Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Make It Stop! Cycling In A World Gone Mad

Let’s face it, we live in frightening times. Toys are covered in Chinese death paint. (Word to the wise: don’t lick your bike.) Children, distraught over the end of the Harry Potter series, are killing each-other for iPhones. Jam bands are roaming the countryside, wantonly performing without hindrance. And honey bees are disappearing, yet every 2.4 minutes American Apparel opens another retail store.

As a cyclist, I do my best to ignore these ugly truths. However, the noxious paint fumes of reality seem to have permeated my little bubble—even cycling seems to have gone all “Thunderdome” these days. It seems everywhere I turn I see something that makes me think the future of cycling will resemble Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road,” but without all the sidesplitting humor. Here are just a few recent harbingers:

This Video On Makezine

The crack-addled MacGyvers at makezine.com put together this video on how to build a single-speed bike. (Or a “hipster bike,” as they so pithily call them.) Non-cycling publications and websites should keep their hands out of our pockets, and the fact that they’re not is disturbing. Factually speaking, this thing has more holes than a tandem hub. If it were a drag performer, it would call itself “Miss Information.” If I want a smug attitude and bad advice, I’ll just go to a bike shop, thanks very much. These guys are almost as bad as the Fixed Gear Death Woman.

Rampant Top Tube Pad Theft

This morning, I stumbled upon this Craigslist posting:

Stolen black/grey top tube pad in williamsburg
Reply to: [deleted]
Date: 2007-08-21, 12:22AM EDT
To the perosn who stole my black (outside) and grey (inside) UTW top tube pad on Bedford and North 7 on Sunday. Can you please return it to me. I'm sure it probably doesn't even fit your bike as I had it custom made for a thick 13mm top tube. I just got it and it cost me a bit of money. No questions asked. Just drop it off at KCDC skateshop on North 11 between berry and wythe for a Sel (me). I don't work there.
It'd be great if you returned it instead of throwing it out cuz it doesn't fit.
Please help me restore my faith in humanity.
Thanks. s.

Now, I’ve made no secret of my disdain for top tube pads. But the only thing worse than buying a top tube pad (a custom made one, no less) is stealing a top tube pad. That’s like walking down the street, seeing a dachschund in a sweater tied up outside, and stealing the sweater. I don’t want to bring children into a world where roving hordes of idiots are stealing top tube pads, seatpost cozies, Barbie valve caps, or any of the other crap people are putting on their bikes. If you’re one of these people and are reading this, give this poor guy his custom top tube pad back. (And if you’re the top tube pad guy, if you want to protect your frame when you’re locking it up just buy some foam pipe insulation instead.)

Eric Clapton Not Using Bar Tape

I was reading the excellent Dave Moulton blog recently when I came upon this post, which I read with interest. I then followed the link to Eric Clapton’s own blog, where I was shocked to find that his track bike doesn’t have bar tape. This is disturbing. Could he be planning to flop-and-chop those bars next? Is a custom Cream top tube pad on order? Is his inch-pitch drivetrain the next hot fixed-gear trend? Rest assured, I’ll be checking up on Eric’s blog. If I see a pair of Ourys on those bar tops, “Slowhand” Clapton’s going to become “No hand” Clapton.

Pop Culture Ooze Bubbling Up From Our Subconscious And Into Our Bicycles
Our skies are filled with greenhouse gases, our food (while admittedly delicious) is full of hormones, and our brains are full of crap. And like oil bubbling up from beneath the ground of a placid meadow, this crap in our brains is beginning to infuse our bicycles. Take this one, built by a guy who’s seen “The Nightmare Before Christmas” one too many times:

Brother Turning Against Brother

Here’s another Craigslist post that filled me with dismay for the future:

from a native NY’er to all the hipsters... (Midtown West)
Reply to: see below
Date: 2007-08-20, 5:59PM EDT

whats so cool about the fixies? please someone explain the need for everyone to ride the same bike! there are reasons for riding these types of bikes and i dont believe that most of you that ride them know what those are...they are not that cool but might get a you a ticket into williamsburg


I wish I could tell this guy to go back to where he came from, but apparently that’s here. Take it from me, being born in New York is not in and of itself an accomplishment. I know because I did it and I didn’t have a hand in it, trust me. Look, obviously most of us can relate to this guy’s frustration, but this post is the equivalent of standing in front of a brick wall and scratching the seat of your pants with a puzzled expression. Actually, this guy’s probably the Top Tube Pad Thief.

