Grass Track Racing: Fixies on grass, skinny jeans optional

I was thinking about the now famous xtranormal short “Hipsters Discussing Cyclocross” and how the two characters wondered if fixed gear bikes could be used for cyclocross.

Well, at least in the MFG and Seattle Cyclocross series, fixed gear bikes are specifically excluded. I can’t really see how fixies could be anything other than a liability to a rider and those around him on the courses that I raced, but there is a tradition of fixed gear racing on flat grass tracks in the UK. All you need is a big, relatively smooth grass field and brakeless fixies, then voila! You get the lovechild of cyclcross and track racing. This could be a rad idea. For equipment I’d specify brakeless fixies with a strict max tire width of 32mm or maybe even 30mm. Though that would exclude converted MTB fixes, it would lure hoards of street fixies with the idea of a fairly level playing field.

I could see Pabst sponsoring the grass track Madison races, where partners take a handsling with a Tallboy.


I’ve seen a lot of people in Portland try to race fixed gears in cross, usually with limited success.

One exception—Erik Tonkin, who is such a good bike handler that I’m not sure you would’ve known he was riding a fixed unless you knew it ahead of time. Very graceful and amazingly fast. He rode a Kona Paddy Wagon with cross tires and long reach road calipers off and on for fun locally a few years back. He wasn’t winning with it, but he was placing pretty high.

@marksopelana I’d heard, but not confirmed that the Hodala crew rode fiixed. I haven’t seen that since and that’s possibly cause speeds are so high and competitive in Seattle. It’s a party race, but also when it comes down to it, a race.

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