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(KATU)   Throwback bikes with a single gear and no brakes catching on. Next up, cars with crank starters, steam-powered trains and black and white TVs with 12-channel knobs   (katu.com ) divider line
    More: Asinine  
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12907 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Mar 2005 at 2:11 AM (12 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



150 Comments     (+0 »)
 


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2005-03-04 07:25:05 PM  
Well, at $550 each, you could buy a Walmart disposable bike each year. Pay more to do with less.
 
2005-03-04 07:37:38 PM  
Fixies have been around for quite some time. They actually make sense in urban environments and for certain types of conditioning.
 
2005-03-04 07:59:48 PM  
I commuted on one for a few years. Very, very hard on the knees if you live where there are hills.
 
2005-03-04 08:45:51 PM  
Funny, I always thought that they were less-likely to get stolen.
 
2005-03-04 08:57:26 PM  
Don't forget the extension kit with the clothespins and the baseball cards for that wild motorcycle sound...
 
nm
2005-03-04 09:13:37 PM  
Fixed gear bikes are old news. We sold quite a few of them in the bike shop I used to work for in HS (5 years ago). The Bianchi B.U.S.S, C.U.S.S., etc were pretty good sellers then, generally to mountain bikers who wanted more of a challenge, these folks are just posers.
You want a good solid bike, a Trek 520 (Touring bike) will last forever. The only lower end bike (all being relative, this is a $900 bike, I think thats cheap) trek puts any care into. Essentially their first bike, steel, handmade in Wisconsin, and such. Lock it well, but it won't attract much attention.
 
2005-03-04 09:52:16 PM  
We used to have powerslide contests on our huffys when I was a kid.. get going really fast, slam on the brakes, and see how long a skid mark you could make.

I miss my huffy, it ruled.
 
2005-03-04 11:36:37 PM  
I had a Columbia 3 speed with slapstick shifter and banana seat with a big ass sissy bar.

That thing rocked.
 
2005-03-05 12:29:30 AM  
And eating with your hands! Yay! gobble, gobble
 
lfv
2005-03-05 02:16:34 AM  
I can see the single gear being fun, but no brakes?
 
2005-03-05 02:19:13 AM  
That reminds me, this is what my next car is going to be:

[image from ime.usp.br too old to be available]


/actually, with gas prices rising maybe not such a bad idea...
 
2005-03-05 02:20:07 AM  
crank starts are awesome (old landcruisers)
 
2005-03-05 02:20:30 AM  
Kind of like fark, either you get the fixed gear bike or you don't. If you happen to live in the basement and don't ride bikes, you ain't gonna get it.

Fixies are fun, a bit renegade, few posers as it takes some skill and balls to ride one and exceedingly fun to ride. Remember bikes are toys, fixies bring a new element to the fun.
 
2005-03-05 02:21:04 AM  
I remember my first bike, back in the 70's: Blue, banana seat, ape-hangers up front, and a single gear with kick-back brakes...

I'm all for retro, but a $550 for a fixie is a little outlandish.
 
2005-03-05 02:24:45 AM  
i want my, i want my, i want my AM-RADIO. hasnt been 20 years here, in good ole Asheville NC, that AM radio was the shizzle.
 
2005-03-05 02:27:47 AM  
It seems like you could really loose it going down a hill. Shouldn't these bikes have hand brakes for emergencies?
 
2005-03-05 02:33:05 AM  
Gnarled

Nah, it's the same idea as trucks. Braking on a fixie is like engine braking, it slows you down more certainly than a handbrake. Especially in muck and wet.

Now who wants to buy me a Langster? Or at least a Surly frame?
 
2005-03-05 02:33:09 AM  
The new Schwinn Stingrays are mui cool.

http://www.schwinnstingray.com/index.html
 
2005-03-05 02:34:30 AM  
Putting hockey cards in the spokes of the tires of my BMX so they'd make a rad noise was a favorite of mine...

no-one important(like a leaf) of course, Bob Probert was a favorite victim
 
2005-03-05 02:36:26 AM  
speaking of bikes. i raced BMX for like 5 years, b4 i got my drivers licensce. it wasnt the thrill of taping baseball cards to the frame for that THUNDER it produced, it was about riding around with the older guys in the crowd and stealing the plywood, nails, and 2x4's needed to build the super half pipe of 1986.
 
2005-03-05 02:41:38 AM  
I wish to speak to you people who are just now discovering fixed gear bicycles.

But, you probably do not know about the internet yet.

So, I will just start calling numbers at random.

Pick up your rotary phone if you hear it ring, please.
 
2005-03-05 02:42:32 AM  
HELLO!!!!
 
