Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's All in the Details: Component or Crutch?

Well, I continue to receive entries for The Great BSNYC/RTMS Fyxomatosis Photo Parody Contest (presented by the Gourmet Cheese of the Month Club), and the contestants continue to outdo themselves. Of course, things did get a bit bawdy yesterday, so (with one exception) I'm going to wait a bit before sharing them with you. Just consider it a refractory period. However, there are two important things I do need to mention with regard to the contest.

Firstly, Stevil Kinevil of HTATBL (as well as GWCTOH as of late) has generously offered to "sweeten the pot":



That's right. In addition to the pie plate (and the smock, if you want it, but not the Rapha cravat, because I need it to pick up gross stuff like pie plates and dead mice) he'll also give the winner a beer cozy and a lucky elk tooth:



Please know that Stevil has offered to do this completely of his own volition, and I was deeply moved by his generosity since I'm sure these objects are very dear to him. So, just to recap, if you win you'll get: 1) a pie plate; 2) a dirty beer cozy; 3) a nasty animal tooth; and 4) a BSNYC/RTMS smock (which is really more of a booby prize).

Secondly, while I'm holding off on sharing the latest entries, I did mention there was one exception, and this is it:




Sure, I know I said I was taking a break from bawdy, but there's nothing "dirty" or "shameful" about the act of love when it's rendered artistically as it is here. You may have noticed that this image has been entirely created using that Pedalmafia bike builder thing. To be able to create such moving artwork with such a limited palette is nothing short of miraculous. It's like Jesus multiplying the loaves and the fishes, or like that Hanukkah lamp oil lasting eight days, or like Michael Ball somehow wringing a few more years out of a bunch of washed-up riders. Also, it uses hipster cysts for the pants yabbies. Truly inspirational. This person could very well have clicked and dragged his way to a free animal tooth.

Moving on, yesterday a reader asked an important question in the comments section:

I realize a properly adjusted der shouldn't drop a chain into the spokes, but it can be a fairly costly mistake when it happens. It seems you appreciate the value of clutter like brakes and bar tape, so why are pie plates such a no-no?

Note: earnest question, no criticism or irony intended.

Well, the answer is almost painfully simple, but then again the best questions are often the simplest ones and I feel it's worth answering. After all, this question made me think a lot about necessity, and the answer is that brakes and bar tape (or grips) are necessary, but pie plates are not.

Yes, plenty of people now ride around without brakes or any form of grip, but I maintain they're still necessary. If you want to get the most out of your bike, you'll use both of these things. (I've explored how brakes actually make you faster in the past.) More importantly, you use them while you're riding. The pie plate, on the other hand, just sits there idly waiting for something extremely unlikely to happen. In fact, chances are very good that this unlikely thing may never happen at all. In one way the pie plate is like a person sitting alone on top of a hill, night after night for years on end, waiting for a bunch of probe-wielding aliens to arrive in a spaceship. And in another way, it's like the person with a bomb shelter in his basement filled with a 20-year supply of water and canned tuna. And in both cases, they're so preoccupied with what might happen that they neglect their daily lives. (Like the pie-plated rider with a decrepit, rusty drivetrain and a derailleur that hasn't moved since "Risky Business" came out.)

After all, there are plenty of other things that can happen on the bike for which we don't make provisions. For example, it's not uncommon for your bars to rotate forward if you hit a nasty bump. This can be dangerous, especially during a race. Should you then put some sort of redundant device on your bicycle that further secures the bars in the event the stem clamp alone is not sufficient, like some sort of brace between the bottom of the brake levers and the headtube? Absolutely not. Instead, you should use a well-designed stem, tighten it sufficiently, and avoid dangerous road hazards--just as you should make sure your derailleur is adjusted properly.

And this is what is most insidious about the pie plate. It is a symbol of our lack of personal responsibility as a society, a giant plastic disc shouting "Save me, for I cannot save myself!" And unlike its frontal counterpart the "lawyer lip" it does not even have the decency to hide itself. Indeed, probably the last time a pie plate was even remotely necessary was when this photo of Fausto Coppi (forwarded to me by a reader) was taken:

You'll notice that Coppi is running ("rocking" hadn't been invented yet) a Campagnolo rod shifter here. Given that shifting with one of these was probably like trying to dial a cell phone with a pool noodle, the pie plate was certainly warranted. But those days are behind us now. By the way, Coppi died of malaria too, and you're probably about as likely to contract malaria while out on your ride as you are to shift your derailleur into your spokes.

But I suppose people have different ideas of what's necessary. Personally, I feel that fenders are necessary (for everyday bikes, not for race bikes), but plenty of people go without them. In fact, you're about as likely to see a fully-fendered bicycle in New York City as you are a pie plate on a fixed-gear. (This excludes old three-speeds, which pretty much always have fenders and which cling to New York City streetsigns like moss to trees.) And I'm not just talking about bikes that don't have the necessary eyelets or frame clearances for fenders. I'm talking about bikes with cantis and gaping, yawning spaces between the tires and stays that are inexplicably ridden in the rain with no protection whatsoever. And it's not like these people aren't putting other stuff on these bikes, either. Some of these bikes not only have bar-ends, but their bar-ends have bar-ends. I guess it's just because people only think about getting fenders when it rains, and by then they're already wet so they figure, "Why bother?". Still, when I see someone commuting in a downpour on a touring bike with a pie plate and no fenders it makes me want to weep.

