Monday, October 29, 2007

Apocafixed Now! The End Is Nigh

Awhile back I posted about the Seven Signs of the Fixed-Gear Apocalypse. Frankly, I can't blame you if you read that at the time and shrugged it off the same way people did when they first started hearing about global warming. But today I've come across some things which, like that drowning polar bear in "An Inconvenient Truth," should shock you once and for all into believing this thing is for real. In fact, I'm going so far as to raise the BSNYC Fixed-Gear Apocalypse Advisory System level from orange to red, and that tearing sound you hear is me opening the velcro on the orange BSNYC FGAAS top-tube pad and replacing it with a red one.




The first thing to give me pause today was this entry on Velospace. Like a Doctors Without Borders volunteer who's seen one too many goiters and is no longer fazed by them, I have now reached the point where I can look at fixed-gear freestylers like this without throwing up (though I was a bit disturbed by the way this one evoked the old admonition not to eat yellow snow). But it wasn't until I came across this in the description that I became frightened: "beautiful, stiff, and could survive the apocalypse." Apocalypse?!? What does this person know about the Apocalypse, and why is he building a bike to survive it? I suspected immediately that he knew more than he was letting on.

My suspicions were confirmed immediately, when I discovered that on that very same day, in the very same village, a mountain bike had been born without spokes, hubs, or drivetrain. Yet the wheels stayed on!

And even more grotesque, a geared DeRosa was born with bullhorns and top-mount brake levers.


Perhaps most horrific of all was this abomination. Until today I was fortunate enough to be able to say that I'd never seen a pair of flopped-and-chopped mountain bike bars, but I can't say that anymore. I feel like damaged goods now. Two hours in the shower with a loofah and a tub of citrus hand-degreaser and I still feel dirty after looking at this thing. The angled saddle taunts me, its proboscis pointing mockingly at the bars and its plastic cupcake swaying like a saccharine censer in a satanic breeze that carries the wretched stench of death and burning Vittorias. This bicycle confirms what I've long suspected: like the Discovery Channel and most fans of professional road racing, God has given up on cyling.

King Kog's site serves as sort of an early warning system for me--it is of course where I first learned of the Aerospoke Crisis. So, alarmed by the aforementioned bicycles, I clicked over and discovered the "Pista Paria" t-shirt above. At first I was puzzled, and suspected that the the shirt was simply missing an "H." But a little Wikipedia research soon revealed that "Paria is a village situated near Vapi in Valsad District, Gujarat, India...Its population of is approximately 5,000." Clearly this shirt indicates the existence of some kind of rural Indian fixed-gear subculture. And if this whole thing has become so popular that they're even doing it in Paria (where they've only just gotten "Chico and the Man" from what I understand) then there is officialy nowhere to hide.


And clearly Fabric Horse is expecting the Apocalypse as well, judging from this product. According to the copy it's "A superhero of rust, black, and shades of gray for that long sought-after, rugged cyclist look." I once thought that these cycling utility belts had come about because pants have gotten so tight people can no longer keep things in their pockets, but now it is obvious to me that Fabric Horse too know the Apocalypse is coming and want people to be prepared for it. I only hope it's not coming too soon, though, since the site also says to "allow 2-4 weeks for delivery."

Now fully convinced that we were in trouble, I went over to Craigslist. I figured if the Apocalypse was truly nigh people would be ditching their fixed-gears the way rats ditch a sinking ship. Sure enough I was right:


Bianchi Pista - $599 (Chelsea) [original URL: http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/bik/462792062.html]

Brand New " been on the road 3 times" still under service warranty

51" frame

Upgrade on Pedals and Hand Brake

Chrome Frame

Not even 3 months old

Buy this bike new which it pretty much is will cost you over $800

Cash Only Seriously Interested people only!!

Price is Final


Chilling. Upgraded "hand brake" and pedals, and he was only asking for about $50 above full retail! He must be desperate. Then I saw this:

53 cm mercier green fixed - $350 [original URL: http://newyork.craigslist.org/brk/bik/462858848.html]

53 cm green mercier kilo tt, rides great, in need of quick cash so must sell asap, if you want pictures, and specs, i will email you my phone number. moving out of ny. fixed gear, track, velocity


OK, if you're not convinced now, you're crazy. This guy's skipping town and he's not even taking his pogo stick on wheels with him. He obviously knows what's about to happen. So repent, and don't say I didn't warn you. (And note the red top tube pad!)

