Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    834

    Downtown Seattle...fixies out da wazoo!

    Just got back from a conference in downtown Seattle. Other than NYC, never have I seen so many fixies! A whole lot of 'em were vintage 10 speeds, converted to fixed. 2nd most common were regular roadies. Mountain bikes, a very distant 3rd. Don't think I saw one 29'er, 1x8, like I ride. I can understand how riding fixed could give you better control in wet weather, but those skinny tires? Seems like not the optimal tool to me. I'd rather ride something with some cush and superior traction, that I can hang rack, panniers, and fenders, and light on. Guess my Fredness is showing...

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    8,185
    Traction on what? I'll take a slick for riding in the rain any day. Also, there is nothing worse than wet rim brakes--- so again, fixed (or discs) for the win.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doggity
    Seems like not the optimal tool to me. I'd rather ride something with some cush and superior traction, that I can hang rack, panniers, and fenders, and light on. Guess my Fredness is showing...

  3. #3
    Big is relative
    Reputation: bigbill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    11,509
    I see them when the boy and I head over to catch a Mariners game. A fixie is good for riding north and south in Seattle, but east and west present a challenge. The term Skid Row came from Seattle because the E-W streets have such a steep incline that the drunks sleeping on the street would skid down the hill. At least that's what I have told. I don't get over to Seattle much on my bike since I would have to ride through downtown to get to good riding. I live on the Kitsap Peninsula and people travel here to ride.
    Retired sailor

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: PdxMark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    5,508
    I like fenders & hub-powered lights on my fixie. I'm not sure I've seen panniers on a fixie - other than maybe grocery panniers.

    Some of the E-W hills in downtown Seattle would be daunting on a fixie, and I've ridden alot of hills on mine. I don't know what the grades are, but the steepest ones would be quite a chore on a daily commute basis. I can't recall how bikes and cars mix in downtown Seattle. Are there bike lanes or do bikes take a lane or squeeze into the side margin?

  5. #5
    hello
    Reputation: roadfix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    3,270
    I'm seeing a lot more kids on SS (fixed gear wannabe's) here in LA. Some days I see more SS than FG.
    SurlySteamrollerLitespeedClassicBianchiPista
    DeanColonelSurlyLongHaulTruckerKonaKu
    LitespeedFirenzeCinelliOlympic

  6. #6
    Big is relative
    Reputation: bigbill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    11,509
    Quote Originally Posted by PdxMark
    I like fenders & hub-powered lights on my fixie. I'm not sure I've seen panniers on a fixie - other than maybe grocery panniers.

    Some of the E-W hills in downtown Seattle would be daunting on a fixie, and I've ridden alot of hills on mine. I don't know what the grades are, but the steepest ones would be quite a chore on a daily commute basis. I can't recall how bikes and cars mix in downtown Seattle. Are there bike lanes or do bikes take a lane or squeeze into the side margin?
    I think parts of Seattle has bike lanes but the Pioneer Square area on the way to the stadium doesn't. The cyclists and cars just have to co-exist. The fixies usually roll past stopped cars at a light which causes some angst with drivers but if they weren't pissing off drivers they wouldn't be hipster fixies.

    If I lived someplace flatter, I would consider a fixed or SS with a generator hub for my commute. Simple is better. The newer generator hubs and LED lights are great but I am invested in my HID and sweet PW hubbed commuter wheelset. My commuter is currently in "Summer Configuration" with only a small LED headlight for flashing and single Blackburn Mars taillight. This time of year I leave the house at 5am wearing sunglasses.
    Retired sailor

  7. #7
    Low rep power
    Reputation: saf-t's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    6,201
    Funny- I was in Toronto the week before last, and despite the huge number of bikes around, I saw all of 2 fixies- pretty surprising, given how flat it is there....

  8. #8
    Travels by Map
    Reputation: nate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    3,027
    Boston has a ton of fixed gear and single speed bikes, too. Broke college students = cheap bikes + hipsters. I think terrain is less a factor than demographics.

  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    834
    Quote Originally Posted by PdxMark
    I like fenders & hub-powered lights on my fixie. I'm not sure I've seen panniers on a fixie - other than maybe grocery panniers.

    Some of the E-W hills in downtown Seattle would be daunting on a fixie, and I've ridden alot of hills on mine. I don't know what the grades are, but the steepest ones would be quite a chore on a daily commute basis. I can't recall how bikes and cars mix in downtown Seattle. Are there bike lanes or do bikes take a lane or squeeze into the side margin?
    They take the lane, and pretty much keep up with the cars! I saw some do some rilly dangerous moves, cutting across lanes right in front of cars...Gah. Long as they don't spill, they're fine. If they did, certain death. The comment about 'traction'-for what?" made me laugh, because I realized I was transposing the abysmal 3rd world road conditions of New Mexico to Seattle. It's true. They've got good roads up there. Down here, you damn near need something with a half track. I ride across sections of sidewalk when there's no other safe way that look like they've been bombed to rubble. Nope...just the state of the union, here. Besides, most of the most interesting roads you'd want to ride are dirt anyway, so that's why I no longer ride 700x23.

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: blakcloud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    866
    Quote Originally Posted by saf-t
    Funny- I was in Toronto the week before last, and despite the huge number of bikes around, I saw all of 2 fixies- pretty surprising, given how flat it is there....
    Maybe it was an off week, but rest assured there are a fair number of fixies in this city. I also agree with you that Toronto is pretty flat and is perfect for FG or SS.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Hot Deals

Contest

Tour De France

Latest RoadBike Articles


Latest Videos

RoadbikeReview on Facebook