the fixie phenomenon is a typical American social trend that will end up as a flash-in-the pan shelf life. I have seen some of the bikes done locally, and some too on the net and there seems little to rave about. It is about more of belonging or going along with the fringe crowd., not really riding bikes. Many of these fixies will only ride a few blocks and park at a Starbucks and hang with the rest of the wannabe's . There are a few who can ride and have done well in showing that it is more than being with the 'in' crowd, but they are not the chain smokers and tattooed fringe element. Now what I have seen on the bikes want to have me throw up. Luckily most of the grubby little cretins dont get their hands on a classic frame , but when they do there seems to be no interest in the history or restoration value of a classic steel frame. I was in a bike shop two weeks ago looking for a T.A. extractor for my Reynolds 531 Raleigh and one of the kids with all of the chrome shit hanging off his face offered me $20.00 for the frame. Needless to say I declined. I have seen what those butchers do. They cut OFF the dÃ©railleur hangers and burn off the drop-outs to have some cheap-ass track lugs crudely brazed one. Thats why when I see the fixie crowd I want to take a shower. The idea of receiving these frames back from them is highly unlikely. Most will undoubtedly be tossed and the next fad picked up. BT
email@example.com wrote: I have been reading the fixie thread with some interest. I do visit the fixed gear gallery often, not just because it is run by a fellow Michigander. I have noticed the phenomenon Larry Myers describes below: expensive parts on very cheap frames. I have also noticed a number of bikes that are clearly built with whatever the owner could find. If someone learns more about bikes, and how to work on them, by converting an old 10 speed into a fixie, what's wrong with that? I know I learned a lot just by messing around with my 3 speed english racer, trying to make it more like a 10 speed. If, like Larry, you own a bike store and an idiot comes in to buy a Dura-Ace crank for a Schwinn Continental, sure he's an idiot, but at least he's in the shop paying for something.
I view fixed gear bikes as being on the same continuum we are on with our vintage multi-speed bikes. We give up something in pure functionality--our bikes are heavier, with fewer gears, and they are harder to shift than modern bikes. But we gain something in esthetics, ease of maintenance, nostaligia, simplicity, exclusivity, and riding pleasure. Fixed gear bikes can provide people with the same feeling. I don't want to open up the "are modern bikes better?" debate. I enjoy the feeling that I am riding something special, something that is not for everybody. I get that from both my geared and fixed bikes.
Growing up in Chicago, which is as flat as it gets, I wanted a 10 speed, but never really had a good answer to the question "why do you need so many speeds?" Here in Detroit, it is almost as flat, and sometimes I find that the 52-20 I have on my converted Cinelli (yes I left the hanger intact) is just right.
Best regards, Marcus Helman Huntington Woods, MI
I read with interest your posting to the CR list.....unfortunately, I do not see happening where I live, what you described as happening where you live.... Portland, Oregon is a hotbed of bike 'happeningness'; unfortunately, it seems to be kind of a closed loop here....local hipsters think nothing of dropping $500 on wheels to put on a Sears 'Free Spirit' frame ; nor do they put any thought into proper gearing, sizing, or positioning....I work in a local shop that services this crowd, and to put it honestly, I want to vomit over some of the machines that I have to send out...well-meaning talks about the above-mentioned subjects are met with hostility or carefully affected slacker 'don't care, doesn't matter' blank stares.
While I am glad to see youngsters riding, rather than driving, I also sadly fail to see the future of our sport in any of this movement...it is completely fashion-driven; there are no future Lance Armstrongs, Gibby Hattons, or Marty Nothsteins to be found in this so-called 'Keirin Culture' (most of them cannot even pronounce 'Keirin' correctly, and 90% of them smoke)....personally, I look forward to this fad's inevitable bust; then I will be able to liberate these sadly misused frames from their former owners, and then pass them on to more appreciative users.
Feeling extra grumpy & curmudgeonly, Larry Myers Portland, OR, USA
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