Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Get Fixed

My new goal is to try not to think too much when I post here. Because when I do that, I tend to get all preachy and condescending and stuff. I'm probably better off just letting half-formed thoughts slither out like afterbirth out of Octomom and see what happens. At least that way I won't be taking a month off between posts.

So let's talk about fixed gears for a moment. I've got one. I've got two, actually—an old Bianchi Pista that looks like it got trampled by a herd of angry wildebeest, and a new-ish Mercier Kilo TT that I bought off of Bikesdirect when I realized it was a cheaper option than buying a new fork and wheelset for the Pista. Of course I hadn't counted on the inevitable desire to upgrade, but c'est la vie.

BMX companies have been dipping their beaks into the fixed-gear market for a while now—FBM makes the Sword, Volume sells the Cutter and the Creedence, Profile makes parts and SNAFU picks them out of a catalog. In fact, Volume, FBM and Profile all have separate sites for their fixed clientele. Guess the fixed-gear guys don't want to even acidentally look at some stupid kid's bike.

Well, now Subrosa has seen fit to enter the fray with their own fixed gear, the Malum Fixed, due out in July:

And then there's SE Racing, already churning out as many no-budget Drafts as the market can bear (or that you can stuff into a shipping container), aiming more upscale with a super-limited DC Shoes collabo PK Ripper Fixed (self promotion, holla).

To be honest, the Malum looks really cool. Can't say I'd want all that Shadow stuff—I'd get rid of that chain before I even bolted the front wheel on—but all in all, it looks like a nice bike. The SE is aimed more at the sneaker-obsessed downtown crowd, so of the 2,500 they're making, roughly a dozen will actually be ridden. Still curious to see a real photo. It might kill Perry Kramer, though. Unless he's getting royalties.

I suppose as long as "fixed-gear freestyle" keeps going, BMX companies will try to get a piece of that market. And who can blame them? Price points start higher, and the labor and material costs are more or less the same (insert JPR correction here). Make that money. Although I might think differently when someone orders a 700c STA.


Thomas said...

"...Profile makes parts and SNAFU picks them out of a catalog."


i've thought about getting a fixed gear or some type of road bike, but i think i'll just stick with 20 inch wheels.

i am jesus said...

making a complete fixie marketed towards the hipster and/or bmx kid is about as smart as applying for a job at General Motors right now. If anybody from said crowd wants a fixie they are going to do what all their 'cool' friends do and search craigslist or go dumpster diving for an old pujo or fuji and convert it over. 'Vintage' is the new black.

Stephen said...

There was a guy here that got a 24" Shaman made. It took over a year to get it and he rode flatland on it. The guy was a giant. Think Gheorghe Mureşan.

Anonymous said...

If you want to ride a fixie, go for it. more power to ya! I think these bikes look pretty cool to be honest. The freestyle fixie thing is stupid, but the bikes them selves are cool. But if you start dressing a different way to emulate another persons "fixie style", then you are a fucking posing loser.

This whole movement and "fashion" can be directly linked to bike messengers in NYC. And good for them! They have their own world, which WAS unique. They did it first. It was their "style" and the bikes were designed to be minimulist for logical reasons.

But now since the fixie/hipster/Urban Outfitters movement has taken the country by storm I find it down right hilarious to see these want-to-be hipster idiots starving for some sort of social network validity. Want-to-be bike messengers riding down Ventura blvd w/ a messenger bag, capri pants and make believe registration tags in their spokes. haha. Try harder you fucking idiots. No one can tell you're not a real messenger. Especially in the San Fernando Valley where there are NO FUCKING BIKE MESSENGERS.

I'm going to take it all one step further and dress up like a Mailman and just act the part, to be cool. yea. I may even turn a jeep into a make-believe mail truck.

I cant wait for this stupid fucking fashion trend to go out of style. Ride a bike, but dont put a costume on before you leave the house.

traskVT said...

I have to agree with Jesus on the second part of his statement, in that, how the fuck are bmx kids gonna be able to afford a new fixie when every week they're buying the latest limited color matching shoes/seats/hats, etc?!?

It doesn't really make sense to me as to why they're selling them, but it's totally cool with me that they're making them. My guess is that the riders/employees at those companies either already rode, or wanted one, so they just started making them because they have the capability. And shit, if I was an aging hipster/washed up bmxer, getting a bmx-branded fixie would fit right in next to my Mercedes. :)

Anonymous said...

Actually, many of the fixed kids like bmx and some even ride bmx. It's the BMX kids who hate fixed gears. That's why the seperate websites.

Jake said...

you're supposed to be condescending and preachy, to present an opposing view to the superfluity of bmx products.

Anonymous said...

Anyone care to inform me on a legitimate benefit to riding a fixed gear over a single speed with brakes? Seems much more unsafe and a way bigger hassle since you can't coast and actually enjoy a bike ride. I don't know though, I've never been on a fixie before.

Anonymous said...

im tired of seein lame ass skin tight denim shorts wearin mustash havin douchebags with the little flip hats in austin. you suck and your bike sucks, hurry up and die

Jimmy said...

From the Malum product detail om Sparkys:

- ** All 3 sizes are able to bar spin **

Anonymous said...

Fixies are for dumb people who can't comprehend the benefits of coasting.
They look like retarded circus chimps riding their bikes like that.

Anonymous said...

nice quicksilver ref.

martin aparijo forever!!!


ronan said...

fixies are ridiculous, especially when you see them doing lame barspins etc. Its a big silly fashion thing that is going to die out - real soon!

Anonymous said...

Ride a fixed gear. Try it. Open your mind, what are you, a republican?

It's actually pretty fun. Yes, it's more work, but at the same time you hold momentum easier than on a bike that coasts, so it doesn't feel like more work.

It's not for everyone.

And for the person complaining about tight pants and little hats, have you ever seen BMX kids? Replace the little hats with flat brim Animal hats and you pretty much have 2006.

Russ said...

I think riding a fixed is LESS work, actually. You can fly up hills in a gear you wouldn't even consider being in on a conventional road bike, and it's pretty easy to just relax your legs and let the pedals keep spinnin' when you get tired.

Fixed gear freestyle is awful, though. Like drag racing in a Prius. You can do it, sure...but why would you want to?

Smitty said...

Oh, I see how it put us on your shelf, we're twiddling our thumbs waiting for a SPRFLS update, while you're playin' at Street Level. Well, I hope she buys you breakfast anyway...

Anonymous said...

* Fixed gears are fun to ride - going fast on anything is fun - but the related material culture is incredibly dumb.

* "Urban assault" (RAAAWRR!)mountain biking died off pretty quickly, and fixed gear freestyle will suffer the same fate. And why don't those dudes just get Volume Sledgehammers and put cogs and skinnier tires on them?

* They couldn't call it the PK Fixster?

* Do people actually do this shit in real life?

SeanMurphy said...

You would be surprised what kind of Standard customs are being made in the last month... we will shout you out when that STA-fixie is ordered.