Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Spoils of Victory: Jousting with Legitimacy

While I'm not ready to make a formal announcement, I may have a winner for The Great Meh BSNYC Free Scat Contest!, and should be able to confirm this in the next day or so. Obviously, when you're giving away a prize as substantial as a Scattante, you can't just hand it over--you have to draft a lengthy press release, subject the bicycle to rigorous fatigue testing, and file reams of paperwork with the IRS. In the meantime though, as an amateur contest "curator," I've taken an increased interest in how the "pros" do it, so I was interested to learn that Ridley is giving away a bike to the person who comes up with the best way of colors:

As you may know, I dabble in bicycle design, so naturally I shifted into the big ring and sprinted over to the Ridley Colour-O-Matic 2000(TM) to create my dream crabon frib├ę (pronounced "CRAY-bon free-BAY") technicolor crotch chariot. I chose a Noah something-or-other, which defaulted to a lovely lavender design evocative of a tube of Propolis & Myrrh Tom's of Maine toothpaste:

My first instinct was to smear the thing with color like toddler with a full suite of fingerpaints and a case of ADD, but then I realized that in doing so I'd be competing with thousands of other people doing the same thing. See, watching the professional peloton may be like looking at a sponge painting while on peyote, but this is because professional riders are promoting companies, and while the riders compete with each other the companies are competing for your attention. However, amateur road bicycle enthusiasts forget that professionals look this way because they have to, not because they want to, and among the non-recessed cleat set garishness has become the norm. So, cunningly, I decided that I would set myself apart with a simple design consisting mostly of a single tone. If Coldplay could find success by being monotonous, why couldn't I? Here's what I came up with:

I was quite proud of myself, and my new bicyle almost looked like something I wouldn't be embarrassed to ride. However, while you'd think that no color combination could be more straightforward than uniform black, the Colour-O-Matic 2000(TM) instead warned me that "This colour combination can cause technical problems," and then froze up completely like a malfunctioning STI lever. Consequently, it was back to the drawing board for me, and interestingly the Ridley site had absolutely no problem processing this ghastly metallic-green-to-blue fade:

I guess subtlety and road cycling go together like Shimano freehubs and Campagnolo cassettes.

Speaking of things that lack subtlety, cyclists don't get more outrageous than tall bikers, or freak bikers, or "outlaw bicycle gangs," or whatever you call people who ride two children's bikes welded together while wearing soiled denim vests. These are the people behind "Bike Kill," a proud tribe who once spraypainted "Bike Culture Not For Sale" on a Brooklyn clothing store and who are not afraid to sport facial tattoos while using up their "anytime minutes." As I mentioned awhile back, despite their ostensible aversion to "selling out," one tall bike enthusiast was developing a tall bike jousting game for the iPhone (cost: $2.99), and as of last week it's officially available for download. Here's a gripping behind-the-scenes video of the making of the game:

This is the biggest thing to hit freak bikedom since Amazing Larry appeared in that Jared Leto video:

I've never been tempted to weld my Scattante to my Ironic Orange Julius Bike, and I'm certainly not pining for some lost era of freak bike integrity, but I must say there is something sad about seeing these people appear in celebutarded videos and exchange their denim vests for motion sensor suits so readily. As any time trialist or cyclocross racer will tell you, once you've donned a full body suit you've officially crossed the rubicon of bike dorkitude. Furthermore, a "subculture" loses all "street cred" the moment it is distilled into an "app." You can exist in the margins of society, or you can exist on the iPhone, but you simply cannot exist in both places at the same time. In the "street cred" hierarchy, the whole tall bike thing has fallen beneath bike polo and fixed-gear freestyling and currently hovers somewhere between tweed rides and 24-hour mountain bike racing. Now that tall bike jousting has become the stagediving of the cycling world, I would advise all freak bikers dedicated to the "outlaw" lifestyle to abandon tall bikes and instead take their shoddy fabrication skills and poor hygiene off the streets and into the water where "society" will have a harder time of stealing it. A subculture based entirely on battling each other in small water crafts would be much more difficult to render in "app" form. Of course, the true measure of an outlaw is remaining committed to your lifestyle even when it ceases to be obscure, but you have to admit, "Canoe Kill" sounds even more outrageous than "Bike Kill."

