Monday, September 24, 2007

Fixedgeargallery...of perturbing patience-testers.

I hate to gush, but there's a lot to be happy about. World CX Champion Erwin Vervecken and National CX Champion Ryan Trebon are coming to race in New York. The weather's still great, but it will soon turn colder, which means the parks will eventually thin out as the less hardy riders put their bikes in mothballs for the winter. And best of all, there's art. Wonderful, inspiring, and uplifting art:


(Via bikeforums...thanks, guys.)

Nothing's more dangerous than complacency, though. So when I find myself getting happy I just head over to Fixedgeargallery to check the latest goings-on. Like doing your finances while you're stoned, it's a sure-fire way to send yourself crashing back to earth. Here's what brought me back to reality today:


I'm all for breathing new life into an old frame, but this thing has more relaxed angles than an architecture firm on morphine. The owner must have wanted something that replicated the geometry of his lawnchair, because this thing’s slacker than a hillbilly’s jaw. The aero rims, flop n' chops, and lack of a brake are also completely at odds with the frame. It looks like Sir John Gielgud wearing a FUBU tracksuit. Just because a frame has horizontal dropouts doesn't mean you have to try to turn it into a track bike. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.







Q: Why did the fixed-gear take a roll in the hay?
A: It was trying to rub the ugly off itself.

This thing looks like Wavy Gravy binged on Kool Aid and jellybeans, took some bad acid, and threw up under a tree.






What do you do when you've got a spare Sugino 75 crank lying around? You kill it slowly by putting it on the wrong side of the bike. Yes, the patented "Dual Dork Drive" flies in the face of a century of pedal-threading wisdom. Not only that, but somewhere in the city someone’s walking around with both pant legs rolled up, sporting a pair of matching chainring tattoos. The owner calls this a “labor of love,” but I call it a “labor of lame.” Before you trash those threads, do yourself a favor—sell that second crank, buy some real handlebars, and use the change to purchase a clue.

85 comments:

professor frink said...

I hope that this doesn't sound snide, but I'm wondering if you ever see anything that you approve of on FGG or Velonews?

quaffimodo said...

Why?

professor frink said...

I mean velospace...news is a magazine

Just wondering what's good?

BikeSnobNYC said...

Prof,

Sure, of course. I don't even disapprove of all the bikes I make fun of. I'm only able to express myself in derision though.

--BSNYC

BikeSnobNYC said...

Prof,

I knew that's what you meant. Any bike anybody enjoys riding is good.

--BSNYC

A complete waste of time said...

Looking at that double vision-asian thing gave me a headache...

bikepennst8 said...

for something more confusing than putting two drive cranks on a bike, try and think about what would happen if the fixed gears didnt match up... ohhhh it hurts my head

A complete waste of time said...

so....who's bright idea was it to pair white lycra and with anything bike not to mention riding cross? that guys laundry bill must be huge....or he has fifty sets of racing kit...

BikeSnobNYC said...

Waste of Time and Bikepennst8,

This will really make your head hurt:

http://tinyurl.com/2zuhn4

--BSNYC

Axel Bridges said...

Actually, I found these bikes less offensive than many. The first could have used powder-coated deep V's, but did not. The second could have used a level quill stem (stemz down, rizerz up!), but instead opted for the reasonable option of a MTB quill stem. That last one has the brake lever in the correct position for TT bars.

Maybe the world is looking up after all!

John said...

The Continental seems like a good rescue, but that bottom bracket converter probably costs more than the bike is worth. You can jump off roofs on that thing it will be fine, though.

Are Sugino cranksets dropping off trees or something that we need to put two on a bike?

Niki said...

As much as I like the idea behind a dual freewheel bike it's got to be really really annoying to ride as one the NDS freewheel will be coasting whenever you are riding.

I once theorized about a similar bike that would allow for a high gear ratio for riding forward and a low gear ratio for skidding. It wouldn't work with 2 freewheels though. You'd need a trials freewheeling bottom bracket, a fixed cog and a freewheel.

Even then I'm not sure if it would actually work.

bikesgonewild said...

...red bike is so laid back, it makes me sleepy...

...the dual crank bikes, especially the one at tinhurl.com, are answers to questions no one asked...

