Monday, September 17, 2007

Fixedgeargallery...of awed bewilderment

Just when I think I'm getting a handle on some of the quirkier aspects of the fixed-gear trend, something pops up that completely voids any conclusions I've drawn. For example, I once thought the reason people rode brakeless on the street was because riding a fixed-gear was all about simplicity and minimalism. But then they started dressing their bikes up with top-tube pads, which seemed like wearing a cashmere sweater with no shoes, or wearing $300 jeans with no underwear. So much for simplicity.


A lazier, less thoughtful individual than myself might simply abandon the quest for meaning and decide that people who post their bikes to Fixedgeargallery follow no logic and know nothing. I refuse to do this, though. Admitting that the fixed-gear world is completely illogical is to admit that the universe itself is without meaning. And despite the overwhelming evidence, I refuse to concede that life is pointless, and that every endeavor is for naught. I will instead poke an infinitely long skewer through all that exists, and create a giant, juicy, delicious shish kebab of significance and meaning.


In the meantime, though, I'm still confused. Let me see if I understand some things:



So, flop-and-chops should not be taped.

However, if you must tape them, then do so in the now-popular "dog's erection" style. (If you're unsure of how to do this, keep a horny dog nearby for a reference.)

Mountain bike risers, though, should be fully taped. (Note the front Rev-X, a sad symbol of the Aerospoke Crisis of '07.)





And somehow it follows that road drops should be completely bare. Also, your front wheel should stand completely apart from the rest of your bike. (In this example, it resembles the throat pouch of a frog. Note the owner has photographed the bike beside a pond in order to highlight this.)








More bare road bars. Okay, so I'm on to something. Maybe I'm getting over-confident now, but I'm also going to postulate that the crappier your bike is the more crap you should put on it. (This particular example embodies the itinerant look, kind of like Mugatu's Derelicte. The park bench placement is particularly apt. "No sleeping here, pal. Move it along.")






Lastly, your bars should always be at the same angle as your stem--regardless of what that angle may be. And just as this bike appears to be deep in prayer, imploring some entity above to show it some benevolence and mercy, I too pray that this Babel of bikes will some day resolve itself into something that makes some kind of sense.


76 comments:

Anonymous said...

first!

Anonymous said...

Well the dog erection photos must be seen... in their entirety. Is that a smidgeon of dog excrement on the rear tire?

Aaron said...

I love seeing those Colnago conversion photos coming from Europe. Hilarious.

Adam said...

Man, when I checked out FGG this morning, I knew you waould have a field day BSNYC. I am surprised that you didn't note the bike with the epoxied cog though:

http://www.fixedgeargallery.com/2007/sept/2/patterct_uah.htm

Anonymous said...

Don't tape your bars, but do a really crappy job wrapping your saddle in tape that matches the frame.

Anonymous said...

epic win for the derelicte reference.

Prolly said...

I thought the same regarding the Green Tree Frog.

quaffimodo said...

$300 jeans with no underwear....

Sorry, just had to share.

Niki said...

quaffimodo - I hate you.

quaffimodo said...

Hey, I said I was sorry.....

Dave Moulton said...

I am as confused as you are by these fixed gear rules like Aerospoke only in the front, no tape on bars.

Is there some Grand Fixed-wheel Poobah somewhere who sets these rules? If there is, could you by any chance score an interview?

Rhino said...

The Phoenician Green Tree Frog bike is in right now.

Green is the new Black...

Anonymous said...

handlebar angles will never cease to amuse me--the spiritual, bullhorn fix had me in tears

Anonymous said...

The chop and flog "dog's erection" looks like a circumcision performed with a can opener!!!!

Do these people not have hacksaws or at least some emery cloth?

The damn things are more dangerous than a Vietnamese punji stick once you get the dog excrement on the rough edges.

Anonymous said...

That last link sucks.
Fix it.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 2:39pm,

Yes sir!

--BSNYC

Anonymous said...

Dear Bikesnob NYC - I know you read these comments from time to time. At one point you skewered tribikes for having a Bento box. I thought this was simply a wonderful literary device you employed to lambast the ridiculous way these bikes are set up as if they were for the Peace Corps to distribute food and water to the starving in Africa. Little did I know that a Bento Box was the real deal. It has to be the stupidest thing I have ever seen on a bike. These were tri bikes dressed to the nines - Cervelos with Zipp 404s and the whole aero bar set up. Imagine the satisfaction I had of passing these gas bags, who didn't even acknowledge a hello from our group passing them, going into the wind. I suggested to my group that perhaps they should ditch all the fancy gear and simply pedal a little harder.

