Fixed: Exceptional News For All Bike Enthusiasts Around the Globe


In 2008 with the fixed gear bike craze at a pinnacle, the launch of Fixed Magazine, was exceptional news to all bike enthusiasts around the globe. Showing much support for the community, Fixed decided to make their 1st issue in a PDF downloadable format free of cost.
Then Fixed Magazine released its 2nd issue for Winter 2008. It included the English review of the stage bike track in Milan, Italy. This issue also discussed the creation of the Macaframa movie, which first took place in London. The movie was the most anticipated of the year for its kind. At the time this was probably the most complete magazine on a single culture niche.

This was
Fixed Magazine's official  website.
Content is from select 2008 -2009 blog post pages, as well as from other outside sources.

Unstoppable

By JOCKO WEYLANDAPRIL 29, 2007 | www.nytimes.com/

WHEN is a bicycle not like other bicycles? To begin with, when it has no brakes, or at least no visible brakes, or possibly just a front brake. That means you can’t ride this bike very well on your first try, and certainly not very gracefully, easily or safely.

The rear cog is bolted directly to the hub, so that whenever the vehicle is in motion, the pedals go around, making coasting impossible. This bike doesn’t have a shift lever or extra sprockets, and the chain is shorter and wider than on traditional bikes.

There are no fenders, and the rear wheels are probably bolted onto the frame to deter theft. You slow down by reversing the pedals, or skidding, or doing a skip stop. And that’s just the beginning of the differences between your run-of-the-mill 10-speed and a track bike, or fixed-gear bike — fixie for short — as it is also known.

Many fixed-gear adherents contend that their bikes are the ultimate and all others are pretenders. And these fixed-gear zealots are a growing presence on the streets of New York. Perceived by some as nuisances, or as troublesome, anarchist Dumpster-diving punks who happen to ride bikes, they are occasionally reviled, but they are also the subject of curiosity and interest. Just as die-hard skateboarders 15 years ago stood on the cusp of providing a new lifestyle, so the fixed-gear bike culture could be the tip of something that nobody can accurately predict but something that is huge.

Riders of fixed-gear bikes are as diverse as bike riders in general. Messengers are big fixie aficionados, but more and more fixed-gear bikes are being ridden by nonmessengers, most conspicuously the kind of younger people to whom the term “hipster” applies and who emanate from certain neighborhoods in Brooklyn. You see these riders weaving in and out of traffic without stopping, balancing on the pedals at a stoplight and in the process infuriating pedestrians and drivers alike.

In Williamsburg and points south of Grand Street, these bikes are legion. But they are fast gaining popularity, not just in those bastions of trend followers, and not just among 22-year-olds. Fixed-gear bikes are being ridden all over New York, by messengers, racers, lawyers, accountants and college professors — a diverse and not necessarily youthful cross section of the city’s population. They’re being ridden by people who work in sandwich shops and don’t know or care about gear ratios and bike history, and by people who have been racing these bikes for years in places like the Kissena Velodrome in Flushing, Queens, with its banked, elliptical track. They’re ridden by militant vegans who are virtual encyclopedias of arcane bicycle history, by thrill-seeking members of renegade bike gangs like Black Label, by shopgirls, street racers, Critical Mass riders, your aunt.

There’s also the phenomenon of city riders returning to fixed-gear biking’s roots and getting back to the track, entering races like the Cyclehawk Velo City Tour, to be held at the Kissena Velodrome on May 6.

These disparate riders represent a rainbow coalition, a movement that’s about bikes as part of a way of life, as an identity. Although fixed-gear bikes can be seen as a trendy accessory, they also allow a mild form of rebellion against what many of these bike riders see as a wasteful and insipid way of life. Fixed-gear riders embrace the contrary notion of taking a different route.

“We own the streets,” the spray-painted stencil reads. Not really, but fixed-gear riders are, in a benign way, promoting an alternative to accepted norms.

Anarchy in Motion

So what’s the big deal? It’s just a bike, right? On some level, yes. Two wheels, a chain, a cog, a seat and handlebars. But in the way that one of Marcel Breuer’s vintage Wassily chairs is just a chair that costs $10,000, the top fixed-gear bikes are just custom-made bikes that cost 10 times as much as a regular factory-made bicycle. The pinnacle of two-wheeled transport, they are beautiful objects with simple, clean, stripped-down lines that make them look fast even when they’re standing still.

“They’re the prettiest bikes out there,” said Gina Scardino, owner of King Kog, a store on Hope Street in Williamsburg that sells only fixed-gear bikes. Indeed they are, with a modernist blending of form and function and a look that matches what they’re made for, which is going really fast on a banked velodrome track.

But the question arises: Especially in this city, isn’t it insane to ride a bike that you can’t easily stop? By riding a bike that’s meant to be raced around a special track on the chaotic streets of New York, aren’t you risking life and limb?

It doesn’t make sense. But that may be the appeal, and has been ever since the bikes appeared on the scene more than a century ago.

Fixed-gear bikes have a rich past. Before the invention of the derailleur, the device that made multiple gears a reality, fixed-gears were the racing bike. The original Madison Square Garden, built in 1879 at 26th Street and Madison Avenue, was built for a velodrome. Races testing speed and endurance drew huge crowds, with the top riders among the sports stars of their day.

