Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Fixedgeargallery...of charismatic velos.

Ultimately the popularity of fixed-gears should benefit the sport of track racing, right? Well, as a reader recently brought to my attention, maybe not. But one thing's for sure--fixed-gears these days are brimming with personality. Here are a few bikes that could be in a sitcom together:

This bike has the guilty bearing of someone who has managed to get a woman up to his apartment under the pretext of showing her his record collection. His guest should not get too comfortable though. As soon as he drops the needle on that first LP he'll be pawing at her with those yellow Ourys like he's a cat and her sweater is filled with catnip. The black and yellow color scheme is meant to evoke bees, but this fixed-gear freestyler is way more "smarm" than "swarm." I'm not sure when people are going to realize that riding a bike with chopped risers makes their elbows stick out in such a way that they look like peasant farmers urging on mules, but judging by the number of them I see every day it's not going to be any time soon. And it's going to take more than colored Velocitys and colored vinyl to keep this guest from leaving, because despite the "High Fidelity" charm once Rossin puts on the moves she'll be out of there faster than Cusack skiied the K-12 in "Better Off Dead."




This bike also made me think of "High Fidelity." Not the movie, but the unfortunate musical adaptation. In 30 years when annoying rich people are looking for early 21st century kitch to decorate their lofts with, they'll pay top dollar for something like this. This bike is to right now what lava lamps were to the 60s, disco balls were to the 70s, and rampant androgyny was to the 80s. I'm sure it's waiting by the door for its friends BMX and Nishiki Conversion to show up. Then they'll listen to some Def Leppard, throw on their top tube pads and hit the bars.


The owner says "your grandpa's gonna hate this bike," but unless he's a diabetic and can't eat sugar I don't see why this rolling confection would offend him. This would be an ideal steed to take on a trip to Candyland. Just put on your stripey riding kit, strap on your marshmallow helmet, lock it up to a giant candy cane with some licorice string, and frolick among the gumdrop hills, caramel lakes, and cotton candy houses that line Lollipop Lane. If you're lucky, you may even meet King Kandy himself. And hopefully when you get back to your bike it's not crawling with ants.



This bike, like so many others, makes me sad. Forlorn, it waits by a rusty mailbox for a message that never comes. Does it wait for news of a loved one? Is it expecting a new bottom bracket from Nashbar? Or is it so desperate for companionship that it's donned that strollopy leopard print halfshirt in an attempt to seduce passers-by with its bare midriff? Whatever it's doing, I don't see much hope. It's only a matter of time before it hits rock bottom, takes heed of the sign down the road, leaves its passed-out partner in the background, and is finally born again.

89 comments:

Anonymous said...

Candy striper is beautiful - first.

KP said...

Characters in a sitcom or a remake of the 1989 film The Dream Team starring Michael Keaton?

Anonymous said...

The Candyland bike - pure gold!!

Prolly said...

how do chopped risers make your elbows stick out anymore than chopped flats?

Anonymous said...

"Candy Striper" was a concept paint job meant to be in line with the old Japanese military rising sun flag (when the centre of the front wheel is in line with the centre of the flag).

This is why "your grandpa's gonna hate this bike", nor would it play well in China or Korea.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Prolly,

From what I'm seeing out there, people with chopped flats chop them way down and keep them low so they've got that hands-together-arms-straight thing going. The people I see with chopped risers often have a higher hand position (they are risers, after all) and combined with the greater sweep of the bars they get this hunched-shoulder elbows-out position happening.

--BSNYC

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 1:50pm,

Obviously that's quite clear from the FGG entry, but without a permanent backdrop it's way more Candyland than Land of the Rising Sun.

--BSNYC

Prolly said...

those must be some high risers.

Like ape-hangers or somethin

;)

Jim said...

I get a Steel City vibe from that Rossin, and I'm amazed it doesn't have a vintage Terrible Towel wrapped around its seatpost. If it could walk & talk, it would be fixin' a couple sammiches, cracking an Iron City Golden Lager open on its track forks, and telling this cute little Orbea Dama to sit tight while it digs out a limited edition Sister Sledge LP - "We are *family* baby... yeah!" That, or going on a disturbing, mouth foaming rant about the Edmonton Eskimos missing the playoffs after Sunday's pathetic performance.

I might have chosen differently with the rim color and bar style, but really love that bike anyhow...

Chazu said...

One thing has been missing from the comments on this blog lately. Namely, comments that go something like this;

"When I saw that bike, I threw up in my mouth a little bit."