2005-03-05 02:45:24 AM  
HELLO!!!

thats teh feunny
 
2005-03-05 02:45:46 AM  
garymatic:

We used to have powerslide contests on our huffys when I was a kid.. get going really fast, slam on the brakes, and see how long a skid mark you could make.

Or you would build a nice ramp using boards and cinder blocks, jump, then stop the pedals and try to land with your 'brakes' on. Which would lead to a face full of gravel and bloody shins. Ahh, the good old days..
 
2005-03-05 02:48:10 AM  
No brakes = Know breaks
 
2005-03-05 02:49:32 AM  
stupido

Well, at $550 each, you could buy a Walmart disposable bike each year. Pay more to do with less.

And at the end of the five years, the $550 bike will still work better than the fifth $110 bike, not to mention being a much better ride during the intervening five years.

Take it from someone who has worked as a mechanic for eight years now (while doing other things, too)-- At very least, buy a bottom-end bike from a real bike company (a Trek, Giant, Specialized, whatever). It'll last far longer, cost you less in repairs, and be much more enjoyable to ride. You'll probably find yourself on your bike much more often, too, which is an added bonus. Department store bikes are cheaply made and assembled by people who shouldn't be allowed near wrenches.
 
2005-03-05 02:50:42 AM  
Slightly offtopic, but... a few years back I worked as a volunteer for the Senior Olympics, for the bicycling event. I imagined 85-year-olds riding ancient bicycles with giant baskets and lawd knows what.

Some of those folks were seriously old, but these were some hardcore serious athletes with bikes that cost probably more than my car. Some of these guys could probably stomp the living hell out of your average 20-year-old and walk away laughing.
 
2005-03-05 02:51:04 AM  
I had an 18 speed and used about 3 gears all the time.
 
2005-03-05 02:54:06 AM  
For the folks that don't know, fixed gear bikes have brakes when you peddle backwards. Also, if your feet don't move the bike will not move.
 
2005-03-05 02:57:00 AM  
Bike recommendations, anyone? I'm looking to buy one in the next month or two, and though I've read the FAQs, most assume you've been cycling for years and at least know the basics. My specs:

-It must have gears, as we have hills in Cincinnati.
-It must be relatively comfortable- that leaning-forward crap looks like absolute misery.
-It would be mostly for paved path riding, but it would be nice for it to be durable enough to use off-road if the need arises (rare, but it'll happen) while camping, etc.
-It must be relatively inexpensive.

Running off to Walmart to buy the cheapest bike might be the best way to learn "the hard way" what NOT to buy, and some lessons are only fully-learned via that route. But if anyone has a specific recommendation, I'd certainly value that.
 
2005-03-05 02:59:32 AM  
I saved for and bought a happy banana-seat bike as a little kid. It was great. Some jerk stole it, and some great dude chased him across two lanes of traffic, and got it back for me. I was so happy. Then, some jerk stole it again. I can see myself sitting on a banana seat trike on Main Street in Daytona Beach during Bike Week, next to the Boot Hill Saloon, across from the cemetary, and some jerk trying to come up and steal it. Dare I say, this jerk would be taught a lesson.
 
2005-03-05 03:02:24 AM  
...Some jerk stole it...

I recently read a Richard Dawkins book in which he mentions that he once included the combination for his bike in a book he wrote, figuring there's little chance that a bike-thief would be reading his books anyways. But it was stolen. And once again, he gave away the combination.

/There's a lesson hidden in there somewhere, I suspect.
 
2005-03-05 03:02:32 AM  
teabag bandit


For the folks that don't know, fixed gear bikes have brakes when you peddle backwards.


No, they don't. You're thinking of a coaster brake bike. A fixed-gear bike has no brakes. If you just stop pedaling on a fixed-gear bike, the force of the rear wheel will drive the pedals, unlike on a coaster hub. If you try to pedal backwards, you won't likely be able to stop the wheel right away, only eat up some of your momentum. The only way to panic stop is to bunny-hop, lock up the wheel in mid-air, and land (unless you're extremely strong).
 
2005-03-05 03:03:12 AM  
My Schwinn Black Phantom had coaster brakes, and if you don't know what that is you're too young. It also had front fork springs, a luggage rack, headlight, taillight and brake light, a horn in a simulated gas tank, a steering column lock and a very comfortable sprung leather seat. Bicycles now are for shiat, and ridiculously overpriced.
 
2005-03-05 03:04:20 AM  
I agree RaveX

I used to ride ten-speeds no hands. It was the greatest thing. Then, as an adult, we bought a pair of Sears mountain bikes, and to ride no-hands on them is to ask to fall off instantaneously. Get a good bike, dude. I will, someday.
 
