, which provides a more intense and engaging ride. This has attracted many cyclists who are looking for a new and thrilling challenge.

The fixie culture

Along with the rise in popularity of fixed gear bikes, a vibrant fixie culture has emerged. Fixed gear enthusiasts can be found in cities all over the world, organizing group rides, races, and social events. The fixie culture celebrates the simplicity and purity of the fixed gear bike, as well as the sense of community and camaraderie that comes with it.

Pros Cons
Lightweight and simple design No freewheeling or coasting
Low maintenance Not suitable for hilly terrain
Aesthetic appeal Requires constant pedaling
Challenging and engaging ride Not ideal for long distances

Fixed gear bicycles have come a long way since their humble beginnings. Today, they are not only a mode of transportation but also a lifestyle choice. Whether you ride a fixie for its simplicity, style, or the thrill of the ride, there’s no denying the appeal of these unique bikes.

Benefits of riding a fixie

Riding a fixie has become increasingly popular among urban cyclists in recent years. A fixie, short for fixed-gear bike, is a single-speed bicycle that has no freewheel mechanism, meaning the pedals and the rear wheel are directly linked. This unique design offers several benefits for riders.

1. Simplicity: One of the biggest benefits of riding a fixie is its simplicity. With fewer components than a geared bike, there are fewer parts that can break or malfunction. This makes maintenance much easier and less expensive.

2. Control: Riding a fixie requires a higher level of skill and control compared to riding a traditional multi-speed bike. The lack of gears means that you must rely on your pedal power and skill to control your speed and navigate different terrains. This can improve your overall bike handling skills and make you a more confident cyclist.

3. Exercise: Riding a fixie is an excellent form of exercise. The direct link between the pedals and the rear wheel means that you have to constantly pedal, even when going downhill. This provides a continuous workout for your legs, helping to build strength and endurance.

4. Efficiency: The simplicity of a fixie also translates to greater efficiency. Without the added weight of gears and derailleurs, a fixie is lighter and more responsive. The direct power transfer from your legs to the wheels allows you to accelerate faster and maintain a consistent speed with less effort.

5. Style and customization: Fixies are known for their sleek and minimalist design. Many riders enjoy the freedom of customizing their fixie with unique colors, components, and accessories to reflect their personal style. This makes fixies not only a practical mode of transportation but also a statement of individuality.

In conclusion, riding a fixie offers several benefits including simplicity, control, exercise, efficiency, and the opportunity for personal style. Whether you are a beginner cyclist or an experienced rider, a fixie can provide a unique and enjoyable riding experience.


When it comes to fixie bikes, there are several key components that distinguish them from other bicycles. These components are specifically designed to enhance the fixed gear experience and provide riders with the ultimate control and speed.

The Fixed Gear

The heart and soul of a fixie bike is its fixed gear. Unlike traditional bikes that allow riders to coast, a fixed gear bike does not have a freewheel mechanism. This means that the pedals are directly connected to the rear wheel, and when the wheels are moving, the pedals are too. This unique design creates a direct and immediate connection between the rider and the bike, allowing for maximum control and efficiency.

The Track Frame

A fixie bike typically features a track frame, which is known for its sleek and minimalist design. These frames are specifically designed for track cycling, but have become popular among fixie riders due to their lightweight and rigid construction. The track frame’s geometry is optimized for speed and agility, allowing riders to maneuver through city streets with ease.

The Single-Speed Drivetrain

In addition to the fixed gear, a fixie bike often features a single-speed drivetrain. This means that there is only one gear ratio available, which can make climbing hills a bit more challenging. However, the simplicity of a single-speed drivetrain is part of the appeal of fixies. It allows riders to focus on their pedaling technique and provides a direct connection to the road.

Other Components

While the fixed gear, track frame, and single-speed drivetrain are the core components of a fixie bike, there are several other components that contribute to the overall performance and style. These include the handlebars, brakes, wheels, and saddle. Fixie riders often customize these components to suit their individual preferences and riding style.

Whether you’re a seasoned fixie enthusiast or new to the world of fixed gear bicycles, understanding the key components is essential to finding the perfect fixie bike for your needs. Each component plays a vital role in providing riders with the ultimate speed, control, and connection to the road.


The frame is the main component of a fixed gear bicycle, and it plays a crucial role in determining the overall performance and feel of the bike. A fixed gear bike, also known as a fixie, is a bicycle that has a drivetrain with a fixed gear, meaning the rear wheel is directly connected to the crankset. This design eliminates the need for a freewheel, allowing the rider to have a direct connection to the bike.

The frame of a fixed gear bike is typically lightweight and durable, as it needs to withstand the forces that are generated while riding at high speeds. It is usually made of materials such as aluminum, steel, or carbon fiber, each offering its own advantages and characteristics.

Aluminum frames are commonly used in fixed gear bikes due to their lightweight nature and stiffness. This allows for better power transfer and faster acceleration. Steel frames, on the other hand, are known for their durability and smooth ride quality. They absorb road vibrations better than aluminum, providing a more comfortable experience.

Carbon fiber frames are the lightest and most expensive option. They offer a high level of stiffness and responsiveness, making them ideal for track racing. However, they may not be as durable as steel or aluminum frames.


