Monday, January 5, 2009

BSNYC Product Review: Scattante Empire State Courier

As I mentioned in my penultimate post of 2008, I actually received a present for the holidays. Well, I'm pleased to report that this present was in fact a bike:

You may remember that way back in September I reported that I was the victim of an "involuntary collabo," in that Performance Bike (the Wal-Mart of mail order bicycle retailers) incorporated elements from this very blog into the marketing copy for their Scattante "Courier Series" of urban singlespeed bicycles. Basically, the Scattante "Courier Series" is a copy of Specialized's Langster line in that the bicycles are regionally-themed, except that the "Courier Series" is made of steel, is much cheaper, and has even less cachet (if that's even possible).

At the time, I was simultaneously flattered and irritated to learn that I had been used to help launch a line of quasi-Langsters. As such, I was also simultaneously flattered and irritated when a person from Performance subsequently offered to send me one of the bikes gratis. On one hand, I neither needed nor had room for another bicycle. (Much less one that's a pre-packaged copy of a pre-packaged copy of an urban bicycle.) On the other hand, I am a cyclist, and all cyclists know that it is a sin to refuse a free bicycle, no matter how objectionable that bicycle may be. On the third hand (the one on which I wear my gold "BSNYC" five-finger ring), I was curious to see whether or not Perscattante had come anywhere close to hitting the mark. Yet on the fourth hand (the one I keep down my pants while I watch TV) I did not want to give Performance even more publicity.

Finally, I decided to use my fifth hand (that's my decision-making hand) to flip a coin. If it came up heads, I'd take the bike. If it came up tails, I'd tell Performance to go have an "involuntary collabo" with themselves. Heads it was.

Once I accepted, I realized I now had a unique opportunity. While I wasn't particularly interested in adding to the vague, fluffy, and bloated canon of bike reviews, I was interested in reviewing the attitude Performance is attempting to sell with this bike. In other words, can you purchase "street cred" for $499 plus shipping?

Of all the "Courier Series" bikes, the Empire State Courier was the one that seemed like it was trying hardest to be gritty. So that's the one I chose. Here's Performance's cringe-worthy copy, complete with references to my blog:

Looking for a sure-fire way to lower the pistadex? Ditch your old bike on craigslist to make room for the new Empire State Courier from Scattante! Watch your friends marvel at the clear-coat over raw steel industrial look of this simple yet effective single speed road bike. The riser handlebars make for a comfortable and stylish bike just begging to be taken out for a little fixed gear freestylin’.

Here's what it looked like when it came out of the box:


While my friends might "marvel at the clear-coat over raw steel industrial look," I marveled at the smoke-grey plastic chain guard. Nothing says "street cred" like pant cuff protection. I won't bother commenting on the bike's appearance, since these things are subjective and it really doesn't matter what I think, but obviously the whole thing's pretty understated and it's about as polarizing as a grey sweatshirt. Now that I had the bike, I compared it against the specs on the site:

The stem was silver instead of black and the grips were not of the locking variety, but otherwise it matched up. Perscattante also attempted to redeem themselves for the chain guard by shipping the bars with the uber-chic Reverse-Mounted Brake Lever (RMBL) setup, but I chose to reorient them more traditionally during assembly:

Speaking of assembly, it was fairly straightforward, and it took way more time to remove the reflectors, warning stickers, and various other safety gewgaws than it did to actually put the thing together. However, it is worth noting that both wheels were pretty far out of true, which I attribute to the footprints that were visible on the box:

I certainly won't blame Perscattante for this as these footprints could have been applied anywhere. (Actually, now that I think about it, the mailman did have to stand on the box in order to peer over the white picket fence that surrounds my cottage.) However, if you're an inexperienced mechanic and you're buying this bike because it's cheap these are the kinds of things you'll end up paying to have corrected by your LBS. In the end, your Empire State Courier could wind up costing you almost as much as the Langster from which it was copied.

I, however, am an experienced mechanic, and so I promptly stress-relieved the wheels by blowing marijuana smoke onto them (I've never actually read "The Bicycle Wheel" but I think I've got the gist), fashioned a crude spoke wrench from a carrot, trued the wheels using the brake pads as a reference (the equivalent of tuning a guitar to itself, or turning up your stereo to drown out your TV), and commenced the first ever BSNYC/RTMS Street Cred Test.

Test #1: Boutique Acceptance

Like most cyclists, when I acquire a bicycle I will spend some time and money to "dial it in." However, this bicycle was the equivalent of an unplanned pregnancy, and I was damned if I was going to spend a single red cent on my new bastard child. Furthermore, it was also vital to the Street Cred Test to evaluate the bike entirely as-is. (What good is a cheap bike if you have to spend another $200 to make it "cool?")

However, I also allowed myself two exceptions. Firstly, the toe clips that came on the bike were tiny, and it was way too cold to ride in my ballet slippers. So I simply substituted them with a larger pair of plastic toe clips I had in my parts bin. (I was embarrassed to learn I actually had a pair of plastic toe clips in my home.) Also, while the bike is equipped with a flip-flop hub, it only came with a freewheel, and there was no way I could adequately test the bike's street cred without a fixed cog.

