Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Are ‘Fixies the new Roller Blades’?

Posted by on June 17th, 2008 at 9:59 am

Stumptown Joustdown-32.jpg

Spotted at Colonel Summers Park
over the weekend.
(Photos © J. Maus)

In the bike world, few topics elicit as much heated conversation and interest as fixed gear bicycles (a.k.a. “fixies”).

BikeSnobNYC, one of the most well-known bike blogs in the world, has made a career out of skewering the fad, and my coverage of them — whether it’s about their legality or about their rising popularity in Portland — always garners a lot of comments.

I’ve only tried a fixie once or twice, so I’m no expert on the topic, but I still find this fascination with them rather interesting (if not strange). On that note, I came across two things recently that we can add to the fixie cultural notebook.

Fixed gear riders on the Esplanade-2.jpg

Some choose fixies for stunt-riding.

The first is a homemade t-shirt I spotted at a bike event in Southeast Portland over the weekend. It read, “Fixies are the new Roller Blades”.

The other came during a conversation with a bike messenger downtown. He said he has taken out all the spokecards from his wheels because they’ve become co-opted by “fixie kids.”

Do these small signals warn of what BikeSnobNYC refers to as the, “fixed-gear apocalypse”?

I’m not sure about that. But, as a spectator to this interesting cultural phenomenon, I hope not.

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  • KLRPDX June 17, 2008 at 10:09 am

    Another sign…spotted at Music Millennium. At the counter they sell what looks like locally, hand-made greeting cards. Well, not really greeting cards, they say things like \”I\’m sorry I threw up in your car last night.\”

    Anyway, a couple of them caught my eye:
    \”If it weren\’t for your fixie, I\’d have boinked you by now\” and \”I\’m so tired of talking about your f—ing fixie!\”

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  • West Cougar June 17, 2008 at 10:13 am

    Spoke cards are so 2007. I think they officially jumped the shark when they got co-opted by the Obama folks with \”PRETEND\” stenciled across the bottom.

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  • leonard maltin June 17, 2008 at 10:16 am

    that shirt is insulting to fruit-booters.

    judging by all the bubble gum ones out there fixies are more like the new my little pony, but with more useless accessories.

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  • pdxrocket June 17, 2008 at 10:16 am

    bah! Certainly not the \”next roller blades.\” I still have yet to run out and purchase my spoke cards, hip yet ironic shirt, and bad club haircut to be in with the fellow bike messenger, and never will.

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  • Zach June 17, 2008 at 10:23 am

    Just came back from a family reunion in the bay area, and found out that my very very suburban cousin rides one.

    For whatever it\’s worth.

    Also, I\’m curious: Does my fixed-gear Redline 925 w/ fenders, thick tires, and old man handlebars count as a \’fixie\’?…

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  • felix June 17, 2008 at 10:32 am

    Yes, you look about as dumb riding a fixie as you do roller blades so they are neck and neck.

    Whats with having a special way to get on and off, you know the one leg over the handle bars. Is that the secret handshake?

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  • bob June 17, 2008 at 10:37 am

    I frat boys ride fixies to class now down in Corn-valley.

    Fixies are the new SUVs

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  • mizake June 17, 2008 at 10:41 am

    \”Yes, you look about as dumb riding a fixie as you do roller blades so they are neck and neck.\”

    this coming from someone who rides a children\’s bike.

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  • maxadders June 17, 2008 at 10:41 am


    hipsters have taken the whole ironic 90s revival thing so far that neon-colored Rollerblades aren\’t quite laughable anymore. you\’re automatically disqualified from making Rollerblade quips if your friends deck themselves out in Hypercolor and snap bracelets.

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  • OMG June 17, 2008 at 10:43 am

    The term fixie makes baby Jesus weep.

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  • John June 17, 2008 at 10:45 am

    I dismount leg over handle bars because my handlebars are lower than my seat. It\’s easier.

    (Yes, I should probably have a larger frame, but I\’m 6\’3\” and 62cm was the biggest I could find without mortgaging the house of a custom built frame).

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  • eric June 17, 2008 at 10:46 am

    umm…some folks were riding fixies way before the hip kids, and for reasons other than looking cool. i love riding my fixy because i love riding my fixy. simple as that. no spoke cards required.

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  • Torfinn June 17, 2008 at 10:49 am

    Stereotyping people by the type of bicycle they ride is definitely one of the most intelligent things you can do.

    Tarck bieks are fun, so are normal bieks.

    I ride a geared Surly, my brother rides a pieced together track bike that cost more than most roadies carbon setups.

    There\’s nothing hipster about it, unless by hipster you mean BA Barracus.

    Head to the velodrome sometime and check it out. You might have fun.

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  • Donald June 17, 2008 at 10:50 am

    sounds like we\’re talking about fashion, which is sort of like dancing about architecture, in my opinion

    let\’s ride, people, and everyone can bring the bike of their choice

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  • krystenr June 17, 2008 at 10:50 am

    It\’s just a bike. Who cares what kind of fucking bike I ride? Who cares if I want to decorate it? It\’s mine. Not yours. So shut the fuck up about it.

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  • jeff June 17, 2008 at 10:51 am

    stop the hate.

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  • mizake June 17, 2008 at 10:51 am

    honestly though, who really gives a crap? so what if the flashy colors look stupid to you? if you want to talk about how most of them ride like asshats, that\’s one thing, but it\’s pretty stinking petty to attack them for bad taste. ahem. nvm.

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  • Jason June 17, 2008 at 10:53 am

    Like others, I like riding my fixed gear (fixed wheel to some) bike because it is fun. I also like the ability to control the bike with my legs in addition to the handbrakes. Finally, fixed gears are easy to maintain.

    I have never understood why people are upset with fixed gear bikes being popular. The more people riding bikes, the better is what I say.

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  • ambrown June 17, 2008 at 10:54 am

    I always thought the beauty of Portland\’s bike scene is its diversity. Some people commute, some people ride mountains, some people race, some people ride with their families, some people ride for the environment, some people ride for financial necessity, some ride with their friends, some ride because they don\’t like traffic or the bus, some ride to get healthy, some ride to stay healthy, some ride to look cool, and most everyone has some combination of the above. Everyone has a different bike to help them get to their destination, and as bike advocates, maybe we should be more interested in teaming up together to allow us all to enjoy our bikes in myriad ways as opposed to factioning off and ruining the political and cultural unity that we\’re gonna need to keep Portland a premiere biking town. With this said, I welcome fixed gear bikers as an important asset in our community.

    *gets off soapbox*

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  • leonard maltin June 17, 2008 at 11:06 am

    Torfinn –

    stereotyping people based on their bikes is definitely intelligent, I know because it is on the new mensa fixed intelligence test.

    racing a \”tarck biek\” (I think that is dutch for track bike) around alpenrose velodrome is quite different than circling stumptown to find the most conspicuous place to park your bike rack jewelry.
    though the pants are just as tight.

    maxadders – finally someone brought up hypercolor! I saw some on ebay the other day.

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  • doug June 17, 2008 at 11:08 am

    Would anyone agree that fixie usage is correlated with not wearing a helmet?

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  • wsbob June 17, 2008 at 11:10 am

    Even I\’d readily say that fixies are far more practical for transportation than inline skates are. I don\’t think fixies are ever going away.

    Braking a fixie, even without a conventional brake is far easier than braking inline skates. Inline skate brakes suck, and a lot of people seem to think they need brakes on their skates. Inline skating is really good for what it does, but there\’s a lot of limitations.

    I\’m think \’fixie kids\’ are a generational thing. The phenomena seems like \’dress up\’. They\’ll lose interest eventually and move on to some new trend. Serious riders will continue to ride fixies after that happens.

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  • andrew June 17, 2008 at 11:10 am

    let\’s get over the choice of drivetrain in bikes. the differences between a fixed gear bike and a road bike, or any kind of bike are very very small in the grand scheme of things.

    it saddens me that a bunch of young people getting into riding BIKES can cause so much bigotry.

    we as a community need to be promoting and encouraging -any- type of bike riding. would you be happier if these people were driving around?

    criticizing certain fixed gear riders for being \”too colorful\” or \”fashionable\” or whatever is stupid too, for the same reasons. \”oh no, biking might look cool! they\’re accessorizing their bikes!\” Seriously, what?

    Anything that gets more people riding is GOOD. Even if half of them never ride bikes again after the trend peaks it will be better than if they never rode at all. And my guess is that most of them will continue riding in some form after that.

    This \’debate\’ is just depressing.

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  • JP June 17, 2008 at 11:12 am

    As long as the \”hipsters\” don\’t talk smack about other people riding fixies or single speeds. I hate the feeling of scorn when riding up to Stumptown on 3rd with the load of messangers outside with their campy hats as they examine how shitty my fixie is. Just as long as people are riding a bike and not driving cars, that\’s all I care about, not wheather or not I have Phil Wood and lugged this or that.

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  • Brad June 17, 2008 at 11:13 am

    Charles Darwin loves helmetless hipsters riding fixies!

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  • Amy June 17, 2008 at 11:14 am

    Why don\’t we ALL take a minute to realize we don\’t know everything. A few assholes who ride around thinking they are the shit doesn\’t have to ruin it for the rest of us. Besides.. as far as rollerblades go…
    There is no comparison. Two sides to rollerblading: kids who got them for their birthdays and rode them till their feet grew too big. And assholes who skate the boardwalk in spandex. Oh wait.. three.. there were also those dudes who fruit booted up the skate parks too. Anyway – versus this whole fixed gear thing is also multi-faceted. Some are trendy kids, whose parents bought their deep v\’s and matching ouries for their riser bars.. and some people just appreciate bikes. It takes more than one or two tries to appreciate the difference in handling, the ease of maintenance, and overall experience riding fixed gear vs. your typical road bike. I rode geared bikes for years and am in better shape now after 6 mos riding fixed than I\’ve ever been in my life. I also know more about bikes than I ever did before due to taking the time to put together a custom bike; which is a big thing in the so-called fixie culture. It\’s not just riding a flashy bike – it\’s picking out every part, of craig\’s list, city bikes, ebay, whereever and putting together something for you – not just for your friends. The trend has grown at the same speed as everything else as the internet, media, and counter-culture grow and spread every day – so will everything else. So hate it and you\’ll be a hater, or just let people be!

