"No fixed pushers, and no magnet skateboards."
June 17, 2008 9:38 PM   Subscribe

These "track boards," or "fix push" boards, were initially developed to be raced in the velodrome, and differ from traditional skateboards in one major way: the rider can never coast. A brief documentary on the increasingly popular fix-push skateboard culture and its roots in San Francisco's Mission district.

via sf.myopenbar.com. Keep an eye out for Fix-Push 2.
posted by whir (54 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
I totally bought it for quite a while and then... THE LULZ.
posted by GuyZero at 9:41 PM on June 17, 2008


"See you later at the coffee shop... I'll fuck you up, man!"

CLASSIC
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:44 PM on June 17, 2008


Bahaha, is lowcard behind this? WTF?

MONGO KICKERS REPRESENT!

(Still laughing at the skateboard "dismount" and u-locks.)
posted by loquacious at 9:58 PM on June 17, 2008


This is a double. I remember not laughing the first time either.
posted by dobbs at 9:58 PM on June 17, 2008 [4 favorites]


Ah, I love this, can't believe it hasn't been here before.

It's all in the details... the way they cross their legs over the boards first.

For those of you wondering what the hell this is all about, it's a parody of the hipster obsession with fixed gear bicycles, which have only one speed and cannot coast. Track bikes, used in velodromes were the first configured this way for reasons specific to that sport. The configuration won favor with urban bike messengers, and it was soon emulated by others. These days you can find fixie fans everywhere... even the midwest.
posted by phrontist at 9:59 PM on June 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


I remember not laughing the first time either.

Fixie rider, then?
posted by loquacious at 10:06 PM on June 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Its funny now that I know its making fun of fixed gear bikes. Except the "characters" in the film actually look like the obsessive emulators that now patrol the local malls (ahem, I assume).
posted by pkingdesign at 10:20 PM on June 17, 2008


Oh, I should have linked wfrgms's earlier, definitive post on fixed-gear bikes, because it's both recent and extremely excellent.
posted by whir at 10:23 PM on June 17, 2008


Classic.
posted by delmoi at 10:25 PM on June 17, 2008


And blast, dobbs is correct; the Fix Push video was linked by photoslob in the fixed-gear bike thread mentioned above, though it hasn't been featured in a front-page post prior to this one, as far as I can tell.
posted by whir at 10:51 PM on June 17, 2008


And then there's a video of skaters riding fixies. The circle is complete.
posted by mullingitover at 10:58 PM on June 17, 2008


Awesome! I have so many people I'd like to show this to - but, since they're self absorbed hipsters, they'll never get it.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 11:43 PM on June 17, 2008


ironic quotes ironically break hipster tags.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:43 PM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm a fixed-walk fanatic. I have no time for coasting.
posted by empyrean at 1:27 AM on June 18, 2008


Which reminds me, "moving walkways" and "escalators" are just an opportunity to go twice as fast while I drink my PBR.
posted by empyrean at 1:34 AM on June 18, 2008


I'm currently building a steampunk fixed-push; it will fuck you up.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:23 AM on June 18, 2008


Heh!
posted by fixedgear at 3:26 AM on June 18, 2008


Fantastic video. Really enjoyable.

okay, that's three comments, now make with the spam post already, livesports! don't keep us in suspense.
posted by Hat Maui at 3:46 AM on June 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


I didn't realize you couldn't coast on a fixed gear bike. What happens when you are going down a steep hill?
posted by Meatbomb at 4:07 AM on June 18, 2008


You either have your legs spun about madly, or take your feet off the pedals and rest them on the fork/handlebars/what have you. Smart people will still have at least one brake
posted by 0xFCAF at 4:18 AM on June 18, 2008


I didn't realize you couldn't coast on a fixed gear bike. What happens when you are going down a steep hill?

You spread your legs wide in a silent prayer to St. Groininjurus and let the pedals spin madly. Or at least that's what the messengers do when they zip down the hill by my office.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:24 AM on June 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Nice to see more of the fixie backlash.

This is part of the Underskatement traveling film festival "featuring the best in skater-made short films" that's touring the country right now. It passed through Atlanta last week.

