Building a fixed gear bike is a relatively straightforward process, due to the simplicity of the fixed gear design. You can build a fixie out of basic bike parts or convert another type of bike into a fixed gear bike fairly easily. Below are the basic materials you need for building a fixed gear bike.
The Bike Frame
Many types of bike frames can be used to build a fixed gear bike. You could use the frame from a road bike, track bike, or mountain bike, provided that the frame has horizontal dropouts which are slots in the frame that admit the rear wheel axle. These slots are situated from side to side, which enables you to move the axle to put tension on the chain. This is critical for the correct functioning of a fixed gear bike. The horizontal dropouts are an important component since it becomes very difficult to build the fixie and get the chain right otherwise.
Fixed Gear Components
Besides the frame, there are several obvious components you need to build a fixed gear bike. You need a seat, handlebars, a crank with a chainwheel, a chain, a set of pedals, wheels, tires, and brakes. Some fixed gear bike riders don’t bother with brakes since they can control the speed of the rear wheel by pedaling. Although the bike can be slowed down this way, we recommend a back-up brake on the front tire for added safety.
The component that really makes a fixie what it is is the rear hub. Fixed gear bikes are characterized by a rear hub that admits a single cog which acts as a single gear. This cog is attached to the hub on the rear wheel and then to the chain and pedals. Some fixed gear riders opt for a flip-flop hub, so they can switch to a freewheel setting if they want to coast.
You will need screwdrivers and several types of wrenches to put your bike together. You may need Allen wrenches, open wrenches, cone wrenches, and possibly specialty wrenches, depending on the hardware you have. You may also need a chain tool to make changes to your chain.
Putting It All Together
Building a fixed gear bike with all of the materials listed above should be fairly self-explanatory. Take special care that your chain is attached in a straight line and is at a good tension. It is crucial for the functioning of a fixed gear bike to have a proper tension, as there are no derailleurs or tensioning systems to regulate the tension of the chain when riding. You can also order a ready-to-assemble fixed gear bike from Critical Cycles, which comes with all of the necessary tools and components at a low price. Get started building a fixed gear bike with parts from Critical Cycles!
We always recommend taking your bike to a professional mechanic to ensure your safety.