Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Genuine Article: Reporting on the Fixed-Gear Phenomenon

If you're a cyclist, the fixed-gear craze is probably old news to you by now--especially if you live in a big city. But for the mainstream public, it's only now just appearing on their radar. As a result, every so often some newspaper or website will publish the obligatory article about it in their local news or cultural section, as the New York Times notably did this past spring. So, in my ongoing attempt to provide public services of dubious value, I've decided to save America's journalists the trouble by creating a template for future articles. If you're a journalist in a smaller city that hasn't yet reported on the fixed-gear trend, please feel free to use the article below in its entirety. Simply cut and paste, fill in the blanks, put your feet up on your desk, and cruise on up to that deadline!

THE FIX IS IN: Coast To Coast, Nobody's Coasting

by: [your name here]

You may have noticed that a new type of bicycle is taking over the downtown area. At first glance, it looks like a racing bicycle of the sort that Lance Armstrong used to win the Tour de France. However, a closer look will reveal that it lacks the shifting mechanisms that are technically referred to as “gears.” It may even be lacking the stopping devices mechanics and gear-heads call “brakes.” If you’ve seen, hit, or been hit by one of these bicycles recently, then you’ve encountered the hottest thing in bikes today—“fixed-gears,” otherwise known as “fixies.”

The most important difference between fixies and regular bikes is that fixies don’t let you coast. Why wouldn’t you want to coast, you may ask? “It’s like a zen thing,” explained _____, an American Apparel sales clerk, filmmaker, graduate student, and fixed-gear aficionado. “You feel totally connected to the bike. It’s like taking the stairs versus riding an escalator.”

Okay, but what about the part about not having brakes? While some fixed-gear riders do use brakes, others eschew them and instead slow their bikes by locking their legs and skidding. _____, a bartender, filmmaker, musician, and fixed-gear aficionado explained, “It forces you to pay more attention and to stay a step ahead while you’re riding. Instead of playing my iPod at full blast and only looking a car or two ahead, I keep the volume lower and look all the way to the next intersection. I feel much more like an integral part of what’s going on around me. It’s like a zen thing. You feel totally connected to the bike.”

Fixed-gear bicycles are nothing new. In fact, they’ve been around since at least 1986, when Kevin Bacon famously rode one in the film “Quicksilver.” That movie, about a person who delivers documents to companies for money, singlehandedly created the bicycle courier industry. Those couriers, called “messengers,” rode fixed-gear bicycles, bathed infrequently, and carried voluminous shoulder bags just like their idol Mr. Bacon did, and in turn were the inspiration behind fixed-gear craze of today.

Part of the appeal of the fixed-gear bicycle to young people is undoubtedly its minimalism. State-of-the-art carbon fiber road racing bicycles with complicated gear-changing systems can cost thousands of dollars, whereas fixed-gear bicycles with handmade frames, top-end parts and colorful wheels and tires cost just a few thousand dollars. “The fact is, you just don’t need all those gears,” explained _____, an advertising copywriter, woodworker, filmmaker, and fixed-gear enthusiast. “Eddy Merckx won the Tour de France in the 80s like six times on a fixed-gear. All that other stuff is just marketing.”

And it’s not just 20-somethings who are joining the revolution either. Older, experienced cyclists are also re-discovering the joyous simplicity of cycling thanks to fixed-gears. “I love it,” said _____, a lawyer, father of four, Porsche club of America member, and recent fixed-gear convert. “It reminds me of why I got into cycling in the first place. I recently converted my titanium Serotta to a fixed-gear. My knees hurt, my thighs ache, and I’m experiencing more penile numbness than usual, but according to my SRM I’m putting out more watts at lactate threshold, which makes it worth it. Plus, it’s a zen thing. You feel totally connected to the bike. All that other stuff is just marketing.”

It’s safe to say at this point that an entire culture has grown around the fixed-gear bicycle. At _____, a downtown bicycle shop that specializes in fixed-gears, owner _____ sells not only the latest in bicycles and parts but also a complete line of fixed-gear specific clothing that allows riders both male and female to easily adopt the young Audrey Hepburn look that is currently in vogue. And while _____ can’t sell you a brake, he can sell you a $50 t-shirt with the shop’s logo on it. _____ also promotes fixed-gear-specific contests which feature events like skidding, track-standing, and other competitions focused entirely on slowing or simply not riding the bicycle. _____ explains that shops like his embody the future of bicycle retail, and says that his customers are looking for something different. In fact, he says fixed-gears may just be the future of cycling.

“All that carbon fiber and gear stuff is just marketing,” _____ told me. “Fausto Coppi won the Giro d’Italia like six times in the ‘70s on a fixed-gear bike, and I think people want to get back to that simplicity. It’s like a zen thing. You feel totally connected to the bike.”

152 comments:

clintpatty said...

yay

Anonymous said...

Second!!!

Anonymous said...

podium

guero canadiense said...

Hilarious.

Polygraf said...

This morning the wind disconnected me with my bike, geeze, not a zen thing, no numbness though.

