The Milwaukee company's unique products are now sold by bike shops around the world.
With urban cycling on the rise in Milwaukee and other cities around the world, Nick and Ben Ginster wanted to create a line of products specially made for city cyclists. The two brothers launched their small manufacturing company Fyxation in 2009.
Opening the facility in Silver City at 3618 W. Pierce St was a no-brainer for the Ginsters. Fyxation is located in the Pedal Milwaukee building– adjacent to the Hank Aaron Trail– which is also home to the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin and Team Sports.
“As a company that focuses on urban cycling and cycling for transportation it was important for us to be located in the city,” Nick says. “My daily commute takes me along the Milwaukee River Parkway, Riverwest, Downtown and the Valley, so every ride I get a taste of the best of Milwaukee’s urban riding.”
They began the company with a small footprint, selling their Session 700 bike tire, designed to be a durable yet stylish tire for urban biking. They got a commitment to purchase some of the tires from Ben’s Cycle in Milwaukee before they even opened Fyxation.
Four years later, Fyxation offers a complete line of urban bicycle parts, with their own frames, forks, accessories and their own line of bicycles. Their first bicycle, the Eastside, is a $595 model with minimalist styling and a “flip-flop” rear hub so the bike can be ridden as a fixed-gear or as a single-speed with a freewheel.
Their products are also sold at 20 different independent bicycle shops in the U.S. plus four in Asia, two in Europe and one each in Canada, Mexico and Australia.
The needs of urban cyclists can vary. Nick notes that urban cyclists can include everything from daily commuters who ride rain or shine to casual riders that roll a few blocks from their condo to the Milwaukee Public Market.
“I like to think the ties that bind us is that we realize that using your bike as an alternative way of traveling around your community is a better way to live,” Nick says.
An avid cyclist, he tries to ride whenever and wherever he can. “I love doing big road rides up Lake Michigan or mountain biking in Kettle Moraine, but most days a brisk commute to work with a T-shirt and casual shoes is just as rewarding.”
On July 8, Milwaukee launched its first bike share, with the city investing $280,000 in the program. “We have a growing ridership in town, thanks in large part to our increasing network of bike paths and infrastructure,” Ginster says. “The City of Milwaukee has put their support, and a sizable financial commitment, behind Midwest BikeShare. I’m encouraged and excited to see where cycling is headed in our city.”
While the company’s products are designed primarily for urban riding, some products, like their pedals and straps, have become popular with off-road and recreational riders. “We pride ourselves in manufacturing an affordable yet quality line of products that are as functional as they are stylish,” Nick says.
Embracing social media and the digital age, Fyxation has joined the wave of businesses – both small and large – that offer customers more than just physical products.
The company’s blog, which you can find at fyxation.com, provides feedback from customers “living a lifestyle where their bicycle is an integral part of daily life,” Nick notes.
Meanwhile, Ginster marvels at the company’s success,which has far exceeded the brothers’ expectations.
“We have gone from a company with one tire, in one size, to an internationally recognized brand with over 30 components and complete bicycles,” he says. “The first four years have been great and we have a vision for the next four years that will build off our past success.”