Wednesday, May 6, 2015

It may be Wednesday, but I'm so fast it's already Thursday.

After a hard day of "working" there's nothing like a twilight Citi Bike ride to soothe the nerves--or at least to shift your irritation from one set of nerves to another, since attempting to dodge taxis on a 50lb three-speed leaves you with little energy left to dwell on the day's indignities:


New York City is forever changing, and over the past couple of decades we've seen the downtown precincts of Manhattan transformed from a haven for free-thinking weirdos to a place frequented by the sorts of people who go "Whooo!" when they're excited.  Furthermore, yesterday was the 5th of May, otherwise known as Cinco de Mayo, which meant the sorts of people who go "Whooo!" when they're excited were "Whooo!"-ing their faces off thanks to an abundance of margarita drink specials.

As the bicycle becomes a more visible thread in the fabric of life in New York City it increasingly represents the city's agents of change.  For example, ten years or so ago we witnessed the sudden proliferation of what were then called "hipsters," who annoyed the fuck out of everybody on their fixed-gear bicycles.  Since then, time has mitigated the phenomenon.  Some of these people moved away, others learned how to ride bicycles properly and assimilated, while still others matured into full-on yuppies and traded their fixies for Subarus.  Now you've been priced out, the word "hipster" has become obsolete, and the fixie has become wholly unremarkable--just another aesthetic choice for the casual bike shopper, a decision no more profound than deciding between the lace-up sneakers and the slip-ons.

Yesterday evening, however, I had something of a revelation when I realized New York City cycling has a new scourge, and it is the "bro on a bike."



Indeed, after about the fifth or sixth "duder" in a polo shirt nearly salmoned into me, I realized that the "Whooo!"-ers are now taking to bicycles.  On one hand this is a positive development, since it indicates that riding bicycles for transportation in New York City has now gone entirely mainstream--so much so that fraternity types with entry level jobs at investment banks are now doing it.  On the other hand, when some Ultimate Frisbee is making a bee line towards me like I'm a keg at a frat party it makes me miss the days when legions of Napoleon Dynamites on Bianchi Pistas and yard sale 10-speeds imported from the far exurbs was the worst the city had to offer.

Alas, I suppose it's just the natural order of things.  First the city got hipster-fied, then it got bro-ified, and I guess in about five years the city will be totally taken over by billionaires and I'll be dodging Russian oligarchs salmoning on jewel-encrusted Cipollinis:



Actually, I'm thinking like a poor person.  They won't be on jewel-encrusted Cipollini bicycles.  They'll probably be riding bedazzled clones of Mario Cipollini himself.


("You want ride-a da Cipo?")

Speaking of the winds of change, don't you want to slice through them like a hot Cipollini through butter?  If so, you'll need to get yourself a full set of "Spoke Fins:"


Spoke Fins Reduce Bicycle Wheel Drag, Even in Crosswinds

Spoke Fins cut bicycle spoke drag by more than 50%, even in crosswinds.  Streamlined Spoke Fins swivel like a wind vane in response to variable crosswinds, which constantly change orientation as the wheel rotates.  Your help is needed to purchase a 12-cavity injection mold required to economically produce our innovative bicycle Spoke Fins.

Spoke Fins: Convert round spokes into bladed spokes


  • Cut Spoke Drag more than 50%
  • Effective in both Headwinds and Crosswinds
  • Reduce Pedaling Effort in All Winds
  • Enhance Stability in Crosswinds
  • Colorful Fashion Accessory for the Kids' Bicycle

Yes, why spend $20,000 on a Malcom McLaren Venge-Schmenge:


(Venge-Schmenge: The bicycle of choice for the Salmoning Oligarchs of Tomorrow)

When you can transform your $500 Bikesdirect.com special into a wind-cheating Fred rocket with just a handful of plastic?


Just listen to this testimonial!


