Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Skull Express

I got this bike so dialed in it's like a part of me! I recently changed the rear wheel cog and chain. I'm running a Wienmann DP18 rim a formula hub 36 spoke rear wheel. In case you don't know the Wienmann is another alternative to the Velocity rims. The Weinmanns a little heavier, but cheaper. You can see the wheel in the track stand video. I'm using an Origin8 18t cog. Really nice drilled out with a satin nickel finish. This is my main ride and my daily commuter. The frame is an unknown classic British track frame that I had powder coated. I've got the hook up in Miami for powder coating so anyone looking for a powder coater drop me an email.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Track Stand 101

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Learning to Trackstand

There's a lot of new riders out there trying to figure out how to trackstand. So here's Trackstand 101. First of all for you riders that don't know what I'm talking about a trackstand is balancing your bike from a stationary position without putting your feet down. This is easy to do on a fixed gear bike with a little practice. It's a nice skill to have because it allows you to stay strapped into your pedals when you come to a traffic light or stop sign.

What you are doing is applying pressure back and forth on the pedals, rocking the pedals. Starting out slowly ride your bike coming almost to a stop when your forward foot (with most people the right foot) is pointed straight ahead in the 3:oo position. Turn your wheel to the side of your forward foot and rock back and forth on the pedals to keep your balance. If you start to loose it just pedal forward and try again. When your first learning don't strap into you pedals so you can put a foot down if you need to. Watch the video and you'll get the idea. All it is, is practice! Good luck!

The Question of Flats

What is it with the idiots that throw bottles out on the street. If they only new the damage and potential danger they cause! A cyclist trying to avoid broken glass may inadvertently swerve wide then get tagged by a passing car. People walking their pets take a chance that their pet gets severely cut. The damage it does to cars and bicycle tires is obvious! All this because someone's to lazy to toss it in a trash can! Lately my ride into work has been a maze to avoid broken glass. Changing a tube is not the only problem , but also the risk of arriving late to work. So I've decided to experiment. I'm going to try some different tires and sealants. I will keep everyone posted on my finds.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy Holidays from Cinelli


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Fibre Flare


Now how cool is this! A flexible fiber light that you can put on your bike. It has a flashing mode or constant mode. You can mount it to the frame, seat tubes just about anywhere and YES YOU WILL BE SEEN! Want to read more http://fibreflare.com/
This light will be available in the U.S.A in March. I am testing one now. So if you see a red flash go by in the Kendall/Hammocks area don't worry, that's just me and the Fibre Flare!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Banjo Brothers Bag

I got tired of my messenger bag shifting and swinging around, besides being annoying it was dangerous. So searching the web the best deal I found for a quality cycle pack was Banjo Brothers. All the write ups and everything I could find about them was real positive, so I decided to give them a shot. Now if you commute, besides your bike the bags the most important piece of equipment you need. In that bag I carry a spare tire, rain gear, jacket, arm warmers,leg warmers, pump, change of clothes for work, lunch, 2 drinks, cell phone, wallet and 2 glasses in their carrying case. I need a big bag. I ordered the large back pack. I was real happy when the bag came in! I could have probably even used their smaller bag because there is plenty of room. The bag is top quality with a well thought out design. Reflective striping, Low sitting position so it doesen't interfere with your head, low center of balance, comfortable straps, a holster on the strap for your cell phone, outside zipper pouch for your wallet and pocket on the side for your water bottle. The perfect bag for me! Riding with it just enforced my opinion that much more. It felt so secure it was like it was a part of me. It is definitely the way to go! Check out these guys web site they make some great stuff and back it with some great service!

http://banjobrothers.com/

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bike Polo

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Riding Nirvana

Well all you riders that have been bitching there's nowhere to ride in Miami....I found the place...Coral Gables. On the weekend the traffic is light. Speed limit is enforced at 30 miles an hour.
You have all kinds of places to explore. If you want something to eat or drink you have Starbucks and a host of other cafes and restaurants. Go north on ponce de leon head west on Alhambra this will eventually turn into a bike path. Once your on the path if you turn on one of the streets heading south you should run into a Golf course that has a nice road that winds around it. A good place to practice some sprints. Then you can explore all the back street through the neighborhoods virtually traffic free. Once you're done you can head south on Ponce till it ends at U.S1
here you can catch the bike path under the metro going North or South or you can take the Metro Rail. I rode here Sunday and had a blast.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

