Fixed wheel / single gear bikes

These bikes have been getting a bit of press lately. I was just wondering what people thought of them for training on. The purists seem regard fixed wheels as "real cycling", relying only on the bike and your leg power, not on gearing, to get you where you want to go.

The pro's seem to be:- smoother pedaling technique, become fitter more quickly than on a geared bike as you don't get to rest, easy to maintain/ less complicated machines.

Cons seem to be:- they're a swine to learn to ride,  hill climbing is much harder, and er thats about it.

Anyone got any opinions on fixed wheel bikes? (Oh and Haile, non of your comments like "with your rubbish legs it doesn't matter what you ride you wont get anywhere anyway " thank you imageimage)


  • I've had a fixed wheel for winter for about 5 years now. Its great. Minimal maintenance and cleaning is lots easier.

    Didnt take long to learn to ride it, but I have been to the velodrome a few times and they're fixed wheel bikes there. I'd agree that its a harder ride - purely because you cant freewheel anywhere, but its not that much more.  Mine is usually faster uphill than gears and slower coming down.

    I really look forward to riding it. Get it with mudguards and you're sorted for winter.

  • Thanks Cougie. How long did it take you to get the hang of a fixed wheel? Any idea where I can get hold of a cheap one? With my ability for crashing it's really not worth getting a decent one,   yet.
  • It doesn't take long - about 5 minutes  - occasionally you might forget to pedal and you get a kick but that's it.

    They tend to be overpriced 2nd hand now - I got my first for £50 and the second one given me free - but obviously still cheaper than getting a new one.    Cheapest option is probably an old road bike converted to fixed, alternatively a 2nd hand track bike, or if you are lucky something built as a road fixed. 

  • Oh and you really do need clipless pedals or clips and straps - you can ride fixed with platforms but I wouldn't recommend going at any speed unless your feet are attached to the pedal as if they slip off the cranks become like a threshing machine.
  • yeah - as pops says -  it doesnt take long at all. All you have to remember is - dont freewheel. Easy.

    Yeah deffo need clipless pedals. I've not used toeclips for years now - and not on fixed. I like the two sided time atac pedals - that way you can use MTB shoes for the winter rides - they tend to be a bit warmer than road shoes.

  • Thanks for the advice guys. Time to get looking for a cheap fixed wheel and atac pedals.
  • fixed is easy to ride.  well, at my normal speed of 15mph it is.  perhaps faster is a bit more precarious when you're learning.

    i set my saddle lower while i was getting used to it so that i didn't lock my leg when going around corners.  just repeat to yourself "don't stop pedalling". while you get used to it.

  • oh and the planet-x pompino is a good deal.  you may be able to get it cheap too at say £400 with carbon fork if you chat to them.
  • I used to ride a fixed wheel, took me about 12 months to ride it "competently" and I was glad to have flat pedals because I fell off alot to start with. Used it for commuting to work for a little while but never really got on with it that well.......

    ...... might have been easier if it had had a second wheel and handlebars!

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