Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Stuck In Customs: Bespoke Rationale

In yesterday's post, I mentioned a review of a $15,000 road bike. As anybody well-versed in cycling literature knows, high-end road bikes elicit prose of surreally comical exuberance. This is because bike reviewers will say nearly anything while under the intoxicating spell of fresh, new crabon. They're like adulterers in mid-coitus, blithely promising to leave their spouses and buy their paramours a house.

However, there's another subject that produces articles which make high-end crabon reviews seem as dry as actuarial tables in comparison. This subject is custom bikes.

Now, I admire, respect, and covet custom bicycles as much as any cyclist. I mean, who wouldn't like to have one? What's not to like? If you're an experienced cyclist who knows what you want and why, at a certain point you're probably going to want somebody to make it for you.

However, the current handmade bike boom, coupled with the Internet, has given birth to an absurd new form of cycling literature I call "Custom Bike Proselytizing." This literature is authored by people who started riding yesterday, got a custom bike today, think this means they "graduated" somehow, and are now going to tell you why you're an idiot if you don't do the same thing.

Recently, a fellow Tweeterer alerted me to this article, and it may very well stand as the high water mark of the genre:

(Because you need a bike that looks like it was designed by Dr. Seuss.)

See, you need a custom road bike. Why? Because Lance Armstrong bought one:

In fact, I was just in Mellow Johnny’s, the Texas bike shop owned by the most famous cyclist in history, 7-time Tour de France champ Lance Armstrong, and they had a hand-built custom frame on display with a placard saying that it was the first bike Lance EVER bought with his own money – and that was a recent purchase.

You're probably familiar with the bike he's talking about. It was built by Sam Whittingham of Naked, it won a bunch of awards at the NAHBS in 2008, and it does indeed hang in Mellow Johnny's:

Apparently though, during his visit to Mellow Johnny's this guy somehow managed to miss all the other bikes on display in the shop that Lance Armstrong actually used to win races. He also seems to have overlooked the fact that his article is about custom road bikes, and this is not a road bike. Nevertheless, let's look at the motivation behind Armstrong's decision to buy a custom bike. Which do you think is the more likely scenario?

1) Armstrong was unhappy on his Trek Madone, which he helped design and upon which he won multiple Tours de France, so he got rid of it and ordered a custom singlespeed with wooden wheels;


2) Armstrong saw the bike at the NAHBS, thought it was cool, and decided it would look awesome hanging in the bike shop he was opening.

Not to diminish either Whittingham's talent or Armstrong's appreciation for it, but I'm going to go with #2.

But this isn't the only reason you should buy a custom bike. You also need one because it is crucial to your emotional well-being:

FYI, a new study written up in The Atlantic showed that in places where more people ride bikes to work, the citizens are happier, healthier, and more successful. I bet this is even truer for those who go custom over stock.

Oh, yeah, I bet that as well. Clearly someone who spends thousands of dollars on a custom bike to ride to work will be a "happier, healthier, and more successful" human being than someone who commutes on a stock bike--especially when that expensive custom bike gets stolen. I mean, what kind of loser commutes on a stock bike anyway?

At this point, you may be doubting the author's credentials, but it soon becomes clear that he's a cycling expert--and by "expert" I mean a guy who admits he really doesn't ride all that much:

I spend a lot of time in the saddle as a recreational rider, doing charity Centuries (100 mile rides) and weekly fun group rides, but nowhere near as much as many enthusiasts, and going custom has emancipated my back and neck from pain, eliminated numb hands on longer rides, and basically crushed all discomfort except that which comes for being out of shape.

Please note that this sub-enthusiast says he needed a custom bike to free him from numbness and pain on those grueling charity rides. I will come back to this one later. Anyway, while he'll clearly spare no expense to free himself from discomfort, he's a bit more miserly when it comes to his wife:

My wife, on the other hand, has a high-quality stock frame, and has made repeat visits to bike fitters over the years for new stems, handlebar adjustments, etc., in an attempt to eliminate her neck and shoulder issues. It has helped, but not enough (she’ll go custom when it’s time to buy a new bike, meaning when the piggy bank gets bigger).

How chivalrous. "Sorry, honey. Not enough money to get a new bike for you too. You're just going to have to suffer." He should have called this article, "Why You Need A Custom Road Bike, But My Wife Should Just Deal With Her Jamis." At the very least, she probably finds reassurance in the fact that riding her stock bike is probably nowhere as painful as her marriage.

