A good mate of mine sent me through a little edit of the spot he’s sessioning these days and the crew he’s rolling with. Looks like good times and nothings made me want to clamber back on the big bouncy bike more than this. 20’s, 24’s and 26’s all representing on some solid trails and jumps. I know a lot of us evolved from this kinda background so thought it might be of interest.

With fixed freestyle there is always a lot of talk often criticism about cross-pollination from other bikes and often remarks that we are essentially reinventing what already exists,
I’m sure everyone’s been confronted with the age old ‘Why don’t you just ride a BMX?’

BUT…I don’t think this is confined to ‘Fixed Gear’. At the moment there are so many ‘genres’ popping up and trying to forge their own place that paradoxically things are merging into one another at vast rate. Check out PK’s Big Ripper for example.

At the same time people are eagerly buying into brands or products that they feel that,
on the contrary, define them as being very much part of a particular genre or scene. Nothing says I’m firmly a ‘Dirt Jumper’ not a freestyle fixed rider than 800mm bars on a 24inch DJ right? Make no mistake I’m an ‘All Mountain’ rider because I run 2.8 inch tyres when suspension is as advanced as it is!? From my perspective being motivated in this way often conflicts or restricts with what those riders truly enjoy about riding and their ability to perform at their optimum.

There also seems to be what can be described as a regression, maybe we can bundle this up nicely by saying that people are looking to simpler times. I think Charge’s 2011 XC range reflects this style that’s been showing itself in Gumwall tyres and the inflated prices of old Klein’s and Marin’s for a while now. This nostalgia and fascination with retro is nothing new, keeping it strictly to bikes it’s happened in BMX for the last ten years with special editions and re-issues from greats such as Mongoose to childhood icons such as the Raleigh Burner. But what is driving this revisit?

Regarding re-invention of apparently existing bikes or frames types in a circular pattern rather than logical progression, I can only say that this is fine until fervently trying to stay within the parameters of what you regard as your scene or an image compromises the equipment you use, just because a brand or tech spec is accepted as being for ‘fixies’ or not. Case in point has to be tyres, I can’t understand how tyre technology hasn’t in fact made the leap or this cross-pollination, why isn’t there a decent fixed freestyle 700c tyre in a range of sizes at a decent weight, which leads nicely on to the debate between 26’’ and 700c and the often condescending judgements based on those that opt for 26’’.

The benefit and positives of all this of course is that there is a plethora of parts and framesets that allows us to construct unique bikes that are individual to us, our abilities, requirements and sense of style. Maybe the only genre we should be trying to fit or identity we should be trying to voice is our own.

NS Majesty 26′ Rigid. 

PK Big Ripper

Charge Duster 2011