One suite of comments a week or two ago had at least three variations on the theme. Come on people! Stop being so stingy with the regurgitation imagery. Today's posting is the perfect place to end the draught (of puke-related commentary).

Sean Lynch said...

I want my two dollars!

Anonymous said...

I guess no one else is bored with this...

"Hey, this hipster fixed bike is so silly crazy and reminds me of this...feel free to comment about how lame this all is"

It was great the first dozen times I suppose. Is it wrong to look for more interesting content?

Derisory Velo said...

"very comfortable saddle that my fixed-gear-pal dumpstered for me." -love it.
These bike descriptions hardly need any commentary at all, I wonder if people build bikes just to see if they will catch bikesnob's scornful eye?

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 2:15pm,

Nope, it's not wrong. If you're bored just skip the fixegeargallery posts. If you're still bored, well, thanks for stopping by.

--BSNYC

sh said...

Just put on your stripey riding kit, strap on your marshmallow helmet, lock it up to a giant candy cane with some licorice string, and frolick among the gumdrop hills, caramel lakes, and cotton candy houses that line Lollipop Lane.

ja, that was good, really good.
i am laughing and laughing....

anonymous at 1:50: Please don't defend the indefensible. It hurts us.
We are unmoved by high concepts when blinded by saccharine stripes.

Jim said...

Chazu, when I read your comment, I vomitted in my mouth.

n8 said...

"flopped and chopped road bars" are listed as "notable parts" on the mail box bike. Noted.

I guess it could be note worthy because he HAS bar ends and bar tape on those sweet FC's.

Anonymous said...

I got into fixed gears because I was really attracted to the simplicity--one gear, no brakes. It's all about stripping off the unnecesary items. In keeping with this trend, I just bought myself a
kickbike.

Freakin' awesome. Totally streamlined. Classic look.
But no place for a top tube...

Anonymous said...

...cover

Pastor Don Manning said...

An aside...
I always thought wading through Sheldon Brown's hordes of useful information took too long. For some people, your first conversion can't wait. Check out this simplified guide to death. Fix the Streets.

(P.S. This was an ad in the Google Ads section of this blog.)

Unregistered Coward said...

Pastor:

Fix The Streets makes it so easy

"If the existing bottom bracket isn’t a common English threaded square taper or if the bottom bracket is in poor shape, you may need to replace it along with the cranks."

I mean, how much simpler does it get?

Chazu said...

Thanks Jim. I feel better now.

Anonymous said...

Sweet. I'm going to ride a kick bike for cross this year.

Scott said...

"I now have a fixie that represents everything my Grandpa hates."

So it's cool to hate on WWII now? Finally! I can break out all of my FDR cripple jokes!

Joe said...

" they'll listen to some Def Leppard, thow on their top tube pads and hit the bars."

you mean "throw" right? its a small point. keep blogging.

joe

BikeSnobNYC said...

Joe,

Thanks. Proofreading is not one of my strong points.

--BSNYC

Chazu said...

"Finally! I can break out all of my FDR cripple jokes!"

Let me know when you're finished with that; then I will roll out my Bataan Death March comedy routine. Hilarious. Even funnier because it is directly related to the Rising Sun motif on that bike. Yep, Grandpa hates it all right.

dan said...

wait till you guys see my swastika bike

KP said...

Dan, don't you mean your Third Beich?

Enhancement Smoker said...

Maybe the kid with the black and yellow bike is a huge Stryper fan...I mean, he DOES have a lot of records back there...surely a few of them are Stryper's tastier classics?

bikesgonewild said...

...bikesnob, perhaps i should apologize up front but these bikes n' yer comments kinda bring 'beatles' songs to mind...

...black n' yellow 'rossin' is sorta "magical mystery tour"-ish...all slick n' bubbly, in it's bold n' basic colors n' equipment...he's sayin' " baby,it's you" & she's sayin' "everybody's trying to be my baby"...he's really just lookin' for that "day tripper"...

...pink bike is lava lampish & disco ballish, all in a "sgt. pepper's lonely hearts club band" kinda way...reaching out in the middle of all the garish hoopla, sayin' won't somebody "please, please me" & then "love, love me do"...

...red n' white parfait bike a definite "strawberry fields forever " ride...on the way to 'candyland', well gosh, 'lollipop lane' is only a few licks away...another "savoy truffle" anyone ???...