The bike races at Madison Square Garden were all the rage around the turn of the last century. A velodrome circuit flourished around the country, with the best racers earning $100,000 to $150,000 a year at a time when carpenters were lucky to make $5,000. And all this was happening on the forerunners of the bikes being ridden today.

Johnny Coast’s Coast Cycles sits at the end of a desolate cul-de-sac in the heart of Bushwick, Brooklyn, near the Myrtle Avenue stop on the J, M and Z lines. Mr. Coast, a 31-year-old with dreadlocks down to the small of his back, is a former squatter and current member of Black Label.

Coast Cycles is not your typical bike store stocked with rows of three-speeds and road bikes, along with locks, water bottles and other doodads. It is an old-fashioned, one-person workshop where chickens wander in from the yard. Here, Mr. Coast builds two or three custom-framed bicycles a month, most of them fixed-gears, “tailored to suit a body’s dimensions, to an individual’s geometry and affording the maximum of comfort, design and style,” as he put it in an e-mail message.

Mr. Coast, who works surrounded by Bridgeport lathes, jigs and blueprints, is a believer in fixies as a metaphorical extension of a squatters’ lifestyle that connotes, as he puts it, “living a certain way, subsisting on recycling, not wasting, finding liberation, freedom as a revolutionary act, like in a Hakim Bey sense, primitivist, spiritualist anarchism.”

He laughs at the absurdity of a brand like Mountain Dew approaching Black Label with an offer of sponsorship, as he says happened last year, and is wary of exploitation of the fixed-gear bike culture by corporations that have little to do with biking. “I saw what happened to skateboarding and surfing and punk,” Mr. Coast said grimly.

Look, Ma, No Brakes

The dangers of a small world getting bigger were vividly illustrated a few months ago when a hipster wearing square-frame glasses wandered into King Kog. The store, which sells fixed-gear bikes starting around $800 and going up to the thousands, also carries Jason Chaste’s Fortynine Sixteen clothing line, named for a gear ratio, and high-end parts like Sugino cranks, Izumi chains, and Dura-Ace and Ciocc frames.

“Um, I’m looking for a track bike,” the visitor said." "What’s your price range?” Ms. Scardino asked.

“Three hundred dollars,” the visitor replied.

“Hmmm, you might want to try Craigslist or eBay,” she suggested gently.

When Ms. Scardino asked the visitor how he planned to use the bike, he answered, “I’m just going to be cruising around.”

You got the sense that this wasn’t the place for him, but also that he might come back one day. As he put it when he left: “I like your shop. It’s neat.”

At Bike Kill, an annual racing event sponsored by Black Label and held in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, nobody seemed worried about the issue of fixed-gear biking becoming too popular; everybody was having too much fun.

Vehicles used in the event, held on a blustery autumn day near the Samuel C. Barnes Elementary School, included tall bikes (two frames on top of each other with a seat about six feet off the ground), bikes with metal rollers as front wheels, tiny bikes and BMX bikes (little single-gear bikes used for tricks) and, of course, fixed-gear bikes.

Stopping on a Prayer

Mr. Coast was there, along with members of Black Label’s Minneapolis and Reno, Nev., chapters and members of other biker groups like C.H.U.N.K. 666, which has footholds in Brooklyn and Portland, Ore.; the Rat Patrol, from Chicago; Dead Baby, from Seattle; and the Skidmarxxx, from Austin, Tex. A lot of unwashed dreads, denim, leather and facial tattoos were in evidence, along with a carnivalesque assortment of voodoo top hats, orange jumpsuits, bunny ears, Mexican wrestling masks and a Pee-wee Herman doppelgänger waving from his Schwinn cruiser.

There were copious drinking, including a contest to see who could ride around in a circle while drinking a six-pack fastest, and the “Blind Skull” event, in which riders wearing big foam skulls over their heads pedaled until they fell over or ran into somebody.

Toward 8 p.m. the drunken tall-bike jousting began, with knights of both sexes armed with padded plastic “spears.” The only dissonant note occurred when a cassock-wearing interloper on Rollerblades with a motor attached was expelled by a Black Label member. “Get your motor out of here!” the biker yelled.

That’s the cardinal rule. No motors. For environmental reasons. Or practical ones, recalling the West Indian messengers who pioneered urban fixed-gear riding in the 1980s, bringing their ingenuity to New York from the islands, where bikes that didn’t have much of anything on them to steal were a decided advantage.

But pinning down what constitutes the fixed-gear movement gets complicated. After all, what does the insanity of Bike Kill have to do with someone like “Fast” Eddie Williams, who runs the bicycle-themed Nayako Gallery in Bedford-Stuyvesant, has published a book of photographs of messengers and competes in Alley Cat and Monster Track street races?

Mr. Williams’s scene is the messenger scene, in which he has been a participant since the early 1980s, when he first encountered the West Indian messengers hanging out at Washington Square Park. “I saw them riding,” he said. “I liked how they maneuvered, stopped at a red light and didn’t step down. And I thought, ‘How do they do that?’ ”

Mr. Williams got a Matsuri, a fast fixed-gear bike, and started working as a messenger. Twenty-five years later, he’s still at it, looking incredibly fit and younger than his 43 years. “Track bikes are not made for street,” he conceded, “and sometimes I need a hope and a prayer to stop short.” But he rhapsodized about their charms. “It’s like playing chess,” he said. “You think out your moves from a block away.”

