Fixed-Gear Bike: Should You Electrify Your Fixie? (Think Twice)

Explore why turning your fixie into an e-bike could compromise its pure cycling joy.

Ever pondered if you should give your beloved fixie an electric twist? Cycling purists might cringe at the thought, but the idea of an e-fixie can be tempting for some. You’ve got to wonder, is it worth tampering with the simplicity of a fixed-gear bike? Check out the collection of the best fixie bikes to remind yourself what pure cycling feels like.

In this post, you’ll discover the essentials on why converting might not be the best move.

Key takeaways

  • Resist the urge to electrify your fixie; it’s all about the connection and control that a pure fixed-gear bike provides.
  • Considering performance, a fixie’s lightweight and simple design could be compromised with an ebike conversion.
  • The seduction of technology is strong, yet the fixie thrives on simplicity that an ebike kit could overshadow.

Should you convert your fixie into an ebike? (Please don’t)

When confronted with the question of whether to convert a fixie into an ebike, my advice is to steer clear from it. Here’s why:

Featured image for a blog post called fixed gear bike should you electrify your fixie think twice.
Featured image for a blog post called fixed gear bike should you electrify your fixie think twice.
  • A fixie’s charm lies in its simplicity. Introducing electric components, like a battery and motor, spoils that vintage feel and simplicity. Remember, a fixie is all about connection and feel—not just getting from A to B.
  • Second, the added weight from the conversion kit clashes with the bike’s original purpose. Track bikes, like fixies, are celebrated for being lightweight and agile. That quick zip through the city streets can turn into a sluggish drag.
  • Lastly, potential technical complications can arise, complicating something once straightforward. Fixies are notable for their maintenance ease; tossing in an e-conversion could introduce unexpected headaches, especially when it comes to repairs or replacements.

Here are a few concrete points that resonate with why the essence of a fixie should remain untouched:

  • The unadulterated riding experience: On a fixie, every pedal stroke counts. You feel every contour of the road. Take it from someone who has helped many avoid common mistakes when building a fixie, the conversion disrupts this pure interaction.
  • Maintenance simplicity: Keep that chain whip and multi-tool at bay. Fixies hardly need them, whereas e-bike parts might require more than just a simple tune-up.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Sure, you might save on gas, but think about battery replacements and electric-specific repairs down the line.

As someone who isn’t an expert in electrical engineering—but knows a thing or two about the joy of riding—converting your fixie into an e-bike just doesn’t mesh well with why we ride fixed-gear bikes in the first place. There’s something gratifying about powering through the streets, relying solely on your own muscle and grit, that just isn’t found on an electric motor’s hum.

“Fixed-gear bikes are the epitome of cycling minimalism. No gears, no fancy tech, just bike and rider in perfect harmony. Simplicity reigns supreme in the fixie world.”

Moreover, I remember this one scene from an indie film where the protagonist, an avid cyclist, debates over keeping his fixie pure or going electric. His final ride through the city, full-on fixie style, broke all his doubts, reinforcing the unmatched feeling of a manual ride over an assisted one.

Sticking to the roots and harnessing the raw power of pumping pedals is where the magic happens, and that’s something no motor can replace. Plus, doing wheelies on a fixie is awesome, and I can’t imagine it being quite as cool on an e-bike. Just swing by some fixie freestyle to see what real bike control looks like.

My favorite bike (at the moment):

State Bicycle Co. Black Label 6061

Best overall fixed gear bike state bicycle co 6061 black label v2
My favorite bike (at the moment):

State Bicycle Co. Black Label 6061

This is my daily ride, my trusty Black Label It’s lightweight and beautifully crafted. It looks like a beast and rides like one too. I upgraded the saddle, but everything else is pretty much as it was out of the box. I highly recommend it.

The essentials of a fixie

Fixed-gear bikes are the epitome of cycling minimalism. No gears, no fancy tech, just bike and rider in perfect harmony. Simplicity reigns supreme in the fixie world.

