The Hipster bike Revolution!

recently i've discovered a brilliant idea in new bikes; customizable singlespeed bikes that can be had for cheap. or relatively cheap depending on how you look at it.

they're usually fixed (more on this later), have tons of colour variations, and no graphics.

it doesn't sound like that complex of a bike, yet it's not something that is easy to come by. we talked about building something like this at redbike years ago, but we wanted to do it all canadian. unfortunately, it was just too expensive to fly.

the least expensive option for a custom build bike was a surly 1x1 or karate monkey - and that still came in around $1600 from the ground up. getting mass-produced parts, i think we should have been able to do it for $750 or less. it wouldn't have been blinglespeed at all, but that was the point.

so, along comes republic bikes, mission bicycle company, and not quite the same idea - but they claim to have invented the genre - norway's alta bikes; cheap, fully customizable 'hipster bikes'

the fixed gear roadbike as become the required mode of transport for the hipster. the only cool way to get to the gig on whyte, or roll down to the sugarbowl for coffee and cinnamon buns. which i find very odd because the fixed gear bike is not for the novice rider, and if there's one thing the hipster doesn't seem to be, it's an athlete.

and, the best of these bikes are home made by good mechanics. so most hipster's are probably on a bike built by a friend from an old japanese or euro road frames.

but now anybody with $394 can have one.

that's what republic charges for their aristotle ss. that gets you five colour choices on a hi-ten steel frame, matching colours for the chain, grips, and velocity deep-v rims (the only choice for a hipster bike). and best of all, the ability to have the website choose random colours for all of these items! most of the parts are no-name, and i have to be honest here, it's not a high quality frame. but the end result looks good.

the next step up the ladder is mission bicycle company in san francisco. it was really only a matter of time before frisco based shop started mass producing hipster bikes. the mission bike has a much higher quality frame (reynolds 4130), powder coat colours, and the option of building the bike with high end parts; chris king, thomson, nitto, brooks, and vittoria all appear on the option sheet.

of course the end product can run $1400 with all the bling, but can also go as low as $750. as always in bikes, you get what you pay for. for my money the mission is absolutely worth the extra expense.

and then there's alta. much flashier than the republic, and lighter for sure with an aluminum frame. it's got better wheels, sexy time-trial bull horn bars, and fancy euro-industrial design muscle behind it. they've only recently been available in north america, and i couldn't find a price, but a couple blogs i found seemed to agree on $1000. pricey, but again, sexy.

i personally really like the mission - good price, good parts, and SF is very cool. though me being me, i'd be more likely to piece together a fixie using an MTB frame and some leftover road wheels. but that's just me...

Now playing: Silversun Pickups - The Royal We
via FoxyTunes

No comments: