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Purchasing a fixie bike may seem like an irrational choice for those who do not delve beneath the exterior motives of the rider.

In reality, the underlying benefits gained through buying a luxury item, such as a fixie, provides recognition and many other intrinsic benefits to the rider.

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Given the option of purchasing a road bike from Target for $99 that comes equipped with 18 speeds, brakes and front suspension support or a basic “fixie” bike for an average $1,000, which comes with none of the aforementioned items, which would you prefer?

Interestingly enough, many of Melbourne’s younger generation are choosing the latter option.

The social status attached to riding a fixie bike does not, alone, explain why consumers are willing to pay such hefty amounts of money for them.

The niche market theory provides further clarification: specific demand requirements such as price, quality, demographics, etc, dictate the need for a specialised market to materialise.

Various literature, including websites and newspaper articles note that many consumers see appeal in the hardened image of riding without brakes (it is also worth noting that it is illegal to ride a bike without brakes in Australia).

In economic terms, this intended projection of image is called signaling: when one party conveys a certain image of itself to another party.A fixie bike is a , meaning it cannot coast; the pedals are always in motion when the bicycle is moving.Fixie’s are associated with a young, hipster crowd; each individual rider identifies with other fixie riders because they ride the same bikes and a fixie culture is established.The benefits of riding a fixie bike include the increased social status and belonging to the fixie culture.A fixie can also provide the same benefits as a standard bike: exercise & cheap transportation.This turned out to be a perverse incentive as it encouraged men to be deceptive about their intentions in order to increase their supply of sexual intimacy.

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