Thursday, December 1, 2011

Refinement: Trimming the Trim

For many years, I used to go into Mahattan every day. Now, though, I visit the city infrequently enough that I notice the changes that have taken place since my previous visit. This makes me feel like a befuddled rube. For example, what happened to all the pushcarts on Orchard Street? Where are the checkered cabs? And who was the genius who got rid of all the fully-enclosed phone booths? Like, where's Superman supposed to change his clothes? How are the homeless supposed to relieve themselves in private? I suppose when Clark Kent needs to fight crime he's supposed to go to a Starbucks bathroom and wait on a huge line for 20 minutes while a homeless person washes his undercarriage in the sink.

Nevertheless, I enjoy feeling like a befuddled rube in my own backyard, and to underscore this effect I sometimes like to take my Big Dummy into town:

(I don't know why this photo has a bluish tint and I can't be bothered to find out. I didn't get into the bike blogging racket to "work.")

When I visit Manhattan on the Big Dummy I'm the "bike culture" equivalent of a dorky suburban father driving the family station wagon in from the 'burbs, and the bike's considerable heft, greenish hue, and ample load-carrying capacity all conspire to make me feel like Clark W. Griswold in a way that warms my cockles:

In fact, I'm often tempted to scrawl the words "Honky Lips" on it to complete the illusion:

Though arguably having a great big cable lock through the rails of your Brooks saddle is tantamount to the words "Honky Lips."

But the Griswold Effect is most pronounced on the Manhattan Bridge, where the Cat 6 racers drop me like Christie Brinkley speeding away from the Wagon Queen Family Truckster in her Ferrari:

However, this last time, it was different. On the way into town, there was a considerable headwind on the bridge, and thanks to the parachute effect of my XtraCycle PeaPod child seat it was enough to bring me to a virtual standstill. However, on the return trip to Brooklyn it had the opposite effect and acted as a sail, and I climbed the span as effortlessly as as Fabian Cancellara on a bike equipped with a Gruber Assist. Carried over the bridge on the wings of smugness, I was, for a flew fleeting moments, the fastest and dorkiest Cat 6 racer in all of New York City.

One day, I will modify the PeaPod by installing hinges, springs, and a ripcord. In "stealth mode," the seat back will lie flush against the Big Dummy's cargo deck. Then, when I'm climbing the span of the Manhattan Bridge with a tailwind and am locked in mortal combat with some beshanted fixie doofus, I will give him "the look," pull the cord, and the seat back will suddenly spring into the vertical "sail mode" position, catching the wind and carrying me to victory.


Just get a load of some of these features:

First and foremost is a new DoubleTap lever body shape, which will supposedly sprout a more pronounced knob up front to provide a more secure handhold...

This sounds like it was lifted straight from an article about Herman Cain. "I absolutely reject these claims of sexual harassment," said the GOP hopeful. "She simply looked a bit unsteady as she bent over the Xerox machine, and so as I approached her I sprouted a more pronounced knob up front to provide her with a more secure handhold."

But that's not all, and SRAM are also completely revolutionizing the front deraler derailleaur thing that moves the chain:

Based on this description and what we expect to be marked improvements in the accompanying chainrings, we anticipate far faster front shifts – a known weakness with the current Red group – along with quieter operation and possibly the complete elimination of trim.

In other words, for 2013, "trim" is "out," and big knobs are "in."

Of course, it's going to cost you a lot of money to get your hands on those knobs, but if you're patient maybe this trim-free technology will "trickle down" to your level:

Hopefully, SRAM's outstanding track record of trickling down technologies to lower price points will continue, too, but Zellmann was noncommittal on the topic so buyers may have to wait a year to see if that happens.

Actually, I have it on good authority that all of this technology will only trickle up. Given the success of "halo bikes," manufacturers are increasingly learning to focus on the 1% instead of the 99%. That's why the 2014 model year will see an even more expensive version of SRAM Red branded as "SRAM Fred." While completely identical to Red, it will be wildly more expensive--and don't worry, it will be completely trim-free, though it will certainly cause your fellow Freds to sprout pronounced knobs in their Assos when you roll up to the café with it.

