You probably don't know what a fixie is, do you? Well I am going to tell you all about fixed gear bikes!
I guess you have heard about them already, fixed gear bikes, but you might not know what they are. Read this and you will know a lot more!
What's a fixed gear?
A fixed gear bike, litterally has a gear that's fixed. It's a bike with a cog mounted directly to the wheel without freewheel. So when you pedal forward, you go forward and when you pedal backward you go backward. This way no energy from your pedalling efforts is lost in the gearing system, so it's a very efficient way of cycling.
What's so special about fixed gear?
A fixed gear is not only a bike, it's part of a lifestyle. You have to have ridden it to know what it's like. You're also supposed to build it yourself with as few parts as possible. It's back to the roots of cycling without any useless accesoires.
My opinion about fixed gear
Personally I find fixed gear totally awesome. The ride is way better than with any other bike I've ever ridden. And the most important thing: Apart from walking it's about the most ecofriendly way of transporting there is!
When riding a fixed gear for the very first time it's quite some getting used to. Mostly because you can't stop moving your legs. You may think that costs alot of energy but you're wrong. The biggest trouble is if you don't bear it in mind you might get launched of from your bike. Now you might think, 'there's no way of braking that way is there?' Well, yes and no: You're supposed to not have brakes on your fixed gear bike and if you do put one on it should be a front brake. Because, you can (after some practice) quite easily slow the bike down by moving your legs at a lower pace or even pushing back against the pedals. And if you want to make an emergency stop you can just kick one of your legs back to stop the whole pedalling motion and you'll skid. That does take a fair bit of practicing though.
What's green about fixed gear?
1. As few parts as necessary are used on the bike so raw materials are saved.
2. Since it's a bike there is, ofcourse, no emission of greenhouse gasses.
3. Fixed gears are often built from older (racing)bikes so that's recycling.
4. Fixed gear, because of their simple mechanisms, don't take a lot of maintenance and will last for long.