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  • J June 17, 2008 at 11:17 am

    Someone told me that track bikes are the new skateboards (which have also been used as a fashion statement for quite sometime).

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  • Chad June 17, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Jumped on the fixie bandwagon about six months ago after my brother-in-law had my ride his to work one day. Bought my own (built up by a friend)a few days later and my old \”shifty\” has been collecting dust ever since.

    Right now for my 12 mile round trip commute from NoPo to NW my fixed gear is the perfect machine. Low maintenance due to less moving parts and the fact that I get to work and back home ten minutes quicker than I would on my other bike make it a no-brainer.

    I am not a hipster, I still dress like your average Portland commuter (yes, a helmet too), and have both brakes installed (and have used them both in emergencies) so this is not a fashion or a fad for me as I stopped being cool like ten years ago.

    Simply put, it\’s the best machine for my current bike riding needs…and riding a fixed gear is pure biking joy like the very first bicyclists felt over a hundred years ago on their fixies.

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  • Sam HIll June 17, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Making fun of people is lame because it\’s not really about them it\’s about you. Get over yourself.

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  • cole June 17, 2008 at 11:27 am

    let them bike.

    bikes are fun, let\’s keep it that way.

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  • Robin June 17, 2008 at 11:28 am

    BSNYC skews fixies sure, but he also rides one. He also talks sh#t about everyone else. Maybe people enjoy it more when he does his fixedgeargallery rants but I gets around to everyone from time to time.
    The point is we all do silly things some times and we should be happy people are riding bikes. In fighting is bound to happen but most of the \”problems\” people have a small at best and often pretty silly .

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  • BURR June 17, 2008 at 11:30 am

    I believe the correct word is \’skewering\’, not \’skewing\’

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  • Paul Souders June 17, 2008 at 11:30 am

    Who cares whether Your Chosen Sporting Activity is cool or not? Rollerblades are no less fun now than they were in 1990. Do what you love, let the poseurs catch up or fall behind.

    \”Irony is the shackles of youth\”

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  • PXL June 17, 2008 at 11:33 am

    I compare the fixed gear explosion just like it was in the early skateboarding days. When skateboarding became very popular in the mid-80s… we all had our boards laced up with rails, nose guards, tail pads, trendy stickers, etc. Eventually, skateboards became more streamlined and simplistic… striping the rails, tail pads, nose guards, trendy stickers, etc. It\’s the same pattern with fixed gear bikes… becoming more streamlined and simplistic… stripping all general necessities and learning with what little you have.

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  • Phil Hanson (aka Pedalphile) June 17, 2008 at 11:34 am

    \”Serious riders\” and \”fixies\” don\’t belong in the same sentence.

    Riding a fixie is comparable to driving a car that\’s locked in gear, has no brakes, and in which one stops by switching off the ignition and letting engine compression drag the vehicle to a standstill. I actually did that when I was younger, but now I\’ve got better sense.

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  • felix June 17, 2008 at 11:36 am


    I don\’t ride childrens bikes, I ride minis!

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  • tim June 17, 2008 at 11:37 am

    I ride a fixie to entertain anyone who happens to see me going down a long hill.

    however \”shifty\” may be just as funny.

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  • Icarus Falling June 17, 2008 at 11:37 am

    \”We mock what we do not understand.\”

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  • Carissa Wodehouse June 17, 2008 at 11:42 am

    I don\’t know what the fuss is about, since rollerblades are clearly awesome.

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  • old dirty June 17, 2008 at 11:44 am

    yo doug, please don\’t beat a dead horse and try to troll a helmet debate into this. just like the brakeless debate, it has been done ad infinitum, ad nauseum. it\’s tired.

    jon, the rollerblade t-shirt is just another ironic slogan to come out of hipsterism. i\’ve seen people riding with those stickers on their bikes downtown or at the track. it\’s not really serious. as far as messengers being mad about their culture being co-opted, this is a legitimate concern but nobody in portland pioneered messenger culture. you can thank new york in the 70\’s and 80\’s for that – so go ask those guys if they\’re mad.

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  • david June 17, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Just returned from Vancouver, BC, where rollerblades are a healthy component of a very diverse transportation system…

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  • tonyt June 17, 2008 at 11:55 am

    It ain\’t just Portland. They\’re huge most everywhere, as is the accompanying anti-hipster backlash.

    One of my bikes is a fixie and it\’s my go-to, no fear of locking it up anywhere bike. I ride the hell out of it. Sue me.

    My only real beef is with all of the short-sighted \”my knees will always be 20 years old\” hacks who insist on grinding the derailluer hangers off of their beautiful lugged frames.

    Those frames aren\’t being made anymore. And when you hobble a beautiful piece of history so that it can never be geared again, you reveal yourself to be the trend-blinded Philistine that you are. There\’s room for all kinds of bikes out there, and that silver brazed treasure may want to ride again with gears in your future.

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  • Bob_M June 17, 2008 at 11:59 am

    Roller bladers flail around like spinners at a Grateful Dead Concert. Sure they have nice asses, but they can\’t move in a straight line and they spontaneously erupt into stunts. The wheeled cross country skis with their ski poles are the new Razor Scooters.

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  • hanmade June 17, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    The fixie of my dreams has a 52 inch front wheel with attached cranks..

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  • Nick June 17, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    I will say this thread has me laugh. –One more…haha! — OK.

    I agree, the revolution is now. Bring your weapon of choice. I ride a \”triple roadie\” that makes me about as lame as can be. However, riding up and over the west hills can be done on a fixie (I have seen a few) but for my 36 year old knees it isn\’t an option.

    A few observations. I do feel bad for the guys who have been riding fixies for years now. I can recall a few fixies around downtown in the mid-90s. They were just doing their thing. Now it has this image attached to it. Oh well.

    Second, what is the deal with the knickers messenger bag and the wool cycling cap? I feel this is a fashion statement as much as anything.


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  • mad mike June 17, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Phil Hanson,

    You\’re ignorance is appaling.

    I know a number of category 1 road racers who also ride track bikes (\”fixies\”) and do so both on the velodrome and off. I also know for a fact that Gary Fisher rides one.

    Though I suppose Gary Fisher and category 1 road racers aren\’t \”serious\” by your estimation. You\’re dumbing down the collective IQ of this thread. Please stop.

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  • Ayleen June 17, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    After seeing Bent at Filmed by Bike, it\’s so obvious that recumbents are the new fixies…

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  • mizake June 17, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    \”Irony is the shackles of youth\”

    that is so spot on.

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  • Chad June 17, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Thanks for clearing that up Phil…I was really wondering if my 12 mile daily commute via fixie was serious riding.

    Now that you have cleared that up I can go on with my silly child\’s play riding without worrying about being the serious biker that Phil Hanson can handle sharing the roads with.

    But, then again I get the feeling Phil doesn\’t get out much.

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  • sumadis June 17, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    while fixed gear bikes have long been a popular training tool for \’serious riders\’, a solution for the hardcore couriers, and now a fashion accessory rivaling the white pleather rocker belt, they remain a vital component of the bicycle continuum. they may in fact be stimulating sales and popularity within the industry, and while some of us poke fun at the \’tricks\’ the kids are doing, they are taking some of the elements from bmx and urban assault and bringing them to new levels on machines that weren\’t originally built for such purposes – aka innovation bred from boredom; a beautiful thing. while the various factions of cyclosnobbery continue to snipe at one another, let\’s all remember that: some of our current world champion track racers started on bmx bikes – the mtb was derived from a beach cruiser and a will to bomb hills – cyclocross technology can be found in most modern hybrids – etc. all of which is to say; they\’re all simply bicycles, and bicyclists with open minds will always find ways to bend the applied uses of the equipment to new and exciting forms. just remember to give the hipsters a brake.

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  • West Cougar June 17, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    Kudos to Ayleen and the second best comment here. 🙂

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  • Blake June 17, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    Fixies are a 2 wheel uni-cycle. They just don\’t make scents! Come on now if we have to have bike rivals which is good for our competeive spirit then fixie\’s are the ones to look down on. We all know that they make those little kids cry when they see those nuclear powered thighs under all that hipster ripped jean 90\’s stone washed levis crap & that their chain smokeing habbits litter our streets from the waterfront to the northeast.
    This comes from your resident BMX flatlander, Fixie ryhmes with pixie which refers to fairy\’s which refers to imageary little insect flying people which refers to fairy tale….. see ive just proven fixies are just pretend!.. Do it better

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  • Icarus Falling June 17, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    Phil Hanson above obviously has no idea what he is talking about.

    A statement like that from someone who calls himself a pedalfile.

    I suggest he get back on his recumbent, and check out the real world.

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  • wsbob June 17, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    \”Roller bladers flail around like spinners at a Grateful Dead Concert. Sure they have nice asses, but they can\’t move in a straight line and they spontaneously erupt into stunts.\” Bob_M

    Well that\’s not true, unless maybe they\’re on acid or baked. Carissa Wodehouse is right…inline skating (or rollerblading) is clearly awesome. I\’m an inline skater myself. It\’s a great sport for building mobility, balance, strength in thigh\’s, calves, ankles, your back. I don\’t skate at the waterfront…don\’t like it there, don\’t wear butt-hugging gear, don\’t personally enjoy fancy dance or rad skating….just smooth, straight ahead skating. Sidewalks and bike lanes that aren\’t too busy work great.

    Inline skaters can build some of the same ability, technique and style of Olympic speed skaters. I think it\’s true that skating can be transportation, but I don\’t see them being as practical a form of transportation on the street as bikes,(including, with certain conditions met….fixies).

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  • Zaphod June 17, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    \”Criticize things you don\’t know about\” – Steve M

    \”Can\’t we just all get along?\” Rodney

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  • SkidMark June 17, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    I\’m glad I have a track bike and not a \”fixie\”.