Lastly, speaking of riders who abstain from trim, yesterday I mentioned how the Pope once got a gold Colnago, and one reader shared the following story:

Anonymous said...

Hey, I remember when John-Paul II came to Hull in Quebec in 1984, the local frame builders Cycle Bertrand gave him a bike too.
And of course it was gold plated!

I remember, I was so envious of the pope. Lucky bastard.

NOVEMBER 30, 2011 5:51 PM

As well as this picture:

"Throw it on the pile with the others," the Pope appears to be saying as he digs inside his hear for holy relics. Perhaps one day all these bikes will be liberated, at which point they will surely appear on eBay, and the new must-have hipster accessory will be a gilded "vintage" road ride with spurious papal pedigree. After that, it's only a matter of time before they start prattling on incessantly about their rides on an Internet forum called "Papal Bull." And then we'll start seeing the articles:

"It's a communion thing, you feel totally tithed to the bike."

I already miss the days when having a Pope bike meant something...

116 comments:

Spokey said...

yip, yip. A co-motion americano beats all you cervelos!

me said...

Podium!!!

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Anonymous said...

boycott rapha

g said...

Close....

theEel said...

WEED!!!!

Jasper said...

Early doors

Kenny said...

Ice picks aren't allowed on planes, but six-inch screwdrivers are ok!

Anonymous said...

Ladies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Paul Bowen said...

Top 10?

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

dammit!

I need a schrader valve pump!!!

OBA said...

I ride Rebbe Schneerson's totally mint Cinelli track bike to the artisanal cheese shop on a regular basis.

Anonymous said...

Knob.





balls.

g said...

Is that John McEnroe giving the Pope a bike? And, why does that sound sexual?

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

lets see, you want to "give the pope a bike"?

that'll cost you $50 and you're gonna need to take a shower first

grog said...

Blessed are the Bikes

JB said...

POPE BIKE

Etherhuffer said...

Ear Wax=Papal Phil Wood Green Tube Grease. Blessed are the taters in those ears.

Marcel Da Chump said...

The Pope of Friction Shifting

JB said...

stealth recumbabe

Befuddled Rube said...

" "Throw it on the pile with the others," the Pope appears to be saying as he digs inside his hear for holy relics. "

Perhaps you meant to say "his hear hole" or "his holy hear hole"?

Beerfueled said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Amen

Buffalo Bill said...

The pope, always at the forefront in the search for the halo bike. Well, I guess he can afford a few, I hear he has an autographed copy of the bible on the bookshelf too.

#hly #hsh

leroy said...

Note to self: gotta upgrade to one of these to secure KOM points on Manhattan Bridge.

http://tinyurl.com/NYTRickshaw

Wonder if it's Di2 compatible.

Hairy-legged roadie said...

I love how the Bikeradar article used the word "exposé" to describe their anonymously-sourced SRAM knob-polishing.

It was almost as good as their exposé on why $10,000 bikes are really cool.

Joe the Rat said...

And with your spirit

Anonymous said...

top 30?

but are the toe clips engraved
prayer /praise ? and which one goes on the left side? heaven forbid the pope have a bike with clipless pedals...


mr.pissta

Anonymous said...

John Paul II was a keen cyclist in his younger days. I well remember the time he challenged Rebbe Schneerson to a race up the Koppenburg.

It was a beautiful spring day and at eight am they set off. The pope in the white Assos vestments of the Vatican national team (pronounced Lay-oh-pard Trek) and Schneerson wearing the orange of Rabbi-bank.

They were neck and neck until about three quarters of the way through the cobbles, when the Dali Lama cruised by saying something about "Being one with the big ring, and all existence is suffering (rule V)."

To this day if you find yourself in the shower with His Holiness, you can see the victory tattoo on his butt.

CAMPIONE CYCLES CALGARY said...

The Pope really hoped for a mixte or step through frame. How is one suppoed to ride in a cossock. Downhill ski? No problem! Ride a bike? Craziness!

rural 14 said...

ant 2nd!

