Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Will the fixed gear culture revive cycling in the US?

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Will the fixed gear culture revive cycling in the US?

Old 09-25-09, 05:19 PM
  #1  
robncircus
Gunner.
Thread Starter
 
robncircus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Santa Clarita, CA
Posts: 1,734

Bikes: Giant TCR, Spooky Skeletor, Pivot Mach 6

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 3 Posts
Will the fixed gear culture revive cycling in the US?

It's funny to think that at the turn of the 20th century cycling was the biggest and most popular sport in the US. Throughout the century popularity declined and things like baseball, basketball, and football took over (I do like football though). With the current trend in fixed gear culture, cycling seems to be coming back more popular than ever. Sure Lance helped too but the reality is it's still not cool to wear spandex in HS so fixies winout. Does anyone think we may see a cycling revival? Can you tell it's a slow day at work?

Thanks for your thoughts.

Rob
robncircus is offline  
Old 09-25-09, 05:24 PM
  #2  
cuski
Chunky Programmer
 
cuski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: BC
Posts: 1,329
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Whatever it is you're smoking, it must be good.
__________________
Burn the incline - V5
cuski is offline  
Old 09-25-09, 05:26 PM
  #3  
gsteinb
out walking the earth
 
gsteinb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Lake Placid, NY
Posts: 21,255
Mentioned: 70 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 821 Post(s)
Liked 528 Times in 246 Posts
urapissah
gsteinb is offline  
Old 09-25-09, 05:27 PM
  #4  
ScarcelyAware
Cyclist?
 
ScarcelyAware's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 126

Bikes: Schwinn Fastback Sport 24 (2006)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Though I'm all for this 'revival' for the love of cycling, I wish it wouldn't be through the fixed-gear culture. No beef against fixies, just some of the hipsters who ride them.
ScarcelyAware is offline  
Old 09-25-09, 05:28 PM
  #5  
roccobike
Bike Junkie
 
roccobike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: South of Raleigh, North of New Hill, East of Harris Lake, NC
Posts: 9,583

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac, Specialized Roubaix, Giant OCR-C, Specialized Stumpjumper FSR, Stumpjumper Comp, 88 & 92Nishiki Ariel, 87 Centurion Ironman, 92 Paramount, 84 Nishiki Medalist

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 56 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 14 Times in 10 Posts
From what I can see, the Fixie craze is has settled down. They still get listed on CL around here, but the prices have dropped dramatically. (Sold mine just in time)
I do believe cycling is on the rise. I monitor the prices of used bikes on CL around here. They are at an all time high, especially road bikes and mountain bikes. That tells me folks want to get into cycling and are looking for those bargains.
__________________
Roccobike BF Official Thread Terminator
roccobike is offline  
Old 09-25-09, 05:39 PM
  #6  
TVS_SS
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 346
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
hmm.. i guess im out of the loop, seems like cycling has been more or less constant in popularity for the past 10 years or so..
TVS_SS is offline  
Old 09-25-09, 05:40 PM
  #7  
patentcad
Peloton Shelter Dog
 
patentcad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Chester, NY
Posts: 90,508

Bikes: 2017 Scott Foil, 2016 Scott Addict SL, 2018 Santa Cruz Blur CC MTB

Mentioned: 74 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1137 Post(s)
Liked 20 Times in 15 Posts
fixed gear culture

oxymoron
patentcad is offline  
Old 09-25-09, 05:40 PM
  #8  
AEO
Senior Member
 
AEO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: A Coffin Called Earth. or Toronto, ON
Posts: 12,258

Bikes: Bianchi, Miyata, Dahon, Rossin

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
if you get rid of the bad reputation FG culture has, then probably.


If one wanted to revive cycling culture in the US, you'd implement convenient mass transportation and add a steep fuel tax.
__________________
Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
https://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm
AEO is offline  
Old 09-25-09, 05:43 PM
  #9  
patentcad
Peloton Shelter Dog
 
patentcad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Chester, NY
Posts: 90,508

Bikes: 2017 Scott Foil, 2016 Scott Addict SL, 2018 Santa Cruz Blur CC MTB

Mentioned: 74 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1137 Post(s)
Liked 20 Times in 15 Posts
convenient mass transportation

oxymoron



add a steep fuel tax


This will spur the development of plug-in hybrids and electric cars, not bicycling.
patentcad is offline  
Old 09-25-09, 05:47 PM
  #10  
grolby
Senior Member
 
grolby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: BOSTON BABY
Posts: 9,685
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 254 Post(s)
Liked 35 Times in 21 Posts
Originally Posted by robncircus View Post
It's funny to think that at the turn of the 20th century cycling was the biggest and most popular sport in the US. Throughout the century popularity declined and things like baseball, basketball, and football took over (I do like football though). With the current trend in fixed gear culture, cycling seems to be coming back more popular than ever. Sure Lance helped too but the reality is it's still not cool to wear spandex in HS so fixies winout. Does anyone think we may see a cycling revival? Can you tell it's a slow day at work?