[checks tour schedule to see upcoming dates] ... Hmmm, that seems to have been the last date for a while.
posted by intermod at 4:37 AM on June 18, 2008


Re fixies: last weekend, at the first sign of exertion on the mild incline that begins in front of my house, I saw two fixie riders get off their bikes and walk. Another sign that this trend is just about over: poser posers.
posted by intermod at 4:43 AM on June 18, 2008


Posers. I don't even put my drink on a coaster.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:55 AM on June 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Yep, posers. Real fixed pushers take the wheels off. Now that will fuck you up.
posted by Killick at 5:29 AM on June 18, 2008


Actually, as a fixed-gear rider (and not a hipster as my ass is too big for tight jeans) I can authoritatively say that I avoid going down big hills like the plague... but it is fun to climb them!

Riding a singlespeed (that does allow coasting) is just as fun as riding fixed.
posted by Sam.Burdick at 5:46 AM on June 18, 2008


Pff. Posers. square-wheels represent!
posted by rusty at 6:14 AM on June 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Me: (sees funny sticker on fixed gear bicycle) "Ha, just like Woody Guthrie."

Bike messenger: "Woody Guthrie rode a fixie? Awesome."
posted by peeedro at 6:47 AM on June 18, 2008


Meatbomb: What happens is you move your legs really really fast, or else spend an enormous amount of energy trying to "unpedal" the bike. Unless you thought ahead and put a front brake on your fork for this sort of situation.

This is a really funny video–these guys know whereof they speak. I'll bet you will find some fixed-gear riders among the actors and writers, etc.

And a point of clarification for phrontist et al: Fixed gear bikes were the original chain-driven bikes. A free-wheel (the thing that lets you coast) is a bit complicated. This timeline suggests that the first commercial freewheel was produced by Sachs in 1898.
posted by Mister_A at 6:54 AM on June 18, 2008


Unless you thought ahead and put a front brake on your fork for this sort of situation.

Riding on a street without a front brake is stupid. The front brake is your *best* brake. You can certainly get by without a back brake, because you can use the pedals to slow the wheel, and the back brake is the least effective brake on the bike.

Indeed, a fixie with a competent rider and a front brake can stop very fast. You get a very good sense of the traction the rear wheel has, and you can use that to get maximum braking effort from the rear without sliding.

Posers without a proper front brake aren't just posers, they're dangerous ones. I know more than one bike guy who won't build or sell fixies because of people doing stupid things like taking the front brake off.
posted by eriko at 7:11 AM on June 18, 2008


okay, that's three comments, now make with the spam post already, livesports! don't keep us in suspense.
posted by Hat Maui at 6:46 AM on June 18 [1 favorite -] Favorite added! [!]

Seriously. There should be a way to flag users for shit like this, just to make it easier for the mods. Anyone want to put some money on what "livesports" will be spamming us with? I'm going to go with something about live sports.
posted by The Bellman at 7:39 AM on June 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Is it "live" rhymes with "jive", or is it "live" rhymes with "give"?
posted by Mister_A at 7:54 AM on June 18, 2008


Riding on a street without a front brake is stupid. The front brake is your *best* brake. You can certainly get by without a back brake, because you can use the pedals to slow the wheel, and the back brake is the least effective brake on the bike.

If it's for when you're going downhill really fast, and need to brake hard, wouldn't a rear wheel brake be much better? I would imagine the risk of getting flung off your bike is higher with a front wheel than read wheel brake (again, going downhill, fast, and braking hard).
posted by bjrn at 8:00 AM on June 18, 2008


Ooooh good question Mister_A. I had assumed jive.
posted by The Bellman at 8:04 AM on June 18, 2008


The risk for flipping is higher with the front brake, but supposedly you get 70% or so of your stopping power on the front tire.
posted by drezdn at 8:16 AM on June 18, 2008


Ha! Went on a bit long but totally made me smile.
posted by paddysat at 8:22 AM on June 18, 2008


bjrn, here's the canonical article on bicycle braking. Once you have it firmly in your mind that the front brake is overwhelmingly more important than the rear, remember the following points from the article:You really, really need both brakes. I suppose resisting pedal rotation on a fixie is sufficient as a secondary brake. I wouldn't know..
posted by Chuckles at 8:26 AM on June 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Chuckles, just a front brake on a bike with a freewheel (non-fixed gear bikes) is a really bad idea.

On a fixed gear though, your legs effectively serve as a rear brake.