The geometry of a fixed gear bike frame plays a significant role in its handling and performance. The geometry refers to the angles and dimensions of the frame, including the top tube, head tube, seat tube, and chainstay length.

Fixed gear bikes typically have a more aggressive and responsive geometry compared to other types of bicycles. This is because they are designed for speed and maneuverability. The short wheelbase and steep head tube angle allow for quick and sharp turns, making them ideal for navigating city streets and tight corners on the track.

Single-Speed and Track Frames

The frame of a fixed gear bike is often referred to as a single-speed or track frame. These frames are designed specifically for fixed gear riding, offering a minimalistic and stripped-down design. They often feature horizontal dropouts, allowing for easy chain tension adjustment.

Track frames, in particular, are designed for racing on a velodrome track. They have a steeper seat tube angle and higher bottom bracket, which allows for better pedaling efficiency and maximum power transfer. The frames are also designed to be exceptionally stiff to enhance acceleration and responsiveness.

Overall, the frame of a fixed gear bike is an essential component that greatly affects the performance and riding experience. It is important to consider the material and geometry of the frame when choosing a fixed gear bike, as it can greatly influence the feel and handling of the bike.

Whether you’re a seasoned fixed gear rider or new to the world of fixies, finding the right frame can make all the difference in your riding experience. Make sure to choose a frame that suits your riding style and preferences, and enjoy the simplicity and excitement of riding a fixed gear bicycle.


The fork is an essential component of a fixie bicycle. It is the part of the bike that connects the front wheel to the frame. The construction of the fork is crucial for having a smooth and controlled ride on a fixed gear bike.

Track forks are specifically designed for track cycling, where the rider is on a closed circuit and will not encounter obstacles like potholes or curbs. These forks are designed to be lightweight and stiff, providing optimal power transfer from the rider’s pedaling to the rear wheel. They typically have a narrow profile and are made from materials like carbon fiber or aluminum.

A single-speed fixie bike fork differs from a track fork in that it is designed to handle various riding conditions, including urban commuting. It has a more relaxed geometry, allowing for a more comfortable riding position and better handling on city streets. These forks may have eyelets to attach fenders or racks for transportation purposes.

The fork on a fixed or single-speed bike is typically threaded, meaning it has threads on the inside of the steerer tube. This allows for the attachment of an adjustable headset, which is necessary for proper steering and stability. The fork may also have a crown race, which is a ring that fits snugly against the bearings in the headset and provides a smooth rotation when turning the handlebars.

When choosing a fork for your fixie or single-speed bike, it is important to consider factors such as material, weight, and intended use. If you primarily ride on the track, a lightweight and stiff carbon fiber or aluminum fork may be the best choice. If you do a mix of city commuting and recreational riding, a single-speed fork with eyelets for attachments may be more suitable.

Overall, the fork plays a crucial role in the performance and functionality of a fixie bicycle. It not only connects the front wheel to the frame but also affects the handling, comfort, and ride quality. Choosing the right fork can greatly enhance your cycling experience on a fixie or single-speed bike.


When it comes to fixed gear bicycles, the handlebars play a crucial role in both the look and functionality of the bike. The right set of handlebars can enhance your riding experience, improve your control over the bike, and add a stylish touch to your fixie velo.

Types of Handlebars

There are several types of handlebars commonly used on fixed gear bikes:

Handlebar Type Description
Drop Bars Drop bars are the most commonly seen handlebars on track and fixed gear bikes. They offer multiple hand positions, allowing riders to optimize their aerodynamics and control.
Risers Risers are popular among urban riders and provide a more relaxed riding position. They are typically wider and higher than drop bars, offering better visibility in traffic.
Bullhorns Bullhorns are a versatile option that allows riders to grip at different positions. They offer a more aggressive riding stance and are suitable for riders who prefer a sportier look.
Aero Bars Aero bars are designed for riders who prioritize maximum speed and aerodynamics. They are typically used in track racing and time trials, providing a very low and streamlined riding position.

Choosing the Right Handlebars

When selecting handlebars for your fixed gear or single-speed bicycle, consider factors such as your riding style, comfort, and personal preference. It’s important to try out different handlebars to find the one that suits you best.

Some tips to keep in mind when choosing handlebars include:

  • Consider the type of riding you do most often (e.g., commuting, track racing, or recreational riding) to determine which handlebar type will be most suitable.
  • Ensure the handlebars provide a comfortable grip and allow for easy control of the bike.
  • Take into account your body dimensions and flexibility to find handlebars that promote a natural riding position.
  • Experiment with different handlebars to find the style that matches your fixie velo aesthetic and adds a personal touch to your bike.

Remember, the right handlebars can greatly enhance your fixed gear riding experience by providing optimum control, comfort, and style. So take the time to find the perfect set of handlebars for your bike!


When it comes to single-speed and fixed-gear bicycles like track bikes or fixies, one of the most important components is the wheels. The wheels of a fixie velo bike play a vital role in determining the overall performance and ride quality.

Unlike traditional bicycles, fixies have a simple design that eliminates the need for multiple gears and a freewheel mechanism. This means that the wheels of a fixie bike are directly connected to the pedals, allowing for a more efficient transfer of power from the rider to the road.

Fixed gear wheels typically feature a solid hub, which allows the rider to control the speed and direction of the bicycle more effectively. These wheels are often lighter and more aerodynamic than those found on geared bicycles, making them ideal for urban riding and racing on the track.

