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Fixie Vs Geared: Which Bike Is Fastest For City Riding?

Fixie Vs Geared: Which Bike Is Fastest For City Riding?


(whooshing) – Today we are in Bristol
to do some city riding. – Oh, hello! – Chris, what are you riding? – This is my new present from Jon Cannings and the tech drawer, Hank. It’s my new fixie. You like those, don’t you? – [James] Yeah but why are you riding it? They’re normally reserved for velodromes or closed circuits,
like the Red Hook Crit. – Don’t be silly. A fixie’s the perfect vehicle
for getting around a city, even if it’s as hilly as Bristol. – See, I disagree. So with that in mind, I’ve got some tests that will show you just why geared bikes are better for city riding. – Hmm, sounds ominous.
– You ready? A few tests. Hold, I need to get my helmet on. – See look, I’m away already. (hypnotic electronic music) – In this video, Chris
and I are going to go head-to-head on city streets. But don’t worry, we are abiding by all the laws of the road and as ex-professional riders, we are riding fully within our limits. Right, first up Chris, is one you might not like that much. It’s a climbing up and
descending down challenge. – Yeah, well you know I’m
a fan of good descents. – Well yeah, I thought
you’d like that second half. But you climb up from here
to the traffic lights, up to the top, ’round the
triangle, and descend back down, where I’ll be with the
stopwatch and I’ll time you. – Right, okay, few ground rules then. No jumping red lights and, in fact, no breaking any laws of any kind because I can’t have that
many points on my license. And since it’s your challenge,
I think you should go first. – I’ll take that, all right. You’re on. – Let me get my timer. (energetic music) – Hank’s taken his position and I reckon we have
around 15 seconds to go before the lights go green. – I’ve got to get clipped in. You don’t have to get clipped in. – Well I was going to press the start. Oh, here we go! Oh, he’s jumped the gun a little bit. He’s still not in, what is he doing? (energetic electronic music) – Another red light. Second red light and we’re off. Big gear start. Now to descend. Hope I don’t get stopped by another light. We’ve got three lights to the finish. All right Chris, you’re
up, how you feeling? – I’m a little bit nervous. Got my pedals in the right position. – I mean, if you beat me
with jeans and trainers– – It wouldn’t be the first time? (laughing) Go!
– Up, up, up! (energetic electronic music) – Right, acceleration off the line. Find a rhythm, good. It’s a quite big uphill and also you realize just how much you pull up on the pedals (panting) when you’re riding flats. First red light of the ride. Unbelievable. All right, make the light, make the light. Go, go, go, it’s green,
it’s green, it’s green! Oh yeah, it’s green! Kill your feet riding pedals, max effort, and secret weapon! Here we go! Oh yeah. It’s a fixie. – Stop at the light. (cackling) – Ooh, that was close. – We might actually draw. – [Chris] No.
– Yeah. – [Chris] Are you going to stop it? – No.
– The line is this. – No it’s not, is it? – Hey, your line was. – Test number one done and you did it in a time of
3 minutes and 26 seconds, which is awesome, seeing as you’re in a pair
of jeans and trainers. – Yeah, I could go straight
to the pub now, couldn’t I? I happen to know that was a good time but I also happen to know it wasn’t enough because you did a whopping 3:24. – Oh, thank god I beat
you just by two seconds. – I think it comes down to, though, as beautiful and nice
as that bike is to ride, it’s just going to spend just as long waiting at the traffic lights as I am on a fixie that Jon Cannings built in his spare time. I mean, I can sprint pretty quickly so the time between the lights, you’re not going to make up
that much time on me, are you? – Yeah so with that in mind, I’ve got another test then for us. – Ooh.
– Are you ready for test number two? (indie music) For test number two,
it’s a short time trial. – Oh, like a prologue? I used to enjoy those. – But a bit shorter. I’ve devised a small course for us. We’re going to head down this street, cross over the first roundabout, then go all the way around