    I\’ve always been annoyed by how one group of cyclists snubs another whoever it happens to be. I own different kinds of bikes and I always think it is odd how (for instance) fixed riders don\’t appreciate (for instance) tallbikes. That\’s why I like events like the Kickoff Parade and MCBF, it\’s all kinds of bikes and bikey people.

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  • SkidMark June 17, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Phil Hanson: nice flame bait.

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  • tonyt June 17, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Phil #35

    Those pesky non-serious pros.


    Oh, and Phil. It IS possible to have a fixed gear with hand brakes.

    And to take your ridiculous car/fixie simile to its full splendor, don\’t forget you have to balance that car on two wheels, power it with your own energy and lock it to a parking meter.

    Crazy! Who would ever ride one of those crazy things.

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  • Steve Pappert June 17, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    Its good to see that the proud tradition of americans expressing themselves as individuals through their choice of consumption lives on. In this regard bikes and cars have a lot in common. I can\’t wait to see the bike I buy when I get my mid-life crisis!

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  • Klixi June 17, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    So many people in Portland care waaaaay too much about being \”cool\” — whatever that means. I don\’t ride a fixie but everyone I do know who rides one rides them because they genuinely prefer them, not because of social status or fitting in. I guarantee for every ironic hipster on a fixie, there are 50 on a geared bike. Take your pick.

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  • antloader June 17, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    fixies are just another facet of the bicycling jewel. A fixie as your only bike is a little silly, but as an arrow within yet Quiver – there are lots of reasons. No bike configuration lasts longer without maintenance. No bike gives you a more intimate conection to terrain (connecting you to the planet better – like running – pedal strokes always directly proportional to distance. No bike is lighter for hauling up and down stairs or over fences. No bike is better for enthusiastic flatland traffic weaving (modulating speed so precisely with skids and relative pedal pressure).
    But try to learn to ride without brakes – this is where an extatic wheeled-Centaur sensation comes from – and with 3 months of practice backed up by years of freewheel skills, I swear -you don\’t need no stinkin brakes to be totally safe and alert and awake and ALIVE.

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  • mizake June 17, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    blah blah blah

    kill it.

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  • bahueh June 17, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    My only issue with fixies is that most riders have little/no experience riding them…generally have a difficult time stopping (I watched some girl almost destroy herself coming down the hill on SE Lincoln last week)…

    they should be left on the velodrome or in places without traffic, not downtown portland….and I don\’t buy the whole \”I got there faster\” argument…probably due to the running of stop signs, not the design or gearing of the bike..

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  • Diogo June 17, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    What exactly are we trying to figure out here? If fixies are cool? Well – who cares?

    I mean… I hope the whole shift to bike thing is not about being cool, fashionable and what not. Because if it is, it won\’t go very far and it won\’t have much meaning; because at some point biking as a whole will cease to be cool and will become commonplace. And then what?? Will the new cool kids in town start driving and will everyone follow just to continue being hip??

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  • Robin June 17, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Bikes don\’t make people run lights. Sure more young people do \”fixed\” or not but I\’m see plenty or other types do the same thing.

    A lot of people have trouble in general learning how to ride a bike effectively around the city at first.

    And what about all those people with old ten-speeds and cruisers who have steel rims and ride down hills in the rain? Don\’t they know their riding a death trap?

    Basically making generalizations isn\’t helping anyone.

    Have a great day all, I\’m going to go ride my bike.

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  • Mike M June 17, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    I love my fixed gear. It has brakes, I wear a helmet, and I stop at red lights. (and many stop signs)

    For me, its not fashion, but function. It is quiet, simple, and fun. What more could you ask?

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  • Brot June 17, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    some folks were riding fixies way before the hip kids, and for reasons other than looking cool.

    Ah, the death knell of a fad…defending something based on what it used to be like. I thought fixies were still on the rise, but this makes it clear that we\’re at the apex.

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  • Pete June 17, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    Yay, I\’m the 64th person to comment on a completely pointless topic in 4 hours!

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  • Pete June 17, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    Dammit Brot – you stole my place and relegated my irrelevant comment to further pointlessness.

    I just wish I could be outside right now riding my bike… 🙁

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  • toddistic June 17, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    gosh i better sell my conversion fixie, its not cool anymore.

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  • Chad June 17, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    #61 I stop at stop signs and stop lights…I get there faster because on fairly level ground (as most of Portland is) a fixie is faster.

    It\’s simple laws of mechanics and resistance here folks…not rocket science.

    If there was a big hill between me and work I would use a geared bike which would be more efficient in that situation…until that happens I\’ll be on my fixie because the Broadway Bridge is the biggest \”hill\” I have to deal with.

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  • Spencer June 17, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    I would equate a fixe more to older, traditional roller skates than roller blades.

    Track bikes are often seen on velodromes

    Roller Skates are often seen at Roller dromes.

    Track bikes and Roller derby both have professional and amature teams.

    You don\’t really see this with roller blades. Instead, there is more of a free style movement with half-pipes and skate parks as with the BMX bikes you see all the meth heads on.


    Fixe = Roller Skate
    BMX = Roller Blade
    Trials Bike = Skate Board

    I don\’t know where I am going, but there I am.

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  • april June 17, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    Bikes = good.

    I dunno why there\’s so much sniping on the subject. If you want to ride a fixie, ride a fixie. If you don\’t want to ride a fixie, don\’t ride a damn fixie!!

    As my coworker would say, build a bridge and get over it.

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  • mizake June 17, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    amen, april

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  • old dirty June 17, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    \”My only issue with fixies is that most riders have little/no experience riding them…generally have a difficult time stopping (I watched some girl almost destroy herself coming down the hill on SE Lincoln last week)…\”

    so you\’re stereotyping an entire subcategory of cyclists based on one isolated observation? good one, try using the same reasoning on a logic 101 paper and see what it gets you.

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  • Troy June 17, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    I hate fixies. I mean, I did, until I got one. Now I hate people that hate fixies.

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  • Mr DeJerk June 17, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Dang! I thought minibikes were the new \”my little pony\”…

    I agree that it doesn\’t matter what kind of bike people ride, is the individuals that count.

    I understand how people can have a wrong opinion about fixie riders, but I have a lot of good friends that have been riding fixed gears and they are all a bunch of assholes. Is not a good idea to generalize and call everyone cool…

    My butt likes riding fixies (or, people like my butt when I\’m riding my fixed-gear), but my knees are demanding a free wheel…

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  • maxadders June 17, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Any criticism of cyclists or so-called \”bike culture\” prompts a tidal wave of people falling all over themselves with feel-good claptrap: \”at least they\’re riding\” … \”we\’re all cyclists\” … \”more people on bikes is always good\” etc.

    This is just vapid group-hug nonsense and doesn\’t add to the discussion.

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  • sarah June 17, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    If anything is clear in this thread, there are too many unmployed people to have 69 silly responses mid-day.

    I ride a single speed unicycle. Slurp on that punters…

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  • sarah June 17, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    Ok 71 posts or 75. Let\’s get to 500!

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  • leonard maltin June 17, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    maxadders – you don\’t think that more people holding their handlebars, elbows locked and hands together, like a vaudeville cane and doing a herky-jerky accompanying hip dance is good too?

    btw, the guy wearing the \”fatnrb\” shirt is franz ferdinand.

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  • poser June 17, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    Phil Hanson is the new Vance

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  • Sebastian June 17, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    I totally agree: everybody should ride whatever makes them happy. I have only one suggestion.
    Hipster Kids please learn how to ride your “fixie” before you hit traffic. I commute everyday to work (on my SS) and I’ve seen way too many kids getting almost killed while being cool. And by the way: get an helmet. Don’t want to see your brain…..

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  • mizake June 17, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    \”Any criticism of cyclists or so-called \”bike culture\” prompts a tidal wave of people falling all over themselves with feel-good claptrap: \”at least they\’re riding\” … \”we\’re all cyclists\” … \”more people on bikes is always good\” etc.

    This is just vapid group-hug nonsense and doesn\’t add to the discussion.\”

    Awwwww, I think someone needs a big, fat, sloppy, group bike chain to the head.

    You thought I was going to say \”hug\”. Dincha?

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  • SkidMark June 17, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    Cupcake is the new Rev.Phil…

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  • Pete June 17, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    \”there are too many unemployed people to have 69 silly responses mid-day.\”

    Yay, I got moved to 69! What can we say, it\’s a silly topic – none of this is thought-provoking. Sorry, I don\’t find this as interesting a cultural phenomenon; saw skiers and snowboarders endlessly debate the same pointlessness. I\’ll opt to judge people by how they ride (and I don\’t mean skills), not what they ride.

    Some of us are just underemployed. If I was unemployed I\’d be outdoors riding something instead of indoors typing (which looks like work when your boss can\’t see your screen :).

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  • Pete June 17, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    …and hey, you unicyclists aren\’t welcome here – this blog is for bicyclists!! You know, cyclists that go both ways…

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  • barkernews June 17, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    Pistas are the new Hummers

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  • Joe June 17, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    I grew up riding BMX, so the whole fixed gear is like my old days 🙂 cept everyone
    has their own style.

    enjoy the ride 🙂

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  • Brad June 17, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    This is proof that cycling has come of age and that cyclists are just like those people we love to cut on…car owners.

    A hipster on a fixie is just making a fashion statement similar to the tuners who put $5000 worth of plastic fairings and a crappy sounding muffler on a $1200 \’97 Honda Civic. Why? Attention and image baby! But they will tell you it is about performance.

    Non-competitive rider on $5000+ SRAM Red equipped, all carbon two wheeled \”Ferrari\”? He\’s our nouveau riche yuppie with \”shortcomings\”.

    Moderately priced, non-descript commuter bike = Toyota Camry. Boring and not all that fun to ride but reliable.

    The bakfiets is the pickup truck of the velo world and an XtraCycle pulling a trailer is akin to the Chrysler Town&Country minivan. Mountain bikes are SUVs and like many SUVs, they and their riders never leave the pavement.

