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Steaming piles of opinion
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Just saw this for the first time...

http://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/030.000.000/030.000.000.asp?model=11345

It's official. Fixie's gone mainstream. :rolleyes:

Early thoughts:
+More Road-ish geometry than the Pista, Rush Hour, etc.
-Compact geometry isn't my thing. Giant's especially so. Their sizes seem to miss me.
-Polished finish. Bianchi makes it work in chrome. Not with the beer-can downtube.
-Integrated headset. Not sure if this is a legitimate complaint or if I'm just a retro-grouch.

~Don't know if it has options for brakes. Somehow, seems like it should.

+The LBS carries Bianchi, Raleigh, and Giant. One way or the other, this could make for a bargain come September.
 

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Well, it's certainly an object lesson in marketing, isn't it?

Category: "Messenger"
Name: "Bowery"
Decals: panel
Brake: no
Price: $500

Just about perfect. They thought of everything except,

Material: aluminum
Brand: Giant
Target audience: poseur


Now, let's sit back and watch one of the greatest and oldest traditions in cycling become just another commodity to exploit. Mmmmm. Smells like America!




-----------Labor creates all wealth.
 

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duh...
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fixintogo said:
Well, it's certainly an object lesson in marketing, isn't it?

Category: "Messenger"
Name: "Bowery"
Decals: panel
Brake: no
Price: $500

Just about perfect. They thought of everything except,

Material: aluminum
Brand: Giant
Target audience: poseur


Now, let's sit back and watch one of the greatest and oldest traditions in cycling become just another commodity to exploit. Mmmmm. Smells like America!




-----------Labor creates all wealth.


so are you saying FG has jumped the shark? (yes, I know the term jumped the shark has itself jumped the shark).

Even the color of the Giant is a been-there, done that (Bianchi Pista).
 

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FatTireFred said:
so are you saying FG has jumped the shark? (yes, I know the term jumped the shark has itself jumped the shark). Even the color of the Giant is a been-there, done that (Bianchi Pista).

The fixed gear bicycle has survived virtually intact for well over a hundred years, in varying degrees of popularity. Even Giant's headfirst leap onto the bandwagon won't kill it. I just find it transparently exploitative that their marketers chose to invoke the whole messenger aspect/image to promote a bike that is so woefully derivitive and so antithetical to the spirit of street fixies. I mean, really.... aluminum? "Bowery"? Please.
 

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Nothing wrong with this at all.

Another choice for the consumer (and it is only $500 msrp likely to be somewhat lower at most shops).

Polished aluminum is unique, Bianchi chrome plates their steel frames which causes them all sorts of delivery problems and keeps their prices up. Not to mention the environmental problems created by chroming in countries without tough laws and enforcement. Polishing aluminum is very benign in comparison to pretty much any other bicycle finish.

Giant is a quality brand making quality products with competitive prices and wide distribution which has to be good for the consumer.

Sure as more and more cyclists own fixed gear bikes we aren't going to be seen as "fringe" cyclists as much but so what? The same thing has happened to piercings and tattoos and the world didn't end.

In reality cyclists who actually ride their bikes are rare indeed.

Make a difference.
Ride your bike.
 

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MB1 said:
In reality cyclists who actually ride their bikes are rare indeed.
Really wouldn't be cyclists then, more like bike owners.
 

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been waiting

for giant to weigh in on fixies.
friend of mine who owns a bike shop always razzes me as i have never bought a bike from him
i tell him it is because he carries the wrong lines [trek, giant, marin] but guess i will be stopping in to ask about the bowery this week!
the bowery addresses what as held me back thus far on track bikes
geometry [i'm a spaz - don't need no twitchy rig]
stock gearing [48x18]
rubber - stock 25's
as for those who no longer want to ride fixed as it is no longer cool.....they would be the posers, not the guys buying and riding this or any other bike.
 