John Campo, the salty-tongued director of the racing program at the Kissena Velodrome, is another fixie aficionado. As with Mr. Williams, the fixed-gear lifestyle seems to be a healthy one; Mr. Campo looks at least 15 years younger than his 60. Biking isn’t his profession — he’s a jazz musician who has played with Miles Davis, among others — but it is undeniably his passion.

Mr. Campo missed out on the glory days of the Kissena Velodrome, but he tells tales about the father of Vinny Vella, the actor who plays Jimmy Petrille on “The Sopranos,” racing at Madison Square Garden to win enough money to buy a scale for the pushcart he sold fish from, then earning enough to open a fish store on Elizabeth Street. Mr. Campo remembers all the Polish, German and Italian bike clubs, and he remembers Lou Maltese, a member of the Century Road Club who held many cycling records, including the 100-mile national record in a race from Union City, N.J., to Philadelphia.

‘A Zen Thing’

Far from worrying about fixed-gear bikes getting too popular, Mr. Campo yearns for them to return to the their prominence of a century ago, and he welcomes street riders to Kissena. “These kids are lovely,” he said. “They come; they win, lose or draw; they have a great time. This is an American spirit thing, to be free, to do what you want to do and express yourself in your own medium, like surfing or skating.”

Surfing and skating are mentioned a lot in relation to fixed-gear bikes. Something about these activities prefigures much of what is going on today in the bike community. Surfing 50 years ago and skating 25 years ago were small, below-the-radar pursuits with their own rituals and secret codes and vernacular. Now they’re billion-dollar industries, popular the world over. And in the opinion of many aficionados, a little bit of soul was lost along the way.

Bicycling is obviously different; there are more bikes than cars in the world, and bikes have a longer popular history, not to mention the fact that fixed-gear bikes predate “regular” bikes. But something about the trajectories of surfing and skating from unexamined, semi-underground secret societies to blown-out cheesy “sports” could forecast the future of the fixed-gear bike.

Surfing and skating retained some of their rebelliousness, in part because of the varied, unpredictable demographic of who is involved: 5-year-olds and 80-year-olds of both sexes, doctors and garbage collectors, law-abiding citizens and criminals. That makes the skating or surfing “movement” hard to locate exactly, just like the amorphous bike movement.

Johnny Coast. Gina Scardino. Fast Eddie. John Campo. The menagerie at Bike Kill. It’s a broad swath. The group also includes people like Toni Germanotta, a 42-year-old owner of an art studio that serves the apparel industry. “When you’re on a fixed gear,” said Ms. Germanotta, who works in the garment district, “it gives you a higher skill level. You have to be constantly aware, always watching the road. You don’t just ride, and it feels a little crazy.”

And it includes Kyle Fay, a designer for Urban Outfitters who is a relatively new convert. “You take the blame if you get hit,” he said. “It’s self-reliance, being responsible for yourself. It might sound kind of corny, but it’s a Zen thing, being one with the bike.”

And it includes Alex Escamilla, a 23-year-old book artist from Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

“I had a couple of friends who made fun of me for riding one because it was trendy,” Ms. Escamilla said. “But the problem with looking at bike riding as a trend is that you lose sight of everything that is positive about bikes. You know, the renewable energy source, exercise, convenience, saving money, saving time, community, seeing the city in a whole new way, blah blah blah.”

Besides, she added: “Track bikes are fun. And they’re beautiful.”

No brakes, no gears: the latest bike craze

Alice Fisher, style correspondent Sun 9 Mar 2008 | www.theguardian.com

Stripped-back cycles popular with couriers are taking London by storm

Riding a bicycle without brakes sounds like a rash move, but a wave of cyclists are eschewing traditional bikes for a stripped-down machine known as a fixed-gear.

It is one of the most basic machines you can build with two wheels. A fixed-gear bike - or fixie - has no derailleur as it has only one gear, so as long as the wheels turn, so do the pedals. Its rider can't freewheel and the only way to brake is to stand on the pedals.

The fixed-gear's renaissance supposedly stems from West Indian immigrants in New York working as cycle couriers in the Eighties. They had used them at home because they were cheap and easy to maintain, and continued using them in the US. Their light frames and speed made them perfect for work. It's popularity spread throughout the courier community, finally crossing to the UK and other countries.

However, as the fixie craze has taken off so has the number of new riders who enter 'alleycats' - unofficial road races consisting of a series of checkpoints on a set route.

Alleycats originated in America and were organised for and by cycle couriers but now inexperienced riders participate. Last Sunday in Chicago, Matthew Manger-Lynch, 29, was killed in a collision with a four-wheel drive after running a red light. He was competing in an alleycat known as Tour Da Chicago. A similar race - the New York Monstertrack, normally the biggest annual alleycat in the US - was scheduled to take place on 8 March, but was cancelled after the Chicago death. These races now take place in British cities and threaten to colour public opinion of the growing urban cyclist subculture. Around 30 cyclists took part in one organised by art students in central London last Thursday which finished with a party at a bar in Hoxton.

Roxy Erickson, 28, who is part of the women-only fixed-gear Trixie Chix collective, said: 'Media reports don't show the community spirit, or the eco-friendly side of cycling. A working messenger [courier] who got hit by a doubledecker bus wouldn't get as much news space.'

