"Fixies (fixed gear bikes) are considered to be a strong indicator of hipsterness," argues Rohin Dhar at the Priceonomics Blog. "For those unfamiliar, a fixed gear bike requires riding in a single gear and the only way to stop the bike is to pedal backwards to help skid the bike to a halt." (Or you could just watch this Portlandia clip.) So accepting fixed-geared bikes as a decent proxy for hipsterness, Dhar used Priceonomics' 1.3 million bicycle listings and calculated the "Fixie Bike Index" -- the percentage of fixed-geared bikes per person -- for New York's five boroughs.
And what did he find? Surprise! In New York City, hipster mecca Brooklyn is second to Manhattan in fixed-gear bike per head. Dhar shoots down the argument that Manhattan just has more bikes in general.
One might argue that maybe bikes in general are just more popular in Manhattan than Brooklyn, and that’s why there are more fixies per capita there. In fact, the opposite is true. There are more bikes offered for sale in Brooklyn than Manhattan, but only 8.3 percent of them are fixies versus 9.5 percent in Manhattan.
Of course, you could just as easily read this data as showing that fixies are as out-of-date a marker of hipsterdom as Three Wolf Moon T-shirts. After all, nationally, it's Orange Country, Calif., the cradle of reality TV civilization that lands at No. 1 on the Fixie Bike Index.