Even more perplexing are people who ride without fenders in the city are people who ride with suspension. Another commenter from yesterday wrote:

Get over the fixed gear bashing. There's twice as many Mountain bike riders on the streets of SF than roadies and fixed combined. Don't hear you talking shit about these goof balls with their $600 front shox to absorb the occasional MUNI track.

My guess is that your ironic Orange Julius bike is in fact a custom Stumpjumper and you wouldn't know a single track from a heart attack.

Stump on, Snobby!

You still see this sort of behavior sometimes in New York City, but it's not nearly as common as it used to be. However, during the (first) heyday of purple anodized CNC componentry, customized mountain bikes that never saw dirt were common on the streets of New York City in much the same way that custom track bikes that have never seen a velodrome are common today. Similarly, just like owners of high-end track bikes now like to say, "Yeah, I really want to get out to the track but I just don't have time," owners of high-end cross-country bikes then would say, "Yeah, I really want to get out to some trails but I just don't have time." While these excuses might seem flimsy, I maintain they're quite valid. Hunting for that vintage Italian stem (or that purple anodized peace sign canti straddle wire hanger) can be extremely time-consuming.

In response to the aforementioned comment, Kale replied:

SF Riding:

Having lived in both places I can attest to the superior ability of the mtb in SF/BA. That aside, it's been pretty much impossible until the recent SSMTB trend to get a new mtb without 100mm or more squish stock, and if you want to put a (Surly/Kona) aftermarket or recycled solid, that's way above most people's ability (not to mention fixing a flat). However, the few, if any, mtbs in NYC are ridden by the hardest working Thai delivery people in the world. Those Schwinns, Iron Horses, and Pacifics are the only fully squish you'll see, they're definitely goof balls, and they outnumber roadies and fixters by at least 3 orders of magnitude.

I was glad to see Kale mention the mountain bike-riding food delivery person. Like any group of working cyclists, there's the rank-and-file, and then there's the elite. This is what the elite food delivery people in NYC ride:

Note the fenders, which are always mounted extra-high to accommodate suspension travel that isn't there. Note also the color-coordinated full frame-taping job, the skewers secured with hose clamps, and the downward-tilted saddle, which are also typical. (The saddle angle not only allows for easy mounts and dismounts when the rider is loaded down with six bags of food, but also allows some seatpost to remain exposed for aesthetic reasons, since these riders are often short of stature and generally use bikes that are at least two sizes too big for them. Perhaps most importantly, with that giant fender sticking out back there the only way off the bike is to slide off the front of the saddle.) Sometimes you'll even see road cranks used, which is the case here. These people do indeed work hard, in all weather, and they make absolutely no distinction between the street and the sidewalk.

Sadly, the days of the hardcore MTB-riding food delivery person may be numbered, because in the trendy parts of Brooklyn at least the "fixters" have begun taking their jobs. (I guess they're not content to just take their apartments.) So now when you order from restaurants in Williamsburg or Prospect Heights your food may very well be brought to you by someone with a degree from RISD who's riding an NJS track bike. Not that there's anything wrong with that, though I doubt the Honduran immigrants are getting their graphic arts jobs in return.

In the end, though, component choice all boils down to "Style Vs. Safety"--at least according to this Google Knol. The author makes some compelling points here, such as this one: "A brake is basically a training wheel – a crutch. When you have a fixed gear bike, the mere technology allows you to stop without one. A non-fixed bike doesn’t have this luxury. It NEEDS a brake to stop in any manner. But we’re not talking about non fixies. "

What about fenders? Are they crutches too?

188 comments:

Anonymous said...

Woot! Woot!

Anonymous said...

Bounty?

bloodline said...

podium

Anonymous said...

toppermost of the poppermost

sharpE said...

snob that

Anonymous said...

wow, happy accident!
podium

fantz crazznapper said...

top 10, ball suckers

Boobsteak. said...

Worst of the best.

Anonymous said...

damn, I was coasting

mary said...

holla

Mark said...

Podium second tier! First of the top twenty!

flickerx said...

All you podium saps suck my balls.

Anonymous said...

damn refresh button

brettok said...

@ s.t.

WheelDancer said...

Full frame taking job? Sloppy, sloppy..

Anonymous said...

All I want for christmas is a crutch.

Mongo Pusher said...

Zubeldia...again!

wishiwasmerckx said...

Snob, I couldn't help but notice the similarity in the pose between Fausto Coppi and the Femjoy model from yesterday, and I wanted to ask whether you had photoshopped clothes onto Mr. Coppi as well.

Anonymous said...

ANything taken from FGG should have a notice about bias attached. That's like quoting the Pope's views on Hinduism and taking them as fact.
I heart fenders. I don't heart frozen & wet butts!

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Anonymous said...

"their bar-ends have bar-ends"-- Classic!

Every time I do something to my bike for purely aesthetic reasons I feel like a tool. If I do something for practical reasons I feel like a dork. If I ignore it all I'm a just a lazy shlub-- but I ain't no tool.

Its like rock, paper, scissors:

Fashion beats practical
practical beats shlub
shlub beats fashion

Hannah said...

+1 for fenders! (Or is it +5, since that's how many bikes I have with fenders?)

Anonymous said...

My fenders have fenders.

writing police said...

