Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Fireside Chat W/ Dustin

Dustin came by to visit me earlier and we hung out some talking about all these great bikes that have been coming out. In particular, it seems like more and more, and even more BMX companies are jumping on the fixed gear bandwagon. Why not, I mean they have the resources and possibly more important, they appeal to a whole other niche that didn't exist a few years ago. We were talking and I told him how years ago when I first started at a shop, we had a shop track bike and a few guys that rode them. These guys werent vans and skinny-jean wearing art school dropouts (just to exaggerate a little), they were badass spandex wearing roadies who put in the miles and lived on a bike. Now these same guys would probably turn their nose up at the current crop of guys who seem more interested in doing skids and tricks than 7am intervals. Thats fine; to each his own. It may not be your cup of tea but I can tell you now that its a waste of time to hate on them; they are here to stay. Everything changes whether you think it should or not. Everything. Keep up or get left behind.

I remember a time when this little sport known as Mountain Biking (whats that?) came out and hit the general masses. Look back at old MTB photos and you won't see the baggy clothed x-games generation that's so prevalent now. Please google John Tomac and see him downhilling in a skinsuit then later wearing a cowboy hat. On that note, they just outlawed skinsuits for downhilling - WTF. The point is, a roadie-esque breed of mtn biker ruled the trails and they could not wait for the fly-by-night breed of long-travel freeriders to move on. I'm happy to say that more than a dozen years later and theyre still here. The two coexist and accept that, while the other is not forte', it is a legitimate niche of cycling.



Fast forward to today. Instead of svelte lightweight sexy track specific bikes dominating the roads, more and more are choosing to lean towards bikes which have more in common with a modern 20-incher than it does a Pista. Everytime I see a Brooklyn Machineworks Gangsta Track it reminds me of my old Standard Bykes STA - handmade, overbuilt, and ahead of its time. Damn I miss that bike.


Just to go full circle, Brooklyn started out making a name for themselves with crazy big-hit mtn bikes. How many guys do you personally know who have never had a road bike before but have come straight from BMX to fixed gears? To meet the demand for this new generation, there are a dozen or more companies churning out bmx/street oriented fixed gear bikes - I dont know if track bike is appropriate for the nitpicky readers but either way, theyre both badass and here to stay.

6 comments:

clintpatty said...

I hope they're here to stay. Bicycles or maybe just fixed gears may lose popularity, though. I'd like for it to be mainstream. Hopefully no hipsters stop riding bikes if it becomes mainstream because they're too cool for mainstream.

beardsarefun said...

I'd have to say, and this is just my opinion, that they are pretty mainstream now. Mainstream, tributary, delta, whatever you call it, it definitely has a sizable market share within the industry. In fact, it seems that many manufacturers are struggling to keep up. The popularity of cycling has always gone through, pardon the pun, its share of cycles. In the early 90's, all you could sell were mtn bikes. IN the early 2K's with the popularity of Lance, road bikes were exploding across the US. Commuters and urban bikes are at all-time highs with Americans becoming more and more earth conscious. Sooo, fixed gears will inevitably fade some but that's okay, something else will take its place. They will always be around and they introduced a whole new segment of people who otherwise, may not have been exposed and then hooked on cycling. Hopefully, when hipsters do decide to move on (cyclocross anyone?), the market will be flooded with kick ass deals on authentic NJS frames!

beardsarefun said...

Did I mention that you can do a search for fixed gear stuff with Urban Outfitters?

B. Meyers said...

Dude, Tarck is where its at. How else do you think I got my sweet mess bag. Yeah flat bills and aerospokes get expensive, but in the end the glory is worth it all.

G.S.GUCCILIFE said...

Thats a sweet looking standard......

beardsarefun said...

much like 90's hardcore, i have a fondness for Standards STA's... its such a badass bike and set the standard (no pun intended) for a generation of builders.