Some time ago I was riding downhill on a fixie and jumped off a curb. Well, I normally do drops with the cranks horizontal so that's what I did this time as well. I managed to stay on the bike but damn, you really can't let your guard down with them!
never rode one but am interested to try. here in L.A. there are a ton of morons riding them through traffic like it's a playground, with no brake or helmet of course. Its so Hip. Problem i see is that many of them aren't very good on a bike
I used to ride a fixed gear bike with a front brake. A car cut me off to go into a parking space and I hit the front brake and stopped pedaling as I rolled over the curb onto the sidewalk. That resulted in the back wheel popping several feet off the ground as I was heading straight for a telephone pole. I rode on the front tire and just managed to stop before hitting the pole. I probably could have controlled a regular bike much better than that.
If you are really good at skidding, you can slow down in about twice the distance you could using a normal bike with brakes. Even with a front brake, you most likely won't be able to stop as quickly because you'll still have to lock up the back wheel. All that skidding wears out rear tires really fast. The money you save in brake pads is meaningless compared to the number of tires you will destroy.
Bottom line - fixed gear bikes are interesting and maybe even fun but kind of silly and definitely more dangerous. I have a single speed road bike with front and rear brakes and a flip flop hub and I never bother to use the fixed side because coasting down hills is one of the best things about riding a bike.
Fixed gear commuter here, and on a track bike of all things!! It won't see a velodrome to be honest, as that is not why I got it. I wear a helmet, and run a front brake because I am not insane. The bike is a hell of a lot of fun to ride on the street. I don't ride like an idiot and I stop at lights/stop signs.
You have to relearn how to ride a bike when you make the transition. You don't get to cheat on the hills. You don't get to take that break from pedaling on a slight decline. You don't get to prepare yourself by placing the pedals at 3/9 to pop a curb.
'13 FELT TK3 / '09 Jamis Sonik
The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.
2014 miles - 2746/2500
They'll improve your cadence with a low gear if you mash a lot, and keep you spinning when you would be slacking. It'll teach you to post up and pedal over rough stuff instead of counting on your freehub to save you.
watch "to live and ride in L.A." streaming on netflix. you'll see how some of the fixie guys ride around here. Some of them are good cyclists but running red lights and narrowly escaping being slammed by a motor vehicle is just idiotic
I have a fixie made with an old aluminum frame from the 90s. This thing looks like complete crap but it's fun to ride. It's pretty simple and makes you peddle all the time, so on climbs your arse and legs are gonna be hurtin. It's just the sheer simplicity of the bike that makes it fun to me.
Caution: Riding a fixie for any length of time can cause a hazardous change in ones personality.
Riding (or attempting to ride) a fixie off road may cause a hazardous change in ones body. In believe there are people who actually do this, not hipsters, but equally smug retrogrouches. Can think of few things more nuts.
Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.
I've gotta say that having a fixie in the stable (although it's not a typical hipster fixie) has improved my off road riding. In twisty spots where I used to tap the brakes, I'm now much more likely to just let the bike do its thing. It was surprising, but a nice benefit.
I like a nice fixed gear bicycle, but I absolutely despise the average mindless zombie trend follower that comprises most of the fixed gear community.
It's certainly dying down, though. Soon, they'll all be on to the next trend, with a brand new costume to go along with it, and their ugly trend accessories will be overflowing the craigslist bicycle classifieds.