Anonymous said...

fact checking be damned.

Jim said...

Wow. Now I feel like a total asshole for doing my winter base training on the fixie. Hmmm... wonder where I can get some cold weather skinny jeans and a nice silk headscarf to go over my polypro beanie and Atmos... gotta keep up the Hepburn look.

Oh well, even if I'm already passe, at least it's like a zen thing and, I feel totally connected to the bike.

Anonymous said...

It's like a zen thing, every time I read this blog I laugh so hard I have to pee. Maybe that's the cause of my penile numbness. Great post!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful.

SAMBO said...

Brilliant. SRM on a fixie. I wonder what kind of wattage is required to skid-stop.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Kevin Bacon rock a coaster brake in Quicksilver?

Anonymous said...

It's like a Zen thing, the rest is just marketing...
Filmaker, musiscian and fixed gear afficianado.
Priceless Snobby!!!

A Godforsaken Wasteland said...

ohhhh h-e-double hockey sticks....that's sofa-king funny.

Strayhorn said...

Oh, noes. BSNYC does my job better than me. (sob!)

leroy said...

December Oh Four,
Wind freezes chamois/bike seat.
Connected zen thing.

Anonymous said...

that NTY article is funny

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 12:46pm,

In some scenes it was a fixed-gear and in others it wasn't. There are definitely some points where he's walking with the bike and the cranks are turning--yet they've dubbed the sound of a clicking freewheel over it. Oops!

--BSNYC

Anonymous said...

Mmmm, dubbed sounds.

clayton said...

"it's a total zen thing," said the young wiliamsburg resident sporting both a tibetan aum and a krishna tattoo.

fact-checker said...

sambo,
skid stopping requires no power output by definition as the cranks are not moving, if it did it might bulk up you quads so you didnt fit in your skinny jeans anymore

Scott said...

"It's a zen thing. You feel totally connected to the bike" cout: 4

Ignorant allusions to Grand Tours: 2

Geniune LOL moments: too many to count

Brilliantly done, BSNYC, though I'd secretly hoped for more of the "zen thing" line, maybe into the double digits.

Anonymous said...

If riding a fixed is so wrong, then why does it feel so right?

tim jim said...

I like my fixie, but I am getting numb to your diatribes on the "fixie" phenomena, I wonder how well your blog would be recieved if it wasnt for the "fixie" Phenomena

Anonymous said...

Don't forget abpout the race sequence where Mr. Bacon goes flying through the intersecting while coasting...

Anonymous said...

tim jim,

boo-fucking-hoo

Anonymous said...

Just so a day doesn't go by without drama, I heard MattSnobSeattle is selling a Schwinn Voyager Powder-coated and fixed with Formula hubs for $650.00 cash only...

fly-by said...

I'm feeling totally connected to this blog...its a zen thing...unique, just like everyone else.
Or is that just marketing?

kyre said...

amazing...

Aaron M said...

Dig the typical overuse of the word "afficionado". Subtle, but true.

Anonymous said...

“Fausto Coppi won the Giro d’Italia like six times in the ‘70s on a fixed-gear bike"

No,. . . no he didn't, he died in 1960.

Anonymous said...

For your viewing pleasure:

http://teamawsm.com/

The fixie trend approaches its nadir.

Anonymous said...

totally hysterical. Im glad I have a priate office so no one can hear me crakcing up

TimJim, HTFU already. I'm a triathlete and I find the slams on my kind some of the funniest posts on this blog. The truth hurts doesn't it?

Karl Rover said...

BSNYC, Unfortunately you left out:

Another disturbing trend is the disregard for common sense by not wearing a helmet. _____, a graphic designer and volunteer at the Oakland Zoo, feels that he has a greater visibility when spinning down Franklin St without a helmet. Plus he noted that "the Dutch riders won the Alpe d'Huez TDF stage like 7 times in the 70's on a fixie without helmets."

Matt in Seattle said...

Good Times. I'm going to forward this to the Ashland, OR paper since I'm going to be down there soon and I will be bringing the fixed gear craze with me. I think it would be good advertising for the LBS's down there. I'm going to call them and give them a heads up too. Thanks BSNYC, good times indeed.

Daniel said...

Yeah, way to check the facts, Anon. 1:23. Because that totally makes it less funny that Fausto Coppi's acheivements weren't properly represented in a blog.

What's next? Are you going to point out that the guy who runs the local bike shop isn't named "______"?

mr.complaint said...

According to The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage it's bike and biking not bicycle and bicycling.

Also of note the 2006 Felt Racing website informed us that Track Racing has been in the United States since the 1920's. WOW!

polygraf- maybe it was your XXL hoodie or those deep Mavic iOs that caught the wind?

Anonymous said...

"State-of-the-art carbon fiber road racing bicycles with complicated gear-changing systems can cost thousands of dollars, whereas fixed-gear bicycles with handmade frames, top-end parts and colorful wheels and tires cost just a few thousand dollars."

I love it!