But don't take his word for how awesome custom bikes are; take the word of the dentist he met the other day:

The other day I was riding with a guy who had a Serotta, one of the top companies for custom bikes, and he told me how he went to a fancy bike shop and they told him that due to his size and shape, no off the rack bike would fit him well. He naturally assumed they were scamming him into buying a high-priced custom, so he spent the next two years going from shop to shop, unable to find anyone who could offer to sell him a bike that fit, riding a painful compromise the whole time, before biting the bullet and investing in the Serotta, which he now wishes he had bought two years earlier.

Ah yes, the quasi-mythical person who cannot be fit to a stock frame under any circumstances. Sure, there are a lot of people who have no alternative but to go custom due to sizing reasons. However, most of those people are called "Neanderthals" and went extinct about 1,300 centuries ago. (That's actual centuries, not the things the author says he needed a Seven to do.) They're not all Neanderthals though. In fact, here's Serotta guy before he "saw the light:"

The shop rat who fitted him to that bike should be ashamed of himself.

Anyway, despite the almost incalculably vast number of off-the-rack road bikes and frames out there, rest assured that there's almost no way any of them will ever fit you:

Unless you are 100% “average” no premade frame will ever fit you as well as one custom made to your measurements, from inseam to reach to how far you bend at the waist while riding. When I got my bike made by Seven Cycles, there were over 100 different questions and measurements involved.

First of all, Seven makes a fine bicycle, but anybody who regularly begins sentences with "When I got my bike made by Seven Cycles..." is probably a douchebag. Secondly, I think what he meant to say is that unless you're 100% "nonhuman" no premade frame will ever fit you. As it is, I know people (humans, all of them) in all sizes who ride stock frames comfortably, happily, and far more swiftly than I ever could. Then again, when someone asks you over 100 freaking questions about the product you're buying it's only natural to assume it will be 100 times better. Here's an excerpt from that Seven Cycles questionnaire he had to fill out:

46) How many miles a year do you ride?

--Less than 1,000
--Less than 100
--Less than 1

47) Which of the following describes your spending habits? (Check all that apply)

--I spend freely
--I spend exorbitantly
--I came, I saw, I squandered

48) Have you ever gotten a boner while watching a Range Rover commercial?

And so forth.

Sure, some of it seems gratuitous, but they need to be sure you're real "Seven Cycles" material.

Speaking of materials, Seven Cycles needed to use an oversized seat tube to suit his climbing style:

Then there is the performance issue. I like to climb, a lot, long grueling climbs and I like to stand and grind. So when I got my custom bike, I told Seven Cycles this and they built in an oversized seat tube to add rigidity for my standing pedal stroke, an efficiency increase. Even if a stock bike fit me perfectly, no stock bike can change the diameter of the tubes and flex of the frame to suit my whims, but Seven can.

In other words, Seven will build a bike around your poor climbing technique. Somehow a big guy with massive power like Thor Hushovd can finish in the top 10 for the entire first week of the Tour de France on a plastic Cervelo, yet this guy can't find a bike rigid enough to withstand his mighty climbing style. If he's "standing and grinding" all the time, my guess is he doesn't need a Seven; what he he needs is a triple.

This is why he didn't buy a bike from Richard Sachs:

In a recent interview with Men’s Journal Magazine, Sachs said, “My bikes aren’t going to make you a faster or better rider.” I don’t know if that is true or not, but I know my Seven, and my friends’ Sevens and Serottas and Penguins have made them faster, if not better, riders, because they are lighter and optimize efficiency while better comfort on longer rides reduces fatigue.

This is another way of saying, "My friends and I only buy bikes from people who will lie to us." And that's not the only problem with Richard Sachs, either:

The other “problem” with the small custom shops is that for the most part they only work in metal, and many only in steel, because titanium (better than steel) requires more specialized equipment (especially for welding) and carbon fiber (better for some applications, like time trial and aero triathlon bikes) even more so, while the bigger companies offer the full choice of materials.

Yes, the other "problem" with small shops--apart from the obvious fact that they won't lie to you--is that they also won't let you buy more expensive frame materials. Remember: titanium is better than steel. Got it?

Most importantly though:

Wherever you get your custom bike you are going to be very happy with the fit, and anyone who knows anything about bikes will tell you that the fit is the single most important thing.