If you’re shopping for parts, you’d be hunting for the best fixie bike handlebars to complement your style, not a power meter or battery level indicator.

What makes a fixie unique?

A fixie, or fixed-gear bike, is distinctive because it has no freewheel mechanism—the pedals turn when the bike moves, and vice versa. You get total control, allowing you to maneuver deftly through traffic with precision and mindfulness. When riding a fixie, you’re literally one with your bike, tuned into every vibration and squeak.

Supplemental image for a blog post called 'fixed-gear bike: should you electrify your fixie? (think twice)'.
Supplemental image for a blog post called ‘fixed-gear bike: should you electrify your fixie? (think twice)’.

If this purity of cycle-life is disrupted by electronic components, the fixie isn’t truly a fixie anymore.

Why stick to a raw fixie experience?

You ride a fixie for the connection you feel to the road and your bike; it’s a truly visceral experience. Mastering a fixie takes skill, a skill that’s clouded by unnecessary electric assist. It’s like learning to drive in a manual car—you wouldn’t swap it for an automatic if you relish the challenge.

Decoding ebike conversion kits

The marvel of technology allows us to turn nearly any bike into an e-bike, but at what cost to the bike’s soul? Ebike conversion kits like the Swytch Kit are tempting, but we must ask ourselves if the trade-off is worth it.

Can any bike become electric?

Technically, yes. Kits such as the Swytch easily accommodate a variety of wheel sizes, making them suitable for many bike types. These conversion kits come with all the gear needed to flick the switch on electrification.

However, a crucial question remains: should you do it to your fixie?

Is converting easy and practical?

On the surface, it might seem simple enough, but complicating a straightforward machine is rarely a good idea. A fixie thrives on its absence of complexity, and an e-bike kit, while designed for ease of installation, adds layers that just aren’t necessary for the purist’s ride.

Performance considerations

The conversion from fixie to ebike not only impacts the bike’s character but also its performance. Let’s dive into how this change could affect the way you ride.

How does extra weight impact handling?

Added weight from a battery and motor can significantly alter the bike’s dynamics. The added mass affects acceleration, handling, and the joyous nimbleness a fixie is known for.

What about the ride feel?

Ride feel changes dramatically when you introduce an electric motor. The tactile feedback from the road, a trademark of the fixed-gear experience, is muted. Direct pedal control gives way to assisted riding, a different beast altogether.

Considering these points, if you’re seeking a comprehensive guide to ensuring your bike is street-safe and in top riding condition post-conversion, despite the added components that come with electrification, you might find some useful tips on making your bike street-safe or legal.

Before moving to the data table section, let’s summarize the main points. Converting a fixie into an e-bike using a kit like the Swytch can indeed transform any bike into an electric one. However, from performance to personal connection with your ride, the compelling reasons to keep your fixie pure are numerous.

Now, let’s glance at some pivotal Swytch Kit information you’ll need if you decide to walk that path:

| Swytch Kit Specification

| AIR Power Pack (15km) | MAX Power Pack (30km) | |—————————|————————————–|—————————————| | Battery capacity |


| 180Wh | | Motor Wheel Torque | 40nm | 40nm | | Weight | 700g (2.2kg with full AIR kit) | 1100g (2.6kg with full MAX kit) | | Dimensions | W212 x L100 x H25mm | W228 x L100 x H36mm | | Range | 15km | 30km | | Charger | 2A | 2A/3A (fast charging) | | Waterproof rating | IPX6 | IPX6 | | Wheel Size Compatibility | 16” to 700C and more | 16” to 700C and more | | Top Speed | 32kph/20mph (restricted in some areas) | 32kph/20mph (restricted in some areas) |

Breakdown of the Swytch Kit highlighting differences between the AIR and MAX power packs.

Navigating the world of cycling, specifically when it comes to fixed-gear and track bikes, can feel like riding a technical trail without a map. To help you stay on track, here are some dos and don’ts—think of them as the road signs guiding your journey.

