Fixed Gear Scaryness

I might be cramping Bike Snob NYC's style pretty hard here, but I can't let this one go:

The link above is to a local Albuquerque craigslist post from today. I'm a habitual craigslist checker, mostly just the bike section, as many people are. There's an awesome vintage mountain bike to be picked up on rare occasions, but usually it's just crap mongooses, junky old hardtails that people want way too much for, and a plethora of low end beat up car racks.

The list linked above is for a very cheap old road bike that has been very cheaply converted to a fixie, which is an increasingly common phenomenon. Although I find these bikes irritating, I've never been motivated to write something about it on our site, until tonight. The following phrase made my teeth cringe:

"16 tooth cog permanently attached with red loctite"

I'm afraid red loctite is not an adequate substitute for a proper track hub with a lockring. Anybody stronger than a three year old will be able to back pedal that cog off of the hub if all that is holding it on is red loctite. And then instead of slowing down, the rider will just go sailing through that red light and into the intersection at the bottom of the hill, and there will be nothing he or she can do about it, because of course the bike has no brakes.

That bike is unsafe at best.

Speaking of fixed gears, Danny went out last weekend to the latest alleycat. This one was advertised as being extra long and difficult. As a result of the extra distance, Danny won by somewhere around half an hour, instead of the usual 15 minutes.

That's all I got.


  1. I saw the CL response before realizing it was you. As much as I'm a fan of natural selection, you were right to speak up. Damn hipsters. When's the next alleycat?

  2. I have been riding fixies for about 5 years and been through about as many bikes. I have ridden for weeks on end in the bay area without a lockring sliding down hills all day long. You can only create so much resistance before you break traction, so if the cog is torqued on tight enough it really won't be a problem.

  3. I'm from Alabama. I rode an epoxied cog with no lockring for 6 months with no problem. I'd bet a proper real wheel that you wouldn't be able to get it off.