July 24, 2024

What is a fixie and who is it right for?

Fixies (bikes with fixed gears) and single speeders (bikes with only one gear, but with freewheel) are trendy and are particularly impressive due to their clean look. New York bike couriers originally used single-speed bikes. Narrow streets and quick shortcuts through lines of cars are no problem thanks to the slim designs. The light total weight of less than 10 kg also means the bikes can be easily carried up or down stairs. Everything that can break was omitted to ensure that mail can reach customers 24/7. Sticky and rattling gears? Rattling shift cables? Greasy suspension forks? None. Where there is nothing, nothing can break and there are no annoying noises. The clean look also speaks for itself.

Disadvantages

And the disadvantages? A lack of gears can quickly become annoying on inclines. We tested our bike in beautiful Bielefeld. Small hills were no problem to get over, but I avoided the inclines of the Teutoburg Forest and overpasses also caused sore thighs. Overall, the one gear was sufficient for everyday use with a few minor restrictions and we could easily reach speeds of over 30 km/h.

If you like it purist, the Floater allows you to turn the rear wheel around and ride with a fixed gear. Unlike normal hubs, the flip-flop hub has a pinion to the right and left of the spokes. One is connected to a freewheel and the other is rigid, i.e. fixed. As long as the wheels are turning, the pedals are turning too. If you are inexperienced and stop pedaling, you will be thrown off, like in bull riding.

Flip-flop hubs are perfect for beginners who want to get used to real fixie riding for a while. However, it would help if you did not try this on public roads. Once you get the hang of it, you will quickly feel at one with the bike and be more proactive when riding.

Assembly: 

Five clicks on fahrrad.de, two days of waiting and I was already carrying the box with the large inscription “Fixie Inc. – Cycles for Heroes” into the basement. In addition to the matt black we chose, the model is also available in blue, a toxic green, or striking pinkIn addition to pedals, the delivery also includes assembly tools. Suitable for bike newbies, assembly is easy without any preparation or additional purchases: mount the pedals, adjust the seat height, mount the handlebars, and perhaps quickly adjust the brakes.

Practical test:

Sporty and stretched but not extreme, direct, narrow, and hard. Of course, you don’t expect a trekking feel-good geometry on a fixie, but you don’t have to worry about it being a stretch bench either. I like the geometry for everyday city life. It is sporty and comfortable at the same time. However, the Floater only offers limited adjustment options. In contrast to many other mail-order bikes, the head tube is already significantly shortened and there is no way to vary the handlebar height. However, since most fixie customers will value a clean look anyway, a spacer tower is probably not tolerable. The Floater comes with an extra narrow handlebar to maneuver well through tight city traffic. What felt a bit wobbly and nervous at first showed its advantages on narrow bike paths and between cars. When racing to university lectures, I wouldn’t want to be without the little stubby! Voluminous WTB Thickslick tires ensure good cornering. With good self-damping and even rolling behavior when cornering, the tire proved to be the perfect companion on uneven roads and bike paths. Although it is a pure slick, gravel paths are not a big problem either.

Tektro rim brakes provide the deceleration. If you want, you can easily use them to lock the rear wheel and you can always come to a safe stop. In combination with the low total weight of 9.6 kg, the Floater is a handy and uncomplicated companion in city traffic. Nice gimmicks such as a top tube foam protector for leaning on lampposts underline the urban everyday character. There is also a ten-year frame guarantee.

The Floater has proven itself to be more than useful for short journeys and commuting to university. However, as mentioned, you should avoid the mountains. Even after several months of testing, no weak points could be identified, apart from twisting handles. The drive with a robust, wide chain continues to run well, as do the bearings. However, I am particularly excited about the autumn in terms of bearing quality, as the bike has only been exposed to a little water or even road salt during the test period so far. So the endurance test is still to come. The same applies to the paint. So far, it is doing well. It is not exactly scratch-resistant, but considering the price, the quality is good so far.

Conclusion:

A usable fixie for €300? – Yes, that’s possible. With the Fixie Inc Floater, you get a single-speed companion that is not only stylish but also suitable for commuting through the city. Despite the low price, the bike showed no weaknesses in terms of durability after six months of testing. If you like, you can even ride with a fixed gear thanks to the practical flip-flop hub.