Is it really over?

There’s been a lot of talk about how fixed gear bikes are a big fad and its finally coming to an end.

Bike Snob NYC is always talking about it on his blog and even pokes fun of the bikes that he sees listed in Craigslist and To be honest with you, the fixed gear culture in Orange County, CA. isn’t the biggest movement out there so I wouldn’t really know if the trend/fad of fixed gears is actually going away.

So if you’re in the San Fran, LA, NYC, Seattle, Portland or any where that has or had a huge fixed gear population, can you enlighten me and share whether or not this is really the end of fixed gear bikes?


  1. Moe February 15, 2008 5:48 pm 

    The new trend is vintage single speed bikes with bullhorns/flat bars with one brake … All you have to do is check out CraigsList!

  2. Evan February 15, 2008 5:49 pm 

    I don’t know if we’re at the end, but I am seeing them everywhere here in Pacific Beach, CA. On a short drive through town today I saw 3 or 4 fixed gears and it got me thinking the same thing. I remember when I first moved to the area everyone rode beach cruisers. If you didn’t you were a kook. Hell, I even bought one to fit in. But now I am definitely seeing a lot of the fixed gears in the mix.

    I think in SoCal we’re a little bit behind the bicycle trend. We’re just about reaching the saturation point, and from there the numbers will start to decline.

  3. Russ Roca February 15, 2008 6:16 pm 

    I’m still seeing more of them here in LBC…there’s definitely a bit of a scene…but I also see a bunch of kids on old 10 speed road bikes with 10 speeds!

    My hope is that fixed gears got them on bikes and hopefully they’ll stay on a bike whether it’s a fixie, vintage road, dutch, city or cargo.

  4. HalibetLector February 15, 2008 7:00 pm 

    I’ve only been in SF for 2 years, so fixies were already a fad when I got here and I haven’t seen much of a decline. Fixies have grafted themselves onto indie and hipster cultures here too, so that might have something to do with it.

    I’m interested in what happened to make people think the fad is over. Was there a memo I missed?

  5. Ghost Rider February 15, 2008 8:53 pm 

    Still going strong around here…but kids will drop out when something cooler comes along, leaving only the hardcore riders.

    I predict that Euro-style city bikes and vintage 10-speeds will be the new fad, and me and my friend Russ can say that “we were into it before anyone!”

  6. Mike February 16, 2008 11:15 am 

    The fad will die down as these fixie kids Darwin out from a lack of having a real brake. It’s a self eliminating fad.

  7. Roman Holiday February 16, 2008 12:34 pm 

    People have been riding one-gear bikes (ss/fixed) way before the so called fad, and will continue to ride their one-gear bikes. This is the case in NYC.

  8. Dominic Dougherty February 16, 2008 2:10 pm 

    I see it as the new rollerblading… and how long did that last? 5-6 years? I think we’re about at the halfway point in LBC.

  9. Ghost Rider February 16, 2008 3:02 pm 

    Dominic, that’s the perfect analogy…just like the new “old” skateboarding craze of the late 80s…that really lasted about 5-6 years, too. The people who were there all along will keep riding, and the people who really appreciate it as a unique form of bicycle riding will stay, too. The fad-heads will move along to the next “cool” thing (Fix Push! Vintage BMX! Pogo Sticks!).

  10. fixedgear February 17, 2008 4:30 am 

    Still huge here in Philadelphia, where we look to NYC for our inspiration.

  11. Quinn February 17, 2008 10:39 am 

    Around Reno it has become chic/popular enough that the guys that rode them Way before they were popular are dis-owning the bikes/”culture” and getting other types of bikes, even if it means hauling around their Free Ride bike in their truck.

  12. james O. February 18, 2008 9:19 pm 

    I just hope people keep riding their bikes here in L.A., fixed or not. And I hope they use their bikes for good (commuting, errands, advocacy, etc.) and not evil (purely for recreation, unsafe and stupid city riding, global thermo-nuclear war).