Yes, anybody who knows anything about bikes will tell you that the fit is the most important thing. I know this is true because he doesn't know anything about bikes, and he just spent like half the article saying the advantage of custom bikes is stuff like variable seat tube thickness for mashing your way through a charity ride, as well as the availability of titanium--which, of course, is the greatest metal known to humankind.

Then the same Tweeterer sent me this article, in which the author totally reverses himself:

Remember that Seven he needed for those century rides? Well, it turns out all he needed was a cheap singlespeed:

By the end of my first summer I took what was meant to be an occasional training tool and rode a charity century on it, 100-miles in Vermont and New Hampshire, where there is no ride without hills. I’d done the ride for years on my normal bike, and had to work harder, but finished in the same time.

In fact, he actually rides his cheap singlespeed instead of his Seven a lot of the time:

Usually I ride my single speed every third or fourth ride... I feel it has definitely helped my riding and fitness, and it’s fun. It is also cheap, easy and one less thing to worry about getting tuned at the shop.

So his singlespeed is cheap, easy, and fun, and he rides it at least 25% of the time. Meanwhile, the Seven is apparently a source of anxiety. But don't confuse his singlespeed with a track bike, because track bikes are for "obscure bike racing:"

The other traditional user of the single speed has been the track racer, a relatively obscure bike racing niche you probably never have seen outside the Olympics, sort for like speed skating with bikes, and these racers use single speed track bikes.

Somebody really needs to put that on a t-shirt:

And here's why you don't want a track bike:

Track bikes are “fixies” meaning they have a fixed gear... These bikes also have foot acitvated braking, like your childhood bike, which frankly is better suited for 5-year olds, except when going downhill at 40MPH.

Yes, track racing bikes have "foot activated braking," so while they're a bad choice for you, they're great for your 5-year old kid. And the difference between a fixed-gear and a coaster brake is not the only distinction that vexes him:

Also for some reason, manufacturers don’t think you will ride it like a road bike and tend to give them fatter crossover tires. I started by ordering a bare bones Motobecane model similar to this one from bikesdirect.com, for around $400 (note how almost every other single speed model for sale is a track bike. Where are all these track racers?).

The manufacturer may have given your Motobecane its "fatter crossover tires" because it's actually a cyclocross bike. As for the whereabouts of all those track racers, you may not be seeing them on your charity rides because they're at the freaking track. In any case, I'm still trying to figure out why he needed that Seven, and apparently so is he, since his mail-order Motobecane seems to be serving him just as well:

This is the bike that started my love affair with single speeds and I did the first century on it, rather than my custom titanium road bike that cost roughly 12 times as much.

To that end, he's come up with some stupid car analogy:

And while I still firmly believe you should have one great bike, custom fit to you, this is an occasional fling, like the 60s muscle car next to your Mercedes sedan in the garage, so don’t worry too much about it (See my post on why you should get a custom road bike).

A bike that you ride a quarter or a third of the time is not an "occasional fling." Try spending 25% of your time with another woman and then telling your wife you're having an "occasional fling." You remember your wife--she's the one who's in all that pain while you brag about your Seven and build stupid singlespeeds:

Nice bike. Looks like it fits pretty well, too. Just put the derailleurs back on that thing and maybe you can finally get rid of that Seven.


Amy said...


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

donkey ride: Specialized MacPherson Vulva!!

Anonymous said...

that why donkey win!!

Anonymous said...


le Correcteur said...

Top ten; unread

Rick doneky said...

Bamboo for the win

le Correcteur said...

Now I've read it. My favorite:

"They're like adulterers in mid-coitus, blithely promising to leave their spouses and buy their paramours a house."

This is truly a wonderful sentence, Snob. But can one blithely speak in mid-coitus? Perhaps pantingly?

Bob said...

Is that a $5 Tourney derailleur on the back of that single speed in use as a tensioner????

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

What a douche.

Stiveau said...

This poor sap makes you want to have a beer with the artisan ax guys!

Shram said...


Anonymous said...

Wonder if Mr. Olmstead has ever heard of Dario Pegoretti? Also, Mr. Olmstead, it just proves that Lance Armstrong has more money than he knows what to do with if he is bought an expensive custom bike to use as shop decoration.

Anonymous said...

oops--there's an extra "is" loitering in my comment.

crosspalms said...

