Monday, July 23, 2007

Clash of the Mono-Cog Titans: Fixedgeargallery vs. Velospace

If you own a potential internet showbike, probably the biggest question on your mind (after what color Deep Vs to get) is: "Where should I post my pictures?" Well, the two biggest online runway shows are arguably and To help you decide where to submit your photos, I have decided to pit the two against each-other. They will compete in six categories, which will determine the overall winner:

The "Why Bother Posting This?" Competition

Between what I've seen online and what I've seen on the streets, the old Peugeot is probably the single most commonly converted bike out there. This one, with the requisite bullhorns and Brooks saddle, has little to distinguish it from the herd. Except perhaps the color-coordinated water bottle.

This bike is ugly enough to have been an extra in "Beetlejuice."

Winner: Velospace

The Naked Handlebar Competition

Naked risers. No grips, no brake levers, no clips on the pedals. A solid entry indeed. (Bonus points for matching the bike to the patio furniture.)

Proudly, the bull elk surveys his territory, his mighty antlers sending a clarion call to the rest of the males: "This pond is mine."

Winner: Velospace

Unrideable Geometry Competition

This contortionist's dream raises many questions. Chief among them is, "Why do people put bullhorns on everything except bikes that actually call for them?" The full poker hand of spoke cards, designer top tube pad, and front Hed tri wheel are all bonuses. This bike in motion is doubtless an MC Escher print come to life--eternally descending, yet remaining level. Heavy.
Unfortunately no bike was able to compete with the Velospace bike. So instead I present this gorilla, the only beast capable of riding it comfortably.
Winner: Velospace

Hellbent for Leather Competition

With its leather bar wrap, matching Brooks saddle and Burberry top tube pad (!), this old chap is an Anglophile's delightfully naughty dream. Despite the spoke card, this bicycle evokes images of fox huts, bowls of bread pudding, tweed hats, and sexless nights with prudish spouses. If this picture were to come to life, an old Rudge would open up that turquoise door and invite it in for tea.

This bike is more of a cowboy's mount. I can see the owner riding it in a Stetson and urging it along by gently swatting its rump with a lariat. Maybe he'd occasionally rope a BMX or something. And with Bicycle Polo an apparent hit, could Bicycle Rodeo be far off? Still, it's not quite as evocative as the Bob Jackson.
Winner: Fixedgeargallery

Best Cheap Tart Competition

This simple Pista with the caked-on blue eyeshadow and patterned cocktail dress looks like a teenager from Flushing who's sneaked out of the house for a night in the city. And just like Mom and Dad can't stop a willful teenager, the rider can't stop this bike. No brake, no straps, no problem.
Best Bianchi Pista Concept Competition
The spoke card and ATACs on this bike suggest the owner intended to build a dedicated track bike but chickened out at the last minute. And are the $400 Easton carbon bars better without tape, or was there just not enough money left in the budget?

"My bike is race-ready and attractive--albeit in a tube-of-toothpaste sort of way. How can I make it look more special? I know! I'll put some gold crap on it! Yeah, that's better. Now it looks like a marathon runner wearing a rope chain."
Winner: Velospace
Final Result: Velospace takes it, four to two! Step it up, Fixedgeargallery!


Anonymous said...

No comment about the switch plate in that last pic? There must be some symbolism there that elludes me...

Anonymous said...


Funny you should say about the bare bars, "was there just not enough money left in the budget?" Said something similar myself on the fgg forum just recently (about another bike). Glad to see you're likewise befuddled by people who spend a lot of money on a bike and then fail to coat the one hard shiny slippery surface that is critical to controlling the bicycle.

Niki said...

I'm fairly certain that the easton track bars don't require any bar wrap. The surface of the drops is textured and the ends are domed so they don't need to be plugged.

BikeSnobNYC said...


Thanks--I was actually not sure about the bars, which is why I phrased it as a question. On the occasions I've seen them in use (mostly in photos) they were taped, but I did note from the Easton site that the ends are domed. Still, the abrupt transition from the tops to the drops suggests to me Easton expected people to tape them--or maybe they just intended for tape to be optional.

Since I will never find that kind of money for a handlebar I suppose I'll never find out for sure...


Anonymous said...

I'm surprised you didn't mention the nicely coordinated chainstay protector on the Burberry Bob Jackson. What is it protecting the chainstay from? Maybe that was also meant to be ironic?

BikeSnobNYC said...


