So if, after reading the first part of this blog post, you’ve made the leap to a single geared bike, the next question that lies ahead of you is to ride fixed or not. Your Funked Up Fixie comes with a flip/flop rear hub, meaning there is a freewheel on one side and a fixed cog on the other. This means you don’t have to make any hard and fast decisions, you can swap around to your heart’s content! Most people find, however, that once they go fixed, there’s no turning back.

One of the main advantages to riding fixed is the feeling of connectedness with the bike. As your feet are directly connected to the movement of the rear wheel through the fixed drivetrain you can actually feel the bike moving under you. This is especially helpful in wet or icy conditions where you have far more control and can feel when the rear wheel is losing grip. This makes the bike feel more alive under you, something you won’t get on a geared bike, or even riding singlespeed with a freewheel.

Here's a nice video from Helsinki where they know a thing or two about riding in icy conditions

Winter's Edge. from I Never Stopped Looking on Vimeo.

 

Fixed gear, snow Riding in snowy conditions is much safer on a fixed gear

This constant movement of the pedals does take some getting used to, but after a couple of weeks riding fixed it will be second nature to you and actually helps you to develop a smoother, more efficient pedal stroke. Many road racers train on fixed gear bikes during the winter months for just this very reason.

People also worry about hills on a fixed gear, and while things may get a bit more difficult if the gradient gets very steep on the way up or on the way down, again this is something that you get used to very quickly, and there is a great sense of achievement to be had from conquering your local climb on a fixed gear. Looking back in time again to the advent of the derailleur, Henri Desgrange, founder of the Tour De France, famously said:

"I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five.
Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer?
We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!
"

And Remember that badass from the Tour De France in the previous blog post? Well here are a couple of his mates, don't tell them that you find riding fixed too difficult!

Fixed gear Tour De France Vintage fixed gear riders Tour De France

And here are a couple of videos from the inspirational Patrick Seabase, whose life's mission is to push the boundaries of what is physically possible on a fixed gear bike. We're not suggesting you should go and climb the Alps on you new Funked Up bike, but if the inclination ever takes you, at least you know it's possible!

Seabase - Galibier from &SÖHNE on Vimeo.

SEABASE vs STELVIO from YUHZIMI Ltd. on Vimeo.

If this sort of extreme fixed gear riding fascinates you as much as it does us, be sure to have a read of the incredible story of Paul Rozelle, who in 2011 completed the remarkable achievement of riding the 3 roads climbs and the unpaved fire road to the summit of the legendary Mont Ventoux, fixed, in one day, 3 days before competing in Paris-Brest-Paris, a 1,200km non-stop race which he completed on the same bike, in 80 hours. Phew! Proof, if it was ever needed, that a fixed gear bike can do it all.

Hopefully this post will serve as an aid and an inspiration in choosing which style of riding suits you, and whether you ride fixed gear or singlespeed freewheel, your Funked Up bike will be ready and waiting to take you on some incredible journeys!