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How to choose Fixie Wheel / Single speed wheel / Track wheel?

Ideal for exercise and travel, fixie wheels are designed to help you pedal rhythmically and powerfully.

Instead of struggling with gears and adjustments, fixed wheel bikes let you race efficiently and offer a lot of road travel advantages. Of course, reaping these benefits relies on choosing high-quality wheels for your ride.

To get the best fixie wheels available, we’ve curated a list of the leading selections as Single speed / fixie wheel options

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Benefits of Fixie Wheels

  • Allows you to pedal quickly and steadily. A fixie wheel bike relies on you constantly pedaling. Since there are no gears to adjust, it results in even pedaling. Thanks to this, you can pedal quickly without slipping gears and without losing your pace. 
  • Increases your energy efficiency. Since you are constantly in motion, you don’t waste riding time or energy dealing with gear changes. The resistance is set, leaving the pace of your pedaling as the sole commander of the cadence of the bike ride. 
  • Increased safety. Given the lack of gear adjustments and the fixed nature of the drivetrain, there won’t be issues with changing terrain. Instead of struggling with gear adjustments, you can brake more easily and don’t have to coast to make turns. 
  • Optimize exercise. When you are continuously pedaling the bike, you are naturally going to burn more calories (even if you travel the same distance). It makes tracking the calories you burned easier and lets you exercise more in a shorter period. 
  • Work well on slippery roads. The nature of fixie wheel bikes is that you are always pedaling, optimizing traction on all types of surfaces. Since you aren’t coasting when you ride, it will enable you to reduce the risk of injuries when traveling on slick roads.

Types of Fixie Wheels

Deep 

Ideal for those using fixie wheels for racing, the deep section type of fixed-wheels is meant to be used on smooth surfaces. Meant to enhance the aerodynamics of the wheel itself, the depth also enables these wheels to be used on more rugged terrain and hilly areas. Featuring shallow rims, these wheels let the bike reach higher speeds while requiring the same amount of effort. 

Mid-Section

Though not hugely prevalent on the market, mid-section wheels are still noteworthy for the value they offer. The lightweight design is meant for use on smooth areas like pavement and asphalt. Fairly versatile by design, these wheels can be used on all types of bikes. Able to reach medium speeds, these fixie wheels are geared towards those using the bike for both exercise and short distance travel. 

Shallow

Meant for use by those focused on exercise and resistance, these wheels balance aerodynamics with traction and drag. Common on the market, shallow section wheels are ideal for gripping difficult surfaces. This makes the shallow section wheel better for slippery areas. Since they result in a lot of friction, this type of wheel isn’t ideal for mountain riding or racing.  

 

Fixie Wheels Pricing

  • Under $150: In this range, you can find fixie wheels made of either carbon fiber or metal alloy. Generally, models in this price range will come as a single wheel instead of a set. 
  • $150 and up: Most fixie wheels fall within this price range. Usually, the wheels come as a set of two. Made of various materials, you can find fixie wheels of all three types in this category.

Key Features

Rim Structure & Material

Perhaps the most important feature of any fixie wheels is the rim since this is the main structure of the wheel itself. Usually, it will either be made of a metal alloy (usually aluminum) or out of carbon fiber. The size of the rim varies in terms of width, though modern wheels tend to feature a wider rim to add stability and mitigate the risk of flat tires. The rim also plays directly into the aerodynamics of the ride. Look for lightweight yet structurally sound designs for the best results. 

Tire Compatibility 

Not all tires are compatible with all wheels, making this a really important feature. Either the wheel will fit with a tubular, tubeless, or a clincher tire. If the rim has beading, then it won’t require a tube. Tubular models tend to be more durable (though harder to set up). Tubeless wheels are usually heavier than a clincher, with either option requiring an inner tube to function. This design feature will make it either easier or more difficult to set up the bike and also plays into how much drag you get while pedaling 

Braking Mechanism 

When investigating your bike wheels, it is important to look at the braking mechanism. This key feature will directly impact the smoothness of your stops. It will either use an aluminum or carbon part. The former is better for those seeking a smooth stop while the carbon fiber material tends to favor quick stops. Depending on the type of fixie wheels you want, you will see more benefit from either carbon or aluminum. 

Other Considerations

  • Size. Probably the most important consideration to lend when looking into new bike wheels is the size of the wheel itself. It is about more than getting a tire to fit onto the wheel; it’s a matter of finding wheels that are compatible with your bike. Look to the axle of your ride and ensure that the wheel will fit the bike without requiring any hefty adjustments. 
  • Style. Though the key to fixie wheels is the function, there is still an aesthetic value to them. Take a look at the different options available and opt for something that matches your preferences. There are selections with muted tones and those which are designed to add flair to your ride. Depending on your personality (and your bike), you will need a different look. 
  • Durability. When you get a new part for your bike, you want it to last over the long term. Resultantly, it is important to opt for something durable enough to resist damage. While aluminum is lightweight, it is more vulnerable to warping due to impact. Carbon fiber is heavier, though tends to withstand pressure well. Both materials are resistant to corrosion. 
  • Installation. Ultimately, the wheels need to get from the packaging to your bike and it never hurts to have an easy install. If you are newer to the world of fixed-wheel bikes, it can be helpful to get a shallow-section wheel. More experienced riders can work with deep-section wheels that tend to be harder to install. 
  • Maintenance. All things require a certain amount of upkeep and wheels are no exception. Look at the spokes on the wheels and check if any added features can complicate maintenance. The key is to keep them dry and clean; so, by choosing a wheelset that makes this easier, you can save yourself a lot of time and energy.

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