Thanks for your thoughts.

Rob
Fixed-gear riding is not a sport anymore than riding a mountain bike on the bike path is. Most of those kids have no interest in bicycle racing, if they even have any real knowledge of it. That's not a criticism, it just is. Participation in basketball, baseball, etc is always playing a sport. Bicycles aren't like that. Most of these kids are just riding bikes. Nothing wrong with that.

That said, there may be some marginal benefit, as people realize that bicycle riding is fun, and look for ways to get out their competitive urges that aren't alleycats or bike polo.
grolby is offline  
Old 09-25-09, 05:48 PM
  #11  
AEO
Senior Member
 
AEO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: A Coffin Called Earth. or Toronto, ON
Posts: 12,258

Bikes: Bianchi, Miyata, Dahon, Rossin

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
ok then, the only way to revive cycling cuture in the US is to sell off states that have poor cycling demographics.
__________________
Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
https://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm
AEO is offline  
Old 09-25-09, 05:56 PM
  #12  
caloso
Senior Member
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Posts: 39,722

Bikes: Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper

Mentioned: 63 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2484 Post(s)
Liked 1,576 Times in 796 Posts
I doubt it. As far as I can tell, the hipsters have moved from crappy fixed gear bikes to crappy mopeds.
caloso is offline  
Old 09-25-09, 06:05 PM
  #13  
Walter
SLJ 6/8/65-5/2/07
 
Walter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: SE Florida, USA aka the Treasure Coast
Posts: 5,400
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 6 Posts
I'm old enough to have been a young participant in the '70s boom and the OP has got me thinking.

I agree that Armstrong has created a new interest in roadbikes (I'll lump fixies into that category) but most roadies seem to be into "training" and "group rides" if not actually racing. Outside of the fixie riders you don't see much of the spontaneous riding just to ride groups that I recall from back in the day.

That may because back in the day we knew very little about the sport. This was before LeMond much less Armstrong so for alot of people I hung out with "racing" was 200 yard or so sprints on the service road at Haulover Beach in Miami with a few bucks for the winner. When we saw a guy wearing "kit" we thought he was pretty weird and would "race" him for his gloves or something.

In a way these "alleycat" races seem to be alot like that. Fun, semi-organized at best and maybe a bit rebellious all at the same time.

I like the organized sport an awful lot but if something more spontaneous popped up with the current generation of kids I'd try to go have some fun and lose a few dollars.

Not at Haulover though. Some time ago that part of the beach became an unofficial nude beach for rather unappealing Canadians. Can't race in that environment.
__________________
“Life is not one damned thing after another. Life is one damned thing over and over.”
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Walter is offline  
Old 09-25-09, 06:14 PM
  #14  
grolby
Senior Member
 
grolby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: BOSTON BABY
Posts: 9,685
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 254 Post(s)
Liked 35 Times in 21 Posts
Originally Posted by Walter View Post
I'm old enough to have been a young participant in the '70s boom and the OP has got me thinking.

I agree that Armstrong has created a new interest in roadbikes (I'll lump fixies into that category) but most roadies seem to be into "training" and "group rides" if not actually racing. Outside of the fixie riders you don't see much of the spontaneous riding just to ride groups that I recall from back in the day.

That may because back in the day we knew very little about the sport. This was before LeMond much less Armstrong so for alot of people I hung out with "racing" was 200 yard or so sprints on the service road at Haulover Beach in Miami with a few bucks for the winner. When we saw a guy wearing "kit" we thought he was pretty weird and would "race" him for his gloves or something.

In a way these "alleycat" races seem to be alot like that. Fun, semi-organized at best and maybe a bit rebellious all at the same time.

I like the organized sport an awful lot but if something more spontaneous popped up with the current generation of kids I'd try to go have some fun and lose a few dollars.

