An interesting article on the fixed gear phenomenon in Japan http://www.cicle.org/cicle_content/pivot/entry.php?id=1643#body I invite your comments. I would kind of like to give one of these things a whirl, as they seem to be the rage with the bicycle messenger crowd in Tokyo. I think the major reason they are popular with this set is not economic, rather fashion, but I could be wrong, eh I think they are pretty dangerous in traffic as the temptation to just keep going rather than have to stop on these things seems to be overwhelming (at least that is what I see while commuting around Tokyo). Personally I would NEVER give up on gears! Ever tried going up the hill even in Kagurazaka on one of these??