The strength of the fixed-gear community is demonstrated on the messageboards that are full of updates on the welfare of cyclists injured in accidents, invites to parties and gallery openings as well as alleycats (which are often held to support injured cyclists or promote causes such as the war on drugs).

Andy Ellis, 28, who's part of Fixed Gear London collective and builds fixies, explained why the bikes are so popular. 'You can't get more linked to a bike than on fixed-gear. If you can freewheel, you can stop pedalling, you only feel the road when you brake.

'There are aspects which compare to skateboarding, which I've done for 15 years. You enjoy travelling through the city in the same way, but on a fixed-gear, it's faster and you have more control.'

The fixie's simplicity and grace appeals to the fashion conscious, many of whom take customisation to extravagant levels, creating bikes with imported track-bike frames and hand-built wheels that cost thousands.

Ellis said: 'At first it was anything to get them on the road, but I've built three bikes for one guy in the last year and every time he comes back he wants something more exclusive.' The fixed scene is also female friendly.

The international fixed scene is now getting mainstream attention, including official sponsorship from bike companies. A cyclist known as Superted - part of the Fixed Gear London collective - is sponsored by cycle brand Charge Bikes. There's also the Bike Film Festival, now in its fourth year. This international event showcases films - many amateur, which document cyclists' tricks and agility.

The most successful fixed-gear film is Mash SF, which featured the Mash SF collective riding in San Francisco. 'It's the first big film about fixed-gear trick riding,' said Laura Fletcher, the London producer of the festival and a fixed-gear rider. 'It's gone around the world.'

Tom Bogdanowicz, of London Cycling Campaign, the largest urban cycling organisation in the world, warns against cycling on the road on a fixed-wheel bike without brakes. 'Fixed-wheel bikes used on the road are fitted with brakes – indeed, an independent brake is a legal requirement,' he said. 'Most of the "fixies" sold in shops have two brakes and are fitted with a freewheel as well as a fixed-wheel cog. Fixed wheel bikes, fitted with brakes for on road use, can be enjoyable and good for fitness but you have to acquire riding skills. Once mastered, the bikes are good for urban cycling as they make you very aware of the road. They make you think ahead.' He suggested that anyone wishing to try fixed in London should go to Herne Hill Stadium where low-cost training sessions are on offer.

· This article was amended on Monday March 10 2008. The bike collective named above is the Fixed Gear London collective, not the London Fixed Gear. Also Laura Fletcher, not Fraser, is the London producer of Bike Film Festival. These errors have been corrected.

· This article was corrected on Wednesday April 9 2008. It was not the intention of The Observer to suggest that either Tom Bogdanowicz or the London Cycling Campaign advocated or condoned riding bikes without brakes on Britain's roads. This has been corrected.

 

No brakes, no gears: the latest bike craze

Alice Fisher, style correspondent Sun 9 Mar 2008 | www.theguardian.com

Stripped-back cycles popular with couriers are taking London by storm

Riding a bicycle without brakes sounds like a rash move, but a wave of cyclists are eschewing traditional bikes for a stripped-down machine known as a fixed-gear.

It is one of the most basic machines you can build with two wheels. A fixed-gear bike - or fixie - has no derailleur as it has only one gear, so as long as the wheels turn, so do the pedals. Its rider can't freewheel and the only way to brake is to stand on the pedals.

The fixed-gear's renaissance supposedly stems from West Indian immigrants in New York working as cycle couriers in the Eighties. They had used them at home because they were cheap and easy to maintain, and continued using them in the US. Their light frames and speed made them perfect for work. It's popularity spread throughout the courier community, finally crossing to the UK and other countries.

However, as the fixie craze has taken off so has the number of new riders who enter 'alleycats' - unofficial road races consisting of a series of checkpoints on a set route.

Alleycats originated in America and were organised for and by cycle couriers but now inexperienced riders participate. Last Sunday in Chicago, Matthew Manger-Lynch, 29, was killed in a collision with a four-wheel drive after running a red light. He was competing in an alleycat known as Tour Da Chicago. A similar race - the New York Monstertrack, normally the biggest annual alleycat in the US - was scheduled to take place on 8 March, but was cancelled after the Chicago death. These races now take place in British cities and threaten to colour public opinion of the growing urban cyclist subculture. Around 30 cyclists took part in one organised by art students in central London last Thursday which finished with a party at a bar in Hoxton.

Roxy Erickson, 28, who is part of the women-only fixed-gear Trixie Chix collective, said: 'Media reports don't show the community spirit, or the eco-friendly side of cycling. A working messenger [courier] who got hit by a doubledecker bus wouldn't get as much news space.'

The strength of the fixed-gear community is demonstrated on the messageboards that are full of updates on the welfare of cyclists injured in accidents, invites to parties and gallery openings as well as alleycats (which are often held to support injured cyclists or promote causes such as the war on drugs).

Andy Ellis, 28, who's part of Fixed Gear London collective and builds fixies, explained why the bikes are so popular. 'You can't get more linked to a bike than on fixed-gear. If you can freewheel, you can stop pedalling, you only feel the road when you brake.

'There are aspects which compare to skateboarding, which I've done for 15 years. You enjoy travelling through the city in the same way, but on a fixed-gear, it's faster and you have more control.'

The fixie's simplicity and grace appeals to the fashion conscious, many of whom take customisation to extravagant levels, creating bikes with imported track-bike frames and hand-built wheels that cost thousands.

