Fixed-Gear Fashion

Earlier this year, my wife and I moved down from the hills of north London to the Thames River valley, near the old city. We used to live halfway up a hill that is a UCI-recognized category 3 climb. Thus, geared bicycles were the norm. In our new neighborhood, the fashionable steed is a fixed or a throwback cruiser.

Besides the standard Crumpler messenger bag and the rolled-up trousers, the fashionable city cyclist this year is matching rim color with frame paint, as seen here …

… along with threading cards through the rear spokes. I don’t understand that bit of the fashion, but there you go. (I’m told the Toronto fixed riders are putting old 5 1/4 floppies in their spokes.) This bike belongs to the barista at my local coffee shop, Coffee@Whitecross, which proudly calls itself “bicycle friendly.”

The throwback bikes seem to be a growing niche. You can get an old-fashioned Pashley at a couple of shops. I spotted this one …

City bike in Regent\'s Park

… locked to a fence in Regent’s Park’s inner circle the other evening. Its owner told me he bought it off Gumtree and didn’t know its make. Then he gave me a pamphlet for yoga on Saturday mornings in the park.

Down Old Street from our flat is a club that has an inordinate number of fixed-gear bikes parked outside. I can only imagine what goes on inside. Perhaps I’ll take some pictures outside one of these nights and report back on the velodoings within.


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