Fixie Bike Gear Clothing Guide

Fixie Bike Gear Clothing Guide

So you wanna ride a fixie? Here’s a photo of a Portland fixie bike rider kitted out with what has come to become ‘Fixie Fashion de Rigueur’. Here’s a little guide to let you know what is popular and why.

Fixie Clone
Portland Fixie Rider

Gears: One. Note back wheel. No derailleur, no freewheel. Nice and simple. It’s pretty. Looks sleek. Whatever the theoretical benefits of riding a fixed-gear bike may be, the real reason it’s popular is because of the way it looks.

Brakes: None. While not advisible to ride without at least a FRONT brake, some riders ride brakeless to preserve the lines of a fixie bike, thus enhancing its classic design.

U-Lock: Back pocket. Kryptonite  brand with the yellow or orange detail. Either will do just fine; so express your individuality here. The lock should be smallest one you can find, both for the fit and to let people know you don’t have quick release wheels. Real messengers don’t do quick release so they can lock up securely in seconds flat.

Bag: Huge. Because a rack and pannier would spoil the lines. As for classic one strap across-the-sholder messenger style versus two strap backpack style, you can go either way. Again, express yourself. Chrome, Ortlieb, ReLOAD, Crumpler are popular.

Hat: Snug, long-brimmed, classic cycling hat like the pros on the Tour de France used to wear. Looks like a ‘beanie-with-a-brim’

Spoke Cards: See the cards stuck between the spokes of the back wheel? One origin of the spoke card was laminated cards inserted in spokes with numbers used to identify competitors in Alleycat races held between bicycle messengers.

Key Chain: Check out that springy band around the rider’s arm,  it’s the key to his u-lock.  Kept separate from main keys, for more convenient access to lock/unlock said lock.

Original Article written by John Wilmot titled How-to-be-a Fixie Clone, remixed by Mark.

What Kind of Fixie Should You Get?

What Kind of Fixie Should You Get?

What’s a “fixie?”

the dandy horse 1st fixie

“Fixie” is short for “fixed gear,” which is a slang term for bicycles that have drivetrains with one gear that’s fixed to the rear wheel so that you cannot coast and must continue pedaling whenever the bike’s moving. Fixies are among the most simple of bicycles because they don’t require derailleurs, shifters, double- or triple-chainring cranksets, or, in some circumstances, even brakes.

bushbama fixie

For example, some skilled riders capable of stopping simply by holding back on the pedals with their feet, eschew brakes. And, even more advanced — though the most common fixies are road models — there are also individuals who enjoy mountain-bike fixies, too. (Not to be confused with singlespeeds, which allow coasting.)

stp skid

Fixies are fun!
Due to their uniqueness (riders often paint and decorate their fixies and add unusual components and accessories) and elegant simplicity both in appearance and operation (fixies require significantly less maintenance, too), the fixed-gear phenomenon has become a thriving and fascinating fringe element of cycling.

fashionable fixies

You’ve probably seen fixie riders darting about town in traffic because they look so different than standard roadies or mountain bikers. And, maybe you’ve wondered why these unusual bikes are so popular and how it is that people can bike around with only one gear, and one that doesn’t allow coasting, either. To answer these questions and to help you join the fixie fun, here are some insights into these wonderful machines. Keep in mind that we’re always happy to show you our selection of fixed-gear bicycles, discuss options and help you with all your fixie projects. We have the experts, bicycles and accessories you need!


That smooth fixie feeling
Fixies offer simplicity that harkens back to the earliest days of cycling when one gear was common. Because your feet are directly connected to the rear wheel, which drives the pedals around, your pedal stroke becomes nearly perfect and with no dead spot in the stroke, you are more efficient. Also, you learn to spin more efficiently because you have to pedal constantly and you must pedal faster on every downhill. No mental energy is wasted fiddling with shifting mechanisms, either.

fixie traffic

Ultimately, the connection between the rider and the machine is almost perfect. Some are so skilled they can balance in place and slow and stop even without brakes. What’s more, because fixed-gear bicycles, and those who ride them, tend to be quirky and unique, this trendy type of cycling has taken on a fun countercultural aspect. But remember, anyone can have fun on a fixie. You don’t have to be a tattooed bike messenger to enjoy and appreciate the ride (though, if you are, so much the better)!

