Meet the Malum
If you’ve been following my Twitter, you’ve known it for a while now: I have been craving for a fixed gear for a while now. The interest was spawned last summer when I started reading BikeSnobNYC, which led me to places like Fyxomatosis, Prolly is not Probably, and Trackosaurus Rex. I did my research, look around for offerings other than a Bianchi Pista, because you know, for one it’s pretty expensive, and second, everybody and his grandmother has one. So when Subrosa hinted on twitter that they had a fixed gear in the works, I knew that the stuff was going to be pretty interesting. More information was released about halfway into summer: MSRP was going to be 650$USD, 800$CAD according to my highly unscientific guesstimation. I was ecstatic: a badass fixie from a highly respect BMX brand for under a grand? As soon as the release to public was announced on Subrosa’s website, I immediately inquired at my bike shop.
To make a long story short, there was a pretty important misunderstanding between my local bike shop, Laferte, and Ryder, the biggest Canadian distributor for all things BMX. The price I had been quote was nearly twice the USD MSRP, so I told myself that I’d wait for either the price to drop, or an occasion to go get one in the US. It was out of boredom that I @messaged Ryder in order to verify if I had been quote correctly. They promptly replied that I had been grossly misquote, and were even kind enough to work it out with Phil (the local BMX dude) in order to make my acquisition of the bike more enjoyable. That was 3 weeks ago. Last Saturday, I went to Laf to pick up my latest two wheeled toy.
Super-stiff, all Chromo construction, surprisingly good wheels built out off which feature deep section rims and a sealed hubset, all sprinkled with Shadow Conspiracy branded parts. Ain’t it a beauty?
It feels awesome too: I’ve had all steel bikes before, actually they’re they only thing I’ve ever had, but this one is the stiffest I’ve even TOUCHED. Tall, compact, narrow, I would guess that it’s less forgiving on longer rides but if a minor ass-ache is the cost for feeling literally empowered on the pedals, then make me numb. I wasn’t sure I’d see an improvement on the pedal feel going from an already pretty solid single speed drive train to a fixed gear, but trust me, there is a difference and it’s quite massive. You press harder on the pedals, it goes forward faster, it’s that easy. The new whip hauls ass, no doubt, but one thing I’ll have to get used to is stopping. I realized that I don’t have the tools necessary to mount my brake here in the barracks, so I’ll have to go brakeless for a while, and since I don’t have my foot retention thingies yet, skidding to a stop isn’t all that easy.
All in all, this truly is the ideal bike for a fixed gear noob who doesn’t want to venture in a half-assed 10-speed conversion. It’s really too bad that winter is coming a long quickly, I really would’ve liked to take it out for some longer rides to compare it to my Kona a little bit more.
Check out Subrosa’s product page for more info on the bike, and ask your local bike shop what’s up if you’re looking into ordering one. If a shop nearby has one in stock, do yourself a favor and take it for a spin: it’s a whole different cycling experience that anybody can enjoy.
Again, big thanks to Laf and Ryder for making this happen! I was really blown away by Ryder’s customer service… I’d never expect that kind of customer interaction from a distro, high fives all around.