Fortunately, I realized that taking my new Empire State Courier to the trendiest track bike boutique in town to purchase a cog and lockring would be an excellent opportunity to test its fixter appeal. How would NYC's self-appointed fixed-gear cultural elite react to the bike? After considering my options, I decided on Chari & Co. in Manhattan's Lower East Side, where you can buy things like Nike sneakers (nothing's better for cycling than Nike sneakers), $120 "candy rims," and $95 limited edition Casio G-Shock watches.

My Empire State Courier performed well on the ride from Brooklyn to Manhattan. Since I'm reviewing the bike's street cred rather than the bike itself, I won't lapse into bike reviewer speak and try to describe the ride. All I'll say is that it rode as nicely as any inexpensive bike I've ridden, and that while there's absolutely nothing fancy on the bike it's all perfectly serviceable. (Apart from the flimsy toe clips, that is.) Basically, it felt like a singlespeed hybrid, which was probably due to the wide risers. I did conduct one highly technical test on the frame, which involved tapping it in various places, by which I determined the steel was straight-gauge, like the Pake or the Mission. (Also, if it was butted I'm sure Perscattante wouldn't let you forget it.) Anyway, assuming the thing fits you, you don't want to shift, and you're a competent mechanic there's not much wrong with it.

As I crossed the bridge, I realized that I was probably about to become the very first person in the world to take an Empire State Courier into Manhattan. I felt kind of like Henry Hudson (probably because Henry Hudson was left by his crew to die somewhere in Canada). I also marveled at the fact that a bicycle that had been designed to evoke New York was probably conceived in North Carolina, certainly built in China (I know this from the sticker I peeled off the head tube), and besides the purloined BSNYC references really had no connection to New York at all. Here's what it looked like on the bridge against the backdrop of its supposed "native" environment:

As I drew closer to Chari & Co., I grew nervous. What would these purveyors of track bike chic think of me and my lowly Empire State Courier? Would they dismiss me as an interloper with an off-the-shelf bike? Would they express curiosity about my ride? Would they not realize it was a Perscattante (the bike has minimal branding) and instead compliment me on my "tight whip?" I relaxed slightly when I noticed a Schwinn Madison tethered nearby:

I mean, my bike had to be cooler than a Schwinn Madison, which had probably also been purchased from Performance. It was also cooler than this Xtracycle thing:

After all, my bike was fully incapable of carrying anything.

Soon I reached my destination:



I knew right away from the ashtray on the stoop that I was at a serious bike shop:


Taking a deep breath, I opened the door and prepared to be judged. And judged I was. As soon as I stepped across the threshold a customer looked me up and down, regarded the bike, looked back at me, and exhaled in a derogatory fashion. It was sort of a "harrumph," but there was no vocalization, only air. I knew exactly what this exhalation of breath meant, because I've exhaled the same way in England after ordering a slice of pizza and being handed a piece of wet bread with corn on it. It meant simply, "This is pathetic." I smiled back, because while I was ostensibly there to buy a cog he had already given me exactly what I was looking for. Here's what it looks like in Chari & Co:

I leaned my bike against the wall and sought an employee to help me purchase a cog and lockring. Some people appearing to be French were carefully studying a $98 Candy Rim seatpost. To be perfectly fair, the staff exhibited none of the attitude displayed by their clientele, and they supplied me with both a 16 tooth cog and a Dura Ace lockring. (I wanted a Dura Ace lockring so something on my bike would be NJS. I also passed on their offer to sell me a used cog. I assume many of their customers are forced to buy used cogs because they're spending $98 on single-bolt alloy seatposts almost exactly like the one on my Empire State Courier.) Of course, the politeness could be because the shop was small and I had been forced to leave my bike way back by the door. As such, they might not have seen what I was riding. Then again, at one point one of the employees was forced to move my bike, and at no point did he glare at it, spit on it, or drop it intentionally.

I concluded that in the rarified world of track bike boutiques, my Empire State Courier rated something between scorn and total indifference. But I had to know more. So I conducted another test.

Test #2: Peer Acceptance

I decided it was important to test my new bike's curb appeal on the wider trendy cycling public. And nowhere in New York are people more trendy and bike-centric than in Williamsburg, Brooklyn--the heart of the Great Hipster Silk Route. On any given day Bedford Ave. is lined with bicycles like fat deposits clinging to the wall of a coronary artery. I needed to know what the people of Williamsburg thought of my bike.

As a cyclist, my own eye is drawn to pretty much any bike I see locked up on the street. I figured most people who ride bikes in Williamsburg are probably the same way. I also figured that simply asking people if my bike was cool would not yield an honest reply. Instead, I needed a "secret ballot." And since I had resolved to spend absolutely no money on the Empire State Courier (besides the money I had paid for the cog and lockring at Chari & Co.) I knew that not only would I have to fabricate a ballot box myself, but that I'd also have to use only what I already had on hand.

Fortunately, I had a plastic box in which I had been storing some old tires, and equally fortunately my new bike's downtube was equipped with water bottle bosses. So I cut a slot in the top of the box and made some holes in the bottom so I could bolt it to the frame:

I then secured a pad to the top of the box using strapping tape, and attached a pen to the spiral binding using a piece of brake cable:


I also made a sign. Since my bike was a generic Langster copy I used a generic Sharpie. Behold the "Super Staunion:"


Here's the sign I made:


"IS MY BIKE COOL?
(I need to know--I got it for Christmas!)
Leave your comment on pad below and place in ballot box."