"By the way, Coppi died of malaria too..."

You neglected to mention what else caused Coppi's death(s).

Anonymous said...

I just got my first set of new-in-the-box MTB wheels, and I am going to install a pie plate. Crashing into a side of a stump or rock will bend a derailleur and/or hanger and dump the chain into my brand-new spokes. You think I am going to stop and check my derailleur every time I hit something out on a trail?

I've been know to single track with full wrap-around fenders. They make a racket and annoy the hell out of everyone. The second benefit seals the deal.

Jim said...

For road training purposes, I take my style cues from Jens Voigt. I'm just like him, except that I suck. As Superman's older, much tougher brother, Jens both runs and rocks (simultaneously!) full fenders on his road bikes during winter training, as he reaches deep into his suitcase of ritalin and rips the legs off Old Man Winter. He also has cut up water bottles riveted onto the bottoms of the fenders to act as mud flaps, a trick that appears to be a standard approach for the Team Formerly Known as CSC. I suppose the kewl kids would call out Jens and the rest of the Team Formerly Known as CSC for being a bunch of pussy poseurs, and not real roadies...

Full disclosure: I sometimes train in the wet on a geared Giant TCR with fenders cobbled on, but do most of my winter riding on a fixed Surly Crosscheck with brakes, mountain bike pedals, full fenders, and - quel horreur!! - sometimes a rack on the rear. Amazingly, I find that riding all winter with these style-impaired crutches doesn't seem to hurt my fitness level. Some of my cool friends give me a lot of grief about it, but then I guess making fun of people is what you do when you're shivering, wet, and sporting a big skunk stripe up your back. I wish I could be cool too, but instead I'm just warm and dry.

urchin said...

Anon 2:06--
Funny, but alas, bar ends with bar ends is not a figment of the snob's fertile imagination. I seen it myself--the double comfort bar end mod. --shiver--

NJLSABS

Bill said...

i can appreciate the point of view, and seem to get in this argument a lot. i do have brakes on my fixed, but haven't had a fender in years. it strikes me as akin to putting a band aid on a gaping wound. i would rather just resign myself to being soaking wet and bring a change of clothes than expect a narrow piece of plastic to keep me dry. however, it is true that i'm a moron.

carlos said...

"since with fixies, you tend to go faster than with a heavy beach cruiser or multi-speed bike..."

So true, thats why this year you'll be seeing Lance rock'in his NYC Langster up the alp d'huez. Not for any aesthetic purpose, but purely for speed.

Bill said...

hell yeah!

http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/photos/races07/toc07/toca-voigt.jpg

Camp Cupboard said...

Holy shit..

"...you wouldn't know a single track from a heart attack." is forever entering my MTB smack-talk lexicon.

eggywootah said...

RISD: sans the 'I'

Polygraf said...

If one can justify having a hummer in brooklyn, I can ride front suspension, I don't but every time I see that bumblebee hummer on my block I just want to go and get my ellsworth truth to commute with.

I ride with a front brake, stripping a cog and later breaking a chain on the brooklyn bridge having a brake saved my ass both times.

John said...

I have a front brake and a rear fender on my fixie, but last winter I removed the brake so as to install a front fender. It was getting sloppy and there's no clearance for both a brake and fender.

Is that practical beats fashion, or practical beats practical? A real lose-lose for me, anyhow.

But Bill, you'd be amazed at how well those narrow strips of plastic work.

libertyonbikes! said...

a pie plate is just a large rattling piece of plastic, asthetically challenged, serving no real purpose. if you had a big ol skin tag dangling off your nose, would you just keep it? or cut it off?

brakes? i can respect someone with skills to ride fast traffic brakeless (5% of the brakeless). but i'll keep my brakes instead of looking like some tool learning to ride a unicycle.

fenders? they serve a purpose. hell
yes they look out of place on anything other than a cruiser. but at some point you buy neoprene booties, or a rain jacket, or lobster mitt gloves - it's just part of riding, the ugly dorky part.

do you keep your CSPC approved reflectors? no. on your first bmx bike did you yank the chain guard? same thing.

Bill said...

probably true, as i said, i'm not so bright

ant1 said...

I thought the only reason for the lack of brakes on track bikes was that it was too dangerous to have people abruptly slowing down when riding in a pack on a track, and since it's a closed track, there should be no reason to have to slow down abruptly. None of that applies to fixies ridden in the city. They are ridden places where there are lots of needs for quickly slowing down, and they're not used for high speed pack riding.

To recap:
On the track - no reason to stop quickly / stopping quickly is dangerous.
In the city - tons of reasons to stop quickly / stopping quickly is not dangerous.

Looking cool/fitting in aside, there is no logical reason for lack of brakes on fixies. I'm not saying it shouldn't be done, just don't tell me that's the way it should be.

libertyonbikes! said...

fenders are like condoms.
that's all.

Bill said...

i disagree, i find fenders really easy to put on

ant1 said...

...and I have no problems finding fenders that fit. Take that either way you'd like.

Bill said...

although fenders with a reservoir tip are an interesting idea

JPB said...

I have a brake on my track bike because I don't like running into the back end of cars that stop suddenly or cut me off. I guess that makes me lame. Doubly so because I reserve all my tricking for my MTBs.

I love when fixters claim that riding fixed and brakeless is "the only way", because they must have come to this conclusion after many years of trying all sorts of bikes.

