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The Disadvantages of a fixed gear bike

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While a fixed gear has several advantages, there are some clear disadvantages that may turn some riders off from riding fixed altogether.

It takes some getting used to

Fixed gear bicycles are not something that can be hopped on and mastered in a matter of minutes. The radically different feel and approach demand some substantial adjustment, much more so if you are used to freewheeling machines, as the majority of riders are. The constant pedaling action will feel very strange at first. 

Braking is harder

As if adjusting to the continual pedaling action wasn’t enough, barking on a fixed gear takes some getting used to. Riders have to entirely relearn how to stop and slow down is an even larger deterrent.

May be Illegal

In certain regions, driving without brakes is also prohibited, and regardless of your skill level, it may be quite hazardous in specific cases.

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No gear shifts for going uphill

While a well-ratioed fixed-gear drivetrain has a number of benefits, the lack of speeds might be a disadvantage in some riding situations, regardless of how fit you are. This can be particularly noticeable when going uphill and downhill. 

Not great for hilly terrain

If you need a bike that can conquer hills or rough off-road terrain, a fixie may not be the bike you’re looking for. Fixed gear bikes are best on flat ground. The single gear makes it very difficult to pedal up steep hills. It can be done; But prepare for a workout of epic proportions.

May hurt your knees over time.

Fixed gear cycling requires constant pedaling, which may accelerate joint wear. However, all physical activity contributes to joint wear, and riding a fixed gear bike casually with proper technique should not do too much harm to your knees in the long run. Skidstopping, however, can do long-term harm. To prevent long-term issues, use a front brake with your fixie.

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Approach your ride on a fixed gear bike as you would with any sport that works your leg muscles and requires a proper form.

Author avatar - Bradley Knight
Written By Bradley Knight
As a native New Yorker, Bradley is no stranger to the fixed gear scene. He’s been riding fixed for over ten years. When he’s not on the bike, you can find him practicing his many hobbies including playing guitar, video production, and photography.

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