Thank you for an aweseom blog!!

bikesgonewild said...

...there are too many questions but are there any real answers ?...
...does one who rides an unadorned fix go from aesthetic to trendoid hipster w/ the purchase of a top tube pad & an 'aerospoke' front wheel ?...
...will it remain a dog eat dog world...no matter how you tape yer bars ?...
...does it matter that everyone is out looking for a cheap fix & that there are 'lists' where they can get them ?...
...is a 'derilicte' w/ a bike actually upwardly mobile ?...
...is a bicycle really just an instrument of the 'great creator' used by us to subjugate our need for impossible answers ?...
...do we really care...or should we just go ride our bikes ?...
...just askin'...

Russ said...

I love people who go crazy with the world champion stuff:

http://fixedgeargallery.com/2007/sept/2/DaleCBickham.htm

Anonymous said...

You don't wear underpants with $300 jeans, fool. Just like you don't wear underpants with $300 Assos bib shorts.

http://www.coloradocyclist.com/product/item/ASSXBYUD

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 5:15pm,

Only if the jeans have the Elastic Interface® mod.13 chamois.

--BSNYC

Jim said...

That Colnago makes me sad.

Anonymous said...

Downward angled seats are the worst.

Ronald said...

That second last one's gotta be a plant-the burberry check t.t.p.,the fake spoke cards,the bandanna wrapped around the stem...the bizarre yahoo message...the.....the...it's all too much(sounds of sobbing)

Anonymous said...

The poor Fuji Touring (Series IV?) bike with the Burberry top-tube pad does seem like a Japanese tourist, but the caliper brake being added instead of using the existing canti posts makes me just a little sad.

The bike still wants to be a rambler, (it could probably handle the railroad ROW access roads fine) and you clearly felt its desire to return to the touring life and made the association with the hobo photo.

You may be some sort of bike whisperer, Bikesnobnyc.

It's not a crap bike at all, really.
I'd love one of those frames for a fully-dressed commuter or grocery fetcher with racks or baskets.

MilanoTom said...

You missed the best part of "More bare road bars" bike - the Burberry plaid top tube protector, complete with conspicuous label. That's hardly hobo wear.

Who SEZ you can't polish a turd?

bother yam said...

'round here, a dog's erect penis is known as a Red Rocket

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 6:46pm,

Wow, I was so distracted by the hobo attire that I didn't even notice the canti studs! That is sad. You're absolutely right--that could be the basis of a fun all 'rounder. But instead...(sigh)

Anonymous 3:03pm,

Thanks for the compliment. Yes, the Bento Box is all too real... Coupled with something like this you never have to lift your head again:

http://tinyurl.com/3a7qks

--BSNYC

giantcu92 said...

The people that suck the most are the ones who have their pictures taken with their bikes held over their heads like they just conquered something. I hate those stupid pictures (seen from every disease ride and every Fred ride you've ever seen).

Anonymous said...

no, the people that suck are not those people but the people that talk shit about other riders at a critical time when riders should come together. you can say it is just for fun, but let's face it, you're discouraging potential riders here.

i know people who won't get into riding because they are aware of the throngs of bike snob people that would talk shit about their bike or riding style.

there are no fucking rules for tape/no tape, brakes/no brakes. people do what they will, why try to impose guidelines on something subjective.

it saddens me that the whole purpose of this blog is to discredit people who have rediscovered the joy of riding a bike. some of these people haven't rode since they were kids. I guess you feel cycling is yours and if people intrude upon your culture you have every right to insult their initial efforts.

you people are a bunch of elitist pricks. if we ever run out of people to send to iraq I hope they look to the bike snobs to fill the gap. God knows they're doing nothing productive with their lives currently.

hipsters talking about hipsters as if they're separate from the phenomenon. if you went to art school, ride a fix, and talk shit about riding a fix, you're a rank asshole.

now go open up a bike shop in the LES so you can insult your customers.

Sleepy said...

What a sad world, truly, if people are so scared of hurting each other's precious self-esteem.

