Yep, it's got all the hallmarks of a spoof: the gaudy color scheme; the chain guard; the tires that cost more than the entire bike. Then look closer and you'll be rewarded with the uber-kludgy threaded/threadless steerer setup and the spoke card. It's even got an epic-length intro. Awesome. And kudos to FGG for poking fun at itself.
6) Performance Bicycle
Hands down the best and most elaborate April Fools' joke this year came from the most unexpected source: mail-order giant Performance Bicycle.
Not only would you never figure Performance for the April Fools' types, but you certainly wouldn't expect a prank in their print catalogue. But there it is, right on page 52 of the latest one, a fake wheel from Mavic called the "R-Sys" with "TraComp" technology. For only $1,399.99! (As if anybody buys expensive wheels from Performance. That's like buying a wedding gown at the Gap.)
Just in case you're having trouble reading the copy (sorry, I had to scan it), it says:
Thanks to cutting edge technology from Mavic, the entire bicycle wheel market is about to change. TraComp(tm) technology uses tubular carbon spokes, which stretch less than other materials, because they're structurally stiffer AND resist compression, without any risk of unloaded spokes--what you get is a ride that's lightweight, amazingly responsive and incredibly comfortable.
Amazing. It sounds just like real marketing copy. For real laughs though you've got to check out the diagrams:
Again, clearly bogus, but still really funny. I mean, after years of touting the aero benefits of their flat Zicral bladed spokes, why would Mavic suddenly start selling a wheel with giant round carbon fiber drinking straws for spokes? The "clamped" spoke thing is also brilliant. A wheel like that would be totally non-serviceable. The finishing touch is the brilliant chart. What the hell does that even mean? I don't know, but it's really funny.
Performance deserves a lot of credit for making fun of a big manufacturer like Mavic. To imply that Mavic might design, manufacture and sell what is essentially a $1,400 wagon wheel is a pretty subversive joke. I know I'm laughing.