On the Easton bars, looks like people go both ways:

Maybe the owner will weigh in. Gloves...?


Anonymous said...

In regards to the "gorilla bike"

"It is a fun ride, hurts like hell after a while, but is definitely worth it...

Ah yes, using a designated pursuit frame for a totally unintended purpose, looking "hardcore" while sacrificing comfort, control, and any semblance of practicality. Yes, totally worth it...

Anonymous said...

the Easton Track bars have a textured surface on the drops. They are designed so you don't need grips or tape on them.

Spoke card is from the FGG 06 Symposium (tip of the hat to FGG) and I like the Time ATACs. I use 'em on all my bikes

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 1:45pm,

Thanks for the clarification and reply!

And of course everyone should realize that, though FGG (and your Pista Concept) was ostensibly the "loser" in this competition, this is definitely the kind of competition you don't want to win.

Thanks again,


Unknown said...

How could you miss this one? A Pista that can climb a tree like a gorilla?! Simply unbeatable!!

Cosmo said...

I'm amazed they'd let that guy with the gorilla bike onto the track with that thing. In a mass start race, no less.

Unknown said...

Actually I like riding bare bars but if you want to send me a pair of yellow Champs for the drops I'll tell everyone you're not the jackass you come across as on the internet.

Cheap Tart Runner-Up

BikeSnobNYC said...


What, and let you ruin my reputation? No thanks!

(If it's any consolation, you were just two or three more yellow accessories away from victory...)

Thanks for the comment,


phil varner said...

The Bob Jackson mocking is a bit unearned, since he does say the Burberry top tube is a joke...

On the Pista Concept, maybe buying the gold bars prevented the budget from having the steerer cut to the correct length?

James T said...

I never knew that I could be so easily amused by a picture of a gorilla, but I cracked up as soon as I scrolled down and read the caption. I guess you learn something new everyday.

Anonymous said...

Gosh those Pista Concepts are nice bikes huh? I'd ride one of those all over the street everywhere. Not the one with the gold thingy, the one with the other thingy... with an aerospoke! Sickter.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Blackwell,
I'm your biggest fan, Its so funny when people make fun of other peoples bikes, it never gets old lol! I would be honored if you could find time to make fun of my bike
you can find it here

its a "fixie" do ya like the top tube pad?
If ever you see me on the streets, feel free to smell my saddle
the pope

Anonymous said...

here it is

Anonymous said...

omg. while the pics are terrible it's even funny to read the comments on each site, it's like a loser/geek/poseur orgy! (i love geeks LIKE YOU, but not geeky snobby poseurs)

Anonymous said...

hey bike snob, get a load of this turkey, is he not the biggest cock sucker you've ever seen?

he's all like "I'm too cool for a helmet, look at my chop and flops"
and "I dont wannt wear spandex and look like a fag, BRAKES ARE FOR PUSSIES!"
you know what he's got in that box? PBR! and vintage records and dumb little cycling caps, that say "Brooklyn"
anyway, party on dude!

Anonymous said...

Greg from velospace here - I'm so happy to have won. Thanks for the competition and the hilarious captions.

Drop me an email sometime

Anonymous said...

"Is the yellow handlebar tape on backorder?"


Anonymous said...

At least on velospace, one sees the occasional NON FIXIE. Velospace is in theory open to all bikes, it's just a pity that one rarely sees other types of bicycles.

Anonymous said...

Fixie Hall of Shame Candidate?

Philip Williamson said...

That poor gorilla's going to have to ride that clown bike backwards, with his pinner legs and Stretch Armstrong arms.
Maybe he can get a pair of glasses mirrors so he can see behind him.

admin said...

Bike Snob NYC:
You complete me.
Steve B

Anonymous said...

I'm the one who rides the gorilla bike, that shit was retarded fun to ride, if I rotated my hand around the bar and reached a finger to the tire, I could almost touch it. I've since learned being that far forward and trying to drop in on someone isn't the best thing, so I'm on the lookout for an 07 concept to complete my track needs. Haters be haters, I still <3 my bike.

ps-its also lost the spoke cards and ugly as sin toptube pad, and I've been on the lookout for some bullhorns that don't look like chop and flops. lafixed rep.

giantcu92 said...

What is with the top tube pads anyway? I just don't get it (maybe I'm not "cool" enough TO get it).

Niki said...

Top tube pads protect your top tube when locking up and also prevent the bars from denting the top tube if/when they swing around (since there are no brake cables to stop them).

