Friday, April 16, 2010

BSNYC Friday Flugelhorn Lesson!

In addition to being Classics season, it's also "Classics bike porn" season. Indeed, people who drink Belgian beer and put "embro" (not "embryo") on their legs love to look at "Classics bike porn," and while you might think it's just like regular "bike porn" only with more pubic hair, it's actually pictures of the bicycles the professionals are using in their respective Classics campaigns. To feed this insatiable appetite, most professional cycling websites are featuring galleries of bicycles featuring futuristic technology like "aluminum rims" and "reasonable spoke counts." Some of these bicycles even have "ample tire clearance," which is the "bike porn" equivalent of an unruly bush. On top of this, it's also Sea Otter time, so the baggy-shorts-and-hairy-calves set is also salivating to images of white riser handlebars and suspension technology that will look great hanging from their trunk racks. If you turn down your phonograph player, close your eyes and listen, you just might be able to hear the sound of the entire cycling world collectively "foffing off."

Decidedly less salacious is the world of department store bicycles. You may recall that not too long ago I took a look at the new Mongoose Cachet now being sold at Walmart. Well, I was interested to see that Urban Velo also got their crotches on one, and here's what they had to say:

Both Urban Velo and I expressed hope that the Cachet would make the world of cycling a bit more accessible, but Urban Velo seems a bit more optimistic than I am as to whether this bicycle can actually support that hope. Of course, it could be that Urban Velo simply received a better specimen than I did, but then again theirs was technically unrideable since it arrived with the wrong seatpost:

As far as I know, these are the only two reviews of this bicycle so far, and the fact that both of us received bicycles that were borderline unusable is not a good sign. Urban Velo also points out that "shop quality bikes routinely arrive with incorrect parts," but between their seatpost issue and my stripped brake and mangled headset it seems like so far the Cachet is "incorrect" 100% of the time.

I will of course withhold judgment until my ironic intern completes his list of tasks and weighs in with his youthful opinion, but the Cachet does make me wonder where the line between "accessibility" and "disservice to consumers" lies. Once commenter on my review in particular made an interesting observation:

I realize there are not Wal-marts everywhere in NYC. Many of you probably do not have extended experience with Wal-Mart. I am here to inform you of one thing you may not realize about Wal-Mart. Their return policy is almost ridiculous. On almost all non electronic items there is a 90 day money back guarantee for almost any reason. They are extremely lenient on this policy too. I assure you, one could go buy this bike, ride it for 89 days and bring it back and say I want to return it. You could even say I am broke and need money to go buy some Wednesday Weed, so take it back. No question whatsoever, you would get your money back. Even if you do not have a receipt, they would give you your money back on a gift card and you could use it to buy whatever you want. I have seen items that even said K-mart right on the product that they took back.

While in one sense Walmart's "good faith" may seem commendable, in another sense it's a disturbing window into their business practice. I guess this means that their sales volume is so high that they can throw a bunch of crap at the marketplace and see what sticks. Even if a significant percentage of these Cachets (or really anything they sell) are "incorrect" and consequently returned then the endeavor will still be profitable--possibly even more so than if they sold a slightly better product for slightly more money. As far as the latter scenario goes, the fact is there are more specialized companies that do take this approach to selling inexpensive bicycles (available to anybody with Internet access), and my impression at this point is that it, and not Walmart's "if it sticks" method, is the future of increased cycling "accessibility."

In any case, I'm pleased to present you with a quiz. As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer. If you're right you'll know, and if you're wrong you'll see someone keeping it real (on his fixie wheel).

Thanks very much for reading and ride safe. Also, remember that cycling is like the fly on your pants: it is possible to have both quality and easy access.


--BSNYC/RTMS








1) CNN's Larry King, who has censored many an image on this site, may have cheated on his wife with:

--His assistant
--His sister-in-law






2) White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is looking for help with his:

--Clipless pedals
--Crotchal region





3) Mountain bike component groups are now called:

--Clans
--Families
--Cliques
--Posses






4) Apparently, straps are the way of the future.

--True
--False





5) Act now! This Colnago Ferrari bicycle is only:




6) What can cause "propulsion?"

