Monday, February 2, 2015

The Fred Stays In The Picture: There's A Reason There Aren't More Movies About Bikes

The Superbowl represents pretty much everything I hate (football, mostly), so I ignore it.  This is pretty easy to do, and apart from the odd sub-verbal moronic bellow which might reach my ears from some far-flung Superbowl soirée, America's favorite sporting event is merely an abstraction that happens somewhere "out there," like religious services or supernovae in distant galaxies.  So instead of watching the game, I spent the evening decalcifying my coffee maker, though unfortunately I experienced a mishap and managed to scald my sinuses slightly in the process:

Whatever.  The sense of taste is totally overrated.  Now I can eat anything!

I also made sure to get out for a ride before yet another winter storm arrived last night:

It's easy to be jealous of those who live in sunny, warm climes--and believe me I am, you can all go fuck yourselves--but I also enjoy riding in the dead of winter.  There's no more peaceful time to be out on a bike than on a frigid Sunday morning when the woositudes are cowering inside and minimizing their exposure to the elements, and the Freds are foffing off on their trainers.  Also, there are plenty of short, sharp climbs just north of my estate, so it's easy to warm yourself by climbing without also having to expose yourself to long descents that will turn you into this:

Or this:

They say this Neanderthal was out training 300,000 years ago when he attained Caveman "Woo-hoo-hoo-hoo!" speed on his racing mammoth and froze solid.

Not only do I manage to enjoy cycling in winter, but I also do so on bicycles equipped with Neanderthal-era aluminum rims, and I even manage to modulate my speed with primitive Rube Goldberg-esque rim brakes.  I really should get with the times and "upgrade" though, and to that end I perused this crabon dick-break wheel shootout in "Bicycling" magazine:

At $2,900 for the ENVE and $2,825 for the Zipp, both are clearly total bargains, but the most important metric for ludicrously expensive wheels is how well they "track."  So what does tracking mean?  Absolutely nothing.  It's review filler, a completely empty term.  It's like when they say a bike "goes where you point it."  Which bike doesn't go where you point it?  Well, okay, this one doesn't, but other than that the rider's the only real variable in that department--which is why (apart from triathletes) most cyclists manage to get from A to B.

So let's check out the "tracking" on the crabon dick-spinners:

These wheels felt laterally robust and tracked accurately without squirming, though they were slightly less precise than the ENVEs around corners.

And also:

The SES 3.4s are muscular—they hardly flex during the hardest efforts, and they track well through turns.

Surprise!  A wheel that costs nearly $3,000 goes in the direction you want it to!  Or, in review parlance, it "tracked accurately," which should come as a relief if you've ever tried to make a right onto 23rd Street and suddenly and inexplicably wound up on 24th Street.  (Damn wheels and their inaccurate tracking!)  Also, please note that you've got to spend well over $2,000 in order to get wheels that don't "squirm."  Sure, I've never ridden a wheel at any price that "squirmed," but I suppose there's peace of mind in spending $2,800 for a wheel so that when you get a flat you're 100% certain the squirming is coming from the tire and not the wheel.  Come on, how many times have you disassembled and rebuilt that squirmy wheel, only to find out it was a puncture?

Most importantly, note that the Zipps are "slightly less precise than the ENVE's around corners."  How much less precise?  Exactly $75.

You get what you pay for.

Anyway, the suspense was killing me, so I was kind of disappointed that at the end of the review it turned out to be a tie:

Foregone conclusions are always a lot more convincing with charts.

Here's how Monsieur Spectacles explains the inspiration behind the project:

"Ten years ago I was introduced to an underground illegal bike racing scene."

Hmmm, he discovered a race completely ignored by the mainstream in which the riders break all sorts of laws?

Was this the Tour de France by any chance?

Well, he doesn't say, but he does promise there's going to be action:

"...we are making an action film, and we want to create beautifully choreographed action sequences that does justice to this subculture."

Ooh, yeah!  I love it!  Here's an idea: what if after he gets hit by the car he flies through the air in slow motion, like this?

Oh, wait, shit.  It looks like someone already made this movie, and it was called "Premium Rush."

No biggie, here's another idea: they could turn this into a "Jazz Singer" ripoff called "Alleykatz."  They could even get that hipster Orthodox Zoobomber in Portland to star in it!

("Caught between two worlds.  His parents wanted him to be a cantor.  He yearned for the glory and messenger bag company swag of the professional alleycat circuit...")

A film like that would assuredly win an Oscar, but unfortunately the filmmakers remain married to this whole action film thing:

"These action scenes are crucial for the plot of this story."

