Simplicity is a beautiful thing. When it comes to rides there is nothing simpler or more elegant than a fixed gear bike or "Fixie." A standard fixie has a high tensile steel frame, 3 piece cranks, at least one brake and a flip flop hub. These are street bikes that can be used for commuter or training purposes, they are low cost (About $325.) and they are a blast to ride.
I decided to give one a try at my local shop Real Bikes Englewood. "One thing you have to keep in mind," noted Melody Vasbinder, who owns the store with her husband Gary, "You can't stop pedaling. You can speed up and you can slow down but you can't freewheel." This becomes clear the moment you put a foot down on the pedal but once you start moving the appeal of these bikes quickly becomes apparent.
There is no hesitation when you turn the pedals on a fixie. The power of each pedal stroke is directly transferred to the rear wheel propelling you forward. Your speed can pick up very quickly. Your legs are always responsible for controlling the speed of your cadence without rest so they get twice the workout.
After a short ride I was already getting used to using my legs to slow the bike and using the brake to bring it to a full stop. It does take a little practice to feel secure in your ability to control starts and stops but with it comes a new confidence in your bike handling abilities.
The brand they are now selling at Real Bikes Englewood is one that has fully embraced the fixie culture. They are called Pure Fix Cycles and they have a complete line of bikes that each have their own name and story. The Pure Fix website is complete with videos about sizing, safety and basic repairs. You can even purchase frames and parts that glow in the dark.
You could use the website to order one but like Gary says, "You'd still have to receive it and assemble it which would end up costing more than if you just order it through us and we put it together for you." The website claims that the bikes are 90% assembled but tell that to someone, like myself, who doesn't have the right tools.
Still not sure about the fixed wheel? Just want a inexpensive bike to ride around town? No problem. These fixies all come with a flip flop hub which means all you have to do is turn around the rear tire and now you have a singlespeed. In this format you can coast all you want.
How popular are these fixies? "We had a Glow in the Dark one in here last week and it sold so fast that I never got the chance to ride it," said Melody who finally rode one on a fixies only 30 mile group ride. These Pure Fix bikes are colorful, fun to ride and priced to sell. They are in stock right now at Real Bikes Englewood. Come by today and give one a try.