Today's post made me remember the old MadLibs from my childhood. __(name)__ won the __(adjective)__ __(famous bike race)__ while riding a __(adjective)__ __(color)__ __(number)__ speed __(bicycle company)__.

Anonymous said...

All that other stuff is just marketing.

Niki said...

Brilliant! You forgot to mention bike polo, although that's probably too under the radar for the media at the moment.

Oh and fact check, skid stopping absolutely requires power. You are torquing on the hub to keep it from moving.

GhostRider said...

Like a turd that circles the bowl but JUST WON'T GO DOWN...Team Awesome! Put THAT on a hoodie, bitches!

BikeSnobNYC said...

Tim Jim,

I like my fixed gear bike too. I admit the fixed-gear trend and this blog are totally connected--it's like a zen thing.

Anonymous 1:23pm,

Good eye--I'm sure you'll find the rest of the facts are accurate though.

Karl Rover,

I feel like I actually see a lot of brakeless riders wearing helmets. Personally I think if you have to go with one or the other but not both you should choose the brake over the helmet.

--BSNYC

Niki said...

I stand corrected about power. Since power is work/time, and work is force*distance, no work (and thus no power) is done when the cranks aren't moving.

Zentraedi said...

Sounds like every second post on
BikePortland.org from guys named Skidmark, Blowout and Shortstop...

Prolly said...

Bike Snob... hats off to you sir. Niki. I owe you a Root Beer as well my little trackstanding-while-yo-yoing friend.

mhandsco said...

First time I genuinely laughed out loud. It was the Merckx bit...

Prolly said...

Bike Snob,

You forgot to interview a "fixed gear freestyler"...

it coulda gone like this...

"Oooooh brah it's just like, dude, you get the best barrels ever, dude, just like, you pull in, and you just get spit right out of 'em, you just drop in and just smack the lip Whoapack!drop down Sapow!"

Anonymous said...

fact-checker said...
sambo,
skid stopping requires no power output by definition as the cranks are not moving, if it did it might bulk up you quads so you didnt fit in your skinny jeans anymore
Niki said...
I stand corrected about power. Since power is work/time, and work is force*distance, no work (and thus no power) is done when the cranks aren't moving.

I fail to see how no work is done 'skidding'.
Since the cranks are always rotating force or work must be applied to "resist" the momentum.

Matt in Seattle said...

Prolly, did you see that interview too? Possibly the funniest ever, if it were from 30 years ago I would have said Sean Penn created Spicoli as an homage to him.

Bluenoser said...

Way to go Snob. I had a hard time getting past the part about the cycling God Eddy M. My eyes were watering.

Wear your helmet. The comments are proof that not wearing a helmet can lead to not being able to read and arguments about made up facts.

Or is it bicycling God? Maybe it's biking God. Wake me up I'll be late for work, if only I knew which job to go to.

-B

LamourSupreme said...

2 damn funny. If you can't laugh at yourself,...then don't laugh.

Derisory Velo said...

Brilliant. I wouldn't be shaken at all if one might actually be able to publish this very article in their local paper, like the man says, just fill in the blanks. This one is tragically hilarious.

Coco Le Fudge said...

Har har har.

Prolly said...

Dude, best barrels ever

[youtube video]

M. Weed said...

Yeah I agree with derisory velo, it is tragically funny. I laughed out loud all the way through, and then felt kind of dirty and sick to my stomach when it was over. Sometimes these posts are so right-on that I feel bummed about the prospect of ever just enjoying riding a bicycle because I like to ride it, instead of to belong to some social group.

There's basically no place for a sensible fixed-gear machine, with brake(s), shallow section rims, and god forbid, fenders. "Serious cyclists" turn up their noses at the "fixed gear trend" and fixsters snub the absence of deep-Vs and presence of the brake.

I had a guy tell me over the weekend that his 70's Schwinn touring-to-fixed conversion "got way stiffer" when he switched to his gold-anodized deep Vs (he was criticizing the use of a 105 hub with an open pro --- on an aluminum/carbon bike). He also said that toeclips and straps are dumb; he rides with plain BMX pedals and has no brakes.

gael4ce said...

tim jim 1:14
Lighten up dude, you're the new 1% amoung us and that's plenty of material.

Charlie said...

the merckx line had me laughing

Anonymous said...

what?!?! the father of four is not a filmmaker? something is very wrong here...

broomie said...

Taking advantage of a radical shift on the laws of physics, I had my mechanic put my car on a lift, then I stood under it and had him lower the lift. Viola! It took no power to hold 800kg of car over my head beause it wasn't moving.

I say helmet over brakes. Even a safe rider can crash, be doored, hit from behind etc,. Admittedly helmets look dorky, but so do head injury victims.

broomie said...

Seems queerly relevant. but I'm not quite sure where to file this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6FggGhvviU

Anonymous said...

I went to school for film but I am not a filmmaker, I like to get paid so I can pay rent. Expensive clothes are lame though. Colors are pretty but I like black and silver wheels. Scarves are lame when it is hot, they make sense when it is cold. Seeing people WITH toe clips ride out of them because they can't operate toe clips makes me want to vomit. Good day.

clayton said...

yeah man, expensive clothes are for the man. they harsh my zen.

