Condensed Answer: Fixed-gear bikes use solid axles with track nuts and thus it’s possible to mount pegs to the wheels. However, fixed-gear bikes aren’t designed for pegs by default. Consequently, such an addon could damage the frame, fork, and axle hubs.
What Are Pegs?
Pegs are short, reinforced metal tubes that attach to the axle of a wheel’s hub. Pegs are most commonly used on BMX bikes as they allow the rider to grind ledges and rails. They’re also very useful for doing a high number of original freestyle tricks.
On other bicycles, pegs serve as a way to transport a passenger on the bike.
There are two main ways to do this:
a. Upright position. In this case, the passenger steps on the pegs installed on the rear wheel and holds on to the cyclist’s traps/shoulders.
b. Seated Position. The passenger seats on a rear rack and uses the pegs merely as feet support.
In the case of fixed-gear bikes, pegs are most commonly used for transportation. That said, some people use fixed-gear bikes for tricks too. In some situations, the stunts may involve pegs.
Requirements To Install Pegs On a Bike
Pegs can be installed only when the bike has solid axles.
As the name suggests, solid axles represent a treaded solid rod around which the hub rotates. The wheel is secured to the frame or fork via nuts with a serrated coat reducing the chances of untightening.
Quick-release axles are hollow and too weak to be used with pegs. Also, the levers on quick-release axles prevent the installation of pegs in the first place.
By default, dedicated fixed-gear bikes mimic track bikes and use solid axles and track nuts.
Track bikes are prohibited from having quick-release axles because those are considered insecure for the torque reached during track events.
Therefore, if the fixed-gear bike that you have is an original one, it probably has solid axles.
However, if the bike is a multi-speed road model converted to fixed-gear, it might be using quick-release axles. In that scenario, it won’t be possible to install pegs on it.
How Are Pegs Attached To a Bike
Pegs are installed between the axle nut and the dropout. The procedure is as follows:
Step 1: Unscrew and remove the axle nut on one side.
Step 2: Slide the peg on the axle.
Step 3: Put the axle nut into a socket wrench with a long extension and carefully screw it on the axle. Do it slowly to avoid cross-threading.
You will need a long socket extension because you will be screwing the axle nut through the peg.
The graph below illustrates the order of the elements:
What Are The Dangers of Installing Pegs On a Fixed-gear?
Damaged Axles and Hubs
The axles of fixed-gear bikes aren’t as robust as BMX ones. Consequently, it’s possible to bend them by using pegs either for transporting people or doing stunts.
Rear Wheel and Frame Destruction
The rear of the bike has to support more of the rider’s weight. When you add a passenger, the overall stress on the rim, hub, and dropouts increases to dangerous levels.
If both the rider and the passenger are of medium or greater weight, it’s quite possible to bend the wheel, especially if it has fewer than 36-spokes.
It goes without saying that the irregularities on the road increase the stress on the wheel even further.
It’s also possible to crack the chainstays because they’re quite thin and among the weakest parts of a frame.
High Center of Gravity
Riding a bicycle with passengers standing on the pegs results in a load with a high center of gravity negatively affecting the handling of the bike.
If the passenger makes a sudden move and a weight shift, the cyclist could lose balance and fall.
If the fixed-gear bike does not have brakes, the rider will most likely fail to slow down in time due to the overall mass of the bike and its cargo.
Stopping a fixed-gear bike by backpedaling is difficult enough when there’s no load. But a passenger makes such a practice even more dangerous.
Riding a brakeless fixed-gear bike with a passenger standing on a set of pegs is simply irresponsible and should not be done.
If the bike has pegs, the user will have to add an extended socket to their tool arsenal. Otherwise, it won’t be possible to remove the wheel in case of a flat tire.
- Switch to BMX
If the main intention behind installing a set of pegs is the performance of stunts, it’s wiser to go into BMX riding.
BMX bikes are stronger and easier to manipulate than larger models. Unlike fixed gear bikes, they’re designed specifically for tricks and will speed up the learning process considerably while opening a door to a whole new world of bike stunts.
- GT Frame Standers
GT frame standers are adapters designed specifically for the transportation of a passenger on a bike.
The adapters attach to the rear axle (just like the pegs) and the chainstays while providing a fairly wide platform for the passenger’s feet.
GT frame standers are an old-school product, and you’re unlikely to find them at your local bike shop. That said, some online stores still have them.
The advantage of frame standers over pegs is that they have a more comfortable shape and spread the stress between two points (the rear axle and the frame).
Summary: What You Need To Know
- Dedicated fixed-gear bikes use solid axles making it possible to install pegs.
- Fixed-gear bikes are not suited for extreme exploitation of the pegs because they have slimmer axles than BMX models.
- Road bikes converted into fixed-gear bikes often continue to rely on quick-release axles and therefore cannot accept pegs due to weakness and mechanical incompatibility.
- Pegs make it possible to transport people on a bike, but they have severe downsides such as decreased bike stability, extra stress on the frame and rear wheel, the necessity for additional repair tools, extra weight…etc.
- Using a fixed-gear bike without brakes for transporting people is dangerous and should not be done.