Fixie for winter?

When a road bike just won't do.

1 to 20 of 29 messages
02/11/2012 at 10:56
I'm thinking of picking up a fixed gear bike for winter commutes and shorter training rides as my road bike just doesn't cope well with all the London grit/ice/traffic and I have an irrational attachment to it and fear leaving it almost anywhere. So I think the solution is a cheap and cheerful fixie, the more ridiculous the colour the better. Can anyone recommend a certain type/brand or the best place to buy? Any general opinions on fixies also welcome..
02/11/2012 at 11:04

don't buy a fixie if you're not comfortable using a fixed gear in busy traffic - you'll have too many issues.  you may be better off with a singlespeed where you can freewheel - and fit it with a flip-flop hub so you can used it fixed as needs be.

there are loads of good fixed/SS bikes out there - Spesh Langster, Planet-X, Charge etc.   or get an old frame and build it yourself as it's easy enough - that's what I did with an old frame of mine.  resprayed it and then built up with a mix of 2nd hand and new parts.

they're good fun for pootling around on in winter and easier to maintain



Edited: 02/11/2012 at 11:04
02/11/2012 at 12:23

You can pick up a Fuji track now for about £350 new from Evans - I notice they now have front mudguard eyes - not sure about rear -but I'd make sure there is sufficient clearance before buying.   Also the hubs are listed as track hubs - not sure if that implies they aren't well sealed against the kind of abuse a commute will throw at them.    There are loads of other options though - for me mudguards would be an essential and I'd be looking for a relatively low gear - maybe 65" or thereabouts.   

02/11/2012 at 12:24

Spesh now only make the track Langster.  The more sturdy one has been discontinued.  The geometry on the track one is somewhat more aggressive, it only comes fixed but it is drilled for brakes.  Not supplied with any.  I think the cogs are quite aggressive too (ie number of teeth more suited to track than pootling around town).

Having just done a bit of research myself, if I were in London and I had sufficient funds I'd go and have a look at Condor but they're not particularly cheap.

Charge do seem to be the choice of many people on fixies around town.




02/11/2012 at 12:32

not the newest of articles, but may be worth a read through.

Read this when i was picking out a frame for my new bike, which should with a little luck be being delivered today. First road bike, first bike i'm building, first Ti bike and first custome frame, the anticipation of the phone going to say there is a parcel for me in reception is killing me.

02/11/2012 at 12:41

I've not used them, but happened to be browsing yesterday- some cheap as chips options there

cougie    pirate
02/11/2012 at 13:49

I'm with pops - get full guards on it.  You can also go to town with reflective tape all over the guards - and the frame if you want to make it less attractive to steal. 

02/11/2012 at 13:59
02/11/2012 at 14:08
When we were in Barcelona in sept I found a shop called Barcelona Fixed, some amazing bike, an all for around ??200..... Would have cost a fortune to get it home on sleezy jet
02/11/2012 at 14:13

I think it would have cost £25-£30.

02/11/2012 at 14:15

Thanks for all the advice, I now know the difference between fixed and single speed and that flip flops are not just for my feet.

I'm leaning towards this one:

But it looks like it only goes down to 53cm. I'm a mere 5'1 and according to google should be riding a 50cm bike. Boo.

02/11/2012 at 18:03
Cheers Mouse... Couldn't have got it in the car at Gatwick along with the kids ( could have made them walk)

And can't really justify one at the moment
Dustboy    pirate
02/11/2012 at 20:47

It appears to be sold with a pink's on the spec list, well the flange is anyway. That's orsum value. Flip flop SS as well! Buy, buy, buy!

ChallengeGoGoGas    pirate
02/11/2012 at 21:54
Some of my favourites

Pitango bikes
Brick Lane Bikes (blb)

I really like the pitango for ??320 but given I'm not allowed anymore bikes I'm planning to buy a vintage road frame and build it in a small shed under the cover of darkness and then blame the "little people"
04/11/2012 at 00:09

May I suggest this as an alternative to no gears at all, which in my opinion is a little silly. All the do da's are internal so no maintance. Its Sturmey so it will out live the bike, you and your kith and kin.


Cheerful Dave    pirate
04/11/2012 at 09:12
No gears at all would indeed be silly, I'd suggest a minimum of one.

Someone (it may have also been Sturmey) came up with a three-speed fixed hub a while back that I was tempted by.
04/11/2012 at 11:07

SEF - The beauty of fixed is the simplicity and low weight though - as soon as you stick a 3 speed hub gear in you add weight and something to go wrong - not just the hub but you'll need some kind of shifter too.   I used to ride round the Peak District on my fixed and I know Cougie has been on long rides in the Welsh Hills on one - choose the right gear and you would be surprised how easy it is to get by without gears.   

Dustboy    pirate
04/11/2012 at 14:32

I used to love my Sturmey 3 speed, one for up, one for down and one for flat. But single speed is quite a nice change. I find fixed a bit too scary as I am far from a skilled cyclist.

What ratios do people use? I am running a 42/17 on cyclocross knobblies. Found a 16 just that bit too much to push and keep the cadence up. It's fine for anything up to about Boxhill gradient (6%) but can't quite manage a 10%. 

Note to aspiring fixie riders, Cougie is well hard on the fixie.


04/11/2012 at 14:37
Fixed is realy fun and has done wonders for my bike strenght as mentioned before get the gearing right and hills are a doddle even down here in lumpy Cornwall
cougie    pirate
04/11/2012 at 14:38
I'm riding it singlespeed at the moment. I managed to strip all the teeth off my sprocket going up a particularly steep hill.
Thank god for the flip flop hub.

You would be amazed how easy it is to ride in one gear. Changing gears loses you a lot of power when climbing so its much easier to stick with the one. Descending on fixed is the harder part.

I'm on 42-17 which seems fine for me.
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