When the bicycle was first invented, it only had one gear and when you wanted to stop, you simply stopped pedaling. Since then, bicycles have evolved, including the number of gears you can choose to have on your bike.
You can still get bikes without gears. They are popular thanks to their simplicity, and ease of maintenance. There are two types of bikes with no gears, singlespeed and fixed gear (fixie).
Singlespeed bikes have a freewheel on the back, allowing you to coast when not pedaling. They usually have relatively low gearing so that you can easily pull off from a standing start and will enable you to maintain a decent speed once your wheels are turning.
Singlespeed bikes are a popular commuter or city bike, thanks to their affordability and low maintenance.
Fixed gear (Fixie)
Fixies add a whole new dimension to riding a bike. The rear cog is fixed to the wheel (hence the name), which means you have to keep pedaling while the wheels are spinning.
Fixies are a great workout as they do not give you the easy option of coasting; however, they get some getting used to. Once you have mastered riding a fixed gear bike, you can start backpedaling to brake.
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Other bikes without gears
A lot of modern singlespeed bikes come with a flip flop rear wheel or hub. So you get the best of both worlds; you can choose whether to ride singlespeed and take it a little easier or opt for the more intense workout given by the fixed gear.
Single speed bikes and fixies are an affordable and low maintenance way for anyone to start cycling.
Their low cost also makes them the perfect option for city cyclists, where you may be worried about an expensive bike getting stolen.
While bikes without gears are not nearly as popular as the more common gears with many gears, they can be a great option for those that don’t ever want to deal with shifting.
They also are great for those people that don’t want to deal with maintenance, and need basic transportation.