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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 11-18-09, 03:20 PM   #1
lfw
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Let's forget fad and fashion for a moment

I've never been a bike messenger nor have I played one on the Internet. I'm a SS/FG devotee, but I really don't understand why anyone who makes their living riding a bike in city traffic all day would want to do it on a brakeless fixed gear. If I were doing this daily, I would probably use a fixed gear too, but with both front and rear brakes. I would gear the bike on the low end. This would give max control of the bike (if you are skidding you ain't stopping), and not put so much wear and tear on your knees. I'm coming at this as a geezer who has been riding a bike for 61 years. I was off the bike from '92-'98 with palellar tendonitis. That weren't no fun, boys.
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Old 11-18-09, 04:01 PM   #2
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Back when I started biking, there was no such thing as a downhill. You kids have it easy.

...and I've never been a bike messenger.
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Old 11-18-09, 10:45 PM   #3
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Gears and brakes are for old people?
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Old 11-19-09, 02:52 AM   #4
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I like to think if I were a messenger it would be on a rigid, geared mountain bike with slicks.
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Old 11-19-09, 03:16 AM   #5
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If I were a messenger, I would ride a fixie... unicycle.
With spoke cards.
And jet propulsion.
On a road made of candy and chocolate.

Is that so hard to understand?
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Old 11-19-09, 04:57 AM   #6
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no wonder most people think fixed gear riders are idiots.
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Old 11-19-09, 06:57 AM   #7
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Wut, brakes and gears?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sj1-218EnvY
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Old 11-19-09, 08:05 AM   #8
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I don't get why people want to be messengers, they are a bunch of losers!

well done on achieving being able to get a document from A-B, whilst making pittance and going home to their crappy apartments to get drunk on cheap beer because they can't afford to do anything because they spend all the cash they do get on njs and boutique messenger bags and clothes.

Real messengers (the one's not in it for the lifestyle) are just a bunch of people with no qualifications, who can take the subway somewhere or ride a moped or something.
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Old 11-19-09, 08:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lfw View Post
I've never been a bike messenger nor have I played one on the Internet. I'm a SS/FG devotee, but I really don't understand why anyone who makes their living riding a bike in city traffic all day would want to do it on a brakeless fixed gear. If I were doing this daily, I would probably use a fixed gear too, but with both front and rear brakes. I would gear the bike on the low end. This would give max control of the bike (if you are skidding you ain't stopping), and not put so much wear and tear on your knees. I'm coming at this as a geezer who has been riding a bike for 61 years. I was off the bike from '92-'98 with palellar tendonitis. That weren't no fun, boys.
A lot of the courriers in Toronto I've seen use brakes. Not all of them are on fixed gear bikes either.

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I don't get why people want to be messengers, they are a bunch of losers!

well done on achieving being able to get a document from A-B, whilst making pittance and going home to their crappy apartments to get drunk on cheap beer because they can't afford to do anything because they spend all the cash they do get on njs and boutique messenger bags and clothes.

Real messengers (the one's not in it for the lifestyle) are just a bunch of people with no qualifications, who can take the subway somewhere or ride a moped or something.
Wow, read bikesnobnyc to get all your opinions and never actually meet a bike messenger much? Or is it some kind of deep seated resentment because you've got this complex about you thinking they're cooler than you?

99% of the courriers I've rode with are cool people who are passionate about bikes. You're just a dick.
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Old 11-19-09, 08:37 AM   #10
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Hey man, sorry, but earning no money is not a career. You ain't gonna go pro, there are no sweet advertising deals to sign. I am not saying the people aren't cool, just that in my opinion. It's a bunch of losers who become messengers. There is also a difference between, having a messenger job for a short while because you are at uni or something, but being a messenger, you aren't going to to go anywhere in the world.

At least with skateboarding you have a chance of getting signed, doing competitions and making big money (as with many other sports).

Do you understand what I am saying?

I knew expressing my opinions would get me in trouble again!
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Old 11-19-09, 08:56 AM   #11
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Hey man, sorry, but earning no money is not a career. You ain't gonna go pro, there are no sweet advertising deals to sign. I am not saying the people aren't cool, just that in my opinion. It's a bunch of losers who become messengers. There is also a difference between, having a messenger job for a short while because you are at uni or something, but being a messenger, you aren't going to to go anywhere in the world.

At least with skateboarding you have a chance of getting signed, doing competitions and making big money (as with many other sports).

Do you understand what I am saying?

I knew expressing my opinions would get me in trouble again!
Determining someone's merit or worth (calling them a "loser") based on their financial prospects is a hollow and pointless existence IMO. I would guess that makes artists, social workers, writers, musicians, professional cyclists and the like "losers" as well, and the 45 year old accountant who hates his job, takes medications for his blood pressure, his obesity, his stress and a bit of xanax just tot ake the edge off being alive is a "winner".