Ellis said: 'At first it was anything to get them on the road, but I've built three bikes for one guy in the last year and every time he comes back he wants something more exclusive.' The fixed scene is also female friendly.

The international fixed scene is now getting mainstream attention, including official sponsorship from bike companies. A cyclist known as Superted - part of the Fixed Gear London collective - is sponsored by cycle brand Charge Bikes. There's also the Bike Film Festival, now in its fourth year. This international event showcases films - many amateur, which document cyclists' tricks and agility.

The most successful fixed-gear film is Mash SF, which featured the Mash SF collective riding in San Francisco. 'It's the first big film about fixed-gear trick riding,' said Laura Fletcher, the London producer of the festival and a fixed-gear rider. 'It's gone around the world.'

Tom Bogdanowicz, of London Cycling Campaign, the largest urban cycling organisation in the world, warns against cycling on the road on a fixed-wheel bike without brakes. 'Fixed-wheel bikes used on the road are fitted with brakes – indeed, an independent brake is a legal requirement,' he said. 'Most of the "fixies" sold in shops have two brakes and are fitted with a freewheel as well as a fixed-wheel cog. Fixed wheel bikes, fitted with brakes for on road use, can be enjoyable and good for fitness but you have to acquire riding skills. Once mastered, the bikes are good for urban cycling as they make you very aware of the road. They make you think ahead.' He suggested that anyone wishing to try fixed in London should go to Herne Hill Stadium where low-cost training sessions are on offer.

This article was amended on Monday March 10 2008. The bike collective named above is the Fixed Gear London collective, not the London Fixed Gear. Also Laura Fletcher, not Fraser, is the London producer of Bike Film Festival. These errors have been corrected.

his article was corrected on Wednesday April 9 2008. It was not the intention of The Observer to suggest that either Tom Bogdanowicz or the London Cycling Campaign advocated or condoned riding bikes without brakes on Britain's roads. This has been corrected.T

 

 

An aside: I remember when I saw my first fixed gear. I had just moved to NYC after college. I figured I would ride a bike to work each day from my East Village walk up. Fixed-gear zealots were a growing presence on the streets of New York. I nearly got run over by one ridden by a messenger. I would see fixed gear riders weaving in and out of traffic without stopping, balancing on the pedals at a stoplight. It looked cool, but at the same time scary. My bike had brakes and I wore a helmet. That is until I met the person who would eventually become my wife. She had a beautiful fixed gear bike which probably cost three months of my salary. This was not a trendy accessory for her. She loved racing at the Kissena Velodrome. I became a believer. Jump ahead ten years. I now live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with my wife and three cats and a dog. Today I am doing a search for carpet cleaning professionals in NYC since one of our cats in an act of revenge has decided she is going to pee every night on our antique rug in the living room until we allow her to once again sleep in our bed. I had banned her from our bed since she prefers to sleep on my pillow. I have given up and she's back at night, but the rug needs to be deodorized and Scotch guarded. I think I have found the perfect company. They are knowledgable about antique oriental carpets and can come this afternoon to give me an estimate and take the rug. Update: rug is cleaned, no urine smell, cat is happy, and I am resigned to sharing my pillow with a cat until I buy a pillow cat bed that hopefully she will prefer. To celebrate the clean carpet and happy cat, my wife and I take our fixed gear bikes out for a long ride south along the Hudson River. We have packed a light dinner and will watch the sun set at Battery Park.

 



BLOG POSTS

 

Launch party! Free drinks!

June 15th, 2008

Come help us celebrate the launch of Fixed Magazine at The Carhartt Store, 18 Ellingfort Road, Hackney, London. E8 3PA. The party starts at 5pm on Saturday 21st June and will feature the premiere of Bootleg Sessions 2, as well as competitions, drinks and of course, the launch of Fixed Magazine.

We hope to see you there!

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Almost there…

June 15th, 2008

Fixed magazine will be ready to ship on Saturday 21st 2008. It’s on the press at the moment and will be ready to go very soon

 

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We’re getting some good press…

June 18th, 2008

…thanks to various friends around the world.

Tracko - the world’s best track bike site

Slam X Hype - as if you’ve never heard of it

KL Fixed - Malaysian fixed gear site - guys, get in touch, we want to do something with you!

 

Street Thing - Asian streetwear site

Canoe - UK PR company

And check out Fixed Gear London in the new issue of Vapors magazine!

Thanks to everyone for your support!

 

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Good things come to those who wait…

June 18th, 2008

But right now it’s agony. The magazine is at the binders today, which means we’re on track to pick up the first batch on Friday. It’s going to be fun trying to carry 600 magazines on bikes, but there you go.

Don’t forget to come out to the launch party at The Carhartt Store, 18 Ellingfort Road, Hackney, London. E8 3PA from 5-9pm on Saturday 21st June. We’re going to have some drinks, watch the premiere of Bootleg Sessions 2, then have a few fun comps and of course be giving out the magazine.

In the meantime, here’s a shot of a stack of sections we got at the printers a couple of days ago.

So stoked…

 

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X marks the spot…

June 20th, 2008

…just in case you don’t know the way to The Carhartt Store for today’s launch party, here’s a map.

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Council of Doom…

June 20th, 2008

We saw this over at Tracko and wanted to share… Council of Doom’s new movie is up on Vimeo but only for 48 hours.