At the same time, when reading this we’re also forced to confront the fact that bicycles are now making people angry. (And yes, I know I help fuel that fire.) Hopefully one day the John Lennon of cycling will arrive on the scene and reunite us all with corny ballads and ersatz spirituality. I'm imagining a Freegan who drives a pedicab for a living and is really into composting, and after work rides a recumbent with SPD sandals which he uses to haul his garbage home from his friends' houses.

Let us all pray for that.


Prolly said...

I thought the same thing regarding the "Nightmare before Christmas" bike.

Anonymous said...

nothing spruces up a bike like electrical tape stripes!

brother yam said...

I live in flyoverland, so please help me out here. What is Williamsburg and why don't they have brakes and gears?

Unknown said...

The Nightmare before Christmas bike could also be the bike for the lead singer of
Quiet Riot
. . . think about it.

BikeSnobNYC said...


Thanks--you are so right!


Jim said...

Williamsburg - Hoboken pretensions, a Bronx budget, Brooklyn locale. The Salisbury Steak of NYC neighborhoods - basically hamburger, but costs 5 times as much. Bourgeois bohemian would-be-hipster yuppies who can't afford better digs in Manhattan, attempting to take turf colonized by Ar-teests, who stole it fair and square from the Hasidim.

How 'bout Seattle after about the mid-90's?? Does that explain it, Brother Yam?

I suspect they don't have brakes and gears because they are the only people in NYC insecure enough to take the NY Times Style Section seriously and get their style tips from it, and the Style Section has run a couple articles in the recent past discussing how hip fixed gear bikes are. One wonders what will happen when Suicide Chic makes its inevitable return...

brother yam said...

Kinda like the Mission district in SF? Anyway, thanks for the explanation, Jim. I'm an old, dorky guy from Minnesota, so style is something of which I'm blissfully ignorant.

Too old to be cool, too dumb to care...

I Martin said...

the top tube pad theft really cracked me up. too bad craiglist wasn't around in 1985, then maybe, just maybe, the "donuts" that were stolen off the grips off my Stu Thomsen BMX.

then again, learning that it's not wise to leave easily removable stuff on a locked up bike was a good lesson to learn for a 10 year-old.

maybe if that guy didn't start riding till last week he would have known the same thing.

Chris Mayhew said...

I think you really skimmed over some stuff that needed more probing. Like that video. Man, I'd forgotten how hideous non-cartridge BB tools are.

And no greasing of the tapers, eh?

Mainly, WTF, there is someone making custom top tube pads? Good grief what a remora industry.

Speaking of, you mentioned the $1/mile rule of bike ownership. I think we should create a market to buy/sell/trade credits. Think about it, some cat 2 barely getting by (but has a free bike) can sell his credits to the heart surgeon on the BMC Time Machine.

However, what about shop rats? Do they credit for the real value of the bike or what they actually paid for it? Been seeing a bunch of cat 5s on Madone SSL's.

LK said...

BAR TAPE! Have you ever had the misfortune of sitting on a Unicanitor track saddle (pre New Jersey Standard) before?

Let alone one in pantyhose cream:


BikeSnobNYC said...


I could devote the rest of my life to that video, but had to stop myself. Yeah, those old BB tools are like the gynecological instruments Jeremy Irons made in "Dead Ringers." And they also point out that "bike uglification" helps you recognize your bike. Um, are people having trouble doing that? Or is it in case the bike gets stolen? Because thieves can't remove stickers, you know.

