Monday, October 1, 2012

Simplicity: Money Fixes Everything

Bye bye Budnitz:

($5,600 for a singlespeed conversion?)

Alas, this morning I returned the Budnitz No. 1 to the Budnitz marketing guy, and thus my Budnitz adventure ended the same way it began, which is with me riding the bus:

I have to admit that riding the bus has grown on me, for if nothing else it keeps me in touch with the criminal underworld.  Usually I don't pay much attention to "Wanted" posters, but this one was different, because if you'll look closely you'll see the fugitive is "armed with a silver syringe:"

If that syringe is titanium it could very well be Old Man Budnitz himself, who is no doubt looking to drug me and stuff me in a trunk for not treating his bicycles with the proper reverence.

To the credit of Budnitz Bicycles, the marketing guy who arranged the test (much to his regret, I'm sure) did offer to take the bike back, have it serviced, and return it to me free from those annoying ticks and creaks.  However, I declined, since rather than keep riding the bus up and down Brooklyn I decided I'd rather spend my free time riding my own bicycles and be done with it. Sure, the Budnitz rides very nicely (as you'd expect from a Lynskey frame with high-end racing components on it), but then again so does my Scattante--with the added benefit that if it should disappear from a bike rack one day I can replace it for the cost of the Budnitz's headset alone.

Of course, when you're testing a bike like this you're not really testing the bike itself; rather, you're testing the experience.  Here's the Budnitz experience, as articulated by Old Man Budnitz himself way back in January:

"I'm basically saying, 'You're going to spend $5,600 on a bike and potentially that frame's going to last you forever'," he said. "Or you can spend less than that on something that's going to be creaky after a while and it's going to get rundown or it's going to chip – the whole replacement mentality."

As I said back then, pretty much any decent frame is going to last "forever" (or at least longer than you).  And my Scattante has been creak-free since I first pulled it out of the box in 2009, no thanks to me.  Since then I've dropped it, crashed it, left it sitting out in the rain, and refused to perform any sort of maintenance other than that which keeps the bicycle rideable.  Meanwhile, the Budnitz was creaky the second I put my ass on it.

This isn't to say there's anything inherently wrong with the Budnitz because it creaks.  Any bike can creak, regardless of price.  I'm also sure the creak is just a matter of simple adjustment, though anybody who's experienced a creaking bike knows it could take you minutes to figure it out, or it could take months--and despite my general ineptitude I actually do possess the mechanical know-how to eventually solve the problem.  The point though is that I shouldn't have to, at least according to Old Man Budnitz:

"We’re offering very few things on purpose," he said. "This bike is dialed for what it is. Things were chosen for a specific reason. From a marketing side of things, it's my belief that things have gotten really complicated. It's not clutter, it doesn't cause anxiety, everything works really well together. We're just keeping it simple. A lot of it is modeled after the way Apple sell computers – just choose a few options and you're done and you don't have to be technically oriented to buy an Apple. Do you know what goes inside your car?"

Budnitz led me to believe that I could be utterly clueless about bicycles yet have a completely trouble-free riding experience just as long as I was prepared to spend a whole lot of money, but in the end the opposite was true.  Certainly this is possible, but only if the people who are selling the bikes know a whole lot more than their customers.  In this case, however, it seems the Budnitz people actually know less than their customers, which is pretty scary if you really think about it.  So, if you're willing to spare no expense for an absurdly expensive titanium city bike for some reason, just buy yourself a Seven or a Firefly and be done with it. 

But by all means, if you're looking for a "designer toy," go see Budnitz.

Moving on, this past Friday someone else lent me a fancy schmancy bike, but unlike the Budnitz this one was creak-free perfect from the words "Go, eh?"

That's because it was made by a Canadian who knew what he was doing:

(Another Canadian who knows what she is doing, censored by BKJimmy.)