Which, as far as I can tell, involves a bunch of kids who need to get across town to the Halloween party before the candy runs out.

So they need money.  Lots of money:

"For this action what we need to do is film big fight sequences, large stunt set pieces, and big car crashes in central London."

Look, kid.  Lemme give you a piece of advice.  If you want action-packed fight scenes and edge-of-your-seat stunts set against the bustle of central London, you don't need to spend a bunch of money.  All you need is YouTube:

By the way, what's with the old-timey bike?

No wonder Cat 6 hit him, he probably fell out of a wormhole in time from 1908.

Still, you've got to admire the filmmakers' dedication, which is clear from Monsieur Spectacles's steely gaze:

The intensity with which one (1) Swiss auteur stares at his production parter during a pitch is equivalent to 40,000 Diminutive Frenchman Units (or DFUs):

And hey, this might not be the most original project in the world, but if you invest they'll give you some sweet rewards, such as watching them work:

"You'll get to see us editing, grading, and sound mixing the film.  It's a great opportunity to see what happens after you've shot the film, when the magic of post-production happens."

Magic of post-production?  Yeah, post-production is so glamorous, which is why film editors are always on the cover of People and being hounded by paparazzi.  Please.  If you can tell me who won the Academy Award for Best Film Editing last year without doing an Internet search I'll give you $100.

I doubt you'd have been able to stay awake during the editing of the car chase scene from "The French Connection," let alone some alleycat movie shot with iPhones and GoPros.

I'll give them $5 if they let me do the voiceover for the DVD extras, though.

Lastly, here's why making sure your bottle cages are snug should be part of your pre-ride check:

Freds obsess over tire pressure and chain lube and Strava and the "tracking" on their overpriced wheelsets before they leave the house, yet they seldom give any thought to their bottle cages.

Please stay out of the group ride if you're using the hotdog-in-a-hallway setup.


Vernal Magina said...


Olle Nilsson said...


Anonymous said...


Freddy Murcks said...

I bought a fat bike over the weekend and I love it. Snowy single track is fun as hell. And I don't care how much you disapprove, Wild Rock Cat Machine.

Anonymous said...


P. Bateman said...

Top teeny! GET SOME!!!!!

wishiwasmerckx said...

Toppus Tennus.

Anonymous said...

Van Dam Bottles!

Olle Nilsson said...

I'm sure when you're on the bleeding edge, squirm and tracking are real issues when you scrimped on the engineering budget.
I'll take 2 36 spoked, double wall, eyeletted, to go please.

Once you go granite you never go back.
-Eddy Merckx

balls™ said...

My bike is too old. I might die if I try to ride it.


Unknown said...

it looks like the water bottle guy is wearing an Aero Helmet too.

Just an observation..

P. Bateman said...

another balmy 77 here in america's hotdog. going to turn on the a/c.

was going to maybe go for a ride but its so darn hot....

Anonymous said...

Hey Ladies!!!!!

Gwyneth said...

Get with the times, Snob. No-one does Neti-pots any more. The cool women are all steaming their vags.

jodphoto said...

The water bottle wasn't tracking correctly.

Anonymous said...

Crosspalms and I had a little 14 inch dusting of snow yesterday.
No biggie.
Crosspalms: didn't see your name in the top twenty donors to Mayor Rahm in yesterday's Trib. Oversight?

Joe K. said...

The water bottle was actually a secret agent for law enforcement. As soon as the riders went three-wide, it deployed.

Grump said...

If you are having a hard time choosing which wheelset to buy, why not just buy both???
As for the waterbottle crash....typical Fred crash.

Olle Nilsson said...

Gwyneth! Welcome to the party. I've long wanted to fall victim to your "knowledge". Any advice for those of us of the no-fair-genderway?

McFly said...

I scored in the red zone yesterday afternoon.

Old-timer said...

Mr. Snob, please don’t be jealous of those of us in temperate climates (forecast to be in the high sixties here in Central California today, by the way), and tell us to “go fu*k ourselves". (How does one DO that, anyway?!) We are well aware of the challenges of living in cruel Winters - which is why we live here. Duh! But we commiserate with you! (What, only fifty or so days till Spring?) I’ll dedicate today’s Coke and doughnut ride to you. ICE Cold Coke, mind you, ‘cause it’s gonna be WARM!

Freddy Murcks said...

The reviews in Bikecycling Vagazine read like they have taken the text from back issues of Penthouse Forum and replaced the sex part terms with bike part terms.

His cock felt laterally robust and tracked accurately without squirming, though is was slightly less precise than his tongue around my pussy.