Do get a proper fit for your fixie

Don’t overlook the importance of saddle fit | | Do maintain your bike regularly | Don’t ignore unusual bike noises | | Do learn the basics of bike maintenance | Don’t skimp on quality tools | | Do invest in good quality bike parts | Don’t use incompatible components | | Do respect traffic rules while riding | Don’t neglect bike safety gear |

Essential dos and don’ts for fixed-gear cycling enthusiasts to enhance their experience and maintain safety.
Supplemental image for a blog post called 'fixed-gear bike: should you electrify your fixie? (think twice)'.
Supplemental image for a blog post called ‘fixed-gear bike: should you electrify your fixie? (think twice)’.

More fixed gear biking tips

Amplify your fixed-gear cycling experience with these extra tips that aren’t just about maintenance and performance, but also about embracing the culture and community that comes with riding a fixie.

  • Hone your bike handling skills: Frequent practice sessions will help you navigate the concrete jungle with finesse. Check out “can you do bar spins on a fixie” for some freestyle tips.
  • Join a local cycling group: Immersing yourself in the fixie community can offer insights and tips you won’t find anywhere else.
  • Customize your bike: Make your bike a reflection of your personal style. Learn how to choose a bike saddle that not only complements your fixie but also provides comfort and efficiency.
  • Stay updated with the latest gear: While simplicity is key, updated gear that is compatible with fixed-gear bikes can improve your ride.
  • Safety first: Always make sure your bike is street-safe or legal, because a good ride is a safe one.
  • Explore and push boundaries: Try new techniques like a bunny hop on a fixie, and push the capabilities of your bike and yourself.
  • Keep track of performance: Although fixies are simple, monitoring your improvement over time can be massively rewarding.

Remember, whether you’re doing a track stand at a traffic light or swapping stories with fellow riders, fixed-gear cycling is as much about the journey as it is about the destination.

If you are a visual learner, check out this video titled ‘Don’t buy an Ebike Conversion Kit until you see This!’

A video titled “Don’t buy an Ebike Conversion Kit until you see This!” from the “Techs You Can’t Live Without” YouTube channel.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

How long do ebike conversion batteries typically last?

Ebikes and their conversions kits, like the Swytch Kit, have batteries that usually last between 2 to 4 years or about 500 to 1,000 charge cycles. How long the battery will serve you depends on the care and how usually you ride and charge it.

Can I switch between electric and manual on a converted ebike?

Yes, if your fixie is converted with a detachable system like the Swytch Kit, you can swap between electric assist and manual riding with ease. It’s all about attaching or removing your Power Pack.

Will converting my fixie to an ebike affect its speed?

Converting your fixie to an ebike will likely increase your top speed thanks to the added power, but remember that the kit’s motor has a speed limit, which may be imposed by local laws. Your ebike will have restricted speeds in some areas, typically around 25kph (15.5mph).

Final thoughts

In the end, while the draw of modern convenience is strong, the ethos of fixed-gear cycling lies in the pure, unassisted partnership between rider and bike. Preserving the minimalist spirit of your fixie ensures the ride remains as authentic and engaging as ever. Remember, cycling is not just about getting from point A to point B; it’s about the ride itself.

Have you considered converting your fixie into an ebike before reading this guide? Did I cover everything you wanted to know?Let me know in the comments section below I read and reply to every comment. If you found this article helpful, share it with a friend, and check out my full blog for more tips and tricks on fixed-gear cycling. Thanks for reading and keep those wheels spinning!

Bradley Knight Image
Written by Bradley Knight, Staff Writer

Hey there! My name is Bradley, and I've been riding fixed for years. I love all the joy and pain that comes with this unique style of cycling and the passionate community that drives it. If you love fixed-gear bikes, this is the place for you.

Nick eggert.
Edited by Nick Eggert, Staff Editor

Nick is our staff editor and co-founder. He has a passion for writing, editing, and website development. His expertise lies in shaping content with precision and managing digital spaces with a keen eye for detail.

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