Thursday, July 26, 2007

Fixedgeargallery: The Monied Interloper

Fixedgeargallery is full of endearing (if often misguided) first-time budget builds. While these tend to lack brakes, handlebar tape, and attention to detail, there is still a certain charm in the owners' enthusiasm, and one hopes their nascent love for cycling (whether fixed or free) will continue to grow. And even the NJS vanity bikes often at least display a little youthful exuberance.
Occasionally, though, somebody dripping with money decides to wander into the party with a little bit of crotch-candy, casually flaunting it as if to say, "Here's a little conversion I threw together out of odds and ends." This is one such bike:

Or in human form if you prefer:

Nuzzling what appears to be a covered luxury car of some kind, this bike looks like a pastel-clad investment banker leaning against the mantel at a country club. Just another bauble for someone with a house full of mirror-polished toys that nobody else is allowed to touch. "Oh, this old thing? Why, that's just my rain bike." I wonder if after rainy rides, as the owner rolls into the garage, he is greeted by a fleet of footmen, three of whom immediately begin cleaning the bicycle, two of whom strip the rider from his kit and dry and powder him, and one of whom lifts the cover from a silver charger laden with post-ride chèvre and grapes or pepper-crusted yellowfin tuna. "Recovery canapées, sir?" Exhibiting a precious bicycle like this on Fixedgeargallery is like being 50 and drag-racing high school students in your Porsche, or like putting the moves your son's hot girlfriend. And coming across a picture like this is about as pleasurable as coming home from a day in coal mine and finding a postcard from your rich friend in on a cycling holiday in Tuscany.

Messr. Serotta should hire this Nishiki to caddy for him--it's the Danny Noonan to his Judge Smails:


Anonymous said...

Funny as always, but with that said, if I had money and an old Serotta laying around, I'd probably do the exact same thing with it.

The Los said...

"Want a Fresca, Danny? Hmmmm?"

I just saw that one yesterday, and thought, Gee, I'd hate to see his "real" bike...


The Los said...

Oh... and howzabout this?

Anonymous said...

This one seems strange:

is it just me, or is the HT angle like 85°? (quick steering perhaps?)

the fork also looks slightly bent...maybe it got fixed up in shop class

I don't know about you, but I would not feel too safe on that bike

Anonymous said...

funny post, but you can't hate on a guy who rides a fixie with two brakes, a frame pump, bottle cages, a saddlebag, fenders and lights. it's like he actually wants to ride the bike or something.

LuckyLab said...

At least it has brakes... :-)

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 12:26pm,

Good point. I can find it amusing that he took the time to post it on Fixedgeargallery, though. It sticks out like an ascot at a dive bar.


CSVCvelo said...

Record shifters on a fixie, just something about that never sits right with me. Neither does the World Championships handlebar tape and the Polar Heart rate monitor.

Most likely, hes got some Ti Merlin at home with full record and this is a 'peicemeal' from his old bikes that he uses to improve his cadence.

That is, after he drinks Mamosa's out of water bottles and caviar flavored Clif Bars.

big ojnny said...

That bike is simply fantastic. And, large enough to fit me.

I’d run that in a heartbeat.

Chris H said...

You have to admit, bikes are like cars, as soon as you roll them out of the store they automatically depreciate 30%. I have an old Trek 5200 with little resale value that I was replacing the cables on and in the process swapped over my fixed wheel to try out a different gearing. I ended up leaving the bike built up, still has both brakes and the STI shifters. I almost posted it on FGG just to see if you would pick it out and write on this exact blog topic.

quaffimodo said...

The best years of my life were when my bike was worth more than my car. It's possible that there's a worthy owner for this fine steed.

BikeSnobNYC said...


Of course the owner I'm criticizing is a construct, conjured in my mind by this rakish bicycle. I'm sure the real owner is quite worthy.

But there's no way this guy's bike costs more than his car--unless there's an '89 escort under that expensive-looking car cover.


Art said...

CSVCvelo, those aren't shifters. Just brake levers. And they only cost five times as much as the identically shaped aluminum Cane Creeks... I would be very disappointed if I were to learn that that King headset isn't the ti one.

Anonymous said...