UNO


Origin8 UNO

Looking for a great value in a production fixed gear? Check out the Origin8 UNO. Origin8 is a fairly new brand 2 1/2 years old, but they've been really stepping things up in the fixed gear market. They're bringing in deep rim wheels with sealead bearings, colored saddles, colored cranks and handlebars. They make a real cool pedal that will take a traditional toe clip. Rubber track bar grips in colors and a host of other cool stuff, but back to the Bike! The UNO is a Tig-Welded Chromoly frame painted in Charcol Grey. The bike comes with Bull horn handlebars, front and rear brake for those who want to run it as a single speed. Three pice alloy crank 46x18. Alloy wheels with sealed bearing Formula Track Hubs 32 spoke and a nice leather seat. Right now from the production bikes I've seen and ridden out there this bike gives you the most bang for your buck. This bike sells for somewhere between $500 and $600. So if your looking for a first fixie and want something already built the UNO would be a good choice!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Business Opportunity

This doesn't have anything to do with Fixed Gear, but what an opportunity! Basically for $10 a month you get your own email address, company web site and personal web site. Great deal huh! It gets better! For each person you refer you get a commission and for each they refer you get a commission on and on, so the money potential is staggering. Plus they run a weekly contest sign 5 people and you get $100.
You get a 7 day free trail to try it, after that it cost you $10 a month. Click the link and check it out,a lot of people are already making some serious money, plus you get your own email and website!
http://website.ws/fet

Friday, November 28, 2008




http://beginnersline.keirin.jp/

Keirin Video Game

So you always wanted to be a Professional Track Racer....Here's your chance. Japanese video game on the internet. Have fun!

Go to the main page here, and once the aural and visual assault is over, click on Line Master. Then click Enter, then click on a few random boxes of Japanese text, pick a racer, and Robert's your father's brother. Tap the space bar to pedal, steer with the cursor keys.

http://beginnersline.keirin.jp/

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Great Photographer From Down Under!

I found a cool site called The Licorice Gallery. It's run by a professional photographer from Australia Shane Gross. His site host some incredible cycling shots, great stories and interviews. Shane was nice enough to send me this track shot. We plan to do a monthly exhibit of his stuff. Show some support to a great guy whose helping promote cycling for all to see. Check out his site maybe you'll find something you'll like!
http://www.licoricegallery.com/

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Stupid or What!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Brian Picolo Track

Hey all you fixed gear fanatics who haven't ridden track, your really missing something! We are fortunate here to have a great track in Broward County. Brian Picolo park The address is 9501 Sheridan St., Cooper City, Fl. the phone is (954)437-2626. A few things you should know before going. 1) The bike must be fixed and a traditional track frame not a converted road bike because of the clearance of the bottom bracket. 2) No brakes...Don't need them everyone is going the same direction and moving. If someone was to hit brakes it would cause accidents. 3) If you don't have a track bike you can rent one there. 4) If you don't know what you are doing they have a track coach on the premises who is a great guy and always happy to help his name is Carlos an ex-champion from Uruguay. 4) You don't have to race or anything you can just ride laps or watch.
The track is built on an incline like NASCAR which makes for some really cool riding! You can build up some serious speed and have some great fun in a controlled environment. Try it, you may learn something!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

We have a winner for the Saddle contest Jae Kim! Congratulations Jae!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

City of Miami Ride

The City of Miami Downtown ride was a success. Quite a few cyclist showed up to show their support. From family riders to the hardcore roadies there was a good mix of support. In the future I think the City should arrange booths that could distribute information on riding clubs, Bike paths, Cycling parks etc... Maybe give a heads up to the surrounding restaurants and businesses so they stay open. Maybe some bike handling demonstrations, a Band some sort of entertainment? Not bad though for a first effort!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Last Days to register for Saddle Giveaway

