Fixie bikes – also referred to as fixed wheel or fixed gear bicycles – are a style of single gear bicycles, which have remained popular over the years due to their simple style and many uses.
On fixie bikes, the back wheel and the pedals are directly connected which means that whenever one moves, so does the other. This means that fixie bikes can move both forward and backward, and if the pedals stop, so does the wheel, and vice versa. Fixie bikes may be simple bikes, but they still contain a number of parts.
Below are the five most important fixie bike parts:
Most obviously, fixie bikes have a frame, as all other bikes do. And of all the fixie bike parts, this is probably the one that is most like other bikes. In fact, the style of the frame used on fixie bikes is usually pretty much the same as a regular road bike.
These bicycles can be made of the same material as most other bikes – steel, aluminum, or carbon fiber – so there really isn’t anything unique about them as compared to other bikes.
Fixie bike handlebars can also be the same as road bike handlebars, however this part of the bike does allow riders a little more freedom. The handlebars can be customized to fit the rider’s preference, but do not really make a huge difference in the way the bike rides, other than to provide the rider with a personal comfort.
Common styles chosen for fixie bikes today include straight handlebars or BMX style handlebars, but handlebar choice is more for style and comfort than anything else. There are over 15 different styles of handlebars to choose from, so fixie bike riders can really take the opportunity to customize their ride here.
3. Crankset and the rear cog
These are the fixie bike parts that define the bicycle. The crankset is what the pedals are attached to – it includes the arms of the pedals and the cog that the chain attaches to. From there, the chain goes back and attaches to the cog on the back wheel.
This is what makes the pedals and the rear wheel mimic each other, and what gives the fixie bike its name. Although the bike is set to one single gear, the gear can be adjusted to fit the preference of the cyclist.
4. Brakes (sometimes)
Although fixie bikes do automatically come with brakes, for safety and for the general comfort of the riders, many people choose to have the brakes removed from their fixie bikes. The reason this is possible is because of the control the pedals have over the bike.
While a brake system will allow cyclists to stop more quickly, it isn’t necessarily a requirement, as the fixie bike’s design does technically provide it with a built-in rear braking system. However, having no front brake on a bike is illegal in many places, and so the fixie bike’s brakes have struck controversy among cyclists and non-cyclists alike.
5. Custom parts
With little effort, another type of bike can be converted into a fixie bike. Some bikes are difficult to convert, but older bikes are often good for this purpose. Basically, all of the shifting components of the bike should be removed – this means removing both the front and back derailleurs, a component that does not exist on a fixie bike because they promote gear shifting.
When converting a regular bike into a fixie bike, cyclists will have to invest in a new rear wheel and a new single speed chain. With a few minor adjustments, the bike is ready to go.