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Top Misconceptions About Fixies

Among the biking community, there's a little bit of debate of whether fixies are worth getting or geared bicycles are better. On one hand, fixed-gear bicycles are seen as legit and old-school bikes perfect for racing seeing as the speed depends on how fast the rider can kick the pedals. On the other, they are seen as outdated and dangerous outside of the race track; that the only people using them are those with the love for old things, Starbucks coffee, Converse shoes, and checkered pants.

Fixed-gear bikes are sought after for its simplicity. As it is basically a bike that's stripped down to the core parts, it is lighter and very easy to maintain. Some would say that it is more practical, but there are areas where a fixed-gear bike can be considered impractical. If you live in an area where there are a lot of hills, a fixie can be very difficult to use.

At any rate, the fixed-gear bike has its pedals are linked to the wheel so the former cannot move without the latter doing the same. This creates a lot of misconceptions about the fixie.

The first is that braking is next to impossible. This is not true. As you pedal rapidly to pick up speed with a fixed-gear bike, braking is done mainly by stopping or slowing down the pedal rotation, which also stops or slows down the rear wheels. Also, while some fixed-gear bikes are brakeless, most of them come with front-wheel brakes. Applying the frontal brakes and controlling the pedals simultaneously can be as effective as braking with a geared bike. It is also worth noting that brakeless bikes are illegal in some areas.

Another myth of fixies is that it is difficult to control the speed due to the lack of a gear system. It is quite the opposite and it's actually even simpler with fixed-gear bikes. The only thing that complicates this is the gear ratio preset. If it is set quite highly, exerting higher pressure is needed to turn the wheels. Otherwise, it's a simple rule. The more you pedal, the faster you go. If you slow down with the pedals, the bike slows down as well.

From that misconception comes another: that the fixie is hard to get used to. Learning how to ride a fixed-gear bike is perhaps only as difficult as learning to ride a bike. Once you get to cruising speed without wheel balancers, you're good to go.

The last myth is that riding a geared bike is less dangerous than riding a fixie. Biking, regardless of the type of bike you have, is always dangerous. It is every bit as dangerous as driving vehicles. Yes, fixed-gear bikes are dangerous especially if they are brakeless. But it isn't fair to say that a geared bike is less dangerous than the fixie. One may argue that it is all up to the biker. Still, accidents happen. Careless drivers who neglect safety measures happen.

In the end, the choice of choosing between a fixed-gear or a standard geared bike all comes down to personal preference the same way drivers choose automatic or stick shift. It is best to debunk some of the most common misconceptions about the fixed-gear bikes so as to help others to create proper decisions and not ones influenced by hearsays.

About the Author:

Lance Rand is an amateur biker with an eye on fixed gear and Italian-made bikes that can sometimes be seen on the streets of Sydney. His passion got him into a freelancing gig writing blogs for Chappelli – Australia's premier online retailer of the fixie.

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