Fuckin’ Fixies: Sam Allgood FGFS Profile

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"If you can pop into a wheelie and go 10 blocks or whatever, it's just sick. Everyone loves wheelies." Sam Allgood. Photo: John Carlisle

Get off the road. Get some gears. Get a brake. Sam Allgood hears it all as he rides his fixed gear bike, and what does he have to say about it? “Brakes will just slow you down.” So without further ado, here’s SLUG Mag’s first interview with a fixed gear freestyle rider.

SLUG: What got you into riding bikes?
Sam Allgood: When I was a kid, I rode mountain bikes a lot in the Aves, and then I was just sick of my mountain bike and wanted a new bike. I didn’t want to worry about adjusting a derailleur or whatever, and being a kid, I didn’t want to learn that stuff—I just wanted to ride. I convinced my dad to buy me a fixed gear. The only deal was that I’d have to learn how to maintain it and learn how to wrench my own bike. So Justin at Cyclesmith helped me out with that. I’d meet with him weekly and work on my bike, and then my friend Jake Trimble helped me. We built our conversions together and went from there. Right after that, I was super into bikes and mechanical skills and whatnot, so I just picked it up a lot, fixed my friends’ bikes, got a job at a bike shop and collected bikes.

SLUG: How did you get into fixed gear freestyle?
Allgood: I originally rode a fixed gear to get around, but I was longboarding up at the U and just loved the campus and riding through and saw people on mountain bikes and figured I could ride my bike down all of that. I just started hopping down stairs or riding through grass.

SLUG: There’s been a lot of BMX integration into the FGFS scene, especially lately. Why not just ride BMX?
Allgood: Because you have to coast on a BMX, you can’t do whips, skids or ride backward, and also, 20 inch wheels don’t roll as far as 26 or 700c wheels, so you’re pedaling a lot more on a smaller ratio. On this [FGFS bike], there’s somewhat more mobility as far as the frame because of the way it’s designed. You can sit more comfortably and ride. It may be slower than a track bike or a road bike, but it’s more fun and I can shred along the way.

SLUG
: How has FGFS changed since you started?
Allgood: It’s a lot to do with the strength of the parts mostly. Since I worked at a bike shop, I could work on my bike whenever, and constant maintenance is key to fixed freestyle, or really any freestyle where you’re throwing your bike or falling or just scraping your parts up: brakes, pedals, handlebars, whatever. So for a while there, I was just breaking shit every day. Everything’s stronger now and maybe heavier. It may have a lot of rolling resistance with big tires, but it’s more fun.

SLUG: Most people think fixies are a fad. What do you think?
Allgood: There’s definitely a trend and fixies are trendy, like track bikes with multicolored rims and Oury grips are trendy, but if you really know what you’re doing, you ride a bike like me that has good parts on it and solid shit and you’re actually genuinely excited about riding. If you can keep on it, that’s all that matters really. The trend will go on if there’s money to be made.

SLUG: What’s your favorite trick?
Allgood: I like wheelies. I’ve been doing wheelies since I was a little kid, and there’s no better feeling than riding a fixed gear bike you can wheelie on. If you can pop into a wheelie and go 10 blocks or whatever, it’s just sick. Everyone loves wheelies.

SLUG: Where do you think FGFS is going to take you? Do you plan to get sponsored?
Allgood: Right now it’s not one of my focuses, because I have a bike and I have a job and can pay for my shit. I’m not in desperate need of parts. If I could work with a company to better the frame technology or whatever, that would be sweet, but that would be a local thing—I’d hook up with somebody to actually weld something that I design. Right now, I’m just trying to kid around on my bike and make videos and take pictures. If that gets me somewhere, then that’s rad, but … it’s more of a personal thing. I just want to be that weird kid who rides the pseudo mountain bike and is always at the skate park hurting himself.

SLUG: Who are some FGFS riders to look out for?
Allgood: There’s definitely some fucking good guys out there, and a lot of times they’ve ridden BMX or ridden fixed gears for a while and they just have the desire to stunt on their bikes. Tom LaMarche is definitely No. 1 in my book: He rides anything with wheels just amazingly. Steven Jensen is a guy that used to ride BMX with no chain ring or chain, so his cranks would just coast and he’d push it like a scooter. He got on riding fixed gears and he could do bunny-hop bar spins on his conversion, and that’s gnarly, ’cause a ghetto road bike that’s stripped down shouldn’t be able to sustain tricks on it at all, but he found a way to make it work. It’s nice to see people doing something different: People who do crazy stuff on bikes that aren’t really meant to do it are super cool.

SLUG: What do you have to say to all the haters?
Allgood: Do your own thing, and don’t focus on anyone else. If you’re hatin’, that means that you’re too focused on somebody else and you feel threatened in some way. If you think you’re better, show me that.

Check out photos and videos of Allgood at Velo Weekend's trick competition on Saltcycle's facebook.

Photos:
Photo: John Carlisle