    I should also mention that our \”community\” is also replete with those that very vocally bash those who didn\’t spend sufficient cash on their ride or bought it at Target instead of Bike Gallery. Don\’t get me started on \”proper\” apparel choices (see Barack on bike thread from last week).

    Kumbaya and all that! To paraphrase Tyler Durden from \”Fight Club\”, we\’re not special little snowflakes. Just regular people with prejudices and opinions who happen to ride bikes.

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  • DT June 17, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Originally I felt bad for not understanding what the deal is about fixies . . . and 85 comments later I still don\’t understand, but now I\’m glad I don\’t get it. Jesus.

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  • Daniel Porter June 17, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    I don\’t get places quicker on my fixed gear because it is faster, I get there faster on my fixed gear because I am faster (than you).

    People, Don\’t be so angry. Bikes are bikes. Ride fixed, ride geared, just ride.

    PS- If you want to see some \’non serious\’ riders, come out to Tabor Wednesday night and watch the fixed gear class hammer it out at 5:50 tomorrow. Or, better yet, come join us.

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  • N.I.K. June 17, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    As with some many other debates, this whole thing can be solved through the vehicle that is reductive absolutism. You only have to mean it in your heart, your loins, and, most especially, your bowels, and the Question is resolved. On three, and altogether:

    \”I\’m *good*. Y\’all are *evil*.\”

    Now someone do the bit that ends with \”Go back to Californee!\”

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  • Diogo June 17, 2008 at 3:48 pm


    I was thinking exactly the opposite: there are too many people employed (and bored at work). Shit, if I was unemployed I would never be wasting my time like that…

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  • Diogo June 17, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    Oh, and let\’s not forget that cupcake is a hipster that rides fixies AND roler blades (so what is he talking shit about???)

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  • Johnny June 17, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    It doesn\’t matter what you ride, just ride.

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  • Justa June 17, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    i got tired of reading around response #20 or so, but let me just say that riding fixed is fun and so is making fun of each other. whee!

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  • k. June 17, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    Fashion isn\’t riding any particular type of bike or wearing any particular type of clothes. It\’s thinking too much about those things that make it so.

    Stop thinking so much and yes, just ride.

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  • Troy June 17, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    maxadders #78, would you please do the honor of listing which posts \”don\’t add to the discussion\” so we can remove them to properly suit your perspective? Finally someone is willing to step in and tell us whose opinions count!

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  • toddistic June 17, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    *shotgun raised in the air*

    Get off my land!

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  • Deb June 17, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    step away, go ride

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  • Phil Hanson (aka Pedalphile) June 17, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    It seems the only way to get a response out of anyone is to go negative.

    Poser (#81),

    I\’m older than Vance, so I guess that makes Vance the new me.

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  • Sulu June 17, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    Even worse than a fixie, I ride a Portland! Can I even go on?

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  • ian June 17, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    I can\’t believe you all are trying to dissect this t shirt literally. The shirt is referring to FADS, not if fixes can stop faster then fruit booters, not that cyclists and bike path roller bladers wear lycra. Riding a fixie is a FAD right now, so was roller blades.
    I know a few of you will reply with I was riding one when………..bla bla.
    FAD get it?

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  • nuovorecord June 17, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    Sorry I got to this conversation late…I was reading a manual vs. automatic transmission thread on the AutoPortland.org blog. 🙂

    Hey, it\’s all good. Ride what you like. Any trip made on a bike is better than one made in a car!

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  • Shrap June 17, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    Once watch a fixed gear rear end a car.

    \”hey you $%^&, why did you stop\” the Fixed gear rider spews at the driver.

    The driver tried to defend themselves from the triad of the biker, but his knowledge of profantiy was sorely lacking. I stepped in to the drivers aid being rather proficient in the use of profane language and said….

    \”hey you $%^&*, get some #$%^&* brakes\”

    At this the fixed gear rider pipes up with a \”%^&* you\” and rides off leaving the driver with a broken tail light.

    Being an avid cyclist I apologized to the driver and told him what messanger comapany the rider worked for and wished him luck.

    My two cents: fixed gear with no brakes, and no helmet = you deserve to be taken out of the gene pool when that car hits you and you can\’t stop in time….due to lack of BRAKES.

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  • jb June 17, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    All this dislike and hate over fixies has created an epic thread to read.

    Thank y\’all for making me laugh.

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  • sh June 17, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    Fixies ARE the new rollerblades, but who cares, huh? The REAL issue here is this unidentified t-shirt wearer\’s plagiarism.

    Unidentified T-Shirt Wearer, I\’m calling you out: you stole that idea from Ben Miller of Dieselfuel Prints, who not only coined it, but made millions of little decals (some of which i might have repeatedly stuck on the bike staples in front of PNCA, mmmm, just to mess with those art students, mmmm) as far back as late last year.

    Unidentified T-Shirt Wearer, you\’re 8 months off the back. We demand that you add some attribution on that t-shirt, yes.

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  • sh June 17, 2008 at 6:10 pm

    p.s. Nuovorecord: \”manual vs. automatic\”… that was cute. You get Comment of the Day.

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  • anonymonster June 17, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    Gluten Free is the new fixie

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  • wsbob June 17, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Ouch!!… \”At this the fixed gear rider pipes up with a \”%^&* you\” and rides off leaving the driver with a broken tail light.\” Shrap

    Do you realize how much a tailight can cost these days? Like, a $100. If you\’d called out \’hey you $%^&*, get some #$%^&* brakes, you busted his $%^&* tailight!!\’ the driver might have been moved to try hold the flailing fixie rider accountable.

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  • mark June 17, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    I agree with Chad up there, I don\’t care if I\’m cool or not, I like riding a fixed gear because it\’s fun, fast and low maintenance. I have almost exclusively switched to singles and fixed gears in the past year because it\’s the perfect thing for getting around Portland.

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  • Crash N. Burns June 17, 2008 at 8:06 pm


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  • joel June 17, 2008 at 9:03 pm


    talking about fixies online is the new rollerblades.

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  • cupcake June 17, 2008 at 9:13 pm


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  • tony pereira June 17, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    cars are the new cigarettes…discuss

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  • Keith June 17, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    12 is the new dozen

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  • square wheels June 17, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    I will agree that inexperience on a fixie in traffic is not a good choise. However, doing anything in a dangerous situation without experience is asking for trouble. What gets me is the vast amount of energy expended by both camps toward cutting people down.

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  • Elisabeth June 17, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    What on **earth** is a fruit booter, anyway?

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  • Robin June 18, 2008 at 12:38 am

    Cars are the new cigarettes after cigarettes became the cancer stick.

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  • Hillsons June 18, 2008 at 1:41 am

    Soon there will be so many bikes in Portland the old bike vs car squabble will morph into bike vs bike out of a lack of argument material, and I usually post this nonsense from work anyway.

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  • burning shame June 18, 2008 at 1:58 am

    Must… keep… thread… going…

    Couple questions, why is it cool to have such a huge saddle to bar drop? I\’m seeing guys riding around with their hands on the STEM because they can barely reach the tops of the bars. Is this some kind of pagan Chris Boardman cult? penile numbing ritual? Some underground attempt at the hour record?

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  • Jeff June 18, 2008 at 7:38 am

    Knowing what a fruit booter is makes you one.

    Having more than one kind of bike in Portland is not \”diversity\”.

    Keith is the only one here that got it right. 12 really is the new dozen…

    Shut it down. This thread has gone far enough.

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  • Laura June 18, 2008 at 8:01 am

    you know the world is changing when the kid (who\’s an ironic hipster but denies it) asks to borrow mom\’s fixie instead of her car!

    two nites ago, he did!

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  • morgan June 18, 2008 at 8:14 am

    In the spirit if BSNYC\’s comment board \”crit riders\”, let me say \”Lanterne Rouge!!!\”
    and with that, please GOD shut this thing down.

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  • Tankagnolo Bob June 18, 2008 at 8:40 am

    If it has two wheels, is safe, fun to ride, and has pedals (or a four stroke motor) RIDE IT. (I aslo inlcude one wheel, unicycles)

    Screw these \”culture wars\”. Leave them to the religious/political set. If you like riding any kind of bike, do it.

    When I wave at others on an MTB, roadies dont wave, on my road bike, MTBers dont. Same with my one speed, and my variety of bikes. Its like these groups hate the others, even though we all ride bicycles.

    I get the most consistant return waves from HARLEY GUYS that I wave at, no matter what kind of bicycle or moto scooter I am riding.

    Tailwinds & Good Coffee

    More riding, less pisssing contests!!

    Tankagnolo Bob

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  • a.O June 18, 2008 at 8:49 am

    Ode to the Derailleur

    [Say it with me, like the French: de – rail – yeur. Not de-railer.]

    Oh, how I love my derailleur
    as I fly past the hipsters without failure
    You are an object of human ingenuity
    like the works of Norman Mailer

    I can ride faster because my gears are not fixed
    I can shift you between and betwixt
    quicker on the climb, and on the descent
    I adjust my power to one hundred percent

    Oh, derailleur, how could anyone forsake you?
    you are an engineering marvel, and functional too
    I suspect it\’s more about fashion than simplicity
    Oh, derailleur, why can\’t they see –
    You are the ultimate in bike utility!

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  • Pete June 18, 2008 at 8:50 am

    Elisabeth (#119): \”fruit boot\” is what skateboarders started calling Rollerblades when they started showing up in skateboard parks.

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  • SkidMark June 18, 2008 at 8:56 am

    sh, I already identified the \”unidentified t-shirt wearer\” as Cupcake. What, you don\’t know who Cupcake is? How cool could you be if you don\’t know who Cupcake is?

    And for the the millionth time, a fixed gear hub is a brake. If you stop pedalling the bike stops, therefore it is a brake. I am not sure why it is so hard to understand how a hundred year old device works, or how to operate it, but, I assure you that you can indeed stop a fixed gear bike without the assistance of a brake or a car in front of you. People do it all the time, are they magic or somehow outside the laws of physics? You don\’t notice when someone knows how to ride fixed, because you assume they must have a brake to be able to stop.

