Lesson 101: How to blag a new fixie

IF YOU’VE ever had the misfortune of having your bike stolen, then you know first-hand the extent of anger, inconvenience and expense that you encounter – plus, it’s really, really, really annoying.

Your bike is precious and personal, a friend as much as a possession. Akin to the US Marine’s mantra ‘this is my bicycle; there are many like it, but this one is MINE’ is a sentiment most cyclists are familiar with.

Like a lover, it might have ‘issues’ – a cranky personality or the occasional breakdown. Not least forgetting the ability to let you down from time to time. However, together you make a beautiful partnership without the complications of bad sex and arguments about whose turn it is to take the bins out.

Elliot Jones, a 22-year-old photographer and content manager at uber-cool website basementapproved.com, had owned his Quella Nero fixie for precisely 489 days. It had whizzed him across London from Tufnell Park to Shoreditch hundreds of times – always beating the traffic and the tube.

Sure, it had thrown him a couple of punctures – one of them in pouring rain – and it lost its chain bouncing out of one of London’s ‘special’ potholes when pushing hard off the lights.

But it was a good’un – extremely good looking, low maintenance, reliable and steady. It complimented his style and had never embarrassed him.

So, when he emerged from the pub after a quick post-work sharpener to find what little remained of his lock lying on the floor, he was very, very pissed off. In essence, he had lost his loved one to a thief.

Luckily, Elliot is a resourceful fellow and a bloody good photographer. When he was told a couple of days later that his insurance wouldn’t pay out because the bike hadn’t been locked in his garage, he came up with a plan and called Quella.

“What if I provide some great photos of your new Varsity range and we work together on some Fixie art prints for the website, could we have a deal on a bike?” was the crux of the chat and a new partnership was born.

A brand-new chrome finished Varsity Imperial was dispatched and it was time to ‘move on’. The old Nero had been great, but this was a big step up – a lighter chromoly frame, sealed headset and bearings – plus all new graphics, vintage chain-set, track forks and a very sexy saddle/bar tape combo to finish it.

“This bike really is the business,” explained Elliot. “I love riding it and the chrome frame gets comments every day. I am chuffed to be working with a brand like Quella on an ongoing basis, and, as well as the general photography, we are going to partner on some limited edition ‘fixie themed’ urban art prints, which is a really exciting project. Getting my bike nicked was a massive pain but every cloud…’

The full Varsity range is available on the Quella website now starting at £449.00 alongside some of Elliot’s great photos and his limited-edition prints will be available on-line very soon, I have had a sneak preview and they are very cool.

It all sounds like a happy ending, but if you are the grubby ‘tea-leaf’ that nicked a Quella Nero from outside The Prince Arthur about two weeks ago be very careful you don’t get spotted riding it around anywhere near Elliot Jones. Although he might be an arty photographer type, he is a big lad who has definitely been around the block.

Elliot’s work can be seen at www.quellabicycle.com and on his own website www.photojones.co.uk

About james 64 Articles
Editor of Spin Cycle Magazine

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