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Are Fixies Good for Exercise? (The Truth)

Fitness is very important, but are fixies better for fitness than other bikes?

Image of a man wearing jean shorts holding a white fixed gear bike.
Image of a man wearing jean shorts holding a white fixed gear bike.

Most of us understand the importance of exercise. Some people run, while others jog, others 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. 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 January 17, 2022, to include additional information regarding cycling fitness.

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 to 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.

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Is cycling enough exercise alone for an adult?

Experts recommend that we all engage in 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week. That’s the absolute minimum. According to an article I saw on mayoclinic.org, the same doctors also suggest that “if you increase your activity to 300 minutes or more per week, you can get greater health advantages.” Those of us who drive greater distances are likely to exceed the 300-minute mark each week. So if your cycling is hitting that threshold hold, it should probably be good enough if you’re not hitting that threshold, you might want to consider cycling a little bit more often.

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.

Can riding a fixed bike help you build more muscle?

Yes. Fixed gear riding improves three primary areas of your cycling skills that are vital to both road and mountain riders: endurance, leg speed/efficiency, and strength. Depending on the duration of your ride, you’ll get a good endurance exercise as well as work on your Muscular Endurance.

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

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

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 pace 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 other kinds of bikes. This is yet another reason why fixies are good for exercise.

If you wanna burn calories in the comfort of your own 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 outside. Take a look at the options below.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Can you ride a fixie up a hill?

Yes. However, in order to ride a fixie uphill, you must have both physical endurance and mental courage. This is not something that will happen overnight.

Are fixies bad for your knees?

The belief that fixies cause knee injuries is erroneous. Any exercise may cause joint wear and strain, especially on your knees. If riding a fixie causes knee discomfort, it might be because of a pre-existing condition, overworking oneself, or bad form.

To utilize a fixed-gear bike, the bike must be in continual motion. If you ride in an incorrect posture or utilize an ineffective pedaling stroke, you may hurt your knees. Because you are always riding, there is no time for the knee to relax. An issue will be exacerbated by poor technique.

Are fixies dangerous?

A fixed-gear bike is not necessarily dangerous, but it depends on the rider’s skill level. Every bike presents some level of danger to both the rider and pedestrians. When you stop pedaling on a fixed-gear bike, the bike may swerve and tumble over. This might be a major concern since fixies function best on city terrain. If you fall while riding a fixie, you fall hard. That, though, can be said about any bike.

If you want to see what muscles are active when you ride a bike, take a look at this video on cycling muscles from the Pioneercyclo YouTube Channel.

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

Conclusion

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

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

Key takeaways

  • Fixed gear bikes are good for exercise.
  • A fixie can help you build stronger leg muscles.
  • You can burn more calories while riding a fixie than with a geared bike.
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So, do you ride fixed for the health benefits? Let us know in the comments 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 everything fixie. Thanks for reading, and stay fixed.

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Helpful resources

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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