How To Enrage A Fixed Gear Riding Hipster

Written by: Bike Shop Bobby

Wanna know the absolute without a doubt best way to enrage a fixed gear riding hipster?

Suggest that he actually ride his track bike on the track.

I know it’s a bizarre concept but when I dug that little nugget out of my cesspool of advice, the advise nearly slashed my throat.

It started out as typical as any Sunday could be. Before the doors even opened a dozen people and their bikes were lined up outside the door. I’ve never understood the Sunday morning customer. 9 out of 10 of them are people who literally wake up that morning, remember they have a bicycle collecting dust in the garage and gosh darn it; they’re going to ride today.

So yeah, you’ve got 9 frantic people who can’t figure out how to put air in their tires and one customer with a legitimate need.

In this case it was a bespectacled dude wearing his little sister’s jeans rolling in a Celeste Bianchi Pista Concept I saw him haul out of his Land Rover.

“I’m running late for a race and I was wondering if I could get my 17 swapped out for a 19?”

“You’re going to race and you want an easier gear?”

“Yeah, it’s a hill climb race.”

“OooooooK”

So we get his cog swapped out and he’s one his way.

About an hour later he returns as white as a ghost and if you’ll pardon my French, madder than a dog shitting tacks.

“I’m gonna sue you guys for everything you’ve got. Do your mechanics even know what they’re doing? I nearly got killed because of their stupidity.”

“What happened?”

Between labored breaths of fear and rage our newest overnight “cyclist” described in vivid detail about how his lil’ hill climb race featured both going up and down said hill which in this neck of the woods translates into being a small mountain.

Coming back down, he was in a great position hanging with the leaders. The only problem was they were approaching a red light at a very high rate of speed. When he realized he wasn’t going to make it, he attempted a skid stop and his cog slipped- nearly tossing him from his bicycle into oncoming traffic. If weren’t for a Flintstone stop which all but destroyed his new, limited edition Nike Dunks our fixie fiend would have been lucky to have enough body parts left to warrant an ambulance ride instead of being a stain on the road waiting to be cleaned up by a street sweeper.

“So let me get this straight. You’re upset because you were riding a brake less bike down the side of a mountain at over 40 miles per hour and you tried to run a red light across a six lane road but when you tried to stop your brake less bike the cog we installed slipped and was the cause of your near death experience?”

“Yeah”

“Did you test out the cog to make sure it was tight?”

“No. I was running late. Besides, the only reason why I paid to have it done was so that it could be done right.”

”I don’t even ride a fixed gear and I even I know that it’s common for a new cog to slip right after it has been installed.”

“That doesn’t matter. I almost got killed because you.”

“I wasn’t the one who told you to run red lights and ride a bike without brakes. I didn’t make you make stupid decisions. That was all you, man. Besides, why don’t you ride your bike on the track where it’s meant to be ridden?”

And that was final back breaking straw of logic for him to leave in a tire scorching rage with a vow never to shop at our establishment again. All of us lackeys in the back slapped high fives in celebration at having one less fakenger to deal with.

Really, I don’t mean to sound so harsh (OK, I do) but going into year three of fixed gears being the hot new thing is getting more than a little old. Since the day this whole fad exploded we’ve been scratching our heads as to why.

Are fixed enthusiasts really roller bladers who’ve discovered that riding a fixed gear is less embarrassing than skating around town?

Do people young enough to have grown up playing on safe playground equipment feel some burning, internal need to put themselves in a potentially dangerous situation where social Darwinism comes into play?

How to they squeeze into such tight pants, plain ol’ butter or something like heavy duty Country Crock?

Much like the mystery of Stonehenge, these questions will probably remain unanswered. Since fixed gears are more than likely here for at least a couple more years since fly over country is starting to catch on, here’s a handy list of requirements that I truly feel should be mandatory for fixed gear ownership.

1. At some point since the start of the 21st Century, you have occasionally ridden a non-fixed bicycle, either for recreation or transportation.

2. Possess the physical stamina to complete a five mile bike ride featuring at least one notable hill in 30 minutes or less AND without needing to stop for a smoke break.

3. If you’re going to insist upon riding a Brooks saddle, you are forbidden from asking for a refund because it still makes your ass hurt after two weeks of use.

4. When selecting your Chrome Bag, please, take no more than three into the dressing room to model at one time. And when you make your purchase don’t forget to take the tag off lest you want to look like just started riding a bike. Actually trying to ride your new bike will take care of that part.

