Dec 18, 2011

The Wal Mart Fixie

"... I'm back. I'm home. All the time it was... we finally really did it.  YOU MANIACS! YOU BLEW IT UP!"
-Charlton Heston, Planet of the Apes


The color-coordination.  The skinny bars.  The single gear.  It's all there.  Except it isn't.  It's not a fixed gear, it's a freewheel.  The brake levers are as jarringly color-matched as on real fixies- except that they don't HAVE brake levers.  Or rear brakes.

I don't want to make this a "jumped-the-shark" post about how I'm so much cooler than The Man.  It's not about that.  It's just so disheartening and sickening when big business takes these things and tries so weakly to exploit them.  This is an especially stupid example because of one of the (few) strengths of the fixie movement in cycling.  The bike costs 100. but you could almost put one of these bikes together for that much money that would be the coolest thing on the street.  This?  Not so much.

The coolness I'm referring to comes from the fact that this is one of the few cycling niches that values used frames, etc. and is grounded (sort of) in reality.  That respects doing things the hard way.  That appreciates an old, classic bike.  At least in certain corners of this sometimes hipster, fashion movement.  But thankfully or sadly, this bike chooses to emulate the other corners of this market.  The garishness.  The impracticality.  The flash.  But what did I expect?  Simple subtle beauty?

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