Indeed, this past Thursday and Friday I visited Hamilton, Ontario, and an intimate group of lovely people were kind enough to take me for an extremely enjoyable mountain bicycling ride.  Here's the view from atop the Niagara Escarpment, which involved a climb that very nearly made me puke:

But which was well worth it for the waterfall porn alone:

As well as the panoramic views of hoserdom:

That last photo strikes me as being perfect for one of those inspirational greeting cards, so feel free to print this out and place it in your workspace:

You're welcome.

I was in town at the invitation of professor Michael Egan of McMaster University, and my visit was part of the "rolling seminar" series he has organized.  I was also a guest of Café Domestique:

Who hosted a little soirée (pronounced "SWAR-ee") on Thursday evening:

It's not just the excellent coffee, food, and beer that make Café Domestique a great place to visit.  Nor is it the extensive collection of laminated passes, which some say is the largest in North America:

Nor is it the Canadian cycling memorabilia:

Nor even the abundance vintage bike porn:

No, what really sets Café Domestique apart is that there's a portrait of Mario Cipollini in the ladies' room:

(Never you mind what I was doing in the ladies' room.)

By the way, on the other side of that wall is Cipo himself wielding a hand drill, and any moment one of those eyes is going to start following you mysteriously, like one of those paintings in "Scooby Doo."

Best of all, when you return to the restroom nine months later, you'll be able to use the changing table:

And as your child who bears an uncanny resemblance to a certain flamboyant Italian sprinter continues to grow, he or she will even be able to enjoy a snack at the 650c childrens' table, or draw on the big blackboard in the backyard while you drink coffee or beer:

If you've never been to Café Domestique I highly recommend a visit, and if I lived in Hamilton (or, more specifically, Dundas) I'd glom onto their Internet every day to write this blog and let my seventeen children run wild all over the establishment.

Anyway, after the mountain bike ride I packed up my essentials:

And headed to McMaster for the talk:

Always just a few feet meters from one of these:

(Ah, the sexual assault alarms of academia...)

With Cipo on the loose you can't be too careful.

Soon, people assembled in a hall that would have been perfect for a sermon on the Almighty Lobster's Greatness:

However, this being a university, we stuck to more worldly topics, which mostly involved professor Egan asking me intelligent questions to which I responded with stupid answers.  Then a helment debate threatened to emerge, at which point people began pelting me with poutine, and we finally adjourned over to Bryan Prince Bookseller:

(Domestique's owner in the foreground, looking nonplussed.)

Ostensibly I was there to sign books, but the real draw turned out to be the Microsoft marketing team in the background, who are busy giving away free pita.  (I refused, since I don't take "blood pita."  There's no such thing as a free lunch.)

And finally, on my way out of town, I had a run-in with a Canadian salmon:

A sincere thank you to Michael Egan, Café Domestique, Bryan Prince Bookseller, and all who took the time to stop by.

Lastly, speaking of helments, this past weekend the New York Times published this:

Wow!  A thoughtful, non-hysterical take on bicycle helments?  I can't believe it was published in an American newspaper.


Anonymous said...


Kenny said...


mikeweb said...


recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

If the Budnitz had a glove box bet your ass it'd be walnut.

mikeweb said...

The bit of Maple leaf visible near recumbabe's 'flower box' area is a nice touch. I'm sure Robs Fords would approve.

Big Charlie said...

Better a Budnitz than nut bites.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

top diez

Serial Retrogrouch said...


is that the new finger bang?

Anonymous said...

in the pack


McFly said...

Sandwiches and Confusion

mikeweb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
McFly said...

Maybe, just maybe Old Man Bidnutz was trying to accentuate the awesomeness and longevity of the trytanium frame by initially complimenting it with crappy, poorly installed components so as to glorify its dominance of all things mechanical.

babble on said...

So many pretty pictures...
Finally a post written at my reading level.

mikeweb said...

Upon further inspection, it seems someone was 'espying' you from the attic window of the Cafe Domestique, next to the air conditioner.

My guess is that was none other than Cipo himself, looking around for a drill after his wine tour thingy down the road. You're lucky to have made it back to Canada's creaky bottom bracket alive.

CommieCanuck said...

