I remember reading a review of Brooklyn Machine Works products in an early UK magazine called dirt (kind’ve like the Raygun of downhill and dirt jumping), dropping items on the downhill and street bike scene like their Shinburger pedals and the Race Link, supplying a New York flavour of beef and resilience. In the midst of an aluminium ‘chunkier-than-thou’ age, where the fattest welds ruled supreme, BMW was a welcome breath of fresh air and integrity. Utilizing steel as a primary medium, a sensibility was revived within the mountain bike scene.
Fast forward to 2010—there’s been a lot of water under the Brooklyn Bridge, bringing a new definition of what it means to live and work in New York. Like wine reflects changes of weather and environmental differences, the latest BMW innovations reflect the refined needs and styles of the NY scene.
It’s almost an insult to describe this bike as ‘BMW’s foray into the commuter market’. This isn’t a product of consumer research for months, this is Brooklyn, built street tough. See that fender mount behind the seat post? That’s to fend off snow. Based on a Launchpad, BMW’s ‘trick specific/700cmx/fixed freestyle’ frame, the BMW Townie will keep going when the Launchpad is at home on the couch nursing a Blue Ribbon.
With 135mm rear spacing to fit an 8-speed rear hub, rapid-fire shifting and rack mounts, I wouldn’t actually mind taking this bad boy on a long trek. You could call it heavy, but I’ll call it solid. With a pedigree like BMW’s though, this frame could get air off that set of stairs on your daily route. Style for miles, literally.
Very special thanks to John W. Prolly for the always impeccable photography, his blog Prolly Is Not Probably is the essential New York fixed gear freestyle and culture blog. Check it.