Monday, March 13, 2017

Trend Watch: People Now Riding Bikes With Large Tires

Not sure if you've heard, but apparently there are these things called "fat bikes" in quotes:


PORTLAND, Me. — Gone are the days when cyclists had to put their bikes away for the winter. These days, hard-core riders are staying outdoors year round thanks to “fat bikes” that allow them to conquer winter's worst instead of staying indoors on a stationary bike.

Yes, according to the Associated Press Style Book, "fat bikes" must be rendered in quotes until the 10,000th article is published about them:


This is why the knuckle tattoo trend no longer has to be rendered in quotes, but the "air quote tattoo" trend does--though strictly speaking it should be rendered "'air quote' tattoo," which will surely be the undoing of many a copy editor.

It's even more complicated if you want to add "irony punctuation," in which case it's "'"air quote"' tattoo"...I think.

Or we could all just accept the fact we're living in a post-grammatical society and surrender to emojis:


I'm old enough that the first thing I think of when I see this is blotter acid.

Anyway, if you want to know what makes a "fat bike" a "'fat bike'" it's the "comically large tires:"

The bikes, with comically large tires, have come into the mainstream in the past couple of years, after having been introduced about a decade ago.

It's certainly true that "fat bike" tires do look cartoonish, but if you adjust for brainwashing it's really the rest of America that's riding around on "comically large tires" thanks to our obsession with SUVs:

A largely aesthetic consideration that tends to create more problems than it solves:


See, in America we like motor vehicles that can cross rocky stream beds (at least in advertisements) but can't make it through a tiny city without wreaking havoc.

The article then quotes a "fat bike" enthusiast:

John Grondin, 48, of Scarborough, Me., got his fat bike to kick the winter blues.

“I wanted to get outside and ride in the winter,” he said. “I like to ride, period. I'll ride a road bike. I'll ride a mountain bike. I just want to ride.”"

I'm getting the sense he likes to ride.

By the way, another good way to kick the winter blues is to not live in Maine.

The article then goes on to make the stupendous claim that "fat bikes" are the first major cycling trend since the 1980s:

Fat bikes represent the first major bicycle trend in several decades, after BMX bikes in the 1970s and conventional mountain bikes in the 1980s, said Jay Townley, partner in Gluskin-Townley Group, a Pennsylvania consultant and market research company focusing on the bicycle business.

Um, what am I, chopped liver???


Jay Townley clearly slept through the fixie craze of the early 21st century (not to mention the Lance Amstrong-driven road bike boom that preceded it), and for that I envy him.

Nevertheless, these "fat bikes" are now big business:

The NPD Group, which tracks retail sales of bikes in the United States, reports that fat-tire bike sales have grown eightfold in the past three years, to $74.7 million in 2016.

If we assume the average "fat bike" costs $1,000 that means there are currently 74,700 "fat bikes" out there rolling around on comically large tires.  And since every one of those bikes will need two (2) new comically large (and therefore comically expensive) tires eventually then it seems to me that's the business you want to be in--which is why I'm pleased to announce my new online retail venture:


Alas, if only I'd planned ahead, I could have debuted this at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, which took place in Salt Lake City, Utah:


(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) Debra Banks, a hand crafted saddle manufacturer for Rivet Cycle Works, left, checks out a one of a kind "Big Bamboo Bike" made by Craig Calfee of Calfee Designs out of Santa Cruz, CA. at the 2017 North American Handmade Bicycle Show at the Salt Palace Convention Center on Friday. This model is an electric bike made of a bamboo including the wheel spokes. The battery is inside the large tube. He makes several more coventional design custom bicycles using bamboo frames. It's the largest and oldest handbuilt bicycle show in the world where ideas and innovation come together to promote custom bicycles and the companies that support the market. It is the show's first time in Utah. The event runs through Sunday.

Presumably the sustainable and environmentally-friendly bamboo is meant to offset the electric drivetrain, which requires lithium mining, as well as the leather saddle, which requires resource-intensive cattle whose flatulence contributes to global warming--sort of like how I ride to the big-box store on a bicycle to pick up my planet-destroying disposable diapers and paper towels:


I'm thinking that maybe if I add some bamboo veneer to the WorkCycles I can also get a pass on sorting my refuse when I eat at Whole Foods.