5. You fully comprehend that skid stops are not covered under ANY tire manufacturer’s warranty and adversely affect the durability of a tire.

6. You have the mechanical expertise needed diagnose and remedy problems such as a “chain coming loose” without having to drive your bicycle back to the bicycle shop.

7. If a repairing a flat tire is out of your comfort zone, have at least $13.40 in your pocket or left on your parent’s credit card before having said repair completed. It’s all but impossible to “dine and dash” when a bicycle mechanic still has your bike in his repair stand.

8. If Aerospoke wheels sucked when they first came out back in the 90’s there’s no valid reason for them not to suck today. Seriously, why would you want to be the guy that people who know more about bikes than you do point and laugh at?

9. You can pick Eddy Merckx out of a line up comprised of Lance Armstrong, Jeanie Longo, Nelson Vails, and Rashaan Bahati.

10. This is the big one- You have the common sense needed to understand that riding a bicycle can be a dangerous activity especially when you make it more dangerous by eschewing brakes and your local municipality’s motor vehicle code.

Comments

  1. Adrian Parker says:

    LMAO!!!!

  2. Watever says:

    nicely said.

  3. Thomas says:

    You owned it man! Coasting is one of the most advantage and pleasurable thing you can do on a bike. Why would anyone take that away? Biking with no brakes is just asking for trouble.

  4. Jon says:

    You are right. Riding a bike without brakes is dangerous and illegal. However, a fixed gear can be fun, just be sure you have brakes and can pass the test above.

  5. crest says:

    the most common reason i see and hear about why people don’t put brakes are that it doesn’t look as cool…

    wow, that’s right guys.. the coolness factor..

    last time i checked, america is in recession and i think looking cool and wishing for a quicker death is the last thing in the common person’s mind, or injury..

    but hey if they wanna put other people in danger and possibly land themselves in the hospital with more bills on top of them being laid off, then.. shame

  6. That Dude says:

    HA ha, I agree, I pass these possers all the time. Theres not much they can do when a hill comes up.

  7. cleartext says:

    Can you help me understand why the sales person laughed when I bought a fixed gear bike and requested brakes and a free wheel added to it?

  8. Atlatl says:

    Well, I meet all but requirement number 9–can I still ride my fixed-gear (which has a front brake btw)? But seriously, I think that story was pretty funny and definitely that guys fault. Why the hell would you race on a track bike unless it was on flat ground anyway?

  9. Christopher says:

    I’m a “Fixed Gear Hipster” and I would absolutely love to participate in velodrome races. The only problem is that there isn’t a track in my state. I would have to fly to another state to race.

    Don’t let one or even a few fixed riders skew your opinion on it. Not everyone rides fixed because it is “hip”.

  10. roo roo says:

    Thank you. One of them, the bad skillz one, tried to suicide on my fender while blowing through a red. No lights. No way to see the dude as he was doing 30ish. No shirt. No helmet. Stupid.

  11. Patrick says:

    you can get a cog on tight with the right torque every time. There are a few ways at home without a chain whip that work really well, but if you are working in a shop there is no excuse. If you knew that the cog commonly slipped, why didn’t you take the extra i don’t know… ten seconds to make sure that it tightened properly and with enough force? I would be mad if my cog slipped after going to a shop too. At home my cogs never slip when I do it, so why wouldn’t you expect someone with the proper tool to be able to do it right? Would you have laughed if he got hurt because he expected to be able to stop a certain way? He came to your shop because he wanted that guarantee and in his own way(even if it wasn’t the smartest) was taking a precaution and you failed that. You could have at least said sorry no matter how he acted, and no matter where you should think he should ride his bike.

  12. Bikefag says:

    I’ve gotta take issue with the cog slipping thing. I’ve only ever had a cog slip when I had a shop put it on (at this point shops ought to understand that the demands of a fixed cog being ridden on the street are a little higher than a fixed cog on a track (then again, working at a shop and stripping a cheapo hub by over tightening it is a major bummer too..)). A cog will NOT slip if you tighten it properly with anti-seize or grease before you tighten the lockring (also with grease or anti-seize). Patrick is right, and I was myself very angry when my cog slipped because of some dipshit at a shop (to be fair, I’ve worked at a shop and been a dipshit in many respects).

    -Bikefag

  13. Bighitryda says:

    You cant get down on fixie riders. Certainly it is turning into a trendy bike. I have many bikes a hardtail mountain bike, a downhill bike, a cruiser and a fixie. That guy is a fool for riding without brakes.