Last days for free drawing! Drawing will be Friday. If you didn't enter check Rido Saddle post for details.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008




Don't forget this Sunday Bike Miami! The City of Miami will be closing the Downtown area to motorized vehicles to promote cycling in Miami.
Show your support and take your bike Downtown. Click the link below for maps and general information.
http://www.miamigov.com/cms/Files/BikeMiamiFlyerfinal2008.pdf

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Another Origin8 wheel set. These guys are really coming out with some cool stuff. They're also behind the production fixed gear bike called the UNO which I will be reviewing in the future.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Here they are the new Origin8 Fixed gear wheel set. Drilled out hub sealed bearings, bladed spokes 32 spoke count, 30mm deep dish..........Sweeeett! Available in your local bike shop in December.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Commuting Single speed vs. Fixed

I've been commuting by bike the last month. I have two bikes which I use, one is a single speed the other a track bike. The single speed is a KHS Flight 100 which used to be my fixed gear bike. It was the only bike I had that was set up to take a rear rack. I installed a rack so I could carry panniers on the rear. The bags allow me to carry achange of clothes, lunch, drinks, extra tire and rain gear. With the extra weight on the back and riding in traffic I decided to try it as a single speed with a free wheel. I also opted for platform pedals without clips. A pretty standard single speed set up. The bike works fine as a commuter. The extra weight on the back affects the handling especially in windy conditions. Overall it serves it's purpose. The gearing I think is a 48/16 or 17 which seems to be perfect.

Now the Fixed Gear bike. A classic steel frame track bike. I run a front brake, chopped drop bars and 48/17 gearing. To carry my stuff I have to carry a backpack. The backpack works fine except when I carry my lunch, then it's a tight fit. This set up is definitely a better ride. You don't notice the backpack that much and the bike handles a lot better then with panniers.

Riding the fixed to work is definitely more fun! The bikes faster and handles better!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Be ready to be Blown.....Awayyyyyy...

Well fellow fixed gear fanatics be prepared to be blown away with the new fixed gear stuff coming out! I have the low down and will start filtering some photos and info in the next few days. Be prepared!!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Free Saddle Giveaway!

Well I talked to the folks at RIDO about a saddle promotion, they were all for it! So we are going to give away one of their saddles to a lucky reader. Now the more people I can get to hit my site and theirs the better this works, because if I have convincing numbers I can get other manufacturers to donate cool stuff. To register you need to go to the Rido saddle link which is listed in my links below. The clue is: What does PSG stand for? To find the answer Click to their site and look at the side bar for SENSATIONAL NEW R2 click it. The answer is right above the picture of the saddle.
Once you get the answer email it to me at; fetner_robert@yahoo.com your email address will be put in a drawing. You've got nothing to loose!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

New Rido Saddle


I had the opportunity to try the new Rido Saddle. Rido is a British made saddle that is popular in the U.K. It looks different from your traditional saddle in that it's almost Y shaped. It looks kinda like a stealth bomber. I decided the best way to try it would be to put it on my daily commuter. I'll have to admit I was a little skeptical at first. I installed it perfectly horizontal, but found I tended to slip off to the front. After communicating with the manufacturer they told me this saddle needs to be installed with a slight upward tilt. This solved the problem. The saddle is quite unique and I found it to be very comfortable! Another thing which is pretty cool is since there is so little contact on the saddle you can relieve any pressure by staying seated and locking one leg out which slightly raises you off the saddle. The design looks like it's well made and will hold up to daily abuse. This saddle makes a great commuter saddle and would probably make a great touring saddle. Any of you out there having trouble finding a comfortable saddle may want to give this a shot. If you would like to learn more about this saddle check them out at
http://www.rido-cyclesaddles.com/product-information-c100063.html

Monday, September 29, 2008

Bike of the Month


Here's an example of a beautiful Classic Italian track bike DeRosa.

