Monday, January 4, 2016

This Is Going To Be The Best 2016 Ever!

It's 2016!

So could this be the year that the fixie finally comes back in style?

Well, I was perambulating downtown on New Year's Day and I suspect the answer may be "yes:"

Really feeling the clipless saddle on this bike:

Plus, with the stubby filth prophylactic it looks like a panting Doberman Pinscher, complete with docked tail and ears:

What's old is new is old is new is old is new again.

And in case you're wondering, the answer is "Yes, the Fixed Gear Gallery still exists:"

Ah, the Fixed Gear Gallery...where time stands still, where chains are pulled taut, and where people still ask "What gear ratio you running?" instead of "#whatpressureyourunning?"

As for me, it's been years since I've ridden a fixie, and reflecting on the whole phenomenon makes me recall my meteoric rise to fame and subsequent gradual decline.  Indeed, the fixie craze was a heady time for me.  First Bicycling came calling:

Then came the New York Times:

(Filed under "Fashion & Style," it should be noted.)

And finally an ill-conceived reveal in the Wall Street Journal followed by descending a well-trodden path to obscurity:

(We all hang together now.)

I'm washed up like a surgeon prepping to remove a gall bladder.

Though to my credit it should at least be noted that I was doing cyclocross before it was cool:

Indeed, anthropologists believe that cyclocross became trendy after three or four hipster bystanders inadvertently witnessed the above photo being taken in Brooklyn.

Yes, I make it look that good.

Anyway, now that we've gotten the backstory out of the way, let's pick up the narrative on Christmas Eve 2015, when it was a wildly improbably Seventy American Degrees™ here in New York City.  So even though I had a big trip coming up and I hadn't packed yet, I did what any cyclist worth his or her chamois would do, which is go for a ride:

Relegating any concerns over the implications of this unusual weather to the bottom drawer of my brain, I instead chose to savor the sultry conditions.  It was almost otherworldly, and there was even a preternatural mist enshrouding the banks of the Hudson:

It looked like the Palisades had pubes.

Indeed, it was so balmy that Sport was out on the town in his old-timey motorcar:

Check out those wheels:

Amusingly, a century later, Mavic would bring back that cutting-edge wagon wheel technology with the R-Sys:

I should also point out that the above photos were taken in a Westchester hamlet the New York Times dubbed "Hipsturbia" not too long ago, which I suppose means that as gentrifiers continue to decamp from Brooklyn for the suburbs they'll also trade in their bicycles for vintage automobiles.

This makes the Model T (or whatever kind of car that is, I'm sure someone will correct me) the fixie of the suburban set.

Alas, I had little time to savor the Palisades' downy white bush, for by the following day I was on the opposite coast, where paradoxically I was freezing my "pants yabbies" off:

Ordinarily I'd have taken a bike with me, but when you're flying across the country with seventeen (17) children you don't want to have to schlep a velocipede as well.  In fact I very nearly reconciled the harrowing idea of not riding at all during my vacation, but then I remembered this bike:

In particular, it occurred to me I'd be in the immediate vicinity of the place after which the company who markets it was named.  So I crossed my fingers, fired off a plaintive email, and wouldn't you know the suckers over at Marin agreed to lend me one of these:

Beyond Road - it's that feeling you get when you peel off the pavement and explore that piece of dusty doubletrack that has always intrigued you. The all-new Gestalt 3 is ready to take you there, with our premium Series 4 triple-butted aluminum frame with a 142x12mm rear thru-axle and Naild's innovative NavIt carbon fork with quick-release thru-axle. A SRAM Rival 1 drivetrain effectively transmits your power to the rear wheel through 11 speeds, while Rival hydraulic disc brakes instill confidence on the steepest descents in all conditions. Schwalbe G-ONE 30c, folding bead, tubeless-ready tires are mated to tubeless-ready rims for sublime performance on all surfaces. Integrated mounts make it easy to bolt on a rack and fenders for commuting or light touring, making the Gestalt 3 truly one of the most-versatile bikes in our lineup.

I'm quite familiar with the feeling I get when I "peel off the pavement and explore that piece of dusty doubletrack," because it's exactly what I do when I need a discreet place to urinate. So presumably "Beyond Road" is bike marketing speak for "Having To Pee."

