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17/09/2010 // INFO 2 Comments

Fixies, an outsider’s view


Toby not sure whether to go fixed

Toby applied to be GGB’s intern through our Facebook page and has subsequently become devoted to the bike. He wanted to find out a bit more about fixed wheel bikes and chose the FaceBook Thursday Throwdown as the perfect place to find out more. Below are his findings:

Having been out of the country for a few years (in a country with very few bikes) and only recently having caught the cycling bug, I have returned to the UK amid what seems a much divided issue…are fixies purely a fashion statement or a practical form of transport? This was the question posed in yesterday’s Thursday Throwdown…

I must admit, having never heard of a fixie before my return, I like them…I like the look of them, I like the simplicity of them and I like the minimalist attire of many of those riding them – I like simplicity!

Having never ridden one, I also assume they work your muscles a bit harder up gradients, which I also like…so, I thought I would get one…but wait…will people think I am a newbie poser? Do I buy a new one or try to cobble one together? Will I even be able to ride one? How do I stop? These are all questions which crossed my mind…many of which were answered by the comments of the Throwdown.

For a bike to be legal it must have two stopping mechanisms, and fixies do this through a front brake and by applying resistance via the pedals to the rear wheel, as Alastair explains: “You will find that your legs are more effective at slowing down or stopping the bike than even the best brakes”.

Alastair also recommends putting one together yourself from classifieds and websites, rather than buying a new one – a decent one can be put together for under £150 quid…this seems to be supported by James, who seems to be suggesting to stay away from cheap new manufacturers – could end up costing a lot more in the long run…

What fixies really do seem to have going for them, is that they have less parts for something to go wrong with and in winter, require much less lubrication and maintenance as there are far fewer cables and intricate mechanics to have to tend to…

Verdict – I’m going to get one, but I think I’ll take my time and slowly piece together something special…are you?

Ed. – If you’re keen to get a new fixie look here in our fixed wheel section or alternatively,  if you’ve had enough and want to sell, sell your bike for no listing fee here.

2 comments [leave one]
Ty September 17, 2010 at 9:06 am

The dude who said you can put one together for £150 must be a bit mad, you can get an old frame for free easily enough but even the absolute worst fixed wheelset will cost you about £130 and the rear hub wont last 2 minutes. A cheap crankset is about £60 so you are looking at £200+ as an absolute minimum. You will obviously want new tyres and bar tape, a new chain, probably new straps for the clips…

Basically you’ll need to spend over £300 to put a conversion together which you will then spend hundreds more on upgrading over the first year before finally buying a track frame for hundreds more again. Yeah it’s good to start by building your own bike but a reliable, good quality fixed gear is by no means a way of putting together a cheap bike.

Certainly look into the Charge Plug and the Globe bikes before putting together a crappy cheap build that’ll fall apart. Check out the gallery at http://www.thefootdown.co.uk/fixed-gear-bike-gallery/ for some inspiration! :-p

The Foot Down


SeanK September 17, 2010 at 9:27 am

Ty’s right on this one…I can’t see many quality fixies out there for much less than £300.

A bike is something to be enjoyed so would advise not to take the cheap (est) route…my Pearson Touche has got some lovely bits and pieces on it and rides like a dream.


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