 

Styling, great music and some progressive shit…

Good work, doom merchants!

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It seems like a long time ago…

June 20th, 2008

…that we started putting this mag together, five people with an idea to do something new. It’s Friday morning right now and we’ll be picking up the first issues of the mag this afternoon. We’re excited, apprehensive - but mostly pure stoked.

Thanks to everyone who’s helped out so far. Wish us luck for tomorrow’s launch. If you’re a bike shop and you’d like to stock the mag, please drop us a line here

Have fun riding this weekend, we’re going to…

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03 Aug 2009

Love for the mag…

…we got this email from a store in the UK earlier this week. It really tickled us.

“Your magazine was an excellent toilet companion for many a leg-numbing hour, I can blame my deep vein thrombosis on what can only be called the best bit of propaganda since the Nazis, I mean this in a good way, I am totally gonna strip my racer and make it into a fixey, I loved every article.

All though I own a core skate shop and not a bike shop there is definate relevance to skating with crossover fashion and heroes.

So what can I do to stock your mag in my shop? My copy has been overly thumbed through and is falling apart, if it is at all possible please can I stock your mag, we have a velodrome in Newport right by the new skate park, how good does it get?

Well done again, Grim”

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01 Aug 2008

Issue 2 Whaaaat?!

By Andy

Autumn 2008 is coming together as I type… That’s why no body has been updating the site!!!

Subscriptions and all that other stuff is still under construction. Please stay calm. We have held back a few copies just for this purpose.

Issue 2 is due out at the end of August.

Macaframa, Cadence, youth and girls is all I’m saying right now.

Peace Andy

 

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30 Nov 2008

Fixed Issue 2 Launch and Macaframa Premiere…

We are proud to announce the launch of Fixed issue 2 & The European premiere of Macaframa!

Saturday 6th of December is the date,

Launch & premiere from 12pm (midday) will be at the RichMix on Bethnal Green Road. Afterparty from 6pm will be @ The Secret Market, 255 Commercial Road. (Please see additional information on the attached flyer)

£7 for all events, £5 for the after party only

(Please note, there are only 140 tickets to see Macaframa)

Tickets will be available from: Brick Lane Bikes, Tokyo Fixed Gear on Brick Lane, Cavendish Cycles on New Cavendish St, Brick Lane Polo Court on Sunday (see Andy or Ian), Tuesday Trix @ Spitalfields Carpark and other places to follow…

We hope you can join us to celebrate this! - Andy, Editor @ Fixed

01 Dec 2008

This one’s got us excited…

The guys over at the Trick Track forum have been writing some pretty positive things about the new Cutter frameset from Volume BMX company. If you’ve ever seen any of the stuff BMXers are doing these days, you’ll know that the bikes have to be strong and durable.

The Cutter is built from the same steel as Volume’s BMX frames, with reinforced gussets, but a tight track geometry. What’s more, there’s a lifetime warranty on materials and workmanship against the frame and fork, which mens if you bend it under normal riding conditions, it will get replaced.

The Cutter is going to be landing in the UK and Europe in the early part of December, with a UK retail price of £289 for the frame and fork. The first shipment is very limited, so if you want one, you’re going to have to be quick. Get in touch with the distributor for more information.

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01 Dec 2008

It’s that time…

IMAGE: fixed-2-printimg_3074.jpg

We just got back from our printers after passing the first few sections of the magazine, including the cover - it’s looking tight! Can’t wait…

The magazine officially drops in London at 6pm on Saturday 6th December with shipments going out to bike shops the same day. If you’re in London, make sure you come to the Launch Party and Macaframa premiere.

Just like last issue, we will have a PDF available for FREE download, by following the link from our site. Make sure you come back here on Sunday 7th for details!

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03 Dec 2008

This is amazing!

BERLIN KEIRIN AD from Danny Baarz on Vimeo.

New advert from the guys at Keirin Berlin. Hit them up if you’re out there!

The eagle-eyed among you will notice that there’s no Berlin story in issue 2 of Fixed - right after we decided to go it seemed like everybody had the same idea, so we postponed… Looks like we’ll be heading out there in the next couple of months (just when it’s REALLY cold) but at least we’ll get that authentic cold war look…

Sorry, Berlin.

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02 Dec 2008

Brrrrrr

Cadence have just released their new Winter collection and it’s a good thing, because it’s fricking freezing out there! The new line has all the attention to detail that you’ve come to expect from Dustin Klein’s company and has obviously been put together by someone who really cares about their product.

Dustin’s eight-page interview is in issue 2 of Fixed, which will be released on the 6th December and shipping to bike stores the same day.

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11 Dec 2008

Progress…

Ok, the magazine is printed and slowly making its way to the outlets all over the world. We still have copies of issue #1 which will be available on ebay of all places! We are currently sorting out our website… the down-loadable pdf will be available (fingers crossed) by the end of the week, we are making a few tweaks to it.

The launch/premiere was amazing!

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13 Dec 2008

Issue 2 download here!

You can downlod the PDF if issue 2 of Fixed magazine by clicking here. Enjoy! Send it to your friends and help us get the word out.

Thanks!

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16 Dec 2008

Patience, young Padawan…           

A few people have had trouble with the PDF of issue two of Fixed Mag. We’ve looked into it, and it seems that you’re just too eager to read the issue - if you wait until the download is complete then you should be able to read it with no problems.