...i guess the riders pedal happily w/ thoughts of esoteric knowledge coursing through their brains...

Jim said...

I like the brake installation on the white bike. In theory the brake lever would work, but one hard grab and one sprained wrist later, you'd still be rolling hard and about to hit that Lincoln, thus proving the myth that brakes don't stop a fixie. They still slow it down though, and the only sure way to prove the myth that brakes don't help stop a fixie, of course, is to mount the brake lever right up the rider's wazoo. That will prove definitively that having a brake on a fixie doesn't help stopping power at all.

I'm betting there's a website that features photos of exactly that experiment. But it's probably not called Velospace.

Alex L said...

If that one guy had a spare Sugino 75 laying around he wanted to waste, he should have given it to me. I would have made much better use of it than that.

marc said...

bsnyc-
regarding http://tinyurl.com/2zuhn4, i think i just threw up a little in my mouth. fat cyclist put up a concept last year and i haven't been able to relocate it and you may have encountered it; a 2 speed where the low gear engages upon backpedalling making hill climbing look somewhat unique? regardless, it's much more interesting than the double crank freewheel set-up that still has me asking why? thanks again for the blog.

Ralphy said...

Bikepennst8,
Even better would be two hugely different gear/sprocket combinations yet with the same ratios.

Put 51/17 on one side and 39/13 on the other.

Tell curious onlookers one side is for uphill, the other is for downhill.

Sean Lynch said...

"A complete waste of time said...
Looking at that double vision-asian thing gave me a headache..."


Yeah. That thing is reaching deep into the hardwiring of your brain and playing around with the facial pattern recognition pathways developed over millions of years.

I mean its worse that that 3D image of the face on Mars.

Philip Barrett said...

Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't he have 2 freewheels & NO brakes? How does that work?

*sound of brain grinding*

A complete waste of time said...

BSNYC,

Thanks for the link to an incredibly interesting view into whatever that is...it's kinda funny that the shop looks to be located in leprechaun-ville.

Pedaling backwards to engage the left side drivetrain? WTF?!

The cool thing is is the parts list so now I know EXACTLY how to replicate it so I can make one of my very own....

Philip Barrett said...

that was a comment on the tiny URL one, not the original 'cos obviously it has a brake!

l'œil said...

I've got something for you connoisseurs of le drivetraine:

http://tinyurl.com/2ze7rq

voilà, you fixionados, hip-a-nistas, fake/realengers - ze ultimate avant-garde!

bikesgonewild said...

...ah, yes l'oeil, the beautiful, elegant simplicity of the bicycle...

Ralphy said...

Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't he have 2 freewheels & NO brakes? How does that work?

When you pedal forwards, one frewheel engages, the other coasts, and you turn the rear wheel forwards. When you pedal backwards, the other freewheel engages, the 'forward' one coasts, and you turn the rear wheel backwards. It acts just like a fixed-gear.

Sean Lynch said...

So he doesn't have a 'leftie' freewheel on the left, just a regular freewheel so it works in reverse?

Ralphy said...

Bingo.

marc said...

l'oeil-

2 speed elegance; thanks, that's exactly what i was looking for, though i originally thought that the reverse pedalling engaged the larger cog through a different mech...it's much simpler than i thought originally. thanks for posting that.

marc

Anonymous said...

he is using two 'regular' freewheels

Philip Barrett said...

So the braking is dependent on the ratchet in the freewheel, hmmm...

CdP said...

Hmmm, what could be the next innovation to fly in the face of conventional wisdom? Cranks arranged so the pedals are at right angles? Or maybe more than one pedal per side (for those who really have trouble getting clipped in)?

l'œil said...

-marc

The name for this kind of drive is "retro-direct". I`ve seen my first only a while ago - it's really cool.

Anonymous said...

Okay, just for causing my flesh to creep pacticcally off my bones with the sheer unmitigated horror of the ORIGINAL SADDLE SHAPED OBJECT on the Schwinn, take this: http://sheldonbrown.com/bichain-fixed-free.html I'm just surprised no one has mentioned it yet. Val

Niki said...

cdp:

I've actually ridden a bike that had the cranks at 90 degrees. It was a "crooked-crank race" and was one of the goofiest, most hilarious things I've ever done/witnessed. When someone is riding a bike like that it looks like they are galloping.

