The Fall and Fall of Fixed Gear Bikes

It’s traditional for blogs to post their ‘top ten posts’ lists during the last week of December and I have in the past but this year will be different. Rather than focus on specific posts from The Foot Down I decided to dig around a bit and see what kind of state fixed gear was in in general based on observations from my own analytics…


 

The Foot Down Traffic 2013

fixed gear bike blog

As you can see, my traffic has been on a slippery slope this year, it’s a pretty bloody consistent drop each and every month without even peaking in the summer as expected. But as worrying as this looks it comes as no surprise because…


 

The Foot Down Traffic From Launch to Present

fixed gear blog uk

…traffic has been going down since the middle of 2012. The highest point on this graph coincides with my Bradley Wiggins interview, I picked up a whole boat load of boring roadie readers during that summer and I had to go out of my way to shake them off. Roadies are generally fairly square, boring people, their opinions clashed with mine and their bland comments were bringing me down so I stepped up the swearing, skateboarding posts and other ‘alternative’ stuff to get rid of them.

The Foot Down is not for ‘cyclists’, it’s for skaters and musicians and artists and other misfits that just happen to ride fixed gear bikes. Although I have strayed from my original 100% fixed gear only philosophy the core of this blog is still fixed gear. I wondered whether other sites might be suffering from the same decline in popularity (for want of a better word) so I looked into some Google searches…


 

Three Leading Fixed Gear Blogs 2010-Present

fixed gear blogs

…The blue line is the leading fixed gear blog which diversified into a wider range of cycling types, the red and orange lines are two other very popular fixed gear blogs that didn’t really branch out. This graph is based on Google searches for their names, it may not represent their own traffic levels but it certainly shows that general interest in fixed gear specific blogs has been consistently going down for the last four years.


 

Popularity of the Terms ‘Fixed Gear’ and ‘Fixie’ 2010-Present

fixie bikes uk

This one surprised me, the blue line is Google search traffic for the term ‘fixed gear’, it’s going down (expected) but the red line is for searches on the term ‘fixie’ which is not only higher but also a bit more stable. Both of these searches are most popular in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Thailand which may not exactly make your jaw drop but the search volume in those countries is waaaaaay higher than any country in the West.


 

Worldwide Popularity of Fixed Gear Cycling 2010-Present

fixed gear popularity chart

This last graph, again based on Google keyword searches, shows the decline in popularity of fixed gear over the last four years. Fixie bikes may be booming in parts of the East but even a million pink Aerospokes can’t combat the overall drop.


My current traffic is around what it was mid-2011, If I was running the blog as a business that I relied on to pay my bills then I’d be shitting myself but I don’t so it’s all good. The Foot Down exists just because it does, it serves no real purpose and 2011 was the best time for fixed gear, a lot of the recent videos coming out are displaying the plain and simple love of riding fixed again with considerably less buckets full of bullshit.

I reckon the future is looking bright for the fixed gear hard core, keep on mashing mother fuckers.