Anonymous said...

to:
Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...
I need a schrader valve pump!!!

refuse to succomb...look for a shrader valve to presta pump adapter..
http://shopuptowncycles.com/images/detailed/29/PUMP8622.jpg

.don't ask though bcuz most LBS's will deny the exsistance of such a fitting..I heard you can get them at the services of the church of the rotating mass...

beshanted hipster doofus! said...

love that...

erik k said...

I would love to be on that bike getting passed by this Christie Brinkley

Anonymous said...

That should read:

SRAM fRED.

H

ringcycles said...

Christie Brinkley, original beautiful Godzilla?

Anonymous said...

is that hand on the left the same hand from the Sistine Chapel?

Anonymous said...

PAPL WHLZ

thegock said...

POPE BIKE

Buy-cycle said...

Top 40? I'll stick to my £13 SRAM X4. Lots of trim. What's trim anyway?

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Papal Smear

Anonymous said...

photo is blue because you didn't have the white balance set to auto, or if it was manual you didn't set it to daylight.

xyxax said...

Bike's Knob

Anonymous said...

sign me up for the bestmadeco red hat o' courage

drats, they're sold out!



balls®

crosspalms said...

I wondered if the Vatican keeps track of the bikes, so I typed "vatican bicycles" into popular search engine, and the first hit was this:

Two nuns go riding bicycles around the Vatican. One nun says to the other, "Funny, I've never come this way before." The second nun goes, "Yeah, I know... it's the cobblestones."

Anonymous said...

Earlier this week I solved the pop-bottle on top tube mystery all on my own.

What the heck is on the top tube of that pope bike? Case for communion wafers, meh-be?

Anonymous said...

With all due respect to my Catholic fellow commentators, why is the Pope giving himself a Wet Willie in that photo?

Do you have any Purple Nurple Pope pictures?

crosspalms said...

... and the image search turns up this and this. Interesting.

Neil said...

"digging inside his hear..." - your french is very good!

Anonymous said...

The Lord be with you. Response: "And also with your spirit."

NO, not "Esprit"!
http://www.moultonbicycles.co.uk/models/Esprit.html

PhilboydStunge said...

Big deal. Sheldon Brown had a 'gold plated' bike back when they really were cool. here it is. http://sheldonbrown.org/raleigh-competition/index.html

CommieCanuck said...

I love those tech articles on SRAM. After years of telling us how great SRAM Red is, and totally worth the money... this new group now highlights the problems PLAGUING the old group, which, by the way, was shit.


Pope has an awesome Rolex on. But the caption is, "Yeah, whatever, ...where the supple young boys at?".

CommieCanuck said...

"why is the Pope giving himself a Wet Willie in that photo?"

It's OK, just don't use a condom.

OBA said...

@ Anonymous 1:23

Chapeau!

Quilled and lugged said...

@ CampioneCC "How is one supposed to ride in a cossock?"
One hopes you mean cassock and not cossack, otherwise you would definitely need a more pronounced knob up front to provide for a more secure handhold.

Anonymous said...

they don't make popes or bikes like they use to.

JB said...

Crosspalms: one bike doesn't have a seat, and the other bike has a seat I'd like to be.

Anonymous said...

it's only a matter of time before we see your tooling around the "city" in a Bakfiet. god help us all. still better than my commuter, a slightly modified scattante americano. what a piece of shit.

Top WTFC said...

Cable lock thru the saddle is just good sense, that it's a Brooks, makes it kinda douchey.

mikeweb said...

Nike, Adidas and Converse, you better watch out.

Anonymous said...

crosspalms - love a good nun joke.

regards

cycle

leroy said...

Oh dear, how embarrassing for Ms. Brinkley in Erik K's photo.

She should know that it's more efficient to sit while climbing than to stand.

Oh well, not as embarrassing as marrying Billy Joel.

Anonymous said...

GOLD PLTD

Marcel Da Chump said...

If the Pope were to take my confession,
I'd tell him that my nun homeroom teacher in 7th grade had the hots for me. Seriously, no Papal Bull.

Anonymous said...

FIX THE WHITE BALANCE!!

PawnShop said...

My personal experience is that the bigger my knob gets, the greater the likelihood that some trimming will take place. Is SRAM trying to fuck with basic knob/trim physics here?

bikesgonewild said...

