10-28-08 // “Fixie Magic” Q and A:
This question, regarding cycling’s newest and most “scene” fad, got sent to my college cycling club’s email list. The answer–also sent to the list–addresses the inner most depths of “fixie magic”–including how many times Eddy Merckx won the Tour de France (on a fixed gear).
Despite my initial reluctance to leave the comfort of my gears, the fixie magic has taken it’s hold on me, and I’ve decided to convert my winter bike. So I was wondering if anybody has a fixie hub lying around that they’d be willing to sell.
I’d like to inform you of a few details about so called “fixies” and the riding of them.
First of all, why on earth would you ever ride a fixie?
Find out which of these two sets of questions you answer “yes” to.
Do I want a bike that is low maintenance?
Do I know how to ride bikes?
Have I ever ridden a fixed gear extensively?
Do I think about fashion mostly?
Did I recently read some sort of magazine article on fixies?
Do I have tight enough pants to ride fixies?
Do I spend hours looking up brands such as Rapha?
Have I picked out a frame pad yet?
Do I want to look like all those really cool kids riding fixies?
Does any one else know that Kanye rides a track bike?
Can I get hot scene girls by doing skids?
Is fixie riding a “zen thing”?
Do I want to feel more connected to the bike?
Is brakeless riding more pure?
Do I want to be more like Eddy Merckx? (he won the tour de france like 4 times on a fixie)
Basically if you answered yes to any of the questions in the first set, don’t get a fixie. Fixies are impractical even though they are low maintenance. just buy an extra freewheel to replace in a month or two. money saved I swear.
If you answered yes to the second set, remember a few things. 1. George Bush doesn’t care about track people. 2. fashion over function is how you role. re-evaluate your life. 3.There are no scene girls in Houghton over the age of 12, you pedophile.
If you answered yes to the third set of questions, you are a bike nerd, and really, you need to stop trying to prove stuff to yourself. If you want a challenge or to feel more “connected” to life, go sit in a snowbank nude on a busy street. That’s a challenge, it’s connected, and it’s less expensive than a track hub, spokes, cog, and lock ring. Did you research gear ratios? does your frame have horizontal dropouts? do you know which gear ratio will provide optimum skid patches? probably not.
For the record there is no such thing as a “fixie” hub. There are tack hubs though, and there exists a fixed conversion kit for Shimano hubs.
But really, I think you need to look long and hard at yourself before you go off and decide you’ve fallen under “fixie magic” that stuff is a hoax.
Founder of Fixies and Forties.