His cock was muscular—it hardly flexed during the hardest efforts, and it tracked well through multiple position changes.

See what I mean?

Bryan said...

I watched that Fred slip on the water bottle a good 10 times, and it didn't get old. Maybe if he had a pair of $3k wheels, he would have been able to adjust his track just enough to miss it. I liked how that group was taking up not only their side of the road but also encroaching on the other half.

Those wheels cost more than the retail price of my plastic bike, which, rest assured I paid only a very small sum over cost.

I could buy 2 new plastic bikes for one set of douche wheels.

I could probably feed a village in Africa for a good year for one set of wheels.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Freddy Murcks,


Also adds a new dimension to "disappeared beneath me."

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Flyover BC said...

What good is muscular if it don't flex?

bk jimmy said...

Frozen is a road seldom traveled by the woostitudes!

Anonymous said...

Fatbike Freddy M,

Is your fat bike fun? Human powered? Reasonably priced (you be the judge)? (and can you go for a ride on it without having to drive a car first?)

Better to be having fun outdoors in the snow on a fat bike than anything that requires a gas engine.

(I bet WCRM/WRCM is fine with that.)

Freddy Murcks said...

Anon @1:05 - In this case, I wanted to take my dog and I wanted to ride on snow, so I drove up to the high country. However, I can easily ride to trails where I live so I could def ride the fattie without having to get into a car. I am hoping that winter will actually return to the SL valley so that I can test that out.

Fat bike is very fun and human powered. It was not cheap, but it seemed to be well worth it to have something I can ride during those times when the snow is present but not worth skiing on (like this entire winter, for instance).

balls™ said...

I don't care how much you're having on that fatbike. I don't buy anything without first getting the bikesnob seal of approval.

I am getting hungry, though. I wish he'd let me know what I can have for lunch, since I'm all out of frumunda cheese.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Freddy Murcks and balls™,

If I had a garage I'd probably end up owning a fat bike somehow.

Limited storage space keeps me honest.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Spokey said...

last jan i got a bad case of sinusitis. normally eschew the dr preferring to suffer the suffering of the sufferers. but this one was bad enough to go get the aunty-biotics. the one thing they stressed was to under no circumstances use a neti pot. said it spreads the little bugs all over the place to really do in your sinuses.

Spokey said...

i'm a little reluctant to spring three grand for two rollie round things. i need to be assured that i can put a minimum of 700x37 tireds on them.

P. Bateman said...

the moment someone says they are honest you KNOW they are lying.

i suspect SNOB owns a chain of self storage facilities and has a trove of the fattest of bikes.

i'm starting to suspect that BSNYC is an undercover operation funded by the bike companies - much like the CIA is funding google, facebook and apple - he is constantly mentioning Specialized.

maybe SpeciaLIES would be more accurate.

i'm gonna go smoke more PCP and start investing this conspiracy more closely.

mikeweb said...

Instead of a fat bike I want one of these.

Spokey said...

Sure, I've never ridden a wheel at any price that "squirmed,"

oh i have. all it took was to threaten my velocity dyads with posting a video on instagram of them rolling in the hay with a set of arraya rims.

Anonymous said...

vsk said ...

Look for "Special-ized" (I do not want litigation) to start issuing "Use By" or expiration dates on their products.


Anonymous said...

That's amazing.
You've provided me with my summer project.

Flyover BC said...

I don't know anything about riding a fattie.

But I do suggest that you let a fattie, or two, ride you. It can be great.

BamaPhred said...

Fuck Me? It's 36 degrees here in the Cotton State

leroy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
leroy said...

My dog says he has a big stunt piece and car crash set in Central London he can let the filmmakers have for a reasonable fee.

It involves their Mayor Boris.

Anonymous said...

Why do the Mediterranean girl "waterfall" it back out her nose? Why do she not just nose swallow?

BamaPhred said...

And those Fred wheels. Only if I can get them with Powertap hubs. Just Kidding. Like a previous poster observed my whole Fredcicle didn't cost that.

loosening_skewer said...

What's wrong with you people?

If you don't rides the crabon dick wheels you most certainly will die.

Of course, if you don't have a thru-axle fork on those dick wheels you will most certainly die too. But, it will be the most noble deaths, $23,0000 Fred AstroBucks poorer.

Did they mention the whole QR loosening problem with old-fashioned dropouts and dick breaks? Talk about a failed marketing opportunity!

Glory said...

Torn between Gwyneth at 11:41 and Freddy Murcks at 12:31 for COD.

Freddy Murcks said...