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

post!

Anonymous said...

ahh now i can read it, i win!

Prolly said...

Bikesnob, this one's for you

Sean Lynch said...

From the Pista on Craigslist:

51" frame

My god! What kind of mutant needs a 51 inch frame?

The end is already here!

Niki said...

I wound up with a free top tube pad on friday night. It's neon-pink and has "orange" printed all over it (along with a picture of what appears to be an orange peel).

In the interest of science I put it on my green bike. I'm going to ride it like this for awhile and report back.

However, so far I've noticed the following:
* it's absolutely hideous
* the knees of my pants rub against it and make a constant "zip zip" sound as I ride (maybe I just need tighter pants)
* it's more comfortable to carry my bike on my shoulder
* did I mention it's hideous?

I suspect right now that the guys across the street are sitting on it right now. I'll ask them if they find the bike more comfortable with the top tube pad.

Anonymous said...

roller blader!

sh said...

Narcissism of small differences

Ooh, fame comes with a price it seems: A Bicycling Magazine type price. Now that you're revealed to be as Fashionable as the next Brakeless Wonder, suddenly there is a rise in snideness...

(good post though,. Esp. "that tearing sound you hear" line, yeah.)

Prolly said...

Niki, wait till you get rug burns on the insides of your thighs from skidding.

I think I know the kid selling that Mercier. Funny. I think I saw him wipeout a few times on that bike. Hmmmmmm could it be the 8" wide bars?

Jim said...

A superhero of rust, black, and shades of gray for that long sought-after, rugged cyclist look.

Shit, you mean all I have to do to get that long sought-after rugged cyclist look, is to buy that pack?

Guess this means I can throw out the embrocation, stop smuggling pot belge into the country in my parakeet's ass, and quit the whole carrots & methamphetamine "he's a natural climber" diet.

chippy said...

rugged cyclist look? spandex suddenly is rugged? i must have some!

leroy said...

Yikes! That bike at the top of the post looks like a fixie ghost bike.

But if the end is near, we may as well document it in haiku.

I mean, why not? How about:

October two nine,
First cold Fall morning so far,
Specialized parts freeze.

Anonymous said...

the derosa has "bitto" bullhorns. even the NAME of the handlebars is custom.

Anonymous said...

"...its proboscis pointing mockingly at the bars and its plastic cupcake swaying like a saccharine censer in a satanic breeze that carries the wretched stench of death and burning Vittorias."

OMG... This is some of the funniest, most brilliant ranting I've ever read in my life. I'll be dreaming about a sweetened satanic mass tonight because of you!

You're my hero and when the Apocolapse comes I'm building a giant statue to BSNYC that will be like the obelisk in 2001 causing all hipsers and FGFs to evolve (and start drinking real beer and wearing men's pants).

John said...

If it had a soul that De Rosa would be begging for Cinelli drop bars and a Campy gruppo.

Anonymous said...

BSNYC,

I wonder if your Bike Snob doppelgänger from the Windy City is further proof of the end times.

–Matt

VeloStrummer said...

THE END IS NIGH!!

Anonymous said...

Here's my proof the end is here:

Part Batmobile (tm), part collercoaster, part praying mantis, part West Coast Chopper, part FGF, part mountain bike...

ALL UGLY!

http://velospace.org/node/3157

Daddy, I'm scared!

jeremy said...

So... minimal research reveals that "Paria" (sans-h) is actually many lanuages translation (including Italian) of "Pariah". I have to report it could be intentional.

I was much happier guessing that the shirt model(?) might also have been the one responsible for two gross of T-shirts with an egregious error on them.

Look at the sadness.

Chazu said...

What if you're wrong? What if you are misreading the signs? Perhaps instead of signs of the Apocalypse, you are actually seeing signs of the imminent Rapture?

Better hedge your bets: print up some shirts, stickers and top tube pads that read something like this:

In case of Rapture, this fixie will be riderless. The owner will be pounding Pabst in heaven while you're stuck here gawking at this abomination of a bike. Have a nice stay in Hell.

Anonymous said...

I was hedging on the end of the fixed gear stronghold on West Brooklyn culture...

