Talk:Fixed-gear bicycle

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From single speed bicycle

If you ever look at the bikes that couriers ride around cities you may see that many of them use a single speed road bike that doesn't even have the ability to coast, and often lack one or both brakes! These are also single-speeds, but are more properly called a fixed-gear, or "fixie" by most enthusiasts. If you go down a hill too steep you better make sure you don't get scrambled legs. If you want to slow down you actuallly have to pedal slower. Riders tell me if you time the reverse push you can lock the back tire up at full speed, which might do you some good. Fixies are more strenuous to ride, and their riders like it that way. Road racing cyclists often use a fixie as a training tool to help develop a smooth and fast cadence, or 'spin'.

Netherlands[edit]

The home base of "fixed gear" bicycles must be without a doubt The Netherlands. Bicycles there have never been a form of sports let alone extreme sports but rather just a way of transportation. I love it how they absolutely cannot be bothered with "fixies" and didn't even bother to translate this page to Dutch. Go hipsters ! 81.100.177.219 (talk) 10:33, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

Chain tension[edit]

People keep submitting different mechanisms to adjust chain tension so I tried to organize it a bit. It almost seems like there should be a chain tension article. Would you folks mind if I forked some of this over there? Drewish

I'd suggest that it stay here. While all bikes do have to maintain chain tension, it's really only an interesting issue on fixed-gear bikes. I think a discussion of chain tension would make much more sense in the context of this larger article, than all alone. My suggestion - which I just might implement now - is to give more context to the beginning of the "conversion" section (what is it we're converting, and why?), then make a subsection about chain tension if need be. CDC (talk) 16:31, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I agree that chain tensioning should stay in the fixed gear article. It is a problem unique to fixies. Cacophony 05:57, Feb 12, 2005 (UTC)


Fixed wheel not fixed gear?[edit]

Can we agree that the correct term is 'fixed-wheel' (opposite of 'free-wheel') and not 'fixed-gear'?

Buffalo Bill, former London bicycle messenger & Chair, London Bicycle Messenger Association

Never heard a fixed-gear called a fixed-wheel. Perhaps it's a US/UK English thing? --Christopherlin 00:28, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)
If you wanted to get technical, it would be a 'fixed hub' (compared to hub which contains a freewheel). I have never heard of them called "fixed wheel", and the authorities (FixedGear Gallery, Sheldon Brown, Fixed Gear 101) all refer to them exclusively as fixed gears. The term fixed-wheel implies that the wheel does not rotate. Cacophony 18:24, Jun 18, 2005 (UTC)
I think it must be a yank thing. To me 'fixed gear' means the same as 'single speed'. Not all fixed wheels are fixed gear, otherwise what do you call 3 speed hubs which do not free-wheel? Buffalo Bill, former London bicycle messenger & Chair, London Bicycle Messenger Association
I believe 'fixed-wheel' is a British term, while 'fixed-gear' is American. Fixed-wheel bicycle and Fixed wheel now redirect to this article. SyntaxPC 06:14, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
It would be difficult to have a general consensus understand that "fixed-gear" specifically means a bicycle with any fixed-gear ratio and not specifically a track set-up ridden on the road which is what this article generally describes excluding that single-speed bicycles are considered "fixed-gears" almost everywhere outside of the US. Edits made to this definition are contested and reverted pretty quickly by track/fixed-gear ethusiasts alike. At this point, this article could be simply merged with track cycles as a term for road-ridden track bikes. --radiokillplay 05:01, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Fixed gear means that the crank and rear wheel always turn in sync together. Thus, they are "fixed" together. Or affixed. As on a track type bike. Thewalrus 23:56, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

I also have heard the term "stiff hub" used. This dates to the early 1960's in Southern California and may or may not be limited to that time or place. As I recall, this was used in reference to the hub itself and not the whole bicycle, as in "A track bike has a stiff hub." Wschart 21:34, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Merging Track & Fixed-Gear[edit]

