Why Ride Fixed Gear? Secrets of Fixed Gear Riding - Fixed Gear VS Geared Bikes
Why do we ride fixed gear?
It often makes no sense to people when I tell them I ride a bike with no gears and not only that a bike in which the pedals are connected directly to the back wheel meaning the pedals wont stop turning when I stop pedaling.
It can be pretty tricky at times going up steep hills and a bit daunting going down hill. Why wouldn't I use the modern day luxuries of the dérailleur system and gears? I could be changing gears as I wish to match my incline and speed as to where I may be going. This system has been scientifically optimised and it allows riders a more efficient ride and the ability to go faster, farther for longer (think the Tour De France Bikes, all gears.)
However what if I told you that fixed gear bikes have a few secret benefits of their own; ultimately functional, form meets function, the human body meets machine, rubber meets city street, locked in to the present moment and most importantly, absolutely exhilarating.
I often at times compare fixed gear riding to skateboarding and its culture, its a sub culture that has brought in misfits from all over, people of all different backgrounds looking for their thrills, the antidote to modern connected life and a cure for boredom and isolation within four walls. Not to mention the unexpected mental health benefits of being locked in the present moment by being on a bike that wont stop moving with cars hurtling towards you.
Of course there are practical benefits of choosing a fixed gear bike; extremely simple maintenance, which means if something goes wrong it will be easier to fix. How many of you know how to rebuild and maintain a dérailleur system? I can take off my back wheel with a 15mm wrench that I have on the multi tool I carry and adjust a whole number of things and address a whole number of common problems. This is a bigger deal than it sounds, imagine being stuck somewhere remotely and your gear system breaks down. That's a long a walk.
Rain, hail, shine or pandemic my bike keeps coming, a fitting bike if you found yourself in a post apocalyptic wasteland/lockdown. The roadies may own the marathon day rides but us fixed gear riders own the night, the urban sprawl, the wasteland, and we wouldn't have it any other way.
The very mechanism of riding a fixed gear does something that other bikes cant the actual riding mechanism keeps you locked in a state of flow, be wary if you break this state of flow as you may suffer the consequences. Even though this sounds quite terrifying to the un-initiated, it actually helps to keep you out of danger and alive.
It keeps your survival mechanism engaged by making you watch out for any changes in the environment, the unusual side effect of this is that I no longer feel anxious as I am fully engaged in survival and in the present moment.
When I coast on other types of bikes my thoughts drift and have nearly wiped out as a result. So in a funny twist of fate the more dangerous appearing Fixed Gear bike is actually keeping you safer by engaging your senses to a greater degree. Fear what is comfortable, enter into fear to find growth and relief. Its counter intuitive I know, but that's the beauty of it, you have to experience it for yourself and get past that initial adjustment period.
Fixed gear is great for those dealing with anxiety or mental health issues just generally and especially those brought on by the lockdowns. It is great for those with ADHD as it is stimulating and exciting enough to keep us engaged. Every time I get on my bike I feel a sense of freedom, my brain quiets down, not matter what the surrounding noise. Riding Fixed Gear has got me through lockdowns, I always had access to my own personal freedom, life has changed for the better in a massive way.
Have a look through the site, call us for chat, we provide lifetime warranty on our frames and produce, design and manufacture all of these in house in Fitzroy, Melbourne, the new San Fran. We can even build a purely custom build for self expression purposes if you choose to go down that path.
We put passion, love, creativity, engineering excellence and experience over the last ten years into the design and build of our frames and parts.
I ride a Player Frame, its awesome in every way. Aluminium body with a carbon fork, super light and stiff meaning you can generate a lot more power efficiency with each pedal. Find it on the online store under complete bikes and frames.
See you out there in the wasteland,