Chappelli Bicycle Maintenance Manual v4.0

11.  Switching from a single speed bike to a fixed gear or “fixie”

  1. Chappelli Cycles are designed to be ridden either has a single speed bicycle for those who loved stripped down bikes and have a thirst for adventure as a fixed wheel or ‘fixie’ as they are known.
  2. The bicycle will be delivered to you in single speed format. This means that the rear wheel can spin either forwards or backwards and that it can rotate freely without the pedals rotating.
  3. A fixed wheel bike has the rear wheel “fixed”. This means that it can only rotate when the pedals rotate either forwards or backwards. If the pedals go forward so must the wheel if the pedals go backwards so must the wheel. This has the added advantage of being able to double as a brake, so that slow down or stop the rider pushes the pedal backwards which locks up the rear wheel. These are referred to as Fixies.
  4. Riding the bike as a fixed wheel bike can be dangerous for those who haven’t done it before. That is why we have also attached front and rear hand brakes to all our bikes to whilst you are getting the hang of it or if you need to stop suddenly and panic you can use the hand brakes.  We strongly advise caution in removing the brakes and operating the bike as a pure fixie. It takes a lot of courage and skill to stop the bike and we guarantee that coming off your bike at speed is not fun or pleasant, so please be ultra careful.
  5. If you do want to switch from single speed to a fixed wheel or fixie format then you will just have to remove the rear wheel by loosening the screws holding it in place, and then remove the chain and turn the wheel around (you will notice that both sides of the wheel have a cog). Then reattach the chain and adjust the wheel accordingly. Remember the chain should have a little give in it but not too much. On Youtube there are lots of videos showing you how to do this as well as lots of videos on how to ride fixies properly and how to brake using a fixed wheel bike. We suggest that you watch them and practice (a lot!) before hitting the streets.