Doing the Commute

Well after years of thinking about it and never really having a job that was close to home I finally made the jump. I recently changed jobs. My new job is probably within five miles of my house, so I had no more excuses! First thing I did was choose a route that I thought would be safest...remember this is Miami. Then I did a test run on a Sunday looking for potential problems.
This is always smart to do when you can take your time and not have the pressure of traffic to distract you. After scouting my route I had three potential danger spots. 1) A crossing that was under construction that bottle necked the traffic when the light changed- solution I cross when the light is red to get a jump on the traffic to avoid the bottle neck. 2) Busy intersection where to many cars crossing to many directions and a lot of red light jumpers. Solution- I cross in the pedestrian crossing and ride the side walk a couple blocks. 3) a busy four way stop where cars tend to jump their turn. Solution I cut through the back of a parking lot and go around the stop this way I avoid the traffic all together.
The first couple times was hectic finding a system that worked. I put a rack and panniers on the back. One pannier carries my change in clothes, the other my lunch and drinks.
My main concern is being seen, so I mounted a Planet Bike Super Flash. This is a great rear light which has a mile visibility. Another great light from Planet Bike is the Blinky 3. This is a small flashing light, what makes it great is you can clip it to the back of your adjusting strap on your helmet so now you have a second light at eye level facing the driver... my own invention!
I am trying some different front lights out, but since I'm not riding in the dark I'm taking my time on the decision.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Public Relations

What is it about fixed gear bikes? I road road bikes for years and never once had someone compliment me on what a nice bike I had! Believe me I had nicer road bikes than my fixies.
It seems like the general public may be changing their attitude towards cyclist. It's been a long time coming and we need to keep this momentum going. The better the drivers treat us the safer the roads. I usually get a couple compliments a week from car passengers. I always smile and say thanks. It seems the sleek look of the fixie draws their attention mainly the younger crowd teenage and up. The more positive image we portray the more likely some of these people may get into cycling. The more cyclist hitting the roads the more influence we'll have on better cycling laws. So next time your at a light do that track stand, smile and wave, because the person your impressing may be a future lawmaker or cyclist!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Learning to Corner

One thing you will learn on a fixed gear is how to take a corner. It used to amaze me how many riders in a group didn't know how to take a turn, but then most had never ridden a fixed gear. Two things you will learn riding a fixed gear is how to pedal and how to take a turn. You will have no choice the bike will force you to learn. Since you can't stop pedaling in a curve with a fixed gear you have to learn the proper way or you'll crash. When going into a curve you do not lean like a motorcycle. You lean the bike but you keep your body upright. Start slowly then increase your speed. You will feel when your cornering correctly because you will be smooth. On a fixed gear I don't recommend having a crank arm longer than 170mm. Anything longer you run a risk of the pedal hitting the pavement in the turn possibly causing you to crash. This applies only if you plan on riding through curves fast. Most track bikes are set up with 165mm or 170mm cranks. The smaller cranks will also help you spin better, thus developing a better pedal stroke

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Quick Release

Why you don't use quick release on gear. The front doesn't matter unless your riding track. On track you don't want a quick release, because if another wheel was to hit it and it opened it would spell disaster for you and maybe the other riders. That's why the track policy on no quick release. Now on the rear wheel you don't want quick release on any fixed gear. Reason being is the quick release does not lock down as tight as an axle bolt. A fixed gear applies a lot more strain and force on a chain than a derailleur bike. On a derailleur bike the chain tension is maintained by spring pressure so the chain is never tight like on a fixed gear. If a wheel isn't properly locked down in the dropouts it can slip causing you to crash! I recommend installing chain tensioners when possible. This is a simple device that fits over your axle and connects to the back of the frame. When you tighten it down it pulls your chain tight and helps align the wheel within the frame. It also serves as a safety measure if your axle nut came loose it would keep the wheel from slipping forward. So you can use a quick release on your front wheel when ridding on the street ,but not on the track. No quick release on the rear for any fixed gear bike.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Wednesday night Coconut Grove Alley Cat had probably twenty to thirty riders. Not a bad turn out for a late week night run. The race started at 10:30 at the Revolution Bike Shop in the Grove. Plenty of tricked out bikes to look at. To see photos go to
www.flickr.com/photos/30172462@N03/?saved=1