Even if I agreed that a single-speed isn't a fixed-gear and conceded with your definition entirely, the article is still mergable with track bicycle. The only notable difference between the articles is the specification that "fixed-gear" often refers to road bound bicycles rather than velodrome and a section on converting multi-speed road bikes to a track-style road bike. Don't you think that would qualify for a successful merged article or do you think a track bike and fixed-gear are different enough to require seperation? --radiokillplay 16:03, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

There is definitely a lot of redundant information in the two articles. Lots of people ride actual track designed bikes (Bianchi Pista, etc) on the streets here. Merging the info into one article, with a subsection for modifications made for off-track riding (front brake, etc) might be a good idea. Technical subsections within the article could be used to define track-specific equipment and parts that are common to both types of bikes. Some of the equipment used solely for track riding is rarely seen on a street (NJS certified Nitto track bars, Japanese steel keirin frames, carbon fibre front time-trial and rear disc wheels, etc). Perhaps if the article had two photos at the top as a side by side comparison of a dedicated purpose track bike, for example, one of the Australian national team's high end carbon fiber sprint bikes, and another photo of a steel road frame converted to fixed gear with brakes positioned underneath it?

for example, real track bike: http://www.businesscycles.com/graphics/bstone_red_hed4.jpg fixed-gear conversion: http://www.phred.org/~alex/pictures/bikes/fixed-gear.jpg Thewalrus 01:51, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

now that I think about it some more, it might be best to have 3 photos at the top of the article - track sprint bike (keirin design), track time trial bike with disc wheels and aerobar (4km TT type), and steel urban fixie. wikipedia copyright policy allows us to use images released for promotional/advertising material, so it may be possible to grab photos from the LOOK or Bridgestone websites to illustrate the difference between Sprint and TT. Thewalrus 02:01, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. I think the distinguishments definitely deserve to be pictorially at the top. What I do think would be awesome though is if we could pull pictures with consent from Fixed Gear Gallery because people often take up-close vanity shots which would clearly show the mechanical differences. There is a good variety of bikes there too.
Another plus side to merging the articles is the inclusion of "mcfixies". They're kind of an odd-mark between track-intended bikes and sort of a pre-built conversion depending on brand and make for instance the Bianchi Pista Concept or Specialized S-Works Langster versus the Bianchi Pista or Specialized Langster. As track bikes become more popular for personal use, every major brand I can think of has produced a pre-built track bike with quasi-road geometry and parts.
I would also like to see more details distinguishing between track, road, mcfixie, and keirin parts. For instance, the chaintug is something commonly seen on Keirin bikes to adjust tension precisely but it's really rare on road conversions.--radiokillplay 23:14, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
I don't agree that they should be merged. A fixed gear bicycle is all about the mechanics of the drive train. A track bike is a fixed gear with a specific type of geometry. A roadster is a specific type of sports car, much the same way that a track bike is a specific type of fixed gear. Cacophony 23:51, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
Then merge track with fixed-gear. The same issues still apply that there is a lot of redundant information with the only difference being the current fixed-gear article is constructed to define a track bike for the road either as a mcfixie or conversion (which definitely then places fixed-gear as a subcategory more than it's proper place). I'm all for the fixed-gear article speaking of all things with a fixed-gear-ratio.--radiokillplay 14:06, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

I'm against a merge, a fixed bike is just a bike without a freewheel, it can be any type of bike, whereas a track is a very specific type of bike, it just happens to have a fixed wheel/gear. I think this article should deal mainly in the details of the fixed drive train, and the track bike article should concentrate on the various types of track bikes. LDHan 01:22, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

feel free to replace the photo[edit]

How about a photo that doesn't say "shit" on the sticker? --anon

My photo is better than nothing, but it is kinda hard to see the gearing. Someone out there can take a better pic. Cacophony 20:40, May 12, 2005 (UTC)

The new photo isn't much better. I was thinking something more like this where the perspecive is from the same height of the hub and slightly behind the rear wheel. That would focus the attention on the the drive train. Cacophony 04:31, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
I've got this which is available - same bike as the other picture so they could be used together to show the general appearance and then the drivetrain? Andy Armstrong 08:44, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Suggestions section[edit]

