There’s been an overall grumble lately, it seems, directed toward fixies because you-know-what is hitting theaters and is sure to cause a stir, drawing perhaps even more people to our favorite hobby and lifestyle. It could also bring more money, more bike advocacy, and more innovation. And yet here we are complaining (despite the fact many of us ride fixies and wallow in the process of making them look great, ride better, and skid even harder).
We’ve been interested in Fyxation for a while, specializing in cool fixie/commuter parts, and they sent over some sweet gear and components to spec and upgrade the bikes. Their Rodeo Pursuit Bulls arrived, an alloy bar wrapped with Fyxation cloth tape, and some nylon BMX-style Gates pedals and straps. So I strapped them on my brakeless ride and rode the streets like a maniac fakenger greased up with style.
Click ‘more’ for the full review…
The Rodeo Pursuit bullhorns come in three colors – black, silver, and white – for those that want to scheme. I popped these on my white Iro Mark V to try out, an affordable street track frame that I’d recommend. A 25.4mm clamp lets them sit in many road and quill stems without any unwanted slips. That’s good, because bullhorn slips are devastating and dangerous. Sold in two widths, 40 and 42cm, I tested the 40cm. (And Fyxation’s now selling a thicker version too, 31.8mm). Width was great for me, but that’s entirely personal. What’s not personal, really, is that drop in the bars. A subtle drop of 40mm curves the bar downward from the center.
This is the first set I’ve had that feature an angled drop. Adapting to this proved surprisingly easy because the bars allow for both aggressive and comfortable hand positions whether laid out or dead center. And because I like to have my seatpost jacked and my frames sized a little small for that super aggressive Macaframa look, I’m always craving some extra reach in the bars that’s provided wonderfully with these.
Weights for the bulls are 324g, a bit above the advertised 255g and that may be due, in part, to the white paint job.
Branding is minimal. A logo circumscribes one side and a second logo is visible on the center-front through an open plate stem. Eventually, with enough sweat and weather the logo wore off, which isn’t a big problem considering the rest of the bars remained in-tact.
I wrapped the Rodeo Pursuits in Fyxation’s loop cloth tape. It was my first experience with cloth tape and there’s some serious retro appeal. It’s a niche product now as many of us riders have moved on to different materials for performance reasons. But the loop cloth tape is fun, and fashionable. I found it comfy and throughout the early spring surprisingly warm, much warmer than the standard roadie tapes. This may make it a plus for commuters. And also, it took the weather better than I thought it would. After taking heavy rain it never developed any nasty smells and has yet to disintegrate.
Pricing for the bulls is $32.95. For the cloth tape, it’s $14.95 and available in black and white.
Gates Pedals + Straps
If Woody Allen built a bike, he’d probably spec Fyxation pedals. Slightly pretentious, yet snazzy and stylish, the Gates pedal/strap combo looks ultramodern on minimal-esque bikes. It feels cushy on the feet too, and comes in a range of colors. I got orange because, well, I don’t see orange pedals too often and if I’m riding fixed, it’s gonna be a kaleidoscopic build. Something as flashy as the Monkeylights we have in are perfect – we’ll post a review of those soon.
With feet nestled in the stirrups, you’ll notice the nylon pedals are super grippy with 2″ velcro straps that don’t lose durability after time and weather. Very reliable. So if you’re brakeless now and need trustworthy foot retention, these pedals are a solid alternative to whatever you’re running.
This setup has seen a few bikes and they have some wear (thanks to late night wheelies, parking garage pedal clips and falls) but they still look outstanding, unlike many alloy track pedals I’ve used that chip paint and look jankety after a week. And don’t be concerned about that radiating glow from the top of the picture — that’s the Kilo Glow by Purefix that just came in. It glows at night (and the day too).
Each pedal weighs in at 200g, straps weigh 60g which means your bike will have about 520g added to it. That’s a lot. But then again, I don’t know many people that shave grams on their fixie or commuter — if they do I’m concerned — and weight is small sacrifice for a pedal/strap combo of this kind that doesn’t tear up the Vans.
You can mount the pedals with an Allen key – a feature excluded on many affordable pedals – and that’s great considering you can swap pedals without a pedal wrench if money is of the essence. They feature rebuildable ball bearings as well.
All in all, if you’re new to the fixie market, or a longstanding pedigreed member and want toe retention without the commitment to clipless pedals, or the utter shoe destruction brought on by clips and pedals, the Gates pedals + straps are a great choice. Pricing on the Gates pedals is $19.95 and they come in virtually every color. Straps are $43.95 in black and white. Fyxation’ll cut you a discount though, $59.95, if you buy them as a set on their website.