Matt Bort

Matt Bort began riding fixed-gear bikes about a year and a half ago, shortly after Chris built his first bike.

He says his first time on the bike was kind of scary.

“You’d want to coast and your legs would get thrown out from under you,” he says.

Although riding without a brake was initially frightening, Matt says now he feels more confident in traffic.

Most cyclists are only looking immediately ahead of them when they ride, Matt says.

“Fixed-gear riders are looking three or four blocks ahead for that car that’s going to cut him off,” he says.

Matt currently works at a Champion Cycling and Fitness in Jacksonville, Fla. He says that bike companies have noticed the trend toward fixed gears and now even market certain products toward the community, usually under the label “urban.”

One product is a bike tool that attaches to the frame of the bike that is also a bottle opener.

One bike company has even released two different models of fixed-gear bikes when the industry standard is to release one new model a year.

Besides the added fun and control offered by fixed gears during normal riding, the ability to do tricks, such as riding backwards and skidding, is an added bonus. Matt and his friends who work with him will sometimes practice new tricks in the parking lot of the bike shop.