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to purchase. Not many people were riding them on the street, and the ones that were doing so were mostly contained to the larger cities in the US. Now, almost a decade later, a vintage track frame is in much higher demand, with prices to match. To meet this demand companies began marketing “street-friendly” bikes. The steep angles of a track bike sometimes make street-riding difficult, and aren’t always the most comfortable. Issues like toe-overlap can be hazardous to inexperienced riders and some companies addressed this, making more relaxed geometries with horizontal track ends to accommodate the demand for road use. Since most people who ride track bikes in cities are doing so as a form of transportation, the bicycle industry has shifted its interest towards this sector. Urban fixed gears have become a big agenda item for many manufacturers.

In Delco, Pennsylvania, Tom La Marche picked up a Raleigh Rush Hour and started riding it. He had ridden BMX for a few years and wanted to give a track bike a try. After commuting for a few months, he began to experiment. Within a few weeks, he could wheelie with two hands or one, land 360 tire taps, wall rides and other tricks that not many people foresaw happening on a track bike. This was a milestone for the way people rode their fixed gear bikes, and the evolution happening today. With the growing popularity of Youtube, people began posting their videos and soon everyone was trying out tricks on their fixed gears.

In the same way that the kids in the 70’s may have looked awkward riding their Stingrays, the track bike riders began to push the limits of their bicycles, often to the point of failure. Many of the people now riding these bikes didn’t spend years riding them like messengers had, so the first few months had a steep learning curve. Some of the kids hadn’t even ridden a bike before, so it was even steeper. Once people become comfortable on a bike and learn its capabilities, the bike and the ways in which people ride it is subject to extreme metamorphosis with the right nudge.

In recent months, a new form of track bike rider has emerged. More akin to a BMX or mountain bike rider, he is bunny-hopping stairs, gaps, ledges and other environmental elements. Once again, they’ve upgraded their components with parts that will endure, rather than just look



John Watson and Nate Gogol. Photo by Chicken Kid,