Nederlands | English | Deutsch

Project Sports

Questions and answers about sports

Why do fixies have no brakes?

4 min read

Asked by: Edward Jeffries

Fixed gear (or fixie) bikes typically don’t have brakes because they were most commonly used in velodrome competition. In a track, there is little need to brake or slow the bike down. In a controlled environment like this, speeds are much higher than the speeds riders typically achieve on the roads.

How do you stop on a fixie without brakes?

If your fixie does not have a hand brake then your only option for stopping is by locking out the back wheel, causing a skid. You can do this by applying back pressure to the pedals to slow the bike, before abruptly changing direction and skidding the rear wheel.

Can I put brakes on a fixie?

Fixie brakes can be installed on your front and rear wheels. In addition, you can install either caliper or v-brakes on your fixed gear bicycle. The majority of cyclists tend to use their front brake the most.

Why do racing bikes have no brakes?

Because of the consistent shape and smooth surface of the track and the types of races ridden on it, brakes aren’t necessary. It’s actually safer without them, Sharp says.

How do you slow down on a fixie?

The easiest way to slow down is to apply back pressure to your pedals.

Are fixie bikes illegal?

Fixed gear bikes are illegal if they are ridden on the road without a front brake. The Pedal Cycles Regulations (1983) states that pedal cycles “so constructed that one or more of the wheels is incapable of rotating independently of the pedals, be equipped with a braking system operating on the front wheel“.

Why are fixies so popular?

It’s much more likely that they became the bike of choice for bike messengers because they are low maintenance, and tended to be relatively safe from thieves. They are also relatively cheap, low maintenance, and light.

Do fixies have back brakes?

Fixed gear (or fixie) bikes typically don’t have brakes because they were most commonly used in velodrome competition. In a track, there is little need to brake or slow the bike down.

Why do some bikes only have front brakes?

It’s simple; because the front of the bike dips down when you apply your brakes, there is more weight on the front of the bike and thus more traction on the front tire. The front tire is less likely to skid. This is also why most all-mountain, downhill and enduro bikes have a bigger rotor in the front.

Can you put brakes on single speed bike?

Single speed bikes will have brakes in the same way you would find on any normal geared bike. Fixies are mixed. Some do not have brakes fitted at all relying on road position, rider skill and stopping the cranks to brake. Some are fitted with a single brake, usually on the front as the back brake is the wheel itself.

Are fixies good for commuting?

Yes, fixed gear bikes are good for commuting. If your commute doesn’t have lots of hills then a fixie is worth considering. They’re cheaper to buy than other types of bikes and easier to maintain. However if your commute features lots of hills, you may want to think again.

Are fixies good for hills?

Fixed-gear bikes make great winter bikes, but they’re also excellent urban rides, provided you don’t have to tackle any long, steep hills.

Are fixies faster?

The fixed wheel drive chain is slightly more efficient than a geared drive chain. This is because there are no derailleurs causing drag on the chain. You could actually ride “faster” on a fixed bike than a geared bike. Some people race on fixed gear bikes in road time trials for this reason (and a few others).