*I ride a fixed gear, and run a front brake.
posted by craven_morhead at 8:39 AM on June 18, 2008


*I ride a fixed gear, and run a front brake.

Haha! The art school kids are totally going to make fun of you.
posted by Mister_A at 8:44 AM on June 18, 2008


Yeah, I'll probably get over it though. I'll just go hang out with the emo kids and cut myself so I can feel feelings.
posted by craven_morhead at 8:49 AM on June 18, 2008


I liked the "tricks" they did on curbs and walls. Made me laugh hard.

That was great, whir - thanks!
posted by rtha at 8:51 AM on June 18, 2008


All kidding aside, if you've never had the opportunity to go REALLY FAST on a fixed gear bicycle, I recommend giving it a go. Pushing a 92-inch gear at 150 cranks / minute is absolutely thrilling, and the feeling of direct connection with the drive train is utterly unlike the sensation of speed you get when sprinting a road bike. Wear a helmet if you do this.
posted by Mister_A at 9:00 AM on June 18, 2008


I commute on a fixed gear that would easily pass for your average road bike other than the drive train (drop handles, both brakes, a luggage rack, full set of lights, etc), and have used a bicycle as primary transportation darn near my whole life, so my legs aren't too weak. But for the life of me, I still have no idea how the fixed gear riders get the back wheel to skid once they're at any speed, or slow down significantly on a hill with pedals alone; the back wheel just has such a massive mechanical advantage over your crankshaft.

Regardless, it's really really hard to go over the handlebars, even going downhill, unless you're trying to (why?) or you hit something that brings the bike to a dead stop (pothole, curb, rock, car).
posted by Dr.Enormous at 9:09 AM on June 18, 2008


Dr. E, the trick is to pitch your weight forward on the front wheel, reducing friction between rear tire and road surface and enabling one to lock the cranks. Then drop the weight back to the rear again, and you skid.
posted by Mister_A at 9:16 AM on June 18, 2008


Yeah, downhills are usually harder than uphills. Uphill it's a three-speed bike: sit, stand, push. Downhill you just have to relax, though long and steep downhills get tiring for me.
posted by fixedgear at 9:37 AM on June 18, 2008


Buncha posers. Really hardcore people like me live in the Midwest. That's right, we don't want to be within a thousand miles of a coast.
posted by quin at 9:46 AM on June 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Uphill it's a three-speed bike: sit, stand, push.

Push? Are you talking about some different way of interacting with the pedals, or are you counting "get off the bike and push it up the hill" as a speed?
posted by contraption at 9:51 AM on June 18, 2008


That's right, we don't want to be within a thousand miles of a coast.

Or a hill?
posted by Chuckles at 9:53 AM on June 18, 2008


Wait. Skateboarders mocking fixies as a practical means of transportation?

Pot, meet kettle.

Also, I'd like to clear this up early: fixed gear does not entail no brakes. Many fixed gear riders do, in fact, have and use hand brakes. Many don't. The latter is dumb. Also, some car drivers have illegal modifications on their cars. Some bus riders try to not pay by cheating the system somehow. Some walkers cross busy streets nowhere near an intersection. Some pilots do similarly stupid things.
posted by gauchodaspampas at 10:02 AM on June 18, 2008


Why do catenaries work for the square wheel?
To be added


What a tease!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:23 AM on June 18, 2008


I didn't realize you couldn't coast on a fixed gear bike. What happens when you are going down a steep hill?

It's smooth sailing after you blow out your knees.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:26 AM on June 18, 2008


Blazecock Pileon: It has nothing to do with fixed gear bikes, and everything to do with people not understanding gear ratios. This applies to geared bikes, single speeds, and yes, fixies. Wrong gear means knee damage.

Really though, going down a hill, you either ride the brake, backpedal, or crank through it. I've never walked my bike down a hill, and I've never unclipped, but I did puke due to a nasty combination of big hills and lemoncello once.
posted by onedarkride at 12:19 PM on June 18, 2008


mmmmm, yellow puke
posted by craven_morhead at 1:45 PM on June 18, 2008


are you counting "get off the bike and push it up the hill" as a speed?

Yes, though it hasn't happened in a really long time.
posted by fixedgear at 4:02 AM on June 19, 2008


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