Tuomo in Finland, who alerted me to this bike, likened it to the scene in Cronenberg's remake of "The Fly" when "Brundlefly fuses with Telepod, creating a hideous monstrosity that begs to be put out of its misery," and I have to admit that's a fairly astute comparison. Cannondale have indeed fused the essence of Fixedgeargallery style with the Capo, and in so doing they've effectively cut the owner out of the equation, since there's not much left to do here in the way of "customization" save for perhaps adding a top tube pad. They've also fused a fixed-gear freestyler with a road-going fixed gear, since the four-bolt crank and platform pedals allude to the former, while the drop bars and dual brakes suggest the latter. But while it may appear to be a bit of a mash-up, it's actually (according to Cannondale) "the bare essence of a bicycle--lean, mean, and ready for the unpredictability of the gritty urban streets." I'm not sure what's "lean" and "mean" about a bicycle with lilac accents, but then again I'm not from the "gritty urban streets" of Bedford, Pennsylvania.
But while bicycles are increasingly coming shipped from the factory already tarted up (or "pre-tarted"), plenty of people are still customizing their bikes themselves. And one of the most dangerous things about customizing anything is that it can quickly get out of your control. This is true of bicycles, cars, motorcycles, and even your own body. With the bicycle, you might start with a sticker or two, then a colored tire, and perhaps after that some grips or bar tape to match the tire. Before you know it you're riding some kind of "My Little Pony" nightmare that looks like a middle school girl's notebook. I strongly suspect that in most cases the people riding heavily customized bicycles did not intend to venture so far into the abyss of accessorizing as they did, and that if you were to travel back in time to the moment they first bought their bike or frame and show them a picture of what it would eventually become, they'd gasp and say, "Dear God, no! Just kill it. Kill it now, I beg you!"
That's why it's important to check your bike for warning signs. Think of it as the equivalent of a home breast exam. And one of the most important things to look for on your bicycle is "hipster cysts:"
The proper medical term for the "hipster cyst" is the Knog Frog, but if you're anything like me you find Latin pretentious and confusing, so I'm going to stick to the colloquial term. If you haven't noticed, "hipster cysts" have become the lighting of choice for urban fixed-gear riders, hence the sobriquet. Of course, I should start out by saying that just because your bike has "hipster cysts" does not necessarily mean you have a problem. It's important to be seen, and these lights are very useful, especially because they are very adaptable and cling well to today's oversized and computer-cluttered bars, aero seatposts, and strangely-shaped frame tubes. However, while these cysts are often benign (as is the one pictured above), all too often they can be indicative of a larger problem.
This bike, for example, has two "hipster cysts." Generally speaking, cysts on the seatpost are benign. However, once cysts on the front of the bicycle migrate from the handlebars to the headtube or fork blade (or even the front hub--yes, I've seen it) they can be a cause for concern. That's definitely the case here, as this bicycle has already developed a serious Hed tri-spoke situation.
Here, the condition is even more serious. Note there's a cyst on the head tube, as well as one on the rear Aerospoke. A cyst on an Aerospoke is almost always malignant, and generally speaking it's not even worth the risk of waiting for the results of a biopsy in order to act, for with every passing day this bicycle's frontal spoke card problem grows more and more severe. Naturally, the first course of action should be to remove both the cyst and the Aerospoke. I only pray it's not too late.
This bike is an excellent indication of just how difficult it can be to properly diagnose "hipster cysts." Ordinarily a cyst on the seatpost is not a cause for alarm. However, this bike is riddled with anodization and color coordination, as well as with a top tube pad and a saddle that is completely incongruous with the rest of the bicycle. (It's like wearing a tasseled loafer with a pair of neon pink hot pants.) In this case, then, simply dismissing the cyst would have been a mistake.
For this very reason, I would advise this owner to be very careful. For while his bike is certainly not suffering from excessive customization, the fact that he already has two cysts (with one on the fork) before he's even installed a chain is a definite warning sign.
Saddest of all, though, are cases like this. A cluster of four cysts on the fork is nothing short of tragic. It's already spread to the handlebars, which are capped in pink Ourys and clamped by a 3TTT Mutant road stem (colloquially known as the "schlong" stem for its phallic appearance). Unfortunately, the entire front end may need to be removed.
Sure, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking I'm overreacting. But this is serious. If gone unchecked these things can lead to a full-blown frog situation:
Or, worse yet, you could begin dressing like this:
Truth be told, though, the model would have looked much better on this reader-forwarded specimen, since it matches his outfit and his attitude:
A $2,500 bike with a Truvativ Touro crank? Now that's a bargain.
So what of that kernel of fixed-gear authenticity? Where has it gone? Well, maybe we can find it in 1992:
Well, I don't see any fixed-gears, but I'm nearly choking on the authenticity.