Learning to ride a fixed gear bike is like learning to ride a bicycle all over again because there are several unique challenges when it comes to riding a fixed gear single speed bicycle. Most of the time when you’ll search for a fixed gear bike or a ‘’fixie’’ all you’ll hear is that how it’s the purest form of bike riding that’s fluid and smooth, and how you are connected to the road and the bike.
But there hasn’t been much written about crashing yourself in cars and walls or falling over at the red lights. So, today we’ll be talking about some tips and how to ride a ‘‘fixie’’ or a fixed gear bike.
Choose the right gear
Choosing the right gear is very critical, and that should depend on the terrain you are riding on and your route. Here are some tips to relieve some stress of yours.
- If you are planning to take on some hilly routes, then you should choose a gear that is easy enough to get you up to the hill but at the same time heavy enough to get you down the hill in one piece. Because if your gear selection isn’t on the point, you’ll be moving down the hill uncomfortably without any control on the pedals.
- On the other hand, if you are planning to take on plain or flat routes, then you can choose heavier gears to improve your strength or lighter gear to improve your pedaling cadence.
Although this skill requires experience and time on the road, when riding a fixie, you must force yourself to think a move or two ahead of yourself. This kind of critical thinking is best when you’re cornering, and you don’t know the roads or route.
Learn speed control
Learning to maintain your momentum, especially on climbs and descents can be tricky. But this is the skill that you must have in your arsenal if you wanna master how to ride a fixed gear bike. Though on gradual inclines you might not find it as challenging as it should be but as a newcomer if you can’t or don’t know how to maintain your momentum then you’ll be out of gas in no time and would be rupturing your lungs along the way.
So my advice would be to connect with local fixed riding clubs and riders, build relation with them, go on routes together and take part in events as much as you can because that’s where you’ll learn the most.
Work on your weak spots
Improving your weak spots can greatly help you to improve your fixed riding skills. Also, there’s a myth between the fixed riding cyclists that you’ll find yourself struggling to turn right on a fixed gear bike. But the truth is whatever the side you are turning if it’s a sharp turn then you are in for a surprise. That’s because there’s a huge chance that you’ll hit the inside of the corner of the curb with your pedal.
So, how you can prevent such type of situation is by knowing your limits. It’s tough learning curves because you need to find out how low you can lean through a corner. So when practicing, try to lean as far as you can so you hit the curb and then remembering these limits is the most crucial part. Also, try to buy a fixed gear bike with a shorter crank arm.
Last but not least, there are some few safety tips that you should definitely follow if you want to ride a fixed gear bike without any injuries. First of all, you must install a front brake on your bike. Though it’s possible to ride a fixie without any brakes as you are just finding your way through on how to ride a fixed gear bike, it’s important that you have a front brake on your bike. Also, it is totally illegal to ride a bike without any brakes as you can injure yourself and others on the road.
Next up, always choose the right bottoms when you are riding a fixed gear bike. I will never suggest you wear some loose trousers and get yourself tangled in the chain. So, wear some tight pants or shorts, so you won’t find yourself tangled in the chain.
Get some toe clips or clipless pedals that will ensure your feet stay on the pedals because you don’t wanna find yourself moving down a hill at a speed of 40mph trying to reconnect your feet with the pedals. Definitely, that’ll be awful to watch.