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So Im gonna be building up a commuter/cross bike and Ive decided that singlespeed is what right for it. I just have one question that Im curious about. What exactly is the advantage of a fixie?
 

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Spicy Dumpling
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I ride my fillmore in both ways about 60/40 biased towards the Singlespeed. If I didn't have the steep and long downhills around here I'd go fixed all the time. Singlespeed also works better if you are riding with a group. Fixed feels smoother and you are more in touch with the bike. But here in the foothills of the blue ridge there are too many downhills that wear me out and I usually ride with a few friends on geared bikes. If I want to keep up I need to be able to coast on the downhills. If I rode in the DC area like MB1, I'd probably be riding fixed 100% of the time.
 

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on top of the other comments other things i can think of is : -

Fixed learns you to pedal smoother as there is no 'dead' spot.

Also if you are riding for training then you get more training effect out of fixed because you have to keep pedalling :)

I think a fixed is more stable with the inertia, a few times i have drifted of the road into the gutter and only the fixed kept me on. Im sure there are cases where fixed could be a little more risky though.
 

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B15serv said:
So Im gonna be building up a commuter/cross bike and Ive decided that singlespeed is what right for it. I just have one question that Im curious about. What exactly is the advantage of a fixie?
If you want to do any offroad, ride down lots of steep hills or take corners fast at speed then SS might be a better choice.
 

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yeah. kind of echoing what others have said, i think it depends on where most of your riding occurs and what you want to do. my bike has to double as my commuter as i am without a car at the moment, and my entire town is essentially on a pretty noticeable rise, so i am climbing or descending ALOT. for this reason i'd stick to SS. i do however have one certain friend who rides a fixey EVERYWHERE and despite smoking can seem to just smoke everyone no matter what he or they are riding, but i chalk that up more to his natural athleticism, build, and monsterously long legs.
 

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SS will let you relax. You can relax on a fixie but never 100%. Downhill speed is limited. My area has up to 600 foot vertical hills, most are around half, some are steep. I sit up and sometimes us the brake on the downhills as opposed to tucking and flying around corners. Grinding uphills (42-16, pretty much your average fixie gear) doesn't really bother me but it would if the hills were longer. I'm not going to take the fixie to some serious mountain climb. Potholes are more dangerous - you can't really float or hop over anything.

The most important consideration is that fixed is just a lot of fun. It makes riding feel fresh again. It'd be a good mix to commute fixed and ride free.
 

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If you learn to ride a fixie off road, you will become a faster rider. Take bunny hopping for instance. You have to learn how to time the hop. If your crank arm are not coordinated to the time you have to pull up, you have to learn to skid the back tire to coodinate this action. Go to a park and practice bunny hoping up the side of a curb first. (I meant side in riding with the curb to the side so you can coordinate it without skiding) Soon this action will come natural and you won't have to think about it. Not the next skill is bunny hopping a log, or when you are riding perpendicular to something your hopping over. You have to skid to coodinate the pedals, This is obviously easier on dirt. If you learn that skill so it's natural, This skill lends it'self to pedaling over stuff. For an MTB rider it means less coasting, thus more speed
 

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Sheldon said it better

than any of us can.
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed.html
But really, the only way to explain is to have you ride one for a few (maybe a few dozen) miles. After that, if you still have to ask "why" then you just get the SS and forget about it. And there'd be nothing wrong with that :)
 

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B15serv said:
What exactly is the advantage of a fixie?
You'll get different answers to this depending on who you ask. Best thing for you to do is to get on one and see if you like it or not.
 

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roadfix said:
You'll get different answers to this depending on who you ask. Best thing for you to do is to get on one and see if you like it or not.
Better yet--get one with a flip/flop hub and you'll have both.
 

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I rode the freewheel for 18 miles...

.. now it is in my used parts bin along with a half dozen saddles.

TT
 

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doughboy_88 said:
as to those who say that fixed is "better" b/c it doesn't allow you to rest, the option is there on a SS to_not_stop_pedalling! :)
To each his own, but it's not just the rest. It's the whole feel of the bike. It's not faster, it's not more efficient unless the grade and wind are constant but it's a whole lot of fun. I have maybe a dozen rides and I'm hooked.
 

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Well said

goldsbar said:
To each his own, but it's not just the rest. It's the whole feel of the bike. It's not faster, it's not more efficient unless the grade and wind are constant but it's a whole lot of fun. I have maybe a dozen rides and I'm hooked.
It's hard to explain, but if you like it, you like it and you know pretty quickly. If you don't get it, fine, nothing wrong with that. But you can't duplicate the experience on a SS freewheel bike, even if you force yourself to keep pedaling all the time.

I was hooked after fewer than a dozen rides, too. Probably have 8-10,000 miles now (commuter) and I still like it. But I like the geared bike, too, for hilly rides.

Bottom line: you have to try it to know, one way or the other.
 

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doughboy_88 said:
as to those who say that fixed is "better" b/c it doesn't allow you to rest, the option is there on a SS to_not_stop_pedalling! :)
I rode my 29er SS today (offroad) and I think I'd have had a heck of a time if it was fixed. With the SS I don't have to think about anything but where I'm steering--with the fixed I'd have to be worried about pedal clearance and standing and sitting a lot more. Fixed is cool on the pavement though.
 

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I read the thread and still can't understand the "advantages" of fixed. Other than, for those who like it, they think it's more fun. That's fine - I hope to try one some day to find out for myself.

Are there any actual advantages though? Someone above said it's neither faster nor more efficient. What could possibly be advantages if neither is true?

A unicycle is a lot of fun, but it doesn't have any actual advantages over a bicycle that I know of. (yes, I can ride a unicycle).
 

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Camilo said:
I read the thread and still can't understand the "advantages" of fixed. Other than, for those who like it, they think it's more fun. That's fine - I hope to try one some day to find out for myself.

Are there any actual advantages though? Someone above said it's neither faster nor more efficient. What could possibly be advantages if neither is true?

A unicycle is a lot of fun, but it doesn't have any actual advantages over a bicycle that I know of. (yes, I can ride a unicycle).
If your idea of advantages are speed and efficiency, then there are primarily disadvantages except in very limited circumstances.

On the other hand, if you value simplicity and a new/different experience, a fixie offers plenty of advantages. Cost would also be an advantage. I wouldn't recommend a fixie as someones only bike. More of an add-on.
 
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