Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Fixedgeargallery...of dogged determination.

Every once in awhile, amid the shoddy conversions and fixed-gear freestylers, you see something on Fixedgeargallery that is truly inspirational. This is one such bike:

This bike literally brings tears to my eyes. Not because it's ugly--and oh yes, it is ugly--but because it refuses to take "no" for an answer. They said that because of its vertical dropouts it would never know the joys of being a fixed-gear. It does. They said that because it was designed for 26" wheels it could never accommodate 700c rims. It can. They said that the aero brake levers wouldn't pull the right amount of cable to work with v-brakes. They do. This bike is the rolling embodiment of the American way. It is about making the impossible possible. It is about the indomitability of the cycling spirit. And most of all, it is about having more adapters than actual components. Even the bike stand is jury-rigged--instead of a single soda can, the bike's leaning on two of those mini-cans. Amazing. This bicycle should travel the country, giving inspirational talks in classrooms. Any one of us who has ever passed over or sold a frame due to an apparent lack of compatibility should hang our heads in shame. This bike was given lemons. But it didn't make lemonade. Somehow, it actually made bananas. This is why I'm proud to award this bike the BSNYC Kludge of the Year Award. Congratulations, and ride with pride.

(The coveted "Kludgie.")


taliah said...

Beautiful. I'm inspired.

Anonymous said...

dood. Green Jersey.
i've never done that before, and will never do it again..
Nice Kludgie... and what a bike, the bike that wouldn't take no for an answer...

Anonymous said...

Fuck, you beat me to it... And my hands were in the air claiming the sprint!!! and my heads hangs low in double down shame...

Art said...

700x38 is effectively a 29er? I'm surprised he didn't try to jump on the latest 650b bandwagon, since that's what it's closer to. The only thing that bike is missing is an undersized seat post shimmed with a PBR can.

Anonymous said...

Both you yahoos got beat by Taliah, for shame....

I have to agree with Taliah, this really is a bike that inspires. Anyone who would put the amount of thought this bike needed really wants to get out there and ride it. Did anyone notice that he built his own wheels? I haven't seen that for time uncounted on the FGF.

Come on Art, that bike is almost a work of you, give the thing its due.

I'd ride it.


Matt in Seattle

Anonymous said...

you guys are lucky I was on my cool down and not posting first was by choice and I'm not racing you today

n8 said...

I have not been this inspiried by FGG since "The Riddle".

Anonymous said...

Pretty cool.

Really jammed that wheel under the shock stiffener.

theHat said...

The Only thing that could make this bike "better" would be a Huffy frame with a bb adapter.

I love the 2 mini cans!!

Anonymous said...

the 52t bashguard is a nice touch for log crossings

or is there enough play in that ENO to add some links and go 52x16? ya know for the DH runs?

turbodrunk said...

To me the 2 CANS just add to the CAN do spirit!

Wow! I'm done.

Unregistered Coward said...

The Kludgie Award would be more appropriate if the stem was upside down, you know, for the cool-beans track bike drop look.

Jim said...

What, no picture to tell us what the bike reminds you of?

Here, try this one on for size.

mr.complaint said...

That makes this a hardtailedfrontschockflopNchop sevenhundredtotwentyniner singletripleniteriding largeplatformedmicsheadset twocannedkickstandspinningfixie.

Kudos for spinning a 61".

Anonymous said...

ameriCAN not ameriCAN'T...i agree, true inspiration (not mention i have a garage full of similarly bastard creations all of which i love, ride and cherish). additionally, i want a kludgie!

Scott said...


It's not actually a flop 'n chop because he's got real bullhorns on there.

To everyone: there are actually bars made like this to factory spec. Not all "bullhorn" (otherwise known as TT or pursuit) bars are flop 'n chops. The butchering of the nomenclature has got to stop.

Aaron M said...

art: 29'er bikes use 700c rims.

If you ask me, that front brake kludge is the most exciting thing on it.

Anonymous said...


