Like all good ideas, the fixie idea was slow to catch on. And then suddenly there was a fixie explosion. Fixies were beautiful and vaguely dangerous and suddenly extremely fashionable and everyone wanted one. And they wanted the skinny jeans, the funny mustache and haircut to go with it. A fully fledged sub-culture had flourished to annoy and dismay anyone who wasn’t involved in it.
But at the bottom of all this fixie craze was the idea of having cheap and reliable transport. Bikes in themselves weren’t cheap and reliable enough for some people. A fixie was. That’s why so many people like myself ride them and don’t even have a cheesy mustache. Many people are now riding them with brakes. (Jelly Bean Bikes says that the majority of bikes they see post-sale still have brakes on them.)
So lemme come back to this idea of maintenance. Some people rather like tinkering with their bikes but I’m happy to keep out of the shed on the weekends. The great thing about a fixie (or in my case, a single speed, because I’m not actually hardcore and have real fondness for real brakes with actual stopping power) is that it will, if not thrive, then at least survive on very little maintenance. But even the simplest of mechanical contrivances still need some TLC sometimes. A drop of oil perhaps.
|Someone shoulda stopped me.|
Because riding a fixie is a great lifestyle choice and it requires very little maintenance and you can look cool and make new friends…but you’re not exactly racking up 8hr days riding through the mean streets of Gothem City like our couriers of auld. Your bike is not suffering the perils of all-weather day-long grinds. Your bike requires little more than a drop of oil between sporadic bouts of maintenance (which are just opportunities for bling anyway), so please, oblige it every now and then and get rid of that unholy squeaking.
** disclaimer: if you’ve read through this entire article looking for actual advise on maintaining your bike then you really need to go get a life. Really. The point of a fixie is to avoid maintenance and here you are surfing the net looking for cues on how to tinker with your bike! If you can’t tell by now when your chain and chain rings are worn beyond help, or your bottom bracket is stuffed, then pack the bikes into the car, drive down the shops and join those other fat fools who know little to nothing about cycles and cycling. Have the bike properly maintained and then get it out on the weekend, when it’s not too hot or too cold or threatening to rain, and ride carefully up and down the local cycle path with your new friends.