Brakes are for pussies...
...and people who like their bikes to stop on cue!


Anon 2:10- A pie plate will not keep your derailler from damaging your spokes when you run into a log.

jessica said...

we are kindred
email to follow
(sans sepia)

red neckerson said...

that femjoy site had lots of nekked womens on it so when jimmy bob joe bob billy bob and ricky and me crammed into my trailer to look at them my modem melted down so we all went to the local pubic libary and ricky snuck in some beers and we sat around and looked at nekked women for about two hours

we saw more bush than an african fly boy and more smoothies than some yuppie kid at a health food store

BikeSnobNYC said...

Eggywootah,

Oops, thanks.

--BSNYC

genersal lsmenedd said...

we are not talking about non-fixies.

GenghisKhan said...

I am the BikeSnob, you are the BikeSnob--WE are the BikeSnob; Try to bring us all in Fixamafatwa boy!

Anonymous said...

woogie woogie woogie woogie wooogie wooogie

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:10,

I think you are on the wrong site.
-bragging about buying machine built wheels
-running a dork ring
-running full fenders on mountain bike ride

3 strikes.

If your hanger gets bent, you should feel the messed up shifting, hear the ting, ting, ting of it glancing spokes, and stop and fix it before jamming it up into the easy gear and into the spokes. It's part of knowing how to ride a bike.
If you are really stressed about bent hangers, get one of these:
derailleur hanger guard

Secondly, if you are running full fenders, any stick caught in your spokes is going to eat the fender stays way before it gets near the derailleur.

jelliot said...

A mountain bike makes a better commuter when riding over potholes the size of Mexico. Agreed no suspension is needed - but the frame geomoetry seems to work better.

Pie plates are like Canadians unnecessary and always in the shadow of more important components.

Russ said...

If you run a pie plate because your derailleur might go into your spokes, you may as well wear a helmet every waking hour because you never know when you might fall and hit your head,

On the topic of mountain bikes in the city, I built a full-on Spooky Project X in 2001 or so—24" Doublewides, Gazzalodi 3.0" tires, Monster T fork, Profile cranks, Brooklyn Machine Works pedals, Hope hubs and brakes, etc. The most wilderness it ever saw was Central Park. Then it got stolen out of Brooklyn Machine Works in 2006 or so.

Camp Cupboard said...

"Anonymous GenghisKhan said...

I am the BikeSnob, you are the BikeSnob--WE are the BikeSnob; Try to bring us all in Fixamafatwa boy!"


It'll be just like Spartacus! "I am BSNYC....I am BSNYC...I am BSNYC...."

Epic.

Anonymous said...

Most people that ride Brooklyns are huge posers.

Russ said...

They can't help who their clientele is. I've known Joe for a long time—he's a good dude.

Anonymous said...

@CampCupboard:

I know you have finals and all, but Spartacus was brought up by the suggester of everyone claiming to be bsnyc a couple days ago. snap out of it!

Camp Cupboard said...

I've slacked on comment reading, apologies for my offensive redundancy.

JPB said...

On the topic of MTB in the city, I have an Evil hardtail built up for street/DJ. Really inefficient for commuting, but fun!

Also, I'm a big poser.

Russ said...

I have a Spooky Bandwagon in storage now that I never rode much either. The Tioga DH tires were complete overkill on that thing.

Commiecanuk said...

Pie plates are like Canadians unnecessary and always in the shadow of more important components.

And you wonder why people mysteriously fly 747's into buildings.

Anonymous said...

The red bike is clearly a messenger bike, not a delivery bike. Delivery bikes are acquired by the proprietor (Chinese restaurant, etc.) -- the applied tape is used solely to mask the origins of stolen merchandise. The meticulous nature of the red tape indicates a prideful owner/rider. Secondly, the slick tires show an after-market modification that no restaurant owner would indulge in. Mountain bikes that find themselves being used as city delivery bikes all have knobby tires. Finally, deliver bikes rarely have seats that tilt so rakishly -- this is a messenger affectation that wouldn't be tolerated on a bike shared by multiple riders.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 3:17pm,

I understand your skepticism but I assure you it's a food delivery bike.

--BSNYC

Anonymous said...

I definitely want to NOT nominate anon 317 for the velo noir position. So, delivery bikes are owned by those who wouldn't make adjustments to them, but you can tell by the adjustments that this is not owned by a restaurant, but if we agree they use stolen merchandise, wouldn't those adjustments still be in evidence?

ant1 said...

Commie - I thought those were 737s. Maybe the government lied about that too.

Anonymous said...

In Seattle, fenders wear you!

Anonymous said...

"wouldn't be tolerated"? dude, they are biking the wrong way down manhattan streets on bikes 4 sizes too large for them in hail, i don't think they are going to say, 'what is this angle, i won't ride this!'

Anonymous said...

Evil bikes is worse than Brooklyn for poser owners.

The Imperial is by far one of the most disgusting bicycles ever made. Why the fuck does it have THREE dropouts?!?!? Why does the seattube meet up twith the middle of the downtube?!?!?

bikesgonewild said...

...i think in this case we can forgo the 'hipster cysts / pants yabbies' bizness for plain ol' knog nads...

...i think their shining, flashy qualities alone are what attracted this long forked beauty to the stumpy legged trackster...