Anyway, obviously I didn't go to NAHBS this year, but I feel pretty confident in saying that it was exactly like every other NAHBS except there were more disc brakes:


Wake me up when someone shows a rim brake fat bike made from bamboo.

61 comments:

Blog Drafter said...

Bike Throw!

boys on the hoods said...

podio!!

Jrad said...

Babababooyaaaaaah!

Ted K. said...

220. Suppose you asked leftists to make a list of ALL the things that were wrong with society, and then suppose you instituted EVERY social change that they demanded. It is safe to say that within a couple of years the majority of leftists would find something new to complain about, some new social “evil” to correct because, once again, the leftist is motivated less by distress at society’s ills than by the need to satisfy his drive for power by imposing his solutions on society

Andy/D said...

12 Blog days to go, Ted. Excluding notes. Hurrah.

biorider said...

Stay warm, Mr. WCRM

Anonymous said...

Noob question: I get that "Ted K." is a reference to the unabomber, and the paragraphs I guess are extracts from his scribblings, but what's the story? Who made a bot to post these things on a cycling blog? Why? Do other blogs get the same treatment?

JLRB said...

The Quicker Picker-Upper! time to ride back to that big box store and load up on bread, flour, eggs, toilet paper and milk and booze - there's got to be booze - ITS GOING TO SNOW!



babble on said...

My maths suck, too, but I think that $74.7 million at $1000 a piece means that there will be 747,000 fat bikes out there. Just sayin'

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

Just barely in the tennus ...

vsk

Anonymous said...

74,700,000/1000=74,000

Anonymous said...

err, 74,700

janinedm said...

@anon11:51, I'll answer your question with a question.

Fred Fredriksen said...

That 74,700 figure doesn't account for the fat bike freds with $7K carbon, full-squish fatties.

cdinvb said...

Not snowing here.

Anonymous said...

@anon11:51 Apparently, someone [and probably only that single individual] thinks that interminable Ted K postings are a "thing."

The bigger news is that commenter Ms Babble On has finally updated her blog!

N/A said...

That stupid "article" didn't pick up on "dick breaks" as a bikecyclin' "innovation"? Also, between "mountain bikes" in the 80s and "fat bikes" currently, there was another bike "trend" that had a tiny bit of notice: "Crabon Fibre". Also, lettuce knot forget: "supple" tires. I don't know how much of an "innovation" they are, but I like everything in my life to be as "supple" as possible.


This "comment" was jammed as full of "quote" "marks" as I could "reasonably" stand to "do". Some were "ironic"* and some were merely "obnoxious". I "hope" they were "sufficient".


*NOT IRONY

Bozo to Be said...

That Bamboo bike and a clown suit and I'm already to make a living at kiddie parties (some parents have 17 dates to fill), parades and Halloween.

PS Was the Bamboo grown in America? The Donald has promised to make Bamboo Growing Great Again (when he takes time off from golfing, that is)

Leo Tolstoy said...

Andy/D 1138 "12 Blog days to go, Ted. Excluding notes. Hurrah."

Coming up next from Ted K; "War and Peace", sentence by sentence.

Babble for Pope Derailed by One Word said...

Am I the only person who has noticed that Ms. Babble uses the words suck and sucks numerous times? A little oral fixation, or maybe a big oral fixation? All good and well, keep up that good work Ms. B.

dnk said...

Wake me up when someone shows a rim brake fat bike made from used disposable diapers.

BUY AMERICAN MADE FAT TIRES said...

Are Fat Tires made in the good old US of A? If not, bring those fat tire manufacturing jobs back to America (did they ever leave?).

wle said...

hey now, that "comically expensive" fat bike tire
a. has studs and
b. folds up
so there.. $163... a bargain at half the price...

wle said...

i want a rim brake fat bamboo dick break brake innovation system

Anonymous said...

It’s good to see that Debra Banks is ambulatory again. She’s had a long road to recovery after getting hit by that car. My guess is that Craig Calfee built that bike for this guy.