I thought the pain and numbness were caused by my non-custom bike. Turns out it's from reading Larry Olmsted instead. Thanks for flushing and degreasing that guy.

mikeweb said...

This is where Larry lost me:

I was just in Mellow Johnny’s, the Texas bike shop owned by the most famous cyclist in history....

Umm, he probably meant to say possibly the most famous American cyclist in history.

Also, after he writes this:

The final thing to consider is the craftsmanship and looks.

The proselytizing continues for another 7 paragraphs.

OBA said...


Stiveau said...

I just went to his site... the dude's publishing this crap in FORBES! Or on their site. wtf!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!????

wishiwasmerckx said...

His singlespeed is just like my mistress, "cheap, easy and fun, and he rides it at least 25% of the time."

Astoriasontop said...

podium 25% of the time

wishiwasmerckx said...

Mikeweb, I thought Tuen Van Vliet was the most famous cyclist of all time...oops, my bad.

Anonymous said...

Check out his bio, really qualified to write bicycle reviews:


I am the Contributing Travel Editor for Cigar Aficionado Magazine, have my own golf travel blog, larrygolfstheworld.com, and am a co-founder of TheAPosition.com, the leading golf travel website. I love every kind of travel, active, cultural and leisurely, and my special areas of expertise are luxury hotels and resorts, golf, skiing, food, wine and spirits. I tweet @TravelFoodGuy



jno62 said...

I'm such a loser.

Anonymous said...


Kenny Banya said...

"FYI, a new study written up in The Atlantic showed that in places where more people ride bikes to work, the citizens are happier, healthier, and more successful. I bet this is even truer for those who go custom over stock."

Wait...wha? Well, probably true. The two guys sleeping under the bridge near my house ride stock Magnas.

crosspalms said...

Nothing says cycling like cigars, golf, skiing, food, wine and spirits.

Anonymous said...

Hey Snob,

Have you been following the Tour?

Exciting stage today. Go Thor!

Kenny Banya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

That singlespeed looks like it was designed and built by someone who's seen a Hetchins and decided that it just wasn't ugly and ill-proportioned enough.

It looks wrong from an engineering point of view too.


hey nonny mouse

Kenny Banya said...

" If he's "standing and grinding" all the time, my guess is he doesn't need a Seven; what he he needs is a triple."

Gold Snobby...GOLD!

Anonymous said...

you spoil my tour watching again, Ima fucking kill you

Larry Olmstead said...

nothing of consequence

Anonymous said...

Outside Magazine picked six stock road bikes as the best in all categories, from beginners to racers, for its 2011 Gear Guide, and these ranged from $2,460 – $8,715 with only one option under $3,200.

With off-the-rack models at these prices, you can’t afford to not go custom.

Right, because a beginner cannot possibly start with a bike for less than $2460.

mikeweb said...

I think the fact that the saddle on Larry's Seven is about 5mm above the top of his bars (as opposed to say, 8cm) explains the absence of his neck, shoulder and hand pain. Though he may want to make sure his 'V' prescription is up to date.

Anonymous said...


Nice job skewering cigar sucking Larry the golfer-Fred. I honestly hopes he sees this. He can hardly defend himself though, since you could've hit him even harder.

This guy wrote:
For the actual conversion, I went to the website Single Speed Outlaw, printed their detailed instructions, and handed them to my mechanic. You should too. You will thank me!

Yes, he went into a shop and handed some mechanic an internet article titled, "How to build a Single Speed for Dummies."

Let's hope the wrench added another $200 to the bill for that.


Anonymous said...

snob, i love it when you get this way.

Anonymous said...

those "rocky mounts" in the ads look kind of like a vagina

I am a breathless engine said...

The question with bikes and everything else, need versus want.

"No, you can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
And if you try sometime you find
You get what you need"

Keep that in mind everytime anybody says custom made.

"This is truly a wonderful sentence, Snob. But can one blithely speak in mid-coitus? Perhaps pantingly?"

Is coitus like running, if you cant hold a conversation you are not doing it right?

I really don't know, never seem to have anything to say. Is that wrong?

hillbilly said...

oh, so good. that's the stuff, thanks snob.

Martin Erzinger said...

golfer cigar guy, needs to save his money and go to Wallmart for his fixie that he will ride once.

He is my kind of guy.

Marcel Da Chump said...

I'm almost ashamed to be a golfer.