Flyover BC - I had a friend in college whose apparent motto in life (or at least his philosophy for hooking up at parties) was "Go fat early and avoid the rush." He rode more than his fair shares of fatties and vice versa, I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

I agree with that yuppie, Mr. Bateman; it is far too hot down here in america's wang to be bikecycling. Besides, any respectable fred in these parts would have been doing his suffering this morning in the rain...

Gwyneth said...

Glory, what do you mean torn? Wouldn't you much rather give me the CotD podium kisses? Surely I look better in lycra than Mr Murcks.

Anonymous said...

Hey, New Yorkers:
Did De Blasio drop another groundhog this year?

Anonymous said...

I thought I hit my Fredliest with a 700.00 wheelset. Criminy, do I suck.

Flyover BC said...

Freddy Murcks,

By fatties, I don't mean obese, just plump.

Glory said...

If there are kisses involved, COD to Freddy. He might be old and canniballistic, but at least I won't catch mugwort.

Freddy Murcks said...

Gwyneth - you have clearly never seen me in lycra. As for you, I'd say that you are too bony and insipid to properly fill out a lycra bikecycling outfit.

Freddy Murcks said...

BC - That's what my friend was getting at. Go fat early and you get the pick of the litter (i.e., pleasantly plump and reasonably cute). If, however, you wait until round about midnight and/or when the beer has run out, then there is a mad dash for the hookups and all you're left with are the obese and/or ugly.

Eric the infrequent said...

I have ridden on squirmy wheels. But then again that happens when you ignore your spoke tension on your cheap commuter, throw all your cargo in a milk crate mounted on a rear rack and then try cornering like you're on a Fred sled. Mildly disconcerting, but a fine reminder to check ones spoke tension.

JB said...

Watch it boys. It's getting all chauvinistic up in here.*

*ploy to hook-up with feminist womyns.

JB said...

Wait, so the Zipps are "quicker feeling," but the Enves are lighter? They're not even trying anymore.

Olle Nilsson said...

I vaguely recall that Bikecycling mag was better in the '90s but I was probably just drinking the kool-aid back then. That was before they hired Cosmo's layout department so they had that going for them.

Spokey said...


you sayin' that if i bye a set of zippers that they come with a quick feel?

do i have to mount the wheels?

Dooth said...

DB, just for the sake of poetic justice, I'm hoping the groundhog crapped all over Hizzoner.

wishiwasmerckx said...

In my spare time, I like to let off some steam with my friend, Gwenyth Paltrow.

Dr Zoidberg said...

Steamed vag.......Is that anything like steamed clams?

Lena said...

Once you go fat you never go back

Woody the Woodchuck said...

Tell that marmot killing BdB imabittentheshitouttahim if he comes near me.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Dr. Zoidberg, steamed bearded clams.

Your Man in Van said...

Rumour in Vancouver has it that Babs has failed to keep the shiny side up once again. Perhaps she's secretly in training for a triathlon.

Anonymous said...

Where did it go

JLRB said...

Compatability for bike wheels? Do they do "Just Lunch" or speed dating to figure it out?

ChamoisJuice said...

Congrats on your new baby.
Why can't Stevie Wonder see his friends?
He's married. With kids.

I have girlfriend, holy shit! She's smart, good lookin', ginger, only five years younger than I am. I am considerably more satisfied than if I had purchased a three thousand dollar wheelset.

I am going to share the exchange that made her fall for me. We had gone out for drinks once at this point, but was kinda blowing me off for a second date.

Hypothetically speaking, when we get married, what percent of the house do you want to be the sex dungeon?

You're crazy, I knew it
That's cool but I don't really have time to hang right now, as intriguing as all this sounds!

Only a little bit :/
The fun kind!
I forget who said this about dating over thirty: smart, sexy, sane. You can have two.

And that's when she started blowing up my phone, asking me out. Been inseparable ever since.
Pretty sure I'm gonna try and knock this one up.
She rides a specialized Allez with a triple. Gotta do something about that.

Anonymous said...

I've got this small framed Fuji road bike with the cheapy Alexrims 500 wheelset. I put 28mm Conti Gators on it because I wanted a softer ride and puncheur resistance but it wouldn't go where I pointed it! I decided it was the light bulb effect. Too much tyre bulging out of too little rim. I would lean into a corner and it would wobble and squirm.

So I changed them for 25mm of the same brand and type and problem solved. It now goes where I point it.

So I don't know what aspect of the frame, fork and wheel geometry caused this squirming but it happens.

Anonymous said...

Squirming ? Try going to the bathroom