In recent years, the fixed-gear bicycle has exploded in popularity. Traditionally the simplest form of a bicycle, with the least moving parts, the fixed-gear bike carries an elegance in its classic, minimalist design. Its clean lines are uncluttered by things like brake cables or derailleurs. Fixed-gear bikes are also much easier to maintain than bikes with gears and brakes, and their reliable simplicity makes them tremendously enjoyable to ride. Pedal to make the bike move, pedal more slowly to slow down. There's nothing else to it.

Sadly, the fixed-gear bike is often considered more of a fashion accessory than a bicycle. Many a fixed-gear bike lives out its life in a bleak stillness as a mere decoration on the wall of a fancy modern condo. However, a lot of fixed-gear bikes don't have it so easy, and they are more than up for the job. A big part of their surge in popularity owes to the messengers around the world who favor their easy-to-maintain, durable design.

If you're shopping for a fixed gear bike, you will have no shortage of selection. You can find bikes ranging from the bottom of the barrel, China-made department store brands for under $200, to the master-craftsmen American-made custom models that are as much art as bike. The range is staggering. If you are looking for a fixed-gear bike to ride, follow these tips.

Tags: bikes, fixed-gear-bikes, how-to
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