I think your priorities suck. Anyone who can say without reservations that they get a lot of satisfaction from their life rather than having to say "... but it's stable" or "... but it pays the bills" is better off than some consumer drone working a "respectable" job that they hate.
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Old 11-19-09, 09:10 AM   #12
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accountant?? no way, but an investment banker? yes. there is also a difference between doing work for altruistic reasons, musicians also want to make it big, and have goals and creativity and passion. In what way is that similar to riding your expensive bike around town taking documents places? But when you get a family, have children to feed and clothe and fund, making money becomes top priority. You gotta pay them bills.

It reminds me of family guy when Peter said his relative was a philospher, with the wife holding a baby saying, just get a job, with his reply "BUT, Why????"
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Old 11-19-09, 09:10 AM   #13
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I get what the_don is saying. It's not like someone's obit will list them as "retired bike messenger". But it's fine if you never want to own your own place, maybe raise some kids, and retire.
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Old 11-19-09, 09:32 AM   #14
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As I see it, the don is saying that respectability flows from wealth.
And that responsible people breed.
A lot of people think this.

But can we get back on topic? Old people don't understand the youth of today.
Oh. I finally got the joke. The don is mimicking the OP to be funny.
Well done. Much more subtle than my earlier absurdism.
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Old 11-19-09, 09:39 AM   #15
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accountant?? no way, but an investment banker? yes. there is also a difference between doing work for altruistic reasons, musicians also want to make it big, and have goals and creativity and passion. In what way is that similar to riding your expensive bike around town taking documents places? But when you get a family, have children to feed and clothe and fund, making money becomes top priority. You gotta pay them bills.

It reminds me of family guy when Peter said his relative was a philospher, with the wife holding a baby saying, just get a job, with his reply "BUT, Why????"
An investment banker? I think that's about as low on the spectrum of horrible jobs I can think of (short of sweat shop labor) so our priorities are clearly different. I'm talking about that for me (and a lot of other people) the promise of what you will be compensated for your job is more or less meaningless weighed against how much you will enjoy working that job. Better to enjoy the majority of your waking life than work a crappy job to pay for your speedboat that will grant you 30 hours of enjoyment per year out of the thousands of hours working a job that sucks.

As for altruism or utility to society, an investment banker produces no product or useful services and brings no benefit to anyone other than other investment bankers. The day of finance being used to promote the production of goods and services has been replaced mostly by finance as it's own insulated world of money backed by no real assets for at least a decade. From a societal utility point of view, they're worthless.
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Old 11-19-09, 09:39 AM   #16
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The bikes I see ridden by messengers in downtown Toronto are all over the place. It seems to come down to a few critical points: 1) what can you afford? b) what can you afford to lose? c) is it comfortable? There are lots and lots of guys that make it around on old hybrids and rigid mountain bikes. Almost none ride high end bikes, and that makes sense. Why would you wear on a nice bike for a job that can't really pay for the resulting maintenance?
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Old 11-19-09, 10:03 AM   #17
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money = worth.

capitalist pig!
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Old 11-19-09, 10:24 AM   #18
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Most messengers I know don't ride brakeless fixed gears for work.

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Real messengers (the one's not in it for the lifestyle) are just a bunch of people with no qualifications, who can take the subway somewhere or ride a moped or something.
Don't be a jerk. I know plenty of people who do it because they like it. Yeah, it can be frustrating, and it's not the best job in the world, but you're making some really raw blanket statements about people based on the line of work that they're doing, and then you're turning around and hiding behind "oh golly, people don't like when I express my opinion!"
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Old 11-19-09, 10:30 AM   #19
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Back when I started biking, there was no such thing as a downhill. You kids have it easy.
On the other hand, there weren't any uphills either because the earth was still flat.
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Old 11-19-09, 10:47 AM   #20
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Pedex might disagree w/ not doing so well as a messenger.
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Old 11-19-09, 11:21 AM   #21
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Determining someone's merit or worth (calling them a "loser") based on their financial prospects is a hollow and pointless existence IMO. I would guess that makes artists, social workers, writers, musicians, professional cyclists and the like "losers" as well, and the 45 year old accountant who hates his job, takes medications for his blood pressure, his obesity, his stress and a bit of xanax just tot ake the edge off being alive is a "winner".

I think your priorities suck. Anyone who can say without reservations that they get a lot of satisfaction from their life rather than having to say "... but it's stable" or "... but it pays the bills" is better off than some consumer drone working a "respectable" job that they hate.
+1
Excellent post.
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Old 11-19-09, 11:26 AM   #22
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money = worth.

capitalist pig!
this....
minus the negativity. lol.
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Old 11-19-09, 11:29 AM   #23
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I'm not making any judgments about messengers themselves, but I will say this: being a messenger is one bad gig. It is an underpaid, risky, physically taxing, and thankless job.
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Old 11-19-09, 11:47 AM   #24
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I'm not making any judgments about messengers themselves, but I will say this: being a messenger is one bad gig. It is an underpaid, risky, physically taxing, and thankless job.
...and your experience with being a messenger is? I didnt realize they had messengers in texas.
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Old 11-19-09, 12:25 PM   #25
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From what I understand, the percentage of messengers that ride brakeless track bikes is actually pretty small. It's just that they're the most hipster-y so people started doing that. Most messengers ride way more practical bikes, but practical != cool.

Also, the_don is totally being a dick.
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