Rant! hipsters

ok, this happened on saturday when i was concussed and less than all my sandwiches at the picnic.
working at the shop and a guy comes in and asks the other staff member about track frames.
eelco, in a fit of insanity that rivals my second marriage, suggests he head back to the workshop and talk to me about it.
i am confronted with tall, new dreads, new black clothes, shiney skateboard, coffee, and a definite lack of intelligence.
“do you guys sell track frames?” i’m asked.
“not in stock but i can order in whatever you want, and we can sort sizing and whatnot out for you as well. is it for track or street?” says i.
“oh, for street. i want to get a fixie!”

“ah, and you want to build it up from scratch, or buy a complete bike?”, me again.
“i’m not sure. i want to find out some stuff, so can you help?”

and i, in a moment of weakness, and knowing better but being concussed, say “sure, ask away!”

what followed was 30 minutes dredged from the deepest circles of dantes hell.
first question was what actually was a fixie, and it went down hill from there.
without going into the gruesome details the general gist of it all was that some friends of this muppet live in sydney where they are “well into the edge scene”.
they got fixies cause fixies are all about “rebellion and street culture and sticking it to the man”.
now remember that i’m not kidding with this.
one phrase, apart from the one i just used in the prior paragraph, sticks in my brain like a spike driven deep from the outside.
“i’m heading to crumpler next to look for a sick bag, they look well cool”.

further questioning revealed that this person hadn’t ridden a bike in several years “not since i was a kid” said the 21 year old, had no skill or experience, didn’t know what made a fixie a fixie, had heard from his friends that they were cool since they all got one in the last few weeks, and wanted to know if i could get get parts color matched so they would look good with the bag.

i am not kidding.

i asked how long he’d been skating.
“about 8 months” was the reply.

i’m trying to remember all the dumb ass things this knuckle dragging moron said, but it all boiled down to “people say fixies are cool, so i gotta get one!”

i almost got fired for the way i finished the conversation.
basic overview of the conclusion is

  1. you sir, are an ass-hat of the first water!
  2. you should never be allowed to procreate.
  3. you and your friends should all buy fixies so when you crush yourself trying to ride them, i can buy the parts cheap.

trying to explain to someone who doesn’t ride exactly why we ride fixies is almost impossible.
if they ride then you can talk about simplicity, connectivity, flow, feel, all the stuff we babble about when trying to convince people we have got it right and aren’t just to dumb to work out how to use shifters.
if they don’t ride at all, how do you explain it.
i tried suggesting that he buy a single speed instead, and go from there.
“will it look like a fixie tho?”
dude, what the fuck do you care, you didn’t even know what one was!
he left pretty soon and i think the only reason i’ve still got a job is because i work for parts, work weekends, and amuse the boss.

when this ass clown goes to another shop, and they sell him a chrome bianche pista cause thats what all the cool guys ride, and he mows down mother theresa trying to slow down brakeless cause thats how the cool guys roll, i’m the one who’s going to get hassled by the cops for it because we’re already being blamed for the chief inspector almost getting hit by a courier when it was actually just some kid on school holidays.
every time someone gets hit by some hipster numb nuts riding like a fucking 'tard, we take it in the ass for a month.
every time some muppet riding a 5K’s an hour trying to work out how to slow down his track bike clips a car, we get blamed.

2 hours later the exact same thing happened again except this time the dreads were a little older, the muppet friends were from melbourne, and i think i was a little less polite.

and this was all going to go somewhere profound, but now i’m too mad to think where that was.
fuck it.
i’m going to go buy a drop frame womens touring bike with racks and panniers for work so no-one thinks i’m a messenger. it’ll be easier.

Mate, I have just one word for you…decaf. :wink:

I had the opposite experience today- stuck in Hong Kong for the week on a work gig, trawling the local bike shops on my day off getting the usual ‘what’s a fat old gwaelo like you doing in my bike shop…just leave some of your money and fuck off’ look from the locals when I bump into a trackie/courier from vancouver doing the same thing with his morning - a great chat about all things bike, on his way to OZ and very interested in what goes on down our way. If a tall skinny tattooed canadian named Jason with crooked teeth walks into your shop sometime soon, give him the time of day.

Hipsters got you down? Clickity click.

Also: Click.

Just a shame there isn’t a how-to for inflicting it upon people.

I thought this was going to be a rant about blokes walking round with their jeans down so low, that the the base of their old fella is almost viewable. :smiley:

And just because it’s stupid: Clickity.