The size of the wheels also plays a crucial role in the performance of a fixie bike. Most fixies feature smaller wheels, typically measuring 700c in diameter, which helps improve acceleration and maneuverability. However, some riders may prefer larger wheels for a smoother ride and better stability at high speeds.

When choosing wheels for your fixie, it’s important to consider factors such as the terrain you’ll be riding on, your riding style, and personal preference. Some riders may opt for a lighter set of wheels for improved speed and agility, while others may prioritize durability and strength for riding in rough conditions.

In conclusion, the wheels of a fixie bike are an essential component that can greatly influence the overall performance and ride experience. Whether you’re a hardcore track racer or a casual urban rider, finding the right set of wheels can make a world of difference in your fixie velo journey.


When it comes to track cycling, one of the most important components of a fixie or single-speed bike is the tires. The choice of tires can greatly impact the performance and handling of the bike, whether you’re riding on the road or at the velodrome.

Fixed gear bikes are known for their simplicity and efficiency, and the same principles apply to the tires. The tires on a fixie are typically narrow and slick, designed to minimize rolling resistance and maximize speed. This is especially important for track racing, where every second counts.

There are various types of tires suitable for fixed gear and single-speed bikes. The most common type is the clincher tire, which is easy to install and repair. They are also available in different widths, from 23mm to 28mm, allowing riders to choose the level of comfort and grip they prefer.

Another popular option is the tubular tire, which is commonly used in professional track racing. Tubular tires are glued or taped directly onto the rim, providing a more secure connection and reducing the chance of tire rolling off during high-speed turns. They are also known for their ability to offer a smoother and more comfortable ride.

When choosing tires for your fixie or single-speed bike, consider the conditions you’ll be riding in. For riding on the road, where there may be debris and uneven surfaces, a wider tire with more grip may be preferable. On the other hand, if you’ll be mainly riding on the track or velodrome, a narrower and slick tire would be more suitable for faster speeds.

Tire Type Advantages Disadvantages
Clincher Easy to install and repair Less secure connection
Tubular Secure connection, smoother ride More difficult to install and repair

It’s also important to consider the tire pressure. Higher tire pressure can improve speed and reduce rolling resistance, but it may also result in a harsher ride. Lower tire pressure can provide better grip and a more comfortable ride, but it may increase the risk of punctures.

Overall, choosing the right tires for your fixie or single-speed bike is essential for optimal performance and safety. Consider your riding conditions, preferences, and the advantages and disadvantages of different tire types.


When it comes to track, fixed gear, and fixie bikes, the topic of brakes can be a bit controversial. Some riders prefer the simplicity and aesthetic of a brakeless setup, while others prioritize safety and choose to ride with brakes. Ultimately, the decision to use brakes on your single-speed or fixed gear bike is a personal one.

Types of Brakes

If you decide to ride with brakes, there are a few options to choose from. The most common types of brakes on fixed gear and single-speed bikes are:

Type Description
Caliper A simple, lightweight brake that clamps onto the wheel rim.
U-brake A more powerful brake that attaches to the frame and uses a curved arm to apply force to the wheel.
Disc brake A braking system that uses a disc rotor attached to the wheel hub and a caliper to squeeze the rotor.

Installation and Maintenance

Installing and maintaining brakes on your fixie or single-speed bike is relatively straightforward. If you’re unsure, it’s best to seek the help of a professional bike mechanic to ensure proper installation and adjustment.

Regular maintenance is essential to keep your brakes functioning optimally. This includes cleaning the brake pads and rims, checking for wear, and replacing parts as needed. It’s also important to regularly inspect the brake cables and housing for any signs of damage or fraying.

Remember, having reliable brakes is crucial for your safety when riding a fixed gear or single-speed bike. Whether you choose to ride with brakes or not, always ride responsibly and be aware of your surroundings.


The cranks on a fixed gear or single-speed track bike are an essential component that connects the pedals to the bicycle’s drivetrain. They play a crucial role in transferring the rider’s power to the rear wheel.

Fixed gear bicycles, also known as fixies, have a single gear that is directly connected to the rear wheel. This means that the pedals are always in motion when the bike is moving, and the rider cannot coast or freewheel. The cranks, therefore, need to be strong and durable to withstand the continuous force from pedaling and braking.

Most fixed gear cranks are made from aluminum or carbon fiber, materials that provide a good balance between strength and weight. They are typically shorter than cranks found on geared bikes, which allows for a higher cadence or pedaling speed. This is especially important in track racing, where high speeds are achieved.

Crank Length

The length of the cranks can affect the rider’s pedaling efficiency and comfort. The standard crank length for road bikes is usually between 170mm and 175mm. On the other hand, track bikes and fixed gear bicycles generally have shorter cranks, ranging from 165mm to 170mm. Shorter cranks can help reduce the risk of pedal strikes when cornering at high speeds.

Chainring and Chainline

In addition to the cranks, fixed gear bikes also require a specific chainring and chainline setup. The chainring, which is attached to the cranks, needs to be compatible with the chain and provide the desired gear ratio. The chainline, on the other hand, refers to the alignment of the chain with the rear cog. Proper chainring and chainline alignment ensures smooth and efficient pedaling, reducing unnecessary friction and wear.