Well, the day finally came.
The reception for Snob at McMaster was within a converted church, in which Snob sat in a flaming pentagram in the middle being interviewed by someone who I do not know, but I guessed was an unemployed Ed Helms with a bow tie. Upon close inspection, “” could be seen lettered on the bow tie. Snob was forced to sit on a chesterfield, and was sipping from a large can of Maple syrup while wearing a fetching beaver pelt hat, all provided by local government tourism agencies.
It did not go well.
Snob found out the hard way we do not have tall bikes in Hamilton, we don’t even have recumbents. We had a hard time even identifying the “weirdos” that apparently are common south of the border. Comments were met with blank stares by the audience, children crying, and polite mutters of “what the fuck is he talking about?” and “I thought there was going to be donuts”. Then, he went on a rant about bike helmets that was received by a stony silence, save for those who exited the room in tears to proceed to vomit in the McMaster quadrangle. Lives were shattered. There is nothing sadder than a room full of nonplussed Canadians. Watch CBC TV for a similar experience.
At the Q&A, an apparently overpaid biology Professor stated that the best solution for bicycle commuting was to give away your bike, and that the campus had more bikes on it than 40 years ago (coincidently, about the time he showed up). However, he also pointed out that there were seven less squirrels, at that point he was escorted out of the building and beaten to death by Snob’s bodyguards.
Post-interview, we were instructed by the bodyguards that we could talk to the Snob, but no touching or eye contact was allowed. We were then all anally searched for weapons by Vito (one may be surprised by the delicate touch of a monkey), and escorted into an anti-chamber just packed with female groupies with AYHSMB tattooed on their bare breasts. We were ordered to prostrate ourselves until Snob appeared. Once he showed up, there was the typical kissing of the rings, in this case a knog light wrapped around his thumb. At this range, one could make out the knuckle tats: FUCK CNDA. He muttered something about having to be someplace relevant, then left in his rented Cadillac Escalade with 20” chrome Spinners with three groupies, driving over half a bike rack on the way out.
We found him surprisingly down to earth.
We were then asked by some polite Canadian locals to, “get the fuck out”. Later, some of us met up with Vito to practice typical acts of socialism (you know, borrowing huge amounts of money and being lazy, overpaid some taxes, banned staplers, then we euthanized some old people in a humanitarian manner) and smoke “Hamilton Howareya”, the finest artisanal meth we could get our hands on. It’s not just good crystal unless it’s LOCAL and FRESH. Snob was later seen racing by at 60Km/hr (just divide by Pi) on a bike that was clearly aerodynamically modified and thus not UCI legal. He had come from a highly respected book store in the area for a signing, we didn’t ask him if he figured out it was just a front for a brothel featuring entirely transsexual dwarves.
Anywhooo…I left Vito back at the meth house and stole the biology Prof’s car to get home that night. Vito is probably still there as he used his passport for rolling paper. Snob’s parting gift was a bottle of vintage clear “Dasani”, a souvenir of the liquid that flows over Hamilton’s Signature waterfalls.
Today, people wander about the campus aimlessly with no guidance. There are no dates, there is no time, only before and after BSNYC visited McMaster, MacMaster, MixMaster, …whatever.

le Correcteur said...

I want the Brodie drop bar MTB with the WTB bars and thumbie mounts. It's cool, and reminds me of a bike I had in the early 1990s.

I read it, looked carefully at an enlarged photo, and still made the top 20; did French farmers block the road further back in protest against some agricultural policy?

babble on said...

Who IS BJ Jimmy, and why is he censoring recumbabe's boobies?

Cipo said...

eating pussy

Big Al said...

Recumbabe - You're a lot of woman, you know that? Yeah, wanna make 14 dollars the hard way?

crosspalms said...

I did a Google map search for McMaster, and you can still see the smoke from space. Glad you got out alive.

I am a confused engine said...

Whys is Commic C's version so much more dramatic than yours snobby, are you sure you were there, or just back in Boulder? Canada sure does sound like fun when all the people are nice.

babble on said...