All those potential riders... Lost! Lost because their tender lil' feelings were pricked.

One wonders if said victims live the majority of their lives locked in their houses, for fear of all the mean people out there.

People ride. Some people ride stupendously shitty bikes. It's an unfortunate reality. But just like there are beautiful bikes, there some seriously ugly bikes out there too.
Here's a suggestion, quit those self-esteem classes, throw that self-help book in the trash, and just admit, that maybe, just maybe, some bikes look like they need to be dragged out to the backyard and shot execution style.
Or at the very least, laughed at.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Sleepy. I couldn't have said it better.

Jim said...

here are no fucking rules for tape/no tape, brakes/no brakes. people do what they will, why try to impose guidelines on something subjective.

Anonymous 10:19 - no objective standard for beauty? Okay, fine. But answer me this. You , a hotel room, a bucket of champagne, Barry White on the stereo, and either Rosie O'Donnell, or Salma Hayek... You make the call - and explain your choice without citing aesthetics and an objective standard of beauty.

BTW, that Iraq crack was needless and multi-dimensionally insulting, and kind of self-destructing for a guy whose schtick seems to be "why can't we all just get along."

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 10:19pm,

You're absolutely right, of course. There are no rules. Perhaps I'm being naive here, but I think there's a mutual respect between the people who choose not to follow the "rules" and the people who make innocent fun of them. (Though I do believe if you choose not to follow the "rules" you should at least understand why they exist first. Some of these bikes are downright dangerous. Someone forwarded me a photo of a conversion today where the brake was set up so that the pads were using the tire sidewall as a braking surface.)

Sleepy's point is a good one. As far as people you know who "won't get into riding because they are aware of the throngs of bike snob people that would talk shit about their bike or riding style," uh, I hate to say it, but they probably shouldn't be riding. That's the same as not riding because it's difficult, or because you're afraid of getting dropped, or because you're afraid you might fall and hurt yourself.

All of us have crashed. All of us have been dropped. And all of us have looked silly to someone else at some point. And no matter how long you've been riding, you'll still crash, you'll still get dropped, and you still look silly to someone. In fact, if you don't look silly you're missing the point of cycling, since no matter how long you've been riding you should always be open to trying something new. And guess what? When you try something new you sometimes look silly for awhile. Big deal.

The kid on the brakeless fixed gear with the bubble-gum wheelset and the bare bars laughs at the seasoned rider too. And that's totally cool. In fact, one of the great things about cycling these days is that the landscape is so varied and there are so many different styles of riding that we can all laugh at one another and learn new things at the same time. And there's always an undercurrent of respect.

Sorry the blog's not for you. I'd like for you to enjoy it, but if it upsets you to the point that you want to ship me to Iraq I suggest you might want to stop reading it and focus on one of the many, many other excellent cycling sites out there instead. Because I may take bikes and cycling seriously, but you clearly take it very, very seriously.

In any case, thank you for reading.

With respect,

--BSNYC

Scott said...

It amuses me that people continue to read this blog and get offended and post about their offense on a fairly regular basis. It's not like the blog doesn't warn the reader up front that it's a tongue-in-cheek haranguing of current cycling fads.

Equally amazing is BSNYC's ability to respond in such a thoughtful and civil fashion to every single one of them. By this point I really expect him to either use a form letter to address this or explode and just go off on some poor unwitting offended sap.

Philip Williamson said...

I think you're right. There is a logic and a balance, if not to hipsteriffic fixie culture, then at least to the universe.

Undertaping bars... where does all the extra tape go? All around that green guy's seat! For style? Or to hold it onto the post?
And all around the Dublin Dog Dick bike's entire frame!

That is a whole bike's worth of tape I see, isn't it? Oops... maybe it's just jpeg artifacting.

bikesgonewild said...

...zoom...zoom...
...that was the sound of satire being closely followed by irony as they sped over an certain anonymous forehead...

...while your concern is palpable, dude, please consider the nature of this site...bikesnob nyc, despite the name, is both unpretentious & actually self-effacing if you look beyond the obvious satire...

...i've never seen real vitriol on this site & beyond the parodying, i'd bet a pink fix gear bike w/ green bar tape (1/2 wrap, 'major taylor drops', top only) & an aerospoke front wheel, that 99% of the posters on this site are 100% supportive of cyclists of all levels...