Karl Rover said...

Snob, I heartily disagree with you on the helmet issue, as you can be a great cyclist and still have no control over your destiny during an accident. Check out some of the crash photos on this blog (its not my blog by the way), and then consider your next ride.

http://caliradocyclist.blogspot.com/2007/01/have-brain-wear-helmet.html

green army man said...

Spectacular work.
This was everything it could have been.

bikesgonewild said...

..."dude, those film guys over there wanted to use me for a commercial shoot cuz i look good in my slims, til they found out i'm not a chick...who's audrey hepburn anyway, bro ?...
...so whatever, i'm still supposed to ride my fix & meet the producer for breakfast at tiffany's, where ever that is ?..."

Anonymous said...

I'm no physicist but I can't understand how there's no energy involved in overcoming the kenetic energy to stop of FGF using only the pedals. It doesn't develop the calf muscle because it doesn't seem you're using that muscle.

Having never ridden a FGF but imagining how it would feel to do that on my roadie, I can't see how doing a skid stop engages the calf muscle for more than stabalizing. Seems more like effort of thighs to me, am I wrong?

Radio Flyer said...

Matt In Seattle...

Too late, the fixie craze is already here (In Ashland, OR)

Anonymous said...

Roadies wearing lycra shorts mocking guys wearing tight jeans... this blog encourages some very strange attitudes.

Matt in Seattle said...

Radio Flyer,

If you see a redhead woman in Ashland riding a red Basso with mustache bars and bar-end shifters, tell her I said 'Hello'.

Thanks!

bikesgonewild said...

...absolutely anon 4:22pm...not just lycra but garish white riding shoes...
...yeah, i love it !!!...

Niki said...

Of course there is a lot of force involved in skidding, but no work is done thus there is no power. It's like pushing against a wall - you're using a lot of force but nothing is moving.

I think the problem is that "power" has a technical definition (work/time) and a layman's definition (which could mean anything from power to force to energy).

So, plenty of force on the pedals/cranks, plenty of torque on the hub, no work, no power.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, it's nice that roadies have finally found a sub-culture that they can pick on, but reading the comments in here is a bit like watching a slap fight between Ru Paul and Boy George.

Anonymous said...

On point as usual but you left out a few important bits, leading me to believe that you haven't fully penetrated the FG collective-consciousness: "Dude its like, so quiet."

One hare-brained rider I met, espousing the same stupid ideology of a 'quiet ride' (perhaps unachievable by those with a free-wheel since you only ever coast on those bikes apparently), got onto a rant about how much he hates deraileurs. "Dude, I hate deraileurs so much. It's just like. *Silence*". Apparently he thought it was the deraileur making the clicking noise... good thing he did have a handy knowledge about how hot the 'track bike scene' is right now. He rode brakeless.

Vomit.

Anonymous said...

Great post snobby!

Note to would-be physicists... Force is not Work, Work is not Power.

Anonymous said...

best post ever

bikesgonewild said...

...anon 5:04...thanks for clearing that up...

...although i'm not presently Work-ing, i haven't lost my Power & therefore i'm still a Force to be reckoned with...

...would this be some kind of inclusive disjunction ???...

...just askin'...

Anonymous said...

Ok, piss funny post, but nore importantly on the power question.... everyone is focusing on once you are skidding where I agree there is no power output however from the point at which you start resisting the pedals to the point at which the skid occurs there is a lot of power output.
As Niki said "power is work/time, and work is force*distance". It takes a lot of force to stop the wheel in a short distance and as the time is also very small the power required is significant....
saying it takes no power to skid doesn't sound right and it isn't

Rusty said...

Aww Jeez, Yeah, the old tour de france guys rode fixies. Cool. Most of them probably couldn't walk by the time they were forty.
P.S.- Will freewheel ever become the new fixed?
P.S.S.-Fausto died from Malaria.

Anonymous said...

Why-oh-why didn't Quicksilver jump-start artistic cycling in this country?

The saddles, the no-extension stems, the handling skills... all way way cooler than NJS.

And still also accepted in Japanese culture.

Really... the saddles have got to break here soon.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:35,
Go back to science class - you're getting your distances mixed up. Niki is exactly right. Just because is doesn't sound right to you doesn't mean that it isn't right.

broomie said...

Re: Lycra v Skinny jeans

Lycra doesn't make much sense if you only ride 3 miles week at 9mph.

However some of us are doing 3 hours plus in the saddle and we actually sweat. Next time you think lycra is silly try dunking your jeans in saltwater and see how comfortable your whip feels.

As far white shoes....Well some of us can rock our DMT's and the rest of you can only watch in envy. They make good tap shoes, too ;)

BTW, "I've seen real messengers in Lycra..shhhh"

Anonymous said...