the second roundabout, back to the first roundabout, then back the way around that one, then left at the second
roundabout and to the finish. – As you just heard Hank describe, that route sounds rather complicated so we’re going for a siting lap. – We’re quite close to each other, mate. – We’ve been friends for a long time. – We’re at the start
line of the second test. Are you ready, mate? – As ready as I’ll ever be. – Three, two, one, up, up, up! He jumped the line. Up, up! (electronic music) – Get a rhythm. Pedestrian crossing. Open maneuver. Perfect timing. Getting ready for a lunge. Final lunge to the line! (grunting) – Right Hank, you’re up next. I’ve just about recovered from my effort. I can hold a stopwatch now. We’ll wait until the
pedestrian crossing is clear. That only seem fair. Three, two, one, go! (grunting) (energetic rock music) All right, he’s coming, he’s on the way. See, he’s around the final corner. And he’s moving. He’s going properly fast but is he going to get air over the line? Yeah, of course he is. – Right, Chris, that’s the
agility test, done and dusted. And again, you surprised me on that bike. You did a time of one
minute and eleven seconds, which on that surface, on that bike, (exhaling) I doth my
cap sir, that was good. – Not going to lie, I did quite enjoy it. But as much fun as I had
and as fast as it looked, wasn’t quite enough to make up to your one minute and one
second frankly blistering time. – Thank god, I wouldn’t have lived it down if you had beat me. – No, I wouldn’t have
let you forget either. You do quickly become
aware on these bikes, you just can’t corner quite
like you can on one of those. I mean, you got your
brakes, you can freewheel, where as I might clip a
pedal if I lean too much, I can’t stop quickly if
someone steps out in the road, but the fact that you have to be more conscious of all of
this does mean, ultimately, you’re training your technique
and your skills much more. You’re becoming a more
thoughtful bike rider. – All around better bike rider, I guess. – I reckon, yup. – Right, that’s all done, yes? – No, I don’t know, it’s not quite because I think there’s somewhere I
can get my own back on you and it’s at the pub but it doesn’t involve too much drinking. Come on. – Interesting. (somber music) – I’ve quite enjoyed all this city cycling but I think it’s time for a
quick lemonade at the pub. – I’m still confused on how
you’re going to get back at me at a pub, seeing as how I’m an absolute
pro at stopping at a pub. – Don’t you worry. You’ll soon see. We’ll just leave our
bikes outside, shall we? – What, here? – Yep, here, outside. – Ah, Chris? I don’t know if I can
leave my bike out here. It’s a little bit too expensive. What if someone nicks it? Guess I’ll just wait out here. – Well it looks like Hank
isn’t joining me for a drink inside the pub. And I guess that really is the issue with an expensive race bike like James’s. You just don’t feel
comfortable locking it up outside a cafe or a shop or a pub, whereas when you have a fixie
like the one Jon built for me, it’s pretty much worry-free. I mean, I could go almost
anywhere, chain it up outside, and I wouldn’t feel too nervous
about coming back to it. And the lock wouldn’t scratch my expensive paint work either. I mean, my bike has seen 30 years of use and I just don’t need to worry about it. That’s winning for me. – So from our very scientific test, we have worked out that
road bike is faster, easier to corner, and having gears is
ideal for hilly commutes. But the fixie is a lot
cheaper, it’s low maintenance, and much easier to go from bike to desk, and it’s a lot less stressful
to leave it outside a pub if, like me, you’re riding a super bike. But what I want to know is
what would you ride in a city? Would you go for a fixie or would you go for a bike
like my Orbea over there? Let us know in the comment section below and if you really enjoyed seeing us race against each other
on those two bikes, make sure you give it a big thumbs up. And for another commuter-style video, why don’t you check out
that one down there? Ollie and I went head-to-head,
cheap bike versus super bike.

100 comments on “Fixie Vs Geared: Which Bike Is Fastest For City Riding?