I also like your $/mile point-selling system. As far as shop discounts go, I think the answer is to split the difference between retail and what the rider actually paid.

Mr. Complaint,

The pain incurred from sitting on that Unicantor may have been responsible for Mr. Clapton's drug problem.


Anonymous said...


I'm wondering why you don't rip on roadies for being the biggest poofs and posers out there. I'm not talking about professional cyclists, I'm talking about the douchebags I see riding around in the city with full spandex and a few grand's worth of bike between their legs. Because it seems like these are some of the worst offenders -- worse than even the fixed gear kids. Roadies get all dressed up in spandex to take a leisurely spin and honestly, for all of the money and their ridiculous getup, do you think they really see an improvement in performance as a result? Not a chance. The majority are as grossly affected as the fixed gear kids; difference being, they have money to look pro.

Granted, I could see if you were in a race where seconds count being aero would be a plus. But these guys aren't. It's like bringing a ferrari to a boxcar rally. Fuckin' joke. I keep passing them on my crappy old Sekine in jeans and a t-shirt... so clearly the spandex isn't working. Nor is the carbon fiber bike. Ridiculous.

At least the fixed gear kids, for all of their affectations, don't have to dress up for a ride. They also spend only a fraction of the cost on their bikes. Well anyway I guess the fixed gear's are an easy target.

BSNYC are you a roadie?

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 4:06pm,

A fair point. But if you take some time and read a bit more I think you'll find I make fun of roadies too. Here's one example that comes immediately to mind: http://tinyurl.com/3c7w8o.

There would probably be more, but roadies don't post their bikes to internet galleries the way fixed-gear riders do. Instead, they blog about their training rides and Power Tap stats. And that's not funny--it's just boring.

But you're crazy if you think fixed-gear riders aren't getting dressed up. They're dressing themselves--and their bikes--with a great deal of attention. The clothes just aren't lycra.

Thanks for the comment,


PS: Yes, I do ride a road bike. And a track bike. And a mountain bike. And a cyclocross bike...

LK said...

No city bike?

Anonymous said...

fixed gear unicycles are where its at for '08. but lets keep this hush hush

kick it real ultra simplistic, no chain, no gears, no bars *or bar tape* to fuuck with, and only one wheel. you cant beat that with a fuicking stick for low maintenance. just throw on the B-17 and feel your zen flow

so watch out because the NUS (uni approved) parts are be going fast on eeeebay

Prolly said...

Jim, where do you live. Just curious.

Anonymous said...

Who is Eric Clapton?

Anonymous said...

Great distinction between how fixed gear riders versus roadies get off on the internet – hilarious.

To say fixed gear riders don't dress up is a joke (as BSNYC mentioned) - oh these 13 year old girls' jeans I’m sporting? tight jeans = smaller carbon footprint.

Also, just because you pass up someone on a carbon fiber road bike wearing full lycra who is to say they are a "poser" - how do you know that they are not on a warm up or cool down ride due to a long day in the saddle? Or having a bad day or trying to get over a hang over or just feel like riding slow? Maybe some knee problems? I broke my elbow and wrist 2 years ago (fell off my bicycle) and rode a lot slower for a loooong time after as it healed fully but anyone passing me by wouldn't have guessed, as those types of fractures do not warrant a cast.

I started out riding a fixed gear for the same reason I think a lot of hipsters are now and that was I loved to ride a bicycle, I did not have a car, not a lot of money and for my price range I thought the sweet fixed gears I saw online would be the coolest possible option - so given my constraints I choose my favorite looking of the bunch (shallow I know). As I started to enjoy cycling more I was more motivated by riding my bike instead of how it looked. About 3 years later I now own a road bike and ride it in that ridiculous lycra - because of the difference in comfort (real or perceived) in comparison to my once "bad ass" gear of jeans (one leg rolled up) and a t-shirt.

