Fixed-Gear Bike Riding Tips
A single-speed bike with a fixed drive train is what's called a fixed-gear bicycle, or a fixie, in short. Its wheels are set in motion only as you move its pedals. It's not capable of cycling, which makes it very much different from your traditional free-wheel bikes.
While it is not a popular choice for many bikers, it appeals mostly to those who'd like a bit more challenge in their training. It pushes your legs to develop more strength and pedaling technique. Since you need to pedal every time, no matter what the road or environmental condition is, you only get better in your overall riding ability. But before you hop on one of these vehicles, you should observe some safety and riding suggestions.
First of all, make sure you wear the proper clothing – that is, a pair of shorts or tight pants. Injuries can be caused by loose pant legs becoming in the chain of a fixed-gear bike. You should also use toe clips to secure your feet to the pedals. This will help you avoid hitting your legs on pedals that are continuously turning with the wheels, which normally happens when going downhill.
Horizontal dropouts on a bike frame prevent your wheels from coming off your bike in case of an incidental skid. Make sure you have them in your bike frame. These grooves let you adjust your chain tension in a proper manner.
In addition, it's best to have brakes on your fixie if you'll be using it on the road and not for velodrome racing. Have a front brake installed on your bike so you can safely stop when you need to.
But if you're using a fixed-gear bike with no brakes and you need to stop, all you can do is to lock the rear wheel up. This is done by back pedaling just enough so that the rear wheel will not be able to move. Without removing your feet from the pedals and without moving, balance the pressure you put on both front and back pedals. This will help you have an easy restart when you need to move forward again. You need to learn how to do this if you do not have any brakes.
If you're having a hard time to start moving on again after stopping on this type of bike, you might have to reposition your pedals. This is done by lifting your rear wheel briefly off the ground and moving the pedals to their starting position.
If you've been used to free-wheel bikes, you may be challenged a bit with this one. But it does have its advantages that more and more people who'd like to train are discovering now. Just make sure that you observe safety guidelines for an enjoyable ride.