...***warning***...***warning***...***warning***...

...non sequitur but important message for ***leroy***...

...i just spotted this on-line news story so please be concerned about your immediate safety...

..."Man is accidentally shot by his own dog"...

...sure, it involved hunting, a boat & blah, blah, blah but the bottom line is this...a certain animal in brooklyn should be given any ideas...

...comment by the sheriff's deputy from the article: "That's when the dog did something to make the gun discharge," Potter said. "I don't know if the safety device was on. It's not impossible the dog could have taken it off safety."...

..."...not possible..." ???...

...i do NOT wanna read in tomorrows ny times..."brooklyn man is 'accidentally' shot by his own dog"...

...just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

Dued, like, how totally unhip can u b? Superman don' need no freekin phone booth to change clothes. He has an app on his iPhone for that!

bikesgonewild said...

...nice heads up, mikeweb...while the shoes are totally "meh", the bike info is cool...

...even "the great eddy merckx" & as a racer he literally was exactly that, 'great', has bowed to the euro/dollar pressure & is producing a steel framed 'hipster fixie'...

...he does however have a second version with a 14 speed rohloff...not so 'hipster fixie-ish' but definitely mo' practical for the masses...

Anonymous said...

I sorta prefer "The Out of Towners" with Jack Lemmon.
But I only come here for the limericks.

Anonymous said...

Maybe one of the recumbent riders can answer me this.

I started up my local climb, four miles or so of 6% grade. At the stoplight at the bottom of the climb a recumbent slide up next to me. When the light turned green he took off at a remarkable pace.

I'm a decent climber, and while I didn't throw down to keep pace it was clear the guy was really moving.

Maybe it's my fragile ego, but as he pulled away at the light I thought I heard the distinctive "whhrrrr" of an electric motor. Is power assist the new thing in recumbent technology, or have I lost my edge?

Anonymous said...

Rapha the #1 bike blog?

The few times I looked at the blog it was apparent they didn't know much about cycling. They don't even know how to spell "derailleur."

Anonymous said...

So nobody dares whisper that Fatcyclist outranked BSNYC in the Outside Magazine poll of the top 10 cycling-related blogs?

Duendo said...

Hey! Anthony Michael Hall pictured.
Anybody see the movie in which he played a hotshot quarterback. In one play he put shit on the football and ran with it. Every time a defender tried to make a tackle, he stuck out the shitty football at them, and they squirmed.

Anonymous said...

Snappy dresser, the Pope.

Anonymous said...

Photo is blue because you are way overdoing it with the viagra.
Back off until you can maintain an erection for only 4 hours.
Or until photos appear plaid.

Business Man said...

Bike Snob NYC attracts the demographic advertisers covet:
US!

Joanne Seale said...

Just in case you missed it.. The nubrella..
http://www.glogster.com/media/3/8/71/72/8717228.jpg
Please please please review it, please ;)

bikesgonewild said...

...anon 4:59pm sez "So nobody dares whisper that Fatcyclist outranked BSNYC in the Outside Magazine poll of the top 10 cycling-related blogs?"...

...so, why whisper it, dude...it don't mean shit...fatty actually appeals to his readers every year to vote for him...guy is a good dude & he's been through a lot but his demographic for the most part is much different...

...bsnyc/rtms/wcrm's 'bike snob nyc' doesn't cater to the tastes of the masses...thank lob for that...offensive things are said here on an occasional, ummm, okay, regular basis but they're taken in stride...

...the same shit wouldn't fly at fattys...the natives wouldn't have it...

...fatty also sucks a lotta the 'trek/lance & johan' teat (& understandably so) because it benefits his cause...& while the cause is righteous, personally, i find it all to be a bit thick over there these days...i DID buy a fatty-jersey years ago to support the man but i got tired of reading what i felt was becoming tripe...

...bsnyc/rtms/wcrm has always been irreverent & that's not likely to change...send the man your product for endorsement & if it ain't cool, you'll likely hear "fuck you very much" rather than "oh, thank you"...

...anyway...just MY opinion but in the grand scheme of things, that poll "...don't mean shit"...

wishiwasmerckx said...

