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  1. #1
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    Fixie craze good for bicycle awareness,

    I moved from the Portland area to a small college town in a rural area, but even in this small town, we are seeing more and more people (mostly students, but quite a few of the older locals as well) riding fixed gear bikes around.

    Some of the people I talk to think this is just a passing fad that nothing really good can come from, but I think that kids taking beater old road bikes, stripping them down and riding the crap out of them couldn't be a better example of sustainability. Attitude and public perception could be a little better, but it really does take making something cool to get the masses off their as... couches.

    I'm in kind of a flu driven delirium, so if I'm not making any sense, I apologize.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    I agree completely. The more, the merrier even if most of them are hipsters. Now if we can just get them to use their head for something besides somewhere to hang their color-coordinated cycling caps and exercise some common sense. Some examples would include running some kind of brakes on their bikes and using said brakes to come to a complete stop at stop signs. But otherwise, yeah get out of the cage and pedal!
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010

  3. #3
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    As long as they follow the rules of the road and do not contribute to the negative view of cyclists, more people on bikes is good. I'm a fixed gear rider, not a hipster, but meh.

  4. #4
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    Most of the fixie riders in my area seem to weigh less than 100 lbs, chain smoke American Spirits, and have at least a 12-pack of PBR in their messenger bags at any given time...

  5. #5
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    The local laws most likely require all vehicles using the roadways to have a functioning brake.

    I for one think the fixie thing will pass. A hipster I work with bought one to ride into work. He now admits wishing he would have gotten a bike he could coast on, and one that would stop.

    Just my 2 cents.
    "Donuts. Is there anything they can't do?"

  6. #6
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    You can have brakes on a fixed gear... your coworker isn't good at riding. He only wants to coast and have brakes to be lazy.

  7. #7
    Rides like wrecking ball
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmucker
    your coworker isn't good at riding. He only wants to coast and have brakes to be lazy.
    And you've got two wheels and a seat because you're too lazy to walk or run.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hesh to Steel
    With people liking mongoose and trek bikes now, what's next in this crazy world? People disliking the bottlerocket?!

  8. #8
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    But, at least for the time being... they are riding! And when the craze is over, some of them will have learned that they like riding bicycles and will continue to ride. Not all, but some.

    I'm just glad that something in cycling is cool enough to get people noticing and wanting to try it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog
    And you've got two wheels and a seat because you're too lazy to walk or run.
    Walking and running are pedestrian, bicycles are vehicular. Association illogical. Bike instead of drive. Run instead of walk. Mutually exclusive.

  10. #10
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    And I found a good new use for fixed speed courier people.....best info for the best cycling shops in a town you don't know. Needed to find a good shop in London that was not a "big brand" in the hopes of locating track pedals. Stopped 5 diff couriers at traffic lights, got 5 simmilr answers, found shop, now I'm happy.

  11. #11
    jrm
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    Attitude & perception

    is why drivers think so lowly of cyclists. Honestly the fixie hipsters dont seem to be helping that.
    Wreck the malls with cows on Harleys

  12. #12
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    more riders is better for everyone

    young people on bike now = betters, more responsible drivers in the future.

    or...a bunch of jerk-offs running stop signs in the future.

  13. #13
    weirdo
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    Is it good for awareness? I have no idea.

    I just hope they don`t grind off the cable stops and RD hangers on ALL the cool old frames (they seem to like doing that). Otherwise, I really don`t care- I`ll take three or more gears and some kind of freewheel mechanism for myself, but if the next guy gets off on fixed hus, that`s fine by me.

  14. #14
    Rides like wrecking ball
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmucker
    Walking and running are pedestrian, bicycles are vehicular. Association illogical. Bike instead of drive. Run instead of walk. Mutually exclusive.
    Sounds nice, but lazy from A to B takes many forms.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hesh to Steel
    With people liking mongoose and trek bikes now, what's next in this crazy world? People disliking the bottlerocket?!

  15. #15
    Off the back...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmucker
    Walking and running are pedestrian, bicycles are vehicular. Association illogical. Bike instead of drive. Run instead of walk. Mutually exclusive.
    All are types of movement from one point to another = transportation. Power source varies, as does efficiency of energy conversion into velocity. Bike instead of walk/run/drive/transit/fly. The logic holds.

  16. #16
    weirdo
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    As long as the hipster is on his own time, he`s got a right ot be lazy. Who`s paying him to pedal?

  17. #17
    In the rear with the beer
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    More riders = greater driver awareness = safer roads....
    Salvation Outdoor
    "Take it Outside...Again!!!"

  18. #18
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm
    is why drivers think so lowly of cyclists. Honestly the fixie hipsters dont seem to be helping that.
    Agreed, they often don't.

    They don't help with pedestrian's perceptions, either. At least not here (VA Tech / Blacksburg). They go flying through crowded crosswalks, weaving between people and scaring the piss out of them when they are supposed to give them the right of way. Then there is the fool last year that lost control of his brake-less fixie on a hill downtown, and crashed through the plate glass window of a burrito shop.