trackstand how long

Track versus road fixies
Many people think of fixed-gear bikes and track bikes as the same, but they aren’t. Track bicycles (image, left) are designed for use on velodromes (indoor and outdoor oval bicycle tracks designed for racing). They do not have brakes because they aren’t necessary due to the uniform direction of travel, lack of corners and the fact that no one can stop any faster than you can. In fact, most velodromes forbid the use of brakes for safety. Because velodrome surfaces are usually super smooth and uniform and because the racing events are usually fast and demanding, track bicycles boast frames that are built quite stiff for maximum efficiency. Plus, to promote better high-speed handling, the track bike’s frame geometry is tighter and more race-oriented.

street track ver2

While some fixie fanatics prefer to ride track bikes on the street, especially those who are or were into track racing, it’s generally not the best option for real-world fixed-gear riding due to the unforgiving stiff ride and lightning-quick handling, which respectively, beats you up a bit and forces you to pay close attention when riding. A better choice for most riders are fixies designed for the street, such as the ones we sell (keep in mind that we can easily convert any fixie to allow coasting should you prefer that option).

It’s also possible to build your own fixie starting with a bike with standard road geometry and clearance for wide tires and even fenders. These rigs are available complete and can be built from older road bikes, too. We carry a full assortment of components and accessories and can help you with advice and the right parts should you want to take this approach.

Only one gear? Which one?!
Since there’s only one gear on a fixie, choosing the best one is important. You’ll need to weigh how you like to pedal (how fast you pedal), where you enjoy riding (the hills or flats, or both), and have a feeling for how fit you are (stronger riders can handle higher gears and vice versa). One tip is that with a fixie you can get away with a slightly higher gear than you’re used to, thanks to the added efficiency and momentum of the rear wheel and fixed gear that keep the pedals turning around. Another way to determine which gear to use is to select one that is easy enough to get you up the hills you need to climb yet one not so easy that you lose control on the way down.

When you buy a new fixie we can help you choose the perfect gear. And, you’ll have the opportunity to ride the bike and feel if it’s right for your fitness, terrain and needs.

Hub hubbub
One of the most important parts of any fixie is the rear hub. It’s a bit of a special animal that incorporates two opposing sets of threads on the right side, one for the fixed cog and one for the lockring. The lockring threads on in the opposite direction, flush against the cog so that backpedaling forces don’t cause the cog to come off.

Some hubs have two sets of these opposing threads or standard freewheel threads on the left side so that you can install a different-size cog on the other side, or a one-speed freewheel to that side. This allows flipping the wheel around in the frame to change the gear or allow the bike to coast.

An interesting detail of fixie rear hubs is that they usually feature threaded axles and high-quality threaded axle nuts rather than the quick releases you see on standard road and mountain bikes. This is because most fixies feature horizontal dropouts on the frame, which make chain tensioning possible, but also don’t lock the rear wheel in one position. The threaded axle and nuts are necessary to prevent the wheel from changing positions under the additional torque on the rear wheel and drivetrain of fixed-gear riding.

Do I need a special chain?
There are two common bicycle chain types, referred to by their widths, which are 1/8 inch and 3/32 inch. Most track fixies use the wider, heavier 1/8-inch chain (also used by BMX bicycles and old-fashioned roadsters). However, 3/32-inch chains and chainrings are much more common, because they’re the same type used on 8-, 9-, and 10-speed road and mountain bikes. So, these are more frequently used on fixies.

Plus, if you’re building a fixie out of an old 10-speed, using a 3/32-inch chain means being able to use the crankset it came with originally. Another benefit is that these chains are usually more flexible than 1/8-inch models, which translates to smoother and quieter pedaling. They’re lighter, too.

What frame to use?
You can convert any frame to fixed-gear use providing that it has horizontal dropouts because these are essential for tensioning the chain. These adjustable dropouts were common on steel road bicycles built around 10 to 20 years ago and more.

And, as a bonus, these stalwart steeds of yore were typically hand brazed of great-riding quality steel tubing and used attractive lugs to join the tubes. If you can find a fine second-hand road frame or bicycle like this, it’s a great place to start your fixie project. You might want to double check that old 10-speed in the garage (or your neighbor’s shed) — chances are, it’ll work great!

Get cranky
On these older 10-speeds, the original crankset will work fine, though you may need to change the small chainring if it’s not a 42-tooth model (which results in a reasonably easy all-around gear). If you have several cranksets to choose from, pick one with slightly shorter crankarms than you normally use (the length is usually printed on the back, or measure from the center of the pedal hole to the center of the crank-bolt hole). Shorter crankarms make higher cadences easier to handle on fast downhills.

