...until now, thanks to trickle-down economics. Finally, you too can have a bicycle that rides on the very cutting edge of road bike innovation--the disc brakes, the deep-section wheels, the aero frame--all for under $1,000!
(Via JP the Reader.)
Here are the specs:
The cockpit is especially clean and ergonomic:
Those appear to be the new Shimano "Fwap-Fwap" Paddle Shifters. Optimized for cyclists who prefer riding in mittens, you simply bat at the shifters with your hands until you find the right gear. Shimano engineers wanted to be sure the system was at least as easy to operate as turning on a faucet, so they tested it extensively on cats.
Note also the system has at least two sets of brake levers (there may be more, it's difficult to tell), at least two of which run parallel with the ground. This is the preferred set-up of artistic cyclists, who often train on road bikes in the off-season but still can't resist busting into the occasional handstand:
When you're descending at Fred "Woo-hoo-hoo-hoo!" speed while vertical you still need to be able to brake. Plus, you can even actuate the "Fwap-Fwap" shifters with your forearms.
But just because the bike is cheap doesn't mean they skimped on the components. For example, a lot of companies will cut costs by speccing a cheap saddle, but this one is exquisitely hand-finished:
And when I say "hand-finished" I mean covered using a Hefty bag and a cigarette lighter.
The kickstand is also a nice touch:
Did your $20,000 Specialized S-Wanks Malcolm McLaren Venge-Schmenge come with a kickstand?
I didn't think so.
Of course, if all this "innovation" isn't for you, you might prefer L'Eroica, where you've got to ride a bike from 1987 or earlier. Clearly a lot of cyclists are pining for the simplicity of bygone eras, because Eroica franchises are popping up everywhere, and there's even one coming to California this spring:
In fact, L'Eroica has become so popular that the Gran Fondo New York people just figured "fuck it" and totally copied it:
Campagnolo GFNY Vintage presented by Selle San Marco is a new category at the 5th annual Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York on May 17, 2015. It allows you to experience the GFNY Championship on a classic road racing bike. As a Vintage Category Rider you have to ride a road bike that is from 1987 or earlier.
down tube shifters,
brake cables must pass outside and over the handlebars,
toe clip pedals
32+ spoke wheels 20mm deep or less
Wow, how original.
This is not to say the GFNY is not putting its own unique spin on the concept though, because unlike Eroica you've still got to dress like a total Fred:
Replicas are allowed. All vintage riders must wear the official race jersey and a modern helmet – sorry, no wool jerseys or leather (“hairnet style”) helmets.
That's just sad. It's like when you were a kid and you got an awesome ninja costume for Halloween, but your mom made you wear a stupid puffy winter jacket over it because it was cold outside.
I was also puzzled by this line:
It allows you to experience the GFNY Championship on a classic road racing bike.
So what happens if you attempt to experience the regular GFNY ride on a classic road racing bike? Do they shoot you? Or do they just make you don your mandatory Fred-tastic GFNY jersey and ride the Rollers of Shame?
Of course, if you would still rather ride your modern Fred sled and you've got a shitload of money burning a hole in your jersey, you can always opt for the "GFNY Plus:"
GFNY PLUS lets you enjoy a new level of unique experiences and added benefits for the May 17, 2015 edition of the race!
1. One registration for Campagnolo GFNY 100 miles or GFNY Bear 50 miles
2. No wait to get into the expo
3. Two invites to the GFNY Welcome Dinner on Friday 5/15
4. One invite for pre-race Ride with track star Nelson “Nelly” Vails on Saturday 5/16 morning
5. Two passes for GFNY PLUS hospitality tent at the GFNY Finish Area in Fort Lee, which includes:
meal and beverage service (alcoholic and non-alcoholic)
shower pack (GFNY laundry bag, shower gel, medium GFNY towel)
dedicated secure bag check and bike parking
dedicated portable restrooms
Reserve your spot now for $1,900 at granfondony.eventbrite.com.
$1,900 to ride to Bear Mountain? Incredible. That's like Hertz charging you $2,000 a day to rent a Hyundai Elantra.
There is the VIP treatment in beauiful Fort Lee, NJ though, so maybe it's worth it:
They should just call it the Gran Fondo Fort Lee and be done with it.
Fort Lee, incidentally, is where I was pressed into tire inflation service by this guy:
I'm tempted to organize a BSNYC Anti-Fondo (or Fondon't) that would take place on the opposite side of the river--and by "organize" I mean invite a bunch of people to ride and wear whatever they want and then eat and drink together afterward.
I'll keep you posted, but don't expect much.
Penultimately, Stevil of All Hail The Black Market has a new "collabo" with Swobo:
Now that I live on the mainland and do a lot more of the "throw-a-bag-on-your-back-and-hit-the-mountain-bike-trails"-type riding this looks very appealing to me.
So perhaps it will look appealing to you too.
Lastly, further to yesterday's post about flat repair, here's an anecdote from "back in the day:"
Following the procedure one messy, slushy Hell’s Kitchen March evening, a young man showed up and asked if I knew of any bike stores that were open to fix his flat tire. It being after 6 p.m., I knew they were all closed, but told him to bring his bike into my bathtub in my kitchen railroad apartment. As an ex-bicycle messenger who still rode, I always had a patch kit on hand. The tire examined, a piece of glass removed, a quick patch applied to the inner tube, and he was good to go.
Just a stoner, a weed delivery guy, and a bicycle in the bathtub.
Sounds like a Dr. Seuss book for adults.