    I could use a tailwind and a good coffee.

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  • SkidMark June 18, 2008 at 9:00 am

    \”without the assistance of a HANDbrake\” that is, because a fixed gear hub is a brake.

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  • mizake June 18, 2008 at 9:49 am


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  • sh June 18, 2008 at 9:58 am

    Skid, i wasn\’t claiming coolness- \’cause certainly if knowing Cupcake is the qualifier, I\’m decidedly UNCOOL (however, if you meant knowing Cupcake, in a general, sweet tooth, vanilla-batter-with-chocolate-frosting kinda way, then I\’m in fact, Supercool). I was merely pointing out that the Formerly Unidentified T-Shirt Wearer, who is now identified as Cupcake is not the author of that rather clever statement. And a good t-shirt phrase deserves attribution, \’kay?

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  • toddistic June 18, 2008 at 9:59 am

    urban outfitters is the new hot topic

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  • JH June 18, 2008 at 10:22 am

    Don\’t forget, riding bikes is fun.
    Ride whatever makes you happy.

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  • jamie June 18, 2008 at 10:24 am

    I just made a shirt with my sharpie. Eating is the new hoola-hoop. Feel free to write and article and discuss…I\’m off to lunch.

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  • fix push June 18, 2008 at 11:17 am
  • Me June 18, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    I know this is really late and I am also just beating the horse but I would love to have chad explain how a fixed gear is \”faster\” you say \”It\’s simple laws of mechanics and resistance here folks…not rocket science.\” If its so easy please please please explain these simple mechanics.

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  • Icarus Falling June 18, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    \”Elisabeth (#119): \”fruit boot\” is what skateboarders started calling Rollerblades when they started showing up in skateboard parks.\”

    This is very true, as I first heard it at Burnside back when there was only a wall ride.

    They have this annoying way of all of a sudden turning around and skating backwards, without looking, which in a skate park only hurts those around you.

    And, once again, a properly built (non conversion) fixed gear has a BRAKE!!!!

    Maybe not one that most can really understand, or make work, but it is an effective brake.

    Many on the track run cogs with no lock ring. That is a bike with no brakes.

    It is a real travesty that the misnomer \”No Brakes\” continues to plague the fixed gear bicycle, and causes more damage than any out of control hipster could.

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  • Steven B June 18, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    chickens are the new fixies.

    okay…now die

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  • maxadders June 18, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    What\’s truly hilarious about the fixed gear fad is that it\’s largely cycling newbies (see all the teenagers on fixies these days!) who suddenly think they can dictate what about the sport is \”pure\” and \”real\” while dismissing anything with gears as \”ugly\” or \”unnecessary\”. In a typically adolescent manner, the world revolves around their golden little center of the universe– what anyone else does on a bike is not as cool as the incredibly limited, stunted impracticality of riding a one-geared, non-coasting bike short distances around the city. It boils down to a self-absorbed little pissing contest full of meaningless tricks and fancy parts that look \”cool\” despite impracticality that anyone who knows much about bikes would easily identify.

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  • SkidMark June 18, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    Personally I can\’t wait until the fad part of it dies down. There will be a glut of used fixed stuff, and you will be able to name your price.

    Portland is very flat. I honestly don\’t see the need for multiple gears here, beyond say a 3-speed. Unless you are biking up to Washington Park or Council Crest, one gear should do you just fine. The reason a modern road bike has 20 speeds is so that someone who is RACING can stay at a specific cadence and maintain a specific heart rate. The rest of us can mash up the hill and spin (or coast) down the hills.

    It\’s funny, I find that it is when I start coasting that the heavy breathing starts when I ride a bike that coasts. For some reason when riding fixed I have less of an issue with that. It\’s like how after someone races at the Velodrome they go into that little circle in the infield to \”warm down\”. I know fixed climbs better, at least for me, because that is usually when I pass some geary who had to prove how much better gears are by upshifting and racing past me on the flat or down a hill.

    Fixed is perfect for the short,flat rides around this town that most of us do, and for added stopability or more \”lazy\” riding you can put on a front brake, no shame in that.

    As far as this fixed gear \”freestyle\” trend goes, whether they know it or not many of the tricks they are down are done in the Olympic sport of Artistic Cycling, and the other ones come from BMX freestyle (I think the kids call it \”flatland\” now) or street/park riding.

    It is a crying shame to think that aa bike should only be used for utility. I get the impression that is what some think. You are missing out on the fun.

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  • SkidMark June 18, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Oh yeah, and I also think it is a sign of your own inflated ego when you think others are doing something to impress YOU. Either that or a sign of your own insecurity, because the only reason you do things is to impress other people.

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  • Zaphod June 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    You kids won\’t let this die so I will now feed the fire.

    Riding a bike with a chain linking crank and wheel with nothing else going on is a rush. It really is. Forget about coolness or fad or whatever bs 90% of these posts are about and consider the experience itself.

    For those that have not tried it, I recommend giving it a go in a controlled area, maybe even a grassy space where tipping over doesn\’t = pain. And trying it doesn\’t mean rolling around for a couple of minutes and saying, \”Wow, that was weird.\” Trying it means learning the basics safely and then putting on a few miles on it, some medium or big trips for at least a week. And do it on a quality bike that fits properly and is tuned.

    Run brakes until you feel you do not need them. For me, this is never. I *like* brakes. Sustained descending in the west hills is positively dicey for me if I can\’t drag a brake. Call me a [insert term of your choosing] if you will but I run TWO brakes. I\’ve seen talented riders do some buttery smooth stopping without rim rubbing technology but I\’m just not there.

    I double dog dare you to try it.

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  • Chad June 18, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    #137 Me

    I know this should die, but looks like I have to answer for myself.

    Less resistance: When your chain-line is not in a straight line (i.e. when your chain-ring and sprocket of choice are not in line) there is resistance because the chain is rubbing against itself causing undo friction. Also, because the chain of a multi-geared bike has to go through the idler and jockey pulleys there is even more resistance. True, it\’s not an \”amazing\” amount of resistance, but it is noticeable.

    Bottom line: Friction is resistance, there is less friction in the transmission of a fixie…it goes faster.

    On my multi-geared bike it takes 25 minutes to get to work, on my fixie it takes 20…that\’s enough reason for me to take the fixie. For hills and pulling the kid on the trail-behind my multi-gear faithfully comes to my rescue even though she\’s ignored most of the time.

    A bike for every season and every reason.

    I love all bikes.


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  • morgan June 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    Thread bitten by zombie…

    \”…Brains…brai-oh, wait- brakes…BRAKES!!!…\”


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  • Me June 18, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    chad, sorry buddy but you may have a point in a physics lab but … most fixed riders put a lot of tension on the chain so that it doesn\’t have lag when track standing or skidding… either that or its way loose which still doesn\’t make you argument stand. You are saying that the difference between the friction of an inline drivetrain and a well lubed chain on a caset is enough to cause a five minute difference in your commute? BS! This is even worse then the argument about weather clinchers or sew ups have lower rolling resistance. This is not gonna affect you outside a lab or possibly a long pro race. certainly not on your commute. so do you also have zipp wheels to reduce wind resistance and carbon bars to reduce weight? I doubt it. the reason you ride faster is that you try harder and choose to use a larger gear inch than you would on your road bike. YOU are faster, not the bike.

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  • Josh June 18, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    I think I am the only person on this thread who will admit to riding a *recumbent*. (Shudder!) Bow down! I am King of the Dorks! (Though I\’ve got serious competition from Sarah the Unicyclist. She could be Queen of the Dorks, were I not already espoused.)

    Also, I know Cupcake the t-shirt guy. More to the point, I used to work with his father, a.k.a., The Baker. I once had the privilege of watching The Baker deliberately crash his bike — not once, but twice — in service of a training video. The videographer wasn\’t ready on the first take. Good thing he got it the second time, \’cause The Baker busted both his fork crown and his helmet on that one. Those of you who know Cupcake will now understand that he comes by it honestly. 🙂

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  • SkidMark June 18, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    You get there faster because you are not coasting, and you are climbing without downshifting.

    On the other hand, the chain does have two bends and travel over two jockey wheels on a bike with a deraileur.

    And my chain tension is perfect 🙂

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  • joe June 18, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    wait, Cupcake has a father? unbelievable

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  • wes June 18, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    How about we take some time to shut up and remember why we\’re all visiting bikeportland.org In all cultures there are vast amounts of people involved that most definitely are not the same but they all have at least one thing in common. For us, that\’s bicycles.

    People ride different bikes for different reasons. Enough said. You ride yours cause you have a hilly commute, she rides hers because she wants to be one less car on the road or one less person riding \”the crutch\” (tri-met). And though the cycling community has its fair share of \”bad seeds\” and maybe you don\’t like hipsters and their incessant need to ride places on their fixies rather than driving a car. I think that each of us should cut eachother some slack and realize that we have one common love, bicycles! I know you all have your own cycling habits and to each individual belongs a set of ideals. But can I propose to you (eff it I\’m not gonna propose, I\’m just going to tell you) that it\’s not my place to say anything derogitory about those gears that you have that make it easy to climb hills, or the fact that you coast down hills causing you to rely fully on your brakes to stop you if need be or even the your terrible cadence that\’s wearing your wheels and components out faster than necessary. Just as it\’s not your place to be condesending to me because I\’m riding my fixie around instead of my other options (car, bus or bike… you pick), because I\’m not wearing a helmet (which by the way is a personal choice that we all have, stupid or not) or because I built my bike not only to meet the needs and desires that I have for my chosen form of transportation, but to look sexy doing it. That\’s like picking on little girls because they have streamers in their handlebars or tallbike riders because their fankensteined bike make you frighentened for their lives.