At least the thing has brakes. What kind of dick rides a bike with no brakes? Oh right, an urban bohemian fixed gear dick.

Anonymous said...

While I think single speeds and fixed gears can be fun to ride, this bike is damn near criminal. Serotta's like this one are some of the finest riding bikes ever made. To waste it by making it only a single speed, limiting your range of where you can ride and for how far is maddening! Buy an F'n Pake frame or a surly, and sell me this fine frame at a discount. Help my broke ass upgrade.

Oh, and when does it ever rain in california????

meh-wee-uhn said...

"But it* looks good on you."

(*The hat.)

nutsaque lefont. said...

I don't know about you, but I can't ride anywhere without 2 brakes, a frame pump, bottle cages, a saddlebag, fenders and lights. I just can't. In much the same way that I can't drive anywhere without my stunted out Rover on 20's with the moonroof, my hype-man Roc-Ko-KAIN, and some bitch named Letisha that tagged along from the mini-mart.

The measure of a cyclists enthusiasm is directly proportional to the amount of shit he has fastened onto his bicycle. It's like that.

Niki said...

What is up with soldered spokes? Does it really make a difference?

Anonymous said...

hey- it's your dear old reader j. i actually have a serotta that i got at a used bike shop for a price that would pop your eyes out. i didn't ride it for a couple months because i had convinced myself it was "too fancy" for me. but um, now i blissfully RIDE the bike... while looking at those pics i couldn't believe how fucking CLEAN his was... y-u-c-k-y so thanks for the powder ass comments... i want to take some mud and oil and just SMEAR it a little... just a little...

Jim said...

Yeah, well, thanks to the innertubes, maybe on his deathbed the Serotta guy will check out BikeSnobNYC, realize the error of his ways, and achieve total enlightenment.

So at least he's got that going for him. Which is nice.

giantcu92 said...


Bikes for people with more money than sense.

(Not hating on Serotta, just the toolbags that purchase them).

Anonymous said...

anon 4:31 - i too mostly ride a geared bike, but when i only had a fixed gear for about 4 months this past winter, i learned that there really aren't limits as to where i can ride it and for how long.

giantcu92 - i'll admit that serottas are a favorite of the fat & rich set, but if you're gonna spend the money there is nothing better to spend it on. unlike a lot of fancy bikes, they are actually worth it.

Philip Williamson said...

I second anon6:55's response to anon4:31. Riding fixed doesn't limit your riding distance. If you're in halfway decent shape, you can even ride over big-ass mountains.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I'd mind going up a big mountain on a fixie, assuming it had a reasonable gear ratio. I might not be so keen on going down it, however. (But then, I do tend to be a chicken on the downhills.)

mander said...

Nice bike, I like it. Then again i ride a conversion with two brake levers, a pump, fenders and saddle bags.

mander said...

^ Over big ass mountains :)

Anonymous said...

The measure of a cyclists enthusiasm is directly proportional to the amount of shit he has fastened onto his bicycle. It's like that.

well, no, but i have actually found some use for a frame pump and lights, for example. it's not just shit i attach to my bike to make myself look nerdier.

Anonymous said...

Nothing beats this. Sorry.

Anonymous said...


FYI- Those are not Record "shifters", they are brake levers only. Devil's in the details...

at least you didn't say "brifters"...

MIN said...

I smell a socialist. Fixed gear bicycles imply no preconcieved social order. A fixed gear bike simply means that - it has a fixed gear. So the guy rides an 11-year old Serotta frame. So he has carbon brakes levers? So what? There are other bikes out there that are far more deserving of criticism than the Serrota, which the owner seems to ride in less than ideal conditions. Bike envy is one thing but you have it all wrong with the Serrota.

I applaud your tireless efforts at pointing out the ridiculous of the bicycling world, however the Serrota is not such a bike. It anything, you should praise the bike for being upscale and functional.

Anonymous said...

That is a great looking setup. I'd ride the hell out of that thing. I agree with Min - many other bikes out there far more deserving of your derision.

taz said...

Dear BikeSnob,

While your observations are correct in all respects, please do not use the phrase 'crotch candy' again.


big jonny said...

I just checked out that Serotta again after a few days.

I still love it. I'd build one like it, buy one like it and ride one like it. Without a moments hesitation.

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