    I do agree with the shop comments. It is sad that the first year i owned my mountain bike i could do better work than repair shops. Shops dont give a shit about your bike unless you are a friend of the mechanic. That is stupid. People who work in shops are almost just as trendy as fixed gear hipsters.

  14. dontcoast says:

    i love riding brakeless fixed. and i agree with your post wholeheartedly anyways.

    it seems that the fancier the bike is, the less the hipster know how to work on it (most of the time) and the more they ride outside of their abilities – or at 2mph only (both extremes seem about equally common)

    also, I always install my own cogs.rotafix them if you ride brakeless on the street. if you dont want to learn the insanely simple mechanics of a brakeless bike you have no buisness riding one, because if ANYTHING goes wrong you are screwed and responsible. or at the very fucken least diagnose the problem and know when not to ride your broken bike.

    but most of all…I would add to the top of the list…i want to shoot every idiot who rides brakeless without toe clips (unless they never leave the parking lot theye freestyling in ever). you. cannot. skidtop. quickly. without. toeclips.

  15. JAVS says:

    HAHAHAHA I agree with a lot of what you say man, but for those of which who actually know what the hells up with a fixie knows clearly about the danger their up against.

    And in response to the guy who said “Coasting is one of the most advantage and pleasurable thing you can do on a bike. Why would anyone take that away? Biking with no brakes is just asking for trouble.” One of the main reasons for this being,is that riding a fixie gives you a load more stamina no doubt about it. Therefore making it so that girls love you that much more. BAAAH!!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Who is being snobby by demanding that everyone know who Eddy Merckx is? Why is it that no one give car drivers a hard time for know nothing about their car when something goes wrong? People should be applauded for riding bikes, even for not so holy reasons. Trend or not, its good for the industry as a whole. Bikes of all kinds.

  17. tarckx says:

    tarck(trick track), and fixed freestyle is here to stay, trendy indeed but the roots are set. simmilar “hipster” jokes were made by the surf community about skateboards when they hit the scene. riding brakeless isnt such an obscure attention getting method of cycling when you take away the youtube videos of distance skids, stem humping, and leg over cuteness. complete cadence control, small lockups that require a total awareness of your bike, your balance, and your mind. its the intensity of keirin even when you are riding to the corner store in your hometown. bright colours and tight jeans are in, but to generalize a community that is growing with force, and stimulating your shops economy, is just as ignorant as not checking your own lockkring before an alleycat.

  18. Rya says:

    YOu people think that we the “hipsters” are foolish…HAHA< laugh at your self,all you old men and your spandex..Ill blow by you, on my fixie, and laugh when you try to catch me, and i blow the red light….. peace old timers

  19. Jake says:

    I loled @ Rya’s comment.

    I don’t ride a fixie, but I don’t see why you should hate an entire group of people for a few idiots.

  20. stllouiscity says:

    I ride a fixed gear most of the time, although I have an urban tank commuter and nice, light and fast road bike. Since I’m 53 I don’t think i”d qualify as a hipster. (Skinny jeans don’t work for me…). I ride in urban traffic most of the time, and have also put in some good long rides (50, 60, 70 miles) on the fixed. this year I’ll do a century on it. Lots of ways to ride a fixed gear. I hope to be riding one for years to come. The whole “I hate trends” thing (no matter what the trend)is a bit goofythey come they go they stay sometimes — why get wrapped up in it? Bikes are cool no matter what. As for brakes, unless you’re on a track bike on the track, they just make plain old common sense. Skid stops take time, car doors don’t wait. And if you’re not into working on fixed gears in your shop because your too hip for the latest trend, just say so and quit wasting folks time.

  21. Rya is stupid... says:

    Rya, You think you could beat a proper roadie on your fixed? Any real roadie would smoke you. Like me for instance :) Anyways, I also ride fixed, and love people who mock them at traffic lights and then try to out sprint me… I demolish them with raw quad power! haha

  22. Lou Bricano says:

    People who ride fixed gear bicycles on the streets are universally idiots. It’s nothing but fashion, period. It’s the same as these idiot young dudes wearing “stingy brim” hats (http://www.hartfordyork.com/product/2467/stingy-brim-hats). Grow up, bozos.

  23. Farto says:

    While jerk customers are to be expected and all that, I’ll never get over the snobbery of very young bicycle ‘mechanics’ and ‘salespeople’.

    When they leave and you spend 5 minutes laughing about them in view of ME, the guy who was about to buy something expensive but decided to go to the shop run by adults, your boss is gonna eventually notice.