Not at Haulover though. Some time ago that part of the beach became an unofficial nude beach for rather unappealing Canadians. Can't race in that environment.
Honestly, one of my theories* about why messengers got annoyed by others "co-opting" their culture and showing up to alleycats is that the roadies with track bikes starting showing up and cleaning up.

My point being that spontaneity is great, but that scene is kind of like road racing in the U.S. before the Raleigh Boys: slow.

*Made up on the spot, so take that as you will
grolby is offline  
Old 09-25-09, 06:23 PM
  #15  
Walter
SLJ 6/8/65-5/2/07
 
Walter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: SE Florida, USA aka the Treasure Coast
Posts: 5,400
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by grolby View Post
Honestly, one of my theories* about why messengers got annoyed by others "co-opting" their culture and showing up to alleycats is that the roadies with track bikes starting showing up and cleaning up.

My point being that spontaneity is great, but that scene is kind of like road racing in the U.S. before the Raleigh Boys: slow.

*Made up on the spot, so take that as you will
Agreed. I remember when those "roadies" in "kit" (terms which would've been meaningless back in 1977) would tell us that our sprints weren't racing and instead why don't we hit the road and go down to Coconut Grove where "they really raced" we'd tell him he was crazy.

My larger point was that we, or at least I, don't see much on the road except roadies who are at least trying to be serious (myself included) or people on cruisers/hybrids. No kids trying to do something different with their bikes.
__________________
“Life is not one damned thing after another. Life is one damned thing over and over.”
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Walter is offline  
Old 09-25-09, 06:31 PM
  #16  
c0lnago
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 1,076
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Butt crack is going in the wrong direction.
c0lnago is offline  
Old 09-25-09, 06:50 PM
  #17  
robncircus
Gunner.
Thread Starter
 
robncircus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Santa Clarita, CA
Posts: 1,734

Bikes: Giant TCR, Spooky Skeletor, Pivot Mach 6

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by grolby View Post
Fixed-gear riding is not a sport anymore than riding a mountain bike on the bike path is. Most of those kids have no interest in bicycle racing, if they even have any real knowledge of it. That's not a criticism, it just is. Participation in basketball, baseball, etc is always playing a sport. Bicycles aren't like that. Most of these kids are just riding bikes. Nothing wrong with that.

That said, there may be some marginal benefit, as people realize that bicycle riding is fun, and look for ways to get out their competitive urges that aren't alleycats or bike polo.
While I have no stats to back up my theory I'm willing to bet there is more track racing happening now than in the last 15 years or so. I know a lot of "fixie" riders tacking a stab at track.

Rob
robncircus is offline  
Old 09-25-09, 06:59 PM
  #18  
nazzo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 126

Bikes: '09 Felt Z80, '01 Schwinn Mesa MTB

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I doubt it. As far as I can tell, the hipsters have moved from crappy fixed gear bikes to crappy mopeds.
Have a run in with the the 'moped army' hipster-*******s, eh?



What sort of cycling culture do you want to have be revived?
nazzo is offline  
Old 09-25-09, 07:07 PM
  #19  
mmmdonuts
Gluteus Enormus
 
mmmdonuts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 2,245

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Build velodromes and allow betting. That will revive it.
mmmdonuts is offline  
Old 09-25-09, 07:13 PM
  #20  
caloso
Senior Member
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Posts: 39,722

Bikes: Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper

Mentioned: 63 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2484 Post(s)
Liked 1,576 Times in 796 Posts
Originally Posted by nazzo View Post
Have a run in with the the 'moped army' hipster-*******s, eh?



What sort of cycling culture do you want to have be revived?
Nah. They seemed perfectly nice, it's just that their machines were loud and smoky (like untuned chainsaws). I thought I'd try to catch a draft from the moto-peloton but had to give up after a block. I was coughing too hard to stay on their wheels.
caloso is offline  
Old 09-25-09, 07:13 PM
  #21  
cyclefreaksix
Senior Member
 
cyclefreaksix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Plano Texas
Posts: 1,311
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I'm for just about anything that puts more bikes on the road. I don't care if it's Fixies, BMX, cruisers, whatever.

Incidentally, some of those Fixed Gear riders will return to the sport. It will be years down the line and I'm thinking that they will probably be riding road bikes.