...lastly & sadly, "all things must pass" comes to mind...this poor thing sez so much in it's forlorn silence..."help"..."it's been a hard day's night"..."don't pass me by"...
...personally, i just wanna reach out & say "komm, gib mir deine hand"-or handlebar... "all you need is love" baby...that n' a new rattlecan paint job...

...of course, none a these bitches would make it on "the long & winding road"...

todd said...

what i love about the candyland bike is that whoever built it is hell bent on making it stand for everything his grandfather hates.

i just got the best visual ever of that kid reenacting pearl harbor by doing skids in front of the old folks home dressed as a japanese pilot.

really, did grandpa 'get your nose' so many times the only appropriate vengeance is to constantly remind him of december 7th, 1941?

crjames said...

i hope that the sperm rims make the cut next time. even though it was one of today's gems, you shoulda been all..."THIS JUST IN...". you know, and then blown our minds.

Uncle Bob said...

I was browsing down the "Wasp Bike" gallery entry thinking "This ain't so bad... I mean OK, the bars look stupid (like putting rubber reindeer antlers on a greyhound), and the un-lubed chain is offensive (but at least it's not a stupid colour), but... And then the shot of his tattooed ankles really made me upchuck on my keyboard.

Probably what'd really piss Grandpa off is that he and his mates fought and died, or came home with bits missing, or with a tendency to jerk awake grabbing for the spade-triggers of their fifty-calibre every time some rice-burner with a soup-can exhaust blasts past the old-folks home, to make the world safe so's some toe-rag grandson could make a lame joke that only makes sense when his bike is carefully posed in front of his condo wall... perched on a cardboard box, and a spray-can lid.

Anonymous said...

bikesgonewild:

jesus dude, you don't have to type ellipsis while you think between words. you can just take your hands off the keyboard and coast.

unless you're on one of them new fixie keyboards.

Jim said...

Todd, Uncle Bob, What the fuck are you talking about? The chinaman is not the issue here. I'm talking about drawing a line in the sand, Dude. Across this line, you DO NOT...

Todd, Uncle Bob, this is not Nam. There are rules...

bikesgonewild said...

...good visual analogy, uncle bob..."like putting rubber reindeer antlers on a greyhound"...appropriate...

...thought the purpose of the 'rising sun fuji' w/ wall mural backdrop, was to deter thieves..."dudes gone, but i guess he took his bike"..."what's over there ?"..."nothin', just a big pitchure of a german flag er somethin' n' a box n' a spray can lid....that's it"..."dude, lets scoot"...

bikesgonewild said...

...anon 7:41pm...if you mean all these little period dot thingys, i just like to use 'em up...guy who sold me the 'puter threw in free 'xtra dots...
...waiting to meet a chick w/ extra dashes- - -open a semaphore school n' cash in...
...believe me, i'm a single speed type-r w/ a slipped cog but keyboard not fixed...
...& don't call me jesus, dude...that's fer guys w/ REAL problems...

marlo said...

Heh, BSNYC has graduated to trolls. Be proud, man. You've reached the next level of internet celebrity.

Those fuckers who skidded on that velodrome are... fuckers.

marlo said...

p.s. Chazu, I'm curious how the Japanese rising sun flag is related to the Bataan death march. I didn't know that. I enjoy learning.

Anonymous said...

Jim @ 7:46,

Oh, and Dude, the prefered nomenclature is Asian American.

Walter, these guys didn't come here to build the railroads. They pissed on my rug!

Jeffro

Anonymous said...

Total Retard!! that's what you call people who ride bikes without brakes...those who ride fixed gear track bikes w/o brakes anywhere but the track are the equivalent of Retards with frontal lobotomy!

Derisory Velo said...

Comments tend to become much more exciting after the 30-mark; that's when the magic happens, when people really start to get heated over a myriad of topics ranging from cycling posture to international warfare. We cyclists are truly a strange breed, stay rockin' people.

Scott said...

Marlo,

The rising sun flag there is the Japanese military flag. It's symbolic of everything their empire did. It was for that flag that they invaded most of Asia, "Japanified" Korea, bombed Pearl Harbor, tortured and killed thousands of prisoners (this includes the Bataan Death March), and committed a large variety of other atrocities.

The Rising Sun is basically the Swastika, it's just that Americans aren't particularly familiar with the Pacific Theatre.

My previous comment was a jest intended to point out that making fun of his Grandpa for serving in WWII makes this guy one of the biggest douches on the planet.

Anonymous said...

It's a sidewalk, not a sidebike. Next time one of these fixie retards side swipes me when I am walking down the sidewalk - just so they can showcase their ability to do a trackstand before the signals changes, I am going to reach down and grab the laminated spoke card in their wheel and slit their throat.

leroy said...