  24. Jonny says:

    Hahahaha that was amazing! So true too! I ride single speed so I get the advantage of the wondrous coasting it offers while not having to fuss with gears and derailleurs and what not. It is however, ONLY for in-city use. I found this out while trying to ride up a tiny hill…. bad idea.

    Good stuff!!

  25. Tony says:

    sounds like you’re a shitty mechanic who is bitter and wants to look cool. next time do you suppose you could come up with some original jokes?

  26. Niel says:

    Dude, very right. However you should learn to fit fixed cogs correctly if your willing to charge someone yo do it. Look up rotafix and use a lockring tool, my cogs never come loose once ive fitted them. (I meet all the requirements).

  27. Sean says:

    I ride a fixie (with front brakes), and I think for pretty practical reasons. No derailleur adjustment needed, and I can actually get home in the rain when the brakes are useless anyway.
    Oh, and I’m not a hipster, and I live in “flyover country.”

    F..k you elitist prick.
    Bloomington, IN.

  28. mike says:

    wow. so the kid was a loser for trying to race on a bike hes never ridden. but i grew up poor in the city. the bikes are dirt cheap to build and dirt cheap to maintain. i ride my bike everywhere and can stop faster brakeless then you can on your $3000 road bike. theres nothing unsafe about it other then then kids that are poor riders and think its cool. im fat and ride an 8 mile commute each way on a fixie. its love. knowing its you and your bike you start it you stop it no bs. my brake cable doesnt snap i dont need to buy pads or get anything adjusted. just ride.

  29. Solivoquis Lupis says:

    Another bike shop snob!! You guys are the ones that are hampering this industry. You are going to attitude your way out of a job. Biking is going to take off and people are not interested in overpaying some cocky jerk for the same bike they can buy for HALF AS MUCH online. In almost any other industry the customer is king. Should the customer ride without brakes? Absolutely not!! Whether this guy is a caveman or not, a newly installed cog(performed by a bikeshop) should not slip period!

  30. I like bikes says:

    Even if something is trendy, shouldn’t they be applauded for riding a bike nonetheless? You uptight elitists – to friggin cool for your Lycra. I never post on these fixed vs. geared debates that seem to be every other bike site. I have ridden bikes ever since I could remember and once I jumped on a fixed (no brakes mind you) I was reborn. I will continue riding as long as i continue enjoying. Also, it didn’t take more than two visits to different bike shops to realize that I’d rather do my own work when possible and avoid the douche bags that work at these shops. If it aint Fixed, it’s broken!

  31. Salt City, i.e. Flyover Country says:

    Fat tire vs. Roadies vs. Fixies, its all bullshit. I got this very same almighty attitude from the ilk at a local shop 18 years ago, and never since have I patronized a bike shop to purchase or service any of my rides. Nothing has changed since then; if I don’t lust titanium, carbon-fiber, or ride your bike, let the bike shop snobbery begin. As far a breaking local traffic laws, the mainstream, candy-colored roadies around here are equally guilty and since there are more of them, they are the ones preventing respect for urban cycling altogether.

    The first Tour de France was 1903. The first to win it on a geared bike was Roger Lapebie in 1937. Know your roots, man. Also, Lancie busts out his fixie to train/recreate, maybe he knows something you don’t.

  32. Vince says:

    LOL!!!

  33. Tim says:

    This made me laugh, i do ride a fixed gear but i can past the posted test. I also have brakes on my bike and no shitty plastic aerospoke unlike all these bumbling trendy fixie idiots.

  34. Craig says:

    This is hilarious.
    Truly.

    Nothing bothers me more than wasted brain power…. I mean, most of these Hipster guys and gals are really smart, but their fundamental need to be “different” and keep an arms length form us lowly “normal” folk just kills it for me.

    Listen, your bike isn’t smart. It isn’t better. Lance trains on one? He sure as shit doesn’t race on one. The first Tour was Won on one???? Well How many after the improved road bikes were developed?

    Idiocy looks fun in tight pants and neon rimmed Fixed gear bikes…. it really does.

  35. Ryan Delvie says:

    I ride a fixed gear bike. It’s a bianchi sport sx that I bought as a ten speed and converted. I rode a ten speed trek for about two years and swore I’d never be caught dead with a fixie. Well time passed and I found riding my trek was very enjoyable but I started falling in love with the simple look of a fixed gear bike. I have a front brake on mine. I ride a 46/17 and I live in salt lake city ut, so hills are an issue.