I think nearly everything in it is either wrong or POV. I know it's meant to be light-hearted, but it shouldn't be there, it might be OK to move it to the talk page. Many of the sites in external links offer good and sensible advice. LDHan 17:33, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

I agree; there a lot of POV in it and since it's essentially a "How-To" section, I'm not sure it necessarily belongs in an encyclopedia at all. Maybe someone can cite policy or guideline on this. I do know that there's specific "How-To" bookshelf at http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/How-tos_bookshelf , so perhaps the section could be moved there and linked. --Ds13 17:49, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure it's even suitable for http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/How-tos_bookshelf, as it's not really serious, it's just for humour. Should it be deleted? How about moving it to the talk page? LDHan 17:04, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
I think the POV parts are not suitable for sure, but User:BitQuirky moved it back to the front page. I wonder if he actually reads the talk page here? Julius.kusuma 16:22, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

The external links section seems to be getting a bit ridiculous, and most of the links refer to information that is personal, redudant or POV. What do you all think? --Dmtroyer 15:33, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

The section on advantages/disadvantages is clearly biased, incomplete, downright inaccurate. A few of them are just examples of folly on the part of variable-geared riders. This is not up to wiki's neutral standards. I'm not an experienced wikipeidian, so I'd prefer not to change it myself. ALSO, I'm a strong advocate of more practical bikes(those with gears) so I'd probably inadvertently bash fixies. Treedon (talk) 06:03, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Original text moved here:

Brakes[edit]

I think care must be used when describing fixed-geared bicycles as not having brakes. "Brake" is defined in the dictionaries i've seen as simply something designed or used to stop movement, thus a fixed-gear presumes a brake. Other separate (and safer) brakes on a fixed-gear are redundant to the goal of restraining motion. I understand that UK laws require both wheels be braked, and a fixed-gear drive meets this requirement for the rear wheel. John

On a bike, a "brake" is some sort of mechanical device, usually operated by hand, it's not just any anything that stops movement, I don't think eg grabbing the front tyre with a gloved hand, dragging your feet on the ground etc are called brakes. As for whether brakes are redundant or not, that's a matter of POV, therefore the article should not state that "brakes are redundant". LDHan 17:16, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
Indeed LDHan, a brake is some sort of mechanical device; on FGs it is the non-moving connection of the cog to the hub that distinguishes it as a type of brake that free-wheel bicycles do not have. Do you mean to say that a mechanism can not be dual-purposed, or that it must be separable from others to be identified for it's role? My feet stop me from tumbling down a hill just as well as they get me up one. John Taisau 02:07, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
Not totally sure about LDHan's definition there. As John says, it is thought (though as far as I know, never been tested in the courts) that front hand brake and fixed rear wheel satisfies the requirement of two independent braking systems. In Holland, you are legal with no front brake and a coaster ('back pedal') brake, which is neither fish nor fowl, IYSWIM! Buffalo Bill, occasional London bicycle messenger & former Chair, London Bicycle Messenger Association, Editor, Moving Target, the London messenger 'ziiine 09:34, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
I've removed the references to UK law, because they referred to instruments that appear not to exist, and in any case seems to be superseded by the instrument here: http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/content.aspx?LegType=All+Legislation&title=pedal&searchEnacted=0&extentMatchOnly=0&confersPower=0&blanketAmendment=0&sortAlpha=0&TYPE=QS&PageNumber=1&NavFrom=0&parentActiveTextDocId=842110&ActiveTextDocId=842124&filesize=2975 . —Preceding unsigned comment added by 62.31.228.92 (talk) 21:51, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
Have another look at this: http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roads/vehicles/vssafety/guidanceaboutlightsonpedalbi4556 Dft thinks the 1983 regs still apply, AS WELL AS the 2003 statute. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Buffalo Bill (talkcontribs) 21:59, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Or this statement: '5.Access to the Regulations and Directives(a) The Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles Regulations 1983 – Statutory Instrument (SI 1983 No.1168) and ThePedal Cycles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1983 - Statutory Instrument (SI 1983 No. 1176) are availablefrom The Stationery Office'. Buffalo Bill talk to me 22:07, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Great. I've checked lexisnexis, and the regulations exist, but can you provide a reference to a publicly accessible version of the regulations? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 85.158.139.99 (talk) 09:22, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

Competition[edit]

This needs a re-write. For a start, you can participate in a track-stand contest on free-wheel.

