My First Foray into Fixed-Gear

Hello guys!

I’m from Melbourne Australia, but currently living in Leiden in the Netherlands for the next four months, and EU for six. I’ve been riding bikes for most of my life. I’ve ridden BMX, 24/26 MTB, a Reid Single Speed (which was stolen - not sure whether to be happy about this or not). After that I bought a Boardman SLR 9.0L which has been a delight to ride. A friend of mine rides fixed and road as well, so I’ve always wanted to give it a go. I was going to build something like a Cinelli Mash when I came back home, but I thought I would engage with the local bike culture here which is nothing short of amazing. The entire place is flat (a lot of the Netherlands is actually below sea level) and there is a bike network that spans the entire country. To give you an idea, here about 1/5th of the bicycle parking space at the local train station in a small town.

Last week, I actually bought an old 80s Batavus road bike to commute on, but I got in touch with a local Dutch guy who really inspired me to start riding fixed. He has 5 bikes, including two Ridleys and a Colnago. Here’s a shot I took in his basement:

The same guy suggested I look at a website called Markplaats which is their local buy/sell platform, something akin to Gumtree. There was a GER bike listed. I had never heard of them before, but apparently they are quite famous in the Netherlands - handcrafted aluminium track frames made in Amsterdam. I took the train to Utrecht this morning and pulled the trigger for an absolute steal (though my finances are still reeling). The previous owner just got a sponsorship with Giant.

Here is my new pride and joy, Chloë, named after her first owner:

Frame: GER
Wheels: Miche Pista
Cranks: Colnago
BB: Miche
Stem: ITM
Saddle: Selle Italia
Bars: Shimano Pro

Funnily enough, I’ve never ridden fixed, and never brakeless, so this was a baptism of fire. I made it through the whole day riding and have even learned how to skid a little bit! It’s very exciting and what they say about connection to the bike is totally true. It’s very light, though I haven’t managed to put it on scales yet. My Dutch friend and I will be riding in an Alleycat later this month (if I can become proficient enough at riding fixed) which should be a whole lot of fun. As an added bonus, I’m flying home with Singapore Airlines, and they let people check in bikes as ‘sporting goods,’ so I should even be able to bring my new baby home.

Thanks for reading - I hope to meet a lot of you when I come back to Melbourne!


That’s a nice looking bike, good find. You’ll pick up the idea of fixed pretty quickly just with seat time, I found skids heaps easier with proper cycling shoes and pedals but they moigh not be suitable for stopping in at cafes :wink:

nice one, welcome! that’s cooler than a mash if you ask me, plenty of those already doin the rounds. I’m all for somethin a little unique.

I’d recommend whacking a front brake on if you can, even if only for a week or two. you don’t have to use it, but might come in handy while you’re starting out.


roby, pls.

also, nice bike. Welcome :slight_smile:

i don’t care if you ride brakeless or not. i just wish you hadn’t named your bike.

I wasn’t sure he did, it’s the name of the original owner, I assumed it was already there. maybe I’m wrong…


Yeah Rolly, I understood the same as you. But the sentence is a bit ambiguous: to me it could also mean that the previous owner is named Chloe.

Anyway, really nice post, and welcome!

I don’t know what that means.

I can read Brendan, I still don’t think it clarifies who named the bike though.

I agree that naming bikes is a bit off, but I did once upon a time (my blue fixie, never really called it that though), but if the original owner had their name on it I have no issues with it.

it means FOA makes me write something in.

go on…

I called my blue “hillman” Millie. Millie Hillman.

dunno why. never really stuck & I wouldn’t name a bike now for the same reasons you wouldn’t.

that’s a nice name.

I am going to name my next bike Brendan.

This story makes me miss buying second hand stuff off people on Marktplaats. So many bargains on there. I spent a lot of time travelling to tiny towns to buy random shit off there. Some of the better buys were a Pinarello roadie, Alan CX bike, a guitar made by a farmer that i got for free by helping him carry an oven up his staircase, and a computer monitor for 12 euro.

Also makes me remember that bikes any smaller than a 55 were generally sold by women or teenagers, bloody giants!

get a little decal for the Smoke & Whiskey Kumo coz, y’know, straight edge.

that’s also a nice name.

secrets rolly.

Nah - it’s all good. I had to put it out there for my own good (and so Keith would get some work done instead of replying to my texts all day).

The name is actually part of the bike. No part of the frame has any stickers/decals on it. Even the name itself was painted on and clear coated by the frame builder.