no one line


Fixed Gears at Interbike – Winners and Losers
October 7, 2009, 2:56 pm
Filed under: bikes, fixed gears, frame design, products, Recycled Content

Instead of thoroughly scouring the internet for pictures from Interbike, I made do with following Hipster Nascar‘s coverage (which is too exhausting for me to link each post).

In the past several years, amid the fixed gear boom, companies have rushed to market consumer or budget-end fixed gear bicycles, occasionally completely confusing themselves about whom they think will ride them – track races? Stylish types? Commuters?  People who like to purchase uniqueness in the form of pre-customized bikes?

Snideness aside, I think that a lot of bike companies are scrambling to meet new demands, but frequently wind up trying to put too much into one bike. What all too often starts out as a basic road fixed gear turns into a mish-mash when a company hopes that it will look both classic and modern, be simple, sleek and be utilitarian, be customizable and already match its bar tape to its rims. A lot of these bells and whistles conflict with each other – track drops, brake levers, brake callipers, annodized and unmachined rims – and the resulting bikes are a mess.

With the hopes that this post avoids Bike Snob mimicry, here’s my take on some of the winners and losers from Interbike, with thanks to Hipster Nascar for having attended Interbike and taken and posted so many photos.

Winner:
Fuji: a smart lineup of bikes; maybe a few models on the budget end are stepping on each others toes, but for the most part they are distributed nicely along price and performance points.

Loser:
Rock Racing, which for some reason is making bikes – or at least, has made  a few bikes.

Do

Do name your performance track bike after the local track – a nice nod to the local roots.

Do make sensible, dual-brake-equipped SS/FG bikes, but don’t put cross levers on track drops, don’t put crazy handlebars on anything, and don’t put two brakes on annodized, unmachined rims.

Don’t equip all-purpose fixies with seatmasts.

Don’ts

Don’t take a storied name in Cycling and do… this.

Velocity, HPlusSon, EighthInch, and other companies: don’t continue the “deepest V” competition.

Don’t do what Bianchi did: call a bike “classic” despite being outfitted with a threadless stem and a straight-blade fork; and then put aerospokes on the competition-worthy Super Pista.

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