But I ride my bike to the golf course,

which is nice.

GhostOfTyrone said...

The best bikes are not built, they are grown. Planted and cultivated deep within a virgin growth forest. Harvested by bearded eunuchs (don't ask, your head will explode), 100% organic, 100% fair trade, 100% free of the gears of modern society.

Available in 4 sizes: Fall, Spring, Stone and Torch.

Available in 2 colors: Virgin foliage (white) and Egg (off-white).

Price: $3,000 & up, including decorative wooden wall mount, decorative wooden floor stand, & all shipped in a decorative wooden box tied with a ribbon of mango fibers.

For a nominal fee, the cycle farmers will also "plant" your biodegradable order form in their Dream Garden, where they hope to soon start cultivating Cinelli shoes and caps.

Anonymous said...

Great post!!

cyclotourist said...


Excellent form today RTMS/WRM! I plan to renew my annual subscription!

Grump said...

It's about time you realize that Neanderthals are people too (or almost people) Stop making light of them.
Don't you read the papers? Most of us have Neanderthal DNA floating around inside of us. One day you may wake up and be able to scratch your knee without bending over. Where will you be then, without custom builders? Huh ??
One of these days, a gold bar will drop out of my ass, and I'll be able to buy a custom with a 71 or 72 STA, so I'll be able to use a "normal" seat post. Considering with weight of gold, I'll fly up the hills on my custom bike.

Etherhuffer said...

Wow. I am 6'4" with a 38 inch inseam. Old 70's and 80's steel frames are right sized and with a Velo Orange stem adapter, I can "custom fit" easily. The Fuji Touring bike with new powder coat and parts didn't top 500 bucks, and fits just dandy. And with nice canary yellow color and shiny new parts, it looks retro-new. Chrome dropout anyone?

Chris W said...

I've never seen so much chain on a single speed. Nice tensioner too...

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

i only got a custom bike so i could get the paint job i wanted - that's it

Matt Boulanger said...

Thanks for the "Tweeterer" credit Snobby!

You sure this guy isn't an alter-ego created by BSNYC Industries just for you to skewer?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

regardless of his pointless articles, sounds like larry has a pretty good life, buying and riding custom made bikes, drinking wine and golfing the world plus a wife who is willing ot relegate her health to his expensive whims.

Anonymous said...

I am sure Sam Whittingham of Naked is proud that Lance bought one of his bikes.

I think he would be more proud if Lance actually rode his bike instead of putting it on a wall.

Custom is not art, and just plane stupid if it isn't ridden.

Journalists just don't get it, they must be stoopid.

Anonymous said...

For us tall buggers (6'5") it is difficult to find off-the-shelf bikes that fit. I don't think anyone makes crabon bikes my size. I got a Rivendell Atlantis in 68cm and if they'd been making the double-top-tubed 72cm model at the time I would have bought that. I ride it to work, the store, church, that sort of thing. It ain't custom, but it's heading that way. I'm very happy with it.

Anonymous said...


Stream the tour instead of reading this blog. Way more exciting.

Hungry Panda said...

Track racing, it's speed skating with bikes

"Speed skating, it's track bike racing with out the bike"

"Masturbation, it's like sex without a partner"

"Larry Olmsted, it's like journalism but without the reliable information"

this ain't no hipster shop said...

get your innernet instructions outta my face or

(wait for it)


-all together now:



Anonymous said...

....and I like to stand and grind...

My guess is most of the standing & grinding he does is in the shower with a handfull of lather, thinking about his bike.

duder said...

Larry must be a shorty, the headtube on that bike is practically non-existent. (it is called the head tube right - whatever.)
He totally lost me on the coaster brake explanation too, that didn't make any sense at all.
Nice job as usual.

Anonymous said...

BS, You at your best when skewering hipsters or douchbags. (Is there a difference?)

cigargolffred said...

i can has custom [i][b]and [/i][/b]a crapped together singlespeed! whoohoo stogies for all!

note that the comfort enhancing fit seven so cleverly derived from the extensive survey is not necessary on the singlespeed-as being perpetually in nearly-but-not-quite-the-right gear is such a pain that i fail to notice the other ones.

i'm going to get the wife a singlespeed.

Charlie Didrickson said...

If he's "standing and grinding" all the time, my guess is he doesn't need a Seven; what he he needs is a triple.

Funny as it gets.

