After reading a lot of websites, searching online including craigslist and watching youtube videos I learned one thing, and that is… I want a fixie. Yep, that’s what I want. So, I’m looking for a bike, well make that a fixie. If you missed part I, click here.
What’s A Fixie
Fixed gear bicycle, fixed wheel bicycle, commonly know as a fixie. Think of it like this, a bicycle that has no freewheel mechanism. The rear sprocket (or cog) is threaded or bolted directly to the rear hub, becoming a one piece unit. The wheel via the chain is directly connected to the crank pedals, as one turns so does the other.
The rider becomes one with the bike. There is no coasting with a fixie, if the bike is moving so are the pedals. Think pedal forward bike moves forward, pedal backward bike moves backward. The freewheel had been invented early on however the fixed gear bicycle remains the standard for track bikes, think velodrome.
What’s The Appeal
Minimalist, nothing more nothing less. Fixies are on the rise and have an almost cult like following. The advantages of this minimalist bicycle is this, imagine a de-cluttered house if you will. All the extra crap is gone, in this case; extra shift levers, brakes (some riders choose to keep a front brake), cables, de-railers and that ugly large cassette of gears on the back hub.
Generally, fixies are very lightweight and require less maintenance due to less parts. The beauty is in the cleaness and simplicity.
Build A Fixie
Here’s a great example of taking a classic 1970’s bike and converting it into a sweet looking fixie. You can read the build article here at ReMadeIt. I really love the way this fixie conversion turned out. With some passion, a few tools and skills and a little work you can do this too.
*These photos are posted with permission from ReMadeIt.
Looking For A Bike
Local pawn shops can hold some pretty amazing deals. In my city Baltimore, there are pawn shops all over the place however, I’ve never bought or pawned anything in my life. Well, that is until now… I found a bike I had to have. They had 2 fixies out of about 19 bikes for sale.
The first of the two bikes I tested out was nice however the frame was a little too small for me. The 2nd fixie I fell in love with (or so I think).
The salespeople at the store had no idea what a fixie was, they thought these 2 bikes were missing parts so I explained to them that they weren’t missing parts and they are supposed to be like this.
Looking back, I should have not said anything, let them believe they were missing parts and let them sell the bikes discounted.
My New (used) Bike
So happy, I bought the 2nd of the 2 bikes I tested out.
I ended up with this sweet Italian MASI.
More on the MASI fixie in my next bike post.