Ommm Ommm, Oh excuse me I was just connecting with the Dalai Lama and Richard Gere when our lines got crossed. Must be a crossed zen connection but I will call the phone company about line difficulties later. Richie was telling me that he has been grooving around Holliwood on this cool new form of transport, a gold plated fixie or something like that.He claims that the Porsche is gathering dust now. Must look into it, must go as I have another ten thousand Ommmm Ommmmm's to go.

Anonymous said...

You forgot about when Marco Pantani snorted his last line of coke off the top tube of a fixed gear.

SeattleM&M said...

I don't think you got the lawyer bit quite right. The father of four, Porsche driving guys I know all go for the carbon fiber, "full Ultegra", spandex super roadie thing.

It's us struggling "people's lawyer" types clinging to the shreds of our punk credibility who are willing to beat ourselves to death riding fixies. Not so much a zen thing -- more of an ego and fear-of-impending-old-age-and-death thing.

Andy Pandy said...

Please pretty please do a piece on the boring roadie sub culture to shut up those princesses that think that we are some untouchable deities of the road. Let's face it , anyone that spends sizeable amounts of hours peering up someone's posterior a metre ahead is either anally fixated or soon to be. Personally I have subscribed to solitude

Todd said...

as someone who's helped a couple of different journalists feel their way through this very subject, you really nailed it with your version.

good work snob.

also andy pandy, in regards to being "anally fixated" how is it that in the dozen or so years of riding on the road in groups, i've never once thought of the dude's butt in front of me?

maybe you prefer solitude because you're embarrASSed by your brokeback secret?

Anonymous said...

Technically skid stopping does require power, as you are exerting a net force over a distance (which, if long enough, will propel you to unseen heights of hipness). The tire exerts a force acting opposite the direction the bike is moving... you provide the locking force.

But that's neither here nor there. Physics, a cut and paste article form, and an emotional Campi cap Kryptonite lock belt skid stoppin Pista rockin Deep-V coppin hipsternite calling for justice... this is what a blog should be...

bikesgonewild said...

...broomie...when i say "yeah, i love it" what i mean is "yeah, i really DO love it"...
...you've got the slick white dmt's & i'm there, dude, w/ the flashy white sidi ergo 2's...
...on the road or cross wheels, i even advocate wearing pro attire but only local bike shops & lesser know 'continental' teams...definitely never 'pro-tour' teams (no excuses like my aunt gave me a 'discovery team' jersey for christmas)...& no matching bibs n' jersey's under any circumstances EXCEPT team racing...

...these are serious sartorial rules of cycling haberdashery because we all know cycling is about sacrifice & pain, not fun...

...enjoy yer ridin'...

Andy Pandy said...

So that is why I spend so much time in front of the mirror checking how well my Assos shorts fit. Won't need to spend anymore dollars with the therapist now. Thanks

mander said...

lollllllll

Snobby you are on a ROLL this week!

the jinji said...

if intentionally hindering your ability to stop at the risk of losing hipness is wrong, then I don't want to be right

broomie said...

BGW,

You totally get it. You really are the man.

You understand the difficulty in aquiring the proper Kit. Jersey's? All one run limited's from clubs I run with.

My bike? Lovingly made in Taiwan, but the company and warehouse is 5 minutes from my house. Its not easy being a paragon of fashion.

DMT's? I got a free espresso at Banning's bikes!

Shave my legs? With pure tuscan olive oil laced with lavender oil and menthol and a safety razor.

That is how we s-s-suffer for our passion.

broomie said...

I forgot to mention my gimp mask...oh wait that's another forum...

Anonymous said...

TOP 100 - YELLOW JERSEY!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Broomie don't make the gimp mask too public as I think Todd has issues with that kinda stuff

broomie said...

(Imagining sharing a paceline with Todd and getting all tingly as their eyes lock for just a moment as broomie rotates off the front after a long pull. He sees Todd's eyes scan him up and down. Todd's lips move as he says something to broomie, but his words are lost in the wind. While gazing at broomie's chisled calf, Todd clips the wheel in front of him at 28mph. First it makes a sound like a loud zipper and he and goes down faster than he did at the club's hot tub party....)

Todd said...

i'm truly flattered that i've just had slash fiction written about me.

my girlfriend always jokes that i must be gay for rolling out of bed to go hang out with semi-naked dudes.

maybe you and andy pandy are on to something.

forget this internet junk. it's taco tuesday down at the manhole!

broomie said...

I heard its not gay to MSM with guys in your club. Merely european.

Andy Pandy said...

Sorry did I miss something. Was just down the Brokeback Mountain General store getting some Assos saddle creme and delipatory gel.My those stores know how to charge when they have you over a barrel..... ??????

Anonymous said...

What's with these FGF pussies? BSNYC has done a pretty good job thumbing his nose at roadies, down-hillers, gravity junkies, BMX'ers, tall bikers, tandems, and 'bents.

Read the past posts instead of picking up this month's Bicycling and catching the article between Toyota ads and thinking he only rips on you guys.

Sure, he hits you more often than the others but that's because you deserve it (and because it's his post to do with as he pleases). If you don't like it, start BrakeSnob-Debuque or something and get over it.

