First times are always something special. You feel nervous, you’re inexperienced, you want to perform well and live up to the challenge. We’re talking about riding a fixie bike for the first time, obviously!
In this post, we want to give you some basic advice that you should take into account when riding a fixie for the first time. Let’s go!
Some tips for your first time on a fixie bike
Before diving into the advice itself, we would like to remind you about the main features of fixed-gear bikes, also known as fixies. They don’t use brakes to speed down, and their pedals must spin nonstop. You are most certainly wondering “How will I speed down if such a bike has no brakes?” Don’t worry – follow our advice and all your doubts will be cleared.
1. Adjust the bike to your own size
Before setting off, the first thing you must do is adjust your bike according to your size. It’s important to keep a good position on the bike in order to ride comfortably and safely. Click the link below and find out how to adjust your bike to your size.
2. Adapt your feet to the pedals
Once your bike is adjusted to your size, the next step is to correctly place your feet on the pedals. As a rule of thumb, fixie bikes use straps or automatic pedals to optimise pedaling and brake. Between those two kinds of pedals, fixies tend to be fitted with straps, because they can be tightened or loosened to match your shoe size. Once your straps are correctly adjusted, it’s time to get down to business.
3. How to brake when riding a fixie
The first thing you’ll have to learn before hopping onto a fixie in order to avoid trouble is how to brake while riding. Let’s be honest – braking while on a fixie isn’t an easy task and requires practice, but there’s always a first time, isn’t it?
The key to brake correctly with a fixie bike is to properly block the rear wheel of your bike, and this requires good technique and some practice. In order to brake on a fixie, you must make the pedals turn counterclockwise, as if you were pedaling backwards. At the same time, you must pull the straps up. Do this when going at medium speed, and little by little. Another tip you can put in practice is to shift your weight towards the front wheel and leave the rear wheel free. Thus, you’ll be able to block the rear wheel more easily and without a great effort.
4. Start hitting the pedals – and enjoy
Once your bike and pedals are fully adjusted and you have our advice in mind, it’s time to hop onto the bike and enjoy the unique feeling of riding a fixie. You’ll see that, at first, it’s a little bit difficult and you need to pedal harder than usual, but pedaling will get easier as you go. We recommend you start on plain ground, with no hills or descents.
We know you liked it and you’re craving more. Now is the time to get your own fixie and conquer all the streets in your city, using your bike everyday. At Santafixie we make it easier for you to find what you need. On the link below, you can find what we consider the top 10 fixie bikes. We’re sure you’ll find the right one among them.
5. Beyond cycling
If you’ve already mastered fixed-gear cycling and want to go beyond and try new tricks, why don’t you try riding backwards? Cycling backwards on a fixie is as feasible as cycling forward.
You’ll have to do the same as when you cycle regularly – hit the pedals, but backwards. It’s a little trickier than cycling normally, though. You’ll need a good balance and total control over your bike, without forgetting about where you’re going towards. If you want to learn more about cycling backwards, check out the following tutorial and become a real expert on fixie bikes.
Your first day with a fixie: an example
Our ambassador Abel Rincón took Côme, one of his former students at the Barcelona Royal Tennis Club, on a quick but profitable practical lesson on fixie cycling (and braking) on a Santafixie Raval Yellow bike.
Check out Abel’s video and discover how your first day riding a fixie may be.
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