Community, visual production and evolution, the British creative who lives symbiotically with two wheels

The fixed gear bike is a form of freedom, it allows me to express who I am and my love for two wheels. It is so simple and aesthetic, it is a unique form of movement. When I was 11-12 years old I started riding BMX, then, after a cycling hiatus, I discovered this medium through a friend who is a mechanic. Immediately I wondered what it was and why it didn’t have brakes. As soon as I understood more about it, my brain blew up. Its simplicity, the ability to control it on every city jungle, the presence of a single chain…. I immediately fell in love with this object, its functionality, its design and the community that revolves around it. Since I started cycling again, I haven’t stopped. The track bike is now the only subject of my artistic production and is the reason why I have friends in every city in the world.”

From Barcelona to St. Petersburg, from Copenhagen to Berlin, fixed gear bike bikes for Rob Cairns have multiple roles. This London-based rider and content producer has decided to devote all of himself and his creativity to an object that represents much more than a vehicle. Community after community, Rob is weaving a canvas made up of human connections, viral tricks and the development of a movement that is consistent at every latitude of the globe, managing to intertwine the underground spirit of a niche scene and the desire to give explicit expression to its peculiar social, sporting and therapeutic features.

“I worked in a production company for a long time, then I had a tough period and decided to focus on my mental and physical health. That’s why I got interested in cycling again, devoting myself to the fixie. I felt like a new man. I was lucky enough to come into contact with this universe during a period of great evolution dictated by social media. During the lockdown I realized that for my own health it no longer made sense to create content for others, I wanted to create content related to my passion, and at the same time establish a platform that would allow me on the one hand to elevate and narrate the fixed gear bike community, and on the other hand to connect with brands that have brilliant and credible visions. In the beginning I was doing everything by myself, now I am involving more and more riders and some among them are learning how to take photos and videos…. I am having fun and all the pieces are falling into place. The rule is simple, the more time you spend on something, the more you can improve it. And this mantra applies to skids and spins as well as to visual production.”

After shaping a clear visual identity, today the Newcastle native is turning the fixed gear bike into a storytelling tool, spreading its content across social platforms and tapping pioneers as well as novices of this urban art. It is a propagation process of an entire subculture, its values, style, and future prospects. It is an organic growth, focused on the celebration and exaltation of two wheels in their simplest and purest form.

“It took time to find the right flow and I was lucky enough to nurture my eye together with the guys from FxD.BLN, with whom I spent precious weeks in the German capital, witnessing the formation of an international phenomenon. I am now producing daily content and documentaries, helping in the running of a specialized podcast, ‘Slow Spin Society,’ and will soon publish a book. I don’t want to simply communicate the aesthetic value of fixies, I want to tell the story of the atmosphere and vibe surrounding the riders, I want to create content that develops precise concepts and meanings, I want to create a positive, narrative and functional space for our community… And that’s honestly fantastic.”

Photo Credits: Rob Cairns
Text by: Gianmarco Pacione