BGW, I mostly agree. I admire the fundraising work Eldon does, and he is occasionally quite funny, but Snob is a much more consistently clever and gifted wordsmith.

Fatty's work was much more compelling when Susan was still around.

And another area where Eldon simply cannot even begin to compete is Snob's unfailingly brilliant COMMENT BOARD.

P.J. O'Rourke said...

@Joe The Rat- Glad to see SOMEBODY is paying attention.

bikesgonewild said...

...wishiwasmerckx...ditto...especially that last part...

...& don't miss mikeweb's link...

...you too, can ride a merckxian hipster fixie...

Anonymous said...

Fatcyclist has also become a giant infomercial, constantly plugging commodities. It's over the top.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Anon 7:45's comment was brought to you by Honey Stinger Waffles, the most f$@*ing delicious on-the-bike Waffle created in the entire history of cycling.

Seriously, dude, the only substance know to man more delicious than a Honey Stinger Waffle is Chuck Norris's jizz.

leroy said...

I dunno, I like BSNYC's and Fat Cyclist's blogs.

Doesn't matter much to me (or probably to either of them) how some other writer ranks them.

They're both first rate.

But those guys at Red Kite Prayer are starting to bug me. (Just kidding!)

I do seem to have aacquired an extensive Fat Cyclist clothing collection over the years. Good thing he doesn't market paisley bell bottom bib tights. I'm fashion impaired and easily talked into embarrassing wardrobe miscues.

(Note to BGW -- don't worry about my dog. He's a lousy pointer.))

mr. slow connection said...

podium?

Anonymous said...

Nice post Bike Snob...funniest one in awhile with the knobs and trim innuendos. Keep us laughing buddy!

JTP said...

Is it socially acceptable to laugh out loud while reading the comments in a public place? Because if it is, I'm getting my unfair share of stink-eye.

David Alden said...

Gold Bikes: Don't forget Woody Itson's gold plated Hutch Trickstar.

Mark E. Smith said...

Hip Priest.

Unknown said...

Crap. Wet me keks...

Anonymous said...

fuck dat nigga Clark W. Griswold

Anonymous said...

Clark's just trying to make the dream happen, chill.

CycleChick said...

Campagnolo also gave his Popefullness a gruppo back in 1983. See hither: http://winnipegcyclechick.com/?p=1472

My friend Esther and I went to Rome with her coworkers in the Physics Department to do a special reenactment on the anniversary of the blessed event: http://winnipegcyclechick.com/?p=2622

I got to play the Pope. It was awesome.

Anonymous said...

I think you played a poor pope.
You get the meh-ffort award though, I guess.

Michael said...

The pope rides a crucifixie.

Anonymous said...

don,t know how you can mix politics, bike components, and honky lips so well. thanks for the laugh. what size did JP tha deuce ride? hoping that it was a 56, crossing my fingers and gluing my orbs to ebay to await my papal sled. what do you think the saddle smells of? JP's turbo boosters must have left that thing smelling of a mixture of peonies and lavender. delightful!

hillier99 said...

I'm wondering how much use the pope-cycles actually get. I mean, has he ever had to dig deep into his cassock of courage?

self-obsessed and sexee said...

Just what did Christie see in Billy?
Oh! It just may have been a lunatic
she was looking for!

shu-sin said...

100st!!!

ric51 said...

sailing with bike
you bet dutch bentriders already figured it out
http://www.whike.com/en/

CycleChick said...

Oh well, I gave it my best shot. I gotta say though, you play a pretty convincing douchebag.

Anonymous said...

I too cable my Brooks saddle - I paid double for it what I paid for the underlying bike - but it's a half-assed cable - less dorky than the serious cable shown.

Spence said...

Wish my blog was as entertaining as yours. Thanks for setting the bar so high!

The Cat Whisperer said...

More Christie Brinkley, or Ima' fuckin' kill you!

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Buy-cycle said...

Last?

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don the cyclist said...

Sweeper

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Fixie Bikes said...

"Honkey Lips"

Wut?

Dominic said...

Wish my blog was as entertaining as yours. Thanks for setting the bar so high!