The argument between single-speed and fixed-gear bicycles is a significant source of controversy in the cycling community. Those in favor of fixed-gear bicycles and those opposed to the concept are equally outspoken and passionate about their respective opinions. Ironically, most riders opposed to fixed-gear bikes based on safety have never actually ridden one.
If you’re unfamiliar with these sorts of bicycles, we’ll begin by outlining their commonalities, important distinctions, similarities, and various components before moving on. After that, you may choose which choice could be the most appropriate for your requirements between Fixed Gear Bike Vs Single Speed.
Overview of Fixed Gear Bike
It’s also known as a fixie since it’s a single-speed bike with no freewheel, which means that the movement of the pedals directly corresponds to the movement of the rear wheel. When you pedal, the rear wheel rotates in the opposite direction.
In the same way that you slow down or stop pedaling, the rear wheel slows down or stops. The pedals are constantly in motion as long as the bike moves forward. Your legs, presumably, are in the same boat.
Overview of Single-Speed Bikes
An example of a single-speed bike is a bicycle with just one gear and does not include derailleurs or hub gears that enable you to alter the gear ratio while riding.
If you imagine a single-speed bike having a freewheel on the rear hub, you may imagine that after you stop pedaling, your chain stays still, but your back wheel continues to move, and you can coast without pedaling.
Common Features Between Fixed Gear and Single Speed Bike
Single-speed and fixed-gear bicycles feature a single front chainring and rear cog, whereas single-speed bicycles have a single rear cog. Therefore, both of these bicycles are classified as single-speed machines.
Because they do not have derailleurs, shifters, or multi-chain rings, they are more lightweight, low-maintenance, and competitively priced when compared to a traditional bicycle frame.
These characteristics are desirable for beginners who are considering purchasing a new bicycle. Fixies and single-speed bicycles, like other bicycles, are not just a medium of mobility but also a means of expressing one’s aesthetic.
According to your financial ability, any bike may have a distinctive and personalized design depending on your investment.
Single-speed bike enthusiasts are attracted to them because of their clean, minimalist appearance. In general, these sorts of bicycles are about going back to the fundamentals of riding.
Differences Between Fixed Gear and Single Speed Bike
At the back hub, where the cog attaches to the drivetrain, the most significant difference between single-speed and fixed-gear bicycles may be seen. Single-speed bicycles are equipped with a freewheel cog, which allows the back wheel to revolve freely and independently.
Fixies have the rear cog and hub attached to the rear hub such that when the wheel is turned, the cog rotates with it, and vice versa. This makes a significant impact on the way you ride each bicycle.
Single-speed bicycles are similar to multi-gear bicycles in that they enable you to cruise downhill while riding downhill. When the freewheel is engaged, it may revolve independently of the pedals.
On the other hand, Fixies push the pedals into continuous action as you descend a hill, turning for the wheel to continue to roll in the desired direction. As a result of this mechanical difference, conventional brakes are no longer required.
Back brakes are uncommon on fixed-gear bicycles. Still, you’ll want brakes on your front wheel—and in certain regions, it’s even against the law to ride without brakes.
In contrast, fixie bike aficionados can come to a complete stop by exerting downward pressure to their pedals or even by rotating their pedals backward, which will result in a skid. If you have your feet strapped or hooked into the pedals, each option will work better for you.
Pros of Single-Speed Bikes
- Even for a few seconds, coasting enables you to take a break from continual pedaling, which helps you stay in the seat for longer.
- For these reasons, single-speed bikes are superior to fixed-gear bikes for long-distance riding and are safer in cities where braking necessitates a rapid response time.
- Single-speed bikes are also simpler to control for both new and experienced bikers.
Pros of Fixed Gear Bikes
- The most significant benefit of a fixed-gear bike is that it requires you to work out your body and gain endurance. The continual pedaling will undoubtedly strengthen your legs.
- Fixies are also safer to ride in rainy weather since they do not utilize standard rim brakes.
- Fixie enthusiasts quickly point out that their bike is an extension of themselves. Because there is no freewheel, they feel closer to the road at one with the machine.
Fixed Gear Bike Vs Single Speed: Which Will Help You Burn More Calories?
You can burn more calories on a fixed-gear bike if you work out in a hilly location. A fixie rider must cope with long out-of-seat climbs and additional effort on the descents. The continual pedaling, depending on your legs to slow you down and keep control, takes a toll on your energy level.
A former coach of Lance Armstrong’s said, “Because your legs are always moving, this riding style delivers significantly greater aerobic benefit than geared bike riding.”. Two and a half hours of fixed-gear cycling is the same as four hours of everyday riding (on a road bike) in one hour and fifteen minutes.
Because of advancements in bike technology, you no longer have to choose between a single-speed and a fixed-gear bike. Many types have a “flip-flop hub,” meaning one side permits freewheeling, and the other uses the fixed-wheel approach. Simply switching your back wheel around will allow you to interchange the two.
We strongly suggest getting one with this option if you’re thinking about getting a fixed-gear bike. As a result, you may experiment with both, determine which works best for you, and swap between them. We’ve never tried riding a fixed-gear bike, and folks have advised us against it.
But the more we learn about how much fixie riders like the sensation and how nothing compares, the more eager we are to experience one. We wouldn’t dismiss them without giving it a go, but we’re not about to leap downward anytime soon!