Cost: 30 minutes, $0, and just a small hunk of my dignity. Here's how it all looked when I was finished and it was mounted on the bike. Granted, it's not exactly a billboard, but as I mentioned I was counting on the fact that any passing cyclists would check out the bike. If they did, they'd certainly notice the sign, and hopefully be compelled to vote:


I then brought it to Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg and locked it to a street sign at the corner of N. 6th Street on New Year's Day. Almost immediately, a small crowd gathered:



I then left the bike for approximately an hour and a half, returning just as the sun began to set. Not only was it still there:


But there was also a note inside the box. It worked! Here's the actual note, 100% authentic:

"Nice bike but Brakes are for Woosies!"

This was heartening. I had a nice bike! All I had to do was remove the brakes to not be a "woosy." Sure, the person who left the note must not have noticed that I had the wheel flipped to the freewheel side, and that riding it brakeless would have meant almost certain death, but I was still pleased. I mean, all I had to do to have a nice bike period in this person's eyes was to remove the brakes. And while at Chari and Co. my bike elicited only scorn and indifference, on the streets of Williamsburg it actually managed indifference and backhanded compliments. Promising indeed. Even more promising was the prospect that the note had been meant ironically (this was Williamsburg after all), in which case it simply meant I had a nice bike. Sweet.

Test #3: Customization and Photography

I had no intention of removing the brakes, mainly because I like brakes, and also because I was enjoying using the bike in freewheel mode. Between the upright position and the fact that I could ride it in sneakers it was coming in handy for short trips, and coasting seemed to go better with this type of casual riding. Still, my bike needed something to distinguish it so people would actually notice it, and I was at a loss. I wanted to do a genuine Fixedgeargallery-type photo shoot, since photographing your fixed-gear is even more important than riding it. (Yes, I was rocking/running a freewheel, but still.) I had also promised myself that I would spend absolutely no money, yet I didn't want to do the sorts of things people on Fixedgeargallery do when they want to customize a bike for free, like wrap the frame in colored electrical tape or remove the grips and cut the bars down to six inches in width. So I cheated a bit. I emailed Knog and asked them to send me some "hipster cysts." And boy did they ever:


I immediately set to work removing the "hipster cysts" from their packaging. It was a lot like shucking oysters, though unlike Sylvain Chavanel I managed to complete the process unscathed. Here is the pile of shells:


By the way, I'm very grateful to Knog for their generosity. Also, their lights are indeed quite handy in that you can mount them just about anywhere (as you will see shortly). This is especially useful for today's misshapen race bikes and components since they don't always accommodate lights readily. However, in the spirit of honesty I also feel compelled to point out that while the rubber body is truly ingenious the little light that lives inside of it is less impressive. Of the 30(!) Knog Frogs I received, six did not work, three worked in solid non-blinky mode only, and one refused to shut off after I turned it on. Here are some of the gutted defective* Knogs:


That said, not too long ago I purchased a front and rear light from a company whose name rhymes with "Sigma" (because, well, the company is Sigma) and only one of them worked properly. So I suppose Knog's one-in-three failure rate is better than Sigma's one-in-two. It's also possible they sent me some old "hipster cysts" with bad batteries or something. But I did not have time to go swapping batteries in order to find out, or to upgrade the guts like you might on an old suspension fork. I had customizing to do, and I had pictures to take. My Empire State Courier was about to develop a case of "hipster cysts" that would doubtless have the New England Journal of Medicine pounding at my door.

*(Note--important defective Knog follow-up.)

Once I was done, I headed outside to take some photos worthy of Fixedgeargallery. Here's the front and the rear of my "whip," complete with "hipster cysts:"



Here's a gritty urban shot which highlights the lights, the bike's graffiti-meets-goth-meets-psychedelia decal, and some trash:



Flip-flop hub, complete with hubular cyst:


Of all the shots I took, though, this is the one I felt was truly Fixedgeargallery-worthy:

Please note that, except for the bike, the scene is exactly as I found it. That includes both the beer bottle and the urine, neither of which I placed there. I truly feel this can compete with the best the Gallery has to offer. Quite simply, it has all the elements:


But in order to truly appreciate the bike, you've got to see it at night:


Coming and going, there's just no missing me:


It's a beautiful sight, and one that brings tears to my eyes (unless I wear welding goggles). Due to the lack of a central switch (free product idea--are you listening, Knog?) it takes me like a minute to turn the bike on fully, but it's worth it. It kind of feels like I'm powering up a spaceship. And once my rolling freak machine is ablaze, there's only one thing left to do--head to a local playground for some freestylin'.

If "street cred" means looking completely stupid, this bike doesn't have it right out of the box. It's going to take you some work. But as you can see, if you try really hard and call in a few favors, it's more than possible.

The Bottom Line
Scattante Empire State Courier

Buy it if: you feel like it.
Don't buy it if: you don't.

157 comments:

Anonymous said...

first!

Benjamin Callaway said...

Welcome back!

Surly Bastard said...

Oily boid. I even read it! Great one snobby!

c_c_rider said...

scattante... a brand owned by the german scat video industry?

fixedbr said...