"After 100 miles in two days of testing, the fins are very effective.  They are much faster above 15 mph, specially when facing headwinds, and remarkably stable in crosswinds.  The bike feels different, and is now faster than my own bike.  While cycling 16 mph in a moderate crosswind, I was able to pedal hands-free, where I could not have before.  I will not be riding again without them."

See that?  They are much faster above 15 mph.  See, without spoke fins, at 15 mph your bike will only travel at 12, 13, maybe 14 mph.  However, with the spoke fins, once you exceed 15 mph your bike will go as fast as 16 mph!

(As far as the part about pedaling hands-free, there might just be something wrong with his other bike.)

By the way, these are the same people who invented the Null Winds fairings:


"...it is my conclusion that when riding into a headwind with the addition of the Null Winds Technology Upper Wheel Fairings, any bicycle will be noticeably faster at any speed!"

In other words, at 21 mph, a bicycle equipped with Null Winds fairings will be faster than an un-faired bike traveling 21mph.  

Jason Shutz may be a Cat 2 at bike racing, but as far as science goes he's a Cat 8 at best.

Still, as a hardcore bike share user you can believe I'll take any advantage I can get, so you can expect to find me kneeling at a Citi Bike kiosk and attaching these to the spokes of my prospective azure blue bank-branded steed.  (Pro tip: attach Spoke Fins before un-docking the bike, you don't want to incur costly overtime fees.)

Lastly, while we're on the subject of the relentless pursuit of speed, a reader has sent me this video in which a Fred (who pronounces "Vuelta" as "View-letta") removes a pawl from his freehub in order to make his bike go faster:


I'm not sure this will have much effect on your speed, but it sure seems like a great way to squash your "pants yabbies" on your top tube.

Then again, if he takes it down to one pawl and adds some Spoke Fins he could very well leapfrog Fred "Woo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo!" speed and go straight to plaid:


96 comments:

Mike O. said...

Bingo

Anonymous said...

Je suis dans le premier trois.

Anonymous said...

Podio!

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

No comment.

Unknown said...

where's Ted?

Ted K. said...

8. Even so, our conception of leftism will remain a good deal less clear than we would wish, but there doesn’t seem to be any remedy for this. All we are trying to do here is indicate in a rough and approximate way the two psychological tendencies that we believe are the main driving force of modern leftism. We by no means claim to be telling the WHOLE truth about leftist psychology. Also, our discussion is meant to apply to modern leftism only. We leave open the question of the extent to which our discussion could be applied to the leftists of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

grog said...

Veal with lettuce.

Angsteroflove said...

Mario..."Cippolini can injecta way more than 12a cavities"

Craig Richards said...

Today a titan fell. RIP Ted K'S winning streak

Craig Richards said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freddy 'Pencil Dick' Crabon said...

Now that winter is behind us, pun intended, I could sure go for a nice Iced Cleveland Steamer!

bad boy of the north said...

first 20...getting ready for the afternoon spin.robosoup

Theodore said...

Whoooo!

Solipsist said...

First!!

Freddy Murcks said...

Goddamn freds are stupid - I didn't think it was possible, but freds may be even stupider that the golfers who think that a $500 driver is going to transform them into an overnight golfing sensation. Anyway, if you're slow, you have only two options: (1) work harder and hope that it makes you faster or (2) accept that you're slow and find something better to worry about. If you have a life, #2 is really the only option. There are no gimmicks (except the pharmaceutical ones that the pros use, of course).

Anonymous said...

Spoke fins? I’d rather have a nice set of Spokey Dokeys!
http://memoryglands.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/SpokeyDokeys.jpg

Buffalo Bill said...

Er, I think that new superubermccashmachine is a tardmac, not a smenge.

bad boy of the north said...

I used to use spoke fin technology.i used clothespins and playing cards to make flippity(?) motorcycle sounds.robohamburgers

John Watson said...

http://theradavist.com

Ground zero for the "bro on a bike" movement.

BikeSnobNYC said...