For those members of the commentariate with actual lives who may have missed the Friday missives....

Q: What's the defining feature of Canadian Beaver?

A: It's Tail!

leroy said...

Welcome back!

I forgot to ask you to find out why they sing in the Canadian national anthem that they stand on Claude for thee.

Who is Claude and what did he ever do to Canada, eh?

Jimboner said...

Stupid stupid Budnutz.

Anonymous said...

CC = Prof. Egan?

Anonymous said...

speaking of creaking:

AL86 bottom bracket (aluminum frame + integrated bottome bracket), sharp clicking once each cycle of the pedles.

Commenters, go. ..

Anonymous said...




Anonymous said...

The greeting card photo looks just like the nuclear flash before the mushroom cloud.

babble on said...

CC -

It's encouraging that Vito was gentle with you. Maybe he's missed his calling, and so on behalf or the professional proctologist's association I would like to ask you a question. Tell me, on a scale of one to ten, with one being very unpleasant and ten orgasmic, how would you rate your experience?

Re: AHYSMB- thank you for clarifying this for me. All this time I figured the B was for balls, but now I can see it clearly stands for Boobies. This is really good news, because though balls are fun, boobies have much better bounce.

It was a tough Monday before you came along to sweeten my day. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Poutine is awesome.


brother yam said...

Wow! A thoughtful, non-hysterical take on bicycle helments? I can't believe it was published in an American newspaper.

The New York Times isn't an American newspaper. It's a communist fishwrap. Real 'Murkins don't read newspapers, they listen to Rush Limbaugh and watch Fox News.

Don't you know anything, Commie?

RANTWICK said...

I was at the cafe on Thursday night. It is a cool spot, although I didn't manage to go to the ladies room.

Here's my post about it...

Buffalo Bill said...

Beavis and butthead terrorize paris on rental bikes.

McFly said...

I eat AAAALLLOOOOTTTTTT of beaver. It seems to be the only way I can get her um, her um, well you know, her uuuuuhhhhhhhhhhh.....let's shall I put this...DAM TO BURST. Yeah. That's it. Get her dam to burst. Let that river flow. That is all.


crosspalms said...

I don't look anything like the guy in the wanted poster, nor do I have a silver syringe, but "medium build with belly" strikes close to home.

Mr. Excuseleton said...

I woulda podiumed, but some assface French farmers were blocking the road in protest of some obscure agricultural policy and there was no Bernard Hinault to exocet-missile himself into them, scattering them like chaff.


Anonymous said...

I have but one desire - to stand upright in her waxing kundalini.

Neil said...

'feel free to print this out and place it in your workspace'


C said...

The amount of time one spends in Hamilton is directly proportional to the number of genetial warts they leave with.

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify: the Budnitz was basically an awesome bike on the merits, albeit yours had been badly fucked up; but you disliked its aesthetics on more or less arbitrary grounds("looks like rich-people stuff"), and felt personally offended by the marketing material, including price.

Is that the gist of the Budnitz No. 1 review?

frilly said...

Awesome CC! Bravo! Or whatever may be Canadian appropriate.

The kids table is actually very cool.

Ahhh,the Cipo picture in the ladies. As if we don't take long enough already, now there's foffing material too.

Anonymous said...

Tilford rocks cut off denim when he goes hiking.

Marcel Da Chump said...

Domestique bliss.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 1:59pm,

Before I received The Budnitz, I was bothered by the idea of a $5,600 city bike, and by the claim that it will somehow outlast a less expensive bicycle by a margin that justifies the price.

After I received The Budnitz, I was bothered by the fact that the people selling them appear to lack even a basic understanding of how a bicycle works.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

CommieCanuck said...

t's encouraging that Vito was gentle with you. Maybe he's missed his calling, and so on behalf or the professional proctologist's association I would like to ask you a question. Tell me, on a scale of one to ten, with one being very unpleasant and ten orgasmic, how would you rate your experience?

A definite 7.8, somewhere between "enlightening" and "I need the number of a good psychotherapist".