What the hell... you can play in traffic with no brakes and a padded bra on your top tube but you can't appreciate a little good natured ribbing?

Go to Limited, get a new pair of jeans, then to CVS for some tampons and quit your complaining.

broomie said...

good times....

g'nite! zzzz

Idiot Cyvant said...

"its like a jedi mind trick when all I need to stop are my legs"

since you live in NYC, I'm sure you've already heard of Squid, NY's most popular fixed gear rider.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CD-qkmBWZEA&eurl=

and his wonderful appearance on the Ellen show:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXR14MKTH8M&feature=related

Also, great blog! I'm a huge fan.

Cheers,
I.C.

Anonymous said...

Glad to report that Kevin Bacon is still riding a fixie although he seems to have lost kudos points as when I was picking up my new road bike at an NYC store in '07 he was in there getting a new wheel for his (gasp) LANGSTER after it got pinched. It did have a belt of .50 cal bullets around the stem so he is still keeping it badass though (haha).

clayton said...

Ommm Ommm, Oh excuse me I was just connecting with the Dalai Lama and Richard Gere when our lines got crossed.

nice

Anonymous said...

Broomie... absolutely nothing wrong with you wearing spandex. Jane Fonda made a killing wearing the stuff in the '80s. All I'm saying is that roadies in full kit bashing on anyone else's attire is a bit... ironic.

I ride a bike to commute to work. 10 miles there, 10 miles back. I wear normal clothes. People don't hassle me or yell things at me. The roadies at the bike shop I frequent, however, are always telling stories of people shouting at them ("Live Strong!" is apparently a pretty popular one), throwing things at them, harassing them, etc.

So, I can understand why roadies are so pissed at the world and are desperate to have someone else they can bash on. The hipster fixed gear crowd is that group, and that's nice. You have to understand, however, how ridiculous it really appears from the outside looking in, especially when roadies leave comments filled with obviously serious loathing, like anon 4:52.

I agree that people should be able to laugh at themselves, but a lot of the roadies who leave hate-filled rants on here don't seem to be laughing themselves.

In summary, it's almost 100% guaranteed that no matter what you think, you're just as corny and ridiculous as the kids BSNYC is constantly bashing on. Just keep that in mind and everything will be OK.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:09 AM:
i agree that many of the roadies here border on insufferable, but, to be honest, so does your mission to show them what they probably already know. so what if they find respite here. i'm sure you're not changing anyone, and neither of us have to read their comments.

and, if you read a little further, you'll find this blog's comments contain glib diatribes from all corners of cycling, including plain clothed commuters.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:44, did you really just read my comment, complain about it being "insufferable," and then tell me that instead of reacting to other people's posts I should just not read them?

The irony in here is so thick I could brush my teeth with it.

Anonymous said...

yes, i did read your post and then call your comment insufferable. why? because you seem to be missing the point entirely. in evereything, including my comment. i'm sorry you've been cursed with the mission to correct the ironies of this world, but until you clear off the thick glaze of myopic idiocy from your eyes, you'll find it difficult to fulfill that mission.

here's a primer. you'll need it:
http://www.amazon.com/Logic-Mr-Limbaugh-Dittoheads-Fallacious/dp/0812692942

Anonymous said...

yes, i did read your post and then call your comment insufferable. why? because you seem to be missing the point entirely. in evereything, including my comment. i'm sorry you've been cursed with the mission to correct the ironies of this world, but until you clear off the thick glaze of myopic idiocy from your eyes, you'll find it difficult to fulfill that mission.

here's a primer. you'll need it:
http://www.amazon.com/Logic-Mr-Limbaugh-Dittoheads-Fallacious/dp/0812692942

will burger said...

Excellent but you neglected to mention the marketing campaign designed to get us to waste countless yards of environmentally unfriendly bar tape not to mention frivolous bar end caps.

Anonymous said...

Oh I get your point just fine, anon 12:22. You like being a roadie. You like coming here and hating on hipsters. You don't like other people suggesting that it's corny.

Maybe that's not what you say you're saying, but that's what you're saying. And I have no problem with that. I was just commenting, which is what the "comments" section is for.

Anonymous said...

i've never worn lycra in my life. i've never "trained" or raced. i'm probably further from a roadie than just about anyone here.

"just commenting, that's what comment sections are for."

that's what the roadies whose irony you're hell bent on reforming could just as easily say back to you. you know, speaking of irony, and all. you've just taken it to a new level. let me go brush my teeth with it.

bikesgonewild said...

...if we could just get that sensible young man who was defending 'britney' all over the media recently, to weigh in here & make you folks realize "we need bike love here, people, bike love...stop the hate !!!"...

...slim hipped androgynous fixsters, snooty lycra-clad roadies, muddy, baggy mtb-ers, geeky lime-vested commuters, slack-seated recumbent-alists...the general public will laugh at all of us & never care about any of us if we go on this way...

...oops, sorry, proceed as before...i was just informed that the general public has been laughing at us for years & has no inclination to care about us anyway...

broomie said...