  1. Old 18 speed MTB with 47mm tires for me. Its worthless, I can leave it everywhere, I can climb every hill in the town.

    I just dont understand the fixie.

  2. Who missed the old trio, Matt, si and Dan. I wish it was like 2016 again. The best GCN videos ever were filmed in 2016

  3. i dont think WHY fixed gear bikes are good commuters
    -cheap
    -less mantinence
    -not appealing to a thief compared to an obrbea

  4. Someone yeet my RM6000 road bike 2weeks ago while I leave it outside at the grocery store.You can't leave your bike outside man.No...plz…

  5. I would go with neither. I would use a foldable bike with hub gears. It can cope with hills. I can take it with me wherever I go. I don't need to worry about security because I don't leave it outside a restaurant or pub.

  6. I don’t know of any proper FG build that doesn’t have cages or straps at the very least. Bet if he had either, he’d take him on that first test.

  7. But those bikes wouldn’t work in Anchorage Alaska commuters. Our roads are garbage and the snow is treacherous if you don’t have studs, which require a wider tire.

  8. fixie riders can do track stands while waiting, which can save about couple of seconds every time they set off after a red light :D. As everyone says, test would be fairer if the fixie had straps for power efficiency. I do enjoy commuting with both kind of bikes like apple and orange. liked the video though

  9. If I have the money to buy, I will buy a Orbea. I have a MTB, but I love Orbea and race bike!😍😍😍
    I'm Spanish and I will buy a spanish bike

  10. I always road gears bikes but live in a more rural lace. I now ride a fix (with brakes) in the very small town I live in. You can't get to another town except on a freeway where bikes aren't alowed

  11. I would love to have an orbea . I currently own a se lager 49cm didn't know I had the wrong size but I've since change to a long stem and slammed the bars to accommodate. Freaking love the bike

  12. I use a geared bike because you never know what the conditions maybe you will encounter also it's a mountain bike as well for that same reason. An expensive bike like that to me is only meant for commutes if you're going to lock it inside a closed area and there is extra security around like a camera while you dont have clear view of it 24-7.

  13. I realised that my fixie(not the Super ex type but the steel)
    If I sprint I only need push hard on pedal 4times and rest is just me pedaling on a hamster wheel and I can last Long on fixie as less strength needed to push on pedal
    Going up slope also Super easy
    It’s like the power is like a spring ,pull had once and that’s allll you need
    For road it drops easily the speed and also it’s not a spring a gear
    For my road,when I sprint I need to push up alllll the way and my strength deplete Super quickly

    My fixie is coastal btw not fix

    Problem
    My fixie max of speeding only 35km/h
    But my road can reach 48 but I don’t have energy to continue more than 20-30s

  14. Fixed all day every day with a brew😎👌🚲🛴💥🔥. My mans has two brakes on a fixie. Wooozers 😂

  15. 시바 장비빨 차이 오지게 하네
    당연히 같은 사람이 타면 로드가 이기는데
    최소한 클릿이라도 주던가

  16. Nice video. This means cheap fixie and any super hyper bike have no big difference for city riding purpose. Rather cheap fixie is prefered than any super because of simple structure, maintenance cost and handling comfort. Late Sheldon said he rode fixie for the last 10 years riding because of these reason.

  17. everybody complaining about "no straps, no clips". get over it. Would have been even more devastating for Hank than it already is ;). And if your well-being really depends on seeing a win over that super ride road bike, I would be more concerned about that than straps/clips.

  18. haha fixie is great for fun and tricks like wheelie and other i have some steel frame with 32c continental and it`s great bike for fun 🙂

  19. As everyone noticed the test is not fair. I personally use both and I can say that the fixed gear is great for climbing while my road bike is better for long rides. I use a fixie with straps as a daily and it works great.

