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fixed gear bikes have been around for a very long time and unless you are super insecure about yourself, riding fixed is totally worth the occasional douchebag thinking your a hipster based on which style of hub you use on your bike.
I would recommend at least a front brake too though, if you go with a fixed gear. i used to ride brakeless but you have to worry about your speed a lot less when you have a brake, which makes it much more fun IMO
SS all day. Just because my area is too hilly for fixed though. Being able to pick up speed and coast down a hill gets me where I need to go faster and its not nearly as gnarly as trying to attack an incline with a fixed hub.
i have a flip flop, i love it. Freecoast when im riding to class and i know theres gonna be a lot of quick stops and people and fixed when i know i can just ride around and i dont have to pay as much attention
and rubbersoul - no there is no real physical advantage. obviously riding with gears is easier but riding fixed is FUN. thats all really. it's just a sick feeling being connected (using toe traps) and having the bike kinda pushing you along. you feel the momentum of your riding a lot more and it makes even the little rides around town or to a friends house much more fun. it's hard to explain but pretty much everyone i know who has built a fixed gear bike has done it for that sole reason.
there really is no advantage to riding fixed except saying you ride a fixie
if you're in any area with hills or erratic drivers you want a singlespeed with breaks. or you can wear foot straps and hope you can skid out your wheel and turn to the side fast enough to not get hit and killed
also fixies kill chains, tires, hubs, and cogs way faster than singlespeeds
hmmm... for some reason I was thinking this would be a debate over these things glued to a table or unglued. Slightly disappointed, but I'll go ahead and say glued because I hate it when coasters stick to the bottom of a cup and fall off.
Like others have said it really depends what you want. If you want to have fun doing skids, whips, and track stands and stuff like that, go fixed. Just for a commuter though, get something with gears. I ride brakeless fixed around campus and it's just a lot more fun, makes passing period something to look forward to for sure
riding distance fixed blows, and if theres any hills where you live fixed also blows. i would say get flip flop and just split it with a fixed and a free. if you get a good ratio a freewheel can beat old men on their super expensive road bikes.