    Of course, it's not often much of an issue, because most of the time I see one of these guys/gals going anywhere with their bike, they are walking it (so they can smoke their hand-rolled cigs). Actually, most of the time (especially if it is slightly wet or cold) they don't even have the bike, just the meticulously rolled up pant leg.

    It is ridiculous in NYC. I'm all for bikes in the city (love to do it myself), but some of these messengers need to get taken out for everyone else's sake, and for the good of the cylcing community. They give us a terrible name. My mom (a 67 year old NYC native) got clipped by one or these d-bags last year while crossing the street. He was going the wrong way on a one way street, and she had a green cross signal. Of course, they would probably ride this way regardless of the bike they were riding.

    Rant over

  19. #19
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdudecycling
    More riders = greater driver awareness = safer roads....
    For the most part, this is true.

    However, reckless riders with attitudes = pissed off drivers/pedestrians = less hospitable roads.

  20. #20
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    "I still feel that varable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"
    --Henri Desgrange, L'Équipe article of 1902

    Thanks to the late Sheldon Brown for this quote.

  21. #21
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onespeed3916
    "I still feel that varable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"
    --Henri Desgrange, L'Équipe article of 1902

    Thanks to the late Sheldon Brown for this quote.
    if you've looked at the rudimentary mechanical bits they had to deal with back then you'd understand the quote better me thinks... but it's 100 years in the future and i think machining technology has come at least a little ways...

    fixies are for unicycles and penny farthings...
    - Surly Disc trucker
    - '82 trek 560 roadie

  22. #22
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    I think for the guy that invented the Tour de France it was more about the human element than the technology.

    "He believed the Tour de France had to be gruelling, to the extent that the perfect race for him would be one that only one rider could finish, because he needed it to inspire, to extend the limits of human achievement. Many of his rules, which now seem arcane, were to that end. He forbade riders to cooperate with each other, banning tactics now taken for granted, such as sharing the pacemaking. He insisted competitors mend their own bicycles and accept no outside help because independence and self-sufficiency were everything to him. For the same reason, he stood out against variable gears long after they had become common elsewhere."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Desgrange

    For me commuting fixed, for almost year, it is "about extending the limits of human achievement." As for the hipster, it is what it is. We've all laughed at the joker who goes out and spends thousands on a bike that collects more dust in the garage than on the trail. Granted, if we all had thousands to spend on bikes, we would, it is just that you can have a really nice fixed bike for right around $200 and you might even learn how to maintain your bike. Don't miss the point, riding bicycles is what matters...right?

  23. #23
    Another Retro Grouch
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    I'm am an old fart, just not a hating old fart, I love hipsters on bikes. 30 years ago I rode a fixie with no brake. I never had any trouble locking up the rear wheel. Finally got a frt brake when I moved to Iowa City and got tired of all the work on the big downhills by the river. I had a unique style back then, weren't any of you young once?

  24. #24
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeylessChuck


    I think that kids taking beater old road bikes, stripping them down and riding the crap out of them couldn't be a better example of sustainability.



    Thoughts?
    When I was living in New York, which is really, really flat, I had a mid-70's road bike that I bought to commute. I guess it'd been collecting dust somewhere for a while before ending up in the second-hand store where I picked it up, because I started breaking components pretty quickly once I started riding. It started as a ten-speed.

    Then the front derailleur seized. I threw it out.

    Some other stuff happened. I replaced the rear wheel (with another one with a threaded road hub and freewheel.) Then the rear shifting started getting super-finicky.

    Too much play in the rear derailleur. I threw it out.

    Shift ramps turn out to be the enemy of ghetto singlespeed conversions. So I actually ended up buying a 20t BMX freewheel. (It was one of those cranks with the teeth cut into it, not a separate chainring. So the ratio was 52/20.) They fit a standard road hub. I did start thinking a little about doing a fixed-gear conversion on that bike, but I would have needed a different rear wheel, fixed-gears annoy me by association with hipsters, and I like being able to ratchet, pedal-up, bunnyhop, lay the bike way over in a corner, etc. etc.

    But the thing that I noticed after all that work on that bike was that if you take an older, low-performance bike with horizontal dropouts and an at least serviceable frame, throw out most of the drivetrain and repack the bearings, you end up with something fast and fun to ride. Depending on the original parts on the bike, a singlespeed conversion that allows coasting may not even require any new parts - sometimes throwing out the derailleurs and shifters, choosing a gear and shortening the chain is enough.

    So yeah - hard to think of a better example of sustainability.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  25. #25
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
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    good point... ghetto SS I understand... removes all the real finicky parts of an old bike (who wants to reach down to the downtube to shift anyway haha) and you've got a good inespensive bike... heck i'm haphazardly looking for a clean older road frame to do something like that with....

    but each to their own... there's a guy out on our trail that runs a fixie surly 1x1... kewl bike... but the thoughts of ME riding like that scares the hell outa me lol... i'd kill someone... prob myself...
    - Surly Disc trucker
    - '82 trek 560 roadie

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