How many of us started riding and fell in love with riding on a BMX bike?
cyclefreaksix is offline  
Old 09-25-09, 07:33 PM
  #22  
chipcom 
Infamous Member
 
chipcom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 24,360

Bikes: Surly Big Dummy, Fuji World, 80ish Bianchi

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Fixie culture my ass. The popularity of cycling is being driven by them cheap hybrids and wally-world bikes.
chipcom is offline  
Old 09-25-09, 07:56 PM
  #23  
Loose Chain
Senior Member
 
Loose Chain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 2,067

Bikes: 84 Pinarello Trevisio, 86 Guerciotti SLX, 96 Specialized Stumpjumper, 2010 Surly Cross Check, 88 Centurion Prestige, 73 Raleigh Sports, GT Force, Bridgestone MB4

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 278 Post(s)
Liked 69 Times in 54 Posts
Americans are too large to ride bicycles and getting larger. I think bike prices are up somewhat on lower end used bikes (less than 250 dollars) because so many people are trying to save money on fuel or are out of work etc. People who are interested in bicycles for transportation often are not interested in the sporting aspects of cycling. I do remember the "tend speed" boom of the 70s and the "English Racer" boom of the 50s and 60s (OK, I read about it).

Some kids on fixies will migrate to road bikes probably at a slightly greater rate than do the BMXer kids, which is pretty low.

I have no idea nor have I ever seen a good explanation for why the turn of the century (19-20) fascination with bicycles and bike racing died out in the USA. Perhaps because unlike in Europe, within a few years most Americans had cars and that the car culture here just exploded and enveloped cycling.

Laws requiring roads to have bike lanes, bike paths (multi-use) would help a lot, only a few of us have the stomach for doing battle with 5,000 pounds of steel on twenty pounds of biicycle.

Last edited by Loose Chain; 09-25-09 at 08:00 PM.
Loose Chain is offline  
Old 09-25-09, 08:00 PM
  #24  
roccobike
Bike Junkie
 
roccobike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: South of Raleigh, North of New Hill, East of Harris Lake, NC
Posts: 9,583

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac, Specialized Roubaix, Giant OCR-C, Specialized Stumpjumper FSR, Stumpjumper Comp, 88 & 92Nishiki Ariel, 87 Centurion Ironman, 92 Paramount, 84 Nishiki Medalist

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 56 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 14 Times in 10 Posts
Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
Fixie culture my ass. The popularity of cycling is being driven by them cheap hybrids and wally-world bikes.
+1, Must be true, all those hybrids racing on those rails to trails is getting a lot of attention.
__________________
Roccobike BF Official Thread Terminator
roccobike is offline  
Old 09-25-09, 08:17 PM
  #25  
AEO
Senior Member
 
AEO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: A Coffin Called Earth. or Toronto, ON
Posts: 12,258

Bikes: Bianchi, Miyata, Dahon, Rossin

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Loose Chain View Post
Americans are too large to ride bicycles and getting larger. I think bike prices are up somewhat on lower end used bikes (less than 250 dollars) because so many people are trying to save money on fuel or are out of work etc. People who are interested in bicycles for transportation often are not interested in the sporting aspects of cycling. I do remember the "tend speed" boom of the 70s and the "English Racer" boom of the 50s and 60s (OK, I read about it).

Some kids on fixies will migrate to road bikes probably at a slightly greater rate than do the BMXer kids, which is pretty low.

I have no idea nor have I ever seen a good explanation for why the turn of the century (19-20) fascination with bicycles and bike racing died out in the USA. Perhaps because unlike in Europe, within a few years most Americans had cars and that the car culture here just exploded and enveloped cycling.

Laws requiring roads to have bike lanes, bike paths (multi-use) would help a lot, only a few of us have the stomach for doing battle with 5,000 pounds of steel on twenty pounds of biicycle.
Japan and Western Europe invested in nationwide rail, US invested in interstate highways.
owning a car in Japan and Western Europe is more expensive than US.

now Japan and W. Europe have an amazing rail system allowing multi modal transportation with bike and train, the roads aren't as wide or extensive as US. US you can get everywhere with your car with it's extensive road network that allows a lot of car traffic, but train service is lacking.

there's also the consideration of how far you live from work and how dispersed US is compared to Japan and Western European countries.

suburbs, living far away from work. Cities, not designed for 21st century traffic volume. etc.
__________________
Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
https://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

Last edited by AEO; 09-25-09 at 08:21 PM.
AEO is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.