As much as I cringe when I hear people refer to the Eastside as a fixie, it is true that we make a bike that ships as a single speed but includes a flip flop hub for setting the bike up as a fixed gear. So I guess we do make a fixie bike. For me though, the term fixie for some reason implies that the bike is cheap and I don't just mean affordable - AKA - the cheap fixie. We've been making parts for the last 5 years and bikes for about a year and it's really amazing how the price and quality of parts and bikes can vary drastically from one supplier to the next.
Most people that are in the market for a fixed gear bike see that most of these bikes look pretty similar and the companies that sell them market them in a very similar manner. This more or less leads people then to make their decision to purchase a new bike based on how it looks or based on their price. If you can buy one fixie for $595 and get another one for $249 it seems like a no-brainer to go with the cheaper bike right? It's for this reason that some companies sell a LOT of fixies.
Here at Fyxation we had a similar choice about a year ago when we were looking to make our own single speed bikes. Do we go with the cheapest option or one that costs a bit more but is of a much higher quality? Most bikes are made in Asia and the majority of those bikes are made in either China or Taiwan. Now to most consumers and unfortunately a lot of bike shops, these two options seem pretty much the same. However, based on our own experiences that couldn't be further from the truth.
When we started "Project Fixie" we decided to get quotes from suppliers in Taiwan and China to see which option would be best for us. After wasting about 4 months with a Chinese supplier that eventually told us they could only make one size frame (one size does NOT fit all in the bike world) we went looking for another Chinese supplier because their prices were so affordable. Hindsight is 20/20 and while it seems crazy that it took us so long to ask about other bike sizes, to us it's even crazier that we'd have to.
So we contacted another Chinese bicycle manufacturer that had their own house brand and also made bikes for a few of the popular fixie companies here in the US. Seeing as they had a track record and were already selling bikes in the US we figured this was a pretty good option. The samples looked good, the price was very good and prior to moving ahead with a production order we ordered a few sample bikes and sent them to a reputable testing company for strength and fatigue testing. FAIL!
You would be amazed at how poorly these bikes performed when under these basic tests. The frame didn't pass 50% of the cycles and the fork performed much worse. Now one of our founders here at Fyxation is a mechanical engineer and spent way too many hours doing fatigue testing to not put all of our products through extensive real world and lab testing prior to releasing a product. Failure rates such as we found with the Chinese fixie are unacceptable and I would hope that other fixed gear bike companies here in the US do similar testing. All I have to say is, the cheapest option isn't always the best.
Now we didn't even have to ask to see similar reports on the parts that were being used on these bikes but based on the number of Google results that come up when you search for any fixie company and the word issue or problems, you'll realize that the parts they use on these bikes are of a similar quality.
Super long story short, we proudly make our parts, frames and bikes in Taiwan. In the end it costs us more to make our bikes there and because we chose to use Fyxation parts and higher end Tektro brakes and levers our bikes are more expensive than a lot of the fixies on the market.
How much are our fixies you ask? Our bikes retail for $595.00 and we are proud of that fact. We might not sell as many fixed gear bikes as our competitors, but we can definitely sleep at night knowing that the frames and parts we use on the Eastside are made from the best quality materials, tested to the highest standards and will hold up under the toughest riding conditions.
Our brakes stop your bike when you need them to. Our tires keep you rolling when they should. Our frame and fork will support your weight and not break or bend when they shouldn't. Be proud of your bike, parts and all!
Written by: Ben Ginster Google