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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 02-18-07, 03:39 PM   #1
le car
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the new skateboarding

yeah I know there have been threads about this, but mostly complaining about the hipsterization and how cheap bikes are gonna abound once the fad passes... yeah right.

I actually think that what is happening right now is quite interesting, and that we're witnessing the birth of a new trick-based sport. MASH will be fondly remembered in 20 years, like the Bones Brigade videos now.

a few obvious common points between skateboarding and fixed-gear riding:

- URBAN.
In both you navigate the city, making the most of an environment that wasn't designed for you. Obstacles (cars, pedestrians, other 2-wheelers) become part of a skill game.

- MINIMAL / CUSTOM.
Both are simple machines, held together by a few nuts and bolts, and both are best built from separate pieces. No self-respecting skateboarder would ever buy a complete board.

- DANGEROUS / NEEDS SKILL.
You can get hurt. Reluctance to wear helmets is common in both, and brakeless riding uses a similar technique to skateboarding (skidding=sliding in a way).
None are that easy to master (although I must say that skateboarding is way more difficult).

- EXCLUSIVE.
That "rebel" aspect which has long vanished from the skateboarding world, that feeling of being part of something that the masses don't understand, is still there in FG riding (at least in Europe).
I still try to nod or at least look (smile if it's a girl) at other fixed riders I see in London. In Paris if I'd see another person on a fixed I know we'd both (skid to a) stop and talk!
Wait for the X-games to catch up though... as someone mentioned in another thread.

- VISUAL.
I've yet to meet a rider or skateboarder who doesn't care how his bike or board looks. FGG, velospace anyone?
Don't even get me started on fashion. I'm sure the Marc Jacobs messenger bag is coming soon, as he did some ltd. edition Vans before..

- OUTLAW.
Skateboarding is still forbidden in many places (esp in the US), and the brakeless factor is known to be a problem in some places. The other day I was in NYC, paying bike polo in the LES, when we had an experience that reminded me countless arguments with security guards : a NYC Parks guy tried to stop us using some traffic cone as a goal post, resulting in a shouting match and the kidnapping of a polo mallet in retaliation...

Sorry to FGG forum members - I posted a similar link there months ago..

And here's one for all the skateboarders here:
my trip to Shanghai Skatepark (the biggest in the world) in nov 2005:

Beats ANY velodrome anytime.
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Old 02-18-07, 03:50 PM   #2
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hipsterization?
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Old 02-18-07, 03:55 PM   #3
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That is huge!
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Old 02-18-07, 03:56 PM   #4
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lolz
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Old 02-18-07, 03:57 PM   #5
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hipsterization?
sorry I mean hipsterification
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Old 02-18-07, 03:58 PM   #6
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uh, hasn't this already been done? As is BMX?
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Old 02-18-07, 03:58 PM   #7
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hipsterafizicationizedation
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Old 02-18-07, 03:59 PM   #8
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"- MINIMAL / CUSTOM.
Both are simple machines, held together by a few nuts and bolts, and both are best built from separate pieces. No self-respecting skateboarder would ever buy a complete board."


Phew....I was worried that me only riding stuff that is prebuilt, cheepo- crap might
make me prone to getting some self respect . Im glad to find out it wont.
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Old 02-18-07, 04:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by le car
sorry I mean hipsterification

Don't you work for Intersection?

Cool Fort bike, cool rag man.
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Old 02-18-07, 04:05 PM   #10
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Man that skatepark look so nice, I thought it was a Dreamland park for a sec...

I agree though, track bikes on the street does have a lot of similarites, mostly the ones you noted. I used to be very into skateboarding for a good 5 years on and off, now I'm into the fixie thing but they're both fun in their own ways. I don't know if fixed gears as a mode of doing tricks can really progress that far though, but we'll see.

I'd go as far as saying fixies as a sport compares pretty closely to snowboarding in the regards that in both fields you have people that are obsessed with speed and just love going super fast, and than other people obsessed with tricks and always trying to do something new / innovative. Then you have organized racing (boardercross, slalom / velodromes) to add to the mix too. In skateboarding, there's merely a fraction of a fraction of people that like to bomb hills and go fast exclusively, most of the people that skate are either into the street or skateparks / transitions and bowls.