Ralphy said...

"This bike was given lemons. But it didn't make lemonade. Somehow, it actually made bananas."

And this comment made my day. Cheers.

Art said...

aaron: I get the 700c rims, but 700x38 isn't much closer to being considered a 29'er than the average cyclocross bike. It is, however, almost exactly 27.5". If you're going to call a bike something it's not, at least be creative.

Anonymous said...

I totally forgot to compare this bike to The Riddle. It was in my mind, really! I was thinking about the possibility this guy put more time into thinking about how to build this bike than the 'year sabbatical' guy with The Riddle. It's definately more unique, gotta give it that.


Matt in Seattle

Sean Lynch said...


You got that right. This guy put more thought into this bike than the Riddle guy.

I think 'thought' and the riddle guy are two subjects that have never been properly introduced regardless of the amount time spent on sabatical.

Anonymous said...

The only issue I have with this bike is that the money he spent on the brake-mount adapters, the v-brake adaptErs, and the ENO hub...he probably could've bought a used Surly Cross-Check frame with that cash instead, and then he wouldn't have needed all those hacks. But still, it's an awesome ride, and no top-tube pad either!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have a tissue? That bike brought tears to my eyes. The Little Engine that Could!!

sh said...

It's true, this guy obviously spent more time on customization than our man of the The Riddle (and really, customization speaks so much louder than words), but i think we can all agree that the dissertation for the Riddle remains entirely unparalleled.

The double can stand though...damn, that's wicked!

thehat said...

I just clicked on the link to FGG and noticed the cross levers.

This guy has 4 brake levers, and when so many fixed gears have none!

Thats truly American.

Derisory Velo said...

"The only thing that bike is missing is an undersized seat post shimmed with a PBR can"
-I must say this bike and a beer I generally associate with post ride drinking and punk rock shows don't really mesh; something more in line with a can of Yoo-hoo seems more appropriate. No hate intended- big up's to the kid for his resourcefulness.

Dirt Monkey said...

Admittedly this guy has nothing on me, but this sweety is my daily ride. Single speed 69'er (I beat Gary to it!) w/ a front v-brake and adapter, rear cantilever, ghetto r derailluer chain tensioner and oh yes, upside down mustache bars. Enjoy!


bikesgonewild said...

...i propose a toast, to a man who knew what he wanted in a bike, built it & is happy to ride it...

...oh, damn, i'm outa mini-cans, i'll hafta toast ya later...

John said...

This bike seems fine for the kind of rough riding he does. It's very utilitarian and utterly devoid of the vanity you often see on FGG.

And yeah, the kludges do sound expensive. I'd imagine that for that money he could have just bought a Surly Karate Monkey frame and gotten the same results. But maybe the Trek is his baby and he's attached to it, and tinkering is a good thing.

mr.complaint said...


Flopnchop is such a fun word to say. So is Yabbadabbadoo and Puff N' Toot. Bullhorns is pretty good too. Bullhorns are what the infamous Gorilla bicycle was made for and should have had. A Bullhorned Gorilla would be pretty bad-assed for a Funny Bike.

Piece out.

Rubber Butts said...

PUFF n' TOOT!!!!!!!!

AHHHHH that was fun.

Thank you!

Fast Commute said...

That bike reminds of the song St Elmos fire. So inspirational.


The Great White Hype said...

Props to the guy for the adaptation. The word kludge does not apply neccessarily to this bike, as a kludge is 'a clumsy or inelegant solution' (wikipedia). Those arent ugly, they're actually kinda thought out and presentable. Aside from that, I thought 700 wheels were closer to 27", no? I dont have a 29er road bike, after all.

Oh, can someone explain the guy with the Bianchi has wrapped the seat tube in electrical tape, while proudly displaying the Bianchi name on the down tube? I thought part of it was to disguise the name to prevent theft, or am I just riding the wrong way down a one way street?


Jay Parkhill said...

