Fixies/SS; Fad? or Forever?



astroluc

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Jun 20, 2005
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Alright Alright... as a devout roadie and occasional trail rider I am versed in the whole riding thing. What I do not get is this fixed gear 'revolution' I keep reading, hearing about, and seeing.

What I would like to know is this: is this a Fad? (for some, I know it is) or is there a legitimate reason to prefer a fixie/ss over a 'normal' roadbike? is it a reaction to the annoying elitism of roadbiking (of which I wholly understand ;) )?

I want to know what the benefits and detractions are for this sub-genre of cycling. So please give me your insight or point me towards an already exising thread on this topic.

Thank you.
 

dale ditzler

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Jun 27, 2005
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astroluc said:
Alright Alright... as a devout roadie and occasional trail rider I am versed in the whole riding thing. What I do not get is this fixed gear 'revolution' I keep reading, hearing about, and seeing.

What I would like to know is this: is this a Fad? (for some, I know it is) or is there a legitimate reason to prefer a fixie/ss over a 'normal' roadbike? is it a reaction to the annoying elitism of roadbiking (of which I wholly understand ;) )?

I want to know what the benefits and detractions are for this sub-genre of cycling. So please give me your insight or point me towards an already exising thread on this topic.

Thank you.
The simplicity in terms of maintenance is a given as is the beauty of an uncomplicated machine. They provide a few challenges and reward the rider some new skills and perspectives compared to multi geared machines. Climbing can be amazing after being told you needed more and more gears year after year. A fixed gear will never let you become bored with your rides, is so much easier to carry up and down the stairs to your job and requires very little attention with the exception of when you're actually riding it. A refreshing change.....sometimes old is new again.
 

tinydr

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May 10, 2007
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Offhand I'd have to say the current fascination with fixed-gears is, for most people... a fad.

But they are a beautiful and pure thing... I rode one because I was a messenger and they're easier to deal with in terms of maintenance, and handle far better than a roadbike in urban conditions. They aren't necessarily the most convenient conveyance outside of cities... on the otherhand, let's just say there's a reason european teams use them to train early in the season.

The only thing that makes me think that there'll still be plenty of fixed-gears around is that once you ride them... you either hate it and ditch it quick... or more likely, fall madly in love and can't ever give it up.



astroluc said:
Alright Alright... as a devout roadie and occasional trail rider I am versed in the whole riding thing. What I do not get is this fixed gear 'revolution' I keep reading, hearing about, and seeing.

What I would like to know is this: is this a Fad? (for some, I know it is) or is there a legitimate reason to prefer a fixie/ss over a 'normal' roadbike? is it a reaction to the annoying elitism of roadbiking (of which I wholly understand ;) )?

I want to know what the benefits and detractions are for this sub-genre of cycling. So please give me your insight or point me towards an already exising thread on this topic.

Thank you.
 

ghostpedal

New Member
Jul 26, 2004
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I don't know about anyone else, but I'll have mine forever or until I get so old my knees can't take it (but then maybe I'll just gear it easier). I ride all styles of bikes though, so I'm not a snob or reverse-snob. I do think it is a fad with some people, but to the committed it's a good thing because more equipment is made available both new and used. I hope the trend lasts.
 

HUSS

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Sep 25, 2006
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As tinydr said you either ditch it or stick with it, I'm defentily stuck on fixed, because fixed is stuck on me...lol Besides maintence, the ride is so much quieter.:D You just hear the wind blowing by....the cost of some of these road bikes is stupid. Being able to coast down log down hills is the only thing I envey, mainly when I do a 40-60 mile ride, around town (short rides) I'll take the hills as they come.:eek:
 

unowheel

New Member
Oct 20, 2007
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i think it is here to stay....i have recently built my first S/S,,and it is a blast to ride, i took it out the first time this past weekend to a bike swap meet,along with other bikes i was selling,and even though not for sale, it was the one that drew the most questions,,and one guy said to his girlfreind ,"this is the thing to do now,a single gear",,,I felt like saying , it's been around for years.!!!,,,but more on race bikes,,,,,but you are seeing alot on the street scene,,, heres my buget build...... http://velospace.org/node/5576
 

