Fixed hub: anyone ride a fixie?

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8/27/2019 12:27 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/27/2019 12:27 PM

For anyone wanting information on how to convert to fixie, and how I did it, feel free to check out this post, where posters have given several great ideas: Cheapest way to turn cassette hub to fixed hub?

What inspired me to go fixie? Well, I bumped into this video:


Gone are my thoughts that woman cannot ride as good as men.

Yes, the bike and style she is riding is clearly not BMX or flatland; but, I wish to do some of such moves on my fixie BMX, as I cannot afford a bike like hers. And I'd like to hear of anyone who has experience with fixie BMXs or such bikes as the lady above is riding and how that could be incorporated into a BMX bike. And just your general thoughts on it.

Here are my very limited experiences on my fixie:

Today I fixed my hub, and began riding fixie for the first time. As soon as I got on the bike I was in for a big surprise: one must remember to keep peddling or have their feet elsewhere when moving—even when jumping off curbs (which is easy to forget).

I find that the bike has much more startup torque; there are no extra parts colliding in the hub to become secured before the hub moves the wheel, so it's much more of a direct transfer. I found that one can peddle backwards whilst riding to slow down, but it is not easy, and cannot be used for emergencies.

I've yet to try any tricks on it, as it was raining and I just wanted to get the bike inside so it won't rust. I do however think that a smaller crank (that part that the chain goes around near the peddles) would help with wheelies and peddling backwards.

This may seem quite different, but I want to also try swapping my BMX handlebars for road bike handlebars and turning them upside down as in the video above. Basically, I want a unique and fun bike to do tricks on and show off at the bike park.



Would like your thoughts. I'm new to BMX, so whatever you say will likely be enlightening.
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8/27/2019 1:49 PM

fixies are really cool if you close your eyes and think about literally anything else with 2 wheels!

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13 years old

8/27/2019 1:53 PM

Fixies are for coffee drinking hipsters , why ruin a perfectly good cassette

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8/27/2019 2:22 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/27/2019 2:22 PM

I think you’ll need a special stem to fit the bars, not entirely sure. I can’t imagine riding a BMX with a fixed gear, but hey I like the direction you’re taking.

The “crank” you refer to is the sprocket. Cranks are the arms that the pedals thread into. Generally, the bigger the sprocket, the harder it becomes to pedal, but you gain more travel distance per revolution.

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Scooter kid trying to ride a bike. Instagram: @scootereyn // YouTube: RH MEDIA

8/27/2019 2:44 PM

readybmxer wrote:

I think you’ll need a special stem to fit the bars, not entirely sure. I can’t imagine riding a BMX with a fixed gear, but hey I like the direction you’re taking.

The “crank” you refer to is the sprocket. Cranks are the arms that the pedals thread into. Generally, the bigger the sprocket, the harder it becomes to pedal, but you gain more travel distance per revolution.

Yes, it looks that way. I just found a decent looking bar on kijiji.ca selling for $20 that would match my BMX well:



But, like you said, looks like the tube is much too thick to be joined to my BMX. They are likely all to be that way?

Was looking for bikes specifically made for artistic cycling (ref., the bike the girl in the video is on), and found none. Perhaps they are usually very expensive or custom made? Anyways, awesome looking bikes, to be sure! I'm really liking their simplicity.

Thanks for the explanation of what a sprocket is. I'd believe I'd benefit greatly from a smaller sprocket; peddling forwards and backwards, and doing wheelies, would be much more easy. Right now it takes a fair amount of force to just start peddling backwards. It's not nearly as easy as going forwards.

Perhaps doing wheelies will be a little easier due to the fixie as compared to no fixie and no back tire breaks?

Wow, what am I getting myself into!

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8/27/2019 3:29 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/27/2019 3:33 PM

tubbytime wrote:

Yes, it looks that way. I just found a decent looking bar on kijiji.ca selling for $20 that would match my BMX well:



But, like you said, looks like the tube is much too thick to be joined to my BMX. They are likely all to be that way?

