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Germany Declares War On Fixies

from Der Spiegel

New Bike Trend Could Be Deadly

By Cathrin Schaer in Berlin

Fixed-wheel bicycles are the latest international cycling fashion and the lean, mean machines are now a regular sight on German city streets. However Berlin police say they are extremely dangerous — not to mention illegal.

Fixed-wheel bikes are the latest trend in cycling. But Berlin police are worried that riders who are choosing the cycles because they are fashionable may be endangering their own, and others’, lives.

After a 32-year-old cyclist recently came off his bicycle and suffered serious head injuries in the center of the German capital, local traffic police issued a stern warning. “The so-called ‘fixie’ bicycles … are either poorly equipped with safety features or have none whatsoever,” the statement read. “The use of such bicycles is considered very dangerous, threatening the life, limb and general well-being of the riders themselves — no matter how experienced they are — as well as any other road users.”

The clean, retro lines, minimalist aesthetic and simple engineering have turned the fixie into something of a fashion trend in cycling. Not to mention how it feels to ride one — as one bike mechanic¬†told Wired magazine:¬†“Learning how to ride a fixie was like drinking decaf your whole life and then suddenly having the real thing.”

[ click to read full article at Spiegel Online ]

Posted on July 24, 2009 by Editor

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