With that being said, I have a great appreciation for BSNYC and hope that these posts continue long into the future because all indulgences of cycling are ridiculous and he does a good job of making fun of all of them. Depending on the post I get to laugh at the ridiculous things I was doing a few years ago or the ridiculous things I am doing today - helps keep me level headed.

Please keep it up!

Prolly said...

I think Eric Clapton's a Kieran racer. He rides with Ryuichi Sakamoto.

Anonymous said...

I’ll tell you what; if the John Lennon of cycling ever shows up I promise to be the Mark David Chapman of cycling and put a few rounds in him.

Shane said...

"Fuckin' joke. I keep passing them on my crappy old Sekine in jeans and a t-shirt... so clearly the spandex isn't working. Nor is the carbon fiber bike. Ridiculous".

Yeah!!! Don't these people realise? If you ride a road bike you have to RIDE FAST!!! ALL THE TIME!!!


Even if you just did a 120km training ride, or are heading home after a hard race DON'T SLOW DOWN!!! Because some sneering adolescent in this month's trousers might pass you and think you're lame. SO, FAST, FAST, FAST!!!!

Unknown said...

RE;"no grease on tapers"comment-that's one that has been argued about in bike mechanic circles since square taperBBs were invented-and I'm not talking"shop rats"here!Anyone got Eric Clapton's address-I gotta send him a couple of rolls of nice tape-don't give a shit about his stupid arse-but those hands,oh those hands.....keirIn racer rides with Ryuchi Sakamoto-funniest shit ever!

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous,

Lycra has a lot of advantages besides its aero performance- like wicking sweat and they lovely ass cushiness of chamois.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the top-tube pad was taken in a fit of good taste.

Anonymous said...

Why do roadies wear that neon spandex when they're not racing? When I was a swimmer we used to wear drag suits when we practiced and then would wear a race suit and shave for meets. The idea was to train under more adverse conditions and optimize them for racing. Granted, roadies probably shouldn't be taking the grease out of their wheels, but what's the need for all this spandex, except their own silly vanity?

Anonymous said...

Hey, You forgot one. Turns out Ronald Mcdonald is now riding a fixie.

Clown Bike

Stop the world, I want to get off.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 8:17pm,

Why should training under "adverse conditions" mean chafing your crotch or wearing wet, sweaty cotton? Are you suggesting bike racers should do their training in street clothes? That would be like runners training in Timberlands. Apart from certain disciplines like BMX and downhill racing, almost all bike racers wear lycra in racing, training, and recreation because it's the optimal attire.

Doing long rides in jeans, sneakers and a t-shirt or whatever is vanity, and not vice-versa. People who are compulsively lycra-averse and won't wear it even when it's warranted are often in the pre-pubescent, "Eeew, girls are gross!" phase of cycling.


brianfmorrissey said...

Not to mention, if you race for a team, you have a team kit. It gives you a chance to represent the team and the sport in general. Especially if you happen upon a stranded biker in need of a tube or air. You also have a lot of sponsors, and the more you wear the kit, the more likely it is that one of your sponsors will see the kit out and about ,then the more likely they will sponsor your team again in the future. Also, you just want to be recognized by other team members out training as well.

I used to think the same thing about any other biker in spandex. That they were out commuting and total douchebags. Now that I've started racing, I completely see why.

Anonymous said...

baaahaaahhaaa. this blog is awesome. I am going to train in my husband's kevlar from now on so when I wear lycra I'll feel sooo speedy

Jim said...

Prolly - DC. But I've got NY roots and get up there often enough. Hey, you're not about to sic a pack of Williamsburg real estate agents on me, are you?

Yam - couldn't tell you how it compares to the Mission.

Anon 4:06, keep talking. You are your own best refutation.

Unknown said...