Was looking for bikes specifically made for artistic cycling (ref., the bike the girl in the video is on), and found none. Perhaps they are usually very expensive or custom made? Anyways, awesome looking bikes, to be sure! I'm really liking their simplicity.

Thanks for the explanation of what a sprocket is. I'd believe I'd benefit greatly from a smaller sprocket; peddling forwards and backwards, and doing wheelies, would be much more easy. Right now it takes a fair amount of force to just start peddling backwards. It's not nearly as easy as going forwards.

Perhaps doing wheelies will be a little easier due to the fixie as compared to no fixie and no back tire breaks?

Wow, what am I getting myself into!

I dunno much about road bikes, but I assume they are all like that. After all, BMX and road bikes don’t have very much in common when it comes to measurements, especially diameters.

As far as the bike the girl is riding, it looks like any other typical fixie to me, but I can’t say anything about it.

I’m pretty sure fixie riders use larger sprockets so they don’t have to pedal so much. But I guess if your intentions are like the video, that makes sense.

Wheelies I imagine are more difficult with a fixie. Obviously some people do it seemingly non-stop, but since you have a fixed gear, you’ll have to really focus on balance. With regular hubs, you can stop pedaling to let the front drop, then pedal again to regain balance for a split second to correct yourself. But with a fixie you have no room for error, much more balance is required.

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Scooter kid trying to ride a bike. Instagram: @scootereyn // YouTube: RH MEDIA

8/28/2019 12:12 AM

I would buy a cheap used fixie and spend some time riding it before you invest money & time into a nice bike, just to make sure you really like it. The novelty factor is a major thing. If you like it or hate it you'll be able to resell it for minimal or no loss

That said, if you like it go for it! Bike riding should be fun, and if a fixed gear bike is what is fun to you, make it happen

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8/28/2019 12:42 AM

I feel like BMX bikes are poorly suited to what you want to do. The small wheels are going to hurt stability. If you add roadbike bars I'd expect it to feel too low.

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8/28/2019 5:05 AM




Trevor Meyer did it about 18 years ago, I recall he rode a contest with it too.

Never really took off, but it was neat.

As to the bike she is riding in your video, likely a custom setup, BUT you could probably score a fixie setup from a college kid for like 100 bucks somewhere and tinker.

Those road bars have a 31.8 clamping diameter-your stem will NOT work. You would need a new stem that can handle that size, or find a 7/8ths (22.2mm) bar.
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"Hey anybody ever make that mistake like right when you wake up in the morning and you believe in yourself?" -Kyle Kinane

"BIKES!" -Tom Segura

8/28/2019 5:54 AM

I am not sure how a roadie bar would work on a BMX bike. The stack height is sooo much lower. And yeah will need a new stem. You are going to basically folded in half in seems like even with it flipped.

If you want to do riding like the video you posted, I'd keep my eye out for a cheap fixie on Craigslist/Facebook Marketplace. I see them often for $100 or less. I sold one for like $75 not that long ago.

Some more fixie BMX type riding.

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8/28/2019 7:37 AM

https://allcitycycles.com/blog/first_handrail_done_on_a_fixed_gear_done_by_all-city_riders

These dudes were about an hour from me, Jesse was a BMX dude (he might still ride, not sure) and is apparently like the first known rider on a fixie to hit a handrail. This was a decade ago.

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"Hey anybody ever make that mistake like right when you wake up in the morning and you believe in yourself?" -Kyle Kinane

"BIKES!" -Tom Segura

8/28/2019 10:51 AM

I think it's cool and it will have a whole new set of challenges to overcome. I don't wish to do it myself but don't let anyone dissuade you from something you want to try!

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8/28/2019 5:56 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/28/2019 6:01 PM

As far as the bike the girl is riding, it looks like any other typical fixie to me, but I can’t say anything about it.

That girls bike seems different than most bikes:

- It uses a belt drive
- It has a 1:1 gear ratio
- No brakes
- Way different seat (I totally want that seat!)
- Flipped handle bars

I would buy a cheap used fixie and spend some time riding it before you invest money & time into a nice bike, just to make sure you really like it.

I might do that in time, but for now, I like my franken-BMX.