--God





("Is this where the milk goes in?")

7) Which of the following is lighter than milk?





***Special Fill-In-The-Knuckle-Tattoo-Blank-Themed Bonus Question***




Fill in the knuckle tattoo blank: "I♥MY ____"



86 comments:

Anonymous said...

Half-man, Half AWESOME

ser_papa said...

PODIUM!!!!!!!

Tony said...

Fluglelicious.

Tony said...

... or Flugelicious, you choose.

Anonymous said...

wow top 10!!

Cav Not said...

The best I could hope for!

Anonymous said...

top ten!

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Astroluc said...

9

Bad Lawyer said...

top ten?

rezado said...

hi-rez

Fant1 said...

Behind ant1, enjoying the view...

Anonymous said...

Snob,
What kind of bike did you use to jump the shark? John Hines want to know.

Malcolm Rolex said...

Would you add the button to share this blog on Facebook and Twitter?

Bad Lawyer said...

Sore groin, numb nuts, cheap seats....http://velonews.competitor.com/2010/04/coaches-panel/sore-groin-and-numb-hands-on-the-bike-related_110923

mikeweb said...

That "Larry King-ized" photo is still NSFW. Check in the background to the right - some heavy underbrush there...

Otherwise, awesome as always! Have a great weekend everyone!

hillbilly said...

great stuff. have a great weekend yall.

boys on the hoods said...

Top twenty

boys on the hoods said...

the Colnago/Ferrari collabo has "leaf stays" that are compliant vertically but rigid horizonatally. sounds like 50K well spent.

Nogocyclist said...

Top 50

singlespeedspinning said...

oh yeah

WillC said...

Christian Cycling!! Amazing.

Suzee said...

Q? for a horn?

Charles said...

Missed the top 20, oh well.....

Snobbie, was that you on the Surly near the stables side of Prospect Park at about 4:30?

Charles said...

Meant to say at about 4:30 yesterday.... Too excited with a possible celebrity sighting.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Charles,

It's possible. Was the person you saw hauling a breast pump?

--BSNYC

dignan said...

top 8 million

Anonymous said...

Or was it a penis pump?

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 1:13pm,

I actually have a dedicated handbuilt-in-Portland bike for that. ("Penis Pump Porteurs" were all the rage at last year's Oregon Manifest.)

--RTMS

LoRoK said...

I just 4 pages of the slideshow from the bike tattoo blog. If one were to make a generalization about cyclists from seeing that page, it's that we have very little creativity or imagination, nor the ability to pay for good tattoo work.

Jamie said...

I thought the cachet of fixies was that you made or stole it yourself. Predict market failure.

Biggus Dickus said...

Mother said that if it is a mouthful, it's enough.

Anonymous said...

think the guy in the backgruond of that Cachet picture is wearing a hockey helmet?

ant1 said...

snobby - you mean dedickated?

dmg said...

If Robert Gibbs is clocking 18 mph plus as a cycling noob, maybe he should ditch the whole government thing and start training in earnest.

Suzee said...

"...my stripped brake and mangled headset..." Into the S&M of bike porn snobs?

Hard quiz, personal worst ever! Thanks for the easy bonus - brought my score to more than 1.

'Full Gas' weekend planned con y sans helmet but would still remind all to try and support tomorrow's RECORD STORE DAY. Johnny Marr, writing in the Guardian, remembers that back in the day there was a proliferation of the independent record storeways.
Further, he cites this current global demise of such outlets as THE reason he moved - lock, stock and smoking guitars - to Portland, Oregon, USA. "It (the proliferation of independent record storeways) reminds me of Manchester (UK)twenty years ago..."

Norman said...

Dear Mr. Snob (if that is your real name),

This web-site business of yours is quite the collection of sayings and witticisms, but don't you think you could make more money by being nice?

Yours in Christ,

Norman

IBS said...

Sodium tablets rule everything around me... S.T.R.E.A.M.! Get the money. Dollar, dollar bill y'all.

Keep your sodium up son!

Anonymous said...

tourlou

Anonymous said...

