Why Do Fixies Have No Brakes? 7 Reasons and Safety Tips
Fixed gear bikes or fixies are bikes without gears and brakes with a simple outlook initially designed for racing, but you can also use them for casual riding. They are high-speed bikes that work great if you love long rides.
Although many people shy away from getting fixies due to lacking brakes, they miss out on a lot. Many people ask, "why do fixies have no brakes" and we are here to answer that.
We have also summarized different techniques to stop your fixie if fixies are safe and more. Let's discuss one by one regarding the todays' point.
Why Do People Ride Fixed-gear Bikes without Brakes?
1. Enjoy riding time
Most people who ride fixie bikes have praised it for the fun it provides. For these bikes, the rider feels more connected to their fixies as they do not have complicated gear appliances and even brakes, thus making your ride smooth.
Since for fixies, you need to pedal fixies when riding them continuously, it gives makes you feel grounded to the road. They also provide speed for riders who enjoy fast rides.
2. Clean Lines
Since fixies do not have brakes, they allow you to ride in clean lines since they provide more excellent maneuverability and control. It is mainly preferred by messengers and even people in urban areas due to the clean lines.
Riding in lines allows you to resist the wind when riding and also will enable you to make turns when needed quickly. You have greater control with fixie bikes, and you can easily ride in clean lines, and them lacking brakes play a huge role in this.
3. Better fitness
Since fixie bikes have no breaks, they allow you to ride fast, and you have to pedal as you ride them. They can do a lot for your fitness.
Riding fast reduces the resistance since you're pressing against every stroke, shifting a significant portion of the pressure of pedaling away from your muscle less toward your lung and heart.
Many people go for fixies to stay fit as they offer great cardio.
4. Ability to set up stylish handlebars
Fixie bikes can be customized easily; lacking breaks make it easy, and many companies offer parts and accessories for these bikes. Handlebars on these bikes are parts you can easily customize to fit your style and for comfortability.
If you want to improve your fixie's performance, changing handlebars is a great way to do it. There are many handlebars, like bullhorns, cruiser bars, and more.
5. Old track bikes
Fixie bikes are initially designed for tracking, which is why they do not have breaks. You can use them in lots of track competitions, and thus they are made to be track-ready.
Fixies also allow ease when riding, which is ideal for riders since it helps them avoid bumping into each other.
Therefore, if you are a racer looking for an excellent racing bike, fixies are a good option. It’s also suitable for racing with friends.
6. Aesthetic and philosophical
When it comes to aesthetic fixie, bikes have attractive options for you. You can opt for many fixed-gear bike designs and colors to fit your style and aesthetic.
For fixies, you can incorporate lights, wheels, tires with different methods, and more to make your fixie aesthetical. Accessories like bike speakers can also be great.
The ability of this bike to be philosophical makes it a plus for many people with fixie bikes. There are many inspirations for your aesthetic on Pinterest that are amazing.
7. Less maintenance
Many of the maintenance issues associated with traditional bikes are eliminated with fixed gear bikes. Fixed-gear bikes are cheaper to maintain and repair because they have fewer parts.
All that remains is lubricating the transmission chain and ensuring all other fixtures are stiffened and safe. Brake pads are the only parts that need to be replaced due to general wear and tear.
Because a fixie lacks the complex gear derailleurs found on geared bikes, wheel removal, cleaning, regular servicing, and more are much more manageable. Regularly using the road of bike derailleurs will cause them to wear and tear quickly.
After all, they are moving parts that can be costly to replace or repair. A fixed-gear bike has no such issue. To break the rear drive sprocket or the front chaining, you'd have to abuse it for the fixie bikes.
Exert back pressure on your pedal to slow down your fixie, then suddenly change the direction of your bike to stop. You can also put pressure on the front wheel by leaning forward and then doing a skid.
ii. Resistance Pedaling
Pull back on your pedal as they rotate when you are riding, and you will eventually come to a stop.
iii. The Ted Shred
When riding your fixed gear bike, the ted shred technique can be very effective in helping you stop though it can be hazardous. All you need to do is put one leg on top of the back tire as you are riding to stop your fixie.
To skip-stop, you must skip on your rear wheel, gradually slowing down. However, it is not advisable as it can wear your tire quickly.
v. Little resistance
Appling less force when pedaling since it reduces the amount of power you supply against the wind, and this helps your fixie come to a stop.
Is It Safe to Ride a Bike with No Brakes?
A. On a velodrome
It is safe to ride a brakeless bike in a velodrome since every rider is moving in circles, and there is no need to stop due to emergencies as everyone is going in the same direction as you.
Thus, having no breaks on your fixie bike and safe on indoor tracks, all you need to do is reduce your pedaling pace slowly.
B. On the roads
You need to be a professional rider or have lots of experience using a fixie on the road that does not have breaks. If you are just a beginner riding your brakeless fixie, it is not safe as you can put yourself in danger and others.
Roads are usually busy, cars come from all directions, and you may be required to stop during an emergency; therefore, it is not safe unless you are an expert.
C. On the Forest
It is only safe if you are a professional or an experienced rider. Riding through forests can be dangerous and even worse when you are on a brakeless bike.
For a beginner, it is hazardous as you can end up bumping into the woods and bringing harm to yourself.
FAQs Regarding Why Do Fixies Have No Brakes
Q. What bikes have no brakes?
Answer: Fixies are the most known type of breaks without brakes and gears. Other bikes come with brakes, and people can choose to take them off though they will not be as effective as a fixie.
Q. Are fixies without brakes illegal?
Answer: Fixed gear bikes are entirely legal. Even so, riding without brakes is illegal in many towns and cities. It is recommendable to have one front brake if road rules in your area do not allow brakeless bikes.
Therefore, you need to know the laws on biking in your area to avoid getting in trouble.
Q. Do fixie bikes have hand brakes?
Answer: Brakes are not usually included with fixies. The bike can not freewheel while moving, and its pedals continue to spin by design. Riders have to resist the pedals to slow down.
Therefore, some riders tend to implement a one-hand brake to help them when stopping.
Q. Should I put brakes on my fixie?
Answer: We strongly recommend always using brakes on your fixed-gear bicycles, whether you are a skilled or new rider. It is because safety is paramount when riding your bike. It is essential to consider your safety and that of others.
I hope you know all you need to know about the benefits of fixies having no brakes and different tricks to use to stop your fixie. Fixies are fun bikes to have, and they are aesthetically pleasing, suitable for exercise and racing, and more.
People, especially cycling enthusiasts, often get fixies to try different tricks like skidding. Safety is paramount for bikes; therefore, getting brakes for your fixies would not hurt, plus it is essential to ensure your fixie follows the state rules.
Enjoy the ride experience with fixies and get to know the hype about it.