Trick wood look rims. One of the many bikes at the ride.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Gear Combinations

C.R 46 47 48 49 50
Cog
13- 96 98 100 102 104
14- 89 91 93 95 96
15- 83 85 86 88 90
16- 78 79 81 83 84
17- 73 75 76 78 79
18- 69 71 72 74 75
19- 65 67 68 70 71
20- 62 63 65 66 68

A little chart to help you figure out your gear combinations. Find your cog. Line it up with your chain ring and you have your gear inch ratio. This is helpful when you have a certain gear combination that you like and you want to duplicate it or come close with another combination. If you find you need a little more top end you can see what combinations give what. I'm sorry if the chart is a little crooked. This is the best I could get it after spending an hour on it. There was some kinda of compatibility problem when I downloaded the chart.

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Horn Dilema

What to do? Well you got a few options. The squeeze horn which is slow and doesn't always sound off and kinda looks stupid on a fast fixed gear. The Bell ahhh kinda feminine not the look the typical hardcore beer drinking fixie's looking for. Electric bike horn plenty loud push button easy. You still have to install it and keep up with batteries. MegAlert makes one retails $22 your local dealer can get it from J & B the local distributor. Do-able. The air horn-there's a couple versions- the type used at games and on boats. Plenty loud but sometimes to loud for certain situations and you have to custom rig it to mount to the bike or there's a re-fillable air horn designed for bikes. It's ok, but sometimes to loudand bulky. It has a horn connected to an air bottle that fits in your water bottle cage. Sells for $40 called the Air Zound Horn by Delta. Kinda expensive for a frigging horn and adds a lot of bulky crap on your bike. So... my choice a police whistle. They can be picked up at Sports Authority or any sports shop or security police supply store. Cost just a few bucks. You can control the volume and pitch. It get's peoples attention. I hang mine on my handle bars so I always know where it is. When I ride I keep it around my neck. When I get into traffic or bad areas I stick it in my mouth between my teeth ready to go.
Simple cheap solution for alerting bad drivers to your presence!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Fixed Gear Sprints

I'd like to see this take off. To check it out go to Wollfpackhustle.com and check out their video clips. The cool thing about this it can be done just about anywhere and is a lot safer then Alley cat racing. Anyone interested in putting this together drop me a note. Any riders in the Hammocks west kendall area out there? Or am I the only one.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Riding in a Power Outage

Last night the power went out for several hours which really sucked. The first hour or so I was able to keep occupied on the computer with the battery, but when that went out I was left in a dark house. Since I wasn't prepared for this of course I didn't have a working flash light. I ended up getting the light off my bike and using it for a flash light. I was able to scrounge up a couple candles so at least I could get around without bumping into anything. The candles weren't bright enough to read by so there was nothing else to do. As I sat in the dark bored to death I glanced at my bike in the corner F#***this! I grabbed my bike and headed outside. It was actually lighter outside then it was inside with the moon out I could see ok between that and my bike light. So I just passed the time doing track stands and dismounts. I was out there for about thirty minutes when the lights finally came back on. So instead of sitting in the dark bored to death I passed the time on the bike.
Moral of the story you can always find time to ride your bike if you try!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Miami Bike Crash


Well if your from Miami and you're a cyclist then you know where McArthur Causeway is. A favorite riding spot for local riders. Unfortunately due to a careless taxi driver who fell asleep at the wheel six riders were slammed from behind throwing one rider into the windshield, one pinned beneath the car and the rest spread all over the road. This happened Sunday Morning. Two of the riders remain in the hospital in critical condition. It's careless accidents like this that make Miami one of the most dangerous cities to ride in. Let's hope these guys make it and are able to get back on the road. When will Miami start doing something about it's horrible drivers and lax enforcement?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Bicycle Safety


With all of us sharing the road with motorist, we need to stack the odds in our favor! This means acquiring good riding skills, riding defensively and becoming super aware of what's going on around us.
Knowing how to ride on the road can save your life! Two excellent resources are http://bicyclesafe.com/ and the book Urban Biker's Tip's and Tricks which is displayed on this page. Just click on it and it will take you directly to Amazon. This book is a wealth of good information. I own a copy and highly recommend it! A helmet may save you if you are in an accident, but avoiding the accident in the first place is always the best choice!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Help Support Critical Mass