In conclusion, the cranks on a fixed gear bicycle, such as a fixie or track bike, are a crucial part of the drivetrain system. They need to be strong, lightweight, and properly aligned with the chainring and chainline to ensure optimal performance and a smooth riding experience.


The chain is an essential component of a fixed gear bicycle, also known as a fixie. It is responsible for transferring power from the rider’s pedals to the rear wheel, allowing the bike to move. The chain connects the front chainring to the rear cog, which is mounted directly on the rear wheel.

Fixed gear bikes typically use a single-speed drivetrain, which means that there is only one gear ratio available. This simplicity is part of the appeal of fixies, as it eliminates the need for derailleurs, shifters, and multiple gears. The chain on a fixie is designed to be tensioned and kept tight to prevent it from derailing or skipping under hard pedaling.

In addition to their use on fixed gear bicycles, chains are also found on track bikes and other single-speed bikes. These bikes have similar drivetrain setups to fixies, with a chain connecting the front chainring to a rear cog. However, the gear ratios on track bikes are often higher than on fixies, as they are designed for racing on a velodrome.

The chain on a fixed gear or track bike is typically a standard bicycle chain, consisting of a series of inner and outer plates connected by rivets. It is important to regularly clean and lubricate the chain to ensure smooth and efficient operation. A worn or stretched chain should be replaced to prevent damage to other drivetrain components.

Component Description
Chain Connects the front chainring to the rear cog
Single-speed Drivetrain with only one gear ratio
Fixie Fixed gear bike
Track Track bike
Velo Bike or bicycle


One of the most important components of a fixed gear bike, or fixie, is the saddle. The saddle is the part of the bike where the rider sits, and it plays a crucial role in ensuring comfort and stability during a ride.

The design of a fixie saddle is typically minimalistic and lightweight, prioritizing performance over plushness. It is generally narrower and has less padding compared to saddles on other types of bikes. This design choice is made to allow riders to pedal more efficiently and have greater control over the bike.

There are various styles of saddles available for fixies, including those designed for velo or track racing. These types of saddles are often sleek and aerodynamic to maximize speed and minimize wind resistance. They are typically made from high-quality materials, such as carbon fiber or leather, to ensure durability and comfort.

When choosing a saddle for your fixie, it is essential to consider your riding style and preferences. Some riders prefer a flatter saddle, which allows for more flexibility in positioning, while others prefer a saddle with a slight curve to provide additional support. Additionally, the width and shape of the saddle should match your body anatomy to prevent discomfort and potential injuries.

Proper adjustment of the saddle is also crucial for optimal riding experience. The saddle height should be adjusted to allow for a slight bend in the knee when the pedal is at its lowest position. This position helps in generating power and reducing strain on the knees. The saddle tilt can also affect comfort and performance, so it should be adjusted to suit your riding style.

Overall, finding the right saddle for your fixie is a personal choice that depends on your riding preferences and body anatomy. It is recommended to try out different saddles and seek expert advice if needed to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable riding experience.


When it comes to choosing pedals for your fixed gear bicycle, you have several options to consider. The right pedals can greatly enhance your riding experience and improve your performance on the bike.

One of the most popular pedal options for fixie riders is the platform pedal. These simple and durable pedals provide a large surface area for your feet, allowing for comfortable and stable pedaling. Platform pedals are a great choice for riders who value simplicity and ease of use.

If you’re looking for a more efficient and lightweight option, clipless pedals might be the right choice for you. These pedals require special cycling shoes with cleats that attach to the pedals. This system allows for a more efficient transfer of power from your legs to the bike, resulting in improved speed and performance.

An alternative to clipless pedals is toe cages and straps, also known as toe clips. These pedal attachments allow you to secure your feet to the pedals, providing some of the benefits of clipless pedals without the need for special shoes. Toe cages and straps are a popular choice among fixed gear riders who want the option to use different types of shoes while still enjoying the added security.

Whichever pedal option you choose, it’s important to consider your riding style and preferences. Experimenting with different pedal types can help you find the perfect fit for your fixed gear bicycle. Remember to also check the compatibility of the pedals with your bike’s crankset and bottom bracket.

Pedal Type Pros Cons
Platform Pedals Simple and easy to use
Durable and reliable
Compatible with any type of shoe
Less efficient power transfer
No foot retention
Clipless Pedals Efficient power transfer
Improved performance
More secure foot retention
Requires special cycling shoes
Learning curve to use clipless system
Higher cost
Toe Cages and Straps Secure foot retention
Compatible with most shoes
Cost-effective option
Not as efficient as clipless pedals
Slightly more difficult to adjust foot position

Ultimately, the choice of pedals for your fixie or single-speed bike comes down to personal preference. Consider your riding style, comfort, and the type of terrain you’ll be riding on when making your decision. And don’t be afraid to try out different pedal types to find the perfect fit for your fixie velo!


Gearing is an essential aspect of a fixed gear bicycle, also known as a fixie or velo. Unlike a traditional bicycle, which typically has multiple gears to choose from, a fixed gear bicycle only has a single gear.

The gear on a fixed gear bicycle is fixed directly to the rear wheel, meaning that when the wheels are turning, the pedals are also turning. This direct connection between the gear and the pedals gives the rider a unique riding experience and a greater sense of control.

