Sneak Peek: Fixie Inc new QuickRelease Mudguard System – a very different way of keeping dry

Fixie borrow truck technology to keep the rain at bay on their 2011 Peacemaker

by Tony Farrelly   August 25, 2010  

Fixie Inc have sent us over some sneak peek pics of their new QuickRelease Mudguard System that'll come as standard on the 2011 Peacemaker. Mudguards? On a belt drive fixie? But what about the clean lines? 

Well, as they've always made plain, both form and function matter to the guys at Fixie Inc – people are often dazzled by the form bit when it comes to their bikes, but bottom line is that they are engineers and function matters to them. Sometimes they conflict. On the one hand, who wants to spoil the sleek, pared-down look of a belt drive Peacemaker with a set of mudguards? On the other, wet feet and a black stripe up your back isn't such a good look either.

Fixie's solution is this new mudguard system. You may have already spotted that there's only one actual 'guard (is that enough to qualify it as a system? Maybe the "system" bit refers to the method of fixing and their solution to keeping water thrown up by the front wheel off your feet, but more of that in a mo). The rear guard, which isn't a full one, fits to the bike using three mounting points on each stay. According to Fixie the guard clips home on to these in a one step process. They hope that in future the three boss fixing point will become a standard used by all framebuilders.

Only riding the new Peacemakers will tell us whether the rear 'guard rattles buts as the fitting point is part of the bike you'd hope that the connection between mudguard and frame is going to be tight enough to eliminate annoying rattling… who wants rattles when they're riding on a silent belt drive?

So that's the back covered – well most of it – and this is where things start to get really different. Fixie have done away with the front mudguard and instead have fitted a cover to the bottom of the downtube and the back of the seat tube. The cover is a thick Velcro strip – a system used in the wheel arches of trucks to cut down spray. Recep Yesil from Fixie explains how it works:

"If you've ever ridden in the rain without a front fender, you will have noticed that it's your feet which get wet, and that the reason for this is not the water coming from the tire but the water dripping from the downtube! So, the Velcro on the downtube (and the seattube as well) is kind of a minimal fender, which catches water coming from the wheels and leads it down to the BB instead of letting it spray in every direction. Same system you can see on trucks, for instance. Your feet will stay 80% drier."

Possible downsides? Well, maybe Recep is being over optimistic on his 80% claim. Only a ride in the rain will tell us that. Shame I don't have one now cos when I finish writing this I'll be heading out in to the torrential rain of a British summer. We'd guess you'll need to keep the Velcro clean so that it doesn't become clogged with road gunk. You, wouldn't want to snag your merino jersey on it either. And, of course, there's the look of the thing; a front 'guard might spoil the Peacemaker's clean lines but some might find the that Velcro strip aesthetically off-putting too – like your bike's got a hairy chest or, dare we say it, waterproofing pubes. On the other hand, if it works maybe all bikes will come with a Velcro'd downtube in the future.

Possible upsides? Apart from drier feet, it's a Velcro strip – why not stick stuff to it? We've already suggested to Fixie that you could stick an extra guard to it for people that want maximum protection. You could possibly stick a pump on too.

The mudguard system isn't the only change on the 2011 Peacemaker. There's also an ingenious looking new integrated seat clamp which allows the top of the seat tube to be cut closer to the top tube, and two new pulley choices for the Gates belt drive – 20 and 22 tooth – which Fixie say will increase the range of the bike. Oh, and there's a new colour too.

There are plenty of changes in store for the rest of the range, but sadly no photos available just yet. What we can tell you is that their Chip Race 953 road bike won't be 953 for 2011 it'll be titanium (never really saw the point of Reynolds 953 anyway), and there'll be a 26in wheeled version of their entry level Backspin fixed bike. The Pure Blood 'cross bike has been completely revised while their are some subtle changes for the very lovely Betty Leeds road bike.

We'll be bringing you pictures and plenty more technical info on all that next week from Eurobike.

23 user comments

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"waterproofing pubes" brilliant!

unless that rear mudguard is attached to the brake bolt i reckon it will start to rattle, esp. on the UK's potholed roads..much like them other 'guards, which i forget the name of right now, they rattled so much after a few months i went back to what seems to be the best solution, full mudguards.

Fringe's picture

posted by Fringe [1081 posts]
25th August 2010 - 13:47

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I dont see how your feet will be 80% drier as even with a full guard the spray from the road still soaks my feet. And that rear guard, 3 pointless bolts on each stay is hardly 'clean'.

