Read comments of any blog and you’ll see people complaining about hipsters and douchebags riding retro styled fixed gear pushbikes with baskets at the front with their light pastel coloured finishes. These bearded, often bespectacled paisley wearing lads have quite alienated people and given a false impression that the fixie is the domain of this very specific type of individual.
Some might say the renaissance of the fixed gear/ single speed bike is over, but at The Stylish Male, we don’t think so.
What a lot of people don’t realise is the benefits that the fixed gear bike can provide to the cyclist and weekend athlete alike. From riding a geared road bike, the simplicity and weight was something that really appealed to me. Where I live, there is only so many roads I can ride before getting bored of the same old tracks, so I like to put the bike in the car and drive somewhere else. Its so much easier to do this with my fixed gear, I can put it in my car one handed with no worries at all.
There is no question that I’ve become a more efficient and stronger rider since I’ve been riding fixed gear, no doubt at all. Because you are riding a bike which is less efficient up hills, in the sense that you can’t keep optimum cadence because you don’t have gears, the only alternative is to muscle your way up hills. At first this is really hard. But what did you do when you were a kid riding your BMX? Of course you just rode up it! whatever it took you just kept riding, even if you had to tack left and right like a boat, you did what you had to do to get up.
On Strava I can see that since I’ve been riding fixed, my climbing has definitely improved when I get back to my geared bike.
There is a real romance about riding a fixed gear or single speed bike. You can pretty much choose any colour or design you like and get the bike you want without too much pain. You can build whatever you want into the bike so when you get on it, its exactly what you want. I love this about my Wabi bike. I put a lot of thought and effort into it, and now I ride it 80% of the time, far more than I ride my geared bike because I just love it.
There is a connectedness to the road when you ride fixed. You get great feedback off the rear wheel because you are always pedalling. My bike is less than 8kg so its really light and nimble. You can notice the difference as soon as you get on it. Fixed gear bikes you can, like any bike, get in any material, such as Steel, Aluminium, Titanium or Carbon. Most common would be Steel or Alu. Personally the light 725 steel on the Wabi is remarkable. It must be felt to be believed.
Theres no question in my mind that Fixies are still relevant. I love mine and when I go for rides, unless its in really hilly terrain with mates, I’ll reach for my Fixed gear every single time. Its just a romantic and relaxed ride that is difficult to put into words unless you just hop on one and start peddling.