    I think we should all get off of our respective freaking high horses and take the time to worry about something that matters. I dunno, maybe getting children on bikes to fight the obesity epidemic? Making it safer to cycle in Portland and it\’s surrounding areas (have you been to Beaverton? Now there\’s an undertaking)? Getting cyclist of all shapes, sizes and forms together to plant trees so that our fellow cyclists will have clean air to breath in the future? You tell me… am I totally off base in thinking that this is a discussion you should be having with your fixie hating friends rather than on a public forum that should be bringing us together rather than dividing us?

    Go ride your bike! That\’s what I\’m going to do!

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  • Brad June 18, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    Interesting theories from the fixie riders regrding chain tension and th like but I suspect skill, power delivery, and aerobic capacity have more to with bike speed. Alberto Contador on a Wal-Mart bike could take any local fixie rider on any terrain at anytime.

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  • SkidMark June 18, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    You realize that some of the \”local fixie riders\” race at Alpenrose and race cyclocross too, right? You would you do against Alberto Contador? Is blood-doping allowed?

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  • jaxie June 18, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    A fabulous bumper sticker I recently saw:

    one less fixed gear

    It was on a car which is funny in its own right, but I need one for my bike!

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  • Chad June 18, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    Me #146, good points…true, I probably use a lower gear combo on my multi-geared bike when climbing, slowing me down a little bit, but I don\’t think that would make me lose 5 minutes on my commute as the Broadway Bridge is my only real climb.

    To be completely honest, if the \”chain resistance\” theory is BS I don\’t really know why my fixie\’s faster (I can get my time clock read-outs if you think I\’m full of crap)…it just is. And honestly, I don\’t think I\’m trying any harder…if anything it seems easier with the fixie.


    When I started commuting three years ago I rode a Fred Meyer Schwinn MTB and got passed by MTB\’s with commuter tires, I got commuter tires and got passed by road bikes, I got a nice road bike and was still getting passed by skinny hipster kids barely breaking a sweat on fixies, I got a fixie and now I only get passed by spandex butts on carbon fiber rigs…and that\’s only if I\’m being lazy.

    Just as those of us who still drive cars are looking for more and more efficiency I am doing the same with bikes, and right now the most efficient machine I\’ve riden is my fixie.

    I really hate to keep this thread going has it has definatly reached it\’s expiration date, but does anybody out there have any other ideas as to why fixies are faster?

    (oh, dear god…I\’m sorry for what I have done)

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  • joeb June 18, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    I never want this thread to end! (reverse approach). It cracks me up every time I see another post. Josh, I join the dorks. With Sulu and a.O, I ride the bike named after our town. And I\’ve never passed Chad or any other fixie on the road. They alway pass me though… I never figured out how that works.

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  • RevJ June 18, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    one thing that should be distinguished is the line between irony and humor directed at oneself. Irony having negative connotations. I ride a trackish bike on the street and I have a \”Team Tarck\” spoke card in my wheel because I like to make fun of myself for riding a track bike on the street. I\’m not trying to be ironic, I\’m just trying to keep it light-hearted in a culture where self-seriousness and irony are the pinnacle of cool. I guess it\’s a fine line, but it has to be recognized. Also, I feel it necessary to apologize to messengers for swallowing their entire culture whole. Fixed gears are just too much fun to keep a secret.

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  • jesus christ June 19, 2008 at 2:42 am


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  • Chad June 19, 2008 at 6:43 am

    could it be fixie dust???

    har har

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  • Jeff June 19, 2008 at 6:51 am

    Chain resistance isn\’t the key determiner of speed on a bicycle. Speed is forward velocity. That is determined by the rpms of the cranks, the ratio of teeth on the sprockets and the diameter of the tire/wheel. The more power you input to the cranks, the faster the cranks will spin, and the faster (higher velocity) you will go until you reach your maximum power and hence maximum velocity.

    The resistance of the chain saps some power, but less than you might think. On a well adjusted, clean, lubed drivetrain, there will be less resistance on a fixed gear bike. However, the mechanical advantage of having multiple gears would allow the trained rider to apply more power at an ideal range of cadences that would allow the rear wheel to spin faster, hence higher forward velocity.

    Anecdotal evidence is bunk. Carefully controlled experiments on an ergometer are the only way to measure the power losses for sure…

    I recommend Bicycling Science, 3rd edition, which is available at Powells and elsewhere as an excellent reference.

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  • Mr. Black June 19, 2008 at 7:39 am

    Does anyone remember that when mt. bikes started to become popular in the late 80\’s early 90\’s that everybody in the industry hated them, road bikes were king. Now what is the majority of bike sales? What took over the cycling industry? The \”fixie\” craze has got a lot more people to ride bikes right, and thats what we love about cycling is riding right?

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  • Tinymeat June 19, 2008 at 7:52 am

    Opinions are like bodily opening…

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  • SkidMark June 19, 2008 at 8:16 am

    I\’ll be riding my fixed-gear tallbike today. it\’s one-part parody, one-part irony, and all fun!

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  • Brad June 19, 2008 at 8:24 am

    Many very good riders do indeed ride fixed gears and I admire them for it. The fact remains, however, it\’s not the machine that is fast but the \”motor\” riding it.

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  • Me June 19, 2008 at 8:45 am

    Chad, I\’m not disagreeing with you that you are faster on your track bike, I believe it is most likely a factor of conditioning. While riding the fixed you work harder due to no coasting and hence you are in better condition. No majic fixie dust.

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  • jacque June 19, 2008 at 8:53 am

    What\’s wrong with being cool?

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  • justin June 19, 2008 at 9:54 am

    When I read an article and its responses like this one, a depressingly, redundantly frequent happening, my frustration does not come only from it\’s lack of direction and aimless, uninformative bullshit, but from the eventual effect that it will have on the cycling community as well.

    \”What will that be Justin?\”

    Well, as I see it, if you subtract the massive collection of stale, regurgitated comments [ex. \”riding their fixies to the local coffee shop\” and \”a fixed gear (aka fixie)\” or \”they don\’t ride with a helmet\” or \”the messengers make all cyclists look bad\” or better, \”the \’fixie kids\’ make all messengers look bad\”], the few comments remaining actually have some constructive information and advice worth reading. As for the rest, like the examples above, i fear that, once many of the kids out there who are finally obsessing about bikes get worn down and defeated by all this bullshit flack thrown their way, they will turn and run far away from their fixed gears, track bikes, and bikes in general, with little chance of return all thanks to some bitter old commuters and local messengers (among many more)

    This hypocrisy has to end if we as a cycling community are intending to move anywhere. I hate to say it, but advocacy is stale in this town, improvements, all though great, could be better. So stop this nauseating, un-inspired criticism that we\’ve all heard one too many fucking times and encourage everyone on a bike to stay on the bike so that, once this \”craze\” blows over, all the \”fixie kids\” will still be on a bike.


    Ride safe.


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  • Chad June 19, 2008 at 10:01 am

    no fixie dust???…but what the hell am I putting on my chain once a month?

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  • Icarus Falling June 19, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    In response to Justin above not wanting to hear this anymore…

    Fixie Kids have been around ever since the bicycle drive train switched from pushers to pedaler\’s.

    I believe it was 1879 that Western Telegraph put their first four boys on bikes (high wheelers with fixed or direct drive trains) to do deliveries.

    It was not long until there were reported to be thousands across the nation.

    Much of the fashion we now see also can be seen in these messenger boys of old.
    Little wool caps, knickers, messenger bags.

    This \”FAD\” that many love to hate is actually nothing more than a resurgence of one of the earliest and most practical applications of the bicycle.

    Something that has been going on for about 128 years, and is experiencing a healthy resurgence, is not a fad.

    It is life.

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  • Shifties June 19, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Not all newbs are stupid enough to ride fixed without brakes without learning to skid first. But at the same time, i\’ve seen about a dozen people on \”shifties\” riding down the street on cell phones weaving in and out of traffic.

    ALso.. fixies don\’t make \”scents\”…. They make an aroma.. of burning rubber… Mad skidz!

    Stop drinkin\’ the hatorade…

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  • Zaphod June 19, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    One hundred and seventy… sweet.

    I really like Icarus Falling\’s eloquent history lesson. And let\’s end it with Shifties\’

    \”Stop drinking the Hatorade\”

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  • Chad June 19, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    You know we can make it to 200 comments if we start talking about no brakes on fixies or mandatory helmet laws.

    Let\’s go for the gold!!!

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  • Brad June 19, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    So when are these brakeless fixie hipsters gonna learn that their ironic Pabst Blue Ribbon trucker hat or Mick Jagger circa 1965 haircut isn\’t going to protect their skulls in a crash?

    There oughta be laws!

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  • SkidMark June 19, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    \”The fixter looks stupid to the roadie; the roadie looks stupid to the mountain biker; the mountain biker looks stupid to the recumbent rider; and the recumbent rider looks stupid to everyone. And all of us look stupid to the non-cyclist. No matter who you are or what you’re doing, you look stupid to somebody. We’re all a bunch of preening, posturing, self-deluded roosters. Embrace it.\”

    BSNYC, of course.

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  • toddistic June 19, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    I want a Pabst Blue Ribbon hat! Can I get that at urban outfitters or hot topic?

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  • Brainbuckets_save_lives June 19, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    As a mechanic, Ive come to hate fixed gear conversions with tight pants, stupid sun glasses etc, but what ever fixed gear/track bikes get people on bikes, who know maybe next year when there out of style they\’ll be riding rear bikes.

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  • Pete June 19, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    SkidMark (#173): Where does someone fit in riding a recumbent unicycle?

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  • nerf June 20, 2008 at 1:16 am

    you should all grow up and buy electric cars.

    leave the kid stuff to us,

    then you can go and make no sense on electriccarportland.org.

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  • BenD June 20, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Kids these days grow up so fast! My 2-year old for instince is part of the next trend; a no geared wooden bike!!!!! can you beleive these kids! no gear! and those fixe riders thought they had boiled it all down. Of course my son (as soon as hes old enough to speak english fluently) will espouse the benefits of his \”footsie\” and remind us that the design has old roots. Beeeeer!

