(Sold for over $800--to Ronald McDonald.)
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Nuzzling what appears to be a covered luxury car of some kind, this bike looks like a pastel-clad investment banker leaning against the mantel at a country club. Just another bauble for someone with a house full of mirror-polished toys that nobody else is allowed to touch. "Oh, this old thing? Why, that's just my rain bike." I wonder if after rainy rides, as the owner rolls into the garage, he is greeted by a fleet of footmen, three of whom immediately begin cleaning the bicycle, two of whom strip the rider from his kit and dry and powder him, and one of whom lifts the cover from a silver charger laden with post-ride chèvre and grapes or pepper-crusted yellowfin tuna. "Recovery canapées, sir?" Exhibiting a precious bicycle like this on Fixedgeargallery is like being 50 and drag-racing high school students in your Porsche, or like putting the moves your son's hot girlfriend. And coming across a picture like this is about as pleasurable as coming home from a day in coal mine and finding a postcard from your rich friend in on a cycling holiday in Tuscany.
Messr. Serotta should hire this Nishiki to caddy for him--it's the Danny Noonan to his Judge Smails:
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
On a recent commute, I was waiting at a red light (I do occasionally stop for them) and was joined by three other commuters. As the light changed we passed somebody who, upon seeing four bikes together (my word!), asked loudly in an irritated tone: “What is there, a marathon today?”
Such moments hurt my brain so badly that it’s almost enough to make me stop riding. (Well, not really.)
But I do think that each and every one of us has our own personal breaking point at which we’d give up cycling. I’m not talking about injuries or anything like that. I’m talking about having to put up with something so inconvenient, awkward, or embarrassing that it would be enough to drive you to something else. And I think this breaking point is different for each of us.
While we all like to think we're above caring about how we look or what we ride, we're also conveniently never required to put ourselves to the test. Following are some scenarios to contemplate. Read each one, suspend your disbelief, and ask yourself, “Would I still ride?” Be honest with yourself—nobody else has to know. Some of these scenarios aren’t so bad (in fact, many may already be riding this way), and some are, objectively speaking, awful. So read on and discover your limit.
Would you still ride if:
You can only ride on pavement.
You can only ride offroad.
You can only ride in USA Cycling-sanctioned races. That’s it: no commuting, no training (indoor or outdoor), no recreational rides of any kind.
You can only ride in charity rides. (Shortest route only where distance is optional.)
You cannot change any item on your bicycle (including inner tubes, though they may be patched) for two years.
You only have three choices of jersey (all XXL): a maillot jaune, a Mapei jersey, or this jersey from Primal Wear:
You can only ride tubulars. (Yes, even on your mountain bike. 650s and Dugasts allowed.)
You can only ride a full downhill rig with 25mm slicks (regardless of terrain).
You can only ride one of those trials bikes with no seat.
You can only ride a beach cruiser with speedplays and full CSC team kit.
You can never wear a helmet.
You must always wear a helmet, but it has to be a replica of the one Greg LeMond wore in the Champs-Elysees time trial in the ’89 Tour de France, and it has to be the wrong size.
You can only ride in flip-flops on flat pedals with no foot retention system of any kind.
You can only ride a fixed-gear bicycle with no brake and a 14x50 gear.
You can only ride the above with flat pedals, pennyloafers, and no foot retention system of any kind.
You can only ride a keirin bike that has been modified to run disc brakes and a singlespeed freewheel. Otherwise the bike must be entirely NJS.
You can only ride against traffic (including criteriums, road- or off-road races, or in velodromes)
You can only ride one of Sheldon Brown’s wacky bikes
You can only ride a tandem.
You can only pilot a tandem with Sheldon Brown as your stoker.
You can only pilot a tandem with Sheldon Brown as your stoker and reading aloud from seminal works of science fiction through a megaphone.
You must ride a different bike each day. That bicycle will be the first bike that randomly comes up when you log on to velospace each morning. (Right now it happens to be, unbelievably, a dual-suspension Schwinn Homegrown)
The same as above, but instead you must ride the first complete bike that comes up on eBay when you search for “road bike” and select “ending soonest.” (Right now it happens to be a 58cm carbon Felt road bike with Dura Ace. But tomorrow’s another day.)
