Monday, 27 February 2012

Hardcore fixies, Warsaw

Well look at this one, chained to railings near Pl. Zbawiciela. No brakes, no mudguards, no front fork rake. The front wheel (trendily mis-matching the rear) has but 20 spokes, crossing over each other but once (rather than three times, as in standard tangentially-spoked wheels). This is going to be an unforgiving ride.

But look at how short the wheelbase is; the seatpost is bent to allow the rear wheel to be positioned further forward. Like in a cycle polo mount. The rear-facing rear dropouts suggest a frame built for fixed drive. These bikes are getting more and more extreme; this is the most extreme I've seen in Warsaw to date! And the snow has only just receded! I've been told by reader Chris that this is a Polish designed-and-built bike, the Torro, for track and traffic. See the website of TenFour bikes here.

Another Torro frame can be seen on the third bike down (the white one) in this set of fixie photos from last summer. Compare its geometry with the more conventional bike below...

Above: almost out of the box - a 2008 Kross Unforgiven Limited Edition parked outside my office. This bike came out of the factory as a fixie. Another Polish designed-and-built bike (the Kross bicycle company is a great success story).

Right: I say 'almost out of the box' because of its non-standard stubby bars. Narrow bars make for nippier handling through traffic, but there comes a point (when they are narrower than the rider's shoulders) when they become ludicrous. Why not dispense with bars altogether and merely stick your thumbs into the hole in the stem?

This time last year:
Oldschool Włochy

This time three years ago:
Lent and recession

This time four years ago:
Three weeks into Lent

1 comment:

messedup said...

The frame you pictured is also by a Polish framebuilder, Maka. His company is called Ten-Four and the frame is called the Torro! He is an ex- bicycle courier.