Thursday, August 23, 2007

Fixedgeargallery...of duelling styles

One of my favorite things about Fixedgeargallery is the incredible variety of styles. There are infinite ways to ruin an innocent bike, and thanks to online galleries new examples are paraded before us every day. And unlike the real world, where devotees of certain styles tend to band together, online you can see them all side-by-side. Here are two that, while completely different, compliment each-other in a Turtle-and-Drama kind of way:

Years ago hip-hop culture was shipped wholesale to Japan only to return in a much more potent, refined and marketable form. It was then sold back to us through expensive periodicals with lots of pictures and little text and in overpriced boutiques in trendy neighborhoods. Somehow track bikes got caught up in this as well. Owners sought graffiti murals in front of which to photograph their bikes, chose their upgrades based on pictorials in style magazines, and began referring to their bikes as "whips" that are "mad fun to ride." You're now more likely to find a track bike in a sneaker shop than in a velodrome, and the rider's more likely to be wearing untied Nikes than Sidis. (Sadly, though Nike has left cycling, their influence remains.) This Pista (complete with dope rear rim) embodies this aesthetic well--I count at least four things on this bike that could have been upgraded to better effect for the money spent on those ridiculous wheels, which I hate to say are mad ugly, yo.

On the other hand, we have this specimen. Largely a relic from another decade, it has tried to reinvent itself in fixed-gear form in order to fit in with a younger crowd. The owner has duly noted the aero-wheel-in-the-front trend, and so he sourced the Hed from an old tri bike. Unfortunately it misses the mark--that wheel's not deep dish, it's a Pizza Hut stuffed-crust pizza. He also dug out the Alter stem, which, along with the mullet and the zebra-striped kit, is right up there with the things of which Mario Cipollini is most ashamed. Then there's the "Dura Ace" crank (sure, Shimano made a 110bcd black Dura Ace crank, didn't you know that?) with the mind-bogglingly absurd 60 tooth chainring. I guess the owner figures he'll blow out what's left of his knees in order to try to hang with the kids. (Gearing rule-of-thumb: your chainring should not be larger than your front wheel.) Lastly, and perhaps saddest of all, is the Garmin so he can find his way home.


bikepennst8 said...

No bikes for Vince and E?

Lloyd Flandis said...

bikesnob - any chance of you posting your personal rigs?

come on do it - we can all make fun of your shit

Anonymous said...

Man - look at those bikes. Ridden everyday and clean enough to eat off of. Spotless chainring. Is there a Teflon spray or something that I don't know of?

BikeSnobNYC said...


I enjoy being a mediocre bike racer and toiling in relative anonymity. If I were to post my bikes then people might recognize me at races and want to talk to me about the blog, which for the time being I prefer not to do.

It would be fun, though. At some point maybe I'll change the policy, and which point I'll open the stable up for public ridicule. (Or I'll post them on Velospace, create a cluster, and see if anyone can find them.)


Anonymous said...

Besides, Lloyd Flandis, BSNYC's bikes are probably just bikes, not these turbo-homo deep V jobs ridden by noobs who can't even route their toe straps right.

Prolly said...

Regarding clean chainrings... I ride my bikes everyday, rain or shine and they're still pretty clean. When you don't have derailers to churn through, you don't need a lot of messy grease.

Besides, the owner probably cleaned it before the photoshoot. Or photoshopped it!

And yes, bikesnob, please post your WHIPS BRAH!

BikeSnobNYC said...


OK, how about this? I'll post one of them:

(Actually, my other bike snuck in the photo too.)


todd said...

What about the non Dura-Ace cranks plastered with a Dura-Ace sticker on Johnny Drama's bike?

Sad, just sad.

Maybe he could have had the real thing if he skimped and got the Garmin without the HRM and maybe a little less carbon on the front wheel, say a Jet 50 instead of a Jet 90?

thomas edison said...

Hey bikesnob,

I really like your pink bike. I think it's the coolest thing that I have ever seen. I also think that it is really, really a good idea to spend all of your money on your bike to make it look great and to not spend $0.52 on a wall plate to make your electrical outlet look good. It probabaly would have distracted from the contrasting dots on the fork. I bet the old wall plate made and awesome spoke card! Thanks for the laughs.