I feel like BMX bikes are poorly suited to what you want to do. The small wheels are going to hurt stability. If you add roadbike bars I'd expect it to feel too low.

Just today I put road bike handlebars and a stem for them on the bike. They cost $11 USD. used at my bike coop. They are flipped upside-down (to add height) with the curved part of the bar facing the rider. They are just wide enough for me to sit on and ride the bike backwards, which I can now do indefinitely if space allows for it and there aren't too many obstacles. The people at the park thought it was quite an awesome trick. I was riding by girls backwards with no hands whenever I saw them at the park.

By backwards, I mean like in this video:


Trevor Meyer did it about 18 years ago, I recall he rode a contest with it too.

Yeah, not too popular, but that's okay; I'm bringin' it back!

I am not sure how a roadie bar would work on a BMX bike. The stack height is sooo much lower. And yeah will need a new stem. You are going to basically folded in half in seems like even with it flipped.

It's really not much lower. I'll post a pic tomorrow... Those FOAD videos rock!

These dudes were about an hour from me, Jesse was a BMX dude (he might still ride, not sure) and is apparently like the first known rider on a fixie to hit a handrail. This was a decade ago.

ATM, I'm not much interested in doing bunny hops and jumps. Cool to know it was/can be done!

I think it's cool and it will have a whole new set of challenges to overcome. I don't wish to do it myself but don't let anyone dissuade you from something you want to try!

The people at the skate park seemed to think the bike was pretty cool. I'm liking the look of it as well. Rode the bike 20+ km today and getting used to peddling with a fixie.

I'll be looking into doing fixie-oriented tricks (tricks that a regular hub wouldn't easily allow for).
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8/29/2019 6:26 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/29/2019 6:27 AM

Finally got the pics working:


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8/29/2019 10:56 AM

tubbytime wrote:

Finally got the pics working:


You try it out yet? If the gearing is too hard you should check out a 22t sprocket. It would probably feel close to 1:1 gear ratio. It would be an absolute pain to pedal faster than a walking speed though I think. Lol

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8/29/2019 12:27 PM

Bulletpup wrote:

You try it out yet? If the gearing is too hard you should check out a 22t sprocket. It would probably feel close to 1:1 gear ratio. It would be an absolute pain to pedal faster than a walking speed though I think. Lol

Yes, I've been on it quite a bit since. After using it a while, I think the sprocket I have now is a decent compromise; it is a little hard to start peddling backwards uphill (doable, though), but the flip-side is that it's nice for going A to B. I could only imagine having to spin my peddles twice as many times, or, worse, having to plant my feet back onto the peddles whilst it is going fast.

A cool thing about the fixie is that the transition from forward peddling to backward is immediate with no jump or temporary disconnect—likely something to do with the relatively tight chain. Anyways, it is ultra smooth. It is also whisper quiet. One can only hear the tire treads on the ground. I'm considering smoothies.
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8/30/2019 2:47 PM

Bought another used stem. This one connects flat where my foot would rest when surfing. The issue with this stem is its length; I'd prefer the stem to just go straight up as road bike stems generally do, but BMX stems have a tendancy to go out and not up. This makes me have to lean forward to reach the bars.




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9/1/2019 12:42 AM

Well, compared to that stem, BMX stems definitely go up, not out.

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Scooter kid trying to ride a bike. Instagram: @scootereyn // YouTube: RH MEDIA

9/1/2019 5:54 AM

readybmxer wrote:

Well, compared to that stem, BMX stems definitely go up, not out.

I wish I could find one that just straight went up, but what is more important is that the stem is flat on the topside where it attaches to the bar; I want to be able to surf with it, and having a big bump in the middle of the bar is no help.

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9/1/2019 2:47 PM

Fixed gear freestyle is the original bicycle freestyle. well before bmx freestyle.

Some of the tricks from fixed gear made their way into the bmx world.

You can watch the movie Quicksilver with Kevin Bacon for some mid 1980's fixed gear freestyle action.

personally, being able to coast is one of the best things about rolling on two wheels. fixed gear is like a weird unicycle to me...

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