Make it your own
One of the best things about fixies is that you can add custom touches to make yours unique. We’re talking about more than the requisite personalized sticker, bell or cards in the spokes; that’s just the beginning. How about flat bars, motorcycle grips, disc wheels and deep-dish color-matched rims and hubs? Or, maybe you’d like to install vintage bicycle parts that you’ve always wanted, such as cottered cranks, leather saddles and ornate quill stems. Let your imagination take your fixie project where no bike has gone before! And, don’t forget the home-brew paint job to make your fixie unmistakably yours.

We hope you find this guide to fixies informative and helpful and we look forward to showing you our fixies and helping you with all your cycling projects!

Click here to see some of the best fixie and singlespeed bikes for the money in the whole world!

sourced from: http://bicyclehabitat.com

Mallet 360 Freebie-Bonus-Bundle ($100+ worth of Free Stuff!)

This Bike Gets FREE Shipping*! Ride NOW, Pay Later with Interest FREE* Finance with CELL Bikes! Over $100 worth of FREE Goodies Included! Call the SHOP to Order the Bike & Get Your Freebies! (please note, you must ring the shop and order the bike over the phone to get your freebies) 02-9565-1899

Ride It Fixed Gear or Singlespeed! It’s Your Choice!

Here’s what you get:
1. Portland Design Works POCO Pocket Pump (valued at $50)
2.
Super-B Steel Core Levers (valued at $20)
3. Super-B Multi-Hook Spanner (valued at $15)
4.
Pedros Single Speed Chain Keeper (valued at $20)

These Mallet-360 Freebies are ONLY available IN-Store or by Phone Order when you buy the bike.

Easy to ride, great as a fixie, single-speed, or even whack-on an internal gear hub and enjoy one of the most fun bikes ever!

If you’ve been looking try a fixie, or want the simplicity of a single speed, this bike is for you! If you don’t need 20-27 gears, and remember how fun and simple your bmx was, but need something bigger, this is it!

Come to the shop and see one for yourself or order online! If you have any questions: (02)-9565-1899

Planet Bike Blaze 2 Watt Review

Planet Bike Blaze 2W Review from: http://www.ecovelo.info/2009/10/28/planet-bike-blaze-2w-2/

The recent advancements in LED technology have been a real boon to bicyclists. Just a few years ago, lighting systems powerful enough to illuminate the road sufficiently for riding at commuting speeds could cost into the hundreds of dollars. As LED emitters have become more efficient, small, lightweight bicycle lights have become powerful enough to be used as primary headlights. Along with increased output, these diminutive lights also have longer run times and virtually infinite “bulb” life.

Planet Bike has just introduced a new 2-watt LED headlight called the Blaze 2W. It looks nearly identical to their popular Blaze 1W (the 2W is black, the 1W is white), but as the name suggests, the output is double. Like other Planet Bike lights, the case design is sleek and simple and the weight is kept to a minimum. The handlebar clamp is nearly identical to the Busch & Müller clamp and it’s one of my favorites. It adjusts to any bar size without the use of rubber sleeves and the quick release is quick, yet secure. The overall build is excellent for a light in this price range.

Over the past couple of years I’ve used the popular Fenix L2D as my benchmark battery-powered headlight. The L2D is actually a flashlight that, when combined with a TwoFish mount, makes an excellent bicycle headlight. Up until now, the L2D provided just about the best balance of output versus run time in a 2/AA powered LED headlight, so it made sense to compare it to the new Blaze.

As you can see by the above beam shots, the Blaze is noticeably brighter than the L2D. The Blaze beam is ever so slightly tighter, with a little less spread. The L2D beam has softer edges and is generally more diffuse. The Blaze does a better job of illuminating the road surface near the bike and throws a beam out at least 20-30% further. Overall I feel as if the road is better illuminated by the Blaze.

The Blaze is powered by 2 AA batteries. Run times are good with 5 hours on high, 12 hours on low, and 18 hours in flash mode. For comparison, the L2D runs 4 hours on the same 2/AA set-up. I’d stay away from the flash mode except during daylight hours; it’s far too intense to direct into the eyes of oncoming motorists at night.

Obviously, these runtimes indicate the use of rechargeable batteries. If you don’t have a charger, Thomas Distributing is a great source. The Maha chargers are nice and they pay for themselves in no time. The Deluxe 8 Cell “Pro” Charger is fast, reliable, and highly recommended.