STATO's picture

posted by STATO [410 posts]
25th August 2010 - 14:01

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maybe you could attach a sponge to the velcro Big Grin

Fringe's picture

posted by Fringe [1081 posts]
25th August 2010 - 14:35

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Looks like you need to bend the rear guard wire round the frame fittings to fit it, so it shouldn't rattle because the wire will be under tension.

But if it is really raining, then you need full guards front and back. A lot of water does come directly off the front tyre onto your shoes in my experience!

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1331 posts]
25th August 2010 - 15:03

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hm. i would quite like a peacemaker, but i think i'd still prefer the bald version.

i don't really buy the idea that the spattering of dirty spray on my t-shirt, face and glasses has all come via the downtube.

oh yeah, and from the looks of it, it's not the snagging type of velcro, so your Rapha is probably safe.

jezzzer's picture

posted by jezzzer [339 posts]
25th August 2010 - 15:05

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Small animals will collect on it as you ride along....

posted by Chrisc [138 posts]
25th August 2010 - 15:08

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Chrisc wrote:
Small animals will collect on it as you ride along....

can't decide whether that's a possible upside or a bit of a downer… depends on whether you're Ray Mears I suppose

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4132 posts]
25th August 2010 - 15:43

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you could use the Brazilian strip to buff up your shoes at the end of the ride.

It's not just about the size of your cog.

TRs Blurb n Blog's picture

posted by TRs Blurb n Blog [270 posts]
25th August 2010 - 16:13

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Is it April 1st in the country that Fixie Inc comes from?

posted by cowspassage [43 posts]
25th August 2010 - 18:09

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Suppose you could use the velcro strip to stick your socks (or other kit) on after the rain has stopped so they'll dry quickly Nerd

posted by JJ the Flying D... [65 posts]
25th August 2010 - 19:53

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What a load of toss. Just fit proper mudguards and stop poncing about designing stuff that won't work.

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posted by ColT [207 posts]
25th August 2010 - 21:56

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Mr Crud has already solved this problem - very successfully.

posted by andydale [31 posts]
25th August 2010 - 23:14

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carbon gate drive goes beautifully with sks full mudguards. It just make sense.

posted by Alankk [121 posts]
26th August 2010 - 2:28

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ColT wrote:
What a load of toss. Just fit proper mudguards and stop poncing about designing stuff that won't work.

^
|

This.

How is having a stinky, wet strip of fabric "cooler" than a set of chromoplastics? Young people today..&c

--
"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

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posted by John_the_Monkey [418 posts]
26th August 2010 - 8:28

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I could see the point in 953 - Columbus XCR seems to be doing ok. Titanium's getting far too common! Just wish I could afford something like that.

posted by daveherb13 [41 posts]
26th August 2010 - 9:00

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I see the point in 953 too, having read the reports of people who've ridden it, it's incredible stuff when the builder knows what to do with it.

--
"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

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posted by John_the_Monkey [418 posts]
26th August 2010 - 9:33

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Who's building in 953 in the UK - think Rourke's are - anyone else? 853's not too shabby mind.

posted by daveherb13 [41 posts]
26th August 2010 - 12:03

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Mercian are building some lovely bikes in 953 too...

Complicating matters since 1965

DaSy's picture

posted by DaSy [648 posts]
26th August 2010 - 12:46

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daveherb13 wrote:
Who's building in 953 in the UK - think Rourke's are - anyone else? 853's not too shabby mind.

Argos, (no not that argos..)

http://www.argoscycles.com/

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posted by Fringe [1081 posts]
26th August 2010 - 13:06

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Ohh didn't know argos were building in 953 - 10 minutes from work. I'll check out Mercian too. Something to blow my redundancy money on!

posted by daveherb13 [41 posts]
26th August 2010 - 13:22

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Ridden Columbus XCR and it gives a fantastic ride imo.

Regarding the Fixie Peacemaker, the mudguard idea is very good imo, saves mucking about with bits or cable tie etc. and the belt drive is the future imo. Good stuff.

posted by Karbon Kev [667 posts]
26th August 2010 - 14:23

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Okay, you all see the point in 953… so apart from it being, rare, and steel, and lovely, what is it? Thinking

(Not that being rare, steel and lovely aren't all perfectly valid reasons for wanting a 953 frame). I could add another, it's a way for artisan frame builders to compete with bikes built in factories from higher end materials such as carbon or titanium.

Even so, what actual performance benefit does 953 give that you can't get from some other material - probably for less money?

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4132 posts]
26th August 2010 - 14:49

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tony_farrelly wrote:

Even so, what actual performance benefit does 953 give that you can't get from some other material - probably for less money?

i was hoping you'd be able to tell us!, have you not had a 953 steel bike in for testing yet?

Fringe's picture

posted by Fringe [1081 posts]
27th August 2010 - 15:16

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