That said, Bruno Santos mentioned that he had problems reading his version using Evince (Gnome’s PDF reader) but when he used Ghostscript, it was fine. The best thing to do is download Adobe’s PDF reader - we used Adobe Acrobat to make the PDF, so it stands to reason that Adobe’s reader will be best to open it with.

Thanks, please let us know if you’re still having problems.

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22 Dec 2008

Outlier          

Outlier are a new cycle-specific clothing label from New York City who’s aim is to produce high quality clothing that works well and looks good both on and off your bike. And they’ve succeeded in their aim by utilising high quality, technical fabrics with a style that looks just right. We’re a bit slow on the uptake with this one as a lot of the product has already sold, but take a look at the website to see what’s there. We’ll be featuring Outlier in issue three of Fixed as part of our New York City story, too!

The OUTLIER Experimental Drop - December 2008

An Outlier product is not your typical garment. We strive to make what we call future classics, garments that don’t just last a season but instead work for decades. That means we are always in action, always tweaking cuts and experimenting with fabrics, always striving towards producing the perfect garments.

The experimental drop is a series of extremely limited production runs of the garments we expect to be producing full on a few months down the line. It’s for the people who want to be ahead of the curve, who want to taste the future before the rest of the world knows it exists.

These are garments that are deep into our development process, we are pretty damn sure they’re amazing, but we still want to test a bit more before we can give them that Outlier “future classic” seal of approval. With this series we are giving you a way in on the newness before the rest of the world is ready.

For the next four days we will be releasing one garment a day, each of which we have produced just 10 garments, give or take a few depending on the fabric.

TODAY we will be releasing a version of our OG Pant in a new Workwear fabric. The exterior is a tough canvas, the inside a soft fleece. This is the durable one, its got a high abrasion resistance, and Lotus treatment so that dirt and grease rolls off when exposed to water. It breathes great, is highly water resistant and dries fast. Available in a dark blueish gray.

WEDNESDAY we drop the Tech Hoodie in our Winterweight fabric. The cut is clean and minimal, with a big hood that can go over helmets. The fabric is designed to keep you warm and dry. Fleecey and heat retaining with an nice stretch on the inside, yet super breathable, and wicking as well. Highly water resistant and quick drying. The exterior weave includes Cordura for real durability and abrasion resistance. It’s a great winter layer and works flawlessly as a spring jacket too.

THURSDAY is another killer experimental fabric, a Dry Cotton version of our OG Pant. Combines the crisp yet soft handfeel of cotton with the performance you expect from an Outlier garment. Cotton is a great fabric when it’s dry and terrible when it’s wet. By using an equal mix of cotton and nylon (and just a touch of stretch) and adding a directional Dry treatment, this fabric handles rain and sweat like it ain’t no thing. Breathes, wicks, drys fast and is highly water resistant, so it keeps that cotton charm even when the environment turns raw.

FRIDAY brings it all together with a Workwear version of the Tech Hoodie. All we can say is, we love this garment. We made 11 and then both of us promptly stole one for ourselves. That leaves just 9 so don’t sleep on this drop.

Ride safe and ride strong.

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08 Mar 2009

Damn! It’s been a long time…

We are neglecting this site. We have been working hard on the keeping the mag on time.

Next issue #3 is out in 2 weeks time.

but for now…

WIN THE VANS X FIXEDGEARLONDON BIKE…

This is your chance to show off your Fixed Gear bike skills and win the FGLDN Custom Vans Bike.

We’re looking for a 2-3 minute max short film about you riding - the subject matter can be anything, it’s not just about the tricks but must be based around Fixed Gear bike riding only. The best video, judged by FixedGearLondon will get their hands on the one of a kind, never to be built again, custom bike created by FGL showcasing their interpretation of what a Vans fixed bike should be.

Entries will be judged on creativity, not riding ability…so whether you are a novice or expert we want to see your video! Get busy filming - courier, alley cat fanatic, polo player, tricks or commuting - get filming and submit your video to the mpora/fixed channel.

Fixedgearlondon will solely pick the winner. The competition is not based on the amount of views or hits you receive - all videos will be watched and judged by Andy and Ted themselves. Get involved!

Click here!!!

We don’t care where you are from! This is an international competition.



 

Fixed gear bikes, once a status symbol of cool, are now everywhere

By SHAN LI AUG. 4, 2016 | www.latimes.com



Rikki Williams, a fixed gear bike fan, examines a fixie with employee Juan Reyes at the Just Ride L.A. bike shop. Williams has been riding a fixed gear bike since 2012.(Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

As a student at Cal State Long Beach, J.W. Zhang saw a bicycle that changed his life — a sleek, single-speed called a fixed gear bike. It was 2011, the height of the fixie craze, and Zhang was eager to hop on the bandwagon. But when he realized that the cheapest, second-hand versions sold for $500, he had bigger ideas.

“The bike was cool,” Zhang said. “But the price point was too high. I saw the potential market.”

Leaning on his family’s background in manufacturing, he eventually opened his own factory in China, producing bikes that cost as little as $199 through his City of Industry company Avant Enterprises. These inexpensive imports have fueled the rise of upstart bicycle brands, many of them in Southern California, and transformed fixies from a niche fad into a mainstream bicycle that has introduced new riders to cycling and lured others back to the activity.

