Thursday, October 4, 2012

Evolution of a cyclist

Don't really remember how it all started. You know how it goes. It usually starts at Sheldon's page. You put it aside as something exotic. Then it pops up as suggested videos in YouTube and Vimeo. You see someone on the street. Next thing you know, you are admiring the simplicity and the elegance that follows. You feel your road bike is too fancy, too "heavy", not gram wise but in every other respect. Eventually you start looking, drooling over manufacturer sites, component vendors and web albums.
How can you avoid the unavoidable? I didn't even try. Last week found me at 48x17 bikes in the company of Agis, Yiannis and many bike enthusiasts that came and went, building my new fixed gear bike. Built around a Tokyo Fixed Gear S1 frame, envisioned by me and manifested by Agis, it is one of the simplest, most elegant machines i have laid my eyes on. One for the road and one for the living room!

The frame naked, ready to be dressed up by Agis and Yiannis' capable hands

Omnium: check. Funny how you put on the crankset and you are half done. How about that for minimalism?

But all that is secondary to on-the-road performance and feel. It is hard to be accurate about that, i am afraid, since i have to learn a new bike and learn how to ride a fixed gear bike at the same time. So far i've done few small routes, the longest at around 50km (to Rafina and back), getting to know the machine. I think i should do a separate piece on the process of learning to ride a fixie, so for the time being i'll just comment on the whole experience as "learning to cycle all over again". Which is the best thing i can think of when it comes to cycling really.

Parts list for the curious:
Tokyo Fixed Gear S1 frame
SRAM Omnium Crankset
Phil Wood Track Hubs
Mavic OpenPro Wheel rims
Fi'zi:k Arione CX saddle
Nitto Handlebar

See you on the road.