Meanwhile, as tall bike jousting becomes increasingly legitimate, the winners will certainly start demanding lavish prizes. One possibility is a trophy made from a Trek Madone, which one reader informs me you can now purchase on eBay:

I look forward to an age when the top professional tall bike jousters conduct lengthy interviews in trophy rooms full of plaques like this. Also, for the person who is as enthusiastic about home improvement as he or she is about cycling, the Madone headtube plaque makes a great grout float. Laterally stiff yet vertically compliant, it provides precise handling that transmits grout to the space between the tiles where you need it most. Here's another one that actually comes with the fork:

Just think of the possibilities:

I'm not sure where the seller is getting all these Madones. I'm guessing either they're raiding the Dumpsters over at The Great Trek Bicycle Making Company, or simply dentists' "gap bikes" which they sell for pennies on the dollar as soon as their new Serottas come in.

Sometimes, though, a head tube glued to a piece of wood simply isn't enough, and you want an entire bike. That's when you turn to Craigslist. Here's an "extreamly light" that will "turn haeds as you breeze past the peleton:"

MASI Team Issue 3V Record 10 - $1500 (Greenport)
Date: 2010-01-30, 11:56AM EST
Reply to: [deleted]

Masi Team 3V made with Reynolds 731 tubing with a Reynolds Carbon Fiber Fork 60 cm c/t.. 2005 Campagnolo Record 10 Shifters, Record Rear Derailleur, Record Front Derailleur, Record Wheelset with Record Cassette 13x26, Record Crankset 175mm, Record Brakeset, Chrous Headset and bottom bracket. Deda Handle Bars 44 and Deda Stem 120mm. Thompson seat post and Selle Flite Saddle. Very Low Mileage and extreamly light make this the bike to turn haeds as you breeze past the peleton 631 477 [deleted]

This bike is so vintage that the seller has lapsed into Middle English.


Anonymous said...


PooBah said...

Happy Groundhog Day!

wishiwasmerckx said...

Another Victory?

ringcycles said...

Podium colorways

Unknown said...


Anonymous Coward said...

Top Ten

Anonymous said...

erik zabel 2004 milan san remo

wishiwasmerckx said...

Well, s%#t, anon came around me on the right and pipped me at the line.

Disgruntl Ed. said...

panino (singular)
panini (plural)

Now to read the post.

Anonymous said...

Yes, back near the top!

hincapz said...


hincapz said...


Astroluc (Find me on Tumblr and Instagram @Astroluc) said...

i'm sick!! top 20!!

poole said...

ya know, if the podium was _reeeeaaaallllly_ big...

Anonymous Coward said...


"not afraid to sport facial tattoos while using up their anytime minutes" -- pricless snob

hillbilly said...

love anything that takes a swipe at coldplay

hillbilly said...

love anything that takes a swipe at coldplay

grog said...

Six more weeks of Winter cycling.

Anonymous said...

yeah man, coldplay are bogus. talented guys making millions doing what they love. And in their spare time marrying hot actresses and raising families, etc. total sellouts man. At least I'm keeping it real, wasting away my work day, in a zero impact desk job, reading and responding to bike blogs.

Stupid Name. said...

Snob did not you learn anything, put some butterflies on with a sharpy, pretend you will give it to charity, and you can can charge 500,000.00

With that kind of money, you can something good.


Stupid Name said...


Damn spell checker fighting back.

Unknown said...

Top 30? The air IS different up here!

Stupid Name said...

"The next morning, McKenzie found the graffiti. "They knew it wouldn't come off," she says. "This was malicious. They could have left a note. They could have gotten in touch with us about their concerns.""