Top Ten! Easy! Fixed Gear Brazil!

urchin said...

Dude, you really are going to get ID'd on that thing. We're loyal fans--I'll claim to be bikesnob if called upon--but I don't think I can decoy that setup.

cystacular!

urchin said...

...make that cystiphean!

Anonymous said...

early to rise today? Glad to have you back....

Anonymous said...

woo

Jason Pearlman said...

No, your bike is not cool yet. You need to make the seatpost one foot higher, mount a Brooks saddle, get a funky Asian keiren handlebar stem and drop the bars one foot, then add three toe straps per pedal.

ant1 said...

ant1st!

kale said...

What? I'm note evean awajke!

Andrew said...

Oh my, snobbie...big mistake. I unwittingly took incriminating photos of the whole comment box staging. TMZ's going to be knocking at my door soon.

Anonymous said...

I'm sad to see you caved and removed the chain-guard.

Anonymous said...

You should have rocked/run the sweet factory cardboard top tube pad.

JDGatlin said...

I'm with Urchin, BSNYC. Sure, the evasive tactics of withholding news of your acquisition before you posted about it might have seemed sufficient, but who's to say that righteous hurrumpher isn't an avid fan of your blog? If he's got any respectable memory, which is admittedly questionable given his likely equally righteous consumption of PBR, he's bound to at least get up here on the interweb and make a claim on some aspect of your identity.

Watch out or pretty soon we'll know what color hair you've got. Or something.

andy said...

as a marketing guy i'm trying to think what the folks at performance were thinking when they sent it to you, and what they think after reading your review.

on the one hand, they knew you were going to write about it and had to face the chance of being mocked. OTOH, as long as the review wasn't scathing, they might actually be happy with it being the subject of this blog. pretty risky but i'm guessing they'll have a good laugh and be glad they sent it to you. prolly sell a few units to readers who figure it's a good deal if you're not trying to make an image-driven purchase.

Grumpy IP said...

top 15?.

welcome back

Jessica T. said...

Best review ever!

Brendan said...

Why would you name your company "Candy Rim"? A Candy Rim seatpost is confusing.

jelliot said...

You should market and sell the comment box. I would like one of those cumbersome looking things for my bike.

ant1 said...

So, I was in amsterdam for the new year, and besides it always being wednesday over there, the bike scene is pretty awesome. Everybody rides, and they ride the shittiest bikes. No fixter scene, as far as I could tell. Just utilitarian cruiser style bikes with coaster brakes. Some sweet cargo bikes with kid's seats in the box. Hot girls on bikes everywhere (didn't see any Frilly style underwear though, much to my chagrin). Multi-level bike parking garages. Bike only turn lanes at big intersections. Heaven, more or less.

wishiwasmerckx said...

A few thousand words, and we still don't know if it is laterally stiff or vertically compliant.

Jizzosh said...

So which seal did it earn?

kale said...

Scattante
adj.:
1. 1. whippy

You expect to get the silk road to give you feedback during the forced sabbath of L train reconstruction? Should have done it at Enid's, since the G's totally in right now, and the hung-over are totally critics.

Anonymous said...

put it on craigslist!

Mark said...

Dude, tighten that chain! Thanks for the review.

Always wondered what the deal was with those bikes. Personally, I would prefer a custom conversion that I built myself but you said it yourself, a free bike cannot be passed up.

Now the question is, how much do you think it will fetch on the CList? I would list it at $750 and see if you get any takers. I am there is some NYU or Columbia Student that will think that bike is hawt and readily hand over Daddy's money to buck the trend.

Nice to have you back and Happy New Year!

* said...

"as a marketing guy i'm trying to think what the folks at performance were thinking when they sent it to you, and what they think after reading your review."

As a marketing guy shouldn't you kind of know that any publicity (short of publicity involving death or dismemberment or something) is good publicity?

And I agree - as an expert because I have put together one derailleur-less bike, ever - that the chain looks loose!

Critical Ass said...

If you call Budweiser "cheap beer" then you ain't never lived in the Midwest.

Anonymous said...

I am the harrumper and can finally reveal that the snob is....
well, I have no idea.
but I certainly remeber that he has moustaches, and a short on top, shaven sides and long in the back hairstyle.
quite handsome actually. a cross between Poncherello and Jay Leno with a mullet.
sweet

BikeSnobNYC said...

Mark,

Chain's perfectly fine. It's in no danger of coming off, and a little loose is better than too tight. No sense putting too much tension on an inexpensive freewheel. I'd probably rock/run it a little tighter on the fixed gear side so as not to feel any slop during my mad skip-stopz, though.

--BSNYC

Mark said...

CA, Bud is certainly cheaper than Brooklyn Lager.

Question is, does the bike qualify for a picture with a 40 of PBR?

kale said...

Mark and *-

A loose chain is the secondary symptom of cystic knogosis. The application of a lubricating salve or a tuggnut may alleviate the problem for a few days or weeks.

John said...

Because of your flowery writing I'm now thinking you're maybe not a writer but a cartoonist instead.

My wife pro-dealed an SE Lager and it came with that exact same chainguard. There must be at least five brands of cheapo SS bike that are the same beneath the decals.

Mongo Pusher said...

Bahati!

Critical Ass said...