...& while it may be art, & impressive at that, if he gets his dirty little oury's on her clips, somebody's rear facing dropout is gonna be bar-ended...

Anonymous said...

worst bike ever?
no question, worst dropouts ever

Sprocketboy said...

I have a New York City Bikes crossbike and run it with a front fender only since there is no way to fit a rear one. The result is great sprays of Candadian slush follow me wherever I go. And the "Risky Business" reference--now, that Rebecca de Mornay could move anyone's rusted derailleur.

JPB said...

Anon 3:26

This poser has an Evil D.O.C. Only two sets of dropouts.

As for the Imperial seat tube/down tube issue, to allow for a really slack seat tube snagle. Why that would be desirable is a mystery to me.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad the xtreme hardtail fad is dying

JPB said...

uh... that should read seat tube angle, not snagle.

I'm a poser at typing, too.

Scott said...

I agree that pie plates are ridiculous on road bikes, but still argue that they are practical on 'cross and mountain bikes if they're ridden in mud. When your drivetrain has half an inch of mud caked on everything, no amount of derailleur adjustment can control what the chain's going to do, and it often decides it wants to wedge itself in between your cassette and spokes. I had a rear wheel ruined by this in a particularly muddy XC race and have run a pie plate on my race bike ever since (you don't see European racers rocking them because they get new wheels every race; American racers are sadly much worse off).

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Fausto Coppi photo. Only vaguely knew what a rod shifter was, but felt I should rectify my benighted state and investigated:

http://www.campyonly.com/history.html

Perhaps rod shifting will be the next trendy way to make one's bicycle riding experience more difficult.

Joe Meek said...

The weak shall inherit the earth!

red neckerson said...

commiecommie you been pwned

btw in case i havent said it in a while you can suck my balls

Anonymous said...

DOC is not as hideous as the Imperial, but that's like saying Arnold "what choo talkin' bout Willis" is not as short as Webster.
What is that extra triangle up top for? Why does the top tube extend past the seatube? Why does it have sliding dropouts for singlespeed, yet cable stops for a front derailler? Who in their right mind would run a front der on a street bike?

adam said...

suspension with lockout is nice for the streets although as soon as i can afford a nice road bike I'm gonna get me one for the streets and save my knobbies for the dirt.

Anonymous said...

John 2:31,


Get a Reacharound or make one yourself out of stainless steel rack- mounting straps.


And...
You should have posted at 3:16.

JPB said...

Anon who doesn't like Evil or BMW bikes - Do you actually want answers to your questions?

Short answer, it's all about options. Run/rock what you like.

Anonymous said...

I rock full fenders for the good karma it sends out to my riding buddies, as well as my feet and ass crack.

John said...

Thanks for the links to Anon 3:36 and 3:44.

What's 3:16? some kind of bible reference or sumptin?

Commiecanuk said...

sorry, but anyone that still uses the term "pwned" in 2008, cannot pwn.

ant1 said...

I think it's a wrestling reference.

Anonymous said...

John 3:51,

Yessir. Bible reference.

John: 3:16

Anonymous said...

for some reason, delivery guys in my nabe are really into pimping their bikes. red tape appears to be the color of choice and the fastidious ones tend to hermetically seal every inch of the bike and have the "the" brand fenders, which i have only seen on delivery bikes to date.

bk jimmy said...

Carlos,

I'm assuming he meant that on a fixie you generally go faster than on a multi-geared bike... when both are using the same gear combination.

You know, because of the weight.

JPB said...

bk jimmy - I'm not sure there was any rational thought behind that statement, just a "fixies are best" mentality.

Anonymous said...

The Sensible Bike is the next big thing, this much is blindingly obvious. There are people gushing over North Road Bars and touring tires all over Flickr. And what about Compact cranks? Or Compact drops? Mark my word, all of bicycling is going all porteur/commuter/randonneur crazy/grouchy!

kale said...

FYI:

DIY outline

Red Neckerson:

I think you could pwn with some Yosemite Sam "Back Off" ones. But Beast Ice cans work just as well. Whatever keeps you riding in the winter; you'll never catch anyone on the Silkk Road with breadbags on their feet, neoprene anything, or rain paints.

Functionality, as far as I know is the opposite of irony.

Anonymous said...

JPB - they were rhetorical questions. The answer is because Evil was owned and operated by nerds who had extremely poor taste in clothing, music and bicycles. Believe me, I saw those guys at Plattekill, and the tats, all black outfits, and spikes on their helmets and stormtrooper outfits did not disguise the fact that they are pasty, chubby nerds who can barely ride a bike.

I never talked smack on BMW, just about their poser owners. I actually like the parkbike, despite the fact it's toptube extends past the seat tube. But look! Relatively clean dropouts, only the cable guides you need, smooth lines. It's not a single speed that doubles as a geared bike that triples as a recumbent if you build the frame upside down. Versitility is overrated. Bicycles should be clean and simple machines. I don't want anything on a bike that I'm not going to use.

That said, Brooklyn has made some extremely hideous bikes over the years. Fullsuspension BMX?!? That's just wrong. The barspinnable fixie gangsta?! C'mon don't encourage the fixtards.



committed to building the most visually offensi

roomservicetaco said...

Anon 3:36

Thanks for the link to Campy Only.