The gear ratio of a fixed gear bicycle can vary depending on the preferences of the rider. Some riders prefer a higher gear ratio for greater speed, while others prefer a lower gear ratio for better control and maneuverability.

Track bikes, which are designed for racing on a velodrome, usually have a higher gear ratio to maximize speed on the smooth, banked track. On the other hand, street fixed gear bicycles often have a lower gear ratio to make it easier to navigate through traffic and handle tight turns.

When choosing the right gear ratio for your fixed gear bicycle, it’s important to consider your riding style and the terrain you’ll be riding on. A higher gear ratio will require more strength and power to pedal, while a lower gear ratio will make it easier to pedal but may limit your top speed.

Overall, the single-speed, fixed gear nature of a fixie or velo provides a simple and streamlined riding experience that many riders find enjoyable and rewarding. Whether you’re using your fixed gear bicycle for commuting, track racing, or recreational riding, the gear ratio you choose will play a crucial role in your riding experience.

How to ride a fixie

Riding a fixie, or a fixed-gear bicycle, can be an exhilarating experience. With its single-speed and lack of freewheel, a fixie offers a unique and direct connection between the rider and the road. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cyclist, here are some essential tips on how to ride a fixie.

1. Familiarize yourself with the bike

Before you start riding your fixie, it’s important to get comfortable with its features. Make sure you understand how the single gear system works, how to brake using the pedals, and how to control the bike without the assistance of a freewheel.

2. Start on a flat terrain

If you’re new to riding a fixie, it’s best to start on a flat terrain with little to no traffic. This will allow you to get used to the bike’s handling and responsiveness without the added challenge of hills or obstacles.

3. Pedal continuously

Unlike a single-speed or geared bike, a fixie requires constant pedaling to keep the bike moving. This not only helps maintain control, but it also allows you to brake by resisting the motion of the pedals. Practice pedaling smoothly and consistently to maximize efficiency and control.

4. Learn to skid-stop

One of the unique features of riding a fixie is the ability to skid-stop. This involves locking up the rear wheel by resisting the rotation of the pedals, causing the bike to skid to a stop. It’s a useful skill to learn, especially when navigating through tight spaces or in emergency situations.

5. Practice cornering

Cornering on a fixie requires a different technique compared to other bikes. Since the pedals are directly connected to the wheel, leaning too much can increase the risk of striking the ground with the pedal. Practice leaning your body while keeping the pedals level to maintain balance and control.

6. Gradually tackle hills

Riding up hills on a fixie can be challenging, especially if you’re used to a bike with multiple gears. Start by tackling smaller inclines and gradually increase the difficulty. It’s important to maintain a consistent pedaling rhythm and to use your body weight to your advantage.

Remember, riding a fixie requires practice and patience. Take your time to get used to the bike’s unique characteristics, and always prioritize safety by wearing a helmet and following traffic rules. Enjoy the thrill of riding a fixed-gear bicycle, or fixie, and embrace the simplicity and connection it offers with the road.

Mounting and dismounting

Mounting and dismounting a fixed gear bike is a fundamental skill that every rider should master. Whether you’re a seasoned fixie rider or a newcomer to the fixed gear world, knowing how to properly mount and dismount your bike is essential for a safe and enjoyable ride.


When mounting a fixed gear bike, it’s important to ensure that the bike is in a fixed gear. This means that the rear wheel is fixed to the frame and there is no freewheel mechanism. Before mounting, check that your bike is in a fixed gear position.

To mount the bike, follow these steps:

  1. Stand on the non-drive side of the bike, with one foot on the ground.
  2. Hold the handlebars with one hand and the top tube with the other.
  3. Lean the bike towards you and swing your leg over the saddle, landing on the other side of the bike.
  4. Bring your leg over the top tube and position it on the pedal.
  5. Push off with your other foot and start pedaling.

Remember to start pedaling smoothly and maintain a balanced position on the bike. Practice mounting until you feel comfortable and confident.


Dismounting a fixed gear bike is similar to mounting, but in reverse. To dismount your bike, follow these steps:

  1. Slow down your bike by gradually applying the brakes.
  2. Stand on the non-drive side of the bike, keeping one foot on the pedal.
  3. Bring your other foot off the pedal and swing it over the top tube, landing on the other side of the bike.
  4. Hold the handlebars and the top tube as you lean the bike towards you.
  5. Put your foot on the ground and come to a complete stop.

Remember to dismount smoothly and safely. Practice dismounting until it becomes second nature.

By mastering the skill of mounting and dismounting your fixed gear bike, you’ll be able to confidently ride at single speed or fixie events, enjoy the track, and navigate city streets with ease. Happy riding!

Starting and stopping

When it comes to starting and stopping on a fixed gear bicycle, there are some important things to keep in mind. Since fixed gear bikes, also known as fixies, do not have a freewheel mechanism, it is crucial to understand how to effectively and safely start and stop.


Starting on a fixed gear bike requires a different technique compared to a regular bicycle. Unlike a bike with multiple gears, a fixie does not have a quick and easy way to shift into a lower gear for an easier start. Instead, you need to rely on your leg power and track standing skills.

To start, position one foot on the ground while the other foot is clipped into the pedals. Apply gentle pressure to the pedal that is closest to the ground and use your leg power to push yourself forward. As you gain momentum, bring your other foot up and clip it into the pedal. Make sure to maintain balance and control as you start pedaling.