Critical Mass is a gathering of cyclist to promote Bicycle Awareness. Usually once a month they gather in the various cities and have a ride where they literally take over the road. It is the cyclist show of force bringing public awareness to cycling. We have equal rights as the motorist and they need to be aware of this. Check your area for Critical Mass rides and show your support by joining the ride and getting as many of your friends to go as possible. http://critical-mass.info/

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fixie of the Month




Each month I'm going to post a picture of a fixed gear bike that I think stands out. Anyone is invited to send me a picture they want me to consider. This month is a classic hand made frame from the Sparton Factory in Chile. This country has a rich racing history with a beautiful Velodrome in the center of the city. This factory still makes frames by hand in the old traditional way. I've visited their factory and in fact was one of the first to bring one of their frames here to the U.S. I recently talked to their office here in South Carolina and I will be their rep for South Florida so if your looking for a frame set just drop me a line.
Anyway back to the bike, other then the frame and stunning paint job what really makes this bike stand out is the classic Campagnolo track group set. Look at those cranks! Not something you see everyday!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Review- Quick Silver

Everyone that rides Fixed Gear should own this DVD. The movie stars Kevin Bacon and you'll see some other actors who latter became famous such as Lawrence Fishburn, Comedian Paul Rodriguez. The music is by Roger Daltry from The Who. So right there it's worth seeing. The story is basically about a guy that leaves his job on Wall Street to become a messenger. So the whole story is built up around riding bikes for a living .There are some cool bike scenes and trick bike riding. Some of the stuff is corny, but over all I think it's definitely the best bike movie out there. Especially if your a Fixie.

How I got into Fixed Gear

I was a Roadie for most of my life always attracted to Road Bikes. In my early twenty's I met one of my best friends George Espina an ex- Chilean Track star who represented Chile in the junior Olympics. We ended up working as bike mechanics in the same shop. He would tell tales of racing on the Track which just seemed so unreal especially since there weren't any tracks close by to check out. Well years latter Ft. Lauderdale a neighboring city to Miami got a track. George kept talking about riding the track so one night we finally went. What a trip! It was the first time I had ever gotten on a track bike. No brakes and if that bike is moving you better be pedaling. Well the track coach went out there and told me a list of do's and don't s. Which basically scared me shitless.
This track had these huge sloping banks that put the rider vertical when riding at the top. If you slow down you fall off he shouted as I went around. Now your mind tells you no way as you approach these curves but you just ignore what seems to be common sense and pedal for all your worth. Getting through the first curve at the top was cool as shit. Then my confidence picked up and I was going up and down as I pleased. Definitely a cool sport! Wish I had been around it when I was younger!
The fixed gear bike caught my attention. It was so basic it was cool. So I decided I had to have one. I was repping for KHS at the time so I ordered a Flite 100. A good over all basic fixed gear bike. A few weeks latter I was riding the fixed gear on the streets. A couple things with the fixed gear 1) you get a better work out ,because your legs are always spinning. 2) You are more connected to the road since you have a direct drive 3) Fixed Gears are more fun since you have more control over the bike.
So now several years latter I've had three fixed gears. Kept all three but only ride one. It's pretty much my favorite bike and also my cheapest. The cool thing with the Fixed Gear crowd is the bike is a statement of yourself. There's no competition as to who has the most expensive bike as there is with the Roadie crowd who are constantly trying to out do each other with the newest technology. Fixed gear is the opposite the older more classic the frame the cooler it is! So if you have a limited budget look into fixed gear, you won't be sorry!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Public Image

I went out on my normal afternoon ride today. I have a loop of around 3.5 miles that circles around some back streets. There's not much traffic, only a couple lights and a nice little hill to break it up. Anyway I did a couple loops and hit a red light, so I did my normal track stand. I heard someone tap the horn behind me so I moved up thinking they wanted to turn right. Nobody moved and the light changed. As I'm pulling from the intersection a car pulled up beside me the drivers smiling holding a thumbs up "Great trick" he yelled then pulled off. I waved thanks and continued on. On the last lap a car of girls go by waving and yell out "I love your bike! I smiled and continued on.
It's this positive reinforcement that makes cycling that much better. I really think this is our time. With gas prices high, The Tour de France just finishing and the Olympics going on people are becoming more bike conscious. By setting a positive example we may be able to pull in more support for more bike paths, better laws and better support from the general public.

