Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Even Kids Can Do It Now: The Mini-Me Fixie

You know how some today's 30-something parents who decline to grow up can get bit weird with their kids? The so-called Mini-Me Syndrome typical of aging hipsters? Some people probably consider me one of those people, BTW. 

Anyhow, look at the picture, it tells more than 1000 words. A kids' fixed gear bike, with Tokyo-style chopped track dropbars and a toptube pad, color coordinated chain and everything. The only thing that's missing is the trispoke front wheel and I really wonder why, 'cos those bmx mag wheels actually are very easy and cheap to score from Ebay. 

I'm just waiting for my baby daughter to grow up a little bit still, not this summer but maybe next year...  

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Want A Real Keirin NJS Bike? Here's a Kiyo Miyazawa For You

Blogging about stuff on Ebay is bit boring but this is so perfect that I just need to post it here. 

I wrote about Ocean bikes already but this would be so much better: a complete all NJS Kiyo Miyazawa Keirin bike. Everything, every part, and even the size is (no, would be) perfect (FOR ME!). Lovely. Aaaaaahhhh!

* * * 

Kiyo Miyazawa Keirin Professional Pista. Serial number 97107. 

NOS custom professional keirin cycle built by Kiyo Miyazawa. Built for Japanese keirin professional. Not raced or ridden. Tires unglued. Flawless condition. Will pass keirin race certification. ALL components are NJS stamped and certified (see specifications).

About the builder:

Kiyo Miyazawa is one of the most highly revered of the Japanese keirin framebuilders. He learned much of his craft studying under Rossin and other Italiam framebuilders, and employs many Italianesque details in his frame designs, including lugs (similar to early Colnago), frame geometry, and finish. His current waiting list is in excess of two years for a custom built, fully equipped keirin cycle.

Seat tube: c-c 53.5 cm
Top tube: c-c 54 cm
Rear Spacing: 120 mm
F-C: 57 cm
C-R: 39.5 cm
Standover: 80.5 cm

Crankset Sugino 75 Grand Mighty 167.5 mm NJS 
Chainring Sugino 75 Grand Mighty 47t NJS  
Bottom Bracket Sugino 75 Professional NJS     
Chain HKK NJS    
Handlebar NITTO B125 AA 380mm NEW NJS
Stem NITTO Jaguar steel stem 105 mm NJS
Grips SOYO Professional Keirin
Saddle Kashimax Five Gold NJS
Seat Post NITTO Jaguar W44 27.2 mm NJS    
Hubs Campagnolo C Record Sheriff Star 36H NJS
Rims ARAYA Titanium World Champion “TitaAce” NJS
Spokes HOSHI 2.0/ 1.8mm NJS
Cog DURA ACE 16T NJS – Machine polished and honed
Tensioners MKS NJS
Pedals MKS Custom Nuevo NJS
Straps Toshi NJS

Monday, April 28, 2008

Seen In Helsinki

You know how Fixed Gear Gallery sometimes has those "Seen In XXX" posts where someone has seen a fixed gear or a single speed bike (wooohooo! who very exciting...) locked up somewhere and taken a crappy mobilecameraphone photo of it and then went thru all the hassle of emailing it to The Fixed Gear Wizard AKA Dennis? It's stupid and boring, right. 

Well, this evening as I was cycling along Pohjoisranta, my regular way to home from the city centre, a saw this bike and * just had to stop, turn back and * take a photo with my crappy mobilecameraphone. It was so nice & idyllic, with the harbor and the sailing boats, and even those big ice-breakers in the background. 

And the bike, so lovely & very retro and simply beautiful. In that setting this is probably the nicest bike I've ever seen in Helsinki. And it wasn't actually even fixed gear but a single speed bike with a coaster brake instead. 


You know what? Yesterday evening I should have - maybe - written this way instead (place this between the asterisks * is in the text above):

"... I just pulled this super long skid with my Tarck Bike and finished it into a trackstand, then I pulled a wheelie on the spot and bunny hopped 180 degrees turn and wheelied back to the spot where that bike was standing and..."

But why? I dunno. This though somehow just occurred to me when I passed a middle-aged roadie in full spandex riding gear this morning on my way to work.  