Jonathan said...

I still can't believe you missed this little gem from the FGG description of the acid-vomit bike:

'Ps. I took the brake off just for the photoshoot. ;)'

Genius.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Jonathan,

Good catch. He should have also taken off those ODI Mushroom grips or whatever they are. Without some donuts he's gonna get a mean blister.

--BSNYC

Ed W said...

I actually like the idea of converting an old Schwinn Varsity, Continental, or Super Sport to a fixed gear. It has a kind of reverse snobbery appeal. While it's fine to have a lovely shiny new bike made out of unobtainium, those slack angles and long, curvaceous fork are a snide way of separating oneself from the herd.

But I'd be sure to put a BikeSnobNYC Seal of Disapproval spoke card in the back wheel, for that light touch of irony.

beoba said...

Two pedals: when the pedal you're on gets to the 6-oclock position, the other pedal (at 12-oclock) would hit the back of your leg.

rusty_ss said...

Someone (maybe American Classic) made a bmx hub in the 80's that was a low gear when you pedalled forwards and a higher gear when you pedalled backwards. It took a long time to retrain your brain to start pedalling backwards halfway through a race and even longer to work out how to approach a jump. I am surprised that I have not seen one resurected on a fixie though.

bikesgonewild said...

...tell ya, snob, yer poster 'ralphy' deserves one free "arf, arf of approval"...man is the esoteric cycling statesman of the day...no doubt an informed & eloquent disseminator but the real goods came across w/ the idea of disparate chainring/sprocket combos & then telling people, "one is for uphill & one is for downhill"...

...total hats off, ralphy boy...

professor frink said...

Sorry it has taken me all day to re-word my question, but here goes:

BSNY,

do you ever covet any of the bikes on FGG or velospace?

Just wondering....

sh said...

Dammit Professor, you're bumming me o-u-u-u-t! Don't insult the spirit of the comment section by insisting on some sense of approval.

Does Bikesnobnyc actually like some of the fixed gears gracing FGG? Who cares, IT'S IMMATERIAL !!!

We're not here to approve, Prof, we're here to ridicule and laugh at the folly, vanity and cultural conformity of others. Please respect that.

Sheesh.

ainsley said...

did anyone catch the "fixie/ track" bike made for the 12 year old?
if it's strictly for the track that's awesome!
but...
i hope to god that guy isn't letting his son ride around london with no breaks! being dead or castrated before puberty would be a bummer.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Prof,

Sh is absolutely right, but I will say this: I covet no bike.

--BSNYC

Anonymous said...

I knew I went to the right school-Big Red has made BSNYC! There is joy in Western KY today . . .

Anonymous said...

Sh,

sorry that my question bums you o-u-u-u-t...

I didn't mean to "insult the spirit of the comment section"

I didn't realize that "Just wondering...." implied "insisting on some sense of approval."

Sheesh.

Thanks for the answer, BSNYC. I wonder no more!

Prof.

The Great White Hype said...

Man, that double face gives me brain ache.

Taking on Niki's 90 degree crank race, why not put them both the same way? Now THERE'S a race I'd pay to watch.

Anonymous said...

Isn't that John Johnson of Seattle in the fixie photoshop? He's actually really fast; he came in 1st fixed at the Dead Baby Downhill XI.

sh said...

Professor, sarcasm is not for amateurs.
Don't be a dork, 'kay?

Thank you.

sh said...

Professor,
Sarcasm is not for amateurs.
Don't be a dork, 'kay?

Thanks.

professor frink said...

just trying to explain, no further action is necessary. thanks for your input.

john said...

The Canadian rider Jocelyn Lovell actually raced a 2-sided drivetrain on the track. He put a smaller gear (with a freewheel) on the left-side, and his race gear (fixed) on the right, only barely threaded on to the hub. From a standing start he would first be pedaling the lower gear, but as he pedaled, the fixed cog would get tightened on to the hub, and eventually the higher gear would engage. This allowed him to have a lower gear for the standing start, which was helpful in kilos and pursuits. Crazy stuff.