Stopping on a fixed gear bike requires a different approach as well. Since a fixie does not have a freewheel mechanism, you cannot simply coast to a stop like you would on a regular bike. Instead, you need to use your leg power to slow down and ultimately come to a complete stop.

To stop on a fixed gear bike, you can either use the two main techniques: backpedaling or skidding. Backpedaling involves slowing down and stopping by using reverse leg pressure on the pedals. Skidding, on the other hand, involves using the resistance between the tire and the road to slide and stop the bike. Both techniques require practice and skill to master.

When using the backpedaling technique, it’s important to gradually reduce your pedaling speed by applying more resistance with your legs. Controlling the pressure and timing is key to stopping smoothly and safely.

If you prefer skidding, you need to shift your body weight forward onto the front wheel and lock your legs. This causes the rear wheel to lose traction and skid to a stop. Skidding can put more strain on your tires and is typically used in emergencies or for advanced riders.

Overall, starting and stopping on a fixed gear bike requires practice, control, and an understanding of the unique characteristics of these bicycles. With time and experience, you will become more comfortable and proficient in effectively starting and stopping your fixed gear or single-speed velo.


Cornering is an important skill to master when riding a velo (also known as a track bike, fixie, or fixed gear bicycle). Whether you are riding at high speeds on the velodrome or cruising around the city streets, understanding how to corner properly can improve your speed and control.

Body Position

When cornering on a fixie or single-speed bike, it is crucial to maintain a balanced and stable body position. Keep your upper body relaxed and your arms slightly bent. Lean your body into the turn while keeping your weight centered over the bike.


Before entering a corner, it is important to adjust your speed by either pedaling slower or applying the brakes. Remember that fixed gear bikes have no freewheel, so you need to anticipate the speed adjustment earlier than you would on a traditional bicycle.

Do not brake abruptly while turning, as this may cause your bike to skid or lose traction. Instead, brake gently and evenly throughout the turn to maintain control.

Line Selection

Choosing the right line is crucial for maintaining speed and control through a corner. Aim for the apex of the turn, which is the point where the inside of the curve meets the tangent line. This allows you to take a wider and smoother turn.

Avoid cutting corners or taking a too-tight line, as this can lead to loss of traction and a potential crash. Practice different line selections to find the most efficient and safe approach to each corner.

Remember that cornering on a fixie or single-speed bike requires more skill and attention compared to a traditional road bike. With practice and experience, you can improve your cornering abilities and enhance your overall riding experience.


Skidding is a common technique used by fixed gear cyclists to quickly slow down or come to a stop. It involves deliberately locking up the rear wheel of the bike and making it slide across the surface of the road or track. Skidding is easier to perform on a fixed gear or single-speed bike compared to other types of bicycles because the pedals are directly connected to the rear wheel.

Skidding can be used as a powerful braking method when riding at high speeds. By locking up the rear wheel, the friction between the tire and the road creates resistance and helps slow down the bike. This can be particularly useful in emergency situations or when riding in heavy traffic.

When skidding, it’s important to have good control over your bike. Start by applying pressure to the pedals in the opposite direction of your forward motion, causing the rear wheel to lock up. As the wheel slides, use your body weight and steering to maintain balance and direction. It’s also essential to keep a firm grip on the handlebars and engage your core muscles to keep your body stable.

Skidding can be a fun and challenging skill to master, but it’s important to practice in a safe environment, such as an empty parking lot or an open track. Remember to always wear protective gear, including a helmet and knee pads, to prevent injuries.

Skidding is not recommended for everyday braking on the streets, as it can wear out the tire quickly and put unnecessary strain on the bike. Instead, it’s best to use the front and rear brakes for regular braking. However, learning how to skid can be a valuable technique to have in your biking skill set and can add an extra level of control to your fixed gear or single-speed velo.

Important: Skidding should only be done by experienced riders who are confident in their abilities. It’s crucial to understand the potential risks and dangers associated with skidding and to always ride responsibly and within your limits.

Advanced techniques

Once you have mastered the basic skills of riding a fixie bike, you may want to explore some advanced techniques to enhance your experience and skills on your fixed gear bicycle. Here are a few techniques that can take your fixie riding to the next level:

1. Skid Stops:

Skid stops are a popular technique used by fixie riders to slow down or stop their bikes without using brakes. This technique involves locking the rear wheel by applying backward pressure on the pedals while simultaneously lifting the rear wheel off the ground. Skid stops require practice and can be hard on tires, so it is recommended to use skid stops sparingly and be cautious of the road conditions.

2. Track Stands:

A track stand is a technique that allows you to balance your bike in a stationary position without putting your feet on the ground. This technique is commonly used at traffic lights or when you need to pause momentarily. To perform a track stand, you need to shift your weight back and forth, keeping your cranks level and using small adjustments of the front wheel to maintain balance. Track stands require practice and good bike handling skills.

3. Riding No-Hands:

Once you feel confident in your bike handling skills, you can try riding your fixie bike without using your hands. Riding no-hands is a fun and challenging technique that requires balance and stability. To ride no-hands, start by riding at a comfortable speed, then gradually lift your hands off the handlebars while maintaining your balance. Remember to keep your body relaxed and focused on maintaining your balance.

