As I look outside, I see what in Alaska, we call a “Sucker Hole.” Basically, you see sunlight peeking through the clouds- get excited, throw on some clothes, more than likely forgetting rain gear, and run outside, only to be met by the rain, which was waiting for you just around the corner.
Here is a video that cheered me up as I saw the first drops fall.
I don’t have to tell you that your tires play an important role while riding a bike. Take a look at any bike shop and you’ll see different tires for every common wheel size, and every application. When it comes to riding a fixed gear, they are not only your only point of contact with the road; they act as brake pads. They also work as shock absorption in pot hole ridden streets and in tricks that seem to be getting bigger by the day.
BMX, cyclocross and mountain biking have played a large, though understated role in the evolution of the fixed gear; riders realizing that parts on these bikes, though possibly weighing in a little more than what is available for track bikes, will not break as often when they go for that 6 stair they’ve had their eye on. A lot of companies have jumped on the bandwagon when it coomes to this fixed gear trick thing. Dozens of frames are being produced purporting to be built for tricks and urban riding, some performing better than others. Many forks wouldn’t allow bar spins with a 700c wheel, or they would bend while performing tricks, so forks evolved into something looking like a big bmx fork. Most other parts were taken care of, robbed off of peoples bmx or mountain bikes. What’s missing? Tires. When skid tricks were king, there were a few tires boasting the ability to skid through hell and back. Well, tricks evolved a little- they got bigger, and the demands for rubber changed.
Fyxation saw the writing on the wall. Tires needed to change. Skid tricks were fading and kids were going bigger and bigger with air, gaps, and drops. Something that provided traction was necessary. And a little fatter than a 25, without putting a knobby cyclocross tire on. Enter: The Fyxation Session 700. Fyxation is a company bourne of the evolution that take place as new ground is broken. The Session is a 700 x 28c tire made with bead to bead tread, resembling a bmx tire. The tire is foldable, and built tough, with a 120 TPI carcass. By my measurements, they are 29mm at their widest point.
Fyxation sent me a set of the black Sessions, and I’ve been riding them for nearly a month. So far I’m very happy with the results. The weather here in Seattle is quickly becoming fall-like. In the time that I’ve been testing these tires: the leaves have fallen, the rains have come, and it’s gotten much colder in the evenings. A great test for tires. I have been happy with their handling, cornering, and their “Cushion for the pushin”
Fyxation doesn’t market these tires as “skidding tires.” I have found them very grippy on dry ground , and as such, it doesn’t feel like you’ll win any skid competitions with them. This grip allows for more control on dry ground, which I prefer over a tire that easily skids. That being said, and in an effort to give them a full test, I’ve been skidding more than I usually do, and they have done just fine. I ride my tires at around 100psi (recommended 80-110psi), and they offer a good balance of shock absorption and ride quality.
Available in a rainbow of fruit flavors, they are also available in black and brown with white sidewalls. They will soon make available a “Dual-Compound” tire, with a harder center strip, for those that want a mix between grip and skidability. From what Ben at Fyxation tells me, a 23c is coming soon as well. Many fixed gear trick riders are riding fatter tires- 32c or even 38c. I can’t speak to whether or not Fyxation will be bringing out a wider tire. I can say that if bikes continue to evolve, you can expect Fyxation to keep their ear to the ground.
Stopped by the final race in the MFG Cross series yesterday, held at Woodland Park. The occasional sprinkle, and cool weather made for a perfect cross day. I can’t express how pumped I am that Seattle has finally allowed a cross event to take place within the city limits. Woodland Park was a great park to host the event, and I hope that all that attended had a good time. I didn’t make it to the wrap party at Brouwer’s post race, but I’m sure it was a blast. I snapped a few photos and got to see Benny, though I missed his race. Cross racing is a great spectator sport, and Raleigh even had test bikes available if people wanted to get muddy.
My computer is in need of many updates, so I can’t see the posted results, but you can HERE
I hope that James, riding for uBRDO did well, he has been in the top of Men’s Cat 3 for this series. Good on ya.
If you attended, or even if you didn’t, but you are supportive of more races being held in Seattle City Parks, please let your voice be heard. For whatever reason, the supporters of these events are not as vocal as the few negative Nancy’s out there. So sing sweet songs from your rooftops to the City of Seattle – and let them know that you encourage them in working with local race promoters. You can email these folks at the Seattle Parks Department with your kudos:
Outlier is now on their third iteration of their 4 Season OG pants in their effort to make the perfect pair of pants for on and off the bike. I must say they look very nice. I can’t tell if they have a gusseted crotch, which I am fond of when it comes to cycling specific clothing, though it may not be necessary when this Schoeller fabric is used. It uses a “french seam” – I don’t know what that is, but the French are known for many things, like bread, kisses, and a little bike race that happens every year. The OG pants come in a variety of sizes, and they include a handy little reference card that breaks down how it will fit on your body- that’s nice if you can’t get into one of their retailers to try them on. They fit similarly, but a little slimmer than Levis 501 jeans, so those that have tree stump legs like me might be left in the cold. They have a 6 month return policy, and if you are just switching out size or color, return shipping is on them.
Outlier garments are what they describe as “Tailored performance clothing for cycling in the city” I like the sound of that. Quality clothing does cost money, and these pants will run you $180. They are made in New York City, which I think is wonderful. Outlier seems to have a solid brand while maintaining ideals, designing and manufacturing from a community stand point. I love to see US made products. Keep it up Outlier!
Major movies about bikes aren’t new, and they generally aren’t very good either. Inevitably, a movie about bikes will be met with much criticism from the cycling community. Especially a movie about a bike messenger. Especially if the movie is directed by the same man that wrote Jurassic Park, the new Indiana Jones, Spiderman, and many others. David Koepp is well known for his work as a screen writer and is breaking into the directing world with Premium Rush. A major budget action movie that according to Cinemablend:
The film centers on a bike messenger in New York City who is given an envelope with information that a dirty cop is desperate to claim. Think of it as 16 Blocks with Bruce Willis replaced by a twenty-something delivery boy and Mos Def replaced by a piece of paper.
Oh I’ll be there on opening night to see it to be sure, but I’m not going to hold my breath.
The Bicycle Belles can be found at Bike So Good in Georgetown tonight at 7pm. There will be live music, and they are recruiting, so if you are looking for something to do this winter, go eat some pies, meet the Belles, and make some magic happen.
Mark sent this up the other day. I was hoping to stop by iMinusD while I was in the bay last time, but I didn’t make it down to San Jose. If you are in the neighborhood, check it out. It sounds legit! Great sponsors on the flier.
Seattle has shown some reluctance in allowing cyclocross racing within city limits. I don’t know why. Prudes. I guess. But this Saturday you’ll get a chance to see cross in all its wet and sloppy glory as MFG Cyclocross brings series race #6 to Woodland Park. You don’t want to miss it.
Come cheer, encourage, heckle, or berate your favorite riders as they kick ass and take names like they do up here in the Northwest. And just so you know, the Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships (SSCXWC) will be held in Seattle next year.
Race Day Schedule (proposed)
Cat 4 Master Men 35+
Cat 4 Master Men 45+
Cat 4 Women
Jr Boys & Girls 13-14
Cat 4 Men
Single Speed Women
Jr Boys & Girls 15-16
Cat 3 Master Men 35+
Cat 3 Master Men 45+
Cat 1/2 Women
Cat 3 Women
Jr Boys & Girls 10-12
Little Kids Race
Cat 1/2 Men
Cat 1/2 Master Men 35+
Cat 1/2 Master Men 45+