John Watson,

Bros thinly disguised with tattoos.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Anonymous said...

"May The Schwartz Be With You"

clyde said...

Scranus top 25

PotbellyJoe said...

I have spokey-dokeys on an early-90s Specialized. I like to believe that when Mike Sinyard goes to bed at night he has a distinct uneasy feeling that somewhere, somehow, someone is making his bike company look more foolish than he ever could.

As for the spoke-fins, well, they can only work with radial lacing. Meaning the majority of Wally-World bikes can't fit them. There goes his market.

I love the concept of being faster at a certain speed.

It's like when VW made the "New" Beetle and said "It's rounded roof provides the most passenger volume in a smaller space." I'm sure they meant volume divided by area, which would make sense, but that's not what they said. If they had said that, Joe-Bob Consumer's eyes would have glazed over because math is an ignore-able concept. Proof? Automobile-caused pedestrian deaths vs. cyclist-caused pedestrian deaths and the news cycle they incur.

Happy Wednesday. To quote Freddy Merckxury, "Get on your bikes and ride lots!"

ken e. said...

got nuthin' -spoon

babble on said...

Er... gold is heavy. Doesn't that sort of defeat the purpose of that particular model of go-fast bike?

Adn speaking of heavy, the 61 lb Electra is having brake issues. Use of the back brake leaves the damned thing engaged till I get off the bike and fiddle with the brake cable where it connects to the brake. No wonder I have so many muscles.

But I am here to testify that being strong does not directly translate into being fast, more's the shame. Sigh.

BamaPhred said...

Damn, all the obvious snarks are already made.
Yeah, there's something to be said about a post that manages to tie together 12 cavity injection and Cipo.
Thanks Lord Helment.

balls™ said...

WTF? Are these people learning physics from the US House of Representatives?

Spokey said...

ah potbelly

the pic with fins is a 3x wheel.

i'm ready to buy. first need to make sure they'll work with my 4x wheels.

shit. just remembered i don't give a crap about speed. if i really want to go faster at any speed, i think liposuction might be more effective.

Spokey said...

babs

no way. a pound of gold is much lighter than a pound of steel. it's just not as strong. unless you're using gold made from lead. then it's a stronger alloy.

Anonymous said...

”no way. a pound of gold is much lighter than a pound of steel. it's just not as strong. unless you're using gold made from lead. then it's a stronger alloy.”

Clearly, there is a future for you in the US House of Representatives.

3G said...

That dude's apartment is a mess!

Anonymous said...

Reasons the bro-bike trend will not last:

- it's hard to ride home after 9 Michelob Ultras at happy hour

- the wind or helmet wreaks havoc with the bro-coif

- the super tight and constricting bro-outfits are not conducive to cycling

- they will abandon their bikes the first time they get a flat tire because bros don't like to get their hands dirty

dop said...

I rode my fred bike to the city this morning. I rode along the south county trail The real excitement came in upper manhattan at a famous crossroads.

Cheers to all you happy canucks after the election in Alberta.

babble on said...

Spokey - ++ LOL!! Yes, clearly it's time you consider a run for office.

JP said...

For your Venge-Schmenge you actually showed a picture of a Tarmac-Schmarmac.

PotbellyJoe said...

Thanks Spokey,

I clearly was glazing over when I was looking at the picture.

I'd rather have a ton of feathers than a ton of bricks. It'd be easier to lift...

Hucklebee '16

Anonymous said...

that black-and-white photo of the Cipo kinda made me vomit a little. thanks

Mario Cipollini said...

Eating pussy.

Anonymous said...

balls,

If the learned physics from the House of Reps. they would measure in cubits.

Was it just me, or was it creepy watching the girl play with little "Cipo"?

BamaPhred said...

Damn, my rear rim is cracked, fortunately MY rear came equipped with one. Now agonizing over what I want/can afford/what biek shop has. Not I don't want crabon clinchers, and I'm just not feeling the love for replacement factory wheelsets.

leroy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cipo International LLC said...

