Friday, 25 September 2009

Fixed and Single Speed in Bristol

Fixed Wheels bike. Now that mountain bikes have gone from being cool and radical to the mid-life-crisis toy of men getting tubby, rebels need a different form of rebellion for the run to Sainsbury's. And here it is: the fixie

With no gears, less to go wrong. And with a fixed rear wheel, you can brake by not pedalling, so no need for bike brakes to make the handlebars look cluttered. A very minimal alternative to the mountain bike with hydraulic disk brakes, 6 inch front and rear travel -accessories that can only get stolen. Without even quick release wheels, there is little to get stolen. Hence, no need to lock up the wheels, or even the premium brooks saddle.

Before everyone rushes out to buy one, know that its illegal to use a bike on roads without two independent braking systems -a front brake is actually needed. Also, the requirement to push down the hill too, means that these are the worse possible bicycle for knees. Those mountain bikes are not just mid-life crisis bikes, they have the low gears you need as you age. Bear that in mind.

Single speed bikes do work in the city, though perhaps as they become more popular, the council should give away a new bristol bike map -one that does not show Nine Tree Hill on it

Without such information, single speed cyclists such as this one, may suddenly discover there is a 1 in 4 hill on their journey, and so be forced to get off and walk.


Thomas Guest said...

On the subject of uncluttered handlebars, hardcore urban fixie riders seem to favour very short handlebars. Perfect for those ultra-narrow cycle lanes etc.

It's good to see Bristol Traffic offering sensible advice, and not encouraging foolish riding by linking to fixie idiots on youtube

Adam said...

Easier in London thankfully for those who do it for a living.

Some fixed riders do run brakes. With two breaks on a fixed gear bike and the ability to control speed with the cranks they actually have more control and breaking than a regular freewheel bike.

As for hills, I can't make it up Nine Tree Hill on a geared bike let alone anything with one gear.

Perhaps when the bike road tax is brought in points / price could be adjusted up and down for numbers of gears / brakes, say an extra fiver for each gear due to the extra weight of the sprockets and the additional wear on the roads, and reductions for each break fitted. I'm sure that would be easy enough on the DVLA admin and cost effective all round.

SteveL said...

That's a good idea about taxing based on #of gears. Though I prefer billing-per-km-walked or cycled based on GPS monitoring.

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SteveL said...

Sorry, but this is a site about Bristol. And there is no way whatsoever you can drive round our city with a cupholder full of coffee. Manual cars mean your left hand is on the gear shift, the right hand on the wheel, the mobile phone in that hand as you text out a message to your mate. No cupholders.

Note also that we don't link to any other sites selling junk stuff that nobody needs. Now, there is a faint possibility that your joy-of-cupholder-blog is some kind of spoof -and we seriously hope so- but in the mean time, go away and take your bottom tier page-rank with you.

Adam said...

Forget riding brakeless. Riding chainless is where it's at...

Some newspapers are even reporting people riding without handlebars...
(scroll down to Fixies section)
Wonder who fed them that one. He he.

DAVE BONES said...

That vid from new York is fuckin hilarious