These advanced techniques can add excitement and variety to your fixie riding experience. However, it is essential to practice these techniques in a safe and controlled environment. Always wear protective gear and be aware of your surroundings while practicing these techniques on your fixed gear bicycle.


Proper maintenance is key to ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your fixed gear bicycle. With its simple design and lack of complex components, a fixed gear bike requires less maintenance compared to other types of bicycles. However, regular upkeep is still necessary to keep your bike running smoothly and safely.


Regularly cleaning your fixed gear bike is essential to remove dirt, grime, and other debris that can affect the performance and durability of your bike. Start by using a gentle detergent and a soft brush or sponge to clean the frame, fork, and wheels. Ensure that you reach all the nooks and crannies, including the chain and gears. Rinse off the detergent with clean water and dry your bike thoroughly with a clean cloth.

Chain Maintenance

The chain is a critical component of a fixed gear bike, as it transfers power from the pedals to the rear wheel. Regularly inspect your chain for any signs of wear, such as rust, stretched links, or tight spots. Clean and lubricate the chain regularly to prevent rust and ensure smooth operation. Use a bicycle-specific chain lubricant, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Tire Care

Check your tires regularly for any signs of wear or damage. Inspect the tread depth and sidewalls for any cuts, bulges, or punctures. Maintain the proper tire pressure, which is typically indicated on the sidewall. Underinflated tires can affect your bike’s performance and make it more prone to flats.


If your fixed gear bike is equipped with brakes, make sure they are properly adjusted and functioning correctly. Check the brake pads regularly for wear and replace them if necessary. Keep an eye on the brake cables and housing for any signs of fraying or corrosion. Adjust the brake tension as needed to ensure responsive and reliable stopping power.

Regular Inspections

In addition to regular cleaning and maintenance, it is important to conduct regular inspections of your fixed gear bike. Pay attention to the frame, fork, and other components for any signs of cracks, dents, or loose fittings. Check the wheels for true and properly tensioned spokes. Inspect the pedals and crankset for any signs of looseness or wear. Regularly tighten all bolts and nuts to ensure everything is secure.

By following these maintenance tips, you can keep your fixed gear bike in optimal condition for many miles of enjoyable riding. Remember to always prioritize safety and consult a professional bike mechanic if you are unsure about any maintenance tasks.


Keeping your fixie velo clean is essential for its maintenance and performance. Here are some tips to speed up the cleaning process of your single-speed bike:

  • Start by removing any dirt and debris from the frame, wheels, and drivetrain using a brush or soft cloth.
  • Use a mild detergent mixed with water to clean the frame and components. Avoid using harsh chemicals that can damage the paint or corrode metal parts.
  • Rinse the bike thoroughly with clean water to remove all traces of detergent.
  • Dry the bike with a towel or let it air dry. Pay special attention to the drivetrain, ensuring it is completely dry to prevent rust.
  • After the bike is dry, apply a bicycle-specific lubricant to the chain, derailleur, and other moving parts to ensure smooth operation.
  • Check the brake pads for any signs of wear and replace them if necessary.
  • Inspect the tires for any cuts or punctures and replace them if needed.
  • Finally, give the bike a quick test ride to make sure everything is functioning properly.

Regular cleaning of your fixed gear track bike will not only keep it looking good but also prolong its lifespan and enhance your overall riding experience.

Tightening and Lubricating

Proper maintenance of your fixed gear bike is essential to ensure its optimal performance. One important aspect of maintenance is tightening and lubricating various components of the bicycle.


Regularly checking and tightening the nuts and bolts on your fixie is important, as the high speeds and intensity of track riding can cause them to gradually loosen over time. Be sure to inspect components such as the stem, handlebars, seatpost, and pedals to ensure they are securely fastened.

Use the appropriate size wrench or Allen key to tighten any loose bolts, but be careful not to overtighten, as this can lead to damage. If you are unsure about the correct torque specifications, consult your fixie’s manufacturer or a professional bike mechanic.


Regularly lubricating your fixed gear bike’s chain, cog, and bearings will help reduce friction and ensure smooth and efficient riding. Before applying lubricant, it’s important to clean these components to remove any dirt, debris, or old grease.

Use a degreaser and a stiff brush to clean the chain, cog, and bearings thoroughly. Once cleaned, apply a small amount of high-quality bicycle lubricant to the chain, ensuring it is evenly distributed. It’s important not to over-lubricate, as excess lubricant can attract dirt and grime.

Additionally, regularly inspect and lubricate other moving parts of your fixie, such as the brake pivots and pedals, as this will help maintain their smooth operation.

By regularly tightening and lubricating your fixed gear bicycle, you can ensure its longevity, enhance its performance, and enjoy a smooth and speedy ride on your single-speed track velo.

Checking for wear and tear

If you own a fixie velo, it’s important to regularly check for wear and tear on your gear. Since fixed gear bikes have a single-speed drivetrain and no freewheel, they are subject to more stress and can experience faster wear than other types of bikes.

Inspecting your chain

One of the key components to check is your chain. Over time, the chain can stretch and wear out. To check for wear, position your bike so that you can freely spin the pedals backward. Use a ruler or a special chain wear indicator tool to measure the chain’s stretch. If the measurement exceeds the recommended limit, it’s time to replace the chain.

Pro tip: Regularly cleaning and lubricating your chain can help prolong its lifespan and reduce wear.

