Are you looking for a good bike with a single gear, and are you in a dilemma on which bike to go for between a track bike vs fixie bike? As a bike racer, these two bikes may also confuse you since they have a similar outlook and offer similar riding benefits.
However, the track bike and fixie bike have distinct features that give them uniqueness. Track bikes are made to fit racing on indoor tracks or even on ways meant for bikes. Alternatively, fixies are designed to be commuter bicycles and bike casually for fun.
There are several critical differences in structuring and other distinct features for their specific functions. Thus it is vital to get to know how the bikes work, their characteristics, processes, and which bike better suits your purpose for it.
These similarities and differences between a track and a fixie bike are highlighted below.
What is a Fixie Bike?
A fixie bike, also known as a fixed gear bike, is a bicycle with one gear but does not have a freewheel. This bike must maintain constant movement; most times, they do not have hand brakes. Despite this, they meet most local laws on bicycling since they have one front hand brake.
A fixie bike has a simple layout; it is a very light bike that is easy and cheap to maintain. They are a popular bike among messengers and people who often commute. Today many fixie bikes have a flip flop hub, making it easy to change from a freewheel to a fixed gear and vice versa. The freewheel helps you coast like a regular bike.
Here are some of the pros and cons of fixed-gear bikes:
Pros of a Fixie Bike
I. Fixie bikes can be customized easily.
Many manufacturers and industries have gears suited for fixie bikes, making them easy to personalize. You can use colorful gears on your fixie bike since it is a very simple bicycle.
II. Very Affordable and Simple Design
They are very affordable and have a simple design and few bicycle parts, making them cheaper than other bikes.
III. Fixie bikes are incredibly light.
They are super light to a point you can carry them easily, even with one hand up a staircase.
IV. Trickable Bicycle
They can quickly reverse, making them perfect if you want to do tricks on your bike.
V. They are safe since.
With fixies, you can stop your bike quickly when an emergency occurs while you are riding, thanks to the fixed-wheel drive that helps you brake and avoid accidents.
Cons of a Fixie Bike
I. Unsuitable for riding on rough surfaces
They are unsuitable for riding on rough surfaces or sloppy terrains. Since they have one gear, it is difficult for them to hang on sloppy or steep terrains.
What is a Track Bike?
A track bike is a bicycle with fixed gear that is purposefully used in indoor racing tracks called velodromes. Track bikes come with an aggressive e geometry. Thus, the seat and head tube are at a 74 degrees angle. Their brackets at the base are placed a bit high to prevent your bike from scraping when on a velodrome.
They have slim tires which can be inflated to the most significant volume. When it comes to customizing this bike, it is primarily done to make it better for racing. Here are its pros and cons:
Pros of a Track Bike
I. Incredible and unique layout
Track bikes are made to be used in bike track racing indoors called velodromes. They have an incredible and unique layout. Therefore, they are excellent bikes if you want one to use in velodromes.
II. Fast and lightweight
These bikes are designed to be fast, and they are lightweight.
Cons of a Track Bike
I. Only for indoors
They are meant for indoors. Therefore, they cannot handle potholes and rough terrain.
II. Unbearable for long rides
Track bikes are stiff with an aggressive geometry that makes them unbearable for long rides.
III. Doesn't offer hand brakes
These bikes do not have hand brakes, making them unsafe to ride outside. Sometimes there is a need to stop, especially in emergencies, and hand brakes might be needed. Thus it would help if you were very cautious when riding outside.
Similarities of Track Bike Vs Fixie
- The track and fixie bikes have single-gear drive trains, making them both fixed-gear bikes. They have one gear attached to each shaft, which makes the bike’s speed depend on how you ride it. The single gear is crucial as it helps shift a vast amount of energy, and they do not cause slips.
- When it comes to outlook track vs. fixie, bikes have similar looks. They both have a slender appearance which often confuses many people.
- Track bikes and fixie bikes are both light bicycles. You can easily carry them around without getting tired, which is a plus when riding and getting to surfaces you cannot manoeuver using your bike.
- The fixie and track bike need leg strength to slow down or even stop. When you are riding at high speeds, and you need to reduce the pace in your leg to assist you in controlling your speed is essential for both bikes.
- The fixie and track bikes cannot handle steep and rocky terrains due to their features. The track bikes cannot handle rough surfaces and vertical landscapes due to their stiffness, but the fixie bike can take uneven surfaces, not steep and rocky areas.
Differences of Track Bikes Vs Fixie
- The critical difference between track bikes vs. fixies is that track bikes are primarily made for racing, especially indoors on velodromes. In contrast, fixies are meant for transportation, casual use, and fun rides.
- Fixie bikes come with brakes, while the track bikes do not. Fixies do not have breaks since they are meant for racing, and bikers on racers typically move in the same direction; thus, having brakes may cause more harm than good. Alternatively, you can take the brakes off, but this does not make them suitable for racing like track bikes.
- Regarding engineering, track bikes are designed to be perfect for hard sprints and have circular fork blades, while fixies have oval fork blades.
- Track bikes come with a straight angle that makes them stiff, while fixies are designed to handle rougher surfaces.
- Track bikes vs. fixie tires. Track bikes have a super tight tire clearance, with a few varieties for you to choose from. However, fixies can incorporate various tire types. One should be cautious when riding a track bike since having a flat tire means you cannot replace the tire.
Fixies have fenders that protect your bike from having a backsplash.
I hope we have clarified the differences and similarities between the track and fixie bikes to help you make the right decision in your purchase. Track bikes are more affordable than the fixie, which might be a significant factor to consider when on a budget.
Fixie bikes have many cheap spare parts, but the track bikes’ features and components you cannot replace, which you should also consider.
As a bike racer, it is clear that the right bike for you is a track bike, and if you are a person who loves commuting or riding for leisure, fixies are definitely for you.
Safety should be your top priority when riding a bike; thus, you should leave the brakeless fixie or track bike to the experts to avoid accidents and always be in control in emergencies.
Get your preferred track or fixie bike brand to know which one suits your needs.