The real reason messengers don't wear lycra is lycra SHOWS TOO MUCH-I mean your average corporate receptionist is not exactly unattractive(ha ha-understatement)and a lot of them have winning personalities to boot so you soon realise that lycra bike shorts are a little,um,indiscreet...Always got 'em on underneath though-with a well lubed chamois-I hate saddle sores!

Anonymous said...

...next time yer coming up on that lycra clad roady on yer beater sekine dressed in a t & jeans, thinking how cool & fast ya are... slow up, sit back & watch how smooth he rides & compare it to yourself...

...while the kit has an undeniably practical purpose, it is the style & suppleness of the rider that will tell you a lot more about what's really going on...

...better yet, watch a good pro racer warm up...that's called efficiency & finese...works for top level pros as well as
" douchebags & posers " like me...

Anonymous said...

i almost sent you both the Ronald bike as well as the nightmare before Christmas bike... the latter i saw and puked a little in my mouth. my first thought was 'why the fuck is this dude so into electrical tape and garbage bags?'
(my road bike came to me in much of the same condition- tape all over it, stickers, and hot damn it was florescent pink! yeah i changed that one in a heart beat- which explains the custom paint job!)

a few months ago i got creamed by a car on my bike and did the same thing- broken elbow and wrist! i smacked my head pretty hard though...
guess that's why i converted that bike, due to the damage caused to the wheels etc., and it's now a fixed gear. but since i haven't fully healed i've become that total douche bag that rides slow, has a front break, stops at lights, signals, and even stops to stretch out the bad arm. i wear padded cycling gloves- even the dreaded spandex! (mine are pants though)

i don't know what's worse; i've become a cautious cyclist way before my years, or that i completely fit the 'fixie' stereotype! (yeah i'm 20 something, i'm one of those girls that works in a sandwich shop, i have both naked bars and a b-17, and if i had a messenger bag it would always be full of beer.)

keep the dream alive- or dead, which ever you prefer.
i rush home nightly just to read your blog and sit there laughing for hours after. without you, i would have thought that i was the only one sitting there scratching my head when some fixie purest rides past me and does a little mating dance to prove their own self worth.

Anonymous said...

Ok well apparently I touched a sore spot with the Roadies. My apologies, I hope I did not offend. Those of you with the beer gut, Cervelo, and flaming co-ordinated lycra getup - If you can look at yourself in the mirror before you go out for your little spin and legitimately think you need all that kit, more power to you. If you can look at yourself in that getup while myself and the commuter with the panniers and clunker bike passes you and still convince yourself you need it, congrats. More money than brains.

I know I know... you just came back from a century ride. You're recovering from a real toughie'. We get it. You're mighty supple there fella... the drunk homeless guy on the BMX just passed you. Mighty supple though, and so smooth. Aero at 10mph... smooth. We get it.

I'd just like to know why it is that nearly every goddamn spandexed roadie I see is going so slowly. It must just be a coincidence. That's gotta be it. It's not as if the more money than brains crowd has adopted a fake it till you make it attitude in the past. I mean that's why, whenever I see a guy in a Lamborghini, I think to myself: "race car driver".

Well, everyone deserves their toys and their fun I guess - regardless of purchasing power. So keep fakin' it. Pros, you know who you are and why you need your gear. The rest are good entertainment for us all. Bearing in mind of course that the cost of the bike, the tightness of the spandex, the speed of the rider even, does not the measure of a cyclists passion make.

Platini said...

Anonymous 4:06:

You wanker...

Danimal said...

this thread was killer. i'm so much more in tune with my inner poser now. i have a road bike that cost a couple grand that i wear with spandex that isn't even a team kit but tries to look like it aesthetically, and i probably ride 10 more often than I ride 25.

and i have this fixie that isn't even an old converted road bike, worse, that I didn't even make myself... http://fixedgeargallery.com/2007/may/DanielJDoran.htm
that I ride around in some snobbishly clever t shirt like "drop bars not bombs" and cinelli hat with knickers...

and to make it worse I'm a yuppie that likes to stop at coffee shops and lock my fixie outside sometimes

and hope hope hope that someone asks me, "gee mister, are you a bike messenger?"

