This is why I feel it is my duty to alert you to the fact that one of cycling's most visible trends--the bubblegum-hued deep-V rim trend--may at last be waning. It turns out that no less an authority than aggregator-slash-arbiter of fixed-gear freestyle chic, Prolly, has abandoned his own deep-Vs for the "greener" (or more accurately, blacker) pastures of disc-specific 29er rims. Moreover, he's even gone so far as to express hope that "more and more people will see this and begin to rock* lighter, more durable wheels and not just focus on color-matching their rims to their grips."
(Note: "Rock" means "use;" if you're a competitive cyclist, substitute "run" for "rock." Never use the word "use" or "ride" with regard to bicycle componentry--unless your typical cycling outfit includes a reflective velcro pant cuff retainer and a helmet mirror--and always observe the proper "rock/run" distinction depending on the type of cycling you do. If you're uncertain, generally speaking if you "session" then you "rock" a certain piece of equipment; if you race, then you "run" it.)
I applaud Prolly's decision to embrace function over form and to rock what works best for him. However, the implications of his call for the rest of fixed-geardom to follow are serious and far-reaching and I can't help feeling it was a bit irresponsible of Prolly to announce such a change without putting a contingency plan in place. I don't want to cause a panic, but I would strongly recommend that if you are rocking (or, less likely, running) colored deep-V rims that you remove them from your bike immediately and consign them to a closet until we know for sure where this is going. If they are in fact going out of style then it will be at least a few years before your colored deep-V rims can be rocked again ironically. (Something can be rocked ironically once the last person who has been rocking it sincerely has finally stopped rocking it, which is why it is vital to closely monitor remote corners of the midwest for trend fallout. Premature Ironic Rockage--or PIR--can be very dangerous, as sincerity and irony can be toxic if allowed to mix.) Remember, this is not a recall--it is simply a "wheel advisory," like Shimano recently issued because of their poorly-designed spoke plugs. (If you are in possession of that particular wheel, I recommend either rocking or running rim tape depending on your riding style.)
As for other forms of fashionable fixed-gear wheels, it's difficult to say what this means. The Hed 3 remains popular (particularly when it costs more than the rest of the bike on which it is being rocked), though the rise of the 29er disc rim in the fixed-gear freestyle realm may mean that the Hed 3 is only rocked on special occasions. Say, for example, your evening will not involve sessioning but it will involve a leisurely ride to a trendy bar in order to take in the premier of a new fixed-gear movie. In such a case the Hed 3 might be appropriate and thus could become the fixed-gear equivalent of putting on a bow tie. Even so, if you ride a fixed-gear and you don't already own a Hed 3 I would advise against purchasing one for the time being. Actually, I'd advise agaist purchasing any deep-section rim right now. So if you're in the midst of some kind of piecemeal upgrade like the rider below, who's already got the long-valve tube but is evidently still saving up for the deep-dish wheel to go with it, I would keep your money in escrow. (Though you may allow your bike to continue engaging in auto-fellatio.)
And as far as aerospokes go, I maintain that they've already gone from sincere to ironic, as you can see here. Or here. Moreover, here in New York City the "almost-spoke" design has actually won the Department of Transportation's CityRacks Design competition, which means we'll soon be seeing almost-spokes all over town:
Note that the DOT is calling it the "Hoop," though this is clearly a thinly-veiled attempt to get around Aerospoke's trademark.
Less clear is whether knuckle tattoos have moved from sincere to ironic. One thing's for sure, though: they're still in style. A reader recently forwarded me this moving image:
If this is a man, then these hands obviously belong to a fixed-gear rider, since as we all know gears are for queers. (Or for anyone who is excluded by the patriarchy of bike culture and bike shops because of their gender identity.) Then again, this may not say "Love Tits," since the little ladies' room symbol isn't necessarily standing in for an "I." It could be an "A," and the tattoo could say "Love Tats." It could also be an "O," which would mean that the wearer either loves Tater Tots or simply loves tots, as in toddlers. If it's the latter, that is disturbing for a whole other set of reasons. I don't know what kind of bikes the people who love tots ride, but I do know tot-lovers are not treated very well in prison. It could also be that the wearer is a woman, and she's simply expressing her exclusion by the patriarchy of bike culture and bike shops because of her gender identity. But whatever the case, it's safe to say that knuckle tattoos are still hotter than a freshly-microwaved tater tot.
And when it comes to trends, probably the only thing hotter than a knuckle tattoo is a penny-farthing. When it comes to "keeping it real," the penny-farthing makes the fixed-gear look as obnoxiously high-tech as a 22-speed crabon fiber wonder bike. Erik K sent me this photo, and while I was pleased to see that the rider was not rocking a colored deep-V I was also dismayed that the bike wasn't locked up well:
When you ride a bike as hot as this you simply cannot leave it
unlocked poorly locked and unattended. Not only do you run the risk of having your bike stolen by someone who looks like this, but you'll also have to put old-timey "Wanted" posters all over town since the sorts of people who ride penny-farthings don't use Craigslist. (Too high-tech.) And if you're still in doubt that penny-farthings are desireable, here's a second photo which proves they're indeed chick magnets:
Oh, yes. Gears may be for queers, but diamond frames, two wheels of equal size, and non-direct drive transmissions are for nellies and confirmed bachelors. Real men ride ordinaries (whilst wearing tweed undergarments).