The Gazette has a story on the increased use of fixies by local commuters.
A fixed gear bicycle, or ‘‘fixie,” has the rear wheel and pedals connected through a single, fixed gear. The mechanics of the bike make it impossible to coast, unless the rider wants to taste asphalt. It’s just like the original bicycle design: if your back wheel is moving, your legs better be pedaling.
Yet fixies are more popular now than ever before in recent memory, with an especially large, growing contingent in the Washington, D.C., metro area.
The reason is simplicity
‘‘The $150 department store bikes are pure evil,” Reighard said. ‘‘At the same price they can put out an inexpensive bike without a suspension or gears, and with much better quality throughout. But don’t get me wrong, any bike is better than a car.”
It doesn’t get much simpler than a fixed gear bike. Without the added weight of gears and suspension, a fixed gear bike can be whittled down to less than 20 pounds, nearly 10 pounds less than most of its geared counterparts. For people who use their fixies for commuting, a lighter, more streamlined bike can make all the difference.