"To shift, the rider would first loosen the rear wheel's quick release (remember, this is done while riding!). Then, the other lever would be turned to move the chain from one cog to the other -- as it moved, the rear wheel would move forward (when shifting to the larger cog) or backward (shifting to the smaller cog). When the shift was complete, the quick release was tightened again."

Unbelievable.

How's this for manly:

http://www.campyonly.com/images/bartali1948tour.gif

Loosening your wheel and moving it fore/aft while scaling an Alp...more impressive than the elephant trunk skid.

JPB said...

Anon who doesn't like Evil but does like some BMW bikes - For what it's worth, I build and rebuild my bikes on a regular basis. Sometimes my DOC is geared, sometimes not. I like a bike that allows different build options, and I really like Evil's sliding dropouts.

I do agree that the former Evil crew seems to be a bunch of dorks but I don't have a problem with that. I like what they do. On the other hand, I am pretty sure that I am way too much of a poser to ever rock a BMW! The most I could aspire to is an Indy Fab or a Rock Lobster.

bikesgonewild said...

...kale...if that's yer crosscheck single, nice...

kale said...

"paints" = pants.

Anonymous said...

Meh...I suggest you take another Snobbatical. Your stuff was much better right after Thanksgiving. Maybe take the BSNYC/RTMS Smock with you and order some take-out...

Toxteth said...

Your neglecting the effectiveness of spot placement advertising.

Jerry Seinfeld always had his lime green KLEIN mtb hanging by his bathroom...surely just as mtb'ers outnumber roadies and fixters by a 3:1 margin, Seinfeld fans outnumber non Seinfeld fans bya 3:1 margin as well...

Commiecanuk said...

anon 4:16..the big thing for road bikes in 2009 is taller steerer tubes, eliminating the poser "pro" drop of 6-8 inches. Even Lance has been seen with...[shudder]..stem spacers.

Along with the stale economy, this puts a double-whammy on chiropractors.

kale said...

bgw-

no... sadly my current commuter doesn't have braze ons for a rack. But it's much faster that way.

Commiecanuk said...

good analogy Toxeth...Seinfeld had a popular Amex commercial attempting to remove the bike from his apartment.

I fucking old enough to remember when mountain biking meant you rode UP the mountain first, now it's ski lifts. Punks.

bk jimmy said...

JPB,

Sure, criticize the logic, but you have to admire his pseudo-objective presentation!

Believe it or not, but in the fixed gear bike community, a brake is basically a biker no no. If you have a brake on your bike, you’re basically saying:

“I have a fixed gear bike but don’t know how to control it. So I need a brake because I’m lame and a poser.”

This comment, in a way, holds true.

leroy said...

Anon 4:29 --

You sound bitter about not having won the maillot seal of disapproval yet.

But honestly, you have to give other folks a chance to submit their Fyxomatosis pix.

I'm going on location tonight.

bk jimmy said...

POOL NUDL

Plaxico said...

bk jimmy-

Kinda like how in the NY football community there's the paradox of how to carry a gun and wear sweatpants.

JPB said...

BK Jimmy -

"The mere fact that common, everyday trendy kids are riding bikes made for racing (but NOT racing them in formal competition) is kind of ironic is, at its core, ironic"

What?

I guess to say some crap like that with confidence takes a special kind of moxy. I am getting a little tired of irony, though.

Shoemaker said...

I'm still waiting for custom designed pie plates to appear on fixed gears. Could match the top tube pad. Could even get a "AYHSM" version.

Joe said...

"Isn't it ironic, don't you think?"

bikesgonewild said...

...kale...i can't justify one at this point but someday, i'd love to put together the total full-on randonneur (sp ?)...fenders, racks adaptable for both panniers or simple day-trip bags, all the bells (literally) & whistles (not literally) in the older english tourer or alex singer (saon-jay) style...

...'course i'd have to dress the part & maybe get a little more dignified...

Anonymous said...

Dear mister snob,

Please make more efforts to be humorous to me. Also, please discuss more about a most important issue, namely BIOFUELS! Why is that you never talk about BIOFUELS!? I am only concern for you, that you address this most important issue.

frilly said...

I love you Commie.

Anonymous said...

Hipster + Canadia = Ironic?

Bill said...

woohoo! bout time we had a confession of love on here!

the sentimental cyclist said...

aww...

Anonymous said...

To the Evil questioners I say poo. I rode with them and have hung out with them at Diablo and INterbike. Nerds? Yup. Skilled riders? Yup again. The imperial was deisgned so you could run it as a street, trail or DH bike. the angle of the seat tube was to allow for a huge range of tire sizes (remember Gazzaloddi 3.0s?) and still have a tight back end with lots of mud clearance. The drops, (yes, ugly) allowed the wheelbase to be adjusted depending on wheel/tire size and desired chainstay. Ugly but effective. The DOC was designed to be a woods, jump and street bike. The little bit of tube on the seat tube braced it so you could still slam the post down, but not have a stallion's length of seat post hanging out when you took it to the trails for some xc loops. One bike, many hats. Still one of the better riding hardtails I've ridden. Jack of all trades that one is.

Can't speak much of BMW 'cept they seem to be stuck in mid 90's freestyle mode as every one of their bikes is RIDICULOUSLY heavy. Not a whole heckuva lot of research beyond making bikes that are Peterbuilt proof.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 4:51pm,

Don't worry, I plan to devote a whole month to the subject. You're going to love "Biofuel February: 28 Days of Rapeseed." Stay tuned.