Freddy Murcks said...

I went to the NAHBS becuase it happened to be in the city in which I dwell. It was pretty cool. Your friends from Brooks were there. I asked the guy manning the Brooks booth about Eric 'the chamferer' Murray and whether or not he flenses people who cross him. He had no idea what I was talking about, but I am afraid I may now be on Eric 'the chamferer' Murray's hit list.

Ramin Shak said...

It's not 100% ecological resourced bamboo but here you go bikesnob:
http://bamboobicycleclub.org/?portfolio=bamboo-fatbike-robert

Freddy Murcks said...

Babble - Your maths do suck.

ken e. said...

janinedm @ 12:23 for day's best comment.

dop said...

no matter where you go, there you are.

anon at 11:51, Ted thought our podium sprints, century sprints and perhaps our scranus chants lowered the level of discourse at bsnyc. As a protest, he set up a bot to win all podia.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...Anon 11:51,

...Ted K is non other than that joker from a couple of years ago right here on the commentariat. I forget his handle... buttface, or something like that... he liked to call out Snob's tiller effect or something... he had issues with his mommy, and he would rant so long that he started thinking he was actually blogging. Then he disappeared, and another character showed up. It was him posing... and now he found the unibomber's drivel... though I don't think he's smart enough to use a bot... I think he's living in his mommy's basement and all he does is click refresh on his browser to post on the pod.

...the best thing to do is ignore him... same you would do when seeing a fatbike in warm climate.

leroy said...

My dog says he's old enough to remember blotter acid and authoritarian travel bans that prevented folks from leaving.

But he says if you try telling young people today that a Refusenik isn't someone who doesn't sort their refuse into recycling at the Whole Foods, folks look at you like you're crazy.

I told him he's raving about emojis as post-modern Owsley marketing, the revival of Soviet era anti-Semitism, and recycling contemporary quinoa containers.

And he's a talking dog.

Of course he's going to get funny looks.

And anyway, he's counting his age in dog years.

It's going to be a long snow day tomorrow stuck inside with him.

Or emoji sheets.

blunchbelly said...

Looking forward to recreating in snow with "foot planks". I hope I'll be safe enough w/o dick brakes. Kickstarter anyone?

dnk said...

janine --- loved that clip. perfect question to answer the question

You must not be drinking enough said...

Have you ever gone to bed with a hard tail and woke with a fat bike?

Anonymous said...

Townley also forgot about the "Freeride" mountain bike trend, the "North Shore" skinny feature riding trend, and most recently the "Endurbro" trend!

Anonymous said...

I want me a really fat bike with chromed frame with fancy gold plated lugs to match gold fenders cos I ain't takin' it out in snow...

Wall-E

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Wait a second, aren't gravel bikes a trend like right now too? It's all to confusing for me to keep up!

Anonymous said...

No NAHBS coverage, no Spring Classics coverage, no roadie bike, and I'm bummed. Did you read about Steve Tilford's cracked skull on Steve Tilford's blog? He still won't wear a helmet all the time either.

Chazu said...

Speaking of blotter acid; Patrick Stewart portrays the "poop" emoji in the new Hollywood film "Emojis".

As for the act of blotting; paper diapers make a lot of sense, but paper towels do not. Old tee shirts and old towels are worthy of consideration to replace paper towels. You might consider buying cheap kitchen towels or cloth rags in the automotive section of that big box store, to use instead of paper towels. Toss them in the washing machine when they need to be refreshed.

Have a great snow day

BikeSnobNYC said...

Chazu,

I am familiar with the concept of cloths and towels and use them for various purposes but sometimes you just need to tear off a paper towel.

--Wildcat Etc.

Freddy Murcks said...

Serial Retrogrouch - Do you really think Ted K. is the commentator who shall not not be named. I am glad that the commentator who shall not not be named stopped posting, but I think he's too big of a narcissist to quietly lurk and post under the Ted K. moniker. I could be wrong, however.

Freddy Murcks said...

I forgot the question mark at the end of the first sentence. It should read:

"Do you really think Ted K. is the commentator who shall not not be named?"

Serial Retrogrouch said...