Anonymous said...

is bsnyc getting soft ? This abomination went thru to the catcher

b said...

...john, that IS 'crazy stuff'...quite an interesting solution, if you will, to what most folks wouldn't consider a problem, in that there was a set parameter ie: one fixed gear, yet someone (lovell ???) ingeniously conceived of a different method...

...whatever happened to jocelyn lovell...i believe he had a bike line in his name,but wasn't he seriously hurt at one time ???...be interested to know...

...this was an interesting post today, what w/ the obscure technical aspects that were related...whether or not ultimate solutions are always achieved is perhaps not as important as the creative thought process that's utilized...good stuff !!!...

Scott said...

Anon 1:36am,

Why is that such an abomination? The guy built it for one specific TT and freely admits that it's completely ridiculous for anything else. It's not meant for cruising around, it's meant for individual speed.

Bill said...

"It looks like Sir John Gielgud wearing a FUBU tracksuit."

Too funny.

Aaron M said...

That shogun actually looks pretty decent. I'd ride it without (much) shame.

Uncle Bob said...

"Why is that such an abomination?"

Maybe it's the scrofulous, VD-scab welding on the bottom bracket?

Uncle Bob said...

Actually, I was just looking again at the Shogun conversion (wearing welding goggles to protect myself from the colour-scheme). What's the theory with the seat-stays going past the seat-post to the top-tube? The only place I've seen anything like it is on the Swift Folder, and there it's explained by the folding mechanism.

mander said...

Uncle Bob, look up "Hellenic stays" on Sheldon's glossary. Typically there's no point to em (says Sheldon) but this frame is so wacky that maybe the guy did have some reason for doing it.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_ha-i.html

mander said...

^^^ Oops, I meant the homemade tt frame, not the bad trip frame.

A complete waste of time said...

anonymous,

Gotta give 'em some credit for the right hand front brake though...old school for sure. But...the carbon front fork is S-I-C-K...

Scott said...

Mander,

Are you kidding? Of course there's a point! Look at the GT "Triple Triangle"! It both makes the bike heavier and makes the bike heavier! You road people know nothing of the MTBing art.


Uncle Bob,

That's not a bad welding job. Strange, perhaps, but those joints will hold nicely. All steel looks like that after being welded. If looks pretty on commercial bikes because it's either painted or chromed. I personally applaud this guy for not powdercoating this frame, as he realizes it's a silly vanity and not worth it.

CdP said...

Niki - I would love to see that 90 degree crank race - of course, it would be even better with a set of Sheldon Brown's POWerwheels

Justin said...

Question about the dual-drive bike: if it's fixed on both sides, then isn't the left-hand cog threaded the wrong way? I mean, it won't thread off because of the other fixed cog, but come on. It's not superfluous, it's useless. And heavy.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget the other effect of the GT "Triple Triangle": to stiffen the frame substantially directly under the seat post, so that it can transmit road shock so much better. Classic. Val

Bobke Strut said...

b- Jocelyn Lovell was hit by a dump truck in 1983 and is now a quadriplegic. Here's some info about his career and accident.

Anonymous said...

Some older French camping bikes had the GT-style seatstays affixed to the top tube as well.
And bikes built before those had the feature too.

GT employed better marketing when they copied the idea.

This was an excellent post, BSNYC and commenters...

Lee said...

I stared too long and now all the print looks double.....ouch

Anonymous said...

WHAT THE SHIT IS THAT.

p.s. BSNYC is the Sultan of Similes.

Anonymous said...

Re: Whatever happened to Jocelyn Lovell. He was hit by a dump truck in August of 1985 near his home in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Unfortunately was left a quadraplegic. He's been doing advocacy work for the disabled, but I don't know if he's involved in bike racing in any capacity (coaching, etc). He did make bike frames back in the '80s, and I have the second last frame he made before his accident, and it's the only time trial frame he built with Tange Aero tubing (it was also set up for original Dura Ace). I had an opportunity to buy the fixed gear bike that he made for his then wife, Sylvia Burka Lovell (she set the world kilometer record on it), for $ 800.00 back in 1987, but stupidly didn't buy it.

Vince Lupo.

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