ride4him

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Jan 30, 2005
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I rode a Giant TCR1 for a couple years, always conserned with avg speed, distance, position, etc. After getting really tired of the cocky ass roadies I met and the "elite" attitude that goes with it I sold my bike and went to mountain bikes ( lots of fun ). The trails in my area are not always rideable so I bought a Specialized langster to ride around town. Pure relaxing fun is the only way I can describe a single speed. I did not build up an old vintage steel frame with only a front brake because THAT is a fad I belive. If someone is a messenger in a big city I can understand the fixed gear steel frame thing, but when I see someone in the midwest suburbs riding one they usually have that same attitude that almost ruined cycling for me. So now when I'm out and a group of hammerheads pass me I just smile and thank my single speed for reminding me why I started riding in the first place:)
 

reckon

New Member
Feb 6, 2008
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astroluc said:
Alright Alright... as a devout roadie and occasional trail rider I am versed in the whole riding thing. What I do not get is this fixed gear 'revolution' I keep reading, hearing about, and seeing.

What I would like to know is this: is this a Fad? (for some, I know it is) or is there a legitimate reason to prefer a fixie/ss over a 'normal' roadbike? is it a reaction to the annoying elitism of roadbiking (of which I wholly understand ;) )?

I want to know what the benefits and detractions are for this sub-genre of cycling. So please give me your insight or point me towards an already exising thread on this topic.

Thank you.
first off riding FIXED, and riding SINGLE SPEED are about as different as apples and volkswagens, they are both kinda round, and thats where the similarities end.

I dont think it qualifies as a fad when fixed gear bikes have been around for a couple of hundred years, maybe a resurgence?

I rode: BMX, mtb's (freeride, and DH) and road bikes, and after nearly 30 years, was beginning to tire of it, until I built a fixie,..now I can't stay off the thing.

it's fun, different, creates a whole new set of riding situations, you need a different skill set, and you think different when riding a fixed gear, some of the tricks are a little dangerous (I like this) in short, on a fixed gear, even after riding for 30+ years, at nearly 50 years of age, somehow I'm a beginner again, learning new things all over again, and THAT put the "fun" back into cycling for me.

so fad or no, I love mine, and can't wait to get better stuff for it, try and find a keirin frame, learn spins, riding backwards etc..

try riding fixed for a week, then you'll either "get it" or not.
 

John R

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Feb 9, 2008
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A good answer is "why not?". Whats so important about why people have fun doing what they do. That's what makes the World go around. If you want raw speed, buy a motorcycle.
 

ride4him

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Jan 30, 2005
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John R said:
A good answer is "why not?". Whats so important about why people have fun doing what they do. That's what makes the World go around. If you want raw speed, buy a motorcycle.


John R is right. In my previous post I referenced the suburban people I see on the Fad retro fixies. But you know they are out riding bikes like you and me. I don't care if it's a fad, trend or whatever if people are out riding bikes I'm all for it.
 

John R

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Feb 9, 2008
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Hey guys, I have to admit that the dudes riding lightspeeds and cruising around with aerobars bug me too. But I used to train on a cheesy bike with one big gear, with wider, lower pressured tires. It changed my riding style in a big way because I like pushing high gears on my geared Trek standing up. There's nothing more fun than looking like a goof in regular shorts and a tee shirt and having someone that fancies themselves as "an elite" pass me only to be driven into the ground. Stronger legs and a better resistance to pain has to count for something, right?
 

joblue

New Member
Sep 15, 2008
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astroluc said:
Alright Alright... as a devout roadie and occasional trail rider I am versed in the whole riding thing. What I do not get is this fixed gear 'revolution' I keep reading, hearing about, and seeing.

What I would like to know is this: is this a Fad? (for some, I know it is) or is there a legitimate reason to prefer a fixie/ss over a 'normal' roadbike? is it a reaction to the annoying elitism of roadbiking (of which I wholly understand ;) )?

I want to know what the benefits and detractions are for this sub-genre of cycling. So please give me your insight or point me towards an already exising thread on this topic.

Thank you.

Hard to say its a fad as this is how modern bikes started....
 

fastrnb

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Apr 18, 2010
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I live and work within five miles of my house in a city where people have conversations about the locations of the hills. I have no interest in racing. What in gods' names do I need gears for?
Is it a fad? Yes, it is a fad. Just like BMX in the eighties and mountain bikes in the nineties. But neither of those ever died out completely. And even out here I meet guys as old as my dad who always have been riding their track bike everywhere. And that's where I expect to be thirty-odd years.
 

jonuck

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Apr 28, 2003
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fastrnb said:
I live and work within five miles of my house in a city where people have conversations about the locations of the hills. I have no interest in racing. What in gods' names do I need gears for?
Is it a fad? Yes, it is a fad. Just like BMX in the eighties and mountain bikes in the nineties. But neither of those ever died out completely. And even out here I meet guys as old as my dad who always have been riding their track bike everywhere. And that's where I expect to be thirty-odd years.