    So is the “fad” of fixies dying out? Don’t know. Ultimately, don’t care. I think it’s more important to focus on how we use our bikes.

  13. steve dave February 18, 2008 11:11 pm 

    fixies are hopping here in denver.

  14. Andrew February 19, 2008 1:39 pm 

    Like Mike said fixies are a self limiting phenom. In my rides from Brooklyn to Manhattan I see fewer but then again it’s February and the fixie crowd are notoriuosly fickle when it comes to real weather or, well, pretty much anything as BSNYC points out frequently. Which is an oxymoron when you consider the complexity of stopping one of those. The messengers like ’em and always will because there’s nothing on ’em to steal.The young kids eating taxi doors for the first time tend to get rid of ’em fast if they still live to tell. Put it this way. I only see about 1 crazy roller blader cruising down the middle of 5th ave. every 6 months now. Used to be at least once a week. Lets hope it wasn’t all darwin 😉 Fixies as an every man’s fad will go down in history with Heelies.

  15. james O. February 19, 2008 4:56 pm 


    where to begin…?

    the complexity of stopping a fixie for beginners:

    1. apply brake

    end of course.

    if you don’t have a brake on a fixie, get one. unless you really think you know what you’re doing.

    there is just as much to steal on my fixie as there is on my 10 speed, unless someone is just interested in stealing my derailleurs and 1 extra brake.

    there are actually a lot of people in the “fixie crowd” who ride in “real weather.” here’s one i know plenty of others. admittidly, none in NYC. i dunno, maybe it’s different where you live.

    fortunately, eating taxi doors is not a privilege exclusive to fixed gear riders. unless we’re back to the no brake thing. “young kids” shouldn’t attempt that anyway.

    you’re probably right that less people will end up riding fixies as time passes, but an everyman’s fad?? cyclists are a relatively small niche overall. fixed gear riders are downright microscopic. therefore, heelies were and will remain waaaay more popular than fixies.

    BSNYC rules!!!!

    ok, i realize that i have way too much time to kill at work today.

  16. NICK February 22, 2008 10:41 pm 

    I live in Portland and have made the following transition:
    Fixed Gear —>Single Speed—>Multi Speed
    I can’t say that fixed gears are going away, but it seems as though the fixie riders are getting younger while more experienced riders are leaning to more traditional bikes.

  17. Benjamin February 26, 2008 12:37 pm 

    The number of bikes on the road in general are down here in Minnesota, so I can’t say anything about fixies.

    I converted my old ten speed to a fixie and I’m enjoying it for the reasons that Sheldon Brown advocated them, not any trends. The inability to coast has improved my ride greatly.

  18. DDYTDY March 18, 2008 6:41 pm 

    My Mom and her brothers rode fixed in the 40’s.

    Because it’s fun!

  19. kevin March 20, 2008 10:14 pm 

    I ride a fixed gear 160 miles a week. This topic is silly. You were right when you referred to it as a movement, and not a fad. Sure there are a bunch of hipsters, scensters and young bicyle enthusiast that jump on the band wagon, buy the appropriate clothing, and live out their egotistical part. The truth is people started riding fixed gears/SS because of the bicycle manufacturers building in obsolescences into there bicycles by making everything “work together” a fixed gear/ss conversion is so simple anyone can learn to work on them, and there cheap. If these factors encourage more urban youth to ride there bikes more power too them. But this isn’t a fad that will go away. I know for a fact that I will never get rid of any of my 3 fixed gears. Honestly anyone commenting on this thread that hasn’t regularly ridden a fixed gear shouldn’t be so naive. It’s a completely different experience. I’m sure the average ‘dumb’ kid on a fixed gear has a better spin that the fo-pros out here. Also fixed gears aren’t for ‘kids’ I’ve three friends who are over 40 one thats over 50 that ride fixed gears. It’s a much more active bicycle riding experience

  20. Freeride_DeathExtremeDeath March 29, 2008 1:08 am 

    Honestly Im hoping the “Fad” isnt dead as Im trying to get my filthy lil paws on that new Felt Curbside, and Id hope people will find it A nice ride. But than agan even If people think its lame, I dont care cuz I like its looks.