That red & white stripe bike seems to have touched some nerves.

But shucks, the candy cane motif just makes me think of Christmas.

All we need to do to that picture is photoshop in a couple of elves, a few handfuls of tinsel, a snowman and some shiny ornaments and everybody here would be waxing bout being 9 years old and finding their first Huffy under the Christmas tree, Chanukah bush or Festivus pole.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Leroy,

Yes! Festivus for the rest of us!

--BSNYC

Scott said...

Leroy,

I agree with the message of peace and love. I think I want a candy cane right now.

What pisses me off about the rising sun bike isn't so much that it uses the flag motif (which, admittedly, is kind of cool). It's the whole "this will piss off my Grandpa" remark that's irksome. The whole thing is an exercise in being so "I'm so punx you can't tell me what to do" that he mocks something (in this case, dedicated sacrifice to preserve his way of life) that just shouldn't be mocked. The little shit just has no respect for anything, and thus should get no respect himself.

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Grammar Police said...

Derisory Velo,

I know I'm being picky here, but the misuse of "myriad" pisses me off. The word translates to "a lot of." Therefore, don't put the "a" before it and the "of" after it. You're actually saying: "a a lot of of..." Just say: "...when people really start to get heated over myriad topics..."

- Grammar Police

Anonymous said...

YOU'RE OUT OF YOUR ELEMENT, SCOTT..

t

Leah said...

grammar police:

Usage Note: Throughout most of its history in English myriad was used as a noun, as in a myriad of men. In the 19th century it began to be used in poetry as an adjective, as in myriad men. Both usages in English are acceptable, as in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "Myriad myriads of lives." This poetic, adjectival use became so well entrenched generally that many people came to consider it as the only correct use. In fact, both uses in English are parallel with those of the original ancient Greek. The Greek word mūrias, from which myriad derives, could be used as either a noun or an adjective, but the noun mūrias was used in general prose and in mathematics while the adjective mūrias was used only in poetry.

um, you're wrong.

Anonymous said...

That last bike made me poop a little bit.

Chazu said...

Marlo,

Scott covered the basics. Japan is still apologizing for war crimes committed under that flag.

One thing the Japanese did under that flag was to cut off the genitals of American service men, stuff their severed genitals into their mouths, and then behead the men. They then arranged the severed heads in a way to generate as much shock value as possible when the corpses were discovered by their colleagues.

It happened a lot. If you're still in learning mode, look into it further on your own. Check out this link: http://www.kimsoft.com/kr-japan.htm

Yes, my Grandfather *really* despised the Japanese flag in all of its forms. I don't blame him, but I don't begrudge my Japanese contemporaries either.

Anonymous said...

what's up with top tube protectors on bikes with MTB bars or bullhorns? don't people realize what this little item is really for?

Anonymous said...

I've got your candy cane bike right here.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Chazu,

This may very well be the first time anybody has mentioned severed-genital mouth-stuffing on a cycling blog.

--BSNYC

Chazu said...

BSNYC,

I thought twice about it... but Marlo sincerely asked for some details.

Grandpa was in the US Navy during WWII, so I basically feel obligated to speak for him and his peers.

It is definitely time to change the subject!

Anonymous said...

When I first saw the candy cane bike it reminded me of a lighthouse.

lhc said...

Grammar Police, you need to check your grammar. Or your dictionary (since its a vocabulary lesson you need, not a grammar lesson).
A quick glance at webster.com reveals that the noun form (as in "a myriad") is actually OLDER than the adjective, and is perfectly legitimate.

Heres a rule that will help you: people who correct other people's language usage are usually wrong.

Anonymous said...

bikesnob. We know who you are....

Todd said...

Saw this comment elsewhere recently (from the VO blog), thought it fit in nicely here. Regarding urban bikes being in vogue:

"The trend shouldn't be a suprise... it's a backlash against the egotistical and spendthrift idiotic trends in cycling.

Give bikes back to the people. Let them be pieces of pride, not symbols of showman consumerism.

I think not making fun of the hipster on the track bike is the new making fun of the hipster on the track bike."

rob said...

something i did finally made it into the bike snob blog.
the pink bike is ugly, but it was cheap because no on in their right mind would want a pink bike!
wish you would have actually had something witty to say about it other than it being a hipster bike. while i'm quite a few leaps and bounds from a hipster, it is satisfying to know my bike is identified as one!

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