I actually have a huge dent in the top tube of my commuter bike that happened while it was locked up. If I had a top tube pad it probably wouldn't have happened...

Anonymous said...

Eye-Shadow pista is a slut. I'm pretty sure I saw it making out with a Huffy.

giantcu92 said...

Top tube pads are stupid. There. I've said it. I think they're more for the people who ride the bikes to sit on when they're, you know, not actually riding their bikes. Come on. Protecting them from dents and locking it up? What a crock.

Niki said...

I will fully admit that toptube protectors are mostly a fashion statement. But that doesn't mean they don't have a functional purpose. After the huge dent I got in my toptube caused by someone (or something) slamming into my bike while it was locked up, I'm actually considering getting one.

BikeSnobNYC said...


I confess I've used top-tube pads. Of course I was 11 and racing BMX at the time.

Seems to me for pocket change you could just buy some foam pipe insulation to keep in your bag, and just throw it on the top tube when you lock up.


c-record said...

as if we need yet another pista, iro, or steamroller up on the FGG.

lol... funny stuff man.

Anonymous said...

I present to you this fgg entry into the "unrideable" competition. You may need to reconsider the victor...

BikeSnobNYC said...


Yes, I love "Son of Gorilla Bike." Unfortunately it came in too late. You know your geometry's a little awkward when you've got a top tube protector on the downtube. And that chainring's got more teeth than a dolphin. I'm sure the owner holds the hour record though.


Anonymous said...

This is Carleton (I'm the owner of the white Pista Concept with gold bars).

Nice site. Funny stuff. Thanks for making my bike the winner of the PC division. I'm so proud!! I'll print this out and put it in the scrap book I have for "her." ;-)

I assume all of this stuff is tongue-in-cheek. If not, you guys gotta try harder. After being a member for 2 years, I've seen and heard a LOT worse.



Anonymous said...

...oh. And the switches in the photo are to turn off all of the hating, whining, and general belly aching that a lot of people of fond of doing (present company included...of course)

Anonymous said...

You must have a lot of time on your hands to rag on everyone that doesn't conform to your standard of bicycle style. If people want to make their bike look different than so be it..are you a failed writer/artist/messenger who is taking misplaced aggression on defenseless, happy bike riders. Shame on you!

Anonymous said...

Its funny how no posts that show what a loser you are ever make it through. Maybe one day your dream of purity will spread through the land and we can all be the same. You and Hitler hand in hand. Maybe if you did something constructive with your time you wouldnt have to make fun of everyone that isnt exactly the same as you. What does your bike look like? Please do show, mr judgemental.

Anonymous said...

This blog posting reminds me of the the tear stained, sweaty, stuttering, psoriasis riddled, chubby kid who stood in the corner of every elementary school playground twitching his cheeto-crusted fingers in the direction of the ever popular game of four square. No one ever let you call "bus stops," and no one ever let you touch the shiny red ball. Now in the facless world of the "interweb," those orange digits are getting their first stab at revenge. The cold truth is, some people never get to play any reindeer games. Man up and show the world your bike, or go back to solid evenings of Star Trek Original cast Episodes (thank god for dvds, you exclaim!) and giant tubs on uncooked cookie dough. RIde on....

Anonymous said...

Did you spend your whole weekend posting some dumb blog cutting people down? Are you really a true rider? I spent that weekend outside in the real world riding..and yes, my bike is a fixed gear AND has anodized parts. Reminds me of riding BMX as a kid.
You on the other hand spent your weekend hating on other cyclists and in cyberspace more concerned about who has what on their bike. Maybe its time to consider a girlfriend or just ride more? just a thought.

Anonymous said...

C C are about as original as all of the IRO, Pictas and Surlys you make fun of...Oh you like art, black and white photography...long walks on the beach and sushi I bet too...rad.

Anonymous said...

I can't remember the last time I laughed to the point of tears. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Wow....I actually got dumber from reading this.Thanks BSNYC

Anonymous said...

to the whining anonymous guy,

ive got a fixed gear bike with a top tube pad, and no handlebar tape, and i dont bitch and whine everytime i read this. i laugh actually. if reading bsnyc's blog is too much for you, dont read it or go to a psychiatrist.

Ken Kovar said...

FGG Rocks!!

gorilla grips said...

I'm amazed they'd let that guy with the gorilla bike onto the track with that thing. In a mass start race, no less.

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