To most Freds, custom just means you have to wait 12 weeks for it. That way you can mention it at every turn and on every forum and decide which leather bra tape is best, well in advance of taking photos of it and selling it on The Serotta forum.

Repeat as often as necessary.

Chris said...

I'd rather buy a bike like the one Sam Whittingham rode to 82.819 mph

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have a spare Specialized MacPherson Vulva? http://tuscaloosa.craigslist.org/bik/2490065026.html
Only in Alabama (where, by the way, it's illegal to use the word "vulva")...

Anonymous said...

Changing "most famous cyclist" to "most infamous cyclist" would be more appropriate.

RIP Zanoli

Anonymous said...

Larry Olmstead represents everything that is wrong with the internet today, wut a doosh!

ringcycles said...

Since Larry Olmstead is "standing and grinding" when he climbs he needs and oversized head tube and/or bottom bracket shell, not seat tube. OS seat tubes only help for SEATED climbing. So what he really needs is not a custom bike, but a damned clue about how his bike works and how to measure a fit.

wishiwasmerckx said...

"Standing and grinding" reminded me of an old joke:

Q: Why don't Fundamental Christians f%#k standing up?

A: Because it might lead to dancing.

I Go Around and Around said...

Yes, everyone knows that stock bikes suck. That's why the riders in the Tour now predominantly ride stock frames and parts. Because stock frames suck.

I feel sorry for his wife. She should trade him in for a custom husband.

And the weather today: Hot in Central Park. Plenty of bikinis in the grass and drunkenly swerving tourists on rental bikes. Followed by darkness.

crosspalms said...

@charlie didrickson

tell me more about this leather bra tape...

Charlie Didrickson said...

tell me more about this leather bra tape..."

It is the source of all the problems.

Niall said...

Man, I can't wait until he takes an interest in bike trailers. "Lately, I've been taking my bike to Best Buy, and leaving my Mercedes at home in the garage. It's liberating to know that I'm not a slave to any form of transportation... My wife and I agreed that I would portage the surround system on the Bill, and she would tow our two children in the Burley. When the penalty window for withdrawals from their college fund has passed, we'll buy her a custom titanium trailer with three seats (just in case)."

Anonymous said...


crosspalms said...

@charlie didrickson

It does sound like it would chafe. I'm going to stop thinking about it now. Or a few minutes from now.

g--roc said...

To be fair, Lance is the most famous and possibly the only bi-cycle cycling bi-cyclist known to douches who know nothing about bi-cycle cycling bi-cycles.

Jasper said...

Nothing like the Snob getting his sharpened stiletto nicely in between the victim's ribs to get the commenters on top form too. For me, the sub-heading 'Lifestyle' was flashing alarm bells even before anything else was written.
Hey Nonny Mouse - I've never heard anyone being so mean about Hetchins. Curiously liberating.

Anonymous said...

Between the part where expensive new equipment liberated him from all discomfort not associated with lack of fitness (as though there two distinct types), and the part where no amount of effort and experimentation could save his wife from a world of pain, I thought, "Golfer."

Sure 'nuf, and in the worst sense. DBs like this contribute to the worst public perceptions of whatever they touch: golf, wine, food, Mercedes cars, you name it... and now, cycling! This guy IS the new stereotype of a road cyclist. Yeah!

Cigar smokers, of course, actually are just DBs, so some things do work out.

Nebraska bike commuter (non-DWI edition) said...

Fuck this, I'm buying a KitKat.

ringcycles said...

"Even if a stock bike fit me perfectly, no stock bike can change the diameter of the tubes and flex of the frame to suit my whims, but Seven can"

Actually, no it can't. No bike can change tube diameters or flex to suit your whims. Custom builders select tubing and adjust flex in the geometry to suit your stated wants. Then again, you could also do enough research or test rides to find a stock bike with your tubing/flex/geometry preferences. I think Sevens are truly great bikes. But this guy is giving the brand a bad name by his poor understanding of bikes in general.

Pontius Pilate said...



Anonymous said...

Holy Shit, Snobbie... YOU ARE ON FIRE TODAY! Well done.

Anonymous said...

It's like this guy's writing for a content farm.

Anonymous said...

Just got back from 2 days of ISP-denial limbo; no cable (no TdF), no Internets (clogged pipes, no BikeSnobNYC yadda yadda yadda), and all.
Yes, I will gladly celebrate the new TdF winner runner-up, whatever it may be...
Just make sure any and all stage performances can be ridiculed through future anti-doping techniques within 10 years or so, otherwise I might feel slightly sheepish.
Go Cadel, Arrh!