You can only ride a Rivendell with a 3’x5’ billboard affixed to it that bears a photo of Grant Peterson and the words, “Your handlebars should be higher than your saddle!”
You can ride any bicycle you want, provided it is equipped with a dynamo hub powering a phonograph that plays old Edith Piaf records. (This should be particularly amusing in a cyclocross race.)
And the ultimate test for those of you still standing: you must ride a recumbent.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Reply to: [deleted]
Date: 2007-07-24, 1:29PM EDT
--dabikejack--Vintage Peugeot Road Conversion - $350 (East Village) [original URL: http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/bik/381111244.html]
Reply to: see below
If you’re like most business owners, you’re thinking, “Gee, I’d really like to spend the money to sponsor a local racing team despite the fact that it will offer me no meaningful exposure or return on my investment. But my company’s logo and/or color scheme is just too darn ugly to expect anybody to wear it!”
Wrong on both counts!
Firstly, you don’t need to spend any “money” to sponsor a local road team. You see, for road cyclists, wearing your company’s logo on their kits (whether your company is the Discovery Channel or the local urologist’s office) is in and of itself a status symbol. You don’t have to actually pay the riders to wear the logo. Just offer something—anything—in return so they can justify it to themselves. 10% off on a urinalysis should do it.
Secondly, if you think your logo is too ugly, think again! These people want to look like professionals. Have you ever seen a pro road kit? Those things will make you go cross-eyed. And amateurs will do whatever pros do. Whether it’s spending $2,000 to ride the same wheels as this year’s Giro winner, injecting their own dog’s blood, or wearing a uniform that’s still completely visible after you’ve closed your eyes, these people will do it. (And that includes emblazoning your logo across their asses. Just imagine your urology clinic’s name on an amateur cyclist’s posterior. You’ll be up to your vas deferens in customers!)
(Yikes! They'll wear it though...a urologist's dream team.)
The urban fixed-gear scene is growing faster than any segment of the cycling population. As such, it is a potential sponsorship goldmine. Imagine an army of billboards, criss-crossing the trendiest neighborhoods in America at nearly walking speed and parading themselves in front of the most coveted marketing demographic in existence.
“But why would these soldiers on the hemmoraging edge of chic want to wear my stodgy logo?,” you may ask. Well, because they need money. When you’re a freelancer riding a brakeless $2,500 keirin bicycle with no health insurance living in one of America’s most expensive cities, you need cash for bike upgrades.
And as the canvases on which these riders express their uniquely individualistic urge to ride what everyone else is riding, these bicycles are ideally suited to carrying advertisements. Imagine a top-tube pad printed to look like a hero with the logo: “Subway. Eat Fresh!” Or a 40mm Deep-V rim covered with the URLs of soon-to-be released blockbuster films. Or an Aerospoke custom-painted to look like a Pizza Hut stuffed-crust pie.
Given many of these riders’ propensity for doing trackstands and lazy figure-eights in front of trendy clothing boutiques, restaurants, and bars, your sponsorship money will double itself overnight. Not to mention provide many a needy 20-something with gold-anodized handlebars.
Many advertisers are too quick to dismiss the effectiveness of the “it’s so hideous I can’t look away” ad placement. Now, that’s not to say you should set up a sandwich board at the scene of a grizzly auto accident, or advertise in some repulsive periodical like “Boil Lancing Monthly” or “Bicycling.” But it does mean you should occasionally think outside the bento-box when it comes to marketing.
Which is where triathletes come in. While nobody likes to see a middle-aged investment banker in a crop-top and a pair of shorts he got from an old “Laugh In” go-go dancer riding a time trial bike with a lunchbox on the top tube and a straw sticking out of the handlebars, as humans inexorably drawn to gaping at the horrific we often cannot look away. And while these riders tend towards clothing so immodest that it makes road cyclists look like professional golfers, their pointy aero helmets and disc wheels offer sizeable surfaces on which to plaster your message. If you dare. (Note: PSAs and charity advertisements work best here. Visual horrors tend to put people in a repentant frame of mind.)
