Tuesday, July 28, 2009

west coast bikes and east coast bikes and beyond: urban track bikes worldwide

so ive always wanted to talk about this and i hope that a fury of debate ensues (no not really...); i believe there is a difference between east and west coast bikes. im going to try to be as unbiased as i can, but as a west coast rider ill have to admit that west coast bikes are quite different than east coast. im not saying its a bad thing, i'm just saying there's a difference in funcionality. forgive me east coast if i make minor assumptions.

let's get his out of the way- there's a commonality in fixed greestyle bikes that involves risers and oury grips. there's no getting around it, there are alot of bikes running that exactu bar setup i described.

now, let's start with the east coast: over there we got la marche, wonka, prolly, hfwido (who used to be a west coaster), tony fast- alot of heavy hitters in the fixed freestyle movement. the the right coast is home to BMW, hardcore bike messengers (not like those dont exist in the west coast- but NY seems like a f*cking hell hole to work as a bike mess. big up to those guys), hardcore bike polo, new york, chicago, dc, mpls, you got some tough *ss cities. common things ive seen are the quintessential riser setup, bmx components as well as more durable type components. look at prolly's bike, it's pretty much a 700cmx if there ever was one; and it seems like the quintessential east coast styled bike if i ever saw one.

wonka doin' it big

prolly doin' it bigger.

cant deny that hfwido is dope.

on the west coast; well there are alot of hills to bomb- here we have jmag, garrett, rainier-f*ck it lets just get this out of the way- we have mash sf. and macaframa (sf). and fast friday (seattle). and track bike times (sf). and council of doom(so cal somewhere). and no cassettes vol 1(the yay! YEE YEE!). and- you get the picture. on the west coast, we do some fixed freestyle here, but the whole reason why the urban track bike is where it is today is because of SF's hills. so we see alot of what i call "urban pursuit" style bikes. from my experience i see alot of 650's on high end legitimate track frames (like niklas pierce of tbt) or actual pursuit frames donning a riser setup (like garrett chow of mashsf) or regular ol' track bikes with bull horns and high seats (like my bike- sorry, i had to) to get that pursuit look.

Track Bike Times Edit #2 from Matthew Rice on Vimeo.

yet there's more. i have reason to believe the west coast has a slight obsession over wheels. from hed 3's to aerospokes (i fucking hate aerospokes.) to hed jets to hplussons laced with chubs even full on track discs there's no denying that the west coast likes baller ass wheels.

but jmik- what about the other places? are you an ignorant american bastard who forgets about the europeans or canadians or the ever so progressive japanese? of course not! america isnt the only place where there is a big following of urban track bikes- id be ignorant to not include the likes tom mosher and superted and JAN. well, mosher's setup is a f*cking awesome freak of nature summed up in two words: mini pegs.

a couple grinds from Tom Mosher on Vimeo.

i can never get enough of those f*cking pegs. that's genius progression right there.

out in london, there's superted and juliet elliot who are both on the charge team. they have pretty similar bikes and they really resemble that east coast flavor.



now, bikes in japan are a little out there. look at the starfuckers frame; look at kubota's in particular:

KUBOTA - 2009/07/19 from nb on Vimeo.

that thing has 26'er wheels. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? that's really out there. of course, japan is home to keirin which is pretty much THE sport aside from baseball. so it's inevitable to see alot of njs bikes.

so after all this is said and done, track bikes are worldwide and on the streets. this explosion from the velodrome to the city streets is nothing short of phenomenal. whether it becomes positive or negative for the cycling world, there's no denying the exponential growth seen in fixed gear riding worldwide.  there's also no denying the distinct styles of riding whether these bicycles are flying down hills, amid keo barspins, or in the drome. berlin, tokyo, sf, san jose, new york, boston, MLPS, seattle, wherever- as cliche as it is fixed gear riding will follow the stigma of one cog, one world.

(i hope this makes my blog blow up into international fame. HAHAHA like that'll ever happen.)



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