In case you haven't been outside recently, let me present a newsflash: fixed gear bikes are in. What started as a niche group of serious bikers has effectively grown to the point of being trendy, and Shanghai has jumped on board with both feet in. Luckily, this is a trend that encourages exercise and happens to look pretty damn sweet at the same time. So what are fixed gear bikes, besides candy colored bicycles that put your little ol' foldable to shame? Essentially they're gearless bicycles on which the chain is attached to the back wheel, eliminating your ability to coast and allowing you to bike backwards (if that's your thing) and stop without using a brake. They also typically come completely customizable, which accounts for the creative use of colors and patterns that is almost always the trademark of a fixed gear bike. In case you want to get your hands on one, below are some of your best bets for all things fixed gear.
1) Factory FiveView In Map
Perhaps the most well-known group of fixed gear bike enthusiasts, Factory Five consists of a tiny workshop where fixed gear creations are either started from scratch per the customers' specifications or old Chinese brands (such as Fenghuang) are fixed up to look brand new. Their refurbished Forever frames are gaining in popularity too, probably due to the amount of wear and tear they can endure with no fix ups needed. An average bike will cost you around 3,000 RMB, but keep in mind one major perk of fixed gears – because there are less components to the actual bike (no gears, hand brakes, etc.), there are less things to break down or go wrong – meaning you can ride for years without having to fix a thing. Factory Five's popularity with both the fixed gear and standard bicycle crowd is also boosted through their Tuesday Night Rides, Beer Bashes, Alleycat Races, and all the other fun, bike-themed events they host throughout the year.
Add: 1/F, Bdlg 2, 876 Jiangsu Lu, Shanghai
Opening hours: Tue, 10:30-21:00; Wed-Fri, 10:30-19:00; Sat, 13:00-19:00
Email (to make appointments): firstname.lastname@example.org
2) SpecializedView In Map
While fixed gear bikes are theoretically more natural feeling, giving you more control as the rider, some people have a more difficult time adjusting. For them, the Specialized bike shop offers single speed bicycles that can be ridden either as a normal bike or as a fixed gear. While the Specialized brand itself is made in America, this shop also sells bikes from around the world, including Colnago, from Italy, which retails for an eye watering 15,000 RMB. If that's a bit too much to stomach for a bicycle, their regular single speed/fixed gear varieties go for a little over 6,000 RMB. The owners of Specialized also run a bike club for fixed gear and regular bike enthusiasts alike. The club organizes and takes bike trips around China to partake in some fresh air while bonding with other bikers. Depending on the itinerary, these excursions can last from one day up to one week.
Address: 221 Jianguo Xi Lu, near Shaanxi Nan Lu, Shanghai
地址: 上海市建国西路221号, 近陕西南路
Tel: 021 6431 9313
Opening hours: 10:00-20:00
3) AirwalkView In Map
Formerly Peeping Bomb, Airwalk is both the name of this shop in Shanghai and the brand name of the Taiwanese fixed-gear bikes that they sell. They also carry some over-priced “hip hop” clothing if you feel like that's the sort of thing you want to wear while riding your new bike. A standard frame itself costs around 2,800 RMB and that doesn't include all the various customizations you can do to it. But that's where the real fun comes in, as practically every single component of the bike can be colored to your specification. Lighter frames are also available for a lower price, so be sure to discuss with the store employees exactly what kind of ride you're looking for. If you already have your frame and color combinations in mind (and you can read Chinese or know someone who can), Airwalk does sell their products on Taobao for slightly lower prices than in the stores. For most people, however, it will be useful to actually go into the store (or any fixed gear bike shop, really) to at least get a sense of the bikes in person.
Add: No. 4, 242 Julu Lu, near Ruijin Yi Lu, Shanghai
地址: 上海市黄浦区巨鹿路242弄4号, 近瑞金一路
Tel: 021 5430 7059
Opening hours: Daily 11:30-21:00
Whether you're new to pleasure biking or have been around the block a few times, fixed gear bikes offer a slightly different way to experience what many of us have been doing since we were about seven years old. Plus, customizing your fixed gear guarantees an amazing and unique souvenir from your time in China!
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Keywords: Fixed gear bikes Shanghai specialized bikes Shanghai fixed gear bike shops Shanghai
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