I just found your blog recently and it my new favorite thing on the internet, bar none. Consistently laugh-out-loud trenchant and spot-on commentary.

I think a proper kludgie should include a 1.5" - 1" adapter as well, but I like the spirit of it.

John said...

700C = 29er = 622mm
27" = 630mm

I hate the term "29er." So unnecessary. Why not just say 700C?

And I nominate this guy for a Kludgie:

Chris King Bottom Bracket!

Uncle Bob said...

Actually, it's the suspension fork that totally screws up the look of the thing, It's like wearing hiking boots with evening dress. Oh, and he ought to clean up that outer chainring/bash-guard/flesh-ripper. Never mind a chainring tattoo, that thing could really leave a mark!

mander said...

Bananas... Loooooooooolz

Johnny Nemo said...

I LOVE IT.!!!!!!!! It says a big, "UP YOURS" to every tech-nerd, psuedo-mechanic who ever, boringly, debated the specs(as if we care and as this bike proves, it doesn't matter) of bike parts on every bike forum anywhere!
You rule - Ride it with Pride!!!

Anonymous said...

it makes me sad how other people who read your blog will carry on with the bikesnobbery in lieu of friendlieness in the cycling community, but I must admit you are consistently a funny guy.

but please, we don't need any more bike snobs in the world. we need unity among the bike people regardless of what or how they ride.

Anonymous said...

Last week i couldn't even spell nomenclature and now i are one!

Woot, first + 40!!

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 9:12pm,

Thanks for the compliment. I think most posters here are united in their appreciation for the Kludgie winner and its spirited refusal to bend to the rules of fashion and compatibility.


Jared said...

Consarn all those posters who complain about negativity on this blog. It's not like anyone actually cinzanoed the guy. I'll take disrespect online and respect on the road over the opposite any day.

Anonymous said...

this bike belongs to the little hipster that could...

the mini pop cans reek of class and those upturned bullhorns look like the horns of an actual bull...

fantastic find...

Anonymous said...

wait, who was first?

JackH said...

That bike is like a dog that can walk on its hind legs. It's notable not by the fact it can do it well, but by the fact that it does it at all.

This bike should be called 'Petey' after the 'retarded trombone playing' scene in American Pie 2.

"Way to go Petey!"

Rob said...

"This bike was given lemons. But it didn't make lemonade. Somehow, it actually made bananas."

Damn, you mademe shoot cereal out through my nose.

Anonymous said...

I love this bike, because it embodies the enthusiasm of somebody who just figured out that with a few tools and tutorials from the Internet, they can actually sit down and modify a bike they love into exactly what they want it to be. (Rather than walk into a shop, get ignored for half an hour, then hit with a massive eye roll when he describes what he wants his new bike to do.) I see lots of bikes like this around town, with wierd wheels, wierder bar/brake lever configurations, weird lighting setups, gun racks (Montana, what can I say...), trailers of every conceivable configuration. In fact, the heavily modded bikes like this are the ones that get ridden the most here, while the hipster fixies mostly get parked outside trendy coffee shops and breweries.

I love the kludgie! It is beautiful in its simplicity, but should a more Kludgie-worth bike show up, I'd suggest a higher level Kludgie, consisting of a 1" to 1.5" threadless adapter, followed by a stem extension, attached to an adjustable stem angled all the way down, attached to riser bars.

Anonymous said...

hey...i have a trek 930 frame in my garage too! hmmmm

Anonymous said...


I nominate the above for a double kludge...

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Anonymous said...

I've personally had the pleasure of hefting this bike off of the ground and let me tell you, you can't actually appreciate it fully until you do so. I pity the poor squirrel that freezes in fear while in the path of this monster. Extra style points for this build not leaving a single part in the parts bin!

Sweet Lowdown said...

"the little hipster that could"

This makes me laugh so hard... because that's my daddy's bike! I've been there through all its incarnations (including the XtraCycle), and this is my favorite by far... yeah, my dad's cooler than your dad.

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