A reader asks, "Question. What is the point of fixed gear bikes? I'd think that they would be kind of a bummer. I had a fixed gear as a kid, and remember alot of walking up hills and out of control downhill chaos. For me, the gears were a lovely perk of being a grownup. "
Fixed gears are about purity, simplicity and noble suffering. Like stanky cheese, dark beer, sea urchin and sadomasochism, they're not for everyone. But if you discover they're for you, nothing else will do.
I do like my bikes with "speeds." But a well-geared fixie can feel lighter and more agile than you would expect it to be. Take a bunch of parts off of even a cheap bike and it suddenly weighs a whole lot less than it used to. Strip down something that was light to start with and you have a personal rocket that responds to your leg muscles' every twitch.