Fixed-gear bikes spark police crackdown in Berlin

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... Did you know that 85% of Germany's energy comes from Nuclear Power? ...

12.5% to be precise ...

 

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That's not the impression I get from reading The Beavers post and from others who post on this same subject.

 

It always seems as if they pay a lot of money for their fad bikes which is why I don't get the point of paying for something any 13 yearold kid could make for you from scrap.

The bikes in the pictures I posted cost a couple of thousand dollars at least. The frames are all custom-made along with most of the rims/wheels. These guys were serious about their fixies and were pretty damn good with the fixie tricks. Not my cup of tea, but they were pretty impressive. Wish I would have got some better pictures of them mucking around on the stairs doing spins and wheelies and all that stuff.

 

I know of some guys in Portland and SF that do put their own fixies together on the cheap. I'm sure there are a wide variety of fixie types and personalities.

 

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Bet they cost an arm and a leg though? They saw you coming

There is a cottage industry springing up to supply classic fixie converted bikes to hipsters without the mechanical aptitude to build up their own bike, but building one yourself is cheap as hell for the knowledgeable.

 

 

You need 2 brakes.

Legally, yes, in practice, no, as I commented before due to the weight transfer during hard braking. If they want to take the miniscule chance of getting fined for riding with only a single front brake then that's their problem but there is no danger to the public from riding a fixie with a single front brake.

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wow this is a really annoying thread. sorry to revive, but i needed to put in my two pence.

 

a proper fixed gear bike is a track bike, with very different geometry to that old bike you threw together as a kid from random parts. it's got a specific track hub, cog and crankset. and, if you're into tricks and showy stuff, it's got specially sourced hipster handlebars. they're specialist frames with specialist parts, and their value is reflected in that.

 

fixed gear riders in berlin can handle their bikes, and i feel safer riding with them than i would with more than 50% of the rickety ill-maintained shoppers that i see out on the streets.

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i feel safer riding with them than i would with more than 50% of the rickety ill-maintained shoppers that i see out on the streets.

Like these bloody things. I have had more near misses with people wobbling around on the side of a road on one of these than with anyone riding a racer, (or any other 'regular' bike), this one probably weighs twice as much as my aluminium frame MTB.

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Proper or not Teddy, most of the fixies I see around town are actually repurposed roadbikes with a quick cog slapped over a five-, six- or seven-speed hub. Handlebars are usually sawed off bars of another ilk, nothing specialty. And, as a former Cat 2 cyclist, I think it's all great. The more people on bikes the better.

However, the thing about handling their bikes so well doesn't hold up considering recent events. I give you a press release from the Berlin cops from yesterday:

http://www.berlin.de/polizei/presse-fahndung/archiv/132155/index.html

Bei einem Verkehrsunfall in Mitte wurde heute fr

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Yes I know they are all high tech low weight super duper jazzed up things but they LOOK like something a 13 year old made from junked parts.

 

If you want to spend thousands to look like that then you go right ahead but don't complain when you get nicked for breaking the law.

 

You would soon scream if you get totalled by someone in a car that followed the same way of thinking re brakes and genral legal roadworthiness.

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so... there's been an unfortunate accident involving a fixed gear bicyclist? oh, well clearly ban all fixed gears then. yes, that makes sense. because of the weight and wheelbase, cargo bikes and recumbants require more stopping time than a racer. maybe let's ban those, too, eh?

 

my point about most of the cyclists i see in berlin still stands. many have no concept of road safety or how to deal with traffic, and i cannot tell you how many deathtrap bikes with poorly adjusted shakey brakes i see every single day. the police should be spending time taking these dangerous cyclists and their bicycles off the road, rather than hassling skilled fixed gear riders.

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I once saw a guy on a major city road taking one lane wobbling back and forth riding against traffic :) It was not in Berlin mind you. Of course he was getting honked at a lot. I was not close enough to see if he was just ignoring it or if he was smiling and waving. Right next to that road was a quiet service road he could have been riding along without any problems but go figure.

 

Anyway, yeah, the police should be going after all unsafe riders and bikes instead of focusing on certain types of bikes. Then again, if you are riding your fixie without a brake, it is an unsafe bike. Maybe you are super good at it but what if somebody borrows it?

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Really don't get this subject at all.

 

Those bikes look like something I made when I was a kid from parts off the scrappie.

 

No brakes, no gears, no mud guards, cheapo paint job and odd sized wheels/tyres - yep exactly the sort of thing we used to make.

 

Bet they cost an arm and a leg though? They saw you coming

But if you know a thing or two about bike mechanics, I imagine they're quite cheap to maintain.

 

Until the frame is bent when you're hit by that truck that you couldn't stop in time to avoid.

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Maybe you are super good at it but what if somebody borrows it?

aaaaaaah, see this is what separates a lot of fixed gear riders from other bikers. i'd never lend my bike to anyone. and my friends know better than to ask. :)

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Fixies don't look safe to me, but they should start by cracking down on people with headphones and people not stopping at red lights, this is even more dangerous IMO.

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it seems pointless to be arguing this point on here, but i'm a glutton for punishment so i'll give it a go. yes, intuition says that a bike without brakes is dangerous. but fixed gear bikes have a really good braking system built into them -- you can stop the bike very quickly and efficiently by controlling the speed of the rear wheel using the pedals and chain. it works exactly the same way a traditional rear brake does (slowing down/stopping the wheel), except it doesn't loose efficiency in the rain and the brakepads don't need to be replaced twice a year.

 

german law states that a bike must have two independent mechanical braking systems. i've put a front brake on mine, and my drivetrain is a very effective braking system, so i therefore am biking within the law.

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aaaaaaah, see this is what separates a lot of fixed gear riders from other bikers. i'd never lend my bike to anyone. and my friends know better than to ask.

But what if they didn't ask :)

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you mean what if someone stole my bike and was riding around and got into an accident? i've very little pity in my heart for bike thieves... i'd hope that they ended up at the very least with a few broken bones.

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Yes, that is just punishment for the thief but how about the broken bones of the people they ran into because they couldn't stop?

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let me use an analogy. fixed gear bikes are like skateboards or in-line skates or recumbant bikes or ...

 

if the average person got on one for the first time, they'd be dangerous. but once you learn the basics, how to control it and how to stop, you're fine. but we don't suggest banning any of those things from our streets/pavements.

 

remember that it takes children several weeks to learn how to use a bicycle.

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Yes, that is just punishment for the thief but how about the broken bones of the people they ran into because they couldn't stop?

sorry. are you seriously suggesting that your arguement against fixed gear bikes is that someone might steal one and not be able to handle it?

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