2005-03-05 03:05:41 AM  
garymatic:

We used to have powerslide contests on our huffys when I was a kid.. get going really fast, slam on the brakes, and see how long a skid mark you could make.

I miss my huffy, it ruled.


we had the longest driveway when i was growing up, so we hosted the powerslide olpympics in our neighborhood.

ahhh, memories.
 
2005-03-05 03:06:01 AM  
sunlion

Just go to your local independent bicycle store and have a look at "Hybrid" or "Comfort" bikes. Both are rather upright, will be geared, and are designed for comfort. The only difference is that hybrid bikes have slightly larger wheels with skinnier tires, so they're not as adept at off-road (although they can handle it) as a comfort bike, but they're faster on road. I tend to recommend hybrids for most riders, as they're comfortable and best at where most people spend most of their time. Brand is decidedly unimportant in your price range, all reputable brands are about the same. Expect to spend $250-300.
 
2005-03-05 03:06:48 AM  
Notabunny
"The new Schwinn Stingrays are mui cool.
http://www.schwinnstingray.com/index.html"


I agree. I wish I weren't old, and 6'3". They look like they weigh a ton though. I prefer full sized racing bikes under 17 pounds.

Here is your link. It pops now.
Schwinn is actually cool again, but still heavy.

I remember when the VROOOOM engine came out. My friend had one that must have been made out of lead. It was maroon, and had shock absorbers, a gas tank (storage) and of course the VROOOM engine, that would create motorcycle sounds that got louder as you went faster.
 
2005-03-05 03:08:06 AM  
Excuse me. It was a bike designed around the VROOOM engine.
 
2005-03-05 03:08:46 AM  
Steam locomotives are actually far more common than you think.

RailPictures.Net Photo Search Result
 
2005-03-05 03:09:23 AM  
RaveX:

Well, at $550 each, you could buy a Walmart disposable bike each year. Pay more to do with less.

And at the end of the five years, the $550 bike will still work better than the fifth $110 bike, not to mention being a much better ride during the intervening five years.


At the end of five years, you'll still HAVE the (latest) disposable bike, as all bikes get stolen eventually, at least if you actually ride them everywhere.
I prefer the disposable, leave-it-locked-on-the-street-at all-times bike myself as the convenience is worth much more to me than any particular value of the bike. And the maintenance is really no big deal anyway.

But I suppose here we're talking about home-to-home sport biking.
 
2005-03-05 03:10:17 AM  
A simulated gas tank?
 
2005-03-05 03:15:56 AM  
Once, I took the front and rear tires off a bike, and substituted skis, mounted on 4x4 wood, with axles though them. I took it to the local hill, covered with snow (of course), and rode it. It was neat. Some people liked riding the ski sections by themselves.
 
2005-03-05 03:15:57 AM  
So what the hell do you do when you need to go down a steep-ass hill with a stop light at the bottom?
 
2005-03-05 03:17:12 AM  
I found pictures of the cooler ones I remember. Like the 5 speed with the stick shift. The link pops (opens in it's own window).


The ORIGINAL cool stingrays. Varoom is the first one on the page.
 
2005-03-05 03:17:25 AM  
teabag bandit: For the folks that don't know, fixed gear bikes have brakes when you peddle backwards. Also, if your feet don't move the bike will not move.

No, if your feet don't move, you get thrown over the handlebars.

Truthfully, I've never seen anyone on a fixed gear on the street without a front brake. You can't stop very quickly with just a back brake, and depending on the size of the gear, it takes lot of effort to slow a bike down from 20 mph quickly.

But, the brakes aren't really what makes these bikes difficult to ride. Turning is. Unlike a velodrome, real streets aren't heavily banked. Its real easy to clip your inside foot against the pavement if you turn too deep, and bring the whole bike off the ground in the process. It seriously reduces your manuverability in traffic.
 
2005-03-05 03:18:41 AM  
retro is fun but not at $550 (US) a pop.

Go to K-Mart. A decent bike will cost $100 unless it is on sale.

Besides. it is not worth a cr@p unless it has the huge wheel in front and the small one in back.
 
2005-03-05 03:19:11 AM  
Brake electomagnetically, and use the stored power either to start you up again or to light your extensive light package.
 
2005-03-05 03:20:23 AM  
Yeah, and try to ride a cheapo bike no handed. Why get a bike you can't ride no handed?
 
2005-03-05 03:22:20 AM  
PS. if you want to get retro and cool, get a bike with a banana seat, a slick rear tire and cut the forks off of another bike to do the "easy rider" bit.

/no, I never did that and i have the road rash to prove it.
 
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