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What is the purpose for a fixed gear bike?(11 posts)

What is the purpose for a fixed gear bike?tmotz
Jan 16, 2003 8:35 AM
I know they're used for track racing.
No brakes?
Plus they don't coast without pedaling?
Depends, for some it's the ultimate simplicityMike-Wisc
Jan 16, 2003 8:45 AM
For others it's the spin development, for others it can be any number of things. For the philosophy I suggest people go to .
Jan 16, 2003 8:49 AM
re: What is the purpose for a fixed gear bike?Breakfast
Jan 16, 2003 8:46 AM
First of all, we're bike nuts so it's an excuse to build another bike.

Second, it's supposed to provide us a means of winter or off-season training and a different type of bike will hopefully be a motivating factor in training.

Lastly, it forces one to spin higher cadences than one would normally do and provide pedal feedback as one learns how to keep pressure against the pedals and to feel or force decelerating rpms'.
A thousand explanantions; just try it. (nm)onespeed
Jan 16, 2003 9:29 AM
easy clean, hard breakdown, terrain more fun, get strong nmishmael
Jan 16, 2003 9:40 AM
FG is not the same thing as a track bikeLC
Jan 16, 2003 10:16 AM
Fixed gear is not really the same bike as a track bike. You need brakes if your ride in the hills or traffic and track bikes never have brakes. Most people use a lower BB and more fork rake on a long ride for comfort and stability. The handlebars are different. The gearing is way different if you ride in the hills. Instead of the 48 or 50x13 on the track, most use something like 39x16 or 17. Track bikes are super aero, light weight, very stiff, and are designed to be ridden for short time as fast as you can. Most fixed gears you see on the road are some $10 old 10 speed frame from a garage sale and made from left over parts in the old parts bin.

What is the purpose of any bike? Exercise! You certainly get more exercise when your stuck in one gear and can not coast, and you get stronger, and a better ability to spin because of it
Yeah, but....Mike-Wisc
Jan 16, 2003 10:38 AM
... a lot of roadies use track bikes specifically for the reasons you mentioned. Higher bottom bracket helps avoid pedal plants in corners, relatively lower gearing for off/early season conditioning, stiffer and tighter to build or condition reflexes. Plus many track frames have front forks with brake eyelet holes to add a front brake for street use. Some even setup their track bikes with clinchers and flip-flops so they can flip the rear wheel over to the freewheel side if they need to coast some late or early in a ride.

Just one of those things that is very individual. Define the needs and desires, then find or build the bike to suit.
Widens your power bandTig
Jan 16, 2003 10:47 AM
With a 9 or 10 speed cassette you have plenty of ratios to choose from, which will keep you in your cadence "sweet spot". Outside of your comfort zone of cadence, you will most likely suffer and get dropped, either from spinning too high or grinding too low. We end up training our bodies to have a very limited power band. Would you like a car that is only strong only between say, 2000 and 2900 RPM's?

OK, now put yourself on a fixed gear or even a freewheel single speed in a ratio that alows you to still climb yet high enough to hang on in a fast group ride. Well, you won't be doing that at first, but just a few weeks of riding and you'd see some remarkable progress.

I use a 39 X 15 set of gears. My climbs here are short, so I keep my cadence where I like (around 100) and blast up climbs. This has improved my climbing strength tremendously! Single speed riders report blowing away geared riders up hills on a regular basis. Since there isn't any "bail out" gear to spin in, we have to make the body adapt. This adaptation is how we extend our power band.

On the other end of the cadence spectrum, staying with a fast group at higher speeds forces you to spin smoothly and efficiently. This can be done solo with a strong tail wind or downhill as well. You learn how to smooth your stroke by applying pressure more evenly throughout the revolution. I've even been able to win a few city limit sign sprints at 160+ RPM's on a fixed gear.

Most of all, it is just plain fun. The simplicity brings us back to the basic fun and pleasure of riding. Nothing to complicate the ride. No need to have the latest, lightest high-dollar parts. Even converting an old once great frame to a now useful single is fun.
For Commuting and Errands (Fixed or Single Speed)zmarke
Jan 16, 2003 12:03 PM
I just put together a single speed for around town errands and commuting. It is winter and I am not in the best shape but I was amazed at the looks I got when I blew past people with lightweight geared bikes the other day when I was on my 27" wheeled, heavy steel, single speed. It was a great feeling!
Fun nmContinental
Jan 16, 2003 1:17 PM