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Fixation with the Fixie


Apr 23, 2006
An interesting article on the fixed gear phenomenon in Japan


I invite your comments. I would kind of like to give one of these things a whirl, as they seem to be the rage with the bicycle messenger crowd in Tokyo. I think the major reason they are popular with this set is not economic, rather fashion, but I could be wrong, eh :rolleyes: I think they are pretty dangerous in traffic as the temptation to just keep going rather than have to stop on these things seems to be overwhelming (at least that is what I see while commuting around Tokyo).

Personally I would NEVER give up on gears!:warau: Ever tried going up the hill even in Kagurazaka on one of these??
watch the corners

With no free hub, you have to pedal thru corners and all the way down hill. Understand this takes a bit of getting used to.
More jumping on the bandwagon but what ever gets people riding bikes is good I suppose. Shorter cranks, usually 165, mean your chances of pedal strike on corners are almost zero. the biggest thing for messengers was no one wants to (wanted to) nick their bikes so they didn't have to fudge around with locks and stuff. SS is much more practical for everyday riding IMHO.
Quite agree with you, they are a bit of a thing of the past. Did you read that bit about the tour was ridden on fixies until 1890's or so? Imagine going up some of those hills on fixed gear! :eek::eek::eek:
they walked or ran alot back then, they also used wine as a riding fluid replacement!!!:beer1:
I use a Pearson Touche around Tokyo, which is one of these:

I got it mail order from the UK. It's really fun, although it's eaten some of my favourite jeans. I'm not sure if it's true, but it feels as if all your energy when pedalling is transferred to the wheels.
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