I don't necessarily think of fixed gears as some flash in the pan trend, I think people will be riding them on the streets for a lot longer then people may think. Personally, if I'm still riding a bike 10 years from now it's definitely not going to be freewheel, it's just that simple.
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Old 02-18-07, 04:21 PM   #11
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the snowboarding link is good indeed:
- having both feet attached to the machine you ride gives you that "one with the bike/board" thing people rave about. I ride SPDs so it really feels like I'm attached to the bike.
- in both sports you can just cruise around and look like you're relatively good. Try that on a skateboard...
- fashion-consciousness runs high in some circles.. I can't think of a sport where kids HAVE to have the coolest gear every season more than in snowboarding.
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Old 02-18-07, 04:22 PM   #12
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more pictures of that skatepark! damn!
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Old 02-18-07, 04:26 PM   #13
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can someone just do a masters thesis or doctoral dissertation on the sociological aspects of fixed so we can go a more than week without a thread like this?
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Old 02-18-07, 04:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andre nickatina
I don't necessarily think of fixed gears as some flash in the pan trend, I think people will be riding them on the streets for a lot longer then people may think. Personally, if I'm still riding a bike 10 years from now it's definitely not going to be freewheel, it's just that simple.
i've been skatingboarding for the past twelve years, who said either were flash in the pan trends?
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Old 02-18-07, 04:33 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by cc700
more pictures of that skatepark! damn!
OK
the biggest full pipe (there are a couple!)
The park had barely opened when I got there, I went past security to skate it by myself, with workers looking on in disbelief


a WIDE ramp


workers


one of about 7-8 separate bowls
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Old 02-18-07, 04:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipper
Don't you work for Intersection?

Cool Fort bike, cool rag man.
thanks - my bike and my mag indeed.
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Old 02-18-07, 04:36 PM   #17
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I saw two waves of skateboard popularity.
And each of the previous waves riders called the new wavers
all the stuff you see posted here about new fix riders.
Skateboarding has a built in turnover rate. There are exceptions, but
not too many people stick with it for too long......5 or 6 years I would say,
usually. You see old peepls riding fixies, however.
Anyone remember the wars at FDR skatepark in Philly when the
bicycles came ??
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Old 02-18-07, 04:39 PM   #18
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Yeah there are a lot of similarities between fixies and skateboards. Skateboarding has gone from very popular (the 70s) to not so popular (late 70s to early 80s) to very popular (mid to late 80s) to very not popular (early 90s) to popular again (late 90s to now). The thing is, is that when a sport becomes popular it brings alot of new people into it. The ones who like it for what it is will be around when it becomes not so popular. I don't think that fixies becoming popular is such a bad thing. I'll be the first to admit that if this hadn't happened I probably never would have even learned about them and given them a try, but I'm glad I did. That being said I've been skating for 19 or 20 years and will die a skater, and I imagine the same thing for riding fixed. The important thing is to have fun with it.
Oh yeah, and fixed gear is more like snowboarding because they're both extremely easy to pick up. Any schmuck can ride a bike or snowboard down a hill ; ). I ride my bike for transportation, not so much for tricks. When I want to do that I ride my bike to the skatepark.

But ultimately, who cares about any of this?
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Old 02-18-07, 05:03 PM   #19
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..so is the internet, hypeblogs, hiroshi, huf, designer magazines etc helping it grow or just helping it be overly commercialized quicktime?....
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Old 02-18-07, 05:09 PM   #20
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holy ****! thats a sweet skate park, havent been on board since the 80s, but seeing that makes me think twice about having put it down! Is that big building nearby part of the facility? (I'm imagining a pro shop, food & drink + an oldstyle arcade?)
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Old 02-18-07, 05:12 PM   #21
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i blame puma's fixed 101 for sucking me. that and smoking drugs. drugs are so ****ing cool.
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Old 02-18-07, 06:46 PM   #22
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BMX is like Skateboarding, because it's about the tricks.

Fixed Gear is like Snowboarding, because it's about going fast.
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Old 02-18-07, 06:52 PM   #23
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that park is in the new hoffman video and it's insane. it's a rad video and the footage of the park makes it even better.
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Old 02-18-07, 06:53 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blickblocks
BMX is like Skateboarding, because it's about the tricks.

Fixed Gear is like Snowboarding, because it's about going fast.
How fast can you go with just one gear?
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Old 02-18-07, 07:01 PM   #25
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The pictures of the skatepark are yet more evidence that the Japanese always take American culture and make it 10x bigger and better.
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