Sunday, April 27, 2008

How To Sell Fixed Gear Related Stuff

Ever wondered how you could get rid of those old Campagnolo Super Record Track pedals your uncle gave you long time ago and which you never used? Well, here's how to do it, on Craigslist:

* * * 

Campy Super Record Track Pedals - $75 (SLO)
Date: 2008-04-25, 5:41PM PDT

You're riding down Osos street on the way to Mitchel park, its a cool spring afternoon. You notice all the women aged 21-35 are standing along the sidewalk, all staring at you. As you stop for a red light, one approaches:

HER: Pardon me, are those Campagnolo Record Track Pedals?

YOU: Why yes... They Are.

HER: [blushes] Wow, you must be a man of true discernment... tell me big boy, do they strap on tight?

YOU: Oohhhhh yeah.

HER: [stammers, begins to twitch] Wha.. what era?

YOU: Super Record...

HER: [tearing off clothes] YOU TOTAL HUNK OF A MAN, TAKE ME NOW!!!!

YOU: [under your breath] Thanks, craigslist!!

Seriously dudes, it could happen to you. These pedals are the real deal!

Friday, April 25, 2008

More MASH SF Bike News: Emi's Bike Stolen

While I was checking out the MASH SF blog I just noticed that Emi's Leader bike has been stolen a week or so ago in SOMA, SF.

Very conveniently my homie Hennessy is currently in SF and he was going to bring a new bike home when he returns, I wonder if he knows anything about this.... just kidding, he's buying some Cannondale MTB which I don't really know anything about.

But I was a little surprised to notice that Emi's bike was actually a Leader. Those are very cost-effective aluminium track frames but nothing wrong with that, I guess. Except that maybe it's bit funny really that that HED3 frontwheel is probably worth more €€€ than the rest of the bike. 

Anyhow, it seems that the bikes from MASH movie are getting bit special, one being for sale, other stolen etc. I wonder where they will eventually all end up?

But here's one more nice outtake from the movie itself:

Ocean Custom Keirin / Street Fixed Gear Frames

Last week I wrote about the Kilo TT, a cheap-as-chips yet pretty nice track frame. Now it’s the time for something completely else.
I’m personally a big fan of Japanese Keirin track bikes. Hand made pieces of lugged steel art, always custom made by a master of the craft with years of experience in a small workshop. Built for speed and as simple as possible, yet always with super neat details and certain flair, and with respect for Italian tradition of pista bike building tradition. 
In Japan there are still today many NJS certified custom frame builders building custom ordered track bikes and sometimes also road bikes in their workshops. Many of these builders have apprenticed with previous generations’ masters before becoming a sensei themselves. Bit like that Samurai swordsmith, Hattori Hanzo, in Tarantino’s Kill Bill.   
If you want read more about Keirin bikes, click here to Keirinculture’s site and scroll down a bit to the ‘Why NJS?‘ Section, here’s a quote: 
The (Keirin) frames, no matter what brand, are always of the highest quality. When you’re thinking about a used keirin frame, think about everything that went into it. The racer orders the frame according to his personal preferences, ones that he’s developed after racing for up to 30 years. Even with that status he will pay anywhere from $1000 to $2500 for a frame. There are no sponsorships in keirin racing. He chooses the frame tubing (now usually Kasei or Columbus), lugs, and paint, too. After that he waits, weeks or months for the builder to finish.