My roommate was always like 'duuuuuuude!!! you gotta build a bike...'

I said, 'next year, next year'... lo and behold, Apocafixed might not even wait till the new year. BSNYC saved me a cool $1500-2000 in NJS and Campi parts, and for that I am thankful.

However there is always the good old double decker...

Sean Lynch said...

Anonymous 3:42 wrote:
"I wonder if your Bike Snob doppelgänger from the Windy City is further proof of the end times."

Signs of the end of days are usually not bicycle related in Chicago.

Armeggedon in Chicago is related to the standing of the Cubs in the National league.

The last time the Cubs won the National League pennant, we dropped two atom bombs on Japan! Could you imagine what would have done if they actually won?

I tell ya what...
Next election day I'll hang out at my polling place and ask some of the dead people that still vote regularly what the word from the other side is. That way we'll have the inside track on the apocolypse.

Ahab said...

The misspelled tshirt brakes my heart. Way to use the wrong word to fit your aesthetic.

By the way, I sold my 2-year-old fixed for what I bought it for because someone was dumb enough to pay it.

mr.complaint said...

Wow! I just learned that Aerospoke wheel(s) don't need a tire! I read it on the internet!

Snob - India's Bollywood has a whole parallel universe of bicycle...wood. Go ask Dave Perry at Bike Works (does your bike work?).

http://www.bicycleindia.com/

Anonymous said...

Climbs like a cat:
http://seattle.craigslist.org/
est/bik/463198760.html

bikesgonewild said...

...as always, the astute are visionaries...now searching skies & awaiting 'end of days' instructions...please inform...

Anonymous said...

The final sign for me was seeing the coming of the "Chinese Mooncycle" http://velospace.org/node/3823 If that isn't the end, I don't know what is!!! Can you imagine seeing hordes of these things weaving and wobbling down Broadway??? From lead painted toys, to tainted pet food, to the demise of the bicycle...

Anonymous said...

It's not the "end of times", it's "Sexytime"...http://velospace.org/node/5321

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:47- Wow! Mr. Garrison's "Infintymobile" has been brought to life! Just needs the phallic substitutes (wrapped in flesh toned top tube pads to prevent "chafing".
Great link.

Matthew said...

What the fuck is "vecro"? What, wouldn't velcro usa allow you to use their name? For shame bikesnob. I thought you had less respect for corporate intellectual property rights. For shame.

Bobby said...

thumbing through my current Bicycling Magazine...nice work BSNYC.

The interviewers questions were a bit "baiting" but you responded with perfect sarcasm.

Nice...

Uncle Bob said...

That utility belt thing? Maybe it's just me, but "rugged" just ain't the message I'm getting... Let's just say I suspect their lead-time on orders is down to Halloween revellers adding the final touch to their "Hardhat Guy from the Village People" costumes.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:43, I have to tell you, you're wrong. That art bike is fun and cool. It's not a tall bike that's slapped together haphazard, it's not a faux'd gear that's assembled for style, it's an art bike. It looks ridable too. Hell, I'd ride it! He/she chose reasonable parts (coaster brake over fixed) and the geometry isn't retarded. Nice work spiderbike yahoo!

This post though, makes me quake with fear. You get no thanks for posting this, and may Dog have mercy on your soul.

Cheers!

Matt in Seattle

seventythree said...

did anybody click on that 4th bike
the pink deep v/ nose pointing down/flipped mtb bar bike?

it gets worse.
he has what appears to be porn glued/shellaced
to the seat tube and seat stays.

bmx pedals

no front brake

and a 40 oz in front of the bike.

the end is near
the end is near

Polygraf said...

I'm afraid that i can't pass judgement on these bikes
until i see the riders.
I think many of you miss the point and relevancy in the importance of the rider and his/her style. I personally have been known to make what most would consider an ugly bike look good. I am goodlooking and graced with an unmistakable style and I can help anyone interested in fine tuning riding outfits and accessories.
Until then I remind everyone that simple things like gloves and good dental habits are sure ways to help any "Ugly" bike look good.

Anonymous said...

Self proclaimed Shit For Brains.
SFB for short?
I've no attraction to the dark side of singlespeeds other than style.

