All posts tagged Fixed Gear
Happy 2015 everyone! I hope the new year has been treating you well. I spent the last month in the states visiting family, friends and making my rounds on the east coast. In one month I managed to take 5 separate trips to New York City, a trip to Boston, spend 2 weeks in Vermont and still manage to do some remote work for my job here in Shanghai. Needless to say, the blog has been a bit dormant as of late and for that all I have to say is: my bad.
Anyway, it’s a new year and I’ve got a ton of stuff I’ve been sitting on; so worry no more. In the spirit of being back in Shanghai, I’d like to plug my buddies at Factory 5 as they’ve recently moved into a new space.
The new shop is located in a converted food-market and includes a full service shop, an office, private terrace and even has some beer taps! If you’re in Shanghai and like bicycles, F5 is a must-see.
Have a look at some more photos below and make sure to get over to the Factory 5 Flickr for even more.
photos: Kim Heikkinen
This is one fine looking Gangsta Track. I’ve always wanted a Brooklyn Machine Works Gangsta Track, and still do. It’s bare bones, has solid tire-clearance and like most bikes, looks better the more you thrash it. The orange is also very becoming…
Be sure to check out more of Kim’s photos on Flickr and more of this Gangsta Track below.
When I first found out that I was moving to Shanghai a little over 6 months ago, the first thing on my mind (other than the countless immaculate skate spots this city possesses) was “what am I going to do for a bike?” Bringing one of my bikes out wasn’t exactly an option, especially after only having two days notice as to when my flight was booked. Two days…48 hours notice before moving 8,000 miles away.
My last two days in the states were spent scrambling to scrap some parts together to stash in my checked baggage. Knowing that Shanghai is completely flat, I decided I’d cut the hubs out of the wheels on my Gan Well Pro (tear tear) and start piecing together another track bike.
Anyway, I’d heard of the guys at Factory Five through the WWW and after John Prolly paid them a visit a while back, I knew that I’d have to drop in and check them out. What a good call that was. I stopped in about month after landing, put a deposit down on a 56cm F550 and grabbed a few last minute items to complete the build. Once my frame arrived, I spent a couple hours in the shop meticulously piecing it together while enjoying a couple ice-cold Asahis.
After not riding a bike for nearly a month-and-a-half, my ride home had me feeling like my 10-year old self; spinning out the 16” coaster BMX, grass stains on my jeans and ripping coaster brake skids. The frame fit me perfectly and had the most synergistic feel right out of the stand. Usually getting a bike this dialed takes a few tweaks after the initial build, but I really lucked out here. No measurements, no real fit adjustments needed. Just a suitcase of random parts and solid 7005 series aluminum track frame.
In terms of the parts and build, I took the Suzue Pro Max hubs I had and grabbed some 32h hard anodized H Plus Son Archetype rims, laced them up 3-cross and slapped some super cheap 23c tires on them. I usually don’t like to skimp on tires, but the cost of moving across the world had me on a bit of a budget. I picked up a track crankset from the guys at the shop and set it up with their signature Factory Five Lattice Chainring in hard ano. This chainring goes! It feels stiff as anything, is very very light and also looks amazing. On that crankset are a set of MKS pedals, Soma double cages and All City double straps.
The only other piece I needed was a seat post. I somehow grabbed a 27.0 post from home, thinking it was a 27.2 and needed to find something reasonably priced. The shop had a swap meet one day and I lucked out by coming up on a Miche seatpost. Atop the post, I hung a nicely worn-in Fizik Arione saddle.
For the cockpit, I brought over a 100mm Ritchey WCS 4 AXIS stem, a set of Truvativ mountain bars with a slight rise and a VP-Comp headset. Enough with the build though…
This bike rips. It’s all you need here and nothing you don’t. As a big fan of aluminum bikes (most of the time), I knew what to expect with the F550. Stiff and responsive, yet not overly aggressive as far as track geometry goes. This was just what I needed; something that is equally at home either thrashing through traffic or moseying on over to the bar.
