Why do they say fixed gear bikes don't have breaks?

I rode a standard fixed gear bicycle for most of my childhood. It certainly had a rear brake that engaged with the pedals. I never had any problems stopping my bicycle. I rode my full size bike all over my small hometown. I always had chain grease marks on my jeans. :smiley:

That’s true of all the kids. Our parents would have never allowed us on a bicycle with no brakes.

This article doesn’t make any sense. The rear brake in an old fashioned bicycle works as intended.

Have they changed the standard bicycle in the past 20 years? I bought simple single gear bicycles for my daughters. They were kids bikes meant for our neighborhood. The rear brakes worked.

Can you explain what the article means?

A fixie is literally just pedals connected to chain connected to wheel. If you want to slow down, you pedal slower, if you want to go backwards you can, if you want to coast without pedaling, why are you riding a fixie?

This article can explain better than I can.

The single-speed bicycle with a coaster brake of your youth is not a fixie. Your rear hub had a mechanism allowing the bicycle to coast without the pedals turning, and if the pedals were reversed a brake engaged inside the hub. A true fixie has neither of those features. The rear hub is simply a solid axle with a fixed sprocket attached - if the back wheel is turning the pedals are too. These are primarily ridden in velodromes, but occasionally it becomes a fad to ride them for general use.

Thank you

I knew that article didn’t sound right. Based on bikes I’ve always ridden.

I didn’t realize there’s a new, fixed gear bicycle without a rear brake.

There’s nothing new about fixed-gear bikes. They are also known as track bikes. They’ve always been the standard bike for track racing.

What you had wasn’t a fixed gear bike, it was a single-speed bike.

Although fixed-gear bikes can have brakes. Many people who use fixed-gear bikes on the roads fit them with conventional front brakes.

It’s not new. They’ve been around forever. What’s new is that it’s again become faddish to ride them outside of velodromes.

Not new: It’s almost certainly older than the coaster-brake bike you rode. It’s just still around for some highly-specific circumstances.

Ok single speed bike.

LOL it’s hard keeping up with the terminology these days.

I’ve never rode one with dropped handle bars either.

I still ride when I can get out in the country. My city’s traffic is no place for me on a bicycle.

Bike messengers in NY ride fixies (or they used to) because they’re very light and there’s not much to break on them.

I had a single-speed bicycle just like that - unfortunately, one day I swapped bikes with a friend who had a 10-speed with handbrakes, which I did not realize until I was moving fast, and found that pedaling backwards did me no good.

Fixed gear bikes were the first kinds of bikes - the Tour de France was originally ridden on fixed gear bikes. I think they may have used flup flop hubs but that’s neither here nor there. Oddly enough TdF riders weren’t allowed to use derailleurs until quite some time after they were invented.

The bike you had as a kid was a coaster brake bike. If you stopped pedaling the pedals did not spin and force your feet to move.

Any style of bike could be configured to use a fixed gear - the important issue concerning frame compatibility is the dropout spacing, and also to a large extent dropout (where the wheel goes in) style.

A track bike, however, is designed specifically for a track and the frame does not have the ability to mount a brake (if it is a true track bike).

All track bikes are fixed gear, not all fixed gear bikes are track bikes and not all single speed bikes are fixed gear.

I remember being warned that a front brake could grab and throw me, head first, off the bike.

I guess if you applied it too hard.

I choose not to add one to my bike and find out. I’m too old to take a fall that hard and not get hurt.

We just had a thread about this.

It wash’t exactly the same.

Close enough. It discussed fixed gear bikes and braking systems.

I think a lot of people thought fixed-gear was the same as single speed.

It’s pretty confusing. They look the same. Cool! A vintage kid’s bike.

Uh, no that’s a racing bike and there’s no brakes.

As of the past decade or so, they’ve been popular around San Francisco for the same reason. Plus, they’re the bicycle version of a manual transmission in cars - a “cool” factor and by being harder to ride than a regular coaster/freewheel bike, there may be a little theft resistance built in.

I love fixies, but you really need two things: leg muscles and brakes.

If you’re wondering if you could deal with a fixie, pick one gear and stay in it all day. If you’re like me, you’ll miss starting out from stoplights in an easier gear. Standing on the pedals while you creep across the intersection, struggling to get up to a decent speed, gets frustrating.

Don’t see how my kid gets around SF on one…

ETA: Hey, gotpasswords, have you ridden one in San Francisco? I would think the hills would be tough… going up, and trying not to get out of control going down…

Maybe some theft resistance, but every bike messenger I used to see (this is 20 years ago though) would carry the front wheel inside along with the package.

I’ve never seen that, it doesn’t even make sense. I guess anything is possible though.