Kale said "The application of a lubricating salve or a tuggnut may alleviate the problem for a few days or weeks."

I think the best chain tensioner for the Empire State Courier is the Fuck Nut Hugger, which is probably on sale at Nashbar.

Dave699 said...

Your seat is level. Shouldn't it be at least 30 degrees nose down? C'mon, this is Day 1 stuff!

AYHSMB said...

Where's my propsz?

leroy said...

That was brilliant, truly brilliant.

I am speechless.

Okay, not completely speechless.

Had I known what you were up to, I would have suggested one last test: A night time holiday ride through Dyker Heights.

Bottom line: if the tricked out Perscattante were capable of distracting the parade of rubber-neckers taking in the holiday light displays, that would be the ultimate confirmation of street cred.

Can the Perscattante compete with a twelve foot, flood-lit inflatable snow man surrounded by a pack of reindeer blinking like the strobes on the approach to Runway 13 at LaGuardia and led by a neon plastic Santa toting a sack large enough for the lime-green Hummer at the top of everyone's wish list?

Sadly, the answer will have to wait until next year.

But in the mean time, that was brilliant.

Happy New Year all!

Pulverized Concepts said...

I still ain't got a job.

acquiesce808 said...

i laughed until i stopped.

Madame Fainterschpiel-Grossman said...

Chaises are for woosies.

JimmyJames said...

You're missing the point BSNYC. Your chain might be functional but it certainly isn't cool unless it's as tight as a tarts thong. Just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

No....I'm the harrumper! and BSNYC doesn't look like that at all...

He's got a long on top, long on sides, short in back, forward swoopy haircut. Tallish, but average height and large but medium build. Kind of like a cross between Joan Jett and Conor Oberst on testosterone.

Anonymous said...

so are you keeping the bike or not?

the real harrumpher said...

P'shaw!

innerlight said...

notfirst!

Alex Mojcher said...

Haha, so glad you're back, BS. Great review. My conclusion is: I don't feel like it. Tell your cottage I say hello. If that Scattante came with an aerospoke you may not have had to worry about the peering mailman.

SkidMarkPDX said...

Looks like a bike you could beat the shit out of and not care about. Isn't that perfect for NYC?

Gnarles Darwin said...

That blurry photo makes me "Woosy"

Anonymous said...

The wheels out of true are pretty typical of Perscattantes. I wrench at one of their shops (hey, we all gotta work, yknow?) and virtually every one that comes out of a box needs to have the wheels thrown on the TS-2 and have about 10 minutes of work done to it. I swear they hired the gorilla from the old American Tourister luggage to do all of the shipping work.
Great read, as usual. Welcome back!

Commiecanuk said...

Awesome review..just in time for my new business venture in Scattante team clothing. Check your mail soon BSNYC, You've got a complimentary "I [heart] SCAT" t-shirt coming!
Fresh tats...
HARD SCAT

Xmas has been so good to me! I managed to keep the "mas" in Xmas, and I got a really cool water bottle drying rack from the back pages of Bicycling magazine.

Buy: if you can't figure out how to turn a water bottle upside down.

Don't buy: if you hate America and the economic recovery.

BikeSnobNYC said...

SkidMarkPDX,

You'd think so, but the prevailing wisdom seems to be that the ideal NYC bike is a high-end track frame with Thomson stem and post, King headset, and Phil Wood hubs. After all, that's the "bulletproof setup."

--BSNYC

Tex said...

"I knew exactly what this exhalation of breath meant, because I've exhaled the same way in England after ordering a slice of pizza and being handed a piece of wet bread with corn on it."

Classic Snob! Welcome back.

JPB said...

What's wrong with the Thomson, Thomson, King set up on a commuter bike? Just because these components cost more than my frame, is that wrong? I'm not an idiot though, I won't spend more than $20 on a saddle!

Anonymous said...

Woot! Woot!

Mental Yentl said...

So as I vas sayink to Tessie at the beauty parlor the other day, tings are so different now. Back in deh old days no one drhank that feh stuff Budveisah. Us bike bums drhank deh Manischewitz vhile vatching deh street bums schpritz on deh lampposts. Den ve left deh bottle dere so people vud tink deh bums did it. But now, notink is deh same. Oysh.

JPB said...

Great review! Nobody really wants to know how the bike rides, we just want to know if people will think it is cool.

Glad you are back, Bike Snob. Now I have something to do while at work.

Anonymous said...

pff, uh, bulletproof?

i think you mean, uh, bombproof....

jeez...

The Pogonologist said...

“If you call Budweiser "cheap beer" then you ain't never lived in the Midwest.”

Amen, Critical Ass.

http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/797/7436

The reviews don’t do Jacob Hackstein Pilsner justice.

Anonymous said...

awww, you crack me up. i <3 you.
j

Josh said...

i haven't left my house in, like, three weeks, but i totally wish i'd "hit up" bedford the other day to vote. damn.

stuggy said...

Best.

Bike review.

Ever.

Daddo said...

"my wife pro-dealed an SE Lager"

so many things one could say about a sentance fragment like this

jay2179 said...

stop riding now! it has a tracking device! your anonymity will be shattered BSNYC!

kale said...

sentance?

stuggy said...

