FOR years, they have been the showy accessories of the fashion-forward, urban 20-or-30-something set — hipsters, that is — from Brooklyn to San Francisco. They have long been fetishized, too, in Tokyo and London.
It has taken more time for the elegant fixed-gear bicycle to catch on in ever-reticent Paris, but the style is now decidedly in vogue.
Suddenly, fixies — the finicky one-speed bikes that, without freewheels, cannot coast — seem to be everywhere: on the cobblestones of the Marais, the boulevards of the Latin Quarter, the north slope of Montmartre. They are in display windows, at fashion shoots, in women’s lifestyle magazines. Aficionados of the “pignon fixe” organize alley-cat races and bike polo matches and group rides around Paris.