Thursday, February 19, 2015

What's Old is Old Again.

It's easy to rail against the bike industry.  $2,000 wheelsets are the new normal.  Disc brakes and 11-speed wreaks havoc with compatibility.  There are like 20 bottom bracket "standards" now, all of which seem to creak.  You need to charge your shifters and run a "diagnostic" if they're not working properly.  And a state-of-the-art road bike costs something like $10,000...

...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.

Characteristics:

steel frame,
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!

It includes:

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)
post-race massage
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.


101 comments:

Bryan said...

zooooom

Spokey said...

oh my thx uma

JB said...

Nonplussed.

Spokey said...

damn wooda been 1 if stupid robot didn't suddenly make me typie stuff

Mr. First said...

What?

Vernal Magina said...

hells yeah.

Spokey said...

looks to me that the front wheel is crooked.

Anonymous said...

GO FUck New York

Spokey said...

i gave away my last pre '87 bike to pedals for progress last fall. It had downtube shifters but they were added post '87. OEM were up on the stem. Clamped on with a band like a down tube shifter set but on the vertical part of the quill stem.

It also had those 'safety' brakes originally. Got rid of them babies too.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Top ten for second straight day...

Bryan said...

victory lap complete, though I didn't wear the official race jersey, so I guess I am DQ'd. Suck my scranus

Anonymous said...

Top ten. Glad my two kids don't want my attention. Snob, can I provide Anti-Fondo support by taking your car to go get weed on the day of the event?

wishiwasmerckx said...

Dear Penthouse forum:

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...

JB said...

Stevil's backpack is already sold-out. No wonder I couldn't find the price.

Fred Doggg said...

Uma doggie style

wishiwasmerckx said...

In connection with Saturday Night Live's's 40th anniversary, your Grand Fondo Plus experience includes a backyard barbecue at the home of Mr. Richard Feder of Fort Lee, New Jersey.

Anonymous said...

I would definitely attend a BSNYC Gran Fondon't. Just as long as its held in warm weather. As of right now, weve got NYC weather down here in Americas Pants Yabbies.

Ill Gates said...

Visiting Austin last month. Ran into a gal who knows Lance intimately. Apparently Lance's left one is made of crabon fibre.

Elizabeth Blair said...

And there is a web TV series about weed delivery by bicycle: High Maintenance.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...i have to say, i never heard of cyclists riding in middens. is that the new cross craze? i just assumed that the photos of riders with muddied faces was from mud... i guess you just can't smell the dung from a photo. i may need to go to one of these events for the real smell experience.

Haliaeetus Leucocephalus said...

Yesterday a commenteer asked Mr. Snob if he has seen the new New York City eagles.

And they are not a bike racing “team.”

DB said...

Yeah, Wildcat.
I think a couple of us from the middle states would show up for your Fondon't.
Give us a couple months heads up for logistics.

Grump said...

I can imaging showing up for a group ride on that VP bike. The ride would never be able to start. People would injure themselves, falling off their bikes, laughing so much. Those wheels are something else. 32 holes on crazy deep rims.
I'm sorry, but the bars would have to be turned to a somewhat normal position.
I'm sure that there will be a few "people" buying this bike because it looks "cool".

Anonymous said...

Toppus XX?

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

I am in for the Fondon't

P. Bateman said...

damn its hot out here in Kuau'i today. not sure if i'll be able to ride due to the heat. maybe i'll just go lie on the beach instead and watch whales.

GET SOME!

oh, and my bike and its campy components are pre-1987 and my brake cables aren't blowing around in the wind because campy made an aero set of grips that allowed the cables to be neatly hidden. telling me i can ride that?

then count me among the fondon'ter'ers.

BamaPhred said...

Yeah, what everyone else said. Thinking of Uumma the Hummma. Kicking Jenny to the Kerb.

Fred Frerickson said...

Had dreams of Uma's camel toe last night. She utilized her camel toe and unscrewed the cap of my presta.

misster-PISSTA said...

Once the VP bike is upgraded with an artisnal handmade custom Crabon
Kickstand which will probably cost about
$9110 IT will still be more of the bike than anything
from the big S except maybe a glob..

dop said...

chalant

GreySpoke said...

Germany Twitter Cable Mechanical Disc Brake?

Lob Damn Germans got nothin' to do with it!

PotbellyJoe said...

Would you could you in a tub? Removing debris from your hub?

I would not could not in a tub, not in a kitchen with a train, not in a cab or on a plane. I will not clean it here or there, I will not clean it anywhere.

I do not like my drivetrain clean, I do not like it Rock Machine!

babble on said...

Yikes. What a bike! Busybusybusybusy...

