The PistaDex in New York City is currently at a lofty 550, and it would appear that the superb weather coupled with the Papal visit have conspired to keep the Apocalyptic horses at bay. The Pista market here is in fact so tight right now that only one is for sale:
2007 chrome Pista track bike, decal free! Mostly stock but a few upgrades: Nitto B123 bars, Nitto 65 seat post, Vittoria Rubino tires, Cane Creek headset and front brakes.
Overall the bike is in very good condition with a few scratches from riding it daily. I swapped out the wheels, pedals and saddle right after I bought it, so these are pretty much brand new.
Moving soon and need to sell asap!
Indeed, for the most part this is a fairly unremarkable ad; a “mostly stock” Pista with the usual assortment of stock upgrades being offered for about what a new one would cost. It’s more or less insanity-free. (Except for the price.) However, this particular post does feature one of my favorite motifs, which is the “moving and need to sell” element. I’m not sure why so many ads—especially those for fixed-gears—specify this as a reason for selling. You know, it is possible to move with a bike. In fact, it’s even possible to move by bike. Nonetheless, many a Pista is put out to pasture when it comes time to move the trailer to a new park.
Of course, an out-of-town move is another story, and that could certainly be the case here. Shipping or flying with a bike can be prohibitively expensive. It would also explain the high asking price, since the seller is probably moving to a new city with an equally high PistaDex, and he’ll need every cent he can get in order to re-Pista himself upon arrival without incurring a loss. It’s no wonder then that the PistaDex is so high in cities like New York, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, and LA. As the fixed-gear riding populations move from city to city they discard and replace their Pistas like hermit crabs discard and replace their shells. Sadly, this is an excellent example of why the notion of a “cycling community” is a myth. If such a thing really did exist, each city would simply have a “lending library” of Pistas. Just take one when you arrive, and leave it behind when you move on to the next city. It would be a giant “take a penny, leave a penny” tray of Pistas.
Another effect of the high PistaDex is the bicycle chop shop. In between the individuals selling their own bicycles and the legitimate retailers with storefronts is that scary grey area inhabited by nefarious entrepreneurs who prey upon those who have been priced out of fixed-geardom by the track bike explosion. I’ve written about these sorts of operations before. And while the fixed-gear meth lab featured in that post seems to have disappeared, another one seems to have sprung up in Sheepshead Bay:
Track Single Gear Free Wheel Schwinn Yellow Bicycle Deep V Rims - $280 (Sheepshead Bay Bklyn) [original URL: http://newyork.craigslist.org/brk/bik/636433998.html]
Reply to: [deleted]
Date: 2008-04-09, 5:05PM EDT
Pleased to present a Track Single Gear Free Wheel Schwinn Yellow Bicycle Deep V Rims. This bicycle is in perfect working condition with new parts such as, Deep V Rims, tubes & tires, cables, break levers, grips, handle bars and chain. The frame is 22'' inches (56 CM) & the rims are 700 x 25C. We have many more bicycles of the same style & other styles (Over 120); including accessories, locks, racks & front baskets. Deliver is available & Please email or call me (347) 733-[deleted] Peter; if you have any questions & Thank you for your inquire. Note: All of our bicycles are professionally tuned & reconditioned.
Peter's no dummy. He's got his finger on the pulse of bike culture and he knows what it is that the kids want: deep Vs and risers. This baby's got "stunting" written all over it--it's even got a bash guard on the crank! But Peter also knows that not everybody is a fixed-gear freestyler. Some riders also want a more traditional steed. That's why he also offers this:
...Track Single Gear Free Wheel Schwinn Brown Bicycle Deep V Rims with mustache handle bars or can be converted to any other style handle bars (many styles avail). This bicycle is in perfect working condition with new parts such as rims, tires & tubes, chain, pedals, cables, aero dynamic seat and handle bar wraps.The brown is both classy and classic, but I'm pretty sure those aren't moustache bars. I'm thinking maybe Peter saw the term mentioned on a fixed-gear site somewhere and figured he should use it. Peter does know aerodynamics though, and I have no doubt that seat will cut through the wind like a karate master could cut through that piece of plywood in the background. And while different from the previous bike, this one does retain certain Peter signatures like the bash guard and the extremely low saddle position. It's a well thought-out ride all around.
But even Peter knows the PistaDex is liable to plummet at any moment, and he's certainly not about to be caught out. He's also offering this one for the aspiring racer:
And this one, whose all-metal spoke protector evokes a time when pie plates really meant something:
Oh yeah--what about those other 120 bikes Peter mentions in every ad? There they are, out back:
So whether you aspire to be on Fixedgeargallery or Old Ten Speed Gallery, see Peter. He's pushing the good stuff.