Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Worst of NYC Craigslist Bike Ads, #1

Admittedly I have an overdeveloped sense of propriety when it comes to bikes. A bike doesn't have to be high-end necessarily. It just needs to be right. Well thought-out, properly assembled, and with a component selection appropriate to the bike's usage and to the machine as a whole. And while I feel that as a cyclist one should be able to do whatever one wants (blow lights, ignore traffic signs, and so forth), I also feel that certain equipment choices and combinations just should not be allowed.

Cursed as I am with such a keen bicycle sense, there is no more nauseatingly offensive classifieds list as the NYC bikes for sale section of Craigslist. This could be a great resource for us NYC cyclists, like it is in other cities. (Check the Denver Craigslist if you don't believe me.) Instead, it's a bicycle cesspool. Overpriced fixie conversions, obsolete relics being touted as "vintage," blurry photos of crap... It's enough to make me want to yell at my monitor. And I know there are others like me as well. You know who you are. You post snide comments on the board, call people out on their pricing, and generally vent your frustrations on clueless hipster bike-sellers.

Which is why I bring you "Worst of NYC Craigslist Bike Ads." This first entry, appropriately, is absolutely hideous:

59c surly steamroller velocity chris king nitto - $950

(original URL:

$900 for a Surly Steamroller? Only in New York. (Or only in East Williamsburg, or Bushwick, or wherever the kids are living today.)

Reply to:
sale-351232204@craigslist.orgDate: 2007-06-13, 11:29AM EDT

im selling my steamer to make some other projects happen

If they are as hideous as this God help us.

59c surly steamroller frame and fork

chris king headset

nitto b123 bars

OK so far... on paper. But what is this thing wrapped in? A tablecloth from an Italian restaurant?

white velocity deepv wheelset(formula hubs)

It's ENOUGH ALREADY with the powder-coated Deep Vs. Seriously, people should be embarassed to ride them by now.

rivendale speedblend tires(change colors)

Those things are freaking ugly. Even Grant Peterson of RivenDELL just threw up in his mouth a little bit.

blue anodized vintage shimano 600 crankset

Finally--a little color!

carbon seat post

It's important to shave grams with a carbon seatpost when you're going to secure it to the frame with about two pounds of drive chain so it doesn't get stolen.

selle italia saddle

What model?!?

itm stem

What model?!? What length?!?

crank bros mallet pedals (ill sell with or without)

Downhill mountain bike pedals have no place on a road bike of any kind and should not be allowed.

miche primato sealed bb tektro brake and cross lever(why not its drilled)

Miche Primato bottom brackets are ISO taper. Your Shimano crank wants a JIS taper. Mixing the tapers on square taper cranks can be very bad for the crank. Good thing that brake's on there--you're going to need it when your crank arm splits and falls off.

mechanic owned and operated for a short time ill clean it upo shortly, top tube and downtube are covered .....its a between bikes bike and i knew id be selling it so i kept it tiptop thats it ill maybe post some other measurements and pics later but no time now leave your # if your interested

Mechanic, eh? I can tell by the mixmatched crank/spindle. Your poor bike hates its life. "Look away, I'm hideous!," it says. Why did you do this to a perfectly nice Steamroller?!? There needs to be an Angelina Jolie of bicycles to rescue these poor things...


Diamond Fang said...

i just perused this ad on CL seconds before reading your post. nothing clever to say as it's been properly and adequately covered in your post, just an observation I thought was entertaining.
Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for putting NYC's CL bike scene in perspective. It's pathetic. But then again, look around NYC, most of the bikes get treated like, or are, crap. Maybe CL is just a reflection of NYC's bicycle scene generally.

Anonymous said...

while alot of these comments are funny most of them are really misdirected. You folks are correct about some aspects of fixed gear & riders but your generalizing so much that your whole point turns into a big hate fest for a type of bicycle? Spend your time hating something else, like the war, poverty, world hunger, SUVs, etc.... It is at the point of sounding stupid

Christopher Cummings said...

I love it! I started racing track in the mid 90’s and was a messenger for a long time. But every douchebag on the plant has a fixed gear now, tight pants and a spiked belt. How many of these people have been on a Velodrome? If you want to support something, go to the track. Velodromes are closing all over and they have been taking away events in the Olympics. It’s no longer about being a part of something, now the bike is just an accessory for the hipsters. Next time you see one ask them who Major Taylor was.

Colin R said...

BSNYC -- assuming you still read the comments in your email -- you might enjoy what I have just written:

Or, you may consider it a cheap knockoff of your brand and pursue legal action.

I would consider either to be an honor.

Anonymous said...

Wow! One year later and I made in 6th place!

LK said...

TOP 10!

mander said...


Also, Sheldon said it's ok to mix ISO and JIS taper if you're running a cartridge bb (and hence not removing your cranks all the time). You just have to make allowance for the chainline borkage.

Will Handsfield said...

As a Denverite, I disagree on your high esteem of our local Craigslist. The main difference is that people try to sell their heavily used, 5 year old mountain bikes for a hundred dollars less than they bought them for, and act like they are giving it away.

And I can't believe I'm 8th to post on this, maybe your readers aren't familiar with hyperlinks.

streepo said...

Top Ten!!!

Anonymous said...

Please Donate!

KVonnegut said...

...goes back in time to snatch a top fifteen!

Stephan said...

Why does it matter to anyone what other people do with their bikes?

Seanywonton said...

Top 20! And now you know, I was here when it all started.

displacedcalifornian said...

hard to believe this post isn't littered with comments of homage like jim morrison's gravesite

mikeweb said...

OK, what the hell - Schweet 16!

2 years later.

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Anonymous said...

Historic. Snob sounds more like an angry teen than the bitter adult he's become. That's not an insult either.

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Happy third blogiversary!

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thedrink said...

"rivendale speedblend tires(change colors) - Those things are freaking ugly. Even Grant Peterson of RivenDELL just threw up in his mouth a little bit."

What? He designed & patented those tires! I wish I could find another new set (for the wife's fixie, of course)

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mikeweb said...

I feel proud as pie to wish a happy 5th anniversary after the prior comment. Now to check out those links...

samh said...


samh said...

Happy anniversary, Wildcat.

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samh said...


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NYC cyclist said...

It's been a decade but I don't think Craigslist bike ads have changed much. Sellers are still learning the hard way that holding out for a ridiculously high price doesn't work (e.g., the bike is 3 years old, called "gently used" or "less than 500 miles", and they want over a thousand dollars for it, but you'll be able to buy a brand new one, next Spring, on sale). And they've even taken a page from real estate ads by dressing up every last component of the bicycle, often quoting from the manufacturer's website, to make it sound like a too good to be true deal.

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