The fixie bike is the purest form of the bicycle. The bike is about the same as a track bike. Fixed rear hub, so the pedals always turn if the bike moves, no accessories and no brakes. Braking is done by the rider shifting his/her weight on the front of the bike and locking the legs on the frame. This puts the bike into a skid. You need to be a very good rider to mix with traffic here in Montreal where things that can kill you can pop up at any given time.
An interesting fact is that in a lot of jurisdictions, such has Montreal, it is illegal to ride without at least one working brake mechanism on the rear wheel. The offender faces a $37 fine here!
Fixies are also a fashion accessory for hipsters but I think they are on the way out since they are getting too mainstream. Courrier riders have been riding fixies for a very long time. Although very simple, some of these bikes can cost as much as my car. Check out the orange one made out of carbon fiber. I hear the rider/owner is sponsored. Others are old vintage road frames brought back to life, my favorite kind.
Here's proof that messengers have been riding fixie for a while. Pictures were found at Shorpy's.
I love looking at these bikes and I admire the people that are crazy enough to ride them but I will never ride one myself. I'm more than happy with my single speed coaster hub.
Until next time, ride safe and free.