If many fixed-gear bicycles on fixedgeargallery and velospace these days seem to be the product of deranged minds, this may be due at least in part to the guidance they're getting from websites such as that of NYC's Trackstar. Their "Ask Zach" column has always dispensed advice to be taken with a grain of ergot fungus, but this latest one is either top-notch spontaneous bop prosody or the product of a helmetless crash. A fetus of actual advice wrapped in a gooey placenta of madness, it evokes the writings of Charles Manson and David Berkowitz. And like reading Manson and Berkowitz, you start to worry about yourself when it starts actually making sense to you.
Hey, don't get me wrong. I'm right there with him on his anti-elitist, ride it 'til it's broke stance. It's the part about the "tripod doggy" that concerns me. Whether or not he's aware of it he's doing a note-perfect impression of Bob Odenkirk's classic "Ask Manson" bit. And if he is, I say "well done." Unfortunately, though, judging from the bikes we're seeing out there, I don't think his readers are in on the joke. (And keep an eye out on fixedgeargallery for a Univega with pink Deep Vs and Phil Wood hubs.)
Dear Ask Zach, I ride a Univega and I recently sold a frame set that was too big for me for 400 bucks. That gives me enough to cop a set of phil wood hubs I always wanted. When I started shopping around for them, all the shop workers kept giving me dirty looks 'cause I told them they were going on my univega [laced to deepVs]. I guess they were trying to hint that i should get a new frame before i go and spend $350 on hubs. Phils might last forever, so i don't see anything wrong with gettin it before a better frame. What do you think? Should I save for a frame first? If i did I'd have a better frame but then id be using it with my old formula hubs and wouldn't that be the same thing; good frame/cheap hubs...cheap frame/fucking awesome hubs?? -David
Zach: Dear David,
First off, you're missing an important leg to your bicycle tripod doggy. When you leave for work in the morning with your favorite bitch, you have a frame, wheels, and also a component groupo that holds them all together. Everyone loves the diligence of the tripod doggy. He just makes due with what he has and is having a good time of it (The dog with only two legs is in that ridiculous doggy-wheelchair and is pitied like the poor, broken thing he is. But you've got a tripod). The third leg includes the guts of your bike like your headset, bottom bracket and cranks. Each of these three legs, frame-wheels-components is equally important. And I guess if you had a road bike it would just be a four-legged doggy because they aren't making due and having a good time, they just have this fourth leg and look like a normal-ass dog. Yeah, the fourth leg has derailleurs and brake cables 'n junk. It's optional.
Those shop workers have every right to give you dirty looks, give you condescending suggestions, and even raise their eyebrows in a way that suggest you have shit smeared all over your face and you're asking them for "a cherry on top" when, in fact, you just asked them to borrow a pedal wrench. This is because they are bicycle royalty. Think about it: you ride bikes and break them. They supply these bikes and repair them. We're better then you! That's why we get wholesale prices. Bicycle Royalty. However, this "shop worker" in question is a jerk because he doesn't know about tripods, and as royalty he needs to relate to the peasants and earn their trust instead of acting like a insufferable know-it-all. It's called diplomacy. We here at Trackstar are fit to be Kings and a Queen because we lower ourselves to interact with you guys as if we were equals, or something. See? Even right here on this page, I'm giving you advice instead of an order.
Now go and be merry knowing that you are totally being logical by investing in new wheels. If you're going to make an improvement, do it with a splash. Deep V's come in plenty of rad colors and Phil Wood's American practicality and craftsmanship mesh pretty damn well with those rims fit for an Australian meatball sprinting until he coughs up blood like the badass he is. Now, if your Univega has a crack in it that gets bigger every time you hit a pothole or some roadie (I like to call them twinkies when they're wearing the whole matching team kit) looks at it funny, or say your headset is so worn out that you can't ride with no hands or your bottom bracket makes a clanking horrible grinding metal noise like a gerbil-sized rust golem is gnawing on your spindle whenever you put standing pressure on it, then… you might be a red neck. Just kidding about that last part… you might want to invest in your third tripod leg.