This bike reaches a level of customization you don't see too often. Equipment-wise, it's pretty conservative--like most fixed-gears set up for road riding it's missing 100% of its brakes and 60% of its handlebars. It does have a cyclocross tire on the front and a road tire on the back, though, which make it a rolling mullet. But what's really impressive about this bike is the graphics. It looks like H.R. Giger threw up on it.
But there's more to folk art than simply expressing your aesthetic tastes. A true piece of folk art teaches the observer about your worldview. This GT-B is a rolling tribute to the straight-edge lifestyle. If you don't know what straight-edge is, it's for people who like the aggression of punk but still aren't ready to give up their Nikes or their nylon workout pants. As you travel down the road of alternative culture, it forks on the way to self-righteousness: going left leads to veganism, and going right leads to straight-edge. If you still like to watch football, you go right. So while this fixed-gear freestyler may seem like the type of bike you'd see in front of the local dive bar while its owner drinks cheap canned beer, you're actually much more likely to see it locked up outside of GNC while its owner picks up another three pound jar of whey protein powder. And the GT-B is a perfect choice for a straight-edge bike: it's wearing padding and that stiff aluminum frame's ready to beat you up.
We've seen style and we've seen statement. But we haven't seen fabrication--until now. The owner's playful intent in creating what is esentially a Hetchins parody bike does not elude me, nor does the impressive amount of work he's put into making it. At the same time, though, I feel that when a fixed-gear bicycle sports what are essentially fake lugs, some Rubicon of hot, bubbling Velveeta has been forded. Much like the custom motorcycle and auto world, bicycle companies watch what the custom builders are doing, identify trends, and then package those trends. As bad as spinning rims are, spinning hub caps are a thousand times worse. As ugly as custom motorycle paint jobs can be, they're infinitely more tasteful than adhesive graphics kits. Similarly, the existence of this bicycle means that we are one step closer to seeing pre-packaged cosmetic lugs with adhesive backings available from Performance and Nashbar. Let's face it--customizing your bicycle may be American, but putting a fake lug on it is a merkin.