Fixed Gear/Single Speed Road Bike - $360 (Framingham)
Reply to: sale-[deleted]
Date: 2008-11-07, 5:32AM EST
I have fifteen new bikes, closeouts from 2008, at about 35% off list. Average price is $360.
I also have some winter-beater single speed/fixies, with all new components, for $190.
The sizes cover riders from 5 fto 1 to 6 ft 6.
E-mail for info.
This tiny shop is helping to make Boston the fixed-gear capitol of America.
Like Thoreau or Gandhi, we don't need Shimano's rotten, over-priced technology !
We don't need yuppies in spandex clown drag, riding high-end carbon bikes, to impress their suburban neighbors.
We don't need the WalMart lumpen-proletariat, riding their department-store junk, with those useless shocks and break-apart shifters.
We are cerebral Bostonians - Harvard, MIT, BU, BC, Northeastern, Wentworth, Berklee, MCA, UMass, Simmons, etc. We won't buy in to the bicycle industry's crap.
Keep it Simple, Stupid. GO FIXIE !
Firstly, I had no idea Boston was working so hard to become America's fixed-gear capital, though I suppose it does make sense, since they do already have their own Langster. Perhaps the city has realized that they're losing out on tourist dollars since so many people travel to places like Portland, San Francisco, and New York City to observe the latest fashions and visit their ultra-chic fixed-gear boutiques. Then again, I'm not sure how many dollars we're talking about since the average fixed-gear tourist probably crashes on someone's couch, brings his own instant noodles, and spends about $27 during a week-long stay. But in these trying economic times every cent counts. And of course right now Boston's only attraction is the real-life Cheers bar, and as exciting as that may be an entire generation of potential tourists is coming of age that knows nothing of Sam, Diane, Frasier, the Coach, Woody, Norm, Cliff the Mailman, and their poignantly funny antics. So I guess they're trying to pump up the "fixed-gear capitol" thing in order to invest in the future.
The ad then goes on to evoke Thoreau and Gandhi, and this is where I start to get angry. First of all, Henry David Thoreau died in 1862, almost 60 years before Shimano was even founded. And while Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi lived until 1948 and could theoretically have had access to Shimano componentry, his feelings towards the company would not have been based on their technology; rather, they would have been complicated by the fact that, while Japan was a potential threat to India, Gandhi did not want to support Britain in the war effort unless India was granted total independence. His aversion was to choosing sides, not choosing gears. Really, Gandhi probably would have chosen to manufacture his own homespun bicycle components, and who's to say they wouldn't have included derailleurs? (Or that they wouldn't have come in four castes: Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vayshia, and Sudra?)
The unfortunate fact is, neither Thoreau nor Gandhi lived to see Shimano innovations such as Hyperglide®, SLR® braking, and of course S.T.I.® shifting. I'm reasonably confident that if Thoreau and Gandhi were not only alive today but were also competitive cyclists that they would at least consider using Shimano components. (I'm also confident they would be the world's slowest but most interesting two-man time trial team.) Yes, I realize both men prized simplicity, but even a bike with a multi-speed drivetrain is extremely simple. The point isn't whether Thoreau would have ridden a singlespeed or a geared bike around Walden; it's that he probably would have chosen a bicycle over a four-wheeled ATV. Also, Shimano's "rotten, over-priced technology" does include track components and singlespeed freewheels and cogs, so I'm not really sure why they're being singled out here. If you really want to find "rotten, over-priced technology" you need to venture outside of the bicycle industry altogether. Have you tried to buy a razor lately?
Having besmirched the memories of two great thinkers, the poster then moves on to both "yuppies in spandex clown drag" and the "WalMart lumpen-proletariat." Firstly, I'm not sure why "spandex clown drag" is any worse than the capri-pants-and-boat-shoes Audrey Hepburn-type drag that many fixed-gear riders choose to wear. Sure, they both look pretty silly, but at least the clown drag is moisture-wicking. More disturbing is the disdain for the "WalMart lumpen-proletariat." Notice the poster hates not only the bicycles but the riders themselves. Indeed, how dare they not be able to afford better bicycles? I'm surprised he didn't call their bikes "un-Carl Farbman-like." I'm also suprised he didn't call the riders themselves "Untermensch" because that's what he seems to be getting at here.
Then again, he is a "cerebral Bostonian" (he says "we" but I'm assuming it's the royal "we") with degrees from at least ten institutions of higher learning: "Harvard, MIT, BU, BC, Northeastern, Wentworth, Berklee, MCA, UMass, Simmons, etc." And as a cerebral Bostonian, he's refrained from the decidedly lumpen-proletariat and un-Carl Farbman-like "gears are for queers," and opted instead for the vastly more eloquent "Keep it Simple, Stupid. GO FIXIE!" This just goes to prove that there are few things more dangerous than a priveleged and immature person with an expensive education. It's like a novice rider on a 300lb motorcycle with a 1000cc engine: too much power and no ability to control it.
Clearly, though, Boston is taking this "fixed-gear capitol" thing seriously. Another reader recently sent me this photo, which also appears to have been taken in Boston:
Yes, this rider is clearly adhering to the "keep it simple, stupid" philosophy. Instead of using a sensible frame, he's compensating for an extremely low front end by using a quill stem so tall it would make Grant Petersen blush. This is like kneeling on a stepladder, or turning the heat up instead of closing the window, or quieting your creaky bottom bracket by turning up your iPod. There's nothing simple about that. The rider also seems to have abandoned "rotten, over-priced technology" (such as brakes and bar tape) in favor of the much more sound and reasonably-priced Aerospoke technology. Best of all, there's a top tube pad, though considering the frame's geometry it would probably offer more crotchal protection on the stem. (There's certainly enough room for it anyway.)
But if Boston truly wants to become the fixed-gear capital, they're going to have to watch out for competition from overseas, where bike-mangling has been raised to the level of an artform:
Indeed, it seems that the people at Pedal Mafia have also finally solved the problem of having to ride your fixed-gear. Thanks to these models (brought to my attention by yet another attentive reader), you can now focus entirely on the most important part: accessorizing!
Now, I don't understand Japanese, so I can't say with any certainty whether or not these are real. But if they are real, they're dangerous. (And not only because 20- and 30-somethings are liable to place them in their mouths and choke on them.) Sure, at first it will just be a few fixters whiling away those snowy days by playing with their fixed-gear models at the bar. But then, when the ice melts and the trees start blooming, they'll find they've become so absorbed in trading and collecting that they've forgotten all about their full-sized bikes and how hard it can be to ride them. And it will only be a matter of time before they start incorporating Bratz into their play.
Personally, though, I have no interest in playing with models of bicycles. I'd much rather ride the real thing. Unless they come out with fixed-gear tub toys, that is. Between that and my bubble bath machine I may never leave the lavatory again.