Oh, and I checked out that Candy Rim seat post. What the fuck are "SPARCLES?" When I spend $98 on seat posts, I want SPARKLES. Preferably hot pink, not black/white. Mmmmm, matching hot pink sparkly rims, seat post and handlebars... Could I get a stem to go with that?

Kelly said...

Is the Scat being added to The Great BSNYC/RTMS Fyxomatosis Photo Parody Contest prize list?

Anonymous said...

I'm The Harrumpher!

Anonymous said...

I'm The Harrumpher!

Anonymous said...

No, I'm The Harrumpher!

Anonymous said...

I'm Sparticus!

Jose said...

methinks this is snob's masterpiece.

kale said...

BSNYC-

Declare yourself winner of The Great BSNYC/RTMS Fyxomatosis Photo Parody Contest, collect the prizes and go full 1/8" and pieplated for more street cred.

Cool The Kid said...

That bike gets scoffed at by SE Draft owners (who still run the stock 36" handlebars)

BikeSnobNYC said...

Cool the Kid,

Draft?!? Ha!

The Lager owners are another story. Those guys intimidate me.

--RTMS

Anonymous said...

Greatest product review ever! So, who's gonna be the first (after BSNYC) to get that bike + a Rapha silk scarf? You'll need those Phil Wood hubs soon for some street cred. Or just scrape off that clearcoat, let it rust a little, then put on a new clearcoat to seal-up the patina? F*&k yeah!

bikesgonewild said...

..."The Bottom Line
Scattante Empire State Courier

Buy it if: you feel like it.
Don't buy it if: you don't.
...

...excellent local review but how would it play in peoria ???...

red neckerson said...

i likes pbr but i loves bud but its too expensive so i buys ether keystone or the bushbeer that comes in 1 liter bottles

totalchaud said...

HARU MPH!

Anonymous said...

HAND TOES

ambidexterous 13y/o said...

BOOB CLIT

Slappy said...

This was great!! Everyone is going to be on the lookout for you at night.

Anonymous said...

This is one of those Snob posts that renders you speechless. What a way to start the new year. Welcome back!

dmitri fofonov said...

Since not taking harmless nutritional substances anymore on my bike for awareness across Siberia, am for to be uncertain of manliness of mine. Friend in States sent me bike that sounds like it would provide firm erections: http://louisville.craigslist.org/bik/976665476.html

red neckerson said...

if you was so damm specchless how come you ran yor mouth anyways

Lucky 7 said...

Hilarious!!!

I'm surprised you didn't beg for some valve cap lighting, tho.


A

Anonymous said...

My face still hurts from laughing. A fantastic review.

I love it when the Snob hits the streets, bad photos and all. As for staying undercover, maybe he's got the ultimate disguise-- he doesn't look cool.

The cyst-mod hit me like a sucker punch. LOVE IT!

shmaltz herring said...

Snob,

You have almost as many "other hands" as Tevye the milkman.

Gnarles Darwin said...

JDGatlin is right, those guys in the bike boutique are taking a look at the security tapes right now and sending their footage to the aussies to collect their reward.

Pretty careless Snob, if you need someone on the street to do you sluething Im sure any one of us would be happy to do it.


"CHAI NSAG"

mono_vs_stereo said...

I can't believe he didn't think of this...

scattant1st!

smovlov said...

having all this stuff shipped to you? someone will figure out your identity...

Anonymous said...

Candy Rim keeps promising the My Little Pony line, but do they ever deliver?

ant1 said...

I wish I had.

David Flynn said...

i've never come across a faulty knog light.

but that has got to be the prettiest draft in williamsburg

BikeSnobNYC said...

Smovlov,

Nah, just the identity of the person I had it shipped to.

Gnarles,

My theory is chain sag=less friction=poor man's ceramic bearings! (I have to compensate for the loss of power caused by riding with sneakers and plastic toe clips. Between the chain sag and the teardrop helmet it pretty much balances out. Powertap data to follow.)

--BSNYC

John said...

Daddo,

You see, a "pro deal" is when an employee is eligible to get a discount on merchandise carried by their employer, as if they were a "pro", or professional, at whatever sport.

I'm using "pro-dealed" as a verb, in the past tense, as a shorthand way to say she bought an SE Lager at substantial discount, and would not have bought it for the full retail price of $540.

So you see, it's not really a sentence fragment at all, nor a sentance fragment. Sorry for the confusion.

Brendan said...

I was impressed the note writer spelled the word brakes correctly. There is hope...

Ronsonic said...

Blogger andy said...
"as a marketing guy i'm trying to think what the folks at performance were thinking when they sent it to you, and what they think after reading your review."

They were probably thinking, that Snob would at least spell the damn name right. Probably.

Snob jukes and leaves the industry flatfooted, again.

Anonymous said...

Maybe knog needs to be told to have an involuntary collabo with itself

Anonymous said...

Some would say you've digressed from reviewing crabon bottle cages and bars.

I would say you've become the People's Reviewer.

Anonymous said...

Also:

No OSO bike review?

Samuel said...

Knog knowingly sells hipster cysts?! I smell class action lawsuit coming.

Phil said...

Snob-
You're going to give me a stroke. Methinks you've out done yourself.

Tubes said...

I just fell in like with you all over again. I'm pretty sure you're a member of the blue man group, based on that fresh endo photo.