In addition to setting me up with a bike, Chris at Marin was also kind enough to point me in the right direction in terms of riding loops, and for my first ride I set out on my own:

It's a good thing the Gestalt 3 is gravel-rated, because otherwise I'd have had to turn around almost immediately:

And obviously I'd never had attempted this stretch of road without the stopping power of hydrolic dick breaks:

As a bike dork it was a lot of fun riding a bike with all the "cool" stuff on it (disc brakes, single-ring drivetrain, etc.), and it was pretty much the ideal vacation bike in that I was ready for just about anything, though when you're in this part of the world I'm not sure it's possible to have a lousy time on any bike:

As the road undulated past redwoods and pastures and panoramic views of the sea I found myself exclaiming, "Oh, come on now!" with each dramatic change in the landcape:

Seriously, it's completely unfair that people get to live out there.

For my next ride I was accompanied by Chris from Marin, who took me up some pretty big hills:

And pointed out some local landmarks:

When you suck as badly as I do the landscape in these parts is as humbling as it is beautiful, and the Strava leaderboards for some of the climbs we rode are a veritable who's-who of Elite Fred-dom:

Including Mr. Excitement himself:

Yes, I'm talking of course about Letle Viride, the world's least dynamic doper:

Really, the only thing harder than dragging my slovenly self over those climbs was leaving it all behind and returning to New York City, and my final ride in cycling paradise was appropriately rainy--though fortunately there were clothes dryers at regular intervals:

Now I'm washed up and dried.


Dorothy RabinoBOT said...

All your comment are belong to us

N/A said...

Oh, great, look who's back...

dnk said...

First of year Podio?!!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

~and now to read it. Happy New Year and welcome back to 2016 after a 16 day Hiatus!


Anonymous said...

top tenis

Two Claws said...

Two Claws Up!

McFly said...

My bud tried the Adamo on his MTB. It did not pan out.

Maxwell Smart said...

Would you believe?

Missed it (podium) by that much!

Anonymous said...

Finally turn my heat on, leaving for vacation, AND BSNYC is back! This is going to be the best vacation.

N/A said...

Dick breaks, crabon fibre, tubeless tireways, 1x drivetrain, thru axles, all on gravel? Holy balls, I guess if you're going to sell out, you may as well sell all the way out, AM I RIGHT?

Freddy Murcks said...

Welcome back, Snob. I have been passed in many a cyclocrossing race by #4, Tayler W., on the women's leader board for the Levi climb. I never minded it, however, because she has a really hot ass.

NHcycler said...

Winter has returned out East, too, finally, so he can continue freezing off his pants yabbies.

ken e. said...


Anonymous said...

2016 and missed the podium, looks like I need to build my winter blog reading base to get into summer form.

BikeSnobNYC said...


It's aluminum.

--Wildcat Etc.

P. Bateman said...

its important that anytime you get the wet wash to request the blow dry.

Synonymous said...

No comment.

N/A said...

Wildcat Etc.,

The blurb mentioned carbon fork.

Also, don't mind me, I'm just lashing out due to the envy of the beautiful environs in which you were riding.

dop said...

That's not the Palisade's downy white bush, that's my grandma's.

BikeSnobNYC said...


Yes, frok is crabon. I think you have to go artisanal to get a metal fork nowadays.

--Wildcat Etc.

blunchbelly said...

The Bay Area is snow free but that means no shoulders which are the safest places here in the wilds north of Yonkers

BikeSnobNYC said...


Very little car traffic on the roads I rode so I didn't miss 'em.

--Wildcat Etc.

leroy said...

My dog insisted I yell podium right now for some inexplicable reason.

I think he's just trying to start the New Year making me look silly.

P. Bateman said...

hey, where is Ted K and the angry mob yelling at him? i hope 2015 wasn't the end of Ted.

Anonymous said...

Adjusted to Left Coast Time (-3 hrs) "PODIUM" (Play theme music from Rocky) - sort of like, kind of.

Anonymous said...

PB @ 1208 Ted opened a christmas card envelope and it went bang!

