Fixed gear bikes: what are they?

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Fixed gear bikes lack a freewheel, meaning the rider must continuously pedal to move. They are used for various purposes and stopped by either pedaling backwards or performing a skid stop. Some have two gears that require changing the rear wheel. They are popular for stunts and tricks.

Fixed gear bikes are bicycles that do not have a freewheel. Many different types of bikes can be considered fixed gear bikes, as the only truly distinguishing feature is the lack of a freewheel. Thus, off-road, touring, road racing and commuting bicycles can all be fixed gear bikes.
Due to the lack of a freewheel, fixed gear bikes are unable to coast when the rider stops pushing the pedals. This is because the rear wheel is connected directly to the pedals by a chain, which means you have to pump the pedals to get the wheel to spin. The lack of a freewheel also makes the method used to stop fixed gear bikes different from traditional bicycles. Instead of using a brake, in most cases the rider simply pushes the pedals backwards. This causes the rear wheel’s forward momentum to stop, which brings the bike to a complete stop.

Another method of stopping fixed gear bikes is to perform a skid stop, which results in the rear wheel spinning while stopping. This is accomplished by the rider shifting their weight to lift the rear wheel without further pedaling and then allowing the tire to return to contact with the ground. As a result, the bike stops slowly or the cyclist can resume pedaling. This method is much slower than stopping with the brakes, especially when done on a wet surface.

Although most fixed gear bikes only have one gear, some allow you to use two different gears. These gears aren’t changed by simply pulling a lever or pressing a button. Rather, the rider has to get off the bike and change the rear wheel. This is because the rear wheel contains special sprockets on either side of the hub, which cause the gears to change as they are shifted.

Fixed gear bikes are often used by stunt performers or those who perform with bikes. With fixed gear bikes with two wheels it is also possible to perform certain maneuvers, such as the track stand, which consists of holding the bike in place while the cyclist balances his feet on the pedals.

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