Ole' Man Bidnutz said...

There is no such thing as bad publicity. P.T. Barnum said "I do not care what you say about me, just make sure you spell my name right."

McFly said...

Anon 1:13,
There are 2 thingys in the roundy-round part of your bikecycle that do not like each other and are having an eternal struggle for world dominance upon each and every rotation. But both of these things do, however, like grease.

I gurantee you it's your pedal. Maybe. But probably not.

Anonymous said...

Snob, I'm with Anon@1:59. You've be dribbling out your comments & impressions re: the Budnitz#1 over the past couple of posts. Do you have a "verdict?" Lots of things in life are ridiculously expensive, but we sometimes take the plunge. For me, the fact Budnitz is built by outrageously pretentious & utterly pompous...uh, nevermind [answered my own question, as it were].

g-roc said...

Budnitz got his No. 1 back. Snobby's still alive. Sounds like a win-win. No No. 2 required.

I think CC's comment qualifies as it's own blog post. Seriously CC, it's time to break out of Snobby's comments section. Feel free to blatantly plug your blog here. We'll let you know when it's inappropriate and unwanted. We always do.

babble on said...

@ frilly - at least no one cares if two girls use the john at the same time, which means you get to double your fun.

CC - I kinda figured as much... seems snobbers is about to lose his intern to head hunters.

G-roc - re: CC - Agreed! Specially since it's patently obvious that this is a great place for shameless self promotion.

CommieCanuck said...

Seriously CC, it's time to break out of Snobby's comments section.

Impossible now that Vito and I have 'connected'. It's legal in Canada.

mikeweb said...

Impossible now that Vito and I have 'connected'. It's legal in Canada.

It might be more concise to discuss what is NOT legal in Canada.

CommieCanuck said...


Ok, it costs a lot of money and sounds like it was named after a famous Rabbi, but while some may think $5600 for a city bike is kinda fucking insane, I read somewhere that many people drive $60,000+ cars from Germany on city roads and park them just to have pigeons shit on them.

Dammit, cyclists have the right to be douches too. Whatever gets you laid.

mikeweb said...

McFly, I beg to differ. It think it may indeed be his pedle.

Anonymous said...

anon 1:59 - I must be reading a different blog, on what particular merits did the snob deem the budnitz awesome? My takeaway is that the thing is an obscenely overpriced, albeit designer, piece of shit. It sounds like it's a bike for someone with a lot of money who knows nothing about bikes and who has no intention of actually riding the thing, purchased becaue it is a nice accoutrement for their loft space to impress their equally clueless friends.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Bummer, Now what are you gonna ride for your next epic cat 6 smack-down vid?

frilly said...

McFly--your wife and I *might* have something in common.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

my whole issue with this bundy test is that it was too short, and none of us got a chance to nick it from the streetz.

babble on said...

Frilly - hopefully the thing you have in common is a guy who really enjoys beaver...

McFly said...

It's low on calories and high on taste. What's not to like?

Serial Retrogrouch said...

you see what happens when you go up to america's overstuffed attic? now everyone has beaver on their minds... even the beavers!

leroy said...

Note to self: Do not invest in dog's kickstarter project selling pre-fabricated holiday huts with the advertising tag line "I'm gonna git you sukkah."

Comment deleted said...

Two blogs for the price of one today (and that price is higher than you think, my friends).

Commie 'Nuck, thank you for cutting through Snobby's usual bullshit with your incisive reporting. Best of luck to you and the hairy, um, "missus."

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:13: Well, on 10/01/12, Snob(or should I say, "Snub", haha) said "Sure, the Budnitz rides very nicely (as you'd expect from a Lynskey frame with high-end racing components on it)", and on 9/28/12, "As for the experience of actually riding the Budnitz, unsurprisingly it rides nicely,"

along with all the other stuff, so i want to know if Snob feels like he at least got the basic promise delivered, i.e, 'a good bike for city riding' at least in spirit.

