n. A fixed-wheel bicycle that has only a single gear since the pedals are chained directly to the rear wheel.
The choice of buying a fixed-wheel bike or "track bike" for city use appears to defy common sense, convenience and considerations of personal safety. Noninitiates to the so-called "fixie" consider their owners to have a few screws loose as well as missing a few gears. The disadvantages of fixed-wheel bikes are obvious — you can't freewheel down hills, you can't change gear going uphill, you have to time stopping to perfection otherwise you land on your rear and, without mudguards, you get soaked every time it rains.

Yet fans of the fixie swear that nothing can beat it for urban riding. Indeed, the majority of Britain's urban cycling professionals, the couriers who ride for a living all day, choose to ride fixies. What's more, the latest bicycle fashion is spreading from couriers to health enthusiasts to commuters. At Condor Cycles, the central-London shop, fixed-wheel bikes are a top seller — accounting for half the sales of the Condor brand.
—Tom Bogdanowicz, “In favour of the fixie,” Financial Times, November 17, 2007
it's undeniable that fixed gear bikes are something of a fashion statement. In the 1986 Kevin Bacon classic "Quicksilver," pop culture took notice of fixed gear bikes, and that popularity continued to grow throughout the 1990s. Along with the omnipresence of Timbuk2's tri-colored messenger bags, the bicycle courier look came into vogue. Suddenly the once inconspicuous fixed gear riders had a burgeoning audience.

More influential than the mainstream media's attention, however, has been the Internet's role in the proliferation of fixies. Web sites dedicated to the fixed gear subculture typically garner a fanatic response, and new sites continue to spring up daily. Among the most popular sites is, a hub for readers to showcase photos of their personal bikes.

Of course there's a certain camaraderie that comes with riding a fixie in the city. Birds of a feather flock together, and like-minded cyclists are especially prone to forming cliques.
—Jeff Guerrero, “The limberness of the fixed gear mind,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 09, 2007
2001 (earliest)
Reilly wrote this about her search for a previous bike: "She lay there, wheelless. She looked like sleeping beauty. Powdered blue, French. She was the sexiest sleeping bike I'd ever seen. … I dreamed of the days we would spend together. The doors we would dodge, the black marks we'd make, the boxes we'd carry."

She paid $40 and named her Aung, after Aung San Suu Kyi, a Burmese woman who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.

Aung attracted lots of attention because she was a fixed gear bike, a "fixie" in messenger parlance.
—Paula Voell, “A fine mess,” Buffalo News, January 28, 2001
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