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How to Skid on A Fixed Gear Bike (5 Easy Steps Tips)

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Skip-stopping is one of the most fun things you can do on a fixed-gear bike. But if you’re a newbie, it can seem a little difficult. So, how do you skid stop on the fixie?

To skid stop on a fixed gear bike, go fast, lock your back wheel by locking your legs (use pedal straps) and move your body weight forward. Once you get the hang of it, it should be fairly easy to skid.

Young man riding a black fixed gear bike with pedal straps. Source: cottonbro, pexels
Young man riding a black fixed gear bike with pedal straps. Source: Cottonbro, Pexels

In this article, you will learn how to skid, why you would want to skid stop, and the requirements for skidding on a fixed gear bike, so you can take full advantage of riding fixed.

Editor’s note: This article was updated on June 28, 2022, to include additional information about skid stopping.

Before learning how to skid on a fixie, let’s first understand why you would want to skid stop in the first place.

Why would you want to skid stop?

There are three methods for slowing down or stopping on a fixed gear bike:

  1. Apply the brake.
  2. Slow down your pedaling.
  3. Skiing.

Use the first if you need to stop quickly or are feeling lazy, the second if you just need to slow down or are going slowly, and the third if you want to have some fun while still having enough stopping distance. Some professionals can even skid stop without getting out of the saddle.

Young man riding a red fixed gear bike over a water fountain. Source: cottonbro, pexels
Young man riding a red fixed gear bike over a water fountain. Source: Cottonbro, Pexels

It’s important to note that you will wear out your tires very quickly when skid stopping! So if money is tight, don’t burn that rubber too often.

Requirements for skidding on a fixed gear bike

You will obviously need a fixed-gear bike. Always wear a helmet and use appropriate safety equipment. And ensure that your inner tubes are properly inflated. You need a high tire pressure so the bike can slide smoothly.

Use pedal straps. Do not use toe cages or clipless pedals. Make sure you’re comfortable inside the strap. Use pedals that are appropriate for your bike and foot size. Adjust them as needed. If you don’t have pedal straps, consider these options below.

How to skid on a fixie in 5 easy steps

Here are 5 steps to skid-stop in a fixed-gear bike.

  1. Get up to speed

    Ride fast. This will not work if you are riding slowly. Be cautious of traffic. Stay safe! Practice in a safe location.

  2. Stand up on the pedals

    Position yourself so that you are leaning into the stop and ready to use all of your power. Stand on the pedals just before you want to make the stop.

  3. Concentrate on your dominant foot

    If you have a dominant right foot, you should skid with your right leg. While pedaling, you will experience a feeling of almost weightlessness when your right foot is between the 6 and 9 o’clock positions. During this weightlessness, you should kick your right foot forward while lifting your left toes straight up.

  4. Move your weight forward

    Bring your weight forward. This is the most important part because it makes blocking the rear wheel easier. So get your crotch on that stem.

  5. Lock your legs

    More than just blocking the pedals, you should try pedaling backward (backpedaling)!

What to do if you fall during a skid

If you’ve fallen off the bike for whatever reason, the best thing to do is get off the bike and get to a safe place. Then, once you’re safely off the bike, assess the extent of your injuries. Finally, check for any damaged parts. Fixie bikes are not designed for serious crashes and can be irreparably damaged. And you should not ride a damaged bike.

Can you skid stop without pedal straps?

You can also skid without pedal straps. It’s all about timing and the right technique. Put your “crotch on the stem” like a traditional skid and push backward with your non-dominant foot when the crankset is about to be horizontal. When you skid in this manner, your front foot makes no contribution to the “crank lock.” This is what makes it more difficult to achieve. It may be difficult, but it can be done.

If you want even more tips, watch this video called How To Skid On Fixie from Foad Gang YouTube Channel.

A video called How To Skid On Fixie from Foad Gang YouTube Channel.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do you still have questions? Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about skid stopping on a fixie.

How do you skid on a fixie?

Skidding on a fixed-gear bicycle can be dangerous, so it’s critical to learn how to stop safely. The first step is to become familiar with your bike. This includes knowing your gears, the terrain you’re riding on, and how the brakes work.

To skid stop on a fixed gear bike, go fast, lock your back wheel by locking your legs (use pedal straps) and move your body weight forward. Once you get the hang of it, it should be fairly easy to skid.

Do you need straps to skid a fixie?

I don’t recommend riding without brakes, but if you only have a front brake, straps will be useful. Pedal straps allow you to use your fixed gear bike to skid stop and apply resistance to the pedals to help slow you down. Riding in hilly areas with a front brake may not always be enough to stop you.

How do you skid stop without a strap?

There are several alternatives to using pedal straps to stop your bike. Simply shift your weight over the handlebars and press down with your back foot. Going strapless with no brake is a bad idea because it requires more time and preparation.

Can you skid on a single-speed bike?

No, you can not skid on a single-speed because even if you lock your legs on a single-speed bike, the rear wheel will not lock.

Conclusion

Skid stopping on a fixie bicycle can be a lot of fun, but keep safety in mind first!

This article covered how to skid, why you would want to skid stop, and the requirements for skidding on a fixed-gear bike. Here are some key takeaways:

Key takeaways

  • Skid stopping is mostly done for fun.
  • Skid stopping will wear your tires very quickly.
  • You need to go fast to skid stop.
  • Always wear a helmet and use appropriate safety equipment.
  • Use pedal straps (not toe cages) to skid stop.
  • You can skid stop without pedal straps, but it is very difficult.

So, are you a hardcore skidder? Did we cover everything you wanted to know? Let us know in the comments section below (we read and reply to every comment). If you found this article helpful, check out our full blog for more tips and tricks on fixed-gear and single-speed bikes. Thanks for reading, and stay fixed.

Helpful resources

Young man riding a black fixed gear bike with pedal straps. Pinterest
Young man riding a black fixed-gear bike with pedal straps. Pinterest

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