I’ve been riding this for just about 5 months now and still feel as happy as the day I set it up. Sure, I miss riding road and mountain bikes, but having a city track bike in a place as wild as Shanghai has yet to get boring. Having a brakeless track bike here is akin to mountain biking, except the trees here are on gas scooters and have a mind of their own.
I’m gonna stop rambling though and give the guys at Factory Five a strong shoutout. Thanks for everything dudes! Be sure to check out the rest of the Factory Five frames and other products. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to send me an email or get at me on IG or Twitter. Check out the rest of the photos below!
EDIT: photo updated – swapped out my crankset for the trusty SRAM Omniums & have been running the Cetma Cargo 5-rail rack for the last year or so.
photos: Kim Heikkinen
This is one ripping Surly Steamroller! Aside from the royal blue paint, this track bike is the perfect blend of beauty and functionality. That may sound cliche, but I really mean it. Between the Dura Ace crankset, Gatorskins, the comfy wide riser bars and simplicity of a single fixed drivetrain, this bike is ideal for day-to-day thrashing…just like my F550 (more on that this week, promise).
Since moving to Shanghai about 6 months ago, I’ve been riding a very similar setup to this Steamroller pictured above & below. My buddies at Factory Five held onto a 56cm F550 track frame for a couple weeks while I gathered cash after moving here. Since then, it’s been my daily rider. Hell, it’s the only bike I’ve got out here and I couldn’t be more hyped with it! I’d be lying though if I said I didn’t miss each and every ride in my stable back in the states…
Stay tuned for more on my F550 this week and be sure to check out the rest of Kim’s Steamroller below.
This past Tuesday was the first chance I got to go on the infamous Factory Five group ride and sheesh, I was blown away. I’d guestimate a little over 300 heads showed up the ride, all on various types of bicycles; track, fixed, road, hybrid and even mountain bikes were all present and in solid numbers. I rode my new F550.
We met up at the shop around 8:30 for a 9 PM departure, taking us all over the city. One of the best parts of finally getting a bike to ride in Shanghai is getting my bearings and a sense of direction. For my first two months here, I had no idea where anything was let alone what general direction I needed to be going. Since then, I’ve been out almost every night getting my spin on, doing some exploring and spot hunting. I said it a while back, but stay tuned for some detail shots of my new whip in the coming days!
I’ve been meaning to get out and shoot some detailed photos of my new Factory Five F550, but as some of you probably know, working for a small business is a time commitment and a half. Our shop has been so busy lately. We’re also slated to open the first indoor skatepark in Shanghai towards the end of next month, all while continuing our after-school programs and getting ready for summer camp. So yeah, things have been crazy.
Amongst all the chaos, I’ve still been finding time to skate and have finally gotten back to shredding a bicycle daily! And damn, does it feel good to be back. Here’s a little preview shot of my latest build, the F550. Despite my limited budget, I managed to piece together a pretty decent build…especially when my goal for this bike was for it to be a sleeper.
I took the Suzue Pro Max hubs from my Gan Well Pro, laced them up to some hard anodized H Plus Son Archetypes. In terms of drivetrain, I splurged a bit on the Factory Five lattice chainring (which I highly recommend) and fitted it to some standard black track cranks with some MKS pedals, Soma cages and All-City double straps. Up top, I’ve got a well-loved Fizik Arione saddle from my road bike, a Miche Super Type seat post, Ritchey WCS stem, Truvativ risers and a VP headset. It’s a pretty solid build and I’m very happy with the ride so far. Stay tuned for some detailed shots and if you’re in Shanghai and want to ride hit me up!
Just came across this old post from Ty over at The Footdown – Pro Skateboarders Who Ride Fixed Gear Bikes. Talk about a long list!
This was done in 2010, so how many more do you think there are now? If you’ve got any that haven’t been mentioned on this list, leave a comment below or get @ me on Twitter – @klei_ber or @culturecycles. Pictured above is the one and only, John Cardiel; please take a minute to hail the great.
Here’s the link to the full list: Fixed Gear Riding Pro Skateboarders