--RTMS

Anonymous said...

you have failed to comment on the lack of a seat on the bike behind the bright red delivery bike.

Anonymous said...

JPB said...
For what it's worth, I build and rebuild my bikes on a regular basis


I think what you mean here is not "build and rebuild" but "retrofit and de-retrofit"

Anonymous said...

Retrofit this!

Anonymous said...

Top 119

ant1 said...

It's about time we had our first
SNOB LOVE
connection (not te be confused with knob love).

ant1 said...

Anon 4:57 - shouldn't that be "trofit and retrofit"?

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:57

That's not an unusual sight.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 5:00PM,

I guess "sensible" is still some way off, but at least he is practising for upcoming Kickstand Contests.

mattchew said...

don't forget the implication you haul less ass on a freewheel bike than a fixedgear: another fallacious fixter puff piece.

Tex said...

Skidding is for children and posers.

Brakes are for people whose synapses outnumber their hormones.

mattchew said...

oops sorry los. you beat me to the punch.

Anonymous said...

Listen to your defense of the imperial:
They designed it with the intention that you would run different diameter wheels on the same bike!

They designed it with the intention that you would run 3 inch fuckin' tires on a hardtail!

They designed a hardtail as a downhill bike!

CLOWNS. There are alot of hideous frame designs out there, but I think the Evil Imperial is a strong conteder for most offensive bike ever. (barring tandems, recumbent, freak bikes)

Anonymous said...

Is it allowed to just ctrl-c all comments and make that the next blog post?

Well, it has a certain economy of style

frilly said...

No, no, its love in the 'friend zone'.

Although I still can't look at a bottle of maple syrup without blushing.

Bea said...

Brakes: you only need two.

7sp said...

If you're not riding a 650b mixte with barcons and an integrated front rack in 2009 you might as well take the bus.

Anonymous said...

The bus is the winter fixed gear.

Anonymous said...

Mixte?

http://www.mixtemagazine.fr/

I don't get it?

Johnny Sprocket said...

The stupidist thing I saw recently was a top-of-the-line, dual suspension, downhill, mtb fitted with both slicks and fenders.

Fenders.. seriously... you're already getting wet from above. Getting wet from below hardly matters. Harden up or catch the bus.

Bluenoser said...

I just wear a wetsuit with kevlar butt padding. Then I just sit on the rear wheel when I need to stop in sloppy weather.

Wetsuits come with the funny lobster mitts, balaclava thing and neoprene booties for added savings.

Those in LA can even wear the tank and regulator option to the suit for heavy smog days and I hear that Oakley now makes a tinted mask.

-B

JPB said...

Anon 4:57 the first - I was not questioning Evil bikes; I love their frames and their chain guides. I am aware of the reasons behind the design features, I just assume the other guy did not want to hear it from me. Glad to hear from another Evil fan. I was disappointed when they sold the company.

Anon 4:57 the third - Why retrofit? Is build and rebuild incorrect for some reason? Maybe I should say I assemble, disassemble and reassemble my bikes regularly.

Butthead said...

Getting wet from below hardly matters. Harden up or catch the bus.

huh huh huh hu huh uh

Dan Webster said...

How about those little hook things that used to be on the front fork so that if your brake cable were to brake on your cantilever equipped mtb your cross-over cable wouldn't lock up the wheel! THOSE are great....almost as useful as the pie-plate. Though, I do like the old-school metal pie plates. They add class, and a bit of weight too!

Beavis said...

yeah heh heh heh heeeh

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:26, don't get me wrong, the Imp ain't the prettiest girl at the prom, and my defense isn't much of a defense on that point. Weagle ain't a dumb cat by far, and I think he knew it wasn't going to win any beauty contests. The bike was purpose built to fill a niche, and that's what it did.

Personally I would nominate the hideous K2/Pro Flex suspension bikes from the late 90's as the most hideous MTB. Bikes that looked like the leopard print leotards from David Lee Roth era Van Halen and were just as bouncy. If you want to include BMX's in this race then by far JAD bikes were the worst looking bikes ever.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of recumbents and tandems...
http://www.smilepolitely.com/culture/2008/12/get-to-know-em-greg-busch-and.php

Anonymous said...

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix;
Angel-headed hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection
to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night.


I think the "starry dynamo" is actually a reference to a pie plate!

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:46-

...I lived literally a quarter mile away and I drove there every day to work. And I said, 'I should ride my bike there.' I did it one day and I'm like, 'This sucks,' and I never did it again." Lisa agreed...

A RECUMBENT RIDER IS BORN!!!

wishiwasmerckx said...

Anon 4:57 the first, if I wasn't such a computer retard, I would find and post the human equivalent of what you describe...a guy playing an accordian with a harmonica in his mouth, cymbals strapped to his knees and some sort of calliope-contraption strapped to his back. A veritable symphony of mediocracy. A bike, like a musician, should do one thing, and do one thing well.

Lance Crouther said...

I know who Bike Snob is, but I don't want the reward:

Rick Rundus

John Marr said...

Riding a mountain bike in the city doesn't make you an asshole. But back in the good old days, every asshole in the city rode a mountain bike.

Thank heaven for fixed gears. At least they're faster

Not Anonymous said...

Man, anonymous is on fire today. And all over the place.

leroy said...