(sound of wrists being slit, plop plop of ankles getting in tub)

stfu and go ride. let your peacock feathers untangle themselves, and rise up against the slurpee sucking land manatees in suvs. rise up!

Anonymous said...

...bottom line...do ya ride the
bike ?? (despite yer money, age, style, speed, kit, bike, haircut or sex)... cuz if ya ride the fucking bike & enjoy it, then yer cool !...got it?

Jim said...

4:06 - really. You sound like a BikeTrailGuy, a Pathlete. I'm a fat bastard who does okay in crits & cross, and I think commuters who want to have an impromptu race are a bunch of dickweeds. They interfere with my training. One of the tougher parts about racing and actually training to race is disciplining yourself to go slow when you're not going very hard. The vast majority of training time is spent in zone 1/2 - fairly easy spinning. In a build phase I may ride 15 hours a week, and do no more than 90 minutes tempo, and 30 minutes or maybe an hour of actual hard effort, comprised of 15 second sprints on long rest, 30 second and 1 minute efforts on long rest, or sometimes 10 minute big ring intervals. That means I spend 13 hours riding at 16-19 MPH average. Having guys ride by and huffing at me, or doing a fist pump when they beat me up this hill I'm spinning up on the way home is a friggin' irritant, nobody likes being goaded especially when they know they could do something about it. The worst are the guys who race to get ahead of me then can't keep up their stellar 18 MPH pace and slow down. They force me to slow way down, or when I pass them they struggle to pass me back, and then they slow down again. This forces me to either ride a lot slower, or to ride a lot faster to get away from them. There are few things more irritating than a commuter who thinks we should be having a street race. Yes, it's a sore spot - I can't stand people who pull that crap. It screws up my training when all I really want is to get my ride on.

If you think you're such hot shit you should pay $80 for your USCF license next year and let's see how fast you make it to Cat 2. If we're all a bunch of posers it should be quite easy for you.

Anonymous said...


Do you think possibly, perhaps, there is an outside chance that the stolen top tube ad on cl was a fake? I mean, black outside, grey inside? Custom?! My bet is on a dedicated reader of this very blog. (full disclosure: it was not me or any persons known to me.) If it is real, it is truly pathetic that someone would a. have a custom tt protector; b. think the person who took it would return it to his little skate shop pals, and c. I really just don't know what to say. Maybe this guy has been licking the paint off his bicycle. Sheesh.

As for what people wear on their bikes, it's really all about tribes and customs, isn't it? Of course you don't need to dress in any particular way to ride any particular bike. But you know, bag pipers and Eric Clapton wear skirts, glam rockers wear spandex, Swiss yodellers wear those lederhosen things. I will say I'd feel kinda dumb riding my shopping around town bike in full lycra.

I once bought a pair of cycling socks with the ying/yang symbol on the ankles and on the sole was Rodney King's famous plea, "Can't we all just get along?" Thankfully for bikesnob and his faithful readers, the answer is no, Rodney, we can't.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Iron Fish,

Good points all. Sure, you're not going to ride your townie in lycra in the same way you're not going to get bundled up to take the trash out. Also, I did wonder if the CL post was a fake. It certainly could be, but I still think it's real. The manufacturer he cites does in fact make custom top tube pads. (http://www.under-the-weather.ca/accessories/)


Anonymous said...

I ride a road bike and am ignorant of the whole fixed gear world. What's the deal with these top tube pads anyway? Do you really slam your balls on the top tube so often as to warrant one of these goofy looking pads?

Anonymous said...

I hate all you freegan pathaletes

except for 'anon 11:45' you sound cute

"yeah i'm 20 something, i'm one of those girls that works in a sandwich shop, i have both naked"

Prolly said...