Now, while in practice anyone could order a frame from these masters, the waiting times are often long and the language can often be bit of a barrier to a non-Japanese would-be-customer. And many builders will take orders only on personal appointment to discuss the order in person and measure the customer themselves, and accept only cash up front and so on. 
But there is an easier option. Rene and his NJS Super Market blog has a distribution deal with Kusaka-san. Mr. Kusaka used to make famous Vivalo keirin frames for more that 30 years in his workshop in Kansai, Japan, before quitting in last november after a nasty freak accident of a-fork-breaking-in-a-race and starting a completely new Ocean brand of street pisuto (read: fixed gear in Japanese) bikes with new business partners. 
I guess it suffices to say this about Mr. Kusaka;  it’s been estimated somewhere that during last few years up to a 30% of all Japanese Keirin Pros rode Vivalos. That tells you something about the quality and craftmanship the man possesses. Ok, you might’ve guessed it, I’m bit partial to Vivalo because I have one myself.  
Anyhow, now the workshop is busy at work again and the deal with Ocean is that if you want a custom-made frame you can now easily choose between three different and incredibly nice looking models with many special custom options from BB height to paint color and decals, and most importantly your own sizing, of course, with the starting price of meagre 1040 USD + S&H. 
Here’s all the infoa bout Ocean framesets.  
And I urge you also to look here and drool over the Flickr set of detailed pics of the frames
One more point is that used Keirin frames, when they pop up for sale in Ebay or in blogs, are often dented, rusty or just generally in bad condition, basically too expensive considering the condition. Keirin frames also tend to be pretty small, usually below 55cm. So if you are a taller guy or a gal, this is might be your only option to get a real handbuilt Keirin track bike. 
Keep in mind that Rene also sells some used Japanese frames and has always a nice selection of quite reasonably prices used and new hard-to-get NJS bike parts as well as made-for-order Panasonic keirin frames through his blog. And if you end up ordering something, remember to say Hi! to Rene from Jussi, ok?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tarck Bike Trickz Galore! in MASH SF Outtake

You've seen the Mash SF movie already, haven't you? If not, it's still here for you.

And you noticed how Jonathan is selling his Cannondale, right? Which appears to be still unsold, BTW. 

Well, as often is the case, apparently many cuts didn't make it into the actual movie, the clip above is a really cool outtake, in which Mike (the movie maker Mike Martin, himself, maybe?) shows more bmx-style trickz on both the scooter and on a bike than all the riders combined in the the whole official cut of the film. Nice one there, mate!

PS. I also noticed that the MASH SF peeps threatened to get all unofficial MASH SF clips off Youtube soon so enjoy this while it still lasts. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Play The Build-A-Fixie Game the IRO Way

Here's some more fixed gear bike related online waste of time for you, you know you like it...

IRO has just launched their brand new fancy flash-based website which features a real nice Build-A-Bike section where you can build a bike of your dreams from their selection of frames and parts and then you can very conveniently also buy it, just like that. It is kinda neat, really. The bike pictured above is what I came up with my first try - but it's not going to be the last. 

IRO is a small company operated by a dude named Tony, and his wife, and their bikes are known for a very good price to quality ratio and nowadays they have a nice selection of frames and parts to suit all your fixed gear needs. I'd personally wouldn't necessarily want to buy some of their components (like the seat, stems, headsets, tyres etc.) if I was buying a bike but generally it's all cool and my preferences veer more towards the retro stuff anyway.  

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

More Info On Kanye's New Toy Tarck Bike

Ok, some more information concerning Kanye's newly purchased totally rad and trendy as hell Tarck Bike has surfaced on teh webforumz. Here the pics as proof and some best bits from the discussion on

'Luke at BrooklynMachineWorks also told me that a friend had it build for Kanye. He custom ordered a color, just like everyone else can, and had to wait for his to be ready, just like everyone else. No special treatment, he had to wait just like you and me.'

'can kanye even ride?'

'Kanye has been spotted riding the BMW in NYC...'

'So I guess dressing up like Michael J. Fox circa Back to the Future is in right now.'

'isn't this the dude who always wore one of those girls leather backpacks? i hope he plans on tying his goddamn shoes when he rides though.'

'Man best roll up them jeans...and maybe his shirt lol.'

'You ever had your shoes come untied while riding? It generally leads to bad things. Not the least of which will be getting chain nastyness all over his $200 limited edition nikes.'

'Try $700 Lanvins...'

'do you guys think he rides his bike often? is it possible for he to ride on stage and accidentally fall over? the thought of him falling off the stage pleases me somehow.'

And here's one more time to Kanye's new hobby... 

Saturday, April 19, 2008

If You See This Bike in Helsinki - It's Stolen

This fixed gear conversion was stolen last night in Helsinki, at the corner of Freda and Erikinkatu sometime between 01-02 am. 

It's an old Peugeot road frame painted plan black, British Hubs - track hubs, Mavic rims,  Nokian Skinwall 28 Roadie tyres, Nitto stem, Shimano 600 crankset, Specialites TA chainwheel, Campagnolo seatpost etc. 