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Not so bad

Though I'm not normally a fan of Giant and compact geometry, this bike doesn't look too bad, particularly for a messenger. Compact geometry stiffens the rear triangle for out of the saddle sprints, which messengers do alot of. Further, while not quite as comfortable, aluminum doesn't rust, which can be an issue for a bike that has to be ridden in all types of weather. I'm also never been a fan of track-ish geometry, but I guess that's personal. And unless my eyes are deceiving me, it looks like there are braze-ons for a rear brake cable routing.

The one downside here is that I doubt the bike has room for fenders, but that 's a problem with most road bikes.

Now, if someone would only make a proper road fixie with room for fenders and V-brakes (or even better, disc-brakes)... That would be the perfect messenger bike...
 

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I agree with MB1. The whole reason I've been considering a fixed gear is because it will cost much less to get one I'll be happy with than it would cost me to get another geared bike I would be happy with.
 

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What'd I do?
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timfire said:
Now, if someone would only make a proper road fixie with room for fenders and V-brakes (or even better, disc-brakes)... That would be the perfect messenger bike...
Wouldn't that be a road frame with a disc brake cross fork? It's doubtful that the discs would be in demand in the back on a fixed frame. Of course, on a proper road fixie, what is the urgent need for disc brakes? I can lock up either tire at any time without 'em. Still, the parts are out there, for not much money, unless you have to buy all your bikes stock.
 

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Yo no fui.
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Get real . . .

Material: aluminum
Brand: Giant
Target audience: poseur

Now, let's sit back and watch one of the greatest and oldest traditions in cycling become just another commodity to exploit. Mmmmm. Smells like America!

No doubt America comodifies what it can, but I can't help but wonder if what you're really concerned about is the lose of exclusivity? Hey, I felt the same way when the Tony Hawk skateboard videos games first came out. What was once my niche, my cosa nostra, became mainstream. The world suddenly forced me to share my passion with them--even though, as I felt at the time, they didn't really know what it was and sure didn't deserve it. It's no different than the feelings of most cyclists when Lance became a household name and suddenly everyone loved road cycling. That's what's really going on here.

The irony of such a reaction, of course, is not only that you're in a way comodifying the sport itself by focusing so intently on the bike, but that you threaten to stump if not kill this great cycling tradition by not allowing other into the little fixed gear club.
 

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dave66 said:
as for those who no longer want to ride fixed as it is no longer cool.....they would be the posers, not the guys buying and riding this or any other bike.

Perhaps I should clarify a couple of things: 1. Riding a fixie wasn't cool when I started, and I'll be riding it long after it stops being cool. 2. No one has said or implied that those who choose this bike are posers. But that's who it's being marketed towards.

So please, let's not let this become a pissing match. Buy what you like. Ride what you buy. Love what you ride. I just think it's worth noting when the corporate giants are simply capitalizing on the latest trend in an effort to squeeze every dollar they can out of the bike market. Where has Giant been in the track bike scene up until now? Waiting for it to get hot enough to jump in. Nothing wrong with that, but it does seem to smack of a certain opportunism. And yes, the public probably benefits from this opportunism.

I just think that when every demographic niche subgroup like "fixed gear" is analyzed, categorized, and marketed to, it reduces its participants to the status of simple "consumers." I always bristle a little when that happens to something that has a deeper meaning to me.

Like when I hear a Led Zeppelin song in a Cadillac commercial.
 

