How to Ride a Fixed-Gear Mountain Bike

How to Ride a Fixed-Gear Mountain Bike
Fixed-gear bicycles have become increasingly popular. Cyclists appreciate them for their low maintenance, ease of operation and low cost when compared to more complicated geared bicycles. Theoretically, learning to ride a fixed-gear mountain bike isn't very difficult. By definition, the bicycle features a single, fixed gear. With a fixed gear, you are no longer able to freewheel your mountain bike. Becoming accustomed to this feature is mainly a matter of undoing old habits.


Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Take your fixed-gear mountain bike to a safe off-road location. Ideally, you'll want a place that will cause minimal damage to either yourself or the bike should an accident occur. Ensure that no rocks or tree are nearby.
Step 2
Pedal always. If there's anything that flummoxes someone new to riding fixed gears, it's moving past the luxury of freewheeling. A fixed-gear bicycle's rear sprocket is attached directly to the hub. If the pedals are turning, so is the hub. If the pedals stop turning, so does the hub. By stopping pedaling suddenly, you risk going over the handlebars and seriously injuring yourself.
Step 3
Be wary of hills at first. Going up hills will take some practice. Remember, you can't shift into an easier gear. It doesn't exist on a fixed-gear mountain bike. Build up your strength initially on smaller hills before tackling something larger.

When coming down a hill, you may find your legs incapable of keeping up with the rotation of the pedals. As the bike increases in speed, so does the rotation of the pedals. If necessary, lift your feet off the pedals. To decrease speed, lightly squeeze the brake. Most fixed-gear mountain bikes will have a front brake only.

Tips & Warnings

A large grass lawn is an ideal place to learn to ride a fixed-gear mountain bike. Mistakes won't be as costly.

Article Written By Matthew Ferguson

Matthew Ferguson is a writer living in Savannah, Ga. He has been writing for over 10 years and his work has appeared on various online publications. A collection of his short stories was published in spring 2010. He is a graduate of Appalachian State University.

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