Sunday, March 28, 2010

state of the track (or fixed freestyle, or urban track) bike address 2010 by jmik

i've been meaning to do this for the longest time. as time progresses this cycling sector we all love dearly i've always wanted to have a little summary of what's been occurring and put a little input into it. so here it goes.

since the uprising of urban fixed gear bikes for civilian use emerged in 2008, much has progressed. today, there are so many innovations to modern fixed gear use especially in the fixed freestyle area. it seems as if every bicycle company is trying their hardest to get on the band wagon. this could not have been seen more clear than the very recent emergience of the walmart "fixed speed"

(via walmart)

though there have been great criticisms to this pile of hoo hah, it's a symbolic part of the fixed gear times. dissecting the bike, they could have gone so many different ways, but they went this way. the riser bars and straight for suggest that fixed freestyle may be bigger than most of us initially had thought. the thing is, so many companies have their versions of the fixed gear that it's beginning to seem predictable-

(via urban velo)
handmade bikes companies,

(via bike jerks)
bmx companies, like volume,

(via subrosa)

(via bike reviews)

(via here)
and SE. even other bike companies that normally make mountain and road machines have their own variations:

(via hellyeah)

(via giant)
even giant.

i can go on and on and on about every single bike that shares this silhouette, but i shouldn't. because this post would become ridiculous. so enough about fixed freestyle.

track bike racing has taken a small ding:

"The International Olympic Committee has confirmed a complete reorganization of Olympic track cycling events, meaning they've ditched the Individual Pursuit, the Points race, and the Madison, and added women's keirin, team sprint, team pursuit, and omnium for both men and women. The move is, ostensibly, about gender parity, having the same number of events for both men and women track cyclists..."
-simon from hipsternascar

however the 2012 olympics will bring alot to the table:


and this. chris hoy is a beast.

unfortunately due to all this madness over fixed freestyle, the interest in legitimate track cycling has slightly waned. but hey:

can't say we're not trying.

as for urban track bike riding, it disappeared almost as fast as it arrived. bombing hills is a thing of the past. hell, the name of my blog became puffery. and you know why? no one is riding anymore. small ratios have killed off the once eminent huge ratio, risers have replaced bullhorns and drops- i'm not criticizing here and i shouldn't. i, too have fallen into this whole mess as well. there once was a time where there was no difference between a trick specific bike

 and an urban track machine.

(via brenton salo)
we've been so accustomed to this trick bike movement that the mashsf movie looks boring to many of these new riders who find that fixed freestyle is the thing to do. this is where i begin to become afraid that ignorance will settle in and the urban track bike will disappear into the dust by being overshadowed by the fixed freestyle movement. it's quite scary actually.

i hate to end this post on that note, but this is where we are. i dont want to make it seem like there is an ongoing war between purist track cycling, urban track cycling and fixed freestyle, but it is what it is. this interest in fixed freestyle is being projected through what's on the market. time's are changing, and we'll see more change to come.



Nancy Resnikoff said...

Maybe a different perspective needs to be taken. It's not that bombing hills is dying in any sort of way; there will always be road bike parts and track bits to be repurposed. It's that it's had its trendy season. No longer is the slew of continuous gremmies picking up a fixed/ss, not knowing what they're doing and promptly selling a fixed/ss in two months time. All that's left is the people who truly enjoy what they're doing, and the people who would earnestly like to start. Congratulations, you're scene isn't dying. It's maturing.

Except in suburban areas. It's still primarily re-purposed Schwinns. I feel ridiculous on my rush hour it's associated with punkass kids here in the subs.

Going to SJF's April 1st Fool's night out?

J.mika'ele said...

i like that. i didnt see it that way- i tend to see alot of negativity. unfortunately i wont be in town for fools night out even though it seems like a smashing good time. i really want to race, but tim tsurida or prado (if either shows up) will probably take it all. HA


Anonymous said...

are those classic road bars on that Cannondale track bike above????

They look good and make a lot more sense for urban hill bombing.

mvytem said...

Really awesome compilation brother.

J.mika'ele said...

@anon: they seem to be nitto b123's. i actually really like those bars and plan to put them on my next build. in addition, this gy's bike is after my heart because my "holy grail" bike is a 93 cannondale track. i was raised thinking that cannondales were the best bikes ever made, and i still believe that. i would trade my bike in a heartbeat if i could get a cannondale track (not that capo BS). and to be frank, that guy has almost the exact same setup i would run. (maybe i would run the nitto bullhorns, but i shouldnt be picky)

@pedallas guy
thanks brother!