Under Armor, Hummer Automotive and Cipo Industries International are proud to announce the 'Cipo* Uber Power Thrust**' road bike. With a total road ready weight of 1 pound 7 ounces you will have to tie this ride to earth lest it floats away.

$15,999.99 at finer Biketiques.

* Contains less the 72% depleted uranium by volume

** this ride runs Shimano 'Fissionable Material' 72 speed groupo

leroy said...

My dog, for one, welcomes our Russian oligarch jewel encrusted Cipollini overlords and offers them an attractive discount that can be applied toward the purchase of the iconic East River span of their choosing.

Spokey said...

@babs

no thanks. been there, done that. once in one's lifetime is enough for any sane person. didcha know that you have to swear to uphold the constitution even for the lowliest local office? well maybe not up there in the tophat, but yes for here in the scranus. don't know if that is true everywhere but at least was true here in snobbie's hemorrhoids.


@joe

i donna no about that. if what you say is true then why do people prefer women built like a brick shithouse? when was the last time you heard someone exclaim "wow is she built like a feather shithouse"? of course a feather shithouse does seem to be less useful than a brick one.

HEY SNOBBIE

your stupid robot ask me to pick sandwiches and rejected me when I included an ice cream sandwich with a picture of spongebbo on top. Was it spongebob or the ice cream?

leroy said...

Well this explains a lot.

I was trying to teach my dog "give me your paw" and he kept responding "give me your pawl."

He still hasn't forgiven me for having his gear fixed.

James said...

nice to see the alchemists making an appearance here today.

JB said...

I'm no hub expert, but the pawls transfer the torque from the cassette/freewheel to the axle, correct? Removing 1 of 3 equally-spaced pawls seems to be recipe for anything from burning through your hub very quickly to having the hub seize up (transforming your bike into a fixie) to having freewheel action both ways. Let's check back in with this guy!

Wow, that Cipo video was slightly overdone.

RetroWheel said...

"Damn, my rear rim is cracked, fortunately MY rear came equipped with one. Now agonizing over what I want/can afford/what biek shop has. Not I don't want crabon clinchers, and I'm just not feeling the love for replacement factory wheelsets.

I’ve had good luck with Mavic MA 40 off e-bay or craigslist.
Complete wheels in good shape generally go for $40-$80, NOS rims can be a little as $25.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1311.R1.TR2.TRC1.A0.H0.TRS0&_nkw=mavic+ma40&_sacat=0

Dr. Sigmund Fried said...

Fat Bike with Fenders


The Apex of Douche'bagalistic Dorkism



Fats bikes went out of style the minute Hincapie rode one.

Anonymous said...

"that Cipo video was slightly overdone."

Overdone is the way Cipo does everything.

Spokey said...

@James

if not for alchemy, wizardry, & general magic, we wouldn't have the internet, smartphones, or crabon bieksickles.

i rise every morning thanking the great merlin ( and lob just to be safe) for my modern life.

==========================

at least robot didn't try to trick me this time with a picture of sushi with spongebob on it.

PotbellyJoe said...

I worked on the 2000 Census. I had to swear to "support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic."

It was at that point that I began to wonder about how long the long form really was...

wishiwasmerckx said...

Spokey, I have a great Merlin in the garage.

I take some great comfort in the fact that long after we have all been rendered into worm shit, that titanium bike will still be as good as the day I bought it.

As of now, I am just waiting for it to "vintage out" enough to be ridden at L'Eroica.

dop said...

I think the 'remove a pawl from the hub trick' was debunked when Tyler Hamilton broke his shoulder in the Giro while riding a bike so modified. When he stood up to hammer, his freehub started to spin freely and he fell.

Shame on you Bjarne.

Ryan8538 said...

I don't what I want to leave a critical comment on more, that tacky Cipo bike or the idiot ruining his rear hub. Either way, great post.

Ted K Critic said...