...you might want to temper your iraqi remarks, for the good of your own self-esteem...cuz THAT is some serious shit & someone WILL take you to task...

quaffimodo said...

Jim said...


Rosie guy here. Got any more stupid questions?

Jim said...

Hey Quaffimodo, you really dig Rosie? I'm cool with that, but let's not pretend she's an aesthetic role model here. Out of respect for you, I'll try to concede that she *could* be attractive to some people. Yeah, I guess I can see beauty in Ms. O'Donnell too, if I look for it. Her face has a nice complexion, she is generously supplied with body, and her voice is the envy of air raid sirens and lighthouse klaxons everywhere.

Yeah, I guess she's pretty hot. Salma Hayek, a bucket of vintage champagne and some Barry White... what the hell was I thinking? Forgive me, please.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Jim,

I like your analogy. And let's face it. With some of these bikes, we're looking at your scenario only with Rosie on the TV and Barry White actually in the room.

And yes, I know he's been dead since '03.

--BSNYC

Nicholas said...

Haha.. I'm definitely getting me a Seal Of Disapproval badge and sticker.

Cheers for the laugh, and keep up the good work.

I'll get one for my dog aswell...

iron fish said...

What amazes me is the people creating these fixed things are adults. I mean they are, right? Even the terms have a juvenile ring--"fixie," "chop & flop," etc. Spoke cards?! It's worse than a pack of 12-year-old girls with their Hello Kittys or whatever they are. I suppose this is yet another example of the ever-expanding borders of American childhood. The sad thing is most of these people would probably have enjoyed their bikes a lot more (e.g. the Fuji) in the original configurations pre "conversion." And really, the guy who says all his friends won't ride because they are worried someone will make fun of them? Please.

Bill said...

anonymous 10:19-

I suppose when you see my lumpy 64-year-old ass zip by covered in lavender spandex, you and your fixie buddies will remark, "thank goodness he has rediscovered the joy of riding a bike!" Yeah....right.

Anonymous said...

I, too, loved the bike-in-prayer bit. I LOLed.

bikesgonewild said...

...jim & quaffimodo...
...just to drag this around for one more lap...if memory serves me well...rosie o'd played a 'dom mistress' in a cheesy half-assed comedy movie years ago...i don't recall the plot (maybe about a cult ?) or who else was in it...

...she was all geared up. quaff, so searching it out might add to the fantasy...
...just sayin'...

BikeSnobNYC said...

Bikesgonewild,

I believe that was "Exit to Eden" with Dan Aykroyd.

--BSNYC

bikesgonewild said...

...see...yer as bad as i am...

Anonymous said...

If you guys are going to run BMX chains on your bikes at least put them on the right way up.

A complete waste of time said...

"...some of these people haven't rode since they were kids."

haven't rode....hmmmmm. Is that like "ain't got none"? c'mon...

Anonymous said...

one more for you, http://www.trademe.co.nz/Sports/Cycling/Other-bikes/auction-118480255.htm?p=26 this one is from little old New Zealand, problem is he don't mention frame size. And, at a guess its a BH, though I may be corrected.

Anonymous said...

Mugatu's Derelicte? More like Katamari Damancy, amirite?

FM said...

looking @ fgg today and saw this

http://fixedgeargallery.com/2007/sept/2/JasonKarriker.htm

guy had a professional photographer take these pictures...seems a little ridiculous to pay someone to take pictures of your bike to put on a website.

Lee said...

Hey I get made fun of all the time by the "elites" because I ride a recumbent (an old one!). I also post comments way too late to be read by anyone who cares! BSNYC- excellent Zoolander quote, notice how Apple uses Zoolander in the IPhone ads? Cool!

Anonymous said...

Holy crap!
Yeah those pro photos are rad!

Jason Karriker: "Hello? Tim Broyer? Yeah, my name's Jason, hey listen, I reeely want to make an "impact" on fixed gear gallery. Do you think we could schedule a photo shoot with my 74 Raleigh competition GS?"
Tim Broyer: "Hey sure, I shoot bikes all the time for online forums. Say, I've got a "concept", whadya say we do a "day in the life" of your bike? Y'know, wakin' up in the studio loft... goin' for little ride over to the friend's house, hangin' out... and then... NIGHTLIFE!!!...

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