The History of Fixed Gear Biking: From Track Racing to Urban Commuting

The History of Fixed Gear Biking: From Track Racing to Urban Commuting Feature Image

Fixed gear biking, also known as “fixie” biking, has gained immense popularity over the last few years, not only as a means of transportation but also as a sport. With its roots in track racing, this style of cycling has come a long way and has found its way into the urban environment. Let’s take a look at the history of fixed gear biking, from its early days as a racing discipline to its current use as a fashionable and functional mode of transportation.

Early Days of Fixed Gear Biking

The fixed gear bike has been around since the invention of the bicycle itself. In the early days, bicycles were all fixed gear and were used primarily for transportation. However, it was not until the early 20th century that fixed gear bikes started to gain popularity in the racing world. Track cycling was the first discipline where fixed gear bikes were used competitively. It remains the most popular form of racing for fixed gear bikes to this day.

Track Racing and the Rise of Fixed Gear Biking

Track racing is a form of cycling where riders compete on a velodrome. A specially designed track that is oval-shaped and banked. In the early days of track racing, bikes were heavy, had a fixed gear, and no brakes. These bikes were designed for speed and required a high level of skill to control. Riders had to use their legs to slow down and stop the bike, making track racing an intense and challenging sport.

Over time, the design of the fixed gear bike evolved, and brakes were added to the bikes, making them safer and more accessible to riders of all skill levels. Track racing became a popular sport, and the fixed gear bike became the bike of choice for many professional cyclists.

Fixed Gear Biking in the Urban Environment

In recent years, fixed gear biking has found a new home in the urban environment. Many cyclists have embraced fixed gear bikes as a means of transportation, and the bikes have become a common sight on city streets. Fixed gear bikes have a sleek and minimalist design, making them perfect for navigating through traffic.

Riders also enjoy the simplicity of fixed gear bikes, which require less maintenance than traditional bikes. Fixed gear bikes are also lightweight and easy to manoeuvre. Making them ideal for urban commuting.

Fixed Gear Biking as a Fashion Statement

Fixed gear biking has also become a fashion statement. With many riders customising their bikes to make them unique. Fixed gear bikes are available in a variety of colours and designs. Riders often add their own personal touches, such as custom handlebars, saddles, and frames.

Fixed gear biking has become a lifestyle. With riders forming communities and organising group rides. Fixed gear bike races, known as “alleycats,” have also become popular, with riders competing in races through the city streets.


Fixed gear biking has come a long way since its early days as a racing discipline. Today, fixed gear bikes are a popular means of transportation, a fashion statement, and a sport. With its sleek design and simplicity, the fixed gear bike is here to stay, and we can expect to see more riders embracing this style of cycling in the years to come.

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