    I am glad to say I passed the test to acceptable fixie ownership. I genuinely ride my fixed gear to commute and for fitness and of course for fun but it is not a trend thing for me. I just prefer a fixed gear over a ten speed. I will, however, absolutely agree that ten speed bicycles have a place in the cycling world.

    Oh and I recently had a local shop switch out my rear cog so it would be done right as well but I sure as shit didn’t expect to be able to wail on it right out of the shop and I was more than appreciative for the
    professional help.

    Riding fixed is an indescribable experience. When I hoped on mine I fell in love with biking all over again. I feel like my bike and I are one while riding, not to mention my bike is entirely unique to me (no it’s not neon, it’s a powder blue frame with black rims).

  36. Ben says:

    I don’t know. I raced track bikes on a track for four years, and have ridden them in the street as a messenger. I have also worked as a mechanic in a shop for several years.

    The only thing I got out of that story is that it sounds like the guy who wrote it is a shitty mechanic.

    ”I don’t even ride a fixed gear and I even I know that it’s common for a new cog to slip right after it has been installed.”

    It’s also common for handle bars and stems to slip, and also for wheels to fall off of a bike that has just been assembled. But none of these things will happen if you tighten them down properly. A track cog and lockring don’t start out loose and then settle in over time. It’s either tight or it isn’t. If it has been properly tightened, it won’t slip. If you are a professional mechanic and someone brings their fixed gear bike in to pay you to install a cog and lockring, you should do it properly so that it doesn’t slip. If you are unable to do that, don’t do the work in the first place, and especially don’t blame the customer for their lack of knowledge when something goes wrong with the installation.
    The last thing that bothers me is the authors misunderstanding of gear ratios. He says that he swapped the customers 17 tooth cog for a 19 tooth cog, and then the cog slipped when the cust tried to skid to a stop at over 40mph. He never says what chainring the cust had, but even with a 53t chainring, which you can assume would be the biggest possible, you would need to be pedaling at nearly 200 rpm to reach 40mph.
    I call BS on the whole thing. If you want to make fun of other cyclists, that’s up to you. But don’t write a long blog post abou thow stupid other people are unless you are sure you know what you are talking about.

  37. Phil Johnson says:

    If you live in Kansas or are on a track maybe a fixed gear bike would be okay but I can’t see how one could possibly be safe anywhere where there are hills. This isn’t about getting it or not, it’s about safety. Having seen a few fixies wipe out because they can’t stop I can see the day coming when such lunacy is outlawed on public streets.

  38. Josue says:

    Okay, I ride a fixed gear with a flip flop hub that I’ll occasionally change to a free for hilly rides. I can honestly say I prefer riding fixed, not because I’m too cool, but because I appreciate the efficiency, the better workout, and the higher cadence training I get. Granted, the fixed gear rider mentioned in this article is a moron and I have brakes installed.

  39. Casey says:

    Just started getting into single speed biking and yes I’m one those people who have a bike gathering dust and haven’t ridden for over 5 years. The reason I decided to go single speed or so called flip-flop was that my father once used to ride a road bike a peugot single speed with a back break hub to work a 25km back breaking ride up steep hills until he got to the flats on the highway where he said he could go “Flat tack all the way ,absolutely guts it”. Now I used to ride this as well but I was to young to actually reach the pedals and wasn’t strong enough to press down on the back to stop. So I’d just bounce along up and down
    Hit the soft part on the side of the road and take a dive into the long grass on the side of the road to stop.
    It wasn’t till later that I was peered group pressured into getting a fashionable 10 speeder or should say pressured Santa. And looking back this was an absolute pain the arse. The fuggin derailer would
    clang,sounded bloody noisy the chain would fall off and the gang or group would leave me behind because I’d be to busy putting the chain back on. So till this very day geared bikes still piss me off. I don’t have the
    time to fug around. I wanna get out and ride I’m not racing the tour de France. Besides geared bikes only
    came out because it was trendy anyway.” oh how many gears”. 21. Who gives a flying f@$&
    So when I went the local bike shop he tried talking me out of it and giving me the hard sell and suggested I purchase a $2000 dollar road bike 2 grand. “I could buy a fuggin car for that much”. Now and you guessed it I have $300 dollar “malvern star one” You could buy in a walmart stall all with the trendy hipster looks of a bike similar to what my father had and it’s a screamer.

    So geared bikes came out because it was a trend it suddenly looked cool to have a bike that had that many gears you could grind sausages out of it.

