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.