Bikers either love it, or love to hate it. It’s a controversial invention and widely discussed among both its fans and haters. Despite people criticizing its dangers, there is a reason why these notorious fixies are still in existence and becoming wildly renowned. It has virtues which regular bikes do not have or do not have to the same degree, and these virtues are the reasons why despite the bikes’ reduced safety assurance, people are still willing and eager to purchase them.
With fixies, bikers feel more connected to their bikes, the ground and their environment. With regular bikes, fixie riders feel as if they are merely working a machine – they pedal to give the gears energy, and the gears will independently work the wheels. There are so many fragments. The different tools work as different units, and this diminishes any sense of unified collaboration in movement. Like a fuel to a car, bikers feel no connection with the vehicle in terms of movement and agility.
However, fixie riders feel like they are in sync with their bike. It’s almost like the biker and fixie are moving together as dancers. The connection is strengthened by stripping the bike down to its most primitive essentials – the biker has to contribute more of his or her own effort to ride it. The bikers’ body and energy will have to compensate for the missing parts. It’s more of the biker and less of the bike, paradoxically giving the biker a liberating feeling of full control. Basically, they will feel like the bike is the extent of their own body.
The fixed gear bicycle has a lot of room for individualistic expression and customization. With the imminent generation being very “hipster” and different, the fixies give them the platform to flaunt their individuality. Senior Officer Maria Peña with the Oxnard police traffic unit had stated that the bikes are popular among youths in the within the age of 12 to 16 because a color scheme can be added to the fixie. Various forms of features are also sold in aftermarkets which the youths can use for decoration or enhancement for the bike. Fixies are also symbolic for deviating against conformity. There is a very punkish feel to them and that fits perfectly for the subversive nature of today’s youths. The more dangerous choice of a fixie against regular bikes gives a notion of being “badass”, especially when youngsters decide to remove the brakes in order to have more freedom in bicycle movement.
Effective fitness tool
With a lot of parts removed, a fixie relies a lot more on the biker for movement, whether starting to move or trying to halt, than a regular bike does. This renders them as very good training tools. You sweat more, lose more calories and train more muscle. While going up a steep slope of hill, you will have to depend on your own strength and energy to push the big gears. Upon descending a hill, you will have to control or resist the pedal force as gravitational force pulls. To top it all up, once you decide you’re tired and want a rest, you cannot just conveniently stop and merely coast along. You will have to resort to back pedaling or skidding, which means stopping the pedals with your legs quickly. These halting skills are not exactly easy tasks. This increased physical contribution will vastly improve the biker’s fitness.
The weight of a fixed bike is far lighter than that of a regular bicycle. Needless to say, it is much easier to achieve swift movement from a lighter bicycle than a heavy, chunky one. But beyond this, it also gives the biker the freedom to be more agile and do more tricks if he or she is into them. Fixie owners are often risk-taking individuals, and hence most of them might be into bicycle tricks.
These bicycle tricks like the Bunny Hop and many others require lifting of the bikes. It would be much easier for bikers if their bicycles are the lightest they can be, so that the execution of the tricks will not be too straining on the bikers’ muscles. Fixie bikes will then be the perfect choice, as it is not only agile and flexible, but also lightweight. It’s definitely a perfect equation for people hoping to master tricks.
In a nutshell, although haters do have a point about fixie bikes being more dangerous, they do not have a leg to stand once they claim that these fixies do not have value. It does have a lot of value, and it certainly shouldn’t be diminished from society. Hence, the answer is not to remove them, but to increase their capabilities of ensuring safety and educating owners on how to take care of themselves while riding it. As although fixies do pose more dangers, they also possess more benefits, most of which cannot be completely found in a regular bicycle.