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tofurkey hunting
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still...

one of my favorite aspects of riding a fixie was seeing other people on fixies and noticing how they got there. not many people simply pluck a track bike of the track and go on the road. they find a track frame (or older road frame) and put parts on it that suit them. i love running in to people who talk on and on about the ofmega headset on a completely budget fixie. with so few parts, there is complete pride as you slowly make it perfect. my favorite part on my bike is a sugino crank (the old ones that look like campy knock offs). it's silly and no special crank, but it took me forever to find. but regardless, it takes almost no mechanical aptitude to assemble your own fixie. i like that more people ride fixed, i just think when mass marketed (like the giant bike) some of the charm is lost. i respect and give the friendly nod to anyone on a bianchi pista or this giant model (or anyone on two wheels for that matter), but i don't want to stop and have a fun chat about building bikes and finding goofy parts. like a hippy zen ispired weight weenie chat. rather than, "oh man, only a gillion dollars for these negative weighted brakes" it's "in this dumpster behind the brothel/flea market, i found this stem" etc etc. sorry, about the musings, but i feel in the middle on this one. oh well. this happens to all niches that grow in popularity...but still.

regardless, you can source your own (italian :) )lugged steel road frame with horizontal dropouts and put together a damn fine machine for well under $500.

p.s. that giant comes w/o brakes. good on 'em. when are the safety police going to start writing letters? :D
 

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OverStuffed said:
Wouldn't that be a road frame with a disc brake cross fork? It's doubtful that the discs would be in demand in the back on a fixed frame. Of course, on a proper road fixie, what is the urgent need for disc brakes? I can lock up either tire at any time without 'em. Still, the parts are out there, for not much money, unless you have to buy all your bikes stock.
Not quite. 'Cross forks are taller than standard road forks, so you can't change them out without running into geometry issues. Though Cross frames (such as Surly's Crosscheck with horizontal dropouts) aren't bad, their geometry is slacker than a standard road frame and they have slightly longer wheelbases, so they aren't quite as nimble.

You're right that a rear disc (or even V-Brake) isn't neccessary, but anyone who says "I can lock my wheels with my calipers" hasn't ridden in the rain, snow, and ice downhill with a car coming towards you. They don't cut it, you need something more, at least up front where most of your braking power comes from.
 

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duh...
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MB1 said:
Polished aluminum is unique, Bianchi chrome plates their steel

not sh!t... notice I said "color", i.e., shiny silver. Wannabe messenger poseurs who've been transparently exploited by the marketers won't know the difference
 

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Can anyone here really see fixies going mainstream? Yes they are hitting the spotlight again. Sure all the companies are adding a token fixed gear to the line up. Most people want to coast, that won't change. Those who prefer to maintain momentum and force themselves to keep pushing on and fighting up hills will always be a minority.
These bikes are overpriced for people who love fixed gears and know they can build better for less, and don't have the flair of a pista for those who want a ready made icon of track bikes. They won't be on the market for long.
 

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Pablo said:
I can't help but wonder if what you're really concerned about is the lose of exclusivity? It's no different than the feelings of most cyclists when Lance became a household name and suddenly everyone loved road cycling. That's what's really going on here.
you threaten to stump if not kill this great cycling tradition by not allowing other into the little fixed gear club.

I think if you read my subsequent posts, you'll see the inaccuracy of your analysis of my motives. I'm not being at all exlusionary about people who want to ride fixed gear bikes. I'm simply being critical of corporations that so flagrantly exploit the various niche markets only after they determine that they consitute a big enough piece of the pie to warrant their entry into it. Giant seems to be especially guilty of this, having ignored the track bike and fixed gear market until now, despite their otherwise large presence in the industry.

Personally, I think it would be great if there was a fixie in every garage in America. Please be mindful of your assumptions.
 

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tofurkey hunting
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the list...

of actions that will get you snotty looks and attitude:

roadie: clashing kit
fixie: any kit

roadie: large saddle bag
fixie: timbuk2 bag

roadie: racing number tagged to frame (if you didn't win)
fixie: alleycat card in spokes (if you didn't attend)

roadie: very expensive computer
fixie: very expensive commuter

roadie: not shaving
fixie: shaving

roadie: exaggerating your average speed
fixie: exaggerating your gear inches

roadie: using brakes in a paceline
fixie: using brakes at a stop sign

roadie: cat 5 tattoo
fixie: no tattoo

roadie: passing someone on a fixie
fixie: passing a roadie

we are all moreons :)
 
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