Featured Build: Anton’s Fat Fixie

Seriously, I don’t like fixies

They’re dangerous, difficult to use, and for some, it’s viewed as reckless cycling.

Don’t get me wrong though- I respect Fixed riders because we share the same passion as some of us have-But riding Fixed isn’t really for me.

While many see fixies as a lifestyle, some push their rigs to the limit…

Anton is one of them. Meeting him before in a long distance ride at the Sierra Madre Route in Rizal, I found him quite odd that he used single speed. But when I joined the group that he was part of (Surly FFFinas) I was even more surprised he had different bikes that are set up in unique ways but all shared a common characteristic-either fixed or single speed, and fat.

Anton is obviously one of those strong riders out there but very professional. Don’t let the beard strike fear in you! He’s one of the most humble and kindest out there and his knowledge  and skill with the bike will obviously make you believe that anything is possible.

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Still good vibes after the Magnetic Hill Climb at University of the Philippines, Los Banos and the notorious ‘Sungay’ Climb, Talisay, Batangas

Good thing I had a chance to chat with him about that Fat Fixie of his

 

PV: So what’s the story behind the bike?

A: this i got second hand.. Not my idea- wish it was.. Tristan (a friend) built this frankenstein!! The only thing i did was give it life..

 

PV: hmmmm, I’m curious since we both ride Surlys it appears to me that the Fat Fixie isn’t one, so what is it?

A: It’s a Scott Boulder mtb size 24 steel frame converted into a fixed gear. The rear end was ‘katay’ (cut up and reassembled) by a local frame builder Mr. Avelino Maldea (the legendary Filipino framebuilder) to fit those 3.0 tires on  50mm rims on the rear & 85mm rims up front.. Placed a bmx handlebar to make it like a bmx i used to ride when i was a kid.

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Fixed, fat and BMX handlebar!

PV: Wow, I’ve recently had an interest in Single Speed and would like to setup my own ride with those cool BMX bars- a tribute to that reckless youth in me, but what’s strikes me curious is why ride fixed?

A: After riding roadbikes for 10yrs & riding Ss for about 8years(not as long as others, a little longer than some) I kinda got bored riding free wheeled bicycles.. That’s why I liked this (fixed gear) build so much it gave cycling a new life…

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After the ‘2 kilometer pain’ segment in Reverse Palace in the Sky

PV: I see, I even rode with you at Reverse Palace in the Sky down South, Magnetic Hill +Sungay  and Another Sierra Madre ride at the East (all at least 120km) and you used this with relative ease…so tell, me what’s the most difficult ride you’ve had then?

A: . I don’t have one in mind, But i have a difficult time waking up early for rides. Basically that’s the hard part.

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always having a good selfie with the buddies of Surly FFF-inas

PV: hahahahaha! Well, it’s a testament to your skill and strength that I think any ride is a welcome challenge for you. To end, What advice can you give tourers?

A: For me getting a good bike fit is a must.. Spending hours on a wrong fitted bike is the last thing you want & hydrate 3 days before a tour/long ride. Bow!

 

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Anton’s 1×1 (on top) with the basket

Perhaps one of the things, I appreciate in his builds is that clean look that everyone yearns for. I personally pack heavy and would like a lot of stuff on my rigs but perhaps someday, I’ll setup mine like this one. Just don’t get me riding fixed though (as I am clumsy as ever)

 

 

 

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Dream, Build, Inspire: Salih, the Ageless Adventurer

While it is indeed true that cycling is a physically demanding sport, there are many who continue to defy limits. In an activity where you are only good as your last ride, it is refreshing to know that there are still some who are “young at heart” who continue to ride for adventure.

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welcoming you to Banaue, Mountain Province
I met Salih a year ago in our ride to Shotgun, San Mateo Rizal. While he didn’t ride with us, he was very much active in a meeting of a bike group-where is an administrator. I heard of his adventures on long distance travel and a lot of good stories about the man-begins and finishes strong, always the good storyteller and quite sociable.

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Hi Giant XTC at Quezon National Park
I remember always hearing stories from him about how skeptical other bikers were about his abilities and he would always prove them wrong. In fact, he’s the only senior citizen earning the title Super Randonneur for Audax Philippines. He’s even availed of that senior citizen discount for the event!

Our first ride together was in Legazpi City, Bicol Region in February 2016 and I was amazed with his strength in terms of speed and effort-whether it be climbs or flats he was always at the forefront. Quite impressive for a 62 year old biker.

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en route to Bicol with members of the Centurion Cycling Club

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At San Juanico Bridge, Tacloban, Visayas Region
The same can be said  when we did the Sagada loop in April 2016. I recall aside from moving ahead of the group for quite a distance-he’d always wait-always busy with his facebook…

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At Sagada
But unlike other bikers who see the sport as competition, Salih has always been  motivated by new routes, meeting new people, going to different places. He has never been into the technical side of the sport- “9 speed lang itong Giant ko with 11-30 pero kaya naman” (my Giant bike may just be 9 speed, but it’s enough for me). Unlike others who fear the heat of the sun, he loves to sunbathe-and would proclaim about his roots from farming. We would joke, perhaps that’s the reason why he’s fast and strong-he’s probably solar powered!

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At Matnog Port, Sorsogon
But kidding aside, Salih inspires not because of his abilities on the bike but his keen sense of adventure, his positive attitude and most of all, his ability to encourage others to adapt, to be one with the beautiful, yet sometimes cruel world that bikers get to encounter.

While it is true that sports makes one younger, Salih represents the idea that adventure finds no age

Photos courtesy of kuya Salih and Sagada Loopers