Chris said...

That was the longest blog post I've ever read. I was sorta hoping that when you chained the bike up to the pole it would get stolen and there would be some wild adventure to get it back.

Disappointing, but still a good post.

mander said...

"I, however, am an experienced mechanic, and so I promptly stress-relieved the wheels by blowing marijuana smoke onto them (I've never actually read "The Bicycle Wheel" but I think I've got the gist)"

Classic BSNYC

Wipeout said...

Fucking Best Post Ever!

Anonymous said...

Amazing, muito bem.

Anonymous said...

Great Post!
The bike looks very similar to my Redline 925, I would say identical.

bikesgonewild said...

...as the old saying goes "clothes make the man"...

...i figure bsnyc/rtms went into chari & co wearing tight pegged hipster-chick pants, a blazer w/ that ralpha scarf pulled up partway over his mug (supposedly due to the cold) & a trendy little herringbone cycle cap & thus the resultant "harrumph"-ent exhalation...
...the "harrumpher", probably being a serious 'roady' just though "good lord, another one of those tatty fix gear bitches"...

...that, or bsnyc dressed way down w/ a look similar to the original & now famous "rip torn mug shot"...wearing tattered clothing, dirty fingerless gloves & w/ a little mumbling as background music, he offered to pay for that cog w/ a pile of wrinkled 1 dollar bills & a lotta 'spare' change...
..."nothin' but the best for my new ride, buddy...ya think i wanna put worn stuff on on her, huh !?!...ya think i can't pay for the good stuff just 'cuz i ain't dressed like you, pal ???"...

...that "harrumph"-ent exhalation coulda simply been a response to the supposed 'eccentricity' about to shuffle into the shop w/ a knog infested bike...

...a little subterfuge & who really bothered to look at the snob's face..."clothes make the man" & bsnyc rides away, anonymous as ever...

...beautiful...

tyler said...

sort of related. i ride a fixed gear bike. i don't call my bike a "fixey". i call my bike "my bike". i do not wear tight jeans and Van's (although i did in the 80's). I do wear knickers. i also wear a helmet. i "rock" a front brake. the only trick i do is to not get hit by a car on my commute. ok, i can skid but i do not dangle my elephant trunk over the bars. i was cool in the 80's, 90's and early new millenium. i was a musician, filmaker and fixed gear afficiando. i am no longer hip. in fact i hate "the scene". my question is am i hip by default because i ride a fixed gear and have a large record collection? and will pulling my newborn son in a trailer behind my fixed gear bike further alienate or in fact disqualify any hipness or at the very least hipsterism?

mr.complaint said...

You could make the stem black with your "Super Staunion."

If you wanted.

Congratulations on your new whip.

michael said...

so far this is the best post of the year!

Anonymous said...

Epic. Truly Epic.

bikesgonewild said...

..."the only trick i do is to not get hit by a car on my commute"...
...that, tyler, is the best trick in the book...& long may you do it well...

...& i'll include myself & anyone who ever throws a leg over a frameset, in that wish...

Anonymous said...

Super Staunion, indeed. Hmmm, I do think that needs to be a registered trademark as shown on the marker. The likelihood of it being ripped off is great. I also like the chevron that is an inverted logo exactly of the Sharpies "Sanford" logo.

Hey, BSNYC, on that lucrative income you derive from this blog, can't you afford the real deal, instead of supporting nefarious counterfeiters? I'm concerned about your financial well-being in this time of crisis.

scott said...

Excellent post, BSNYCRTMS - a classic to be sure.

Jonathan said...

with regards to generic sharpies:
in a $2 shop in a shady part of town (okay, a block from my house...) i found a packet of "Shoopies". absolute fucking genius.

Daddo said...

John:
I understood your full sentEnce. I wasn't implying that you left a fragment or even that it didn't make sense. What I meant is that taken as fragment, it's funny. As in, "Pro" and "SE Draft" in the same sentEnce fragment. As in "Pro-dealed" as something someone does- and if we're trash talking here, which we are - as in whether or not one would let one's wife "pro-deal" anything.
Anyway, I am neither a pro cyclist nor a pro bike shop employee but I can get you an SE Draft from my LBS for about $300. I've never seen such shoddy craftsmanship, and the pros at my shop say the wheels are coming back busted almost daily, but I can get you one - red a black checkered top-tube pad included!

tedpowerphoto said...

whats wrong with buying a relatively cheap bike and putting $200 or more into it?how else am i gonna get my better parts for the next better quality bike? i`m not made of money dammit. trading silk in brooklyn all day doesnt get you many aerospokes....

Johnathon Fitzpatrick said...

This is a great posting. I've loved you're concept of the 'hipster cycst' and this takes it to a whole new level. And to actually be willing to put a ballot box in the middle of NYC asking if your bike is cool? You've got guts. Thanks for sharing your creativity!

Anonymous said...

Cheater...took the pant cuff protector off. How'm I supposed to know if the local's will accept a stock one, even if add the cysts?

48 Below said...

I've been reading for a year, and this is on the podium for your best day yet! Great reviews you did Performance & Knog proud!

Lucky said...

"Wet bread with corn on it"

BAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

brandon said...

Since it has been established that any bike is "cool" as long as it's free, I can now rock/run my Pista with no reservations. Thanks G.W. !!

