SINGLE SPEED / FIXIE BIKE BUYING GUIDE
These days, you hear the word ‘fixie’ a lot, but what exactly is a fixie? Reid Cycles understand that there’s a huge range of new bikes out there. Check out our singlespeed and fixie bike buying guide, and you’ll be able to buy with confidence!
The most basic definition of a fixie is a ‘fixed gear bicycle’. Remember your old tricycle as a kid? The pedals were attached directly to the wheels. If the wheels turned, the pedals turned. If you pedaled forward, the wheel turned forward. If you pedaled backwards, the wheel would turn backwards.
When you grew up, you got a bike with a chain between the pedals and the wheels. This chain went around the gears on the rear wheel (called sprockets). These sprockets can turn relative to the wheel. This was great, because now you had a ‘freewheel’ on the rear wheel, which meant that the wheel kept turning even if you stopped pedalling. The pedals wouldn’t keep spinning around with the wheels like on your old tricycle. Time to ride fast down hills!
HOW TO CHOOSE A SINGLE SPEED / FIXIE BIKE
WHAT ABOUT SINGLESPEEDS?
If you like the style and practicality of a fixie, but don’t like the idea of being unable to coast, then a singlespeed bike is a great choice. Better fixies come with a ‘flip-flop’ hub. A ‘flip-flop’ hub means that the rear wheel has a fixed gear sprocket on one side and a freewheel sprocket on the other side. Put the wheel in one way, and it’s fixed gear. Flip the wheel and install it the other way, and it’ll coast. We call a bike set up like this a singlespeed, so it’s not technically a fixie, but only total bike nerds will give you a hard time about that. Don’t worry about them; just look good doing it.
People talk about the fixie craze or buying a new fixie, but what are they talking about and why would you want a fixie? The three biggest reasons are simplicity, speed and style.
With a fixed gear bike, you have just one gear. In technical terms, you have one chainring (big sprocket at the pedals), one sprocket (the little one at the rear wheel), and a chain. That’s your whole drivetrain. You don’t need a second or third chaining, a front or rear derailleur, gear cables, gear levers or a freewheel! Basically, a fixed gear bike has fewer moving parts than any other style of bike. Because there’s so few parts, they’re simple and tough. There’s less to adjust and maintain. If you’re after a tough singlespeed to get rolling, you should check out Australia’s favourite pub-bike, the Griffon.
Fixed gear bikes are also the most efficient possible drivetrain. You get the maximum amount of power transfer between your legs and the wheels. That’s why all track bikes are fixed gear; track racers need maximum power and toughness with minimum parts. Apart from efficiency, riding a fixie gives you a feeling of pure connection between yourself, your bike and the road. You can slow the bike down just by pedalling slower. You feel attached to the bike in a way that’s hard to describe. In some ways, it feels more like running – you’re surefooted and in total control. You feel less like a pilot and more like a bird. Our Harrier combines key fixie features like a flip-flop hub and riser bars with a fully customisable colour palette, allowing you to choose a unique combination of colours.
The final reason for riding a fixie is style. Fewer mechanical parts make for a tougher and more reliable bike, and gives your bike cleaner lines, with less cables and clutter. The simplicity of fixies also makes it easy to customise to match your own sense of style. Our top dog when it comes to style is the Wayfarer, it's a great looking bike and NEW for 2015. The Wayfarer has been designed from the ground up for outstanding quality, durability and detailed retro styling. You'll be turning heads cruising around on this one!
GET ONTO IT!
Now you know why you’d want a fixie or singlespeed. They make a great pub bike, commuter, first bike if you’re getting back into riding and can’t be bothered with gears or second bike for when the weather is bad and you don’t want to get your road bike wet. Reid has a range of singlespeed and fixed gear bikes starting under $200.
SHOP REID CYCLES, AUSTRALIA'S BEST VALUE SINGLESPEED BIKES
For all new bikes we offer FREE servicing for 12 months, lifetime warranty on frame and forks and 2 years warranty on parts.
If you’d like some more information, give us a call or come into one of our stores for a warm welcome and friendly advice. In the meantime, check out our full range of Singlespeed Bikes.