True and/or false:

A fixie is to an experienced cyclist
A home espresso machine is to a trained barista.

Views: 114

Replies to This Discussion

Well, I'm a trained barista and experienced cyclist with a home espresso machine and fixed-gear bicycle but I'm not certain I see a direct connection between the two. I've always seen a fixie in the cycling world as equivalent to a lever machine and hand-crank grinder in the coffee realm. To be even more accurate, it should be a machine and grinder that were converted to lever and hand-crank much like many road bikes are converted to fixed-gears.

Unless, of course, I am totally missing the connection that this true/false statement is trying to prove/disprove.
Branden - I like your comparisons! When I proposed the first "is to" statement, I was thinking more of the sex appeal I find in the challenge of both fixies and home espresso machines but now I think that your lever machine comparison is perfect. But the hand crank grinder? A fixie is convenient and elegant in its simplicity and sexy in the skill required to master it, but I can't imagine a crank grinder being very beneficial in those ways.

On the other hand, though, just as the fixie was the technological predecessor to the multi-speed road bike, so was the hand crank to the grinder motors we know and love today.
You're right, the hand grinder is a bit extreme.

A couple years ago when I was looking for my first home espresso set-up I was actually leaning toward a lever machine. This was partly because I wanted to experiment with something different than what is available in most shops, but also because of the fact that I love the minimalist aspects of a fixed-gear bike and wanted to replicate that with my espresso experience. In the end I opted for a non-lever machine, but I still want one someday for those same reasons.

At the same time, I was trying to figure out a way to build a pedal-powered grinder. It was basically going to use the same concepts as a hand grinder but the shaft would turn by pedaling and I wanted the burrs of a robur or a kony grinder. In the end I got too busy and my knowledge of how to build something like that is limited anyway. I would still love to create a pedal-powered grinder some day. It can't be that hard can it?!

And speaking of fixies and with you being in Seattle, I have to give the Seattle fixed-gear riders a lot of credit going down those steep hills in the downtown area. I visited Seattle for the first time this summer and could not imagine how difficult it would be to ride my fixie down one of those hills without brakes. I'd definitely have to get in a lot better shape! Do you ever ride fixie up and down any of those hills or do most riders just avoid the steepest ones?
The whole fixed gear-hipster-indie-coffee shop correlation is something that completely escapes me. I race road and have done a decent amount of training and racing on the boards, but I've never felt the desire to take a track bike out onto the streets. I commute to school-work-home daily (just not on snow this year since I have a car) which involves a number of >10% climbs -- work-to-home is 2km of 11% average grade -- not ideal fixie territory.

I was fortunate enough to take an impromptu trip down to Portland last November and was absolutely thrilled to see so many cyclists -- I guess I was eating up the whole indie culture. I'm not so keen on it now. (unfortunately I hadn't the time to search out cafes in Portland -- another time!)
I think it can be true or false.

If the espresso machine is something like a La Pavoni lever machine that is pretty much bar-bones espressoism at it's simplest, then it's true. A vessel that a trained or seasoned barista can use to get back to the roots of espresso making. It (the machine) is simple, yet is tests the methodology that you are familiar with because of it's striped down nature. It is you and the machine in "fixed" motion. If your training is off then the espresso, sucks. Working visa versa, also.

Then you have the all-in-one, push button, grind, dose, and tamp for you machines, that are a boring example of espresso. Rarely, producing a good cup. This is the machine that produces a false answer. I know there are lots of in betweens like a "PID'd" Rancilio Silva, but that is a bad analogy for a "fixie".

That's what I think, but what do you think?
I could afford to build a fixie. I'm not sure that in my foreseeable future I could afford a home espresso machine of any mentionable quality, so there's that difference.
I completely agree with Branden, mainly because "Brandon's," regardless of spelling, should stick together. I would like to mention the point that I consider myself a purist both in coffee and in cycling but still haven't felt the need to make the jump to a fixed gear. I have a '87 Bianchi Brava Road and can't bring myself to strip it down. I am thinking about doing some practicing on my friends this spring in hopes to get comfortable before I way the pros/cons. What do you think?

Whether these aforementioned comparisons make any since or not, I definitely appreciate the creativity in them.
To me, riding a fixie is more like riding a skateboard than riding a road bike. You should be skidding all over the place and probably not going over 35mph. If you like going really fast, stick to road bikes. If you want to go from point "A" to point "B" without ever putting your foot down, maybe a backwards circle at a stoplight, and you have a few extra minutes, then you will love the fixed gear but it's a different animal all together. And please don't put brakes on a track bike.
what about just having one one brake? You know in case of an emergency... like if you happen to accidentally blow through a stop sign at some undisclosed hour of the morning and want to avoid getting hit by a car that is driven by a couple of teenage girls that would be thoroughly freaked out when they both think they just killed someone. That's completely hypothetical though.
Yes! Just one one brake! wasn't an "accident."


Barista Exchange Partners

Barista Exchange Friends

Keep Barista Exchange Free

Are you enjoying Barista Exchange? Is it helping you promote your business and helping you network in this great industry? Donate today to keep it free to all members. Supporters can join the "Supporters Group" with a donation. Thanks!

Clicky Web Analytics

© 2023   Created by Matt Milletto.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service