trak bīk (fīksē)
A type of bicycle typically without brakes and with a fixed gear
Example usage: I'm going to take my track bike for a spin around the park.
Most used in: Urban areas such as cities and large towns.
Most used by: Commuters, urban cyclists and track racers.
Comedy Value: 5/10
What is a Track Bike (Fixie)?
A track bike, also known as a fixed-gear bicycle or ‘fixie’, is a single-speed bicycle that has a direct drivetrain. This means that the pedals are directly connected to the rear wheel, without the need for a derailleur. As a result, the bike has no freewheel mechanism and the pedals must be constantly moving when the bike is in motion.
Track bikes are especially popular among cyclists who want a lightweight and responsive ride. They are also often used for track racing, due to their minimalistic design and lack of complex components. Track bikes are usually stripped down to the bare essentials, with no brakes or gears, and often feature a flip-flop hub that allows the rider to switch between a fixed gear and a freewheel.
Track bikes have seen a resurgence in recent years, with a 2017 survey by The NPD Group showing that sales of fixie bikes had increased by 64% in the United States in the previous year. This trend is likely to continue, as more and more cyclists are drawn to the simplicity and responsiveness of track bikes.
The Origin of the Term 'Track Bike (Fixie)'
The term 'track bike' (sometimes referred to as a 'fixie') has its roots in the world of competitive cycling. Track bikes are specially designed for use on velodromes, banked oval cycling tracks, and were first used in the late 19th century. These bikes typically have a single gear and no brakes, and are designed for optimal speed and efficiency when competing in track cycling events.
In the early 20th century, track bikes began to be used outside of competitive cycling. People started to use them as a form of transportation, and the term 'fixie' was born. This term is a combination of 'fixed gear' and 'bike,' and is used to describe a bike with a single gear ratio and no freewheel mechanism. The term 'fixie' became popular in the United States in the early 2000s, and has since become a popular choice for urban cyclists.
Today, track bikes are still used for competitive cycling, but they have also become popular with urban cyclists looking for a simple and efficient ride. And although the term 'fixie' is used to describe any bike with a single gear ratio, the term originally referred to those bikes with no brakes, as is still the case with competitive track bikes.