  21. SuperDave May 23, 2008 9:10 pm 

    Drop me a line if you need help finding a Curbside. They are indeed a rare find as there were only a few made in the pilot year.


  22. Mike Myers May 24, 2008 3:00 am 

    The bike industry is always looking for the next “hot” trend to boost sales. In the 70s it was road bikes and touring bikes, in the 80s and 90s it was mountain bikes, and now it’s fixed gears.

    The next hot trend is touring bikes and dedicated commuters.

  23. swick July 28, 2008 8:22 pm 

    In Seattle, fixies have been appropriated by the early-mid 20’s emo-myspace-american-apparel crowd. In other words: If it can be copied, it will be.

  24. Mundo Cycles September 4, 2008 2:26 pm 

    I recently bought a vintage bike its a MUNDO CYCLES at least thats what the sticker says. Has anyone one every heard of it. It was originally a 10 speed but its now a three speed its yellow and tall. Just trying to find some info on it.

  25. Ghost Rider September 4, 2008 2:43 pm 

    There’s some speculation that Mundo was a division of Nissan, the Japanese automaker. That’s all I’ve ever heard about this brand.

  26. Broaddway Panther November 9, 2008 7:15 am 

    It could be coming to an end, it could be just the tip of the iceberg. It doesn’t and shouldn’t really matter. More kids are riding, whether it’s for scene cred, the affordability, and/or the sheer enjoyment of it. People are getting so worked up regarding this “fad” as they call it. Correct me if I’m wrong, here, but last time I checked these critics didn’t invent the bicycle did they?

  27. Bonneville November 19, 2008 2:03 pm 

    Why do bicyclists always think they’re so damn smart and everyone else is so stupid? Stop trying to change the way everyone thinks by eliminating fads and so on, please. And if you’re going to ride in the street, you should know it’s against the law to do so if you are unable to travel the posted speed limit. This is why bike lanes were invented – because bikes simply can’t match car speeds. You suck. Sorry but you suck big time. I’m sick of being late to work because some a-hole on a bike is being environmentally friendly and risking his life and my jail time by riding his bike rather than driving. I do however think, if you obey the laws and ride safely, that you are wicked cool for riding your bike instead of driving. If you can get there on your bike, why drive? Just please be safe and considerate to the drivers because it’s their gas tax that pays for road maintenence, and there wouldn’t be paved roads without cars in the first place.

  28. Ghost Rider November 19, 2008 3:45 pm 

    I’m certainly not in the habit of responding to Internet “trolls”, but I’ve got to tell you that you need to re-read some of your American history, especially concerning paved roads here. Yes, you can thank bicyclists for them, too.

    Secondly, that tired business about cyclists not paying there share for the road is utter horseshit. Yeah, I said it. Take a look at this article to get a better idea of what REALLY happens out there:

    You must remember that many (most?) cyclists are also homeowners, car owners/gasoline purchasers and holders of state-issued drivers licenses, all of which contribute to roadways in some small way with taxes and fees.

    I’ve paid my way…now get out of mine!