(This will scare your ass into making a donation.)
I hope this has helped you to reach a decision. We look forward to cashing your checks.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Between what I've seen online and what I've seen on the streets, the old Peugeot is probably the single most commonly converted bike out there. This one, with the requisite bullhorns and Brooks saddle, has little to distinguish it from the herd. Except perhaps the color-coordinated water bottle.
This bike is ugly enough to have been an extra in "Beetlejuice."
Naked risers. No grips, no brake levers, no clips on the pedals. A solid entry indeed. (Bonus points for matching the bike to the patio furniture.)
Proudly, the bull elk surveys his territory, his mighty antlers sending a clarion call to the rest of the males: "This pond is mine."
Unrideable Geometry Competition
Hellbent for Leather Competition
This bike is more of a cowboy's mount. I can see the owner riding it in a Stetson and urging it along by gently swatting its rump with a lariat. Maybe he'd occasionally rope a BMX or something. And with Bicycle Polo an apparent hit, could Bicycle Rodeo be far off? Still, it's not quite as evocative as the Bob Jackson.
Best Cheap Tart Competition
Friday, July 20, 2007
This bike screams "Molly Ringwald" all the way. Same color scheme, same time period, same dowdy accessories and same awkward stance.
"Let's Get Physical"
With its careful color coordination, trendy "hardcore" accessories, skater aesthetic, and diminutive stance, this bike could be any one of the members of fake punk band Good Charlotte. (Or Blink 182, or Sum 41, or...)
When I stumbled upon this picture on Fixedgeargallery it chilled me to the bone. A lonely bike in shadow on a muddy river bank. Something terrible is about to happen. I sense a couple of rusty old Schwinns missing some spokes lurking in the trees. This bike is definitely the Jon Voight character, though. If it were Burt Reynolds it would have a top-tube pad.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Reply to: [deleted]
Anyway, nobody of any height will like your bicycle. $200?!? Your picture of that bike is worth more than the actual bike. That is not a singlespeed—it’s a piece of crap that’s missing its derailleurs. Please move it so I can have an unspoiled view of that brick wall, which is infintely more attractive.
Reply to: [deleted]
Boutique MTB crankset - Curve - $50 [original URL: http://newyork.craigslist.org/brk/bik/377132735.html]
Reply to: [deleted]
Date: 2007-07-19, 12:07AM EDT
Curve 175mm 94BCD 5-arm mtb crankset. Kept as a spare, pretty much brand new. Crank arms only. I dare you to find another pair. $50
For $15 more, I can add a brand new Ritchey 42t ring + singlespeed crank bolts and make it a singlespeed crankset.
You dare me? How dare you! And you know what? I'm immature enough to take a dare so I did a little searching online. You're right, I couldn't find anything. But that's not a selling point. Rare and "boutique" are not smart choices when it comes to MTB cranks. And sometimes things are hard to find for a reason. If they are truly desireable collectibles take them to eBay.
When confronted with something like the above (sent to me by Stevil Knievel of Howtoavoidthebummerlife, who seems to know exactly how to push my buttons), we often can't help feeling angry and offended. And of course maybe it's not a trendy track bike that does it for you. Maybe it's an ultralight road bike straight from the pages of Bicycling buckling under an overweight guy in a full CSC kit, or a freeride bike with more travel than JFK airport on Thanksgiving being piloted on pavement by a guy in full body armor. Whatever. You can't help it. You get angry.
But, if you're a better person than me, you check yourself. Instead of criticizing them, you take a breath and say, "Well, at least more people are riding these days."
Really though? I mean, intellectually I know that's a good thing, but there's also that part of me that screams, "No, it isn't!" It's the same part of me that says it's OK to have another drink, or to pull off and let the guy behind me close the gap instead. And deep down most of us can't help occasionally feeling like cycling is ours, and that people need to fit our criteria and pass our tests before they can be cyclists too.
Of course as humans we have a conscience and most of the time manage to keep our baser instincts subdued. Nonetheless, here are some things (courtesy of youtube) that won't let me completely accept the fact that it's a good thing that more people are riding, no matter how hard I try:
Intoxicated Bike Polo
Apart from the fact that no horses are suffering, I see nothing to feel good about here.