Rumour:
Snob tour to skip the SF/SJ appearances.

too avoid the bean-damage of epic burritus?

Anonymous said...

einunddreizigster! Top Platz für mich!

ant1 said...

ein und vierzig dude.

roomservicetaco said...

Regarding Walmart, I believe that the way their supplier agreements work, they charge back to the vendor the cost of any returns as well as the cost of any unsold merchandise. To that end, it's Mongoose that is taking the risk of throwing crap on the shelf to see what sticks because they pay for the ones either not sold or returned.

Of course, Walmart still has a responsibility to gauge the quality of merchandise it sells, but it's possible there is more "push" from suppliers to get stuff on the shelf than "pull" from Walmart to put crap out there.

Yours also in Christ,

[Mildly risque screen name]

Salty Seattle said...

@Snob 1:10

Awww... Points to you, sir!

@Snob 1:22

I just spit apple bits all over my monitor. Send Vito, Pronto!

Salty Seattle said...

This whole 'Cachet' (which is proving to have none,) reminds me of something.

If I click the heels of my Sidi's together three times, while rubbing my Park Tools amulet, will Sheldon appear?

Where are you, Sheldon? It's times like these that we need you most!

Anonymous said...

Has no one else pointed out that the Mongoose Cachet is no longer listed on Walmart's website? Two theories:

1) essentailly recalled due to shoddy assembley (e.g. too many retruns/complaints gets a product pulled from the "shelves")
2) Sold out.

Both have a reaction of "wow" from my lips.

ant1 said...

snobby - when can we expect to receive our copy of the book if we preordered it? will it ship on wednesday, or arrive on wednesday? and why 4/21 and not 4/20? does wednesday weed trump 420?

Yours in Lobster,

ant1

Fierce Panties said...

Thank God for
LARY KING

grog said...

Snobbers, I will give you a flugelhorn lesson in exchange for your book.

RIDE NICE

J-Bird said...

Tell the intern to hurry up with the Cachet already. Your readers are still waiting for a "serious" review.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe larry king is on his 7th wife. I remember the good old days when you could by a barely ridable crappy bike for under $100.

One who really doesn't care said...

40 posts and CommieCannuck hasn't blogged here yet. Is he under the weather?

Fierce Panties said...

Did you notice that Keeping in Real didn't cut off the NYPD mini van? Wuss.

JC NotSuperStar said...

FLGL HORN

Nogocyclist said...

The pot holes in my town are so bad, one has to wonder just how bad will it get before they do something about it?

Nogocyclist said...

Who would have ever thought the place to jump the shark on your bike would be in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan?

Anonymous said...

Here is another "Gyro-Gearloose" invention to replace the bicycle:

http://www.couriermail.com.au/entertainment/weird/reinventing-the-wheel/story-e6frep26-1225852217906

Shaun said...

Who knew that ample tire clearance was the "unruly bush" of bike porn? Empty panniers must the the equivalent of saggy, orangutan tits.

Anonymous said...

Man, that was a hell of a lot of leg hair on that bike tat site.

rural 14 said...

ant 2nd!

Sigurd said...

And lo, I did suck at that quiz. The vid was torture to watch. When on my bike or in my car (yes), I do experience touches of road rage. But it's always towards motorists. The Fixie Wheel horrorshow made me want to see him - my fellow cyclist, annoying little fuck that he is - crushed between two trucks, and his liquified remains squirted out in front of them.

Monied_Roadie said...

As a regular reader, I'm looking forward to your book.

Naturally, it would also be very nice if you produced a compendium of your finest writings, of which there are many, into a suitably sized and lushly illustrated book that could be placed on or near the coffee table.

There are many memorable and enjoyable posts which it would be a pleasure to refer back to now and then.

Anonymous said...

^Monied_Roadie

Ipad would do the job way better than paper.

Trainee Omnipotentist said...

Anon @ 18.29:

duzzunt thart deep-end ont' skeel oft' ewesir?
On a brighter (flugelhorn) note ... have you noticed how much better apple digital publishing is than the actual real book. Give me virtual every time! Hang on...doesn't virtual mean 'almost but not quite?'

Paloma Faith said...