PS: I did an alleycat race in Phoenix earlier this month (weird since I have never seen a bike messenger here) and there was a kid wearing a hockey helmet...

Anonymous said...

Niki said...

OMG the bike snob reveals himself to be Brad from Trackstar! No wonder you keep making fun of Zach!

Unregistered Coward said...

I take comfort in knowing my fixed Cross-Check is so utterly boring that Bike Snob wouldn't give it a second look.

filtersweep said...

What? No free pass for having a front brake?

Anonymous said...

These bikes are works of art reflecting the character and tastes of their owners.

Knowing that, I can only ride my bike wearing a hoodie and Groucho glasses.

I bet BSNYC rides his with pride.

bikesgonewild said...

...ah, yes, pretty in pink...

now THAT was too fuckin' funny !

Anonymous said...

the site is a riot but equating "hip hop culture" with these "turbo-homo deep V jobs" is a stretch.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I know how to play this game!

bsnyc's bike doppelganger:

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 8/23 2:32PM,

I don't know, they seem to be growing more inextricably intertwined everywhere I look:

(where the Turtle Bike’s rear wheel comes from)

(via—read their “influences”)

"Format: What is on the horizon for Dissizit, any surprises or collaborations in the near future?
SLICK: Eventually, I’d like to have an entire design house and design team designing everything from tees to outer wear, from fixed gear bikes to cars, from toys to 30-foot sculptures, from store displays to entire living environments, from short films to full-length animated features. It’s limitless."


Jim said...

Hey Coward, there's no shame in running what works, regardless of how it looks. I rock fenders and lights over the winter, and don't care how bad the bike looks with that stuff on it, and my Crosscheck will be getting fenders this year when it reverts back to fixed gear status after 'cross season. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of glory in coming back from a 3.5 hour base miles ride in the dark, with a spine of frozen mud running up my back.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm Increase in bicycle related traffic accidents in Williamsburg/Greenpoint area...I wonder whether this is tied to singlespeed/trackbike popularity.

John said...

I'm no style maven, but the prevailing "street" style is kinda boring right now. Bape, Stussy, limited-edition this and that, adult doll collectors, 30-year old kids who use Complex mag as a shopping guide, blah blah blah.

Eric Clapton is on to this too.

bikesgonewild said...

...john, really dug yer "adult doll collectors" comment...chuckled & then thought, hell, in a way that applies to all of us...

...we get to put our little dream machines together, make 'em look how we want 'em & its not even a justification to say, 'hey, this is a practical *road *commute *cross *townie *whatever kinda bike...of course it is, but its also our own little style show... long as ya ride that doll, whoops, i mean bike, hell, yer cool...

John said...

Hehe, some of my best friends are doll collectors. I think they're pretty cool, actually, but I just can't justify it. I'd rather spend my loot on bike bits, :)

Bob G said...


along the "something fishy is going on here", I'm guessing you read Dave's blog today.

All the aerodynamics w/o the funky tri-spoke wheels....

Jim said...

And I don't know how I missed thinking about this before, but we see Turtle & Drama's bikes, but not Vince's or Ari's or Eric's? Vince would ride whatever all-carbon fiber dream machine he's given, and probably has a new set of the electronic Campy shifters to check out along with the $600 Pearl Izumi bibs with the integrated I-Pod controls. Ari is a Colnago C-50 guy all the way - hey, all the cool kids are doing it, right? Eric rides a hand-me-down, but is looking to get a Crosscheck, or maybe go really nuts and get a nice Waterford. That's what I see them on, anyhow.

Anonymous said...

Glad you picked up on a coupla recent postings that also gave me pause on fgg.

The CINELLI stems like the one on the Hed front wheel bike are worth a thought too. "Cool stem, yo! Who makes that?"

rolliefingers said...

Rear wheel is just a decal slapped on a regular deep v. I don't think he could have upgraded to anything much better for the same price as the decal. Who cares how it looks anyway, at least he probably uses it.

Soupie said...

The cycling flair and how deep the rabbit hole goes with bike nerd jokes is great.

The chip jokes killed me.

bape said...

I likes bapes it is a really dope brand to buy but I cant afford no authentic bape cuz right now Im on the welfare, so I just usually look up bape on google and buy a replica one usually the quality is pretty good. I think Bape needs some new styles though.

Anonymous said...

just for the record...

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vupper eyelid said...

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