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  • Daniel June 20, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    My personal opinion is that fixies are awesome, but it takes some serious skill to make them practical for riding in Portland. You cant just hop on that shit and think your a veteran messenger.

    If its fashionable to get on a bike that is way out of your league, then your obviously going to get picked on for it.

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  • Daniel June 20, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    Its like messenger bags. People all over use them just because they want to be badasses.

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  • poser June 20, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    Ben – I\’ve personally seen your 2-year old shred 7-corners on a knobby-tired single speed. He can wax poetic all he wants about footsies, but we all know he\’s a closet single-speed mountain biker.

    while I have the floor, I did want to correct a.O\’s poem (#127) about fixies… having both a fixie and a road bike, I can honestly say that on any hill-climb under a mile, fixies usually end up being faster. We just have one gear man – we can\’t slow down.

    It\’s actually one of my favorite moments during my commute home (when I\’m on my fixie). A roadie will be drafting behind me for a few blocks, trying to pick the right moment to pass. He (and it\’s always a he) will see a hill coming up, and assume that because he\’s on a road bike he\’ll beat me up the hill. Then he passes me right before the base of the hill… and clicks down three gears slowing to a crawl! But I can\’t slow down, I\’m on a fixie! So I just blow by him, out of the saddle, and leave him like he\’s standing still. They always have the best look on their face too: \”B-b-b-but, he\’s on a fixie?!!!\”

    Sure, derailleurs may be marvels of engineering, and you may be in better shape than me – but I can\’t slow down man! Get the h*ll out of my way!


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  • sara June 22, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    I think a lot of bike (and other) choices relate to practicality. I had a choice between $1500 road bike and a $800 fixed wheel bike: I chose to save $700. I commute to work much faster than I did on my old mountain bike, and I do enjoy not having to scrub a cassette when I clean my bike.

    As for messenger bags, I have a small Timbuk2 bag. I got it because it looked nice, and it is exactly the right size for what I wanted. It has so many pockets and compartments, without being bulky, that it\’s the best purse/bag I\’ve ever had. It was also a good price.

    So there are practical reasons for riding fixed wheel bikes and using messenger bags. I am fashion-stupid myself, so it\’s hardly about being trendy, at least in my case.

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  • myself June 22, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    It\’s not the bike that is the target. It\’s the wannabe badass attitude that seems to have to go with it. You know what I\’m talking about. The swagger that people who normally just ride a bike don\’t do. That \”Man, I\’m so core\” chest puffed strut. Messengers have a piece of their identity being turned into a disproportionately popular trend(people riding them to spite their own safety, for the sake of being \”in\”). But it\’s the mindset that is so annoying. It could be any bike. The track bike/fakenger thing is just the incarnation of that attitude. But when Johnny Badass shows up at Stumptown(95% of those kids aren\’t messengers anyhow) to be seen and show off how edgy he is, it reeks of insecurity and is not the sort of neighborly attitude that we attribute to the usual Portland bike culture. That is what rubs so many the wrong way. Trying to be someone you aren\’t to feel like you can be accepted(pretending to be a bike messenger) is pathetic. Messengers don\’t understand why anyone would want to come off being mistook for one anyhow. Let people have their fixies, mopeds are next anyways. Just quit it with the \”better than thou\” attitude. Your $400 front wheel is more gross consumerism than bike love.
    This will ruffle some feathers here, but I feel like this is the person who drives a $100,000 car versus the person who just drives an econo car(income not being an issue). Some people just need a hug.

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  • mizake June 23, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    so tired of this.

    one thing i hate is when people ask me if i\’m a messenger. my answer, \”no.\”
    \”so why do you dress like one?\”
    \”why do you f&#$ing care?\”
    the thing is that i did work as a messenger in the 90s (on a gt mtn bike with slicks) and i don\’t think i have to explain that to anyone.
    and messenger bags work. if it were just a passing fad, why have so many people (non-messengers) been using them for nearly 10 years? that\’s a hell of a long fad.

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  • SkidMark June 23, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    Buying something brand new is gross consumerism. Leaving no stone unturned while looking for a part that is now as rare as rocking horse sh!t (front arrospok) is bike love. Pay no more than 50 dorra!

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  • Josh June 23, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    Thanks for the love (or was it sympathy?) from the fellow recumbent dorks above.

    Stopped at a light on the way to work this morning, the guy on the fixie in front of me raises an eyebrow at my ride and asks, \”Can you go 80 miles an hour on that thing?\”

    \”Yeah,\” I say, \”if you drop me out of an airplane.\”

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  • Pete June 26, 2008 at 10:43 am

    A lot of old and broke (physically) skateboarders are into Track Bikes (See the Mash SF vid). I think the \’Are fixies the new rollerblades?\’ is about Fixed-gear culture being heavily influenced by skateboarding. More than that, bombing a hill without brakes is remarkably similar in terms of how you control speed with little skids/ slide checks, read traffic etc. Also, I think some people are predicting urban track bikes will go the way of roller-blading, once its lost its \’cool appeal\’ while skateboarding will persevere, even when its not cool to do anymore.

    Hate it or love it, more people are on bikes because of it. If my life was less busy and the weather was more reliable I\’d commute by skateboard but my Steamroller makes a pleasant next best option for getting to work.

    \”We must replace travel as an adjunct to work with travel as a pleasure.\” -Guy Debord.

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  • funnyha June 26, 2008 at 10:58 am

    forget lame tarot cards… tennis balls!

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  • Icarus Falling June 26, 2008 at 11:21 am

    It is very true that riding a fixed gear is very similar to skateboarding.

    Having grown up on a huge hill, I have been skating for 36 (actual) years now. Most old skateboarders have to make a decision whether to continue to skateboard for a year or two more at one point, or switch to something more low impact (cycling) that can keep them active for a lot longer period. The simplicity of the fixed gear is about as close as one can get to the feeling of skateboarding, while the gears and cables of many bikes cloud the mind with complexity.

    There is however one sport that is much more similar to fixed gear riding than even skateboarding, and that is Telemark skiing. The fluid movements, the style, everything…

    These three sports, Skateboarding, Telemark Skiing, (and , I must include surfing) and off-track/street fixed gear riding, are what I consider to be the \”Soul Sports\”, and most who are truly into them do not give a crap what anyone around them cares, how well they can even do it anymore, or whether they look good doing it.

    Also, with a \”Soul Sport\”, style becomes inherent, and flow and momentum are the words of the day.

    By the way, while the MASH SF video is interesting, it really isn\’t very good, or realistic, for many, many reasons…

    I was quite disappointed by it.

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  • Pete June 26, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    I liked the Mash vid, mainly b/c of how Morford filmed it (by skateboard) but I agree its is not very realistic and it was edited abruptly here and there. I\’d rather see more hill-climbing.

    I\’m not sure what a \’soul-spot\’ is. You could probably argue that with many activities that someone dedicates themselves to. Most of Surf culture is just as obsessed with image as a large portion fixed-gear culture is.

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  • SkidMark June 26, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    The Cadence videos are cool.

    Years ago there was an article in Freestylin\’ (I think) magazine that talked about \”Bicycle Soul Riding\”. It was about riding BMX on the street, flowing over curb cuts, grinding benches, riding banks and walls, while maintaining a fluid motion. I\’m suprised you left this aspect of BMX out of your list, considering the first time I heard anyone tie \”soul\” or \”zen\” to a bike was in this article.

    There are also a lot of old BMXers riding fixed out there too. Our bodies won\’t fit on a modern BMX bike with the seat slammed all the way down, so a track bike is much more suitable. They are light and have a short wheelbase, within an inch of what a BMX bike is.

    Lately I\’ve noticed that riser handlebars are getting wider, kind of the same way BMXers were cutting their handlebars down further and further until it started to effect controlling the bike. it\’s part of the growth of the \”sport\”.

    It is like a fad right now, like when freestyle was big (when \”RAD\” hit the theaters) or when skateboarding made it\’s 3rd (4th?) comeback in the late 80\’s. It\’s all pretty cyclical, music, fashion, fads, and I think that is what keeps it interesting.

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  • Icarus Falling June 26, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    I did not add BMX, though maybe should have.

    I have been and am a skateboarder/surfer/telemark skier/fixed gear rider, so I spoke of sports that I have knowledge of, instead of trying to reference sports I do not know as much about.
    I have never been that much of a bmx\’er is what I am saying. I am one hell of a MT. Biker though, I must say.

    And, while Peter above properly points out that many, like surfers are very obsessed with image, the truth of the matter is:

    Most any surfer you would speak with would tell you that there is nothing quite like being on a beach, with a beautiful break, or even only chest high waves, and no one else in around…..

    Just happy to be able to do what they do.

    That is the simple definition of a \”Soul Sport\”.

    A definition that could easily be applied to anything you have a passion for.

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  • travis June 27, 2008 at 9:49 am

    can everyone just stop giving a shit about what kind of bike other people wanna ride? can we all just respect eachother in the bike lane and quit acting like the sidewalk outside a fucking coffee shop is a bicycle fashion show? this is all so ridiculous!!! if yr on a bike thats great, but pretty much anyone can ride a bike so it ain\’t an exclusive club…. if hipster and suburban kids wanna ride any kind of bike instead of driving an suv or sports car then we\’re on the right track regardless of our bicycle\’s components…!

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  • toddistic June 27, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    literally, the right \’track\’

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  • isaac July 7, 2008 at 10:00 am

    it\’s funny how many fixie haters there are. It\’s like the messengers are mad because somebody else started riding cool bikes like them, and now they can\’t tell the posers from the haters. And then the people who have NEVER ridden a fixed gear have also jumped on the soapbox because they are so bored with their own bicycles. There are legions of PC users who do the same thing by complaining how \”stupid\” Macs are, without ever trying one.

    Lay down the torches and pitchforks, villagers. Live and let live.

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  • Caroline July 7, 2008 at 10:23 am

    Is this new(s)?