Anonymous said...

What's RTMS stand for??

bikesgonewild said...

...anon 11:31pm...

...ya wanna know, ya gotta work for it...

...it's an acronym you'll find utilized in something i posted at 5:48pm...r...t...m...s..., & it originated from the fertile & creative mind of the illustrious & lately missing erik k in cooperation w/ the bsnyc...but that's another story...

...start there...

Anonymous said...

So someone at Performance Bicycle now knows BSNYC's address?

Also, you'd think TGPBCO (The Great Performance Bicycle Company) would have the decency to register http://www.scattante.com/.

Anonymous said...

Be fair... the Pistadex website is hilarious (and took more than 20 minutes to scrap together, I'm sure). You should be flattered that people invested a few days of time into that kind of derivative work!

brettok said...

I think 'Mental Yentl' may be 'Sunken' from 'The Truth Hurts'... i.e not fucking funny but trying hard anyway..

Anonymous said...

Absolutely brilliant.

overdahill said...

bsny, i am sorry, but at 37 perhaps i am getting too old.i went to that chari and co website to check out their bags... they all looked like something my aunt in yonkers would buy to carry with her to the mall! wtf?
really:

http://www.chariandconyc.com/bags.aspx

Anonymous said...

Overdahill-

May I be first to join you in saying Bwwaackggg. Them bags is hideous and pricey. I rock a drawstring sack from the local parks and rec. Got it from my kids triathlon pack...

I'm closing in on 39, and am freeing myself from any hint of cool or street cred. It's liberating.....

kale said...

Ovadahill and anon-

100$$$ for a goddamn hip bag gimmeafuckingbreak!

Critical Ass said...

Tyler,

No, you are not hip by default. The only way playing vinyl makes you hip is if the vinyl is older than the DJ. Hipsters will despise the baby trailer, but it will be a chick magnet on the local multi-use trail...a whole new demographic of chicks. I have tried the trailer on a fixed gear (52/19) and it sucks to pull up hills, so I put the trailer hitch on my crappy Schwinn Super Sport and it works great. Make sure you wear your tube socks and cargo shorts.

Anonymous said...

Kale-

But you save $20 if you buy now!

Business plan:
Mark it up 300%, drop the price %15, now you are the consumers friend, extending them a deal....Bwwaahh ha ha.....

kale said...

anon-

Man, I need to get on that! I failed to notice that they came with a 700c innertube and a set of tire levers. Now I can get rid of my butter knife and patch kit.

But how will I do knife hits with plastic levers?

John said...

Daddo:

Oh, right, got it.

But please, she got the Lager, not the Draft. A giant step up from utterly craptacular to merely...uh...crappy but functional. Like the scattante I suppose. (oops--a real sentence fragment!)

Now I really have to get back to hooking my kid's trailer up to my fixie, that multi-use path idea is going to work even better than borrowing friends' new puppies to walk.

Anonymous said...

Kale-

If you have a CO2 tire inflater, it can be modified to be a power-hitter with just a few simple adjustments. Go easy on the valve/actuator or you could get too much input all at once. Easy on the trigger...

You might consider switching to powdered contraband which can be easily ingested or otherwise somatically integrated.

Hope this helps.

ant1 said...

Rip Torn just got another dui, according to the news. New mugshot should be coming soon.

"I AM BIKE SNOB!" we said...

The carbon-fiber sarcophagus really helped! Was it placed beneath a pyramid while you rested/isolated?

totalchaud is that "totally hot" or "total choad"?

Anyway... HARU MPH! is so far the only knuckle tattoo I've actually considered getting, if just for a moment, and I thank you.

I think SPARCLES are pronounced much like FARCE or FARCICALS.

It may be used for some interface with operating systems in SPARC processors, maybe for wheel-based computer apps - maybe sound or LED systems?

Anonymous said...

RTMS = Read The Mug, Stupid!

I think it's about novelty catchphrase-bearing coffee mugs.

Strider said...

Nice job BSNYC. Great post.

Scat Avoider said...

Last!

the long tail of the internet strikes again. Whip!

Seriously the voting box was a great concept, especially the attachment mechanism to the water bottle bosses.

Anonymous said...

The 'out of the box' photo, bridge shot, and 'cysts in the daylight' photos were breathtakingly uproarious. I also enjoyed your "run into the curb" endo. Fantastic work! Your fecund jocosity is as boundless as your piquant mordancy, and that's just stating the ironic.

Wallace Family said...

Are you sure that they are just cists, they could be cancerous tumors, you should really get them checked out by a bike doctor. You can never be too careful.

J said...

Hey Snob -- this or that bike can't be cool, because it ain't in Chicago, where all truly cool bikes reside! Ok?

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Anonymous said...

Shocking piece of crap.

But the drive-train and brakes & all else feels like the zillion-dollar Benotto Cello-taped bikes of my ill-spent (1980s) youth.

What slave labor and high-tech crappy manufacturing can do these days, compared with the finest Vincenza workshops of yore!

Just bought one with drop bars & "Windsor Clockwork" decal for $269 including shipping. No wheel truing required, fortunately.

Manoj Singal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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Anonymous said...

The wheels out of true are pretty typical of Perscattantes. I wrench at one of their shops
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