See, the traditional method of reviewing bicycles and related products and gewgaws is to slather them with praise and move on to the next one, like you're serving ice cream sundaes. There's never any follow-up. See, anyone can pour chocolate sauce on something, but how many "sundae artists" are there 12-24 hours later, when it's coming out the other end and causing severe stomach cramping?
That's where I come in. I'm the guy who's not afraid to look in the toilet and analyze the stool.
Take, for example, the Electra Amsterdam Original 3i bicycle, of which I took delivery way back in 2009 and wrote about thusly:
That was a long time ago! I bet some of you weren't even born in 2009.
ANYWAY, my wife ultimately adopted the Electra as her "townie" and was quite fond of it, apart from the fact that it wasn't a step-through. Then one day in 2012 she was riding to work when she experienced a mechanical failure, forcing her to park the bike somewhere in the East Village and press on by subway train. Shortly thereafter, a shitstorm blew through our lives as they are wont to do, and we ended up leaving the bike where it was for like three months or something. (It also fell off the roof rack of THE CAR THAT I OWN at one point, you can read all about it here.) When we finally got around to retrieving the bike, it looked like this--which is to say rusty, but more or less fine:
This ordeal endeared the Electra to me considerably, for it had already experienced more tribulation than any single bicycle should experience in its lifetime. Now, for the first time, it actually felt like it was mine. (Or, more accurately, my wife's.)
But then, last fall, something else happened, which is that my wife got a real Dutch bike:
(WorkCycles, as ridden by Bret in the right-hand margin.)
This bike totally blew her mind because it's awesome, and we officially became exactly the sorts of people I used to laugh at back in 2009 because they were into Dutch bikes. And as we gazed lovingly at the WorkCycles, we'd then look over at the Electra, then we'd look at each other, and then we'd say, "Fuck that thing."
Yep, after four years of bagel runs and commuting and picnics in the park and dinner dates, it was as easy as that:
"Fuck that thing."
So I locked the Electra outside, and then Old Man Winter came, dumping upon us Imperial Fucktonne after Imperial Fucktonne of cursed snow:
(It looked pretty for about five minutes but it got old really fucking fast.)
Stupidly I never took a picture of the Electra during any of this, but for most of the winter it was almost completely buried. Then, yesterday evening, I was outside hanging out with one of my 17 children, and on a whim I unlocked the Amsterdam. "No way this thing will be rideable," I thought wrongly. In fact, all it took was a few PSI in each tire and the thing was just as rideable as ever:
Not only that, but the Knog light worked too:
That really blew my mind. I don't think I've charged it for like a year.
ANYWAY, we spent the rest of the evening racing bikes sewer-to-sewer and laying down fat coaster brake skidzzz, and with that the Electra re-eentered my life and I fell in love with it yet again--at least until I decide to ghost-ride it into a large body of water for laughs and then dredge it out six months later, thus beginning the cycle anew.
As for the moral of the story, it's simple:
Any bike reviewer who tells you that you need a belt drive or a titanium frame or dick breaks or anything other kind of Budnitz-y feature in order to have a durable, maintenance-free city bicycle is completely and utterly full of shit.
Also, a comfy, upright bicycle like the Electra would be the perfect bicycle for the latest wave of Brooklyn gentrifiers, who are apparently the grandparents of the previous wave of Brooklyn gentrifiers:
Now that's how you get properly priced the fuck out.
Speaking of bikes and being full of shit, have you heard about the Pulsium?
Let's break this story down to its most salient points:
elastomer bung in the lower branch
27 percent more vertical flex than its Sensium
slightly longer seatstays and a longer head tube
incredible vertical flexibility while keeping the lateral rigidity
top half of the Pulsium compliant and the bottom half stiff
optimised for stiffness
can switch between short and long
We rather like the shape
So am I reading about a bike or a fucktoy? It's frightening that your LBS may soon be inviting you to ride their Pulsium. This thing makes even the Cipollini seem chaste:
("This is exactly what it looks like.")
Lastly, once again a Kickstarter entrepreneur is entreating me to write about something I already wrote about:
My name is Pat and I came across your Blog Site in a Google search.... your in the top 50 USA Bloggers which will make you happy if you didn't already know this!?
Was enquiring to see if you can run a small blog on us and what we do?
We're currently running a Kickstarter campaign and need some exposure so contacting you seemed the obvious starting choice.
We have a pretty cool product that fixes all the quirks of the canvas under seat tool bags. Check it out?
We hope you find this interesting as we've had excellent response down here in New Zealand.
If you need any more info please get in touch.
I don't mean to make sound testy or anything but I ALREADY GODDAMN DID IT!!! Also, there is absolutely nothing quirky about a canvas saddle bag, but there is a shitload that's quirky about a plastic saddle-vag called the "Aeroclam."
Most importantly, "top 50 USA Bloggers" does not make me happy. That's like a pack finish in a Cat 5 race.