..Freddy Murcks, unless we see both of them at the same time, I'm going to put all my chips on it.

dancesonpedals said...

Podia! I wanted to win Pudenda! Said no one ever..

Anonymous said...

Hi y'all, this here's 7 time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. I'm working in conjunction with the Trump administration to start an American cycling federation where doping will be a prerequisite. Donny feels that all sports, much like sex, should have performance enhancements. The podium will feature only the best women from Miss Universe competitions. Also, it's for white Christian men only. It's gonna be great.

Anonymous said...

That's nearly 1,600 individual paper towels you have there.

BeerDrivenCyclist said...

48st? I like big tires and I can not lie...

Bogusboy said...

Salt Palace? Seriously?

Dooth said...

"?⚙️⛎🏃🏾‍♀️"

EZ Rideher said...

I think that a "fat bike" should really be called a "chubby". Just imagine Babs saying she went for a long ride on a chubby! Ha! Ha!

Old Timer said...

Huh? What?

Drock said...

The idea of "quote dick brakes" is more stopping power I assume, if so then I want the rear to do my stopping and the front to throw sparks or smoke or do something crazy for everyone to see. Cause one I'm cool like that and two to hopefully cover up up the fact that I own "dick squealers". And for those who think this is some type of race, making comments, then I say car back.

Anonymous said...

Snob,
Can I get a fixed gear bike with a disc brake on the front wheel?
Non-Snob

babble on said...

HA!! Yes indeed. Y'see? My maths really DO suck. And I hadn't even started doping at that early hour, either. But hey, I'm Kanuckistanian, and we use imperial dollars, or SAE dollars, or something. So there must be an excuse hiding in there somewhere. Wow. It's incredible that my first son has worked his way through nearly two science degrees now, given that he came through me, and shares my DNA n'all. Dunno how THAT happened. It makes me so happy to have actually co-created two great guys, given the odds against it.

Heh. I DO suck at a lot of things, though, so there you go. I'm a really, really good sucker, in fact, and I'm ok with that.

Um, as to he who must not be named, my inner know it all hates keeping mum, and I happen to knwo that he is definitely not ted. And he tried lurking and leaving anonynonymous comments, after snobberdiddums shut him down, but our astute host had is number and always deleted his contributions, so eventually he gave up. I expect he's still around, however.

babble on said...

Oh! And YESSSS!!! I take a looooooong, sweaty ride on a chubby at every opportunity. Of course. What girl in her right mind wouldn't??

Anonymous said...

hey Drock, I think you've got a kickstarter there: disk brake for stopping, plus a redundant flint-where-the-brake-pads-should-be rim brake for sparks... besides shredding rims like Snob shreds paper towels (hey I ain't judging!) what could go wrong? And when did that stop a great kickstarter anyway?

And since I'm posting: here's a rad discussion about your question, Non-Snob... from 2011!
https://www.lfgss.com/conversations/181677/

Some geek in shop class said...

"The idea of "quote dick brakes" is more stopping power...

As has been said repeatedly and consistently over the decades, starting way before the internet, traction between the tires and the ground determine braking "power". If the brakes you have are capable of skidding the rear wheel wheel, and if the front brake is capable of lifting the rear rear wheel off the ground, you can not gain any more braking "power" with a different brake system.

Possibly disk brake on bicycles reduce the problem of water/mud/dirt on the wheel rim reducing brake efficiently with rim brakes, and/or add to brake "feel". Hydraulic disk brake also allow a greater mechanical advantage one cable activated brakes (not that all hydraulic brakes are set up to have a greater advantage.)

Anonymous said...

In defense of the NYT, they wrote "fat bikes" - in quotes. They wrote very clearly that people are riding "fat bikes" NOT you know, fat bikes. That spans a whole range of riding implements.
If they weren't joking of course. It could all just be a literary joke about fat chicks.

iWEB TECHNOLOGIES said...

Thankful for such wonderful blog yours...!
Web Development Services

Candy Sim said...

The blog or and best that is extremely useful to keep I can share the ideas of the future as this is really what I was looking for, I am very comfortable and pleased to come here. Thank you very much.
animal jam | five nights at freddy's | hotmail login