My Ride


Well here it is my ride! A salvaged track bike. The style of frame looks like a British bike. There were no decals or brand markings when I got her. She had a chipped up old white paint job that looked like it been painted with a brush. I took her and had her stripped down and powder coated black. I've changed all the components. I cut off some road bars and flipped them. I installed a triathalon style brake lever. A set of Sinz cranks running a 48 x18.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Essence of Fixed Gear


What's so special about riding fixed gear. I thought about this today while I was out pedaling. I have six bikes. Road bikes, Recumbent, Mountain bike and single speed. (I work in a bike shop).
So why is it, my favorite bike is the fixed gear? It's probably the cheapest bike I own. It's definitely the simplest. So what is the magic of this bike that draws me to it? Then it hit me Satori! A Zen like enlightenment! When you ride any other bike it feels like a separate machine. You are operating a machine. If you stop pedaling the machine will continue to run like a car you are basically driving the bike.
Now the difference : With fixed gear you are one with the bike. You are directly connected to the road through that bike! The bike speeds up and slows down according to your pedaling... you flow. You can not stop pedaling unless the bike stops. You have become the bike! That is the difference!
So for all the money you spent on that expensive carbon fiber road bike you can never experience the same relationship that you can on that simple fixed gear.
Now grasshopper you understand the essence of fixed gear

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

One of my Fixies a KHS. Those shoes are old school leather bike shoes with regular shoe strings.
Belonged to my dad I inherited them R.I.P.

Fixed Gear Blog: Pics From 2007 Finnish Track Cycling Championships

Fixed Gear Blog: Pics From 2007 Finnish Track Cycling Championships

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Getting a Used Fixed Gear Bike

Finding a used fixed gear. Lots of ways to do this. First you will have to decide do you want a true track frame or do you want a converted road frame. Either will do, here's the difference. The track frame will have a little higher bottom bracket so you can use a slightly longer crank then the road frame however I don't recommend anything longer than 170mm crank length. Remember your going to be pedaling through the corners the longer the crank the more chance you have of scrapping it and possibly crashing. Also you want to be spinning and not struggling pushing a big gear. A track frame will usually have a quicker harsher ride than the road bike. Track frames will be harder to find than road frames and probably more expensive. If you decide to convert a road frame it must be the older style frame with horizontal drop outs. The dropouts are where the rear wheel axle rests. The older frames had dropouts that allowed for an inch or two of adjustment. Meaning you could slide the wheel to and fro in the dropout. Newer style frames have a verticle dropout which drops right down on the axle with no forward or backward play. This you don't want! When setting up a fixed gear you must have some room for adjustment. The reason: when you cut your chain you have a set length of chain.You have to be able to pull the chain tight on the dropout. With a horizontal dropout you can do this on a vertical you can't!
Chain tension is very important on a fixed gear you have to have this space for adjustment. Just look at a track frame. A road frame will have the dropout opening facing the opposite direction from a track frame but this is fine you can still pull the wheel tight.
Do not use a quick release on your rear wheel! Your rear wheel must be securely bolted fixed gear chain puts a lot more pressure on the rear wheel. Several ways you can do this 1) use a regular track wheel with the bolts. 2) Change out the quick release axle for a bolt on axle 3) or they make a bolt on that slides through the quick release axle. If you use this system use a chain tensioner as well as a safety measure. In fact I recommend a chain tensioner on all fixed gears. A chain tensioner is a bolt tensioner that goes on either side of the dropout. It has a nut you tighten. As you tighten the nut it pulls the wheel tight. So if your bolt was to go loose on the wheel the chain tensioner would still keep your wheel in place.
Now where to find your frame or bike- garage sales, Ebay or Craigslist.
Try to find a frame that hasen't been wrecked. If you get a bent frame then it may be a headache to straighten. So look for signs of a crash scrapped paint, dents etc... Also ask the owner he may tell you the truth, but then again he may not! It never hurts to ask!