Let's help the bikes owner out, if you see the bike, kill the rider in the head, ok?

This also marks the beginning of the cycling season in Helsinki in a not-so-nice-way as it is the first fixed gear or single speed bike reported stolen on local cycling forums this spring. I don't know what was the deal here but always remember to to lock your bike onto something when locking up, do not just lock the bike up, so no free locking, ok? 

Friday, April 18, 2008

Keirin Girls

Ok, I just wanted to post the pic for no reason at all. Except that it is nice. Very nice indeed. I'm also personally a great fan of Keirin bikes, all things NJS and so on. 

And to justify the picture a bit more, let's say I posted it to celebrate the fact that it's already friday, the working week is almost over and the weather forecast promised the weekend's weather is going to nice, sunny and warm, basically great for a bit of cycling, here in Helsinki anyway. 

So enjoy your weekend no matter what you're planning to do. Cheers!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

New Cheap Track Frames Are Here!

So you want to build you own fixed gear or single speed bike? Get a nice new frameset and choose nice new components or use something you already might have in your spare parts box. You would prefer a real track frame but don’t want or cannot afford to pay too much, especially when the bike would be for everyday use so it would not be good to have a too nice bike in the first bike?

You probably already have an old road bike converted to fixed gear but it was the wrong size in the first place because at the time you got it you didn’t know too much about how to fit a bike. Also, track bikes are way cooler than conversions.

But the first, and the biggest problem really, is finding and choosing the frameset, especially with a limited budget. I have the solution.

So here’s the thing me and everyone else is really excited about right now: has finally a received a new shipment from Taiwan: “2008 Cro Mo Steel Old School Fixed Gear /Single Speed Frame Set” AKA Kilo TT frame, in four neat color options, no less.

On places like everyone loves these frames because: 
1.) they’re apparently pretty good build quality with nice enough Reynolds 520 steel tubing, 
2.) they’re cheap at only $199.00 
3.) they have that genuine tight track geometry, unlike most of the dedicated budget FG/SS frames out there. 

Also the color options and not having any decals probably help to add some more cool factor. Now only if they would ship outside U.S. of A too, I would order one right now.

If you want to see how the frame could look when built up, trawl through this thread here and you there’ll be plenty of Kilo TTs with different setups and styles.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Kanye West Buys A Tarck Bike, again.

Fixed Gear just keeps on growing and growing and even hip celebrities, who probably would like to consider themselves street credible or something, are finally catching up. One of the first famous persons to ride an road bike converted to a fixed gear bike in public was the skateboarder guru cum actor Jason Lee who was spotted participating in a group night ride in his home town, Hollywood, LA already ages ago. Then soon after Heath Ledger died, some pics of him riding a similar road bike FG conversion popped up somewhere on some web-forums. 
Well, around about same time someone had spotted Kanye West shopping for a new ride in the king of all the fixed gear boutiques, Track Star on Lower East Side, NYC, and the blogs were immediately all over it. Kanye also kept it very bling bling and bought the most expensive and fanciest track bike Track Star had in their selection, a Cinelli Vigorelli. 

As if that wasn’t enough, now he’s apparently had The Brooklyn Machine Works build a specia bike specially for him. It’s pretty much a typical Tarck Bike, or a BMX bike for an adult, with a glow-in-the-dark paint too. The name of the bike model is apparently Gangsta Track. What can you say? It’s not excatly my preferred style of bike. And when can we expect him to ride it on a video clip, and do so rad barspinz while pulling an eternal wheelie while rapping at the same time? 

Friday, April 11, 2008

Jonathan's MASH SF Cannondale For Sale

After posting the link to the MASH SF movie download (which I found somewhere) yesterday I was clicking around a bit on their website and came across the ad below in their blog. Apparently Jonathan is selling his Cannondale Tarck Bike (tm), no, more than that, an epitome of a Tarck bike, see the ad below. Well, it's a nice bike for sure and it's been made (in)famous by the movie, I guess, but the price is kinda STEEEEEEP

Like, come on, 1200 bucks for a beat up whip like that? By watching the movie you know that the bike's been through a lot. And there's isn't even an Aerospoke or a HED trispoke included in the deal...  Anyhow, for a gear whore like myself it's interesting to read the specs of the bike. 