Anonymous said...

Panties! Panties! Panties!

Stranded said...

Dufus has to explain what a century is, which means he's writing for an audience that will probably believe his BS. So it goes. . . .

leroy said...

My dog got me a custom bike for my birthday.

It was just my old bike, but he put a Bike Snob sticker on it.

Still, it's the thought that counts.

And it fit me.

Bob said...

Snobby - I laughed from the beginning to the end... Chapeau!

my2hands said...

So...i was skidding when I was 8 years old?

Vegas said...

I thought the triple-size font of Douchested's article apropos to his simple-minded writing.

Vegas said...

Oh yeah, and we all got "chicked" today. How bout some props to Amy?

JDH said...

Cen-cher-ee? What are that? Goooo-ly,If'n ah wants to win, ah best git me a kustom bye-sickle!

J Scott. CometoButthead. said...


In before the century.

Vegas said...

Maybe we'll get lucky and Douchsted will come here and make a half-assed defense of himself like that Byron Moron from yesterday. That guy needs to save the $15K from the McLovin Shmegma and buy a sense of humor and some Wednesday Weed.

Anonymous said...

Why is Samuel Sanchez ignored by the TDF coverage on Versus? A prime example is today's recap. They talk about 1-2-3&4, skip 5 (Sanchez) and go on to 6-7 etc.?

hater said...

I smoke cigars. Prefer CAO Brazilia Gol,sometimes La Flor Dominicana Double Liguero. I find it more relaxing than Wednesday weed, and keeps the hipsters away. My garage sale Trek 330 fits like a glove. Was $1 too much to pay? I would have paid more!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jasper, I wasn't being mean about Hetchins' (Hetchinses?); just comparing the featured bike unfavourably to them - look at the shape of the seat stay; it's wrong!

The shape of a curly Hetchins is good and looks right (it'll flex in the right directions); that other bike looks pure mingin', so it does (as they say in Glasgow).

hey nonny mouse

confused said...

"I am sure Sam Whittingham of Naked is proud that Lance bought one of his bikes."

I know this is nitpicking, but Sams Naked bike is not custom made, it was not made for Lance or his dimensions.
It is a handmade bike (hopefully not mass produced).

It sits on a wall because it is pretty, at least it is different, and that sells bikes to douchebags.

The entire premise of the article is flawed.

Anonymous said...

ffs... i've just realised that that stupid specialized with the tourney derailleur is actually his single speed. i mean... wtf.

Unknown said...

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Anonymous said...

That guy is an advertiser's wet dream. Custom bikes are great but to state that you can't find a good fit on a stock bike speaks to the author's inexperience with bicycles. The unfortunate part of more people riding is you get the "experts" who spend more time reading and talking about bikes than actually riding them.

Joachim said...

i would love to see RS dole out some ATMO on this douche.

Anonymous said...

Oh, no, went directly to the blog.

I'm so confused, can you simplify what I need to do to help?

Anonymous said...

Christ, douchery, assholery, whatever, this tool takes first prize. Ya think he has the slightest clue of what he's talking about? BTW, after spending a couple of G's on the Serotta, was he aware that one can actually make adjustments, such as seat height, stem height, heandlebar/brake position, so as guarantee a good fit?
'100 questions?' WTF?

Charlie Didrickson said...


@charlie didrickson

It does sound like it would chafe. I'm going to stop thinking about it now. Or a few minutes from now.

Makes a good whip or gag though. Wonder how it smells?

Rupert Murdoch said...

@hater; are you trying to start some shit ?

hater said...

Only with anon 4:44. Have a
Coke and a Smile and shut the fuck up,you smug twat.

Anonymous said...

"because titanium (better than steel) requires more specialized equipment (especially for welding)"

This is completely untrue and even more evidence that the article's author is woefully misinformed.

Anonymous said...

I love leather.

CadelsWheelChange said...

Pull from his Forbes profile:

"Why Forbes
Smart readers who I can help get more out of life."

leroy said...

One other thing....

Allez Amy! Podium!

Anonymous said...

The world is upside down.

I ride a very nice custom crabon bike. Rather slowly.