I thought irony was the capstone of bike culture.

As far as who makes fun of who (or is it whom?): Its no fun if we all don't get dished on. We are all ridiculous in our own way. As soon a fashion enters the picture we are silly.

The only guys I don't think are foolish are the working men in my area riding thier bikes to their job, because they have to.

skinnyjeanbonerman said...

I don't wear lycra because I am prone to getting erections when riding. It makes me feel ashamed. A lot of skateboarders and surfers are skinny too. Exercise will do that. Not eating crap food will do that too. I eat everything I can until I am 90% full - a Japanese man taught me that, and I want my diet to be 100% NJS. Maybe just maybe fixed gear riders are skinny because they ride a bike a lot. And why do skinny jean indicate a lack of masculinity? They confine my boners better than stretchy material.

fatroadie said...

I lost it on Merckx

Fausto said...

Roadies are choads, they all want to TdF or Roubaix but none of them have the balls, and if they do, they are far too small (have been compressed so hard from years of weekend lycra) to pack up their Zipp's and live. Rather than question their failed dreams and vicarious attempts to live on the weekends they divert themselves by attempting to beat FGFs into submission in the hopes they to will dawn the lycra necessary to squash their broken dreams.

clayton said...

i can't remember if it was after my 10th or 11th charity 5k run that i decided i had failed in fulfilling the dream i had as a 13 year old to one day win the boston marathon. hm. oh well.

Fausto said...

10th Clayton, and you still cry yourself to sleep every night wishing you hadn't.
Go run you race.

SkidMark said...

to Anonymous 11:09am...

Spot on! (well, except maybe for the Jane Fonda comment - that was a hit below the belt!). You ride 20 mi/day, 100 mi/wk, which is more than probably 90% of self-proclaimed "roadies", myself included. Interesting theory - is it the clothes or the actions that generate the insults and projectiles from cars? Obviously a good portion we (roadies) bring on ourselves. As for the lycra, yes, I have to admit, looking at it from an outsiders perspective it is dorky (my coworkers ridicule me daily as I stroll past their cubicles for my midday ride), as is the leg shaving, etc. I'm not pissed at the world - I just have a really big ego, and I'm glad I finally found a sport I can be reasonably competitive at! My hat's off to all the bike commuters out there - REAL cyclists! No need to brush your teeth on my account!

clayton said...

i WILL run my race, damnit!

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is the first time I've ever read BSNYC and holy crap! You guys sure have a lot of baggage! I go on rides with people on all kinds of different bikes and we never seem to get in any slapping matches over the equipment attached to our rear hubs. Maybe it's a NY thing?

ScruffySpokes said...

Thanks for that Snob, this almost inspires me to return to journalism school if only to take advantage of the masses with such articles.

Philip Williamson said...

You can tell this was a good post, because the comments sure do suck.

Mine sucks too. See? Good post!

harman_mogul said...

Very funny post -- all true here in London too.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 12/5 12:22am...

It seems to imply the only bikers that are ok are XC mountain bikers and road weenies eh? :)

I'm an hardtail XCer... Need a new bike so I'll go for full susp but I'm not really hip enough to know what "freeride" and "all mountain" are. I'm also looking for a fixie for fun. Trying not to "personalize" it too much as I don't want to look like a total weenie or whatever.

Anyway the article's a little heavy-handed... I generally prefer a little more subtlety and irony. I'm a Mac whore for example so having listened to a lot of straight derision over the years I don't think it stands the test of time that well.

And work and force are two distinct physical quantities, people... Go look it up on Wikipedia forchristssake!

mojito said...

I'm late. Fashionably late. As fashionably late as a blind Argentine smoking weed, in fact.

And I'm unoriginal. As unoriginal as those writers who rely overly on them metaphory things because they otherwise they'd rely on awkward, uninteresting phrasing.

But damnit, I'll still comment:
This is a very nice piece BikeSnob.

green army man said...

on a fairly related note--this is hilarious.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=b2885aR6o6s

Anonymous said...

it's like the descendants song about being sterotyped and categorized...bike snob wants to be categorized just like half the readers who take this stupid website seriously...ha ha ha!!! wankers.

Jim Roy said...

Its not a Zen thing, hits all about penile numbness.

markh787 said...

I'm converting my old road bike to a fixed gear because I love tinkering and making stuff my own custom version of whatever it is that I am tinkering with.

I'm not so sure now though cause I hate fads and all the hating that goes with fads and those opposed to fads.

Funny article though!

I want to customise my ride but not if it means that I'll be forced into a stereotype. Can't I just avoid "fixie cysts" tight jeans and all the other classic no-nos?

Should I continue my conversion or bin the whole bike?

Anonymous said...

Damn thats funny. I don't move in cycle circles but its all so zen when i read yr blog that i feel like i do. And this is LOL.

buy viagra said...

viagra online
generic viagra

dinoibo said...

