Thursday 21 May 2009

Fixies? Fit or optimistic

We've heard of fixies before -fixed wheel bikes, courier kit turned into fashion items in London and NY. But those cities are mostly flat. you can get away with a single speed bike with no brakes other than your own two legs. To ride fixie in BRS, now that would take someone with serious hill climbing thighs, or they would have to commit to only visiting one part of the city.

This fixie rider was spotted making his way towards Cotham Hill, that is, a bit of the uphill. "It gets a bit hard sometimes" he says
As he rides off.

Leaving us behind.


Anonymous said...

Yes, I've noticed an astonishing rise in the number of single gear courier-style bikes (I think most still have a freewheel and brakes). Definitely in fashion. I suspect it's a reaction against all those over-engineered fat-tyre ultra-suspension advanced-brake-system mountain bikes, which just look a bit much for city use.

Dru Marland said...

I can still remember the exhilaration of stepping up from my very first single-speed bicycle to one with a Sturmey Archer 3-speed. Whizz whizz. And until recently I stayed with SA3 gearing (recently graduated to Shimano Nexus 7, but hey). It was quite fun overtaking mountain bikes on my old Raleigh going uphill with my daughter on the child seat in front of me... the fixie trend seems akin to Holga photography among the more 'hip' Flickrites...

SteveL said...

You can get rohloff hubs in some MTBs -good for winter: zero maintenance. And I used to pedal up the hills of edinburgh in an SA 3-speed. It was the brakes that sucked though, shitty rod-and-lever things that didnt do anything in the wet. Where MTBs have contributed is V-brakes and the like.

I didn't mention it in the posting, but I did have to reel in this fixie rider to get the photos, me on my MTB and a tagalong. But I did have to work, and I think he was just pootling along, so it doesn't count as a proper reel.

Chris Lorensson said...

The fixie sensation is getting very strong in bristol. I think it's part of a lifestyle choice. It's about simplicity, protecting the environment by only 'taking' what you need, minimalism, etc.

However impractical it is to ride a fixie in Bristol, I have a friend who switched to a fixie from a BMX in Bristol, and he loves it. - hard work, yes, but still fun.