That is a GREAT idea, Snobi Wan. I love it. Brilliant. Please DO do the don't.

I love Uma's staying power, too, and the way she spins a wrench. And you've gotta love love love the City of Love, with its sex clubs and traffic bans. They're doing a whole lotta something right.

Dooth said...

Wildcat, please Fondoso.

babble on said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bieks said...

Those flappy shifters were originally called 3M shifters for Minnesota Mitten Manipulatable, but apparently it was already trademarked.

Still, it's a great shifter if you want to confirm that the rest of your drivetrain is still frozen solid.

Freddy Murcks said...

The VP A01 has everything that the Venge has, except for the Special Ed legal department.

JLRB said...

That bike looks like it is hanging its head in shame - it knows it is a monster, and its not its fault. Shoot it.

PBJ - Well done! My vote for COD (unless someone posts cameltoe)

Anonymous said...

it's fucking raining in Sicily

JLRB said...

Not that there is a ballot, but I vote to add UMA to the BSNYC action figures.

JLRB said...

And, midden was clearly a typo - it was supposed to say maiden. Love to have my maidens work my shifter.

JLRB said...

Last - although the probabilities are against it, a fondon't would probably be

1904 Cadardi said...

Shipping weight on that beauty is 44 pounds! It's available in red too!

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

JLRB,

BSNYC action figures....there's a concept who's time has come.

balls™ said...

All you haters suck my bathtub.

Wishful thinking... said...

They outta make a recumbent version of the VP A01. Now that’d REALLY be something…

Beavis Cleaver said...

Due to Uma's pleasing visage I woke up with a 'MONSTER' this fine morning.

DB said...

Where's Kenny, and what did he do with the Snob art?

tony in LA said...

That VP AO1 is the greatest thing i have ever seen

Anonymous said...

VP bike's name: "Machete!" Pure marketing genius!

Until you really start to think about it...

Anonymous said...

Busy ordering my vp a01. Thanks for the endorsement Wildcat!

cycle

Dreaming of Uma said...

Please make my Uma action figure full life size please.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah I'm like, so cool cuz I used to order pot and stuff. In the 90s. Everybody was just waitin' for the end of the WORLD back then man, you know? Shit was craaaazy.

Anonymous said...

That VP bike is like the alien/human hybrid from the last "Aliens" movie...disturbingly scary because it's like something we sorta recognize and hope doesn't really exist...

Anonymous said...

My pre '87 bike is an '83 aluminum Vitus. Purists will be happy to know it's hidden away up on a shelf in the shop, though it was a pretty darn comfy ride until the fork broke.

JB said...

Yes, and the red one is much more fredly.

For $1,000, you can buy a pretty decent entry-level real road bike!

Anonymous said...

A BSNYC action figure? It could be cool, but I shiver to think of the darker side of such a possibility. Chicken suited bikesnob action figure wallowing in a bathtub of fruit loops doing who knows what with his crank, etc. TUBBG and Recumbabe, we know why his thumb is up, alright. And not to mention BibShorts Guy lurking in the background, staring, confused, waiting.....

Bryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bryan said...

it also comes in blue with aero wheels

Bryan said...

I also like how the largest size is 54. From their answered questions:
Q: Does the bike come pre-assembled? If no, does it come along with all the needed screws and cables? Also, which size does it come in?

A: This bike has 3 size versions for different height rider. We normally ship the bike in 54 cm because most of the rider in USA is more than 180cm(5.11") or higher if there is no special specification,when you place the order. Due to the shipping requirement and cost, we can not 100% assemble the bike, but 90 % pre-assembled and tested before shipping. However, when the bike comes to you, you still need to build up the front wheel with the quick release ( in bares hands), handle bar, seat post, and paddles. It is very easy to do it with our PDF format User Manual Instruction. Great Thanks again for your attention to our product.

Anonymous said...

vsk said ...

I'm in for the fonDON'T. (There, you're 1/2 way to a killer logo).

Will there be a kickstarter for the big promo event w post ride, pre-ride, or screw the ride massages?

Self SAG means carry your own Metro North ticket?

Will helments be banned?
Will there be punishment for 'bandit' riders who don't pay the fee?
Any bicycle as long as it's NOT 1987?

All points to ponder.

vsk

Angry Beaver in Miramichi said...

Frodo or Fondu or whatever, No vintage clothing allowed. They should re-think that one, every woman rider was going to wear fishnet stockings.

dockworker said...

Hey, that NYC Gran Fondo promoter guy drug tests his podium AND sanctions positives.

You'll note that last part where he sanctioned EPO geniuses is something that doesn't happen too frequently in Canada's scranus. Not because they aren't testing, but because nobody wants to sanction. I'm looking at USAC in particular.