I'm pretty claro on his other points around outrageous pricing and douchery , but frankly,(Lynskey welded frame and fork is $2k-ish+components and 2 hours assembly=$2800 base cost, Budnitz MSRP $5600 is a healthy %200 margin) if you're looking at a bike in this class, you're several $1000 over the douchebag limit anyway, so are we hanging too much on Douchenitz, when he's basically just over milking douchecows that would already be dropping ~$3K for a bike no matter what it looks like?

If I ever get to a point where that price tag is anywhere close to reasonable, its probably going to be the last of my considerations, knaamean?

Abbott & Costello said...

Niagara Escarpment?!!!
Slowly I turned...

g-roc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
g-roc said...

If it's shiny, buy it
If it's creaky, take the bus
Rain falls in New York

Jef Lansing said...

Man, you're a funny guy but an awful photographer. It's OK to not put the sun or something really bright in every picture. Unless that's the joke- then never mind.

babble on said...

oh dear... I am in deep doo doo, then, cause next to me, he's Annie bloody Leibovitz.

If any GOOD photographers out there have any unwanted beaver pictures, please send them my way. Or nipple shots. Those are good too.

Anonymous said...

That was the finest blog post comment I have ever read.

Krys Hines said...

The Cipo portrait is now signed by the man himself...K

Krys Hines said...

He had a great blog aboot local politics amongst other things but says he's "too busy" now...K

McFly said...

She was a habitual wide reciever,

Her man had threatened to leave her,

Now she shuns all those men,

While it drips off his chin,

And a rainbow shoots out of her beaver.

Good night.

Anonymous said...

" A thoughtful, non-hysterical take on bicycle helments? I can't believe it was published in an American newspaper."

Well, you haven´t read the comments, dude

Anonymous said...

1:40 pm
23rd st btwn 44th dr & rd
beneath the 7
one hand steering one hand playing w iphone
stupidly swerving btwn traffic cones
baby seat on back

what the fuck?
but you were wearing helment

does the baby mama know you smoke dope w/ the kid on the back?

Anonymous said...

Is that "smoke dope w/the kid on the back" or "smoke dope WITH the kid on the back"?

Alan S (Helment Fascist) said...

Wear a helment you dumbasses (or else don't have a family and break their hearts, ruin them financially and emotionally, and sue the shit out of the dumbfuck that hit you:

babble on said...


You inspire me.


ps Pesky is a character trait common to the flies I've encountered.

Anonymous said...

I would be very interested in hearing a couple of questions that the professor asked you and your responses. That must have felt strange.

Anonymous said...

CC reminds me of one those Remora Fish clinging to something more important to get attention. Get a job, ya bum.

babble on said...

Right then.
Hoo boy.
Um... moving along, feeling quite forty seven percentish.

Thteve said...

This is a really super blog you've started! Keep up the good work!

Cipo & Vito said...

Cipo's likeness adorns many public ladies rooms in Italy, and none of them have a soap dispenser.

Cipo and Vito have the same number of letters with the second being an "i" and the fourth an "o". Coincidence, I don't think so. Do the math man.

Anonymous said...

Helper monkeys travel in packs and they do it from the back.

2wheeler said...

poor, dull, hamilton

Anonymous said...

"We’re offering very few things on purpose"

That seems to be the cornerstone of their product development team.

g-roc said...

I'd tell McFly and Babbles to get a room, but that would probably be spoiling it for all the mental voyeurs here.

J. David Wilson said...

Holy crap a lot of people posted to this article.

Yes Cipo was here this weekend and also Hincapie and Steve Bauer were in the neighborhood but back to the Les Dom Cafe.

They have the absolute best espresso bar none. There is a Starbucks 20 meters away (meters in Canada and the world. Yards in the US) and you won't see a cyclist there but you will see a line up at the Les Doms Cafe !!

Anonymous said...

Wednesday comes but 52 times a year. Really?

jimmy disoza said...


Unknown said...

Breast aesthetics, there is a lot I do not know about. There are those from Turkey you recommend Dr. Ali mezdeği. Do you have that information?
Meme estetiği

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