The village voice, again showing that they have their finger on the pulse of "tall bike culture"


hillbilly said...

anon 1:16, have you never heard of people having different taste? I happen to hate their music, I don't doubt their happiness or hold it against them in any way. you on the other hand, are a major tool


An add for Buprenophine which can help heroin addiction on a bike blog?,hmm

Snob, I've noticed your rarely comment these days, i can remember the days of you responding two, three times a post now your all scattantayed out forgetting your peeps.

hillbilly said...

I can't believe I let you successfully bait me. you win.

BikeSnobNYC said...


Sorry, I have been very busy with the upcoming BSNYC/RTMS iPhone game. I don't want to spoil it but you have to jump a Scattante over a hungry shark. (I may not be able to afford the Coldplay song clearances though.)


Jefe said...

The "irony" indicator on the Ridley software was at its highest setting. No black bikes alowed. Perhaps rainbow hoods would have met the computer specifications. What color(s) is the Scattante?

sufferist said...

Anon 1:16- No impact desk jobs? What do you call Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, degrading posture and having to endure the monotony of corporate culture. No impact my a$$.

hillbilly said...

Did you say Coldplay? Those guys are awesome! You can tell because they marry actresses!

Anonymous said...

TOP 40

Anonymous said...

@Anon 1:16 ... and these facts (even if accurately stated) are relevant HOW to the question whether or not Coldplay is one of the most irritatingly boring bands on the planet?
... and in other news -- bicycle colour schemes (colourways?). I always wonder why it is that so many bikes -- including and perhaps especially high-end ones -- look like they've been attacked by a box of crayons.

sufferist said...

Hillbilly: Some day you will rule the world, traveling at the speed of sound, until then Viva la Vida.

sufferist said...

Now I feel dirty....

ant1 said...

hillbilly - have you ever heard of my way or the highway? how dare you suggest that my way of looking at the world is dictated by personal taste rather than absolute truths.


anon 1:16

VBW said...


recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Crotch Chariot- nice one snob.

ant1 said...

i love how people read this blog, and then comment about how others who read blogs and comment on them have no life. if i were them, i would just skip a step and just comment about how much of an idiot i am. there's no need to drag others into it.

hillbilly said...

Yeah, Sufferist, I would shower if I were you after that.

hillbilly said...

ant1- couldn't have put it better myself. but now i am commenting on your comment, and if someone comments on this, geez, they must REALLY be a loser. Only problem is that my worthless desk job is distracting me from commenting on all the other comments.

Dave said...

Man I can't believe that I just sit here reading bicycle blogs and listening to Coldplay. What an idiot I am.

I do like Clocks though

Dave said...

Snobbie I hope that you don't think less of me butI used to Bike Joust a lot. Of Course I was 12 years old.

Fierce Panties said...

@ hillbilly,
I just want to go ahead and comment on your former, not the latter, comment:

I hope that you don't take this the wrong way, but I think that you were a little harsh on anon116.

Still friends?

Salty and Sore said...

[twirling a thong around a finger, lackadaisically]

Did someone say dirty?


In other news, "As any time trialist or cyclocross racer will tell you, once you've donned a full body suit you've officially crossed the rubicon of bike dorkitude."


Coastiedouche said...

Yeah I think its unanimous that Coldplagiarist suck.Theyve been trying to be U2 since day one.Even the singe tries to work the stage like Bono.Just because you marry an anorexic actress doesnt mean you rock.Sappy meolodramatic drivel.

Fierce Panties said...


I thought that they were plagiarizing Radiohead.

hillbilly said...

certainly fierce panties, without a doubt. I'm cranky today.

ervgopwr said...

Desk job comment!

ervgopwr said...



Fierce Panties said...

and another thing (sorry I misspelled your handle)

when was it ever a good thing to date an actor? They're flighty, flaky, phony, and are probably good at acting.

On top of that, guys in cubicles think that they're hot.

Comment-o-matic said...

Warning this comment combination can cause technical problems

ant1 said...

erv - DSK:(JOB may be the best knuck tat i've seen yet. if i were snobby, i'd give you a prize for comment of the day.

Disgruntl Ed. said...

Come to think of it, I was married to an actress, and what FP says is true. It was a disaster.