It's bad enough that bike companies keep trying to trick us into upgrading with overpriced and underperforming technology. We don't need guys like this entering the fray with their ridiculous contraptions. Despite the focus group of Scottish schoolboys, I don't see a future for this particular design.
Euro-style Coddling and Handholding
Yes, I know America is evil and Europe is a wonderful place full of free medical care, polyglot people, and progressive thinking where nothing ever goes wrong. And I know I should like something like this--after all, it would allow more people in hillier regions to ride bicycles. But I'm not sure we should ever have this here because I'm not sure America can handle it. Just wait until the day you see somebody on a Colnago or a track bike with a 49/15 gear using one of these things. Or someone on a Costco bike eating a bag of McDonald's on the way up. You won't think it's so cute then.
This well-intentioned PSA from the NHTSA has some helpful tips for the novice cyclist. But there are also some things it fails to address. Like the minivan straddling two lanes carrying a family of 17, all speaking on cellphones. Or the car service that has no qualms about running me down if it will save a few seconds getting to his next fare. Or the dreaded Hummer from Jersey. The kind and gentle environment this film depicts does not reflect what many of us encounter every day. Sometimes laws need to be broken and the cyclist needs to be on the offensive. I fear if new cyclists venture out into the world armed with only the knowledge from this film that they'll be picked off one-by-one, like newborn sea turtles getting snatched off the beach by birds.
My friend (yes, I do have one) recently told me about the TV show "Double Rush" from 1995. I think they only aired the pilot. You may already have seen this. If you haven't, here's the pitch: "Taxi" meets "Cheers," set in a New York City messenger company office. Complete with laugh track and typical sitcom banter, this is funny for all the wrong reasons. And while the opening sequence and the casting is impressive, a very real danger of more cyclists out there is that somebody might be tempted to try something like this again.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
--6:00am, Prospect Park, Brooklyn. A rider on a $900 wheelset rolls up to the registration area with a $2,000 wheelset strapped to his back. We can only imagine that later today he will put on a suit to go to the grocery store and then change into a tux to do some barbecuing.
--A nine-man team wearing matching kit and riding custom-painted matching bicycles with SRMs discusses tactics as they line up to start in one of the lower category races.
--Lap three. A few riders go off the front. From the rear of the pack a rider just barely hanging on summons his last bit of breath to bravely shout, “Close that gap!” He is then dropped.
--A rider on a carbon-fiber Pinarello risks his fingers to adjust the hockey puck-sized computer sensor on his wavy Onda fork. He is apparently more concerned with closing gaps in his training data than with closing gaps in the actual race. He nearly takes out three other riders but manages not to sacrifice a digit to his bladed Zicral spokes. Reconnected to his life-giving data stream, he resumes not racing.
--On the big-ring “climb” during a lull in the action, a rider inexplicably blows up, sits up, and moves backwards diagonally, nearly taking out half the pack in a 7/10 split.
--A rider with no visible race number adjusts the volume on his iPod.
--The group laps one of the lower-category fields just as they are finishing. The matching nine-man squad has begun their leadout, jettisoning their water bottles in perfect synchronicity. However, as the two fields combine, there is some confusion as to which field should be neutralized. After the race, the protests will continue well into the afternoon. At stake for the lower category riders: pride, fulfillment of sponsorship obligations, and a tin novelty medal on a red, white, and blue nylon ribbon. At stake for the higher category riders: lunch money.
--One lap to go. All places up the road in a breakaway. A rider demands a bottle from his teammate and proceeds to shower himself like the Maillot Jaune on Alpe d’Huez. But the joke is on him. The bottle is filled with Cytomax.
--The guy on the $2,000 wheelset punctures and is out of the race.
--The marshals whose job it is to keep the park road clear have gotten impatient and gone home. A guy on a hybrid gets the scare of his life when 80 riders in lycra suddenly appear around him, screaming at him to “keep right.”
--Final lap. Five riders go down in the sprint for 19th place. $5,000 worth of carbon fiber shattered.