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  • Dutch July 7, 2008 at 11:13 am

    Im onboard with the fad that poster #178\’s 2 year is starting.


    gravity bikes are freaking awesome! You wanna talk about minimal components? I only have to keep my wheels at their optimum. Thats it. No gears. No chain. No cranks!

    And you wanna talk about a fast commute? Iv gone nearly 60 mph on my gbike!

    heres a link to the pic our very own Jonathan Maus took



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  • Maria(in pink) July 7, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    I agree with post #26. Can\’t we hate gas guzzlers or war mongers or even rollerbladers instead of others on bikes? TWO WHEELS ONE LOVE, right? I rode a fixie over 10 years ago when I was a messenger in SF and there were only a handful of us on fixies. They were judged then too. Of course there are idiots without helmets (who actually don\’t need helmets due to lack of brains) but to put them in the same category as someone on a fixed gear is silly.

    By the way, ALL FIXED GEARS HAVE BRAKES – just like tricycles. It\’s inherent in the design. Smart people also learn to skid or turn if there\’s not enough room to slow down slowly.

    Last thing – what if everyone started riding bicycles (and some of them were fixies)? Would you guys be pissed or happy?

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  • El Biciclero July 8, 2008 at 9:34 am

    Choose your equipment, ride smart, ride happy.

    Who\’s gonna make the 200th comment? Come on!

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  • Icarus Falling July 8, 2008 at 11:00 am

    My drivetrain is fixed, my mind is broken.

    Ride Bikes, Throw Bricks!

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  • plebeian July 9, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    Personally, I\’ve always been about function, and it seems that \”fads\” take over and drive out function. I\’ve seen this a million times. Like skateboards with wheels that are too tiny, snowboards that are too short, pants that are so baggy you can\’t walk, fruit boots because I hate \’em, surfboards that are too wide, and now bikes that are so cool they don\’t need gears or brakes I guess.

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  • SkidMark July 10, 2008 at 9:48 am

    I don\’t know how a track bike isn\’t about function. The only parts left are the ones you need. If you pick the right gear ratio it will get you most places, especially in Portland. You will also be able to stop with it, because when you stop pedalling, the bike stops. So simple.

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  • Glen July 10, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Who the F**K cares?

    The important thing is that young people in Portland are lusting after, and showing off their bikes.

    In the eighties there were maybe a half dozen of us that rode bikes to Lincoln High School – What a bunch of dorks we were huh?

    If fixies can make biking acceptable, even desirable for someone, I\’m all for them. And, coming from a roadie, I\’ll admit that there is a certain aesthetic about the clean lines on some of those bikes.

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  • sean July 10, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    I drove my car to olive garden the other day…is that tarck

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  • SkidMark July 10, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    I took my track bike to Alpenrose on top of my car…is that tarck?

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  • Get Over your Precious Self! July 10, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    God people. There is a war over oil and hundreds of thousands of people dying for it. Ride your bike and quit sniveling over this petty shit. Or you can take your fixie or geared bike and go pedal through Afghanistan or Iraq and see who gives a shit there.

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  • toddistic July 11, 2008 at 8:18 am

    i dont even ride a bike, i just post online, is that tarck?

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  • […] From: BikePortland.org […]

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  • SkidMark August 10, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    Dear Get Over: please engage your sarcasm detector. Half of us are making fun of OURSELVES.

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  • Andy August 10, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    Why is \”hipster\” synonomous with fixie? I was turned on to fixed gear bikes by the totally unhip Sheldon Brown. I, like Sheldon Brown,am totally unhip, and I choose to ride fixies because they are easier to ride, require little maintenance, and are more enjoyable. And they are easily built from spare parts with very little money, which I think is the true joy of fixies.

    I have been riding some form of fixed gear bike since I was six years old and will continue to do so regardless of the trends.

    And by the way, what difference does it make what kind of bike someone rides? If you want to talk about trends, what about the sudden urge for people to dress up in Lycra whenever they ride their bike? Much more annoying than fixies, I say.

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  • Seth August 11, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    funniest sight ever… a guy brought his fixed gear bike into the bank, he had gauged earrings so big so big you could fit a quarter through them and full arm sleeve tattoos, he cut me in line to hand in an application, and when he turned around i read his shirt which said \”what happens in my pants…\” I got up to the teller and she said \”yeah right\” and through the application in the rubbish. There is a problem with the whole culture that thinks successful people envy hipsters.

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  • FredLf August 11, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    Lycra doesn\’t make a bike harder to handle in traffic. And I\’m sorry my pants annoy you.

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  • Skate Rollerblade January 14, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Fxies are pretty cool but it may take a long time before they overtake rollerblades.

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  • dot dot dot January 29, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    From a 1990’s bike messenger.
    The general public is on the outside of the this trend. And even this hipsters will never be down.
    I don’t care what you ride.
    Nobody really cared about what I rode and I don’t feel like talking about what I ride with most people.
    I ride a bike.
    Yeah, we ride track bikes. We also ride road, cross, tall, cruiser…

    I miss the times when Portland was a bike city and the only designations were; roadie, messenger, commuter, chunk, pickle bucket(commuter), bmx, or mountain biker. It was more of a peaceful community.
    How about those times? Can we get back to that? When is the fad going to die off? I want it to be passe to have a track bike. I want it to get back to just people who ride a bike. I don’t want this to be a fashion show, or rather, contest. What this is is an affectation. It’s pathetic. Part of this is hipsters in general bleeding into the bike community. People hate hipsters because they advertise lots of soul and have very little.

    I never thought messengers could be hated more, but thanks to people’s general inability to separate the 99% fake from the 1% who could give a shit, we have somehow reached new heights in our disdain.
    I don’t want your no hand track standing. Don’t need the neon accouterment. Could care less about skidding around to show off, and in the middle of downtown, in the financial business district no less(WTF, you are pissing the people we have to work with off. Why are you there?). Stop TRYING to be down. Stop co-opting a subculture so you can have identity. Stop with your weak, sorry, utterly pathetic need to be noticed. Insecurity reeks. THAT is why everyone is bent. Not your bike. Not your bandana. Not your tri-spoke. Not popping a wheelie in traffic. It’s the attitude.
    Oh man, I’m waiting. I’m circling your fixed gear bandwagon, waiting, waiting for your phony little trend to collapse. And all will be right with the(bike) world.

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  • Mashugina January 31, 2009 at 6:45 am

    A bike is a bike. End of story.

    I think it’s hilarious that people put this much time and energy into hating-on fixed gear bike riders while Rome is burning at home.

    Yeah, yeah, ya’ all hate hipsters and you have no qualms about spreading around that insecurity (which says a lot more about you than it does the object of your derision.) What are you guys looking for anyway? People to change their ways in order for you to feel better about yourselves? Are your lives so bankrupt and devoid of joy that this – fixed gear bicycles?!? – is what you choose to waste your time and energy hating-on?

    Yeah it’s a trend. So what? What are you going to do about it? Buy the next fixie kid you see a 12-speed Felt and tighties? would that make life better in your little corner of the world?

    Or are you simply just jealous of the youth factor atop all those fixed gear track bikes? Interesting…

    Look, they’re on bikes. It could be worse: these kids could be behind the wheels of cars. And as far as the whole sub-culture thing goes: there are no more secrets in the information age. Everything is out in the open, b-sides are readily available with behind the scene commentary, and everything is obtainable via a few clicks of the mouse. Everything you, me and everyone here who took all that shit to heart (record collecting, bike messaging, tattoos, comic books, dirty sex, etc, etc.) is now completely exposed. Deal with it and move on. If you’re about living it, just live it. If you’re a rebel, who gives a shit about what business people think, anyway? Eat that disdain!

    Over a million people lost their jobs this week in our country. Is the fixed gear trend really the thing we should be bitch and moaning about right now?

    Oh yeah, “hate-ons” are the new rollerblades.

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  • dot dot dot January 31, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    PS, I should note that I’m not a local messenger. Please take this with a grain of salt. I’m speaking my mind, not for the mind’s of portland messengers, though I feel it is a good cross section of the overall view.

    You are right, oddly named Mashugina. We have much worse to think about and this happily should feel trivial to us. My feelings as well as others will fade. This is a mere snapshot of how things are, mustaches and all.

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  • bret February 1, 2009 at 6:32 am

    At what point does ones perceived “coolness” make them a douche bag? I am sure fixies started out as a neat alternative to geared rigs. Now I feel sorry for most of those people. I can see right through their “awesomeness”. I put them in the same lot as stumptown barristas, what with their ” I am cool as F#ck” attitude. Also, I love it when a fixie tries to race me, never seems to work out for them.

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  • Mashugina February 1, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    I hate to bemoan this subject any longer than it deserves, but…

    “Hipsters”? “Awesomeness”? Baristas with double R’s??? This anti-hipster persecution complex/sour grapes bullshit is getting old.

    Look, if you don’t like a group of people, simply AVOID THEM! It’s easy to do. Just like complaining, without the inevitable on-set of worry-cancer, or, you know, “caring”.

    Are you afraid of being judged? Do you not think you’re cool enough or compare? Little jealous/envious? If ‘yes’ to any or all, then why?

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  • oldfukr April 4, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    Icarus… Fruit Boot is older than skate parks. Back in the ziggy stardust phase of glam rock, fruit boots were the high heeled patent leather oxfords we wore with black plush velor bell bottoms and purple paisley to Jr. High, beotch. That said, fixies just got their 15 minutes and anyone thinking of them coming into the summer of 2009 needs to get a job and think about contributing to community rather than skidding across its infrastructure on their collarbones. Judge yourself, brat fukrs, then wake up and get a clue, you may as well be huffing glue.

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  • Retro Cycle Sport July 23, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    omg, who care if people like live or loathe fixies?

    Pointless debate and civil war is why the rights of the cyclist are minimal.

    It’s all about your bike. Live yours and ride it/them, fixed or free, single or cassette, 12 or 28 inch wheels it’s the same deal.

    I own and ride alot, including fixed, but don’t judge.

    It’s all about the bike. It’s made for recreation and competition. Not conjecture and ostracisation.

    Build ride enjoy.


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