Go ahead and make fun of the Fredly glory that will absolutely be that ride. That's cool. It will be a glorious parade of cat 6's, beer guts, and triathletes on crabon fibre everything.

The promoter deserves some respect for his actions around doping.

Steve said...

So, what, exactly is a "dedicated" portable toilet? Is there a 2nd use for porta-potties which the dedicated ones will not be subjected to? Was there a christening with champagne or gator aide prior to use?

Touched said...

Hmm. So my 1972 Campy bar end shifters are disallowed as not "vintage"? Idiots.

crosspalms said...

I'd like a bib-shorts guy bobblehead doll.

JLRB said...

Come now - get it straight - they are ACTION FIGURES - Not dolls.

Spokey said...

i know what kind of action i want

bad boy of the north said...

FONDONT!FONDONT!FONDONT!

Fool with money to burn said...

How much is the PLUS version of Fondon't going to run?

dop said...

Possible FONDONT routes..start with lap around prospect park..head to Manhattan via Manhattan Bridge...central park...riverside park...climb the hill under the gwb...corner sdeamn/Cummings....bway bridge....van courtlandt park to south county trail...swing to OCA in Yonkers..head up to dobbs ferry beer at harper's....

maybe ditch the trip to bklyn and go off road at sprain river park

leroy said...

My dog was unimpressed by Sasha the Cat turning on the faucet.

He explained that he has to put a toilet seat up when he wants to drink.

Of course, I always get blamed when he doesn't put it back down.

Spokey said...

snobs

forgot to compliment youse. your artisticery is improving much so. i'm betting they'll wont to hang that baby in the met. don't do it. bsnyc art for the peeples!

what's this robo shit afRec. i tells ya. uma won't stand for it.

Matt said...

I ride in mittens when it's really cold out, like today. Shearling ones, too, they're fabulous, and wool to boot. Like 'em much better than those Lobster mittens (sorry to you Believers). I don't have those Fap shifters though, I have twist grip shifters and a galvanized chain.

I'd do the Gran Fondon't. Or Gran Fondle. I'm sure if you're wavering on this event having some old guy from Minnesota come ride it will tip the balance.

McFly said...

Nothing like a pussy that can instigate the wet works self-sufficiently.

Steve Barner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve Barner said...

Save that energy you weren't going to waste by not organizing the BSNYCAF. Just come up to Vermont and ride the 100/200, instead. The math may be challenged, but the ride is fantastic. It's the original anti-fondo fondo. "A dumptruck of awesome." 100-200.org.

Anonymous said...

Snob, Are the life size anatomically correct Uma action figures ready yet?

Anonymous said...

At the Fondon't will there be lots of post ride fondonuts?

herzogone said...

I'm embarrassed to say I learned something from today's post; my brake cables are routed incorrectly on my 1984 Bridgestone 400. On the other hand, maybe it's just right for a Fondon't...

JLRB said...

what is with the seat on handstand girl's bike?

Jeb said...

That is one badass crazy bike! It's cockpit is so crazy that it makes me crazy. It's got a crazy kickstand too that makes me crazy. I feel so crazy that I'm going to vote Republican in the next election. Then I'm gonna grab my gun an' shoot somethin'. Sarah... Sarah Palin. Come and save us from them there lefty folk.

ce said...

The innovation on the VP A01 trickled down alright. It trickled down out of a small hole in the bottom of a bloated Hefty bag left out in the sun behind a seafood restraunt. Trickled down the gutter, meandering between the dog turds, picking up the parasites and introducing them to their downstream island neighbours along the way. Trickled down into the sewer pipes, keeping afloat a small bloom of translucent condoms, bobbing serenely like jellyfish, before being filtered through a hung up dam of used tampons. Trickled down into a rotted out, maggot ridden cavity in the carcass of a hobo with no name, where it could go no further. It remained here, in the nutrient rich soup, for six days, drawing in energy and growing. On the seventh day the VP A01 emerged and rolled out into the light of day, for the low, low price of $890 with free shipping.

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

+ 1E6 for the whole post! (Too stoned to break it down...)

Woo Hoo said...

The Fondon't has to end somewhere that does Fondue, just saying.

JB said...

McFly and ce: Bravo.

McFly: no translation needed.

aRie keRRopi said...

Thank you for sharing :)

JLRB said...

spinning on rollers to warm up for the finish

JLRB said...

wearing my cheese fondu jersey - I can eat it if I bonk

91 said...

91, etc.

92 said...

F

93 said...

O

94 said...

N

95 said...

D

96 said...

O

97 said...

N

98 said...

'

99 said...

T

JLRB said...

Probably cut at the line

JLRB said...

or not't