Friday, January 31, 2014
if you havent noticed, i've been very critical of FGFS as of late. no, i'm not turning my back against the thing that made me, just giving a couple of constructive criticisms of what's going on. i wrote this out in a notebook somewhere and quickly realized that i have a whole fucking lot to say. so let's get to it, shall we?
jball and friends showing that you dont need a full on FGFS beast to rip.
i'd like to start this off with some points on the equipment we utilize in FGFS. i really don't want to be stepping on anyone's toes and pointing fingers or whatever, but the 26" wheel bullying has got to stop. at it's very core, the 26" wheel is kind of discouraging riders from even attempting FGFS. yeah yeah yeah, you can make all the comments you want- you can tell me that 26" allows for a wider array of tricks and blah blah blah. i don't want to hear it.
here's what happens: let's say a kid wants to get into FGFS from his crappy cookie cutter starter bike. this kid has to purchase AN ENTIRELY NEW BIKE just to dive into contemporary FGFS. that's fucking discouraging. that brings me to another kind issue: costs.
the perpetrators known as rinng hubs. my inspiration for writing my thoughts out.
once upon a time, i was hyped about the rinng hubs. they were fucking beautiful and it seemed like some of the pros liked to run them. then they came out. with a heavy fucking price tag. yeah, i'm all for meticulous machining and quality shit, but no one who rides FGFS unprofessionally wants to bang up $500 hubs let alone can afford a hub that's a bill or two away from a complete pfix or se primetime.
vintage slumworm tho
let's take a step back and look at where we started. the reason why most of us got into FGFS was because it was so easy to convert an SE lager or windsor hour or whatever startup bike you had into an FGFS machine. just throw some risers, a decent fork, run a lighter ratio, maybe some beefy tires and voila! you've converted a "track" bike to an FGFS bike. nowadays you have to get a 26" specific frameset, new hubs to complement the micro drive you're gonna run, a pivotal seatpost (because the frameset you got only takes 25.4), slick 26" tires- it goes on and on.
here's the shockwave that i shyly praised a while back
"so what the fuck do you suggest doing smartass? you've been talking all this shit, saying nothing positive, man." dude, calm down. here's what needs to happen: FGFS needs to get inexpensive, and therefore accessible to the modern fixed gear rider. a couple of days ago i posted something about state bicycle's "shockwave" setup. i think it's a step in the right direction (could be executed better, but who am i to complain, i'm just some punk ass kid). it's relatively inexpensive and lies a great foundation for an FGFS bike. yes, you can get on my case about bottom bracket drop, and gussets and wheelsize, but bikes like these will act as (i know this is a terrible fucking analogy) a gateway drug into the sport.
another way to make FGFS inexpensive is to take a step back. traditional cog and lockring setups are a shit ton cheaper than these micro hubs. last time i checked, tree and profile are still making large tooth count 19mm splined chainrings too- there you go: a drivetrain that costs a tad less. we also might have to take a page from basic bmx bikes. i'm talking hi ten steel with chromoly down or top tubes (granted, i'm not a framebuilder so i wouldnt know the reprocussions of doing something like this, but using my general knowledge about materials, this would only make your setup a tad heavier), non-sealed bearing hubs, 700c/29er wheels, railed seats with 27.2 seatposts and whatnot. small tweaks can make bikes less expensive. i wanna see a sub $500 FGFS bike that lasts a decent amount of time (and by decent amount of time, i mean according to rider ability).
yes, i know i've been put on record to have said "life is to short to ride shit bikes." and yes, i see how what i have said could be seen as a call for said "shit bikes." this is not a call for shit bikes. this is a call for a basic bike that will work. this will be difficult because we're not in 2009 anymore. not every company is leaping towards the idea of FGFS anymore. the companies that are left rolling with FGFS are those who have saturated the market with either 1) cookie cutter fixies or 2) extremely hardcore FGFS setups that cost an arm an a leg. maybe if these changes could get rolling, we could see more people active.
orrrr.... whatever. maybe i'm just grumbling to myself. yeah. probably.