Does Fred Rhyme with Head said...

First hour of 2016 comments and not one reference to oral sex. Could be a weak year coming up for the comment board. Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

The one thing I miss about the Bay Area... the road riding. So gorgeous out there.

Old timer said...

The show, thank goodness, is back on the road...

Anonymous said...

Did you at least grab a beer at the Gestalt House in Fairfax while riding your "I've sold out to the bike companies and all of the latest technology" bike?

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 12:25pm,


--Wildcat Etc.

bad boy of the north said...

welcome back to the right coast.i'm guessing you have used up all your vacation time.

Grump said...

As long as fixies are on the way back, you need to start posting the current Bianchi pistadex.
PS. I've only ridden a fixed gear just once, and that was an unnatural act on a velodrome (holy shit, no brakes!)

Anonymous said...

That saddle has a One in the Pink/One in the Stink vibe.

N/A said...

If fixies are coming back, I'm going to buy a shit-ton (American) of straight Wald h'bars and cut them in half and sell them to the hipsters for $75 each. I'ma get rich!

WIZ !! JAY said...

With the "unseasonable" weather in December, I was still riding the curvy handlebar bike. But things eventually got a little sloppy and I
needed something special to save my ass.

Spokey said...


top 40

at last the fast is past

P. Bateman said...

awww..i miss the pista index. and the humor this blog had.

kidding snoober. just kidding. pista index isnt very exciting but maybe some sort of kicked starter index.....

Anonymous said...

You picked a good week to visit. This week looks like rain - rain - rain (and, finally (!), an El Nino weather pattern.) Today I'm trying to figure out how to keep my rain pants from pulling up over the front of my galoshes.

Regular guy said...

I think it's fine how nicely the folks at Marin are treating you.

When my Marin frame broke, the store that I purchased it was no longer a Marin dealer (their reason: warranty issues). The only dealer in town was REI, and Marin insisted that I have the bike re-assembled at an authorized dealer. As someone who built bikes for pro riders in my youth I was not going to have some cheery noob at REI build my bike, so I chopped the frame up with a sawzall.

Yeah, I'm still bitter. I liked the bike, though.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Regular guy,

Wait, you chopped up your bike rather than have someone at REI put it together?

--Wildcat Rock Machine

P. Bateman said...

i had a girlfriend like that once.

she hurt her leg and i was going to be damned if a doctor was going to touch her, so to the SAWZALL she went.

P. Bateman said...

i miss her. really loved her to pieces.

BamaPhred said...

A new Snob mini-travelogue makes everything better.

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

Crappy start to 2016...barely top 50 on the leaderboard. I want some of what Snobby was on when he saw a Doberman in the fixie.

N/A said...

I suspect that Snob went to Rivendell, and they are curating an exquisitely twee collection of artisanal crabon fibre forks in a variety of plaid colorways.

grog said...

So you are in Strava company with Levi. Um, that's a good thing, right?

Regular guy said...

WRM, yes. They were going to also charge me $250. Used the parts on another bike.

Anonymous said...

Ted K. could use that dryer in his Idaho cabin

Mudder Theresa said...


If you were still racing cross-- and it's too bad your trendstarting didn't also make cross races in NYC (or at least Staten Island) sustainable-- would you use cantis or discs? I feel cantilevers are still excellent, as lots of top Euro results still attest tho' some elites there are on discs. Disc propaganda and the near-ceaseless lies about their 'superiority' in all applications is kind of gross, not to mention all my now "inferior" wheelsets.



balls™ said...

Bicycles with disc breaks are too popular, that's why I only ride tricycles with coaster breaks.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Mudder Theresa,

For what it's worth (not much given how badly I suck) I'd stick with rim brakes. They work well and maintenance is easy.

It's all gonna be discs though.

--Wildcat Etc.

Anonymous said...

Disc breaks nothing. I'm waiting for the re-invention of drum breaks. Think of the aerodynamic / rotational mass possibilities.

Comment deleted said...

Snob, any problems with aggressive birds on your ride?

The Casino in Bodega is a fun beer stop, btw.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, aggressive birds with disk beaks, isn't that what the roadie peloton is worried about?

