Among the dozens of types, the cycling discipline that is creating the most trend in recent years is undoubtedly the fixie. This type of cycling, whose only requirement is a fixed monoplate and monoplane bicycle, has become something more: a minority sector but spearhead of fashion, lifestyle and passion and the cult of cycling and cycling in general.
We tell you more about the fixie, about its creation, the types of competitions that exist and the advantages and disadvantages of practicing it.
Fixed gear: an innovative cycling discipline
The fixie, in its strict sense, is nothing more than a monorail bicycle, we could say. No developments, changes, crowns or deviators. A plate and a pinion, period. It is a peculiar cycling discipline, since the pinion is also fixed, that is, it is not free so it has no deadlock. So that we understand each other: you can not stop pedaling because there is no deadlock, the one where you hear the pinching of the pinion. If you stop pedaling, in this cycling discipline means stopping the rear wheel.
It is true that single-pinion free-wheeling bicycles are often also called fixies, but this is a somewhat broader concept.
The origin of this discipline is the origin of cycling itself: the first bicycles, as was to be expected, were fixed gear.
Nowadays this cyclist discipline supposes greater lightness, greater mechanical simplicity and more effectiveness in the transmission, but do not forget something: you can not stop giving pedals. In fact, in the fixie competitions there are no brakes, and everything works with the agility of the cyclist to maintain the cadence or to block the rear wheel.
The fixie culture: something more than a cycling discipline
The fixie trend today has become, however, much wider. He was born of urban cultures, of a young audience that takes an old concept and innovates from it. In flat cities and countries that are widely protective of cycling, the fixie began to win whole a decade ago. Many young people began to get antique paintings at a low price, and to turn them into fixie bicycles loaded with meaning, decoration and even artistic expressions.
Today, everything is different: there are already companies dedicated entirely to the fixie, websites selling exclusive fixie products and very professional competitions of this new discipline. The famous video game company Rockstar is investing in this sector and in the most important events you can see its presence as the main sponsor. Your search: a root cycling but modern, underground, with a minority audience but very specific and faithful. Urban cultures riding a bicycle.
In countries such as Spain, they are still in the queue on these issues. In fact, the Law does not allow to circulate without rear brake. Something that reveals the outdated with respect to these new cycling disciplines and urban cultures.
In more cosmopolitan cities, especially in New York, the fixies took root very well. In fact, their messenger culture on fixie bikes led not only to their expansion, but even to be the focus of growth and to establish their own competition.
Everything is counterculture in these cities. These purist and primitive tendencies mark the originality of many of these countercultures, and the fixie is already part of them. Leather sneakers, huge glasses, striking clothes, designer helmets. And much more.
Professionalism and fixie competitions
Currently, there are many professionalized teams in this cycling discipline. The fixie has become something more than a simple urban trend.
They are often called their meetings and competitions as “critériums” and the most famous circuit is undoubtedly the Red Hook Crit. It began in 2008 in Brooklyn, and was founded by David Trimble. Soon, a global circuit was created, which grew to Milan in 2010, Barcelona since 2013 and London since 2015. This is precisely the circuit we referred to sponsored by Rockstar Games (the factory of such famous titles as GTA or Red Dead Redemption) .
From here, brands such as Rapha have opted for discipline and cities such as London or Milan have organized their criteria at night, in events that have become an authentic party full of trend, fashion, good taste (and sometimes not so much) and unbridled speed through the streets of the city. The products and materials they carry are quite alternative, and strange to find.
It is no longer that underground cycling discipline of his birth. Today it has become much more: the spearhead of fashion and the trend of clothing, bicycle helmets and other cycling products that present different and daring designs here, as a prologue to what comes in later seasons.