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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 01-15-06, 08:20 AM   #1
brunop
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totally serious question that'll sure get a lot of flip remarks--but anyway. . .

seems there's always a lot of talk and mention and all about "hipsters". what do ya'll really mean when you refer to the rubric "hipster". is it kinda like justice brennan's quip about pronography--you can't definitively define it but you know one when you see one? really. and specifically what is a "hipster" vis a vis cycling? are all fixed riders hipsters per se relative to say road or mountain cyclists? what up?
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Old 01-15-06, 08:53 AM   #2
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can't believe ya'll are silenced! i see ya saw the question! c'mon! what ya mean by "hipster"? kind of a neal cassidy like character? or maybe maynard g. krebs? i thought everyone'd be fallin' all over themselves to answer this definitively! what up for real! let's put this question to bed. i'm going out for a li'l ride.

if we're gonna reduce folks to social stereotypes, we should at least be somewhat clear on the terms.
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Old 01-15-06, 08:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brunop
can't believe ya'll are silenced! i see ya saw the question! c'mon! what ya mean by "hipster"? kind of a neal cassidy like character? or maybe maynard g. krebs? i thought everyone'd be fallin' all over themselves to answer this definitively! what up for real! let's put this question to bed. i'm going out for a li'l ride.

if we're gonna reduce folks to social stereotypes, we should at least be somewhat clear on the terms.
Shhh!

People like it vague, so they don't implicate themselves.
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Old 01-15-06, 08:59 AM   #4
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aiight! i'll start. viv a vis bikin' a hipster never wears spandex "official" cycling clothes. streetwear is worn on bikes at all times. a jersey may be ok as long as it doesn't have a buncha logos and **** all over it. but NEVER are tight black cyclin' shorts worn. NEVER!
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Old 01-15-06, 08:59 AM   #5
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I'm reclaiming hipsterism as a form of positive, uplifting, unifying cultural expression.
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Old 01-15-06, 09:10 AM   #6
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I asked the same question awhile back, after being called a hipster/hearing the term thrown around repeatedly. The stock definitions seems to fall along the lines of "latter generational hippie/beatniks." It has morphed into a subculture that parodies itself unintentionally when underground cultural trends, et.al. hip-hop, trucker hats, thrift store shopping,punk ,exotic coffee connoissuers, etc. are brought to the mainstream, and lose credibility as they are co-opted by latter generational art students jaded by the empty cultural reality of upper-middle class surburbia, whom move into a re-gentrified urban city center seeking a more meaningful existence. This plan often backfires, however, as the last bastion of the arbiters of cool reject their apt pupils in favor of seeing their beloved culture re-marginalized, with the hope that it would re-emerge as an authentic expression of whichever particular message is valued.

The Village Voice published a seminal cover feature a couple of years ago titled "The Death of Hip". This article, in retrospect, did more to bring awareness of the co-opting of subcuture by the mainstream than any moden blog could, and thus emerged a sort of intellectual backlash in the independant media toward this 21st century archetype of "culture vulture" that is dubbed ' the hipster'.

MTV recently ran a series of animated shorts called " Delusional ________", which features modern stereotypical figures (the aspiring, untalented actress...the insensitive, yet innocently brutal jock,etc.). It was, of course, inevitable that the subject of 'hipster' would be lampooned. But, in lieu of any real pychological content, MTY simply offered a portrait of a young white male with an upper crust accent, wearing a too small t-shirt, a trucker cap, and a white belt. His ironic statement? "..First of all I'm not a 'hipster', and I was definitely the first to wear a white belt." The unintended irony not being present in the text, but in the fact that MTV -once the arbiter of cool, but now the prolificator of mainstream **** of authentic expression- should be self aware that any knowing hipster would recognize the patterns associated with the term (such as owning a white belt), and disassociate himself violently from it. A true hipster would proudly display his black or brown belt, painfully self aware of all the accruemonts that would strip him of street credibility.

The world of fixed gear is as fiercely protective of it's beloved secrets winding up as no more than a backdrop for an Ashlee Simpson video as the martial arts once defended it's culture from being swallowed by Hollywood after Bruce Lee introduced Gung Fu to the West. Naturally, now that the enemy has a name, we see an increase of labeling and attacks from the center, but more often from would-be hipsters themselves -ridden with guilt, shamefully self-aware, and willing to do whatever for that all important street credibility. Even if that means buying a track bike with no brakes, simaltaniously possessing very little in the way of skills.
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Old 01-15-06, 09:11 AM   #7
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I'm new here, but I live in a liberal college town (Austin), so I think I can confidently comment on what a hipster is as I see one every 15 seconds while on UT campus. Hipsters are indeed Maynard G. Kreps, circa 2005.