You can use a fixed-wheel in any type of cycle competition, apart from massed start road races. Stuart O'Grady used a fixie in a Giro D'Italia time-trial, for instance.

The only competitions that open to fixies only (apart from velodrome races) are obscure messenger events - skid comps, Millportpoloco, Monster Track etc. Buffalo Bill, occasional London bicycle messenger & former Chair, London Bicycle Messenger Association, Editor, Moving Target, the London messenger 'ziiine 09:38, 16 September 2007 (UTC)


Image[edit]

Why isn't there a section on the image and hipster culture regarding these bikes. I've been biking for almost 20 years and have never seen fixies being used (save for a few random messengers, most still use multi-gear bikes mind you), yet in the last few years there has been a rise in fixed gear websites (i forget the urls but they are essentially devoted to the aesthetics and not the mechanics of fixies) I see fixies all over the place being ridden by hipster/art school types (who likely haven't ridden a bike since middle school prior to purchasing their new Bianchi or IRO fixies). I think it'd be interesting if someone wrote a section on the current popularity of fixed gear bikes and how much of their popularity owes to aesthetics and their use as faggot en vogue fashion accessories. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.118.43.145 (talk) 03:31, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

{{sofixit}} -- John Reaves 10:55, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

i agree. they are ridden by hipsters, not by people who ride a bike for delivery-work or daily commute. they prefer a bike that's easy to ride and safe, and are less interested in looking cool. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.127.245.103 (talk) 20:38, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

External Links[edit]

I remove "fixieFAQs.org.uk" because it is forwarded to "xwiki.com", which is reported by "websecurityguard.com" to contain spyware. Also it has repeating content that makes it a very long page. Ancos (talk) 00:25, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Multiple issues tag[edit]

I've added this tag because the article is bogged down in technical detail, a lot of which is not appropriate here - check out on Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not. Too many unverifiable references, use of weasel words 'many' 'some' and 'most'. No proper mention of children's bikes (commonly fixed until recently?), historical transition to freewheel etc. ProfDEH (talk) 17:40, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

You tagged it and walked away? Irresponsible of you not to check back in and hint about what is wrong. I'm removing those tags, one thing WP:NOT is a place where you expect others to do your work for you. If you think there is something wrong with an article, do more than just tag it. I'm rm the tags. 67.49.0.138 (talk) 18:51, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
Removing the tag doesn't remove the issues. It's not permissible to put a tag on the article unless you have time to do a comprehensive edit (which is what this needs)? There isn't any quick fix. The purpose of the tag is to inform readers. Get real. ProfDEH (talk) 07:37, 25 July 2009 (UTC)


They see me rolling...[edit]

I just deleted this gem of a sentence about "hipsters", but it does deserve some form of preservation, so here it is - "Mostly, however, hipsters ride them because they are another pretentious affectation used in their insufferable attempts to craft an identity of cool, to paint gloss over the surface of their humanity lest anyone realize there is nothing underneath." --Alþykkr (talk) 21:18, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

lol. hilarious. i vote 'keep' —Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.127.245.103 (talk) 20:39, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

hipsters[edit]

So, in third paragraph of the lede someone had mentioned that this trend was led by bicycle messengers and hipsters, with a source. I was surprised by this and so I went to the article being sourced and sure enough, no mention of hipsters. There's a reason for this. (I removed the snippet, by the way.)

The term "hipster" has no definition these days; we aren't in the 1940s. People I've heard referred to as hipsters are incredibly varied stylistically, from tight-jean wearing art-house emo types to grungy neo-hippies to pipe-smoking young foggies. The only thing they all seem to have in common is that they would never call themselves hipsters. It seems the term hipster is universally used as a derisive term for alternative subcultures who indulge in fashions and aesthetics rather outside the mainstream.