Just wondering. Never heard someone compare Wburg to Hoboken Besides Nth 6th between Berry and Wythe...

Also, pretty much every major / hip area of NYC started out as being flooded with "hepcats" from which the word "hipster" originated from. Once it was 'cool' it became gentrified by real estate brokers and yuppies. Williamsburg is much like how Georgetown was 10 - 15 years ago too...

Most of your parents were probably hepcats in the 60's so...

Anyway, with regards to Lycra, I think the main reason why people harp on roadies so much is that they're entirely too matchy matchy with it. Like, take the pantone chip to the shop and pick out your matching outfit... I wear riding shorts and on longer rides a wicking shirt of some sort, but on my commute you'll see me in shorts and a t shirt. With a helmet.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:60 -

You know, you made a really good point, one I am sure most people here would agree with, and one that the bikesnobnyc in fact has posted on... But loose the spandex-is-for-aerodynamics schtick, it just exposes your ignorance, and makes you look silly...

Niki said...


Top tube pads, aside from fashion, are primarily to prevent scratches and dents from either the bars swinging around and hitting the frame or locking the bike up.

I know that BSNYC will say just use pipe insulation, but I guarantee that if BSNYC saw a bike with pipe insulation wrapped around the top tube he'd make fun of it.

That said, I don't own a top tube pad.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:60 -

After reading your post, I got on CL and bought a rusted $10 20 year old huffy, and boy am I happy. On my way to work, i flew past a crappy old Sekine. You are right, the cheaper, the better! Now ive got my eye on some flip-flops to tour in. Thanks again!

BikeSnobNYC said...

All debate aside, the NYTimes has turned its journalistic eye on alleycats. Some points make by the participants within are relevant to this discussion:



Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4:06 - please, keep going off and exposing yourself for being the fixie POSEUR !!!! that you are.

Anonymous said...

"There would probably be more, but roadies don't post their bikes to internet galleries the way fixed-gear riders do."


...just in case you have some extra time on your hands....

Anonymous said...

That site is not full of roadie bikes. Just rivendells, cross bikes, single/fixie and working bikes.

Anonymous said...

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but the only pictures I see of true 'roadies' on this site (http://www.cyclofiend.com/index.html) show them actually racing/riding their bikes.

As a died in the wool roadie, I do realize that if one takes a few steps back I and the rest of my friends look pretty silly in our lycra. But that's why I only wear it ON the bike when I'm riding for more than 25 miles at a time.

Finally, I do take offense to the quote in the NYTimes article (http://tinyurl.com/3xte26) insinuating that fixie riders in alleycats are the only people who like to drink beer. I think most roadies (yes even those without beer guts) enjoy the occasional beer. Hell even Floyd Lan...ok bad example, anyway my point is that one can be a roadie and still not be a calorie counting, watt measuring number cruncher.

Anonymous said...

I dig Cyclofiend, but retrogrouches like me are probably the most guilty showing off our bikes online. We get off on being "different" and love announcing to the world things like:

"Check out how thick my tires are!"

"Look at my shellaced bars!"

"I mix road and mountain parts!"

"My racks and bags cost more than my bike!"

Anonymous said...

the fact that performance cyclist now offers to ship their bicycles 100% assembled is telling to me. that enough of their customers are incompetent or uninterested enough to learn how to affix wheels, pedals, and handlebars to their $5000 bicycles to make such expensive shipping viable is pathetic. what do these people do when they get a flat? call their wife to drive the porsche cayenne out to pick them up? consider also that they offer to replace derailleur pulleys for hundreds of dollars to obtain an extra eight-tenths of a watt. i guess it's a totally different mindset.

Unknown said...

now my internet's off snail mode-I take a close look at Clapton's track bike-damn thing is worth more than the latest carbonwonder bike-mint vintage Cinelli with inch pitch Campy,fully period correct'cos it's original-WTF would THAT go for at auction if such a thing ever came up and it never will-and he probably barely knows what it is..........fukn rock stars!