My dentist rides a stock Specialized and he's wicked fast. Plus he does perfect crowns and veneers. At such a price that he could easily afford a Seven if he wanted one.

One of the local heart surgeons commutes on a fixie. With breaks. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

This guy believes track riders have coaster brakes? Hahahahaha!

HAND SOLO said...


forgot the audio said...


David Henderson said...

I've got your back Majid Ali, good luck with your studies!

Good job today BSYNC. You are so spot on about the douchery concerning expensive bikes and the people who buy them. It has become quite ridiculous.

bikesgonewild said...

...if you publish another foto of me n' my bike without giving proper credit, ima fucking kill you...

...oh, wait, that ain't me...my bike's got a bell...sorry...

RW27 said...

Hilarious!!! The guy is obviously a complete arse!

On the positive-side good to know i'm 100% average, as all my bikes have been off the rack, no need for custom builds - it's saved me a fortune.

RW27 said...

Hilarious!!! The guy is obviously a complete arse!

On the positive-side good to know i'm 100% average, as all my bikes have been off the rack, no need for custom builds - it's saved me a fortune.

RW27 said...

Hilarious!!! The guy is obviously a complete arse!

On the positive-side good to know i'm 100% average, as all my bikes have been off the rack, no need for custom builds - it's saved me a fortune.

Eric Lowe said...

One would hope that Seven would be, at least, ambivalent about the press this guy is giving them. However, one would be wrong. They have reprinted the story in its entirety on their website.

Heather said...

What a idiot. I ride a stock road bike, which was fitted to me by the guys at the shop. Good sales people are worth the world! I ride in total comfort.

ce said...

I'm guessing it's called Seven Cycles because you can buy seven regular bicycles for the price of one of theirs.

crosspalms said...

Wow. Custom bikes, cigars, fine spirits, leather, gags, whips, golf, panties. Busy day.

Anonymous said...

This fire needs more fuel!


"While journalistic fields such as golf, the hotel business, and cuisine have traditionally been treated as discrete disciplines for niche writers, Olmsted sees them as part of a whole experience, and his success has been largely due to his deep knowledge of each field and ability to critically integrate them."

It's also fair to point to the Budweiser can here. Fine spirits, indeed!

grog said...

I am Thor.
I do Thunder.
I do more.
Do you wonder?


cephas said...

GhostofTyrone! I need one custom grown bi cycle. Make it custom. yes.

GhostOfTyrone said...

Mr Petrus:

Thank you for your interest. Before we can embark on this journey together, we need to solidify our bondage. Please take a moment to complete the following:

Please specify desired color.

Please specify desired size.

Please assign your riding styles to one of the following: Bear, Crow, Soap, Soap on a wet road

Tell us about your last truly organic experience.

Please return this questionnaire with some food.

Thank you for your interest.

mekore said...

fuck larry or ima fucking kill you!

pomocomo said...

Jalle Vanendert has that skinny, awkward, mustachioed Williamsburg vibe. He's living the hipster wet dream.

Anonymous said...

I bought a custom bike last year because my single speed hurt me. I scratched the downtube of it yesterday as I removed it from the hatch of my Mercedes and saw that there was a "Motobecane" decal underneath the custom paint job. I think my bike is better than anything from Sachs because it has layers of complexity. I consider an off-the-peg frame a compliment to my perfect proportions, excepting the 140mm stem and no-offset seatpost I need to make the 56cm frame work for my back, neck, thighs, feet, wrists...

Ayasha Kieth said...

I want to ride on on that bike.. Can I ? LOl.

Fender Flares | Bushwacker | Best tops| Discount-autocar-parts | 4wheelonline | All about car

coach tours of uk from london said...

This is truly a wonderful sentence, Snob. But can one blithely speak in mid-coitus

james said...

I once owned a bike shop in San Francisco. We had a regular customer who was a great guy, but periodically he would come in and launch into a long tale about a ride he'd done recently. The tale would weave its way to the part where his wanger fell asleep. Got totally numb. And then he got a huge erection. At that point I'd kick him out. So everytime he'd come in and start the long tale of the super ride he'd just done I could see the mechanics in the back trying to suppress their laughter as I struggled to keep from tossing him out too soon. What I now realize is I should have sold him a custom frame that would have prevented this wang paralysis.

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Fixie Bikes said...

"$15,000 road bike"


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Travel to Lyon or Bordeaux?
Bespoke tour

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