Paragraph 8 is obviously another candidate for deletion, following-on from the empty Paragraph 7 and actually elaborating its failings. The sheer amount of verbal contortion required to stamp one concept's name clumsily onto another concept should have been sufficient indication of its futility, but here we get a few more excuses before -- one would hope -- the author imminently is to begin explaining what he actually IS talking about. My red pen is out of ink and there is blood on the page. So come on bleed. Come on bleed. Come on bleeed. Bleeeaea-haeaeaed, for Jello.

Cipo's Tongue, Accept No Substitute said...

Mario Cipollini 1:45 PM "Eating pussy."

Sounds about right as it would be 7:45 in Italy.
I wonder what kind of wine he has with his meal?
Perhaps a good Chianti and a side of Fava Beans to accompany the main course.

Self Depreciating Comments said...

Babble at 1227
"But I am here to testify that being strong does not directly translate into being fast, more's the shame. Sigh."

This from a woman who won a race a month ago.

babble on said...

This from a woman who only does well on the flat courses, being altogether too dense to climb like all of the other birds.

BamaPhred said...

Apparently I where Ulysses Everett McGill termed a geographical oddity, two weeks from everywhere, at least for biek wheels. So I went with brand Fop, instead of brand Dapper Dan.

BamaPhred said...

Apparently I "live"

Marketing Advice from the Better Business Bureau said...

That Cipo film was a snore fest, thought I was watching a Noah Baumbach film for four minutes.

If Cipo really wants to sell more of those things, he should record themselves eating pussy., specifically the pussy of the babe who was photographed, and Snob published, riding while nursing a baby. Be sure the video gets her rack in the shot too. Jewel encrusted Cipo's will be flying off the rack.

P.S. First time you hit a bump half of those jewels will be all over the road.

P. Bateman said...

this pot roast is making my home office smell freaking awesome. a very delectable post today Snob.

by the way, did ritte name a bike after you?

http://theradavist.com/2015/04/ritte-racings-new-stainless-disc-snob-road-with-paul-klampers/#1


David said...

Awesome, get a laugh everytime I come here.

babble on said...

Spokey - that seems a lot more reasonable than to have to 'remain loyal to the duly elected government,' like even the lowliest of civil servants must do up here. Our PM actually gagged our Federal employees a couple of years ago, so that now they no longer have the right to speak truth, and they most certainly may not speak to the press without express consent and A SCRIPT. Move over North Korea.

And as far as I can tell, the majority of men do not prefer those of us with solid shit house muscles, but rather tend toward the feather weight variety of woman, esp those with with honkin hooters.

Anonymous said...

"honkin hooters"

CN geese?

babble on said...

Lol! Eggzakly.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Babble, I prefer a sturdy girl who can help with the chores. However, you are correct that the honkin hooters are non-negotiable.

Kanute Kazinski said...

The Fighting Illini will henceforth be know as the Bejeweled Cipollini's in deference to international reputation of MegaStar Super Mario.

Teddy the K. said...

Team management cleared ...

Coach Belichick cleared ...

Brady had less air in his balls ...

does anyone really care?

Dooth said...

The greatest 20th century leftist was Smokin Joe Frazier.

A Left, a Right, and Schmeling is down said...

Dooth728 True that.

The police must love it when their mounted, hump, honk, hump, honk said...

Hooters that can Honk, that Canada is a wild and crazy place.

Spygate, under inflategate said...

We'll never really know what happened to Brady's balls during that one and a half minutes in the bathroom. Kind of like that gap in the Nixon tape.

Anonymous said...

Bikesnob, thanks for the sub-epic ride on Saturday morning, I was out of pocket a couple of days so this comment is less than timely. I was hanging on the end of that ride till the climb up Oliphant and then I was toast. The guy who crashed was riding a Vanmoof with fenders or at least something that looked like one.

In A Fix said...

My modified hub self-destructed as I was accelerating to take the lead, cast a pawl over the day, I dare say.