BSNYC --

Oh sure, devote the shortest month of the year to Biofuels.

Hmmmph.

It's like you don't even care.

Anonymous said...

AGREED! Evils are not for bike riders. They are for people that like to put bikes together, take pics, post about it on the internet, then buy some different parts and repeat.

It's not a transformer, it's a bike.

kale said...

My favorite Biofuel is crude oil. It's aged to perfection. Not like that acrid mess those plebian hippies try to pour into my Mercedes SL 420 cdi. I concur, your hyperbole should be used for better causes. Like, how biofuels will save the earth. That might take at least two months.

Anonymous said...

49 Anonymous posts on an anonymous blog?

Let's make it 50!

Anonymous said...

what's wrong with just getting on yor damm bike and riding it sometimes

Stoked on Spokes said...

"I guess they're not content to just take their apartments."

brillant

Andy Pandy said...

I once had a close female acquaintance who did a neat party trick by putting on a fender just with her lips… just amazing just sayin. And I wish that I had taken sepia photos of the act. Frills I look at a tub of butter and get weak at the knees still
PS Second generation biofuels from algae are all the rage here, I should know

Andy Pandy said...

PS Kale Carbon sequestation will save the race as well as medicinal compound. Crude oil was made from algae pools that sunk to the ocean and sediment covered them dead buggers over a zquillion years ago. Add pressure and heat and voila.... crude oil.

Anonymous said...

Check out the CKHCI here in Los Angeles at this craigslist posting. Perhaps a good sign the economy is poised for a huge comeback.

Anonymous said...

I see the red bike (or a copy thereof) all the time on 86th and York on the Upper East Side. There are two of them, this one with the fenders and another without the fenders. The guys riding them hang all the bags of food on the handlebars.

fixed gear said...

hahahaha @ the comments - clearly you all have fender fever and need a cold shower

Jason B said...

Have you read my blog yet Mr Snob?

Anonymous said...

The OG food courier:

RIP

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:44, to Broomie and his ilk, a "reacharound" has nothing to do with a bike fender. Just sayin...

Jerry said...

Having worked in a bike shop for many years it is also important to note that the pie plate usually causes more damage than it helps out. If the derailleur is not adjusted correctly, heaven forbid, and you over shift the der can catch the pie plate and then all hell brakes loose, der cage torn apart and usually a sheared off der hanger.

frilly said...

AP, I was referring to my phone number and a bottle of maple syrup being part of Commie's Wednesday lounging kit.

Dirty boy.

Bobbo said...

"lawyer lips" - I miss Sheldon

SF Riding said...

Getting quoted definitely warrants a comment:

The MTB is not only the ride of choice for Thai Delivery drivers. See Also:

1. Meth Dealers
2. Bike Thieves
3. Bar-backs and Bus Boys
4. Low Rate Pimps (they're too big for BMX)
5. Burning Man attendees
6. First Semester Freshman (before they grow ironic moustaches, swill their first Bud, and trade for a converted fixed gear or used Pista)


Please excuse my ignorance for referring to suspension as "shox" instead of "squishies" That's a worse term than "fixie". Who brought that over from the Outback?

SF Riding

kale said...

Squish is better because it describes the sound a 2 month old Manitou fork makes after the seals break.
I stopped using the term Shox after I couldn't repair myPro-Flex elastomers.

Anonymous said...

Bluenoser:

Where do I get swim fins with SPD cleats and what about fin overlap?

Anonymous said...

Johnny Sprocket:

Considering what wheelspray brings up and into your face and eyes and mouth on city streets is reason enough for fenders.

Fenders and a rainjacket or rain cape means you stay dry.
Although I hate raincapes with drop bars, on upright bikes they aren't nearly as awful. And no sauna effect.

I like fenders because with a flap they keep my feet dry and keep winter salt/sand/filth from spraying on my chain and keep the rest of the bike cleaner.

Anonymous said...

"starry dynamo"

Anonymous said...

Anon. 11:02 AM,

I think the accessory called the Reacharound was so-named in full knowledge of the sexual technique.

Sex sells.

Johnny Sprocket said...

Anon.. you only get that kind of spray if you wheelsuck. I do run a clip on rear fender in really bad weather, but that's only because I don't want to get that greasy streak up the back of my Rapha, tweed jacket.

Tex said...

Some of us wear sensible shoes, too. Bathe regularly, and so on. Granted, it's not for everybody, but sometimes I wish it were more popular.

Anonymous SKS P-35 said...

Johnny Sprocket:

You don't get that face-spray in a headwind off the front tire?

I ride along a river with a shitload of goose... er, shit.
It's so prevalent that a fender makes sense.

I do not rock nor do I run a pie-plate for fear of geese.
I had an altercation the other day with one of those feathered effers.

But I tend to wear street clothes and don't want to change when I get to work after a 35-minute ride, even when it's raining.

Anything necessary to help me not be late.

BTW, I think the Rapha tweed is nicer than that Smythe Bros. tweed from Rivendell on those bags.

But you know what you like, and works for you, and that's fine with me.

Roll in the joys of the season, if that's the way you roll.

Throughly Entertained said...

I'd say that the delivery bike pictured is pretty high end-the color coordination is impeccable. I usually don't see much more than the mountain fenders and tape job. To see a road crank and color matched tires is pretty sweet.

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