Why couldn’t hipsters get into that instead?

i know we all have to start somewhere.
i know that there will come from this tide of morons and sheep a few good new fixie converts.
i know that i need to show tolerance to those less fortunate than myself.
i know that i am coming back in my next life as something with 6 legs for the way i react to others.
i know all these things to be true.
but it doesn’t make it any easier to listen to two complete twats dribble about how they got the mad skilz cause they can slow a fixie down.
if you don’t ride, why, oh god why, would you choose to start on what is arguably the most difficult and least user friendly of road bikes.
because you’ve been told that if you do, you will be cool.
i’ve helped lots of people build their first fixie. i’ve advised on parts, frames, setup, you name it.
we’ve seen people come to this site who started as complete muppets without a clue and watched them blossom into fonts of fixie knowledge under our careful tutelage.
and we all spend time looking at FGG and lamenting over the choices some people have made on their projects.
and usually i’m able to approach the coming ordeal of conversing with the soon to b hipster in an calm, even resigned, manner.
but these two were so blatantly obvious in their total ignorance of anything to do with bikes at all, and even more blatantly obvious that the ONLY possible reason for even considering a fixie was because they were told that they should have one, that i found it difficult to maintain my usually even keel about it all.

i usually have one of my fixies on one of the work stands when i’m at the shop.
they are nothing special but they do tend to garner attention from customers.
i’ll gladly chat with anyone about anything for any amount of time if they show any interest at all.
this wasn’t interest in cycling in the least. it was purely the purchase of an accessory.
think paris hilton glasses or a blink 182 hoodie. same thing.

i really do hope that your canuk friend shows in brisbane.
i’d love to have a chat, drink coffee or booze of choice, and generally have a great time. we can compare parts of canada and get blind.
but i’m looking forward to the time when track bikes stop being cool and return to being things that people love.
maybe vintage parts will become cheaper again :slight_smile:

p.s. decaf results in too much blood in my caffeine stream…

Here’s an idea to help you cope, TK.

Sell them really nice gear and pretty soon it will be for sale, cheap, once they discover they don’t like riding.

You should just have told him that fixies are like totally 2005, and he really should be looking at getting a trials bike. Thats where it’s really at! Then start quoting him prices and then you both would be happy.


You should just have told him that fixies are like totally 2005, and he really should be looking at getting a trials bike. Thats where it’s really at! Then start quoting him prices and then you both would be happy.


That’s what I’m telling everyone at work from now on when they ask what bike they should buy.

Then there’ll be heaps of cheap trials bikes to buy.


You know you can make a choice to not let this kinda stuff bother you.

i can only hope that riding fixed isn’t going to be embraced read: devoured by the mainstream the way skateborading, snowboarding etc has.

Does anyone really care that much?

I mean, just because others are “jumping on the bandwagon” how does that diminish your enjoyment of riding your bike?

All this is starting to sound just like some fixed riding couriers were sounding 2 or 3 years ago, when non-couriers started riding fixed.

Whether hipsters are riding Bianchi Pistas or not, I still like riding my bikes, fixed, geared, SS or whatever.

I agree with you. Sure, there are wankers wanting to get into the fixie scene because they heard it was cool, or they want to match their gay Crumpler bag to their pink Deep V’s, but there are wankers in any form of sport.
I ride a fixed gear because it’s fun first and formost. My bike is certainly not going to raise any eyebrows in the bling-stakes, but I honestly couldn’t care. As long as people are riding their bikes for their own genuine reasons, I think we’re all happy campers.
Fundamentally, the more people riding bikes the better yeah?

Yep, you’re right. It’s just my hang up (which one day I’ll get over, or maybe not) about how popular culture takes something, bastardises it, then spits out a watered down version for the masses that’s all about image.

I figure once NIKE take it on, then it’s over. They liked the Chuck T/punk thing so much they bought up Converse. They tried with skateboard sneakers and have now they’ve released their own track bike.

Sure that doesn’t mean I have to buy into it, it just irks me.

Speaking of…

I noticed that big Nike concept store seems to have shut up shop in the city? Am I right or are they renovating or something?

Um, haven’t they already done this…

Yup, I think that’s his point Horatio.

Though I think that fixed gears are still too niche and difficult to ever be truly mainstream.

The hipsters have come and they will go.

Hell, I wonder i I’m not a hipster anyway!

Though having a stable of bikes probably saves me from this fate, and gives me legitimacy… even if my fixie is my ‘posy’ bike…

legitimacy is an illusion.