They generally wear tight pants, canvas shoes like "old school" converse, thick white belts, tight t-shirts, etc. Their favorite major is communications, and their favorite band is Stereolab.

They consider any music that has even a tangental relationship with pop to be utter crap, and seem to feel real physical pain when in proximity to such music. In short, they're music/theater/film snobs who, while uninformed about world events around them, feel the need to share their ill-concieved political viewpoints in between telling others why their taste in music/film/(bikes?) suck.

But it's really is ok, because they're just 20 year olds and they'll grow out of it. The trully sad thing is the 30+ year old hipsters.
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Old 01-15-06, 09:56 AM   #8
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Anybody who happens to be talking to a girl I'd like to talk to.
To quote Vanilla Ice from the movie "Cool as Ice".
"Ditch that zero and get with the hero."
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Old 01-15-06, 10:11 AM   #9
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Old 01-15-06, 10:11 AM   #10
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At first glance it is easy, at second glance it is harder.
People wear what they wear and look like they look for different reasons, even if they all appear to fall into the same mold.

As for fixed being associated with hipsters, I think it is fairer to say hipsters associate themselves with fixed gear riding, but that there are a lot of people out there that ride fixed who are not hipsters. Sheldon Brown for example. And me: I wear spandex proudly. Its way comfy.
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Old 01-15-06, 10:13 AM   #11
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so wait, cause i live in the burbs i'm auto-classified as hipster? i resent this classification system and demand a rewritten submission of said classification system!
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Old 01-15-06, 10:34 AM   #12
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It seems to me that within the fixed community, the hipsters are the ones who ride fixed, brakeless because it's cool, but may not posess the actual skill to ride with no brakes. They are the people who ride some weird ratio to get more attention. But to say that anyone wearing tight pants, a white belt, and a tight sweater is a hipster, is basically stereotyping about 50% of my school, or any other art school as a huge hipster community. It seems that hipster now-a-days is just another word for poseur or the kid you see in those videos they show you in 5th grade that is smoking to be cool.
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Old 01-15-06, 10:50 AM   #13
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seriously.... at some point tight jeans start to ****ing hurt.... i cant imagine riding a bike in them.
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Old 01-15-06, 11:10 AM   #14
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I generally stay away from this fray.
However, if you are at the LBS and trying to get some tubes, only to be forced to wait cuz some kid is there w/ a new cycling cap, tight pants w/ a muffin top, a crisp Chrome Kremlin ( orange or gray must be on sale somewhere), yet he owns NO bike or has ANY idea of what he wants. Congrats, you've had a sighting.
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Old 01-15-06, 11:11 AM   #15
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some tight pants have lycra in the fabric. I imagine theyre closer to wearing spandex than you think.
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Old 01-15-06, 11:14 AM   #16
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Well, I still haven't put a brake on my bike, but it's only cuz I've been too lazy to buy a cool lever, so until I do that (if I ever do it) I'm sans brakes. And eff tight jeans, I would like to maybe possibly have kids someday.
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Old 01-15-06, 11:38 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonsan
tight pants w/ a muffin top
Well played. I've been championing that one for a while!
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Old 01-15-06, 12:26 PM   #18
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Well, I still haven't put a brake on my bike, but it's only cuz I've been too lazy to buy a cool lever, so until I do that (if I ever do it) I'm sans brakes. And eff tight jeans, I would like to maybe possibly have kids someday.

tight pants actually raise sperm count. it's amazing that we don't see more of the anomaly known as the "hipster baby."
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Old 01-15-06, 12:41 PM   #19
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someone post a pic of a muffin top.
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Old 01-15-06, 12:43 PM   #20
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Old 01-15-06, 12:46 PM   #21
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To me, a hipster is someone who does something/acts a certain way/dresses a certain way because he/she believes that society thinks it is a cool or an attractive attribute. Meanwhile, if someone does those same things because they see it as functional, or because they themselves TRULY believe in it/like it = not a hipster.
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Old 01-15-06, 12:47 PM   #22
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heh. yeah. ask a stupid question....
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Old 01-15-06, 12:49 PM   #23
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a quick find, but not the best
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Old 01-15-06, 12:51 PM   #24
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The world of fixed gear is as fiercely protective of it's beloved secrets winding up as no more than a backdrop for an Ashlee Simpson video as the martial arts once defended it's culture from being swallowed by Hollywood after Bruce Lee introduced Gung Fu to the West.
i like that. comparing fixed gear riding to kung fu. hell yeah.
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Old 01-15-06, 12:51 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamtastic
seriously.... at some point tight jeans start to ****ing hurt.... i cant imagine riding a bike in them.
The BMX scene has been championing the girl's jeans/tiny tshirt look for some time. And those fellows flippin' go off on a bicycle.
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