BamaPhred said...

The Honkin' Hooters? Did I hear them in the 70's?

JLRB said...

if you go to Hooters and give the waitress a "honk honk" out you go

the Bro dude in that picture looks like he is reaching for his bro dude phone to take a pic of the world renowned semi-professional blogagrapher

Dr. Sigmund Fried said...

Speaking Scranusially it t'aint Scro and it t'aint anus bit it tis the twain be'tween.

bieks said...

Mike O'Kittel, crushes Ted Kavendish and ends his domination of the "sport". The crown has been passed. Out with the old dope, in with the new improved dope.

Woooo!

Fredrik J├Ânsson said...

Our bike sharing system in Stockholm has all sorts of wind cheating technology installed and is ready for Woo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo speed straight of the rack.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/3e/Stockholm-City-Bikes.JPG

Or not.

Anonymous said...

Sponsored bike lanes? What happens if the sponsors go out of biz?

Dr cipo the gynecologist said...

Open wide

dop said...

That last video cast a pawl over the blog

Pinched loaf said...

The early turd on turdsday

Anonymous said...

"Our bike sharing system in Stockholm has all sorts of wind cheating technology installed"

Look at all those exposed bolts. You lock up one of those Stockholm City Bikes in NYC and it will have its wind cheating technology and everything else stripped to the bare frame in a you-know-what minute.

McFly said...

I have a great Kickfarter idea for an Open-Skull Bro Healmeant that from a distance resembles a headband. I do not have any data supporting the "Saturn-style" dome protection VS. a normal full cranium lid but if I get rich from Bro's I will publish some extensive research supporting my claims.

JeffOYB said...

I'm worked up. I have to digress. I see your occasional mention of hi-viz. Yeah, vests. Sure, night safety. Fine, in small doses in private. The problem is it's spreading. I'm hoping it's past its peak and ready to fall. But whole clubs are now using it in jersies for group rides and racing. Yeah, I've seen it on the pro's on TV, but have you experienced it in person? It hurts! Can you imagine riding behind someone, or a few someones, slathered in it? Or sitting across from someone in it while recreating after a ride? ...Standing around before a ride. It has gone way beyond where we want it. It just took our town by storm and I'm afraid. Am I over-reacting? I hope so...

Anonymous said...

Enema bags

dop said...

I've got to agree with snob. mandatory helminth laws will discourage cycling.

PotbellyJoe said...

@JeffOYB,

I don't hate fluorescent colors when used as an accent to a nice looking jersey. I have a few jerseys that are more obvious on the road than others. I don't understand wearing fluorescent solid jerseys in group rides. Solo, it makes sense that you want to be seen. If a motorist can't spot a group ride, any bright color isn't going to help.

One guy in our group ride has a new Giro Air Attack helment in fluoro yellow. We call him Beacon when he wears it.

wishiwasmerckx said...

McFly, they already tried that. It was called the skidlid, and it was the transition from leather hairnets to styrofoam yarmulkes.

When actual data started to come in, it was discovered to increase head injuries by exacerbating brain trauma, not decreasing it, so the skidlid went the way of the Dodo bird.

Yes, I had one. I was an early adapter. Wish I still had it for L'Eroica.

BamaPhred said...

I've noticed the flouro craze. It's just become fashionable to dress like road crew traffic control. Every kid has on neon socks and tee shirts, joggers, and I even saw a yenta in a flouro green dress at a wedding two weeks ago. (Shudder). A soccer mom even gave me a lecture, at a stop sign, on the benefits of dressing to be seen, while I was wearing my "46 Series" Snob jersey.
I thought about it, and she may be on to something. As drivers only notice what they have been conditioned to notice, you may become just part of the visual background noise, unless you are flying the neon colors. But I haven't bought one yet.

SkidLid, I had forgot about that.

James said...

That commonly used auction website has a few of those Skidlids on sale for pretty cheap.

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