  40. Beldon Shrown says:

    I fulfill every requirement on your list. I own four bikes, all of which I have built or rebuilt, including a fixed gear, which I commute with sometimes. I don’t run red lights, I don’t wear tiny pants, and I run both front and rear brakes.

    If I took my bike to your shop because the drivetrain failed after you serviced it, and your response was “cogs slip sometimes”, I would demand a refund and never come back. If I were injured because of the incident, I would take you to court. I have installed dozens of cogs, if it slips on the first ride it’s because the person installing didn’t know what they were doing.

    You’re a terrible mechanic. Hipsters may be annoying, but you are literally endangering your customers. Get out of the bike business, go do something else with your life before you kill someone.

  41. Jason says:

    I’m a fixed gear rider who not only rides the track but also commutes with a fixed gear. Obviously when having to climb a hill you’re going to be blazing hell down it and sorry to ruin it for new fixed gear enthusiasts, but skid stopping is not stopping, its skidding, you will NOT come to complete stop COMING DOWN A HILL. Not only that, you should still be wearing a helmet, you never know when a fucking idiot driving a car might bump your rear wheel, fixed gear or not, it will definitely flip you off your bike.

    It’s people like this who give fixed gear riders a bad name. Either ride down a hill with a brake or learn to back foot brake ATLEAST instead of relying on skid stopping. Its better to have two braking methods rather than one. And if you’re going to ride a fixed gear, learn to fix it yourself. Never, no matter how experienced a person is with fixing bikes, let anyone fix a fixed gear but yourself. If you don’t know how to fix a fixed gear or can even grasp the concept of one IT IS DEFINITELY NOT FOR YOU. Don’t go out and spend the one grand it costs these days to look cool. It only takes one careless hipster to make fixed gear riding on the streets illegal everywhere. Thank God it hasn’t happened yet.

  42. Mark Phillips says:

    Well, sounds like this guy was a jerk. Smug and full of himself. Not sure why guys like this always seem to have a chip on their shoulder. Oh well, and hey, then there was the dweeb with the fixie. Glad these two guys got a chance to meet up (the shop jerk and the fixie jerk). Sounds like they are good for each other.

  43. Jonny says:

    I haven’t been on a bike for arond ten years and I’d like to cycle to uni in the mornings to to cut down some time and to make the journey a bit more fun since the cycle paths are so much better these days. It might be something I stick with (or possibly not).

    A lot of students in my area ride fixed gear bikes and I think they look great. There is somethink really appealing and nostalgic about them for me. It is really disapointing to find so many anti-hipster bke articles to the point where I might just stick to the subway.

    Can we not just accept that people across all sports and hobbies are attracted to many differing qualities for different reasons and to different standards?

  44. Bob Konarski says:

    if you wanna ride a fixie at least stick some kind of real brakes on it i have been riding a coaster equipped single speed coverted mountain bike for over ten years long before the fixie wave hit

  45. Joe says:

    lol! I laughed at most of this even while I’m a fixie rider. Though I’d fail on mandatory requirement #9 :( Annnnndddd, I think the shop should have advised about the potential cog slip.

    I agree with the requirements though, I used to work at a shop, I can rebuild a bike from scratch (know nothing about front suspension though), I approach my fixie with caution while knowing its limits. And I’m definitely sure I’m not dumb enough to enter into a hilly race with non-fixie riders. And when I do end up on a steep downhill, I take it slow because I know the limits of the bike which I am riding. So why do I ride it? Simplicity. That said, I have been eyeing a freewheel lately, I’m getting tired of slowing down for turns.

  46. Ima douchebag says:

    I got 20 bikes, i fit all the requirements i used to be a mechanic i love fixed gear, i dont have a girlfriend i masterbate… Ejaculation occurs.

    You all talk alot of grease.

  47. Nick Ikeda says:

    lol! i’m surrounded by fixed gear riders fascinated by looks over function. Being a sophomore in highschool, i don’t have money to own two bikes so my track bike is also my commute/fun bike beside a seperate wheelset for street

  48. Joe says:

    I see where you’re coming from on this whole article or blog or whatever you want to call it but a lot of arguments aren’t sound. Yea, people SHOULD learn the basics of repairing their own bike like fixing a flat or a broken chain etc, but i mean it’s not absolute necessary to be a bike enthusiast. Do you know how to produce music? Could you shoot, direct, and edit a movie? Can you fix a broken phone, ipod or computer? Could you cook a 5 star meal? Unless you’re A renaissance man the answer would be no. Doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the crap out of those things.

    and 2nd, i agree with you when you say that the guy should be running reds and what not. But it does not matter whether or not he’s riding breakless, or cruising down hill trying to skid to a stop, or misusing their tires, the point is you and your crew did not do their job. If you’re not going to put it on right and test it yourself you might as well just handed it to him so he could make sure it gets done right. You’re job isn’t to make sure he obeys the law, or rides safe, or properly uses his bike, you’re only concern is getting the cog on the right, safe way. What if a doctor put a new heart in you, but left it up to you to make sure it was in right?

    you probably won’t see this and that’s fine. This just needed to be said out loud.