  20. Gears mostly because I like to go fast and keep proper cadence but I use a cheap hybrid so. Best of both worlds lol

  21. So true. Thats why i dont care if i have my walmart 700c gmc Denali chaned outside a bar or a pub to eat. Cause its only 205 us bucks in wa state lol. Now a guy hew puts 10k down well thats like a car lol and you have to insure that property in case something does happen but with my bike lol just go back to the store lol

  22. lol this is an unfair comparison atleast get a proper fixed gear bike and someone who actually rides fixed gear, someone like Safa or Matt Reyes.

  23. Single or geared font matter. For godsake get a extra large seat and post suspension to save your nuts . Why no vid on that

  24. I think fixed gear bikes are absolutely stupid on city streets. Especially the way most of my friends do it with no breaks. That being said, this isn't a fair comparison. He has no foot retention, in dissimilar gear, heavy old bike vs a high end one.

  25. In Bangkok, I ride both. Mid-level BMC and a cheap fixie. Between both bikes, I see no marginal average speed different in this city. Love to ride both of them in city but fixie give an ease of mind when I have to park somewhere.

  26. Fixed guy would have fared better with some straps at least …if he isn't riding clips…when you hit a hill especially you need some straps so you can pull up instead of just mashing…only time I prefer free wheel is for descending massive hills…you can go way faster its alot more fun.

  27. I’ve never seen anyone ride a fixie with brakes. Also, goofy bars, no straps or clips on the fixie either…ugh.

  28. The fixie is far more brutal ride which requires more pain, muscles, and sharper riding skills amd non stop mashing the racer jus stops after speed is reached

  29. Such a dumb test guys… I like your stuff but.. Convert an old shitty bike to a fixed gear and compare i with an Orbea road bike? Take a proper fixed gear track bike and then do shit like this…

  30. Last month, I finished my build of a Cannondale m900 90s rigid mountain bike. I have ridden a lot of different bikes in Amsterdam, but the Cannondale is the best, light agile and with the 1×10 setup, not too expensive

  31. If you usually ride in the city, get rid of those single sided pedals and go with double sided. You’ll have consistently faster and easier starts.

  32. Roadbike is a sexy bike, but single fixed folding bike is better to travel around the world by plane, boat, train, and a car baggage just simple to fold

  33. and the economic issue about letting it outside is too wrong knowing that there are also too expensive fixie bikes out there

  34. I ride both but my fixie is preferred i feel road bikes make me lazy my tuck and posture is better too i feel on my fixie but i keep up with majority of road bikes rather it be on the bike trails,riverbeds,down hill, up hill would be the only down fall for a fixie to me depending on the rider

  35. I choose cross-country bike for city… It is comfortable and fast and you can use it off-road when you dont have mood for training on your road bike.

  36. Both are good. I ride a 6 speed mountain bike with road tires. Pretty much the perfect bike. Got it used for $30.

  37. Buy a loud motion alarm and gps tracker … Fix to ur bike. Be at peace. Its goddam nadu g that ni cycle companies willing to cash in in it. The ultra high end markets only waiting to the things price up nd steal your money for giving normal gadgets at 9 times price.

  38. I ride a fixie like with bullhorn steering, 1 gear pedal brake bike in the city of Groningen, Netherlands, don’t go full fixie due the amount of rain and to brake with a fixie a found more dangerous… but I can keep up easily with geared bikes, even with some electrical bikes…
    And here, we use double locks for the bikes… even if it’s an old cheap bike if it’s not locked will disappear in a couple minutes… even ones with locks are stollen regularly… so leaving outside of the pub unattended will not be relaxing…

  39. I ride around town on a flatland BMX bike, so I can satiate my incessant need to show off. I should mention I am American…

  40. Year 'round fixie rider here in Warroad, MN, USA. Flat terrain, but the wind really winds up. Wintertimes present traction and freezing issues. Furrows of slush divert the front wheel. Pick your line. Exposed flesh freezes in seconds. Corneas are vulnerable. Use goggles!

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