Sesli sohbet Sesli chat
Seslisohbet Seslichat
Sesli sohbet siteleri Sesli chat siteleri
Sesli Chat
Sohbet Sesli siteler
Sohbet siteleri Chat siteleri
Sohbet merkezi chat merkezi
Sesli merkezi sesli Sohbet merkezi
Sesli chat merkezi Sohbetmerkezi
Sesli Sohbet Sesli Chat
SesliSohbet Sesli chat siteleri
Sesli sohbet siteleri SesliChat
Sesli Sesli siteler
Seslimuhabbet sesli muhabbet
sesli sohbet sesli chat siteleri
sesli sohbet siteleri sesli chat
seslisohbet seslichat
seslikent sesli kent
sesli sohbet sesli sohbet siteleri
sesli chat sesli chat siteleri
seslisohbet seslichat

Anonymous said...

I love you.

Samuel said...

Admission: I wrote one of these articles.

Still laughed so hard it hurt, though.

shopping online said...

Adsense of Jordan Shoes : just do it!
Adsense of Moncler Jackets : sends to warm, give you more comforts of life!
Adsense of Moncler : sends to warm, give you more comforts of life!
Adsense of NFL Jerseys : everything is possible!
Adsense of Christian Louboutin : choice me is choice beautiful foot and body!
Adsense of Puma Shoes : champion is in the first line!
Adsense of Gucci Shoes : Allows you to enjoy the leisure life in the fun!
Adsense of Vibram Fivefingers : taste original life, wear the most morden and comfortable shoes!
Adsense of GHD Hair straighteners : why make our hair so beautiful and lots stylers, for choice me is choice happy!
Adsense of Clearance Nike Shox : Run the first forever!
Adsense of Michael Jordan Shoes : just do it!

Anonymous said...

I apologise, but, in my opinion, you are mistaken. Write to me in PM, we will communicate.

Anonymous said...

Military pilot who had sex with an 11 year old boy when he was 17!!!
A JUNIOR IN HIGH SCHOOL WHO HAD SEX WITH AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENT!!! This pedophile needs to be on a sexual preditor list.
How long did he masterbate and think about having sex with boys? In boot camp? Into his flight training? 20, 25 YEARS OLD??? OLDER???

Anonymous said...

It was very interesting to read about this in your article. blood pressure Read a useful article about tramadol tramadol

ekle paylas said...

nice blog Thanks for sharing. voicesohbet was really very nice.
sesli chat siteleri sesli sohbet
sesli sohbet siteleri sesli chat
seslichat seslisohbet
sesli siteleri chat siteleri
sohbet siteleri sesli siteler
voice sohbet sesli sohbet siteleri
sesli sohbet seslisohbet
sohbet siteleri sesli chat siteleri
seslichat sesli chat
herkesburda herkes burda
sohbetmerkezi sohbetmerkezi

Anonymous said...

You wrote a very interesting article. And I agree with you. hair loss Read a useful article about tramadol tramadol

trevor said...

Some articles are classics, and this is one of them, so it deserves continued respect and refinement.

I would like to point out a somewhat glaring technical flaw. You write: "it (a fixie) lacks the shifting mechanisms that are technically referred to as 'gears.'"

a bicycle without a chain and two gears won't go very far. the shifting mechanisms are actually technically referred to as 'shift levers', and 'derailers' (collectively 'shifters'). the gears are technically referred to as a chainwheel (front) and a cog (rear), but that's more than most people want to know.

sometimes it can be easy to fall into the trap of over-complicating things, but fortunately we bike riders are a forgiving lot.

by the way, when will the fixed-gear fad actually be over?

Justin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

xanax online there generic xanax - eating kill xanax high

Anonymous said...

Hmm is anyone else having problems with the images on this blog
loading? I'm trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it's the blog.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Here is my website : drum tobacco

Anonymous said...

hello!,I like your writing very so much! proportion we be in contact more approximately
your post on AOL? I require a specialist in this space to unravel my problem.

May be that is you! Having a look forward to peer you.
Feel free to visit my weblog erinmore pipe tobacco

Anonymous said...

Wow, fantastic blog format! How lengthy have you been blogging for?
you make blogging look easy. The whole look of your site
is wonderful, as smartly as the content!
My website - amber leaf

Anonymous said...

We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.

Your site provided us with valuable information to work on.
You've done a formidable job and our whole community will be grateful to you.
Also visit my website :: golden virginia

Anonymous said...

Hi, yup this post is actually fastidious and I have learned lot of things from it about blogging.
thanks.
Also see my website - captain black

Anonymous said...

Excellent pieces. Keep writing such kind of information
on your site. Im really impressed by your blog.
Hey there, You have done a great job. I will certainly digg it and in my view recommend to my
friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this web site.
Review my blog post ; van nelle halfzware

naveed qumer said...

Top Ten popular Female Singers in the World, Indian Singers, Pakistani Singers and American Singers hot News and Images
hotentertainnews.blogspot.com

Atif Ahmed said...

The Best Porn Star Sunny leone Hot news and hot Pictures, Sunne Leone Porn Pictures and Videos
hotentertainnews.blogspot.com