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Tag Archive: Fixed Gear

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 fixedgeargallery.com. 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?

Quick Review:Trek Soho S


Product: Trek Soho S



MSRP:
$549.00


Specs:

Sizes 15, 17.5, 20, 22.5″
Frame Alpha Black Aluminum
Fork Cro-Moly w/lowrider mounts
Wheels
Wheels Alloy flip flop high flange hubs; alloy rims
Tires Bontrager Race Lite, puncture resistant, 700x28c; 60 tpi
Drivetrain
Shifters n/a
Front Derailleur n/a
Rear Derailleur n/a
Crank Bontrager Nebula 44T w/chainguard
Cassette Shimano 17T freewheel/16T cog
Pedals Nylon body w/alloy cage
Components
Saddle Bontrager Select City
Seat Post Bontrager Satellite Nebula
Handlebars Bontrager Crowbar Sport, 25mm rise
Stem Bontrager Soho, 15 degree
Headset Aheadset Slimstak w/semi-cartridge bearings, sealed
Brakeset Alloy dual pivot w/Tektro alloy levers
Extras Chainguard

Sweet chain guard to keep your slacks free of grease.

I really dig the matte/flat/gloss finish. Gives it character and makes it less of an attention whore for thieves.

First Impressions:

The Trek Soho S retails around $549…not bad for this kind of bike. It’s a single speed/fixie with the flip flop hubs. The setup of the Soho S reminds me of how I’ve set up my Redline 925. I’ve never been a fan of drop bars, and flat bar road bikes have always been my favorite because of the geometry and overall riding position that tends to be more comfortable. One of the comforting aspects of this bike is the Bontrager Race Lite tires that are puncture resistant. I HATE getting flats and having these type of tires not only peace of mind, but it will also prevent you from being late to the office because you didn’t have to hassle with a flat tire.

The sidepull Tektro brake and levers provided enough stopping power without any strain on my hands.

One of the other small details that I liked about the bike was the bar ends. Check out how they have a reflective sticker on it. I thought that was pretty cool. Oh and the bell is an added bonus!

The gearing ran at 44/17t on the freewheel and it was easy enough to start at a dead stop and get on cruising speeds within a few seconds. I rode with the fixed gear for a bit, but when I did try it, the lock ring slipped. I quickly fixed that but rather than riding it as a fixed, I opted for the freewheel since my knee has had problems from stopping fixed gear bikes.


Summary:

I actually liked the Trek Soho S. I rode a 17.5, which made it just right for my height, 5’7″ on a good day. The bike felt comfortable, I didn’t feel that I was leaning over too much or had that aggressive race geometry. But don’t get me wrong, the Trek Soho S can dish out some good speed. Just a few pumps of the pedals, then this baby is hauling.

trek soho s

There was one thing I didn’t particularly care for about this bike, its the pedals. They had these weird open cage design that felt like my foot was falling off. I think a good pair of platform pedals or even clipless pedals(even better) would have solved this issue. Other than that, the bike is fun to ride, it would make a great commuter and is relatively priced low.

Beautifully designed, affordably priced canvas and leather bicycle bags.

Fixed Gear Friday:Fake Fixies

While browsing through LA’s Online Bike Flea Market (CraigsList) I noticed an interesting trend: Faux Fixies. What is a fake fixie? They are late model bikes that have been converted to single speeds but try to look like fixed gear bikes:

I really dig the concept of giving old bicycles new life, but I have mixed feelings about the ‘faux fixie’ look, especially when these bikes are selling for over $250 bucks and some of them are being advertised as fixed gear bikes.

Fixed-Gear Tragedy

You may have seen this article elsewhere already…but an 18-year old Santa Cruz resident was recently struck and killed riding his brakeless fixed-gear bike. Read the article (and related links to other stories) here.

Look, we don’t want to get all preachy around here, but PLEASE: put a brake on your fixed-gear bike, especially if you’re just learning how to ride such a bike. Don’t succumb to the fixed-gear fashion police and ride brakeless because it’s “cool”…use your head, know your limits and be safe out there, even if your friends think you’re wack!!!

Fixed Gear Friday: Two speed fixie?

Yes! This is possible with the use of Surly’s ‘Dingle Cog’

From Surly‘s site:

Dingle Cogs are part of a different concept for fixed-gear drivetrains. Having two cogs on the back means you have more options for gear changes when the conditions demand it. For instance, say you want to ride your off-road fixie from your house to the trailhead, but your gear combo is either too high for the dirt or too low for the road. With a 17/19t Dingle on the back, pick two chainrings that are 2 teeth apart, like a 44t and a 42t. When you change from the outer (44:17t) gear combo to the inner (42:19t), you’ll have a much better off-road gear and your wheel position will not change.

Anyone out there riding with this setup?