Justin works for traffick and loves riding, heres some insight...thanks Justin, its a privilege to hear from you. We are here to get a little insight into fixed gear cycling in NZ, give us a real simple explanation of fixed gear cycling for those who are a little confused about it all.
A street fixed gear bike is basically a track bike made to ride in a
velodrome. It's like a road bike frame but it usually has steeper geometry and
horizontal dropouts. It has one gear and has a fixed rear cog, no freewheel, i.e. if the bike is rolling the pedals are moving, if you pedal faster the bike goes faster, if you slow the pedals down, the bike slows down. In a velodrome they have no brakes, some people put brakes on when they ride them in the street some leave them brakeless. People think having no brakes is crazy but you have a lot of control just using the pedals to slow down or skid. Brakes are probably a pretty good idea though. The only real difference between a Velodrome bike and a street bike is the tires and the pedals, in the velodrome they ride tubular tyres which are pretty impractical for the street, they take a lot longer to change and cost more. Most guys ride clip in pedals on the track but on the street it's mostly flat pedals with toe cages. The other difference is a lot of guys run cut down riser bars off mountain bike's instead of the traditional drops - this is also more fashionable.
> Give us your take on the scene in NZ at present, whats happening?
I got this bike from Sweeney, Which I thought was broken. There were no
brakes and only had one gear. To be honest, I had never heard of it before
I heard him yarp on about it. As it turns out the bike matched my IPOD
shuffle, which was blue and I had this belt bag that I get mocked for
wearing. So I kinda had the whole thing in right in front of me and didn't
know it. "The scene" is the guys who are actually riding the bikes and not just
talking about it. Track bikes seem to have this mystery and coolness amongst the cycling world but they dont actually ride them. They should just get a bike and ride it. its not actually as unattainable as they make out, you can convert a $50 ten speed for about another $200 - $300 less if you already have some parts or know about
bikes. Most of the guys riding fixed come from other backgrounds that are
the polar opposite of road cycling, they're skateboarders, BMXers, people
who have never ridin a real road bike. It's also not as fashionable as
people think, it's just that the people riding them make it look cool, its
just riding a bike, it's fun.
As far as the scene goes.... I was crossing the road on my bike and this
westie stopped and turned his window down. I was like" Here we go"!! The
guy yelled at me, " Sick fixed gear bro". That sumed it up to me. Everyone
rides a bike, with or without brakes. Most bike look sick. Fixed/ Freewheel look
amazing, even if they suck. I guess it is like wearing shoes. We all do it,
some of us just look epic in them....and some don't.
> How can the beginner get involved?
Trade me. Who ever the ozzy cobber is buying up all the 10 speeds, leave it
Get on the net, get a $40 bike, stripe it and build it up. GO to a sick
bike shop that will have the parts you might need. Otherwise Talk to Sweeney, he
will point you in the right direction. I don't do any of that stuff. I just
get my bike dogs to do that.
The bike shop on Khyber has 2nd hand bikes all the time. They build em, I
test them then they sell em before I get a chance to scam them off them.
When you find a bike, whether you build it yourself or get something
already to go, get a good bike mechanic to check it out (although most bike shops don't have a clue about fixed gear bikes on the street, ask them if they ride
themselves or have at least worked on these bikes before - remember,they're
cyclists, they usually talk about it, not actually ride fixed!) especially
if you are riding it brakeless.
Don't use ghetto tricks you got off the internet to convert your road bike,
use a proper track hub, fixed cog and lock ring, otherwise you will end up
spending the money you saved at the dentist, when you should be spending it
on making your bike better!
> Would you say you have the freshest cycle in NZ?
No but Like you didn't know. Sweeney has both of them!
> You have recently travelled to San Fran, a big hub for fixed gear. Has it only fuelled the fixed gear flame within you?
Shit man. If I had some bolt cutters I would have the other 2 freshest
bikes in NZ.
> Do you have a girl to ride with?
I have 2 girls. One doesn't bikes. The other one just got her Trainers
> Favourite label at the mo?
Hmmm. Comme Des Garson and Traffick.
To all the roadies, bike shop guys, and messengers talking down on fixed
gear bikes, like "the hills are too steep to ride one here" and "its just a
trend" blah blah blah - its just a bike you can ride them anywhere, when
little kids get their first bike with the pedals on the front wheel, that's
fixed. Ride one its fun.
> Thanks alot