And from the specs we learn interesting things like, "oversize plastic cages are best for SMALL sneakers!" Well, somehow I always though that those big MTB cages were best for bigger sneakers. Another point to note is that the bike has a Phil Wood bottom bracket, which is very cool, but, it's with JIS taper. Then the bike has Sugino 75 crankset, also quite nice, which uses the European standard ISO taper. This can be bit problematic because in the long term the mismatched taper standards will cause the cranks to be end up being fucked-up, if you trust someone like Sheldon Brown (RIP). But what do I know, 'cos yeah, you don't see me riding in the MASH SF movie. 

Anyway, personally I'd spend my money much rather on this instead, but that's just me. 
Those early 1990s Cannondale alu-track bikes are pretty sought after but whether that's because they're good, or because of the Mash posse riding them, that's another issue. 

So I'd say: NOT worth it. Sorry, dude. 
But whatever, somebody is gonna buy it anyway I'm sure. 


56cm CC 1992 or 93 Cannondale Frame w/ Steel Fork
1 1/8" Chris King Threaded Headset
90mm Salsa Front Loading Stem
40cm B021 Nitto Bullhorns
Phil Wood 109 JIS Taper BB
165 Sugino Cranks w/ 49t Chainring
MKS Pedals with oversize plastic Cages (The best for smaller sneakers!)
Toshi Black Double Straps
Soma Seat Post
Blue Perforated San Marcos Turbo (Discontinued)
Front wheel has machined Silver Velocity Deep V to a Phil Wood 32h Silver hub (Radially Laced)
Rear wheel has an 'Asphalt' non-machined Velocity Deep V to a Phil Wood 32h Silver Hub (3x Laced)
16t Phil Wood Cog
SRAM PC-7X Chain (with Half Link)

$1200.00 plus shipping


Thursday, April 10, 2008


If you haven't seen the Mash SF movie yet and you're too poor/cheap to buy your own copy, it's right here for you....

"Mash is a Michael Martin and Gabe Morford film which captures fixed geared riders unique approach within San Francisco's demanding descents. It's these descents which create the fearless lines and clever navigation in split second timing, weaving through traffic and pedestrians alike on bikes that are built for the track yet have been tailored for this daily abuse. Along with the riding the filming must be applauded too. It's the techniques and risk taking that gives the viewers an experience that you too are involved in this sprint. From squeezing through the heavy traffic to the once pedestrians morphed into blurred visions."

Thursday, April 3, 2008

NEWSFLASH!!! San Francisco Bike Messengers Smoke The Chronic While On Duty.

This is certainly the news AND a matter of National Security. Some SF bike messengers apparently smoke the Chronic on their break between the dispatches. How can this be?

Oh my God. Please, do something about this!


Ok, now they did something about it, apparently they deleted the video... 

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

3Rensho From Outer Space?

What the ... ?! What is this, it's a 3Rensho but... ?


Ok, we know more now:

This 3Rensho frame is in super near mint, almost new condition. Made by 3Rensho master builder Yoshi Konno for Masamitsu Takizawa, AKA "The Monster," to be raced in the World Cycling Championships. Not NJS approved."

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Fixie Hipster Forefather: Fausto Coppi

I've talked about the fixie riding hipsters here before, here and here, right? Then my friend Giac returned from his holiday in NYC last week and told me yesterday that the image of Williamsburg filled with cool hipsters walking around there with a fixed gear bike as a mere fashion accessory is actually true. I'd been wondering about this but I trust him. 

Well, I've also been thinking about how we need to go back, back in time to look for the roots of the connection between the fixed gear and track bikes and the hipsters and right at that moment I found a pic above posted onto London Fixed Gear Single Speed forum by Motman, Thanks!

It's the legendary Italian cyclist hero & icon Mr. Fausto Coppi himself, showing how it was done, way back in Paris in 1952 and in on the Velodrome (Parc Aux Prices, maybe, who knows?). Everyone knows that Italians do it better but Fausto's beatnik-hipster style is just pure magic. 

Also, the pic promts a question: will turning your drop handlebars upside be the next hipster trend?