My boyfriend and I went to Revolution Cycles in Arlington yesterday to get his fixed-gear track bike converted into something more friendly for spinning up the hill from our apartment to the Galaxy Hut. We walked up to the shop in the back of the store. A plump, mustachioed mechanic asked what we needed. My guy explained he wanted to convert his fixie into a single-speed. The mechanic sneered. “It’s already a single-speed,” he said. We pointed to the hub and said “no, look, it’s a fixie.” He said: “A fixie is a single-speed.” More sneering. Then, “What you want is a free-wheel.” To further heap on our shame, he asked, “Is this your bike?” Like, how could we be so damned ignorant unless it was someone else’s ride.
Well, Mr. Mustache. I was pretty sure single-speeds were a class of their own, and the internet says I’m right. So there. (To be fair, the rest of the grease monkeys were perfectly nice and non-condescending, and hooked us up with the right parts.)