Generally, we recommend dynamo lighting systems, but for those who only occasionally ride after dark or don’t have the budget for a dynamo wheel and matching headlight for every bike, a small, but powerful LED headlight like the Blaze 2W is a great alternative. At $59.99 you’ll be hard-pressed to find another light that provides so much output for the dollar. Highly recommended.

MSRP: $59.99 USD ($89.00 AUD)

Planet Bike

About Planet Bike
Whenever I review one of their products, I like to point at that Planet Bike donates a full 25% of company profits to grassroots bicycle advocacy organizations.

Fixies are for Everyone! Reasons to Ride a Fixed Gear Bike…

What is a Fixed-Gear Bicycle, and Why Would You Want One?
The oldest and simplest type of bicycle is the “fixed-gear” bicycle. This is a single-speed bike without a freewheel; that is, whenever the bike is in motion, the pedals will go around. You cannot coast on a fixed-gear machine.

Many enthusiastic cyclists ride such bicycles by choice, at least part of the time. Why would anybody do that? It is not easy to put into words. There is an almost mystical connection between a fixed-gear cyclist and bicycle, it feels like an extension of your body to a greater extent than does a freewheel-equipped machine. If you are an enthusiastic, vigorous cyclist, you really should give it a try.

There are many reasons, including: Fun, Fitness, Form, Feel & ‘Ficciency!


Fixed for Fun
It takes a bit of practice to become comfortable on a fixed gear. Most cyclists, trying it for the first time, will automatically try to coast once the bike gets up to a certain speed. The bike will not allow this, and it is disconcerting. It takes a couple of weeks of regular riding to unlearn the impulse to coast, and become at ease on a fixed gear.

It is worth going through this learning experience, however, because once you do so, you will discover a new joy in cycling. When you ride a fixed gear, you feel a closer communion with your bike and with the road. There is a purity and simplicity to the fixed-gear bicycle that can be quite seductive. Somehow, once you get past the unfamiliarity, it is just more fun than riding a bike with gears and a freewheel! If you won’t take my word for it, read some Fixed-Gear Testimonials.

Fixed for Feel
Fixed gear gives you a very direct feel for traction conditions on slippery surfaces. This makes them particularly suitable for riding in rainy or icy conditions.

This same feel for traction will help you learn exactly how hard you can apply your front brake without quite lifting the rear off the ground. Most fixed-gear riders only use a front brake–a rear brake is quite unnecessary on a fixed-gear machine.

Because you are more solidly connected to the bike, you have better control of it in bumpy conditions or in difficult corners.

too-skinny-jeans ver2

Fixed for Fitness and Form
Riding a fixed gear on the road is excellent exercise. When you need to climb, you don’t need to think about when to change gears, because you don’t have that option. Instead, you know that you must just stand up and pedal, even though the gear is too high for maximum climbing efficiency. This makes you stronger.

If you have the option of gearing down and taking a hill at a slow pace, it is easy to yield to the temptation. When you ride a fixed gear, the need to push hard to get up the hills forces you to ride at a higher intensity than you otherwise might. Really steep hills may make you get off and walk, but the hills you are able to climb, you will climb substantially faster than you would on a geared bicycle.

When you descend, you can’t coast, but the gear is too low. This forces you to pedal at a faster cadence than you would choose on a multi-speed bicycle. High-cadence pedaling improves the suppleness of your legs. High rpm’s force you to learn to pedal in a smooth manner–if you don’t, you will bounce up and down in the saddle.

Most cyclists coast far too much. Riding a fixed-gear bike will break this pernicious habit. Coasting breaks up your rhythm and allows your legs to stiffen up. Keeping your legs in motion keeps the muscles supple, and promotes good circulation.

On any road bike, the rider must learn to un-weight the saddle to ride over bumps. Most cyclists coast to do this. A fixed-gear rider will learn to “post” over bumps without breaking stride.

Fixed for (e)Fficiency
A fixed-gear bike is considerably lighter than a multi-speed bike of comparable quality, due to the abscence of the rear brake, derailers, shift levers, and extra sprockets. A fixed-gear bike also has a substantially shorter chain.

A properly set-up fixed gear has a perfectly straight chainline. This, plus the abscence of derailer pulleys, makes a real improvement in the drive-train efficiency, an improvement you can feel.

The following article is taken from the late  Godfather of Modern fixed gear riding Sheldon Brown and from his page: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed.html