Fixies cannot coast, meaning if the bike is moving so are the pedals. In the biking world, this technology is primitive — obsolete since the invention of gears and wheels that can spin without active pedaling. For decades, fixed gear bikes were designed specifically for the velodrome, a racing arena featuring sharply banked oval tracks. Built for speed, these brakeless bikes cost upwards of thousands of dollars.

In the 1990s, bicycle messengers started riding fixies because of the ease of maintenance, their efficiency — and the thrill of weaving through traffic without the security of brakes. When messenger style had its moment (think messenger bags and rolled-up pant cuffs), fixies emerged as a new symbol of cool. Riders converted old bikes themselves or shelled out big bucks for a velodrome-worthy cycle.

Big bike brands such as Trek, Bianchi and Specialized took notice, pushing their own fixed gear bikes. Even Hollywood latched on, releasing in 2012 the film “Premium Rush,” a paean to fixies starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Since then, fixies slipped from a status symbol beloved by aficionados, but they remain a relatively bright spot in a $6-billion industry that has been flat for the last decade, analysts and bike companies say. Although there are no sales data for fixed gears alone, the commuter and town bike category (which includes fixed gears) grew 15% last year from a year earlier, according to research firm NPD Group.

Unlike early adopters, urbanites who sought them out for the challenge and their air of exclusivity, many fixed gear buyers today are first-time cyclists or those returning after a long absence. They are opting for uncomplicated bikes like fixies without many components to master, analysts said.

“Something clean and simple appeals to them,” said Fred Clements, vice president of the National Bicycle Dealers Assn. “Sometimes people get intimidated by the equipment – you look at the back of the bike and it has a lot of cogs.”

A handful of bicycle companies based in Southern California have sprung up in recent years, sensing opportunity in offering imported fixed gear bikes at affordable prices.

Zhang introduced the Aventon and lower-priced 6KU brands after his factory first opened in 2013. His primary customer base, he said, are teenagers attracted by the style and price of his fixies. Zhang said he can produce his cheapest bike, which retails for $199, for about $100. Avant Enterprises is on track to pull in $7 million in sales this year, Zhang said. Last year, it posted sales of $6 million, up from $1 million in 2013, Zhang said.

The competition among fixie companies is growing fierce.

Zycle Fix, which sells bikes under that name and also Throne Cycles, has dropped its prices as low as $199, down from $300, to compete with rivals, founder Ike Solano said. “It’s turned into a mass bicycle,” Solano said. Fixies are “a normal bike you see on the street. You don’t have to be a supercool kid.”

Even mass merchants such as Target and Wal-Mart carry fixies (the latter offering one for $80). Cities like L.A. that are trying to add bike lanes in an attempt to reduce congestion have also spurred more interest in biking. In 2013, bike ridership in Los Angeles shot up 7.5% from 2011, according to the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

When Restrospec Bicycles launched in 2009, bike shops kept asking for smaller frames to fit the hordes of teenagers eager to buy their bikes. But the Vernon company has seen demand rise for bikes in all sizes, said Dan Bon, vice president of sales and operations at Retrospec. “We’re seeing even people into their 40s,” he said. “They like the simplicity and low maintenance.”

Rikki Williams, 60, bought his fixed gear in 2012 after admiring riders in Los Angeles. The Leimert Park resident said he wanted a bike that would push him physically as he got older.



A handful of Southern California companies are selling cheap fixies imported from China. (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times )

“It’s not like a 10-speed bike, it’s more challenging,” Williams said. “I’m up in age, so I wanted to build my endurance.” Williams said he loved his fixie so much that he bought one for his grandkids. He still goes on rides once a week (the fuchsia frame, he said, attracts plenty of admiring looks). A few years ago, though, Williams opted to install brakes after running into a car door. “I was trying to do tricks like the kids,” he said. “I couldn’t stop.”

Many bike start-ups are getting a boost by selling directly to customers online. Brian Ruben, a managing partner at Sole Bicycles in Venice, said his company is doing to bikes what e-commerce upstarts such as Warby Parker have done for eyeglasses. Sole imports bikes from a Chinese factory in Shenzhen. About 90% of its sales are online, either from its own website or a third-party seller such as Amazon.com. “The distribution model for buying bicycles is typically going to a mom-and-pop shop,” he said. “We created a website.”

The goal, he added, was to “commoditize a product that was hard to get and very expensive.” Zycle Fixbased in South El Monte, has seen a similar tilt toward online. Four years ago, about 70% of Zycle’s business came from bike shops, with the rest from online, Solano said. Now, that has flipped. “It’s harder to get to every bike shop in every town, but the Internet reaches those places,” he said. 

Some bike experts caution that cheaper bikes often mean poorer quality. “It’s kind of scary in a way,” Clements said. “You might save 40%, 50%, but you don’t know where it comes from and you don’t know what the engineering is.” “These are, after all, vehicles,” he added.

Some riders ultimately find riding a bike without gears to be too challenging. Daniel Farahirad, co-owner of bike shop Just Ride L.A., said fixies make up about 30% of sales at the downtown Los Angeles store — down slightly from a few years ago, he said.

Many riders initially want a brakeless fixie, but later come back asking for them to be retrofitted with gears; some buy another bike that’s easier to ride, Farahirad said. “The beauty is, it gets everyone into the door,” he said.

 

 

Fixed-Mag.com