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Fixie Bikes & Track Bikes

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What is a fixie, or fixed wheel, bike?

The answer lies in the coasting, or lack thereof. Fixies can’t freewheel, which is another way of saying if the bike is moving forward, the pedals will continue to turn; you can’t coast like you can with other bikes.

This is because a fixie’s drivetrain has the drive in the cog threaded or bolted to the wheel’s back hub, forcing the rider to pedal if the rear wheel is moving.

More often than not fixies are single-speeds and only have a front bike, although some fixies don’t have any brakes at all.

Fixies are enjoying a real limelight lately, and are seen as the super cool kid on the bicycle block. Plenty of riders take pride in customising their fixie.

Background of Track Bikes

Track cycling remains one of the UK’s most successful Olympic sports, and has been a major feature in the development of the country's rich cycling history. Particularly popular in Europe, indoor track events are highly appealing to spectators, with high speed racing, multiple races and conveniently located bars creating a subsequent atmosphere that is unmatched by any other cycling discipline.

Spectating aside, it’s also no coincidence that many of the top professional male and female road cyclists have found track racing to be fundamental to their cycling careers. Power development, bike handling and high cadence lie at the forefront of this inherent track skillset.

Major Track Bike Features

There are several important features that differentiate track bicycles from your standard road or hybrid bike.

Typically, track bikes are stiffer in nature to maximise acceleration and power transfer, particularly for sprinting. They are also more aerodynamic, with wind resistance at such high speeds on the track a crucial factor in design. Carbon wheels with tubular tyres are also preferred for this reason on premium models, with deeper rims also suitable due to a lack of crosswind.

Finally, without gear shifting, gear ratio selection is an important factor to consider and will depend on training objectives and/or race event specifics. Generally, a lower gear ratio is preferable to encourage higher cadence efficiency in training, and will be more suitable for races that require repeated accelerations. Higher gear ratios are great for practicing sprint technique and standing starts in training, and in races generally make it a bit easier to maintain speed once ‘on top’ of the gear.

Get on the Track with a new or used bike!

BikeExchange brings together a wide range of track bikes for sale from across the UK, both new and old, giving you a great opportunity to get on track and embrace an much loved aspect of British cycling culture.

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