  49. Ed says:

    What an asshole this guy is. Because someone rides differently from you, you isolate them and start this terrible discussion bringing out the worst of all riders.

    Some advice for you…IF you’re still in business for being such a snob against “trends”, try to understand why people are riding their bikes, even if you don’t agree.

    Do your job, warn the customer if you expect it to slip and you SAW THERE WERE NO BRAKES!!! You are a nothing, i can see you now, looking down on customers because you think you know more than them. I just barfed thinking about you.

  50. Brandon says:

    I ride a fixed gear when i’m not on my free ride mountain bike or driving my Cummins Diesel. I like my fixed gear and rarely ride on the street. Typically I stick to the trail along the river. I don’t wear skinny jeans or a beanie when it’s 80 outside. I don’t run brakes cause I have a pair of legs, toe clips and don’t typically have any traffic to contend with. I don’t use a messenger bag, I just grab my FOX backpack and clip in. I built my own bike in my own garage at my own house with my own money. I’m no hipster but I really enjoy the speed, acceleration, and nimble handling of my fixed gear. My bike is flashy but I like having my things personal to me. I still use drop bars and bar tape and never thought of putting risers on my bike. If someone called me a hipster my first reaction would be to stab them. I ride mine for the sport and enjoy passing guys in spandex suits riding bikes that cost them several thousand dollars so they can hit the river trail and go a whopping 12 mph. I’m an extremist and push myself to my personal limits. Fixed Gears are fun and beat the hell out of commuting 30 miles on a beach cruiser from walmart. just my 2 cents

  51. Dylan says:

    If you are new to fixed gear or considering getting into it – forget all that shabazz above (you’ll get used to it) and do it!

    Been riding fixed for years and I love it. I love riding in traffic. I love riding long painful distances. I love riding on the track. Racing. Alley cats.. Don’t let posts like this put you off getting into it, wear whatever jeans you want, a few long rides will sort that out. Just ride, respect your steed, respect your abiltity and respect other cyclists.

    Get on eBay get yourself a bike now. Get some tools of your own learn to lace wheels and how to fix your bike (YouTube) that way you won’t have to deal with little spanner monkeys with big attitudes and only just enough intellect to throw tired cliche debates your way.

    Start riding fixed gear, you will have a fucking ball!

  52. Stephen says:

    I agree with Ben’s post completely. I am a fixed gear rider some too and understand why the customer would be pissed if this happened to him. I do all of my own work (on my fixed gears or variable speed bikes) but if I went to a shop to get something simple like this done, I would expect the shop knows what they are doing and would do it right. Now it is possible that the threads on the hub or the locking ring were stripped however the bike shop should have noticed this and mentioned it to the customer!! I have been doing my own work for many years and can’t believe that a bike shop would allow a customer to leave the shop without letting them know: either their locking ring or hub was stripped or they didn’t completely tighten the fixed gear cog and lock ring properly! I also can’t believe you would talk to a customer like that… it doesn’t matter if he is a pretentious elitist biker or not, you don’t talk to your customers like that… Especially when you don’t know what the hell you are talking about. The rider in this case may have been “fakenge” (what ever the fuck that means- but i think i know what your trying to say) its you and your shop that is “fakenge”. I hope you lose your job and your bike shop closes… **thinking to myself- a bike shop that can’t properly work on a fixed gear bike is interesting, since they are by far the EASIEST bikes to work on.

  53. mijazma says:

    track or no track, that is beside the point. you installing a cog that slipped off is a fucking manslaughter charge, if you handed me over a bike and this happened I’d drink your blood through your wind pipe

  54. Noteven says:

    Sorry that you don’t know how to install a cog properly.

    Funny enough, I just had my cog installed for me by my mechanic. Took one try, never had to go back since and it’s never slipped. Enjoy almost killing your customers and looking like a retard for running a bike shop and discriminating against people who ride bikes. Smart.