I am an oldtimer! .. just like your Dad! ... maybe even older:rolleyes: but I have to disagree that a Fixed Wheel is a fad in the context that I think you mean! ... as a teenager in the late forties and early fifties I used to tool my Claude Butler around the highways and byways of my English Homeland during the Summer Months and even well into the Fall using ny trusty Simplex Derailleur setup but when the first evidence of wintery weather appeared! .. usually in the form of rain or light snow my Simplex Derailleur was removed and lovingly wrapped in oily rag and placed in a Crawfords Biscuit tin and put on the top shelf in the shed together with my block (Cassette)! .. my Gnutti wide flange rear hub was equipped with a threaded mounting for the sprocket and a lefthanded thread for the locknut! .. ergo! ready for all winter riding now and no precious derailleur to get clagged up with winter crud! ... a fad you say! .. no just a well proven procedure that worked for me! ..... ;)
 

gfspencer

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May 13, 2007
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I have a Giant TCR Comp 1 and an old Specialized Skunkworks Mountain Bike . . . . and a five or six other bikes hanging from the rafters. But I don't use any of them. So the other day I bought a relatively inexpensive Trek single speed. I'm having fun on a bike for the first time since I was a kid. Nothing to tune. Nothing to adjust. Heck, I even went with simple platform pedals. Riding couldn't be easier. Is it a fad or forever? I don't know. But I can tell you this, that bike got me off my butt and exercising again.
 

jazzz

New Member
Jun 16, 2010
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love mine, fixed when i'm in town and wheel flipped over and single when i can go fast (in a fast corner you will hit the pedals on the road and crash if it's fixed) had one for 5 years now so if it's a fad it's lasting well, i've geared it 76 inches so it's 20 mph at 90 rpm, you'll be surprised how many people on flashy things with lots of gears that you will fly past, i would suggest brakes on both ends if you will be flipping wheels, can be alarming when you have single speed with no way of stopping rear.
 

Moto700

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Jul 24, 2011
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It doesn't have anything to do with being a fad. It's a matter of economics. Money. A fixey/SS is cheaper to own and maintain. Take a look at who uses them as primary transportation. Younger people in lower income brackets. It just makes sense for them. Fixeys/SS's have been around as long as bike have and as long as there is a need, based on economics, they will continue. Fad? I don't think so. The first road bike I bought in 1972 was a Raleigh 10 spd. Now my Motobecane commuter has 21. So where's the fad?
 

Beersk

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Aug 12, 2011
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I think it's definitely a fad for some. They see the culture that it's connected to and they want to be a part of it. Only to get the bike, ride it for a month or even a year and realize it's just not for them. It's not a fad for me. I started riding fixed in 2006, almost in rebellion to the road riding culture (because that's what I came out of) and started only riding fixed everywhere. Only in the last couple years have I started riding geared bikes again, and I enjoy the options I have for riding. My fixed is my around town and leisure ride bike, love riding it still. Don't think I'll be quitting riding it anytime soon.
The evolution of me as a cyclist is interesting and fun. Eventually ending up with experience across the board (mountain biking, road riding, fixed/single speed) where you can pick and choose from each experience to become the rider you are today. It's silly when someone only does one kind of riding, kind of like only listening to jazz all the time. There's so much other music out there. Same for bikes; so much more to do than do road rides and sticking to a silly training schedule.
I don't think something like riding Trials could be a fad, that kind of riding takes serious effort and dedication. Dedication beyond me...
But I can definitely see riding fixed being temporary for a lot of people. But that's the evolution of an idea, those who are truly into it, stick with it.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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ruariatp said:
There's no doubt about it, fixies are an urban fad. However they can also be a great training tool for road racers over the winter - I know this is a controversial opinion, but many would agree... http://andbethere.blogspot.it/2013/01/riding-fixed-in-winter.html - this sheds some light on it I think. Thoughts? :)
Yep. The reduced stopping distance compared to rim brakes is awesome! That's just the ticket for the road!