Getting a Used Fixed Gear Bike

Finding a used fixed gear. Lots of ways to do this. First you will have to decide do you want a true track frame or do you want a converted road frame. Either will do, here's the difference. The track frame will have a little higher bottom bracket so you can use a slightly longer crank then the road frame however I don't recommend anything longer than 170mm crank length. Remember your going to be pedaling through the corners the longer the crank the more chance you have of scrapping it and possibly crashing. Also you want to be spinning and not struggling pushing a big gear. A track frame will usually have a quicker harsher ride than the road bike. Track frames will be harder to find than road frames and probably more expensive. If you decide to convert a road frame it must be the older style frame with horizontal drop outs. The dropouts are where the rear wheel axle rests. The older frames had dropouts that allowed for an inch or two of adjustment. Meaning you could slide the wheel to and fro in the dropout. Newer style frames have a vertical dropout which drops right down on the axle with no forward or backward play. This you don't want! When setting up a fixed gear you must have some room for adjustment. The reason: when you cut your chain you have a set length of chain.You have to be able to pull the chain tight on the dropout. With a horizontal dropout you can do this on a vertical you can't!
Chain tension is very important on a fixed gear you have to have this space for adjustment. Just look at a track frame. A road frame will have the dropout opening facing the opposite direction from a track frame but this is fine you can still pull the wheel tight.
Do not use a quick release on your rear wheel! Your rear wheel must be securely bolted fixed gear chain puts a lot more pressure on the rear wheel. Several ways you can do this 1) use a regular track wheel with the bolts. 2) Change out the quick release axle for a bolt on axle 3) or they make a bolt on that slides through the quick release axle. If you use this system use a chain tensioner as well as a safety measure. In fact I recommend a chain tensioner on all fixed gears. A chain tensioner is a bolt tensioner that goes on either side of the dropout. It has a nut you tighten. As you tighten the nut it pulls the wheel tight. So if your bolt was to go loose on the wheel the chain tensioner would still keep your wheel in place.
Now where to find your frame or bike- garage sales, ebay.com, craigslist.com,
Try to find a frame that hasn't been wrecked. If you get a bent frame then it may be a headache to straighten. So look for signs of a crash scrapped paint, dents etc... Also ask the owner he may tell you the truth, but then again he may not!

New to Fixed Gear?

Well let me take you in to the dark seductive world of ridding fixed gear. Not for the weak and faint of heart and Warning: Once you go in you may not go back.....Ha, Ha, Ha

Ok so what is a fixed gear bike? Basically bicycles that were originally designed to race on a track or Velodrome. These bike had only one gear and no brakes. Why no brakes? Well these bikes were being ridden fast on oval tracks. Riders are drafting inches from each others wheels. Touching a brake would not give the riders in the back time to react which would result in lots of crashes. Track riders were conditioned to go around problems and obstacles to avoid trouble.

So how did these bikes become popular on the streets? We can thank the New York Bicycle Messengers. If you don't know what a messenger is get your hands on the movie Quicksilver with Kevin Bacon. What's different about a fixed gear? 1) As long as the bike is moving the cranks are turning. There is no coasting on a fixed gear. You have one gear solidly fixed to your rear wheel if you pedal backwards the bike moves back if you pedal forward the bike moves forward. Kind of like that tricycle you had when you were a kid. 2) The bikes are lighter than similar road bikes, because you don't have the extra weight of gears,derailleurs and shifters. 3)The crank arms are shorter to allow you to keep pedaling through a curve.

So.....Why would you want to ride one of these bikes? 1) They are great fun! 2) You have control on these bikes that you don't get on any other type of bike. 3) Since you are direct drive you feel at one with the road a truly Zen like experience. 4) Simplicity nothing complicated the true essence of biking.

So if I peaked your interest continue on.. if not then you don't belong here and get the hell out!