Now I have a desk job, where I can comment on cycling blogs, and I am raising a family. I eat panini when I feel like it, or just one panino if I am not that hungry. Overall things are pretty good now, better than when I was married to the aforesaid actress.

I may be an idiot but I am probably not talented enough to judge. Someone else should anonymously do that for me.

Joe Satriani said...


3G said...


All You Haters Titan My Pettles

Coastiedouche said...

Check out the hitler fixie clip scroll down funny.http://urbanvelo.org/

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, Salty, for sure bike dorks are fucking hot!

I like Coldplay. They gave everyone a CD of the song list at their last concert. A thoughtful gesture ITTET.

Anonymous said...

yeaaahh.. that jared leto thing was an abomination. but the bike jousting thing is kind of entertaining. if i had something that used an app i'd think about dropping $2.99 for it.

Anonymous said...

I think anon 1:16 was being facetious you guys.

nard_hipples said...

coldplay gets me sooooooooo wett...

Anonymous said...

david tesh - hair = joe satriani

Anonymous said...

I tHOPE anon 1:16 was being facetious you guys.

CommieCanuck said...

Coldplay is gayer than Richard Simmons and Andy Dick together with a bottle of wine and a tube of astro-glide,

...in a disco,

...at a Sandals resort,

...all inclusive.

Coastiedouche said...

Joe Satriani: check this out Satch and Coldplay stole this from Rockn easpanol guy Frances Limon end of story:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znrHzefl8cM I doubt youll see Limon take the time to sue.It is undeniable.Theres also another song Satch stole from Joe Bonnamosa from the Chickenfoot album of last year.

nard_hipples said...

yes anon 1:16 was being very, very factitious. he's not sick at all!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh, and big, big Happy Birthday kisses to Hillbilly!

Without a doubt one of the very hottest bike dorks I know!

hillbilly said...

ah, geez, thanks frilly for your blatantly untrue comment. i'll take it, no matter how wrong it is.

ok, back to grant hell (anon whatever was write about the useless desk job part)

CommieCanuck said...

ok, back to grant hell (anon whatever was write about the useless desk job part)

Just think of all those military generals who have to write war and killing grants.

Paul Bowen said...

Now look America - you gave us The Flaming Lips, we gave you Coldplay; fairs's fair.

(Full disclosure: I actually quite like Yoshimi, apart from the one that sounds like a tuba player having an eppy while falling down stairs, obviously.)

ant1 said...

happy birthday hillbilly

Pontius Pilate said...



hillbilly said...

thanks ant1!


Lemond is free , he got 200,000 which is now going towards a coldplemond collabo (that hurt my brain)

Anonymous said...

Canoe jousting is pennyfarthing retro - see www.washingtoncanoeclub.org no app yet

Matt said...

I think I'll go for a Tweed Paddle.

Anonymous said...

I thought they were plaguerizing Frank Zappa.

db said...

Lemond, Trek settle

Bobke 0, Skis 1

ant1 said...

poor bobke

Salty and Sore said...

Happy Birthday, Hillbilly!

Sorry to hear you're with Grant Hell. And on your Birthday, no less.

I dated Grant Hell a while back, too. I agree that he gave terrible desk jobs.

Luckily, there's an over-the-counter for that now.

edom bin necker said...

this thread reminds me of saturday nites at the viper elks club when they runs out of oxycontin and starts hitting the bath tub meth

damm you folks is wiurd

Kapitan said...

O ye of Tiny Bieks, ye shall not be considered for an Appe. Lo, onlye Meek Free-stylin' Phreeks are rendered Worthy Subjeckts that may bask in iGlory forevermore.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Coastiedouche, I am speechless at the Hitler video.

Oldentard said...

Hey, Merckx, you got any of those moussed vivets left over from yesterday?

rural 14 said...

ant 2nd!

Left bike under drip line of roof - came out 2 hours later...front wheel, handlebar, stem, etc encased in ice. Quite funny riding with bits of spoke shaped icicles flying off.

Anonymous said...

