Hey kids, looks like fixies are hot on both sides of the pond. You know these bikes—minimalist, no brakes, single gear, handmade.
Oh urban cycling culture, whose diehards are the blue collars of hipsters, there’s a new web series glorifying the art of the fixed-gear bike. Babelgum launched Freewheelers today to a global audience with three episodes showing off London’s diverse taste in fixies. There’s everything from the modern gentleman’s mini Penny Farthing (above) to the classic Indian-made Hero courier to a homemade BMX convert.
These quick little episodes—all under 2 minutes—are but vignettes that leave us wanting. And that’s not that they aren’t worth watching, no quite the contrary. It’s just I’m left with that unsatiated feeling known all too well by American diners after a night out for Tapas. All snacks, no meal. How do they make these things? Maybe I was expecting the Backyard FX of fixies.
Laurence Billiet, creator of the series and who also happens to be the Publisher of Babelgum’s Metropolis channel, says she was aiming for aesthetics over the more DIY style of shows like say Threadbanger. “We wanted to create a series that celebrate urban cycle culture while documenting bikes as beautiful machines, not just from an engineering perspective, but from an aesthetic or artistic one as well,” she wrote. “I liked the idea of applying the aesthetics of street-style fashion blogs like The Satorialist to film”.
So really these are what they are—video snapshots of the intersection of personal style and practical transport. Each bike matches its rider and their international stories, short though they are, make it a sturdy addition to Babelgum’s Metropolis channel. I just wish they went deeper.