  55. Jeff says:

    TL;DR: This guy works at a bike shop and didn’t correctly install a customers cog/lockring such that it slipped its first time on the street. Customer was upset as his bike was brakeless and his bike lost it’s means of stopping as he approached an intersection. By calling the customer a hipster and making fun of his personality and possessions, this guy accepts no responsibility and seems to think it was the customers own fault for the style of bike he was riding… not his shoddy cog/lockring installation.

  56. the fixxie riding bike mechanic says:

    As a cyclist and a mechanic I see this from both sides.

    Yes the not so keen fixxie rider guy shouldn’t have been blowing red lights and thrashing down a hill at 40mph with out a brake. Yes people should have a basic understanding of what goes on around a bike. Yes fixed gear track bikes are a current trend and will likely taper off slightly in a year or so.

    BUT

    As a shop and as a mechanic you should not be so arrogant to the fact that this trend is bringing your shop and you more money, as well a fuelling the industry which so kindly employs you. As a shop/mechanic you should also have proper due process when dealing with people who don’t seem to know a lot of what’s up. you should have also given this customer full warning that hey this cog may slip.

    To the few that are hating, laughing, and name calling need to take a look at themselves and think about things from other peoples points of view and not be so close minded that some one could have a differing opinion or preference to yourself.

    as for myself. I’m 19 own 5 different bikes, race Downhill full time and XC occasionally, dirt jump/ride street, and ride fixed/road. On top of all that i work 6 days a week at a bike shop and still manage to ride nearly 7 days a week. To all those people who are complaining about “snobbish young buck sales staff and mechanics” need to get their heads out from their ass holes because if you took 10 minutes and truely listened to what most of us are saying you would realize there are some smart fucking people who may be “just kids” to you. Yes there may be some fuck head shop employee’s who know dick all, but don’t go so far as to go and write off a whole generation of new shop employee’s because if we don’t get in now, how else will we. A shop isn’t going to hire some 45 year old who has never worked in a shop before.

    /rant.

  57. itscoolbrah says:

    So this guy fucks up an (extremely easy) installation and posts a rant about fixed gears on the internet. You sound like a pretty shitty bike mechanic.

  58. Nishant says:

    So you had 10 customers that morning, 9 of them were a moot point – only there because they couldn’t “figure out how to put air in their tires”. But at least they escape your mockery. The one guy who wanted real work out of you, you know, the kind of customer that justifies you even being in business, was let down by your shoddy work, mocked by you and your lackeys and now you mock him and the entire sub culture here. What does that say about what you do for a living?

  59. crazy Sean says:

    I agree with brakeless fixies completely. For only one reason. ……
    natural selection.
    First day on a fixie I threw the chain (no locknuts) I was glad of those brakes.
    Also in Dublin everyone ignores cyclists. Everyone. Pedesterians will jaywalk and taxies will cut you off. l kill you. For me 2 close shaves a day is normal, and I ride like your granny.

  60. Mathme says:

    I’m a total badass and I ride a brakeless freewheel! Stopping is for the dead, man!

    But seriously, I have to take issue with these anti-shop comments. I know that the sr. mechanic and all of the other experienced mechs in my shop (and I’ll include myself in this) totally give a shit about other people’s bikes. Even when people bring in trash they just bought at Walmart and can’t figure out why it seems like their bikes don’t work (because they don’t), we do put in a lot of effort to get their bikes right. That’s probably because the owner is a businessman first and a cyclist, well, probably third for fourth. The head mechanic is the sort of guy who looks out for the interests of the shop (i.e. not getting sued) and is very meticulous when it comes to any component that is pivotal in the safety of the bike.

    That being said, track bikes are for the track. Yes, I know a few competent people who can ride them relatively safely (and they also tend to be the sort of people who have at least a front brake), but I’ve seen more people unable to stop on flat ground, hit people on sidewalks, etc.

    Anyway, this made my day. Have a long day in the shop coming up and this will keep a little song in my heart.

  61. Anonymous says:

    Had this fixie rider gotten his Darwin Award, the unfortunate cager would have gotten in a heap of trouble for having presented it.

  62. adam seavers says:

    i ride breakless fixed gear, i have been for 2= years and while im not super experienced, i know how to work on my bike and what to check before a race or before a ride. i do push miles and i dont stop for smoking breaks. there defenatly are people riding breakless fixed gears that their mommy bought them but there are also people who work one their own bike and know what to do. i hate people who blame things on others when its their own fault. please remember that not all fixed gear riders are like that ass hole in the story.

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