The term seems particularly current in the male nerd subculture, where there appears to be a great deal of resentment that so-called "hipsters" have made the things nerds have been doing all along "cool" when they themselves were constantly made fun of for their eccentric style. See nerd chic.

I think this anon's comment (above in the Image section) really drives the resentment home:

Why isn't there a section on the image and hipster culture regarding these bikes. I've been biking for almost 20 years and have never seen fixies being used (save for a few random messengers, most still use multi-gear bikes mind you), yet in the last few years there has been a rise in fixed gear websites (i forget the urls but they are essentially devoted to the aesthetics and not the mechanics of fixies) I see fixies all over the place being ridden by hipster/art school types (who likely haven't ridden a bike since middle school prior to purchasing their new Bianchi or IRO fixies). I think it'd be interesting if someone wrote a section on the current popularity of fixed gear bikes and how much of their popularity owes to aesthetics and their use as faggot en vogue fashion accessories.

... "Faggot en vogue"? Really?

I think we need to be sort of careful with the term "hipster", because it's loaded. It expresses a certain POV about fixed gear biycles and who rides them. In the context to me it sounds very similar to someone saying "the popularity of fixed gear bicycles has been led by assholes." Eniagrom (talk) 16:34, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

The only mention of the work 'hipster' left in this article is in "see also" so reading it for the first time today, it made no sense at all. Should the "see also" link be removed? Rwickham (talk) 09:36, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

The use of the word hipster in this article should be removed. It adds nothing to the information on the bikes. Instead, phrasing like "...has become more popular among youths in urban centres", which is 100% true, accurate, and not a loaded phrase. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 142.157.48.47 (talk) 18:30, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Inappropriate statements regarding enthusiasts[edit]

"The rise in popularity of fixed-gear bicycles in the mid-2000s, complete with adaptations such as spoke cards, is attributed to hipsters.[3] Fixie enthusiasts in Australia love sharing photos of their hotted up fixies.[14]"

This sort of stuff doesn't belong on Wikipedia. I'd remove it myself but I'd rather leave it up to a more experienced editor. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.171.243.227 (talk) 11:28, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

I've removed those two statements. Porlob (talk) 19:25, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

It's inaccurate. They are popular with dickheads. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 109.175.142.84 (talk) 15:29, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

"The fact that many fixie riders ride brakeless in defiance of local law could also be viewed as a contributing factor to its popularity among less intelligent people" Honestly? Is this necessary? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.240.231.20 (talk) 15:26, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

fixed-gear has nothing to do with single-speed and brakeless[edit]

A fixed-gear bicycle can look like this.

Fixed-gear is nothing exotic. It only means that there is no freewheel. The fixed-gear bike can have multiple gears and four brakes. Besides the track rules there are no laws regarding fixed-gear bicycles. --213.188.98.237 (talk) 21:36, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

This is indeed a Dutch bike. They have never been bothered with anything else but fixed gears (you don't need gears in a perfectly flat country without hills and a perfect nation wide bikelane system). It appears that the oldschool Dutch bikes have simply been hijacked as a "fixie" by the Anglosaxon hipsters. 81.100.177.219 (talk) 10:37, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

Direct Comparison[edit]

Should this article not have a more direct comparison on the exact advantages and disadvantages, as compared to the orthodox, traditional road bike. I believe the way about this would be to say for example, that one could choose to ride a 'fixie' because of its efficiency and mobility, as compared to that of the bicycle. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.169.94.2 (talk) 12:48, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

And possibly some disadvantages in the advantages and disadvantages, and at least a vague attempt at some science behind the claimed advantages. Describing a fixie as better for descending really does take the absolute biscuit. Non-registered user, 20:02 GMT, 21/10/11 — Preceding unsigned comment added by 131.111.185.84 (talk) 19:02, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

Is language such a definer?[edit]

The article states: similar areas in other English-speaking cities. Is language such a defining factor? Would you somehow stroll into a French speaking part of North America and find an absence of fixies? Francis Hannaway (talk) 22:03, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

Agreed, so I've changed it to "Western cities" ~dom Kaos~ (talk) 12:44, 7 October 2016 (UTC)