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Are Fixies Good for Fitness & Exercise? (The Truth)

Ever wondered if fixies are good for exercise In this article, you will learn why riding fixed is great for exercise, muscle gain, and overall health.

Image of young female cyclist exercising in the park with a fixed gear bike. Source: Adobe Stock
Image of young female cyclist exercising in the park with a fixed gear bike. Source: Adobe Stock

Most of us understand the importance of exercise. Some people run, while others jog or spend some time at the gym. But are fixed-gear bikes good for exercise?

Fixed gear bikes are great for exercise because they continually activate muscles. Riding fixed also strengthens the muscles in your core and back. As a result, your strength will increase to compensate for the demands of the bike. And riding a fixie builds endurance since it must be continuously moving.

But there’s a lot more to it than that. So, in this article, you will learn why riding fixed is good for exercise, whether riding fixed can help you build muscle, and if riding fixed can help you stay fit.

Editor’s note: This article was updated on June 15, 2022, to include additional information about cycling fitness.

Before learning about cycling fitness, let’s find out what a fixie is in the first place.

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What are fixed gear bikes?

Fixed gear bikes are bikes that have only one gear. This you can not cost. And, if you pedal backward, the bike will move backward. This type of bike is popular among cyclists who want to maximize their efficiency and power.

There are several reasons why fixed-gear bikes are becoming more popular. First, they are perfect for those who want a simple and easy bike to operate—there is no need for shifters or derailleurs. Finally, fixed gear bikes are often less expensive than traditional bikes, making them an ideal option for those on a budget.

Image of a man riding fixed gear bike with a sunset backdrop.
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An image of a man riding a fixed-gear bike with a sunset backdrop. Source: Jonny Kennaugh, Unsplash

Are fixed-gear bikes good for exercise?

Fixed gear bikes are good for exercise. Because it constantly engages muscles, it’s a greater workout than a geared bike. It also helps tone your abdominal and back muscles. Your strength will grow to compensate for the demands of the bike. The constant movement required while riding a fixie develops endurance. This is just one of the many advantages of riding a fixed-gear bike.

How long should I bike for a good workout?

This is different for every individual. However, consider scheduling 30-60 minutes of biking time, 3-5 days a week, into your weekly schedule. Every ride should begin with a warm-up. For 5-10 minutes, pedal at a leisurely, comfortable speed. Then increase your pace until you begin to sweat. Try to keep track of your cycling workout with a timer. Don’t have one? Use your phone, or check out this digital workout timer*.

Is cycling enough exercise for an adult?

Experts recommend that we all engage in 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week. That’s the absolute minimum. But, according to an article on mayoclinic.org, the same doctors suggest that “if you increase your activity to 300 minutes or more per week, you can get greater health advantages.” Those who drive greater distances are likely to exceed the 300-minute mark each week.

So if your cycling is hitting that threshold, it should be good enough. But, on the other hand, you might consider cycling a little more often if you’re not hitting that threshold.

Can riding a fixed bike help you build more muscle?

Yes. It’s a better exercise than a traditional chained gear bike since it continually activates muscles. Because your legs control the speed of the bike, they rapidly gain muscle to keep up. It also strengthens the muscles in your core and back.

If you want to see what muscles are active when riding a bike, watch this video on cycling muscles from the Pioneercyclo YouTube Channel.

A video called ‘Which Muscles Are Used When Riding a Bike?’ from the Pioneercyclo YouTube Channel.

Can you burn more calories on a fixie?

According to Harvard University, a 155-pound individual may burn 298 calories in 30 minutes by riding at a moderate pace of 12 to 13.9 miles per hour. A person of the same weight will burn 372 calories at a quicker rate of 14 to 15.9 miles per hour.

A hilly ride would take longer on a fixie, and you will work much more than on a geared bike or a bike with a freewheel. Thus you will burn more calories on a fixie than on other bikes. This is another reason fixies are good for exercise. Additionally, there is no coasting on a fixie (even downhill). So, you are always engaged.

If you want to burn calories in the comfort of your home, consider getting a bicycle roller. They’re cheap and super effective. And they will keep you using your bike even when it’s snowy or rainy. Take a look at the options below.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Below are some commonly asked questions about fixed gear biking and its health benefits.

Are fixie bikes good for fitness?

Yes, fixie bikes are an excellent way to work out. They are easy to operate and let you cycle at a modest speed, making them an excellent means of transportation for people new to cycling. Furthermore, fixie bikes are frequently significantly less expensive than other types of bicycles, making them a more economical alternative for individuals on a tight budget. Finally, even single-speed bikes are a great workout. Even though you can coast on them, even a single fear still provides many benefits.

Does riding a fixie make you stronger?

Riding a fixed-gear forces you to work more than you would on a geared bike, and as a result, you may become stronger and fitter. However, this is not exclusive to a fixie. A road bike can also make your legs strong.

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Are fixed-gear bikes good for cycling training?

Fixed-gear bicycles are an excellent training tool for any riding discipline. This is because the muscle groups operate continually to regulate the pace of the bike, both during acceleration and deceleration. So you can’t just stop pedaling to slow down or stop.

Conclusion

Most people understand the importance of staying fit. Fitness is a crucial part of cycling. That said, no bike is better for exercising than a fixed-gear bike. Your muscles will remain in constant motion, helping you burn more energy and build more stamina.

In this article, we covered whether riding a fixie is excellent exercise, whether riding a fixie helps you build muscle, and whether a fixie can help you burn more calories. Here are some key takeaways:

Key takeaways

  • Fixed gear bikes are suitable for exercise.
  • A fixie can help you build stronger leg muscles.
  • Because you must constantly pedal, the cycle allows you to burn more calories than on a geared bike.
  • You can get a great workout on a commute with a fixie.
  • Cyclists love fixies and single-speed bikes because of their simplicity.
  • You can use a fixie to exercise during your commute.
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So, do you ride your fixed gear bike for the health benefits? Let us know in the comments below (we read and reply to every comment). Also, if you found this article helpful, check out our full blog for more tips and tricks on everything fixie. Thanks for reading, and stay fixed.

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Written by Bradly 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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