  29. mello-velo March 11, 2009 10:37 pm 

    I think Bamboo Bikes rock and Bonneville’s a dork

  30. cameron April 16, 2009 12:31 pm 

    i was out running down the bike/run path along the platte river yesterday and i think i saw about 400 cyclists total, HALF of which were those fixed speed bikes! i don’t get it. i’m in denver a few times a month, i’m from portland, and have lived in LA for a few years. i never saw them in LA, but imagine they are huge in portland and seattle if they are big in denver. i just kept laughing as they’d ride by me and they all looked the exact same! they were these little guys with right jeans with both pant legs rolled up (because so many bikes have chain rings on both sides of the bike), little tight t-shirts, a nameless euro-looking vintage army hat, a brown or black messenger bag or some kind, and some big pilot sunglasses or dark plastic rim (probably non-prescription) glasses, and little slip on Keds or Vans shoes. the whole fixed speed vintage euro track bike thing is crazy. can that really be practical, safe, and fun for chaotic city streets? the whole fad movement makes me embarrassed to ride my “real road bike” which happens to be a bianchi of all brands- the same brand as many of these hipster, funky, euro, urban-ites. when they go to buy a “fixie” bike do they also stop and say to themselves- ok, now i have to go and get all the clothes to go with it so i can fulfill the part? i didn’t see anyone on a fixie wearing a cycling outfit, workout clothes, or just plain street clothes. i doubt the “fixie” people are getting them because their 27 speed Trek is just for long road rides or races and the fixie is for commuting. i don’t know, that’s my rant about identity crisis kids looking for a way to stand out by looking around them at the “newest” thing- only to become a poser and migrate to the next fad only to exploit it. duh!

  31. Mark May 10, 2009 6:34 pm 

    I’m from Columbia, SC (admittedly not the biggest bike scene), and started looking for a bike about a year ago because I was tired of driving everywhere and had moved to downtown Columbia where it was actually practical to ride consistently. I picked up where I had left off in middle school by looking at BMX and mountain bikes, eventually arriving at fixies as the most practical choice. It was at this point that I came to realize, rather late, that there was an entire movement/ fad/ subculture edge to the whole thing. I even had friends that had been riding fixed for a while that kind of helped me out in picking out a frame and parts. There are plenty of people just like me who could care less about all of the fashion surrounding something and just see it for what it is. I don’t think fixies are going anywhere, although you may start to see a lot less color coordination and all of the bells and whistles that seem to defeat original purpose of riding fixed. If a person drops something as soon as it becomes trendy, or drops something as soon as it’s not trendy anymore, you gotta question where their heart was in the first place.

  32. Mark May 10, 2009 7:56 pm 

    I would also like to say in addition to my earlier post that while I don’t see fixies dying off as a whole, I do foresee the decline in a lot of the stuff that goes with them, aka aerospokes, deep V’s, american apparel, etc etc. I don’t think the bikes themselves are going anywhere, just the fashion and trends that go along with them.

  33. Joe September 19, 2009 3:46 pm 

    I thought I was the only one thinking there has been a big fad of fixed gear bikes here in LA. I have been riding for the past 3 years,just love to ride my bike. But it’s quite annoying for me when I ride and see a bunch of kids riding fixed gear bikes. A lot of people have forgotten why we ride,they rather look cool on their fixies?

  34. Jenna December 14, 2010 10:57 pm 

    I’ve been riding fixed for 10 years now and I’ve been thinking. What is with the “trend”? Fixed, multi, cruiser, mtb, whatever! why are you fashion fanatic hipsters posting you’re usual whiney snob gibberish here? You must be so fashion conscientious that you need to know so badly if this fixie “trend” is dying or not in the first place? At least people are on bikes. Hey, if you plan on getting rid of you’re fixies now, you can easily donate them here, I’ll take them off you’re hands and take good care of them lol.. stupid hipsters always in denial… Ride whatever you like riding. it’s about getting around sustainably and burnin some lbs, not fashion.

  35. Raiyn December 15, 2010 3:34 am 

    @ Jenna
    You do realize that this thread died over a year ago right? Check your dates folks!

  36. Bay Area Fixie February 9, 2011 4:05 am 

    I built 2 fixed gear bikes a few months ago. They’re fun to tool around ON FLAT GROUND, haha. The real trend is continuing to ride your fixed gear bike even after all the posers stop riding theirs. In this way you will show true dedication to the sport instead of just living a lie.

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