Examining your brake system

Next, you should examine your brake system. Since fixed gear bikes rely on the resistance of the fixed rear cog to slow down, it’s crucial to have a properly functioning brake system in case of emergencies or steep descents. Check that your brake pads have enough thickness and are properly aligned with the rim. Make sure your brake levers are engaging and disengaging smoothly. If any issues are detected, it’s essential to address them promptly.

Pro tip: Consider upgrading your brake pads to a higher quality set that offers better stopping power.

In addition to the chain and brake system, you should also check the condition of your tires, rims, and bearings. Inspect your tires for any signs of sidewall damage or excessive wear. Check your rims for dents or cracks that could compromise the integrity of the wheel. Finally, test the smoothness of your wheel bearings by spinning the wheels and feeling for any roughness or play.

Pro tip: Regular maintenance and cleaning can help prevent premature wear and tear on your fixie velo.

By regularly checking for wear and tear on your fixie bike, you can ensure a safer and more enjoyable riding experience. Stay on top of maintenance and address any issues promptly to keep your fixed gear bike in top condition for years to come.

Replacing parts

When it comes to maintaining a fixed gear bike, replacing parts is an essential task to ensure its optimal performance. Whether you ride your bike on the street, track, or as a single-speed commuter, certain components will inevitably wear out and may need to be replaced.

Chain: The chain is one of the most frequently replaced parts on a fixed gear bicycle. Over time, the chain may stretch or become worn, affecting the bike’s performance and increasing the risk of it slipping off the gears. Regularly inspecting and replacing the chain is crucial for a smooth and efficient ride.

Gears: Fixed gear bicycles commonly have a single gear, but some riders may choose to install a different ratio for different riding conditions. Changing the gear ratio can significantly impact the bike’s speed and pedal resistance. Replacing gears involves changing the rear cog or the front chainring to achieve the desired ratio.

Brakes: While some fixed gear cyclists prefer to ride brakeless, others opt for front and/or rear brakes for safety reasons. If you choose to ride with brakes, they will eventually wear out and require replacement. Brake pads, cables, and levers are all components that may need to be replaced over time.

Tires: The tires on a fixed gear bike endure constant contact with the road surface, making them susceptible to wear and punctures. Regularly inspect the tires for any signs of wear, such as tread thinning, cracks, or cuts. Replacing worn tires is crucial for maintaining good traction and preventing flats.

Saddle and handlebars: The saddle and handlebars are personal components that can greatly impact your comfort while riding. If you find that the saddle is uncomfortable or the handlebars do not offer the desired grip, consider replacing them with more suitable options. Many cyclists choose to personalize these components according to their preferences.

Pedals: Pedals are essential for transferring power from your legs to the bike’s drivetrain. If your pedals become loose or damaged, they may need to be replaced. Whether you prefer flat pedals or clipless pedals, regularly checking and maintaining them will ensure a secure and efficient connection between your feet and the bike.

Bottom bracket and headset: The bottom bracket and headset are crucial parts of a fixed gear bicycle that can wear out over time. They both enable smooth rotation and movement, so any signs of looseness, grinding, or stiffness may indicate a need for replacement. Regularly cleaning and maintaining these parts will extend their lifespan.

In conclusion, as a fixed gear cyclist, it’s important to regularly inspect and replace parts to maintain the safety and efficiency of your bike. Keeping an eye on components such as the chain, gears, brakes, tires, saddle, handlebars, pedals, bottom bracket, and headset will ensure a smooth and enjoyable ride on your beloved fixie velo.

Dealing with common issues

As a single gear speed bicycle, a fixed gear bike or fixie may encounter certain common issues. Fortunately, most of these issues can be easily resolved with proper maintenance and attention. Here are some common problems that you may encounter with your fixie:

  • Chain tension: One of the most common issues with a fixie is improper chain tension. If the chain is too loose, it can slip off the chainring or the rear cog. To fix this problem, you can adjust the chain tension by tightening or loosening the rear wheel nuts.
  • Skipping chain: If you experience a skipping chain while pedaling, it usually means that your chain is worn out or needs cleaning and lubrication. Check the condition of your chain and replace it if necessary. Regular cleaning and lubrication of the chain will also help prevent this issue.
  • Brake adjustment: Many fixies are equipped with a single front brake or no brakes at all. If you have a brake, it is important to regularly check its adjustment and brake pad wear. Improper brake adjustment can lead to reduced stopping power and unsafe riding conditions.
  • Wheel alignment: Due to the absence of derailleur gears, proper wheel alignment is crucial for a fixie. Misaligned wheels can cause uneven chain tension and may lead to issues with chain skipping or dropping. Regularly check the wheel alignment and adjust if necessary.
  • Pedal and crank issues: Over time, the pedals and cranks on a fixie may become loose or develop noise. Regularly check and tighten the pedals and cranks to ensure they are secure. If you notice any strange noises or wobbling, it may be a sign of worn-out bearings or other mechanical issues.
  • Saddle adjustment: Comfortable saddle position is essential for an enjoyable bike ride. Adjust the saddle height and angle according to your preference to avoid discomfort and potential injuries.

By keeping an eye out for these common issues and addressing them promptly, you can ensure that your fixie bike remains in optimal condition, providing you with a smooth and reliable ride.

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