Bikesnob sir, just read your book (my wife manages a bookstore and thought I'd like the advanced readers copy as I commute to work by bike). I mentioned the book to my bike mechanic and he traded me a Chris King headset for it. We both guard your identity, and applaud your restraint in mentioning the shark tank only once in the text.

jet said...

"A subculture based entirely on battling each other in small water crafts would be much more difficult to render in "app" form"

This already exists, Snob. Check out Kayak Polo....

PANTS said...

Tall bikes where invented to elevate assholes above street level so you can see them coming.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Does anyone else find it disturbing that now, when you strike a cyclist with your car, you can actually have the remnants of the bike trophy-mounted to hang in your den?

mondegreen said...

"among the non-recessed cleat set garishness has become the norm"...so true. I eschew garishness in bike clothes--including refusing to buy the local bike club design--preferring preppy solids in all cases.

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Odile Lee said...

I feel that obnoxious colourways is simply to hopefully keep us in sight of cars, while they mow us down in cold blood.

Giving away cds , sadly is not the the thoughtful gesture you may think. The musci industry has been so reemed by internet, that they cant sell em like they used to and now give them away( I have this from a muso).
Also, if my saddel has a cut out. is it still a crotch carrier? My bits are non supported and free...wheee.( and soggy on wet days).
ALso, vis a vis bike add - ride past the peloton. yeah rite. Id need a rocket launcher at my speed. And besides, I can perve on calve muscles while I am banished, off the big boys playground, going backward.

Odile Lee said...

I often wonder how theose tall bike guys get the gumnuts out of their hair, whilst riding local paths. Take your head off, lots of times too. Must be interesting, getting stuck into a gum tree while your bike tips over ....three metere below. ouch.


I recently bought a Dell. I don't like the quality of the image that the integrated web-cam has, therefore I would rather keep my old web-cam. Will there be any interference if I install my old web-cam?

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I don't mean this in a bad way, of course! Ethical concerns aside... I just hope that as technology further innovates, the possibility of copying our brains onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It's a fantasy that I daydream about all the time.

(Posted on Nintendo DS running [url=http://kwstar88.zoomshare.com/2.shtml]R4 SDHC[/url] DS S3)

The Curator said...

Snob, I'd like to hear your take on the Hitler Fixie video! Does this recently unearthed historical document have any implications for the Williamsburg Fixter/Hasid intifada? Just WHAT are the true motivations of the hipsters?

Anonymous said...

The hitler video, very good.

Everybody knows that hitler did not drive a fixed gear, he had ferdinand proche build the first recumbant trike. He put up a lot of miles on it, until that invasion thing happened.

Detroit Mac said...

I have started a small argument with the Ridley folks over the Design a Bike contest. The Template they use (for the Illustrator users) is crappy (they do not like that word!).

Here is some of the correspondence:

I wrote:
As a long time Illustrator, I am appalled by the quality of the Illustrator Template you created for the Color Contest.

This could be so much cleaner (without extraneous lines and fills) Parts of the drawing could fit correctly (what is that open space where the head tube meets the fork?) And you have stray objects all over the place (even in the
Logo on the down tube)

Please, have a pro take a look at your template files before you send them out to the public.

You are not alone. Quite a few Bike Jersey makers have crappy templates.
But yours are bad.

Sorry about that, but I couldn't help myself.

They responded with:
1) the template is clean enough, it's only the frame that needs to be
designed and this is a clean and simple line-art.
2) the open space is the border between the fork and the frame, not really neccessary, but we also use this template for our own designwork
3) your remark about the logo is correct, we will upload a better one

The other remarks about the "pro" and the "crappy template" are ridiculous. If you want to give us professional advise wich we appriciat without a doubt, you have to work on you communication skills. Our designers are pro's, our succesfull bike designs are the living prove of that.

I can send you my marked up PDF version of the template with most of the errors pointed out. Just let me know.

CommieCanuck said...

Detroit, they should have just responded,

"We're Belgian, you're not, Fuck off".

If you've ever been to Belgium, this is about right.

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