I checked out deconstructionist, and may try a few radical moves on my Cervelo Team Solosist. I could see riding a comfortable saddle, no lycra diapers feeling like i've 2 Kotex maxi's shoved up my ass.
I could easily downgrade my pedals. with nothing missing.Presently lollipops.

Would I still make 2mph between hugging the top rail, and hugging the lower flats? This bitch will make 2-3 mph in the flats wfo anytime I try, on top of what's easy.

Future experiment.Straight pedals,
same bars. Computer to tell the tale.

Nick B said...

HFS.

Why the sudden proliferation of cycling event names when describing bikes? Kilo? Pursuit? When was the last time you saw someone ride a pursuit with cut down mountain bike riser bars? I've ridden a kilo, and I assure you, the reflector-shod platform pedals aren't up to the task.

Speaking of pedals being up to the task, why the sudden proliferation of double toe straps on bikes whose pilots are likely wearing new Pumas?

That said, I love my fixed gear. Perfect for what God intended: hill climb time trials and long winter training rides in the country.

Anonymous said...

The Schizophrenic bike

http://fixedgeargallery.com/2007/oct/4/AlexOyola.htm

It's a townie... no it's a hipster!!

Anonymous said...

seventythree at 6.22

The shellaced porn is a great touch! Woulda been worth more points if it was gay or tranny though ;)

mander said...

False bikesnobs on the rise: another sure sign...

Anonymous said...

seventythree -

I think that pink and brown velospace bike is related to the Riddle. It's a Chris Ofili porn/dung tribute!

tinyurl.com/2peexz
tinyurl.com/2v48za

Clayton said...

buh. the fixed gear culture has reached alarming levels, too. i was out in greenpoint last night when i noticed about 5 sparkling pre-fab fixed gears. two fresh out of the box langster's, a capo, etc., all with carbon forks and chopped bars. their riders were in the bar. it looked as though they bought their "look" from the shelf adjacent their ride. or the link adjacent?

just last week at brunch i saw a young man with a tattoo reading on one arm "perpetual" and on the other "motion," complete with track cogs. the girl with him had a tattoo of what looked to be shiva dancing her eternal dance of destruction. a culturally appropriated horseman, perhaps?

Anonymous said...

I stopped into the big green box retailer to read the bicycling article. nice work snobby!

khs steel definitely a workman rig. hi-flange/deepV natch, girl jeans/trucker hat-check.

word

Mad about you said...

Flopped and chopped mountain bike bars are proliferating in Minneapolis, for some reason. A friend and I call it "the Paul Riser."

Mauricio Babilonia said...

The bike thieves here in MSN (I know, can you believe it? Bike thieves right here in "Sconsin!) have developed a discriminating taste for fixies, seemingly choosing them over equally available geared bikes.

Hmmmmm....perhaps the end is neigh.

Anonymous said...

Ugly or not, that DeRosa is a good sign. The more that other kinds of bikes appropriate fixed gear trappings, the less "distinctive" the whole fixie hipster thing will be. Maybe someday fixed gears can be just another widely ridden type of bike without suffering quite so much humiliation at the hands of their trendy & cliquish masters!

-Russ

Mischa said...

"The misspelled tshirt brakes my heart. Way to use the wrong word to fit your aesthetic."

Um, wait a minute...

Anonymous said...

ahem Paria is not the Italian translation of Pariah, it's the Italian way of spelling the word that in English is spelled Pariah - and they are both derived from the Tamil word Parayian.

You guys do realize that other languages are spoken around the world and has been for some time now. Language as such did not begin with English and then other people began translating it because they thought it would be cool to have a language as well.

What I'm getting at is that you should probably keep to the bikesnobbing.

F

and yes I usually speak and write one of those translated languages - hence the spelling and grammar fuckups

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 10/31 7:06pm,

Many thanks for the clarification and the etymology.

You will find few people who respect the world's many languages more than I do. And the pointiest end of my admiration is for people like you who can communicate so well in a language that isn't your first one.

Of course, in light of this, I ask you to consider the possibility that I chose to view the shirt in an ethnocentric manner in order to make what was essentially a cheap pun and that I was in fact being deliberately obtuse for comic effect.

Monolingually,

--BSNYC

Anonymous said...

How lame. BSNY cowers and backtracks like a charity-tour rider dropped into a cyclocross race ... very disappointing.

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