Unknown said...

Sorry Eric-seems he probably does know what it is-and it does have cloth tape on the flats of the drops-just as it came from the Cinelli factory-damn-just ain't ever seen anything so mint!Looked through his blog-looks like he collects 'em like art-good luck to him!Bikesnob-one danger here is that we're all to ready to blindly slag people off(aussie slang)without getting the full story,'cos it's fun!Shit-Eric aint gonna ride that thing,becausehe admires it as art and for it's rarity-damn IF I had abike like that-I would NEVER ride it,so who cares if it doesn't meet street riding style criteria!!!!!!!(cracked,beater,repainted,Cinelli f&f of that era went to AU$1250 on ebay recently,so that is probably the most valuable bike that any of us will ever lay eyes on,in a photo or otherwise!Eddy's hour record blke may beat it-and that's a maybe!)

Anonymous said...

It's 8:17 again. Don't get that chamois all in a twist.
I wasn't suggesting that roadies ride in their jeans. I don't for long rides. I don't advocate or practice discomfort, and it certainly wasn't uncomfortable to swim in drag suits. My only point is that if you aren't racing, you don't *really* need skin-tight lycra with the CSC logo, etc. People ride this stuff to look like the pros (for the most part), not because its necessarily the most comfortable. If I was training for a race it would just be my instinct to train in less aero gear and then get super aero for a race.
And no I don't think "ewww, girls are gross", I just think poseurs in skin tight clothing are gross. But to each his/her own.
BTW, very entertaining blog (besides your homoerotic predilections for spandex)... Just kidding.

BikeSnobNYC said...


Thanks, I hear you. I do think I need to clear up the misconception some people have, which is that cycling kits are worn primarily for aerodynamics. The fact is that, apart from time trials (in which you wear a skinsuit, not shorts and a jersey), the main reasons for wearing them are that they wick moisture and help keep you cool and dry, they prevent chafing, and they conform to you in a way that allows you to move freely without having excess material to flap in the wind or catch on your saddle nose or what have you. (Yes, being aero is part of that, but it's only a part.) That's why even XC MTB racers wear cycling kits. Aerodynamics are not a concern off-road, but being comfortable and not catching your shorts on a treebranch are.

Lots of non-cyclists also have the same misconception about shaved legs--that it's done to be aero. It's not.

As for wearing CSC team kits or whatever, any bike snob worth his chamois will tell you that wearing a pro team kit is completely unacceptable. (As bad as Ksyriums with a pie plate.) You wear your own team kit, or if you're not on a team, you wear a plain jersey and shorts.


Anonymous said...

Thanks, BSNYC.
Good points all. I come at my own bikesnobbery from a non-competitive mtn/commuting angle, so the roadie/racy thing is a little mystifying. But I am heartened to know that the hallmark of a true road snob is his team kit. I will make this distinction now before passing judgment.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't help but comment on that "poofs and poseurs" contribution from "Anonymous."

The biggest "poseurs" we now have in the "OC" are the fixie riders. I'll hopefully see the twit on PCH while riding my converted Fuso while wearing my old club jersey, my black lycra bib shorts, my Bell helmet, my Diadora cycling shoes - in other words, all my "roadie" gear but on a fixed gear.

Screw him!

Deltaentropy said...

Wearing a CSC team kit isnt to make you look like a pro, its to show your support for a team you like. Wearing an A's cap or a Raiders jacket doesn't mean your on the team. Not that I have a full CSC kit. My club/team jersey is the only one I have that isnt from a thrift store or a hand me down.

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Anonynerd said...

Catching up on the archives. I can't believe I'm the only geek here in 4.5 years. 13 mm is a thick top tube? In what alternate reality? That's only 1/2". Who has a 1/2" top tube, except maybe Moulton riders, but they'd need a two top tube pads.