The fixed gear bicycle for simple locomotion
What makes most cyclists shudder is the essential feature of a fixie, a fixed-gear or single-speed bike: Only one fixed gear ratio – or one gear if you like – and, on some models, no freewheel and no brakes. Luggage racks, chain guards, mudguards, lights: no way. What is one supposed to do with such a stripped-down bike, some will ask. Of course, you don't have to maintain anything that isn't there, such as gears.
The fixie is therefore uncomplicated and robust, and it is lighter than other bicycles. Most fixies only weigh between 8 and 12 kg.
Fixies or single-speeds can be ridden very directly; muscle power provides both acceleration and braking. If there are stairs, you only need to hang it over your shoulder. Luggage is carried in a backpack anyway, not on the bike where it can be stolen more easily.
Just the thing for the New York bicycle couriers who revived the fixed gear bike trend. It's easy to imagine them nimbly moving between cars on congested streets and navigating narrow passageways that are actually closed to traffic. Instead of parking and locking the bike, they take it everywhere, even into the lift. In Germany, the first Fixie bikes with that name came from a Karlsruhe manufacturer.
Worldwide, athletic cyclists with a sense of purism are their biggest fans. Variants with freewheel or hub gears are also available, transforming the fixie into an (almost) completely normal city bike