by Jennifer Coursey | Last updated on May 19th, 2018
Many cyclists find difficulties when it comes to choosing between a road bike and fixed gear bike. Whether you are a new cyclist or experienced rider, the best way to know which bicycle to decide is to understand the pro and cons of each type. There is no clear, definitive answer of which model is best, and it all comes down to personal preference. After understanding each type, you will base the qualities on what kind of cyclist you are, or you want to become. In this article we will help you know the pros and cons of both road bike and fixed gear bike.
Before discussing the pros and cons, let’s, first of all, define this terms. A road bike means bicycles built to travel on paved roads. They are mostly designed to take part in competitive cycling. Some of the distinct features include;
- High seats
- Lightweight frame, components, and wheels
- Composite front fork
- No front and rear suspension
- Narrow tires
On the other hand, a fixed gear bike or fixie is a bicycle which has no freewheel mechanism and has a drive train. Freewheel allows the rider to stop pedaling and keep moving using forward momentum. Without the freewheel hub, a rider cannot stop cycling. The rider is also able to control the speed using their body weight and for experienced cyclists, they can peddle backward. Fixies are most common in cities and they can be easily used with little or preparation. Fixed gear bike are affordable and can be used by most beginner bikers.
Pros and Cons of a Road Bike
- Speed: Because of the large diameter and narrow tires road bikes are considered to be the fastest over all other styles of bikes. The wheels are designed to drag you down the drain with little drag as possible.
- Light weight: They are intended to perform on a smooth hard surface. Unlike some other models. A road bike is not meant to jump over logs and rocky surfaces. They are designed to be used on smooth roadways. Hence, they can be reduced to the barest minimum weight.
- Efficiency: The bikes are improving efficiency in riding from their mode of manufacture and how the parts lime with each other to give the rider maximum efficiency. The light frame doesn’t weigh the rider down. The seat position makes the cyclist lean on the wind rather than sitting upright. Multiple hand positions make the long rider time rides without becoming uncomfortable.
- Rigidity: The model is less flex hence more energy when you peddle absorbed by the pedals, this means there is less waste of energy and most of it is used to propel you forward.
- They position the rider in a more aerodynamic position hence less wind assistance.
- They got higher gears making it possible to go for a longer distance in one revolution.
- The higher pressure tires make the bike squish less and use less energy.
- The new models of road bike are being made from carbon fiber.
- They are also good at keeping fit as you tend to cycle more.
- The bikes are not made for rocky or dirt roads with rocks.
- The thin tires make control of the bike in mud and sand difficult almost impossible especially if you are not an experienced cyclist.
- Expensive to purchase especially those are made from fiber.
- A little costly to maintain.
Pros and Cons of Fixed Gear Bike
- There is the purest form of bikes that you can find in the market today. They are simple to use ‘peddle faster if you want to cycle fast’ and vice versa. This makes them allow the rider to enjoy the connection with the bike.
- They tend to be a great piece of workout for the lower body. Because you have to spin every time you are cycling.
- If you are planning to be using your bike in flatland area, then fixie will be the best choice for you. The lightweight makes it build speed quickly.
- The maintenance cost is usually low. It has fewer parts than other types hence fewer parts to maintain and replace.
- There are easy to customize depending on meeting your taste.
- They are relatively cheap to purchase.
- They are lightweight made- since they do not have some components that can be found in other models. This makes the fixie light to carry around and requires less power to move around.
- They are compatible with most handlebars.
- More energy is lost since one has to keep pedaling to keep moving. Even when cycling in a declined terrain where gravity can make you move down your legs have to keep peddling .i.e. they can’t remain stable like when riding a road bike.
- When cycling on a descending gradient, you will have to engage brakes, or you will have to keep cycling at a very high speed.
- High chances of an accident occurring in case the brakes fail.
- While it is easy to customize, some parts may need some more training to know how to use them effectively.
It is important to note that both bicycles have some qualities in common. Thus we can conclude that;
- Both styles can be comfortable for daily riding.
- The comfort of the ride is more affected by the size of the frame and other components. Thus, you should consider other parts more before thinking if it’s a fixie bike or a road.
There is no clear distinction on which model is more superior to the other. In order to avoid after purchase disappointments, take the time go through the list of why you need your bicycle. Then go through this article pros and cons of each model and see how each meets your personal needs. With that, it will be guaranteed to make the right purchase decision.