..."and it was New York, New Yor reh keh, she poisoned your sweet mind"

cyclegoddess said...

Larry KIng, yikes. Who would marry HIM?
Yeah where is CC? I am missing his particular brand os satire.
Need the faithful Domestique to back up the 'master'!

cyclegoddess said...

I realized the today that having a crush on Armstrong,means I basically have the hots for someone;s Dad.\
Is this time to go buy the red crabon bike cos if that isnt a trigger for mid life crisis, I dont know what is!!

Anonymous said...

In some magazine, my mom was pleased to read that the most popular knuckle tattoo in Brooklyn is IAMA HOMO.

Right after MIDW EST!

She never quite caught on to Tesco Vee's ABBA ANUS, which I think conjures up a certain purity (with just a few stray blonde hairs).

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, REI is known to take things back for full refund that have been used heavily and for a long time. A friend walked in with an Optimus stove that failed after 20 years and they gave him a new one.

PCLA said...

@Suzee:

Oh well, at least Manchester can still claim Karl Pilkington.

Chimpanzee That!

gih said...

Very affordable bike. I like it's style.

Swami Wheelo said...

$50,000 and it comes with record 10?!?!?! Not 11?!?!!!! MAJOR FAIL.

for 50 grand you should get your own squad of Tifosi.

Anonymous said...

Nooooooooooooooooo! The brutal "Fixie WHeel" video has been removed. It might have been THE most painfully boring, while being obnoxiously self-indulgent, NYC traffic "fixter" flick I've ever punished myself with. I hate you snob. NOTHING HAPPENED. He rode slowly in traffic while completely ignoring any other commuters... did a pointless skid....and then headed to Williamsburg. FASCINATING. Oh, and the song was god awful.

Sorry, the video included multiple examples of my pet peeve with the massive mogwai-when-wet explosion of fair-weather cycling in the city these days: fixter douchebags meandering through stopped cars without looking into the lane/space they are darting into to see if another cyclist (i know, they are individuals and unique and soooooo fast) is coming.

And your description from yesterday of the Williamsburg bridge was spot on. Had a flat on it this week and within 10 minutes was treated to an endless array of cartoonish bikes and inconsiderate riding. It's usually not so bad when you just go over it quickly. You don't have to witness the retardation up close.

Have a good day!

michael said...

check out this fronted to me by google ads:

http://www.republicbike.com/default.asp

$399.00 single speed or "Dutch" bikes.....

Salty Seattle said...

Yes, cyclegoddess-

Lance rules July, and I hope he does again this year. If it's any consolation, he's been someone's Dad for a lot of yellow jerseys now.

As are many in the peloton. Let this serve as evidence that the research about male fertility and road cycling is wrong.

CNDM USGE

That said, this man rules the spring. Yes, that is #40, in the wild.

And in Stanley Cup form.

Yes, he's a native Swede. I think that he may even be part Viking.

Jean said...

Dear BikeSnob, I recently saw this beautiful Pashley Princess, which got me to thinking about getting a bike in NYC again, and I had a few questions I'd love to get your opinion on before I decide. I love the idea of the Pashley, but it is a little expensive for me. I would use it to commute to work (from the Village to Battery Park) - 1) do you think it might get stolen if I leave it outside all day? That would bum me out. 2) do you think I might get hit since NY traffic is atrocious? 3) do you think an Electra Amsterdam would be ok - it's cheaper than the Pashley but it's still cute? Thanks!

jean said...

Oh, one more question: it gets really hot in the summer (as you know) and I was thinking I might get sweaty on it during the commute, which would be a bummer. Do you think that might happen?

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

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Anonymous said...

Dear Snobby,
What a letdown. I've been with you since the beginning and have always thought you were the coolest. Now I find out your name is Eben Weiss... and you wear black socks with shorts! I didn't see that coming. I pictured you looking something like a young Lebowski. Maybe a sardonic, New York version of Scott Hill from Fu Manchu? But, no, you're actually a full-on nebish.
What I used to believe was well crafted insight is instead the kvetching of a crypto-ashkenazi.
oh well, just another case of "can't judge a blog by its writer"

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