What we have here is a case of mistaken identity
I enjoyed reading the article concerning fixed-gear bikes (“Get a ‘Rush’ of your own on a fixed-gear bicycle,” Go!, Sept. 20) and it was essentially informative and factual, but with one glaring exception. The author, Stephen Regenold, wrote that fixed-gear bikes do not coast, and that is totally wrong — some do, in fact, have a freewheel option thereby allowing them to coast while allowing the rider to leave his or her feet resting comfortably on the pedals, allowing them to stand up to stretch while coasting, etc. Additionally, there are some fixed-gear bikes equipped with both a coaster brake and a caliper brake on the front wheel that uses a handlebar-mounted lever to activate.
Stephen Regenold replies: The difference between fixies and single-speed bikes can be confusing.
They are cousin bike types, but fixed-gear (also called a track bike) is its own breed. Both types indeed have a “single speed” with no rear gear cassette and no shifting of gears available, but they are different because a single-speed bike has a freewheel hub, letting you coast. A fixed-gear bike has no freewheel. You cannot coast. Either type can have brakes.