Anonymous said...

Anybody have disc brakes on their fixie?

Lumpen Fredetariat said...

Not surprised there was no-one on the roads, there was frost out there. More than enough to put off the locals. I remember when it snowed on Mount Tam a few years ago - barely a soul on a bike.

Freddy Murcks said...

Snob - Do you still "take[] the time to sculpt [your] postings every day”?

Spokey said...

"makes me recall my meteoric rise to fame and subsequent gradual decline"?

Anonymous said...

Now I have to get a gravel bike and a dusty double track bike?

dop said...

I looked at the WSJ Clipping.

When he launched the site in June 2007, he simply wanted to offer an alternative, common-sense voice within the world of cycling, where amateur riders might spend thousands of dollars on unnecessary equipment

Didn't say shit about dick brakes in Sonoma.

Roille Figners said...

Maybe Ted made a New Year's resolution to stop being a jackass? Happy Unicorn was set to do its thing this morning but hasn't done it successfully for some time now. If I were gonna be all givin' a shit to troubleshoot it properly, the first thing I would do is watch it in real-time, but that would mean being awake at that hour and waiting for that day's post -- in which case why not just try for REAL podio?

N/A said...

Specialized is currently in development of their new dusty double-track bike. Please note that all previous bike-ways are unsuitable for riding in those conditions and Specialized strongly urges all riders to discard any and all previous bikes for fear of death and/or dismemberment. Thank you and ride safe!

Roille Figners said...

Driving a Model T would be so very 'hipsturbia' indeed. Especially if one insists on the period-appropriate tweed getup. "Fuck it, I'm leasing a Wolseley A-9."

I promise not to sue whoever writes a melody for these lyrics and makes a million:
When I think of Petaluma
I think of dairy cows
And when I think of dairy cows
I think of you

5-year prediction: Bike Snob Mill Valley (BSMV)

1904 Cadardi said...

That specially-loaned bikecycle must have had a threaded bottom bracket else there would have been well justified complaints about creaking, or amazed comments that the pressfit BB hadn't yet started to creak.

And as my local environs crept above freezing this weekend, and the glacier in front of my house finally started to melt, I'm jealous of Mr. Snob's riding, regardless of BB type.

Unknown said...

vsk said ...

Welcome back Sr. Snob ... to the East Coast and the blogosphere.

I stopped by a Brooklyn Flea thing at Bush Terminal on 37th St and 3rd Ave in Brooklyn yesterday (so named after Irving Bush ... who knew?). Not wanting to get into an argument about the possibility of the Bern's impending socialist doomtopia, I donned a red Mavic T-shirt and buried my face in my black piece of glass ""smart"" phone like everyone else.
Amidst the ramen bun burgers and kitchy hipster krap, I did not see any cycling paraphernalia, neither fixed gear or roue libre. So perhaps the fixie index would point down mirroring today's Dow.

Fuck it, I am again leasing a seat on the X27 ""express"" bus and gasp appropriately as it nearly squeegees a double digit number of pedestrians on right turns.


Tucker DeGarre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tucker DeGarre said...

"A family of deer were happy that
The clearing looked like a laundromat"

My new year's day ride was like a Tour de DFS. Armchairs everywhere. AONB: WGAF?

samh said...

Is your new year's resolution to answer more questions in the comments?

JLRB said...

Jesse Anthony comes in 4th with zero watts up with that?

JLRB said...

Next time ride one of these

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or is the picture of bike seat is a dead ringer of Binky from Life in Hell?

Anonymous said...

Nice to see you were a mere handful of miles from my holiday-making ride in Annadel State Park in Santa Rosa. Highly recommended although similarly begrimed with Leipheimer KOMs.

Dorothy Rabinowitz said...

Now I'm dried up and washed!

Anonymous said...

I rode in west Marin on xMas eve, but I didn't dare leave the family behind when I did so.

Also got in a great (family) ride down in Santa Cruz (in-laws) on New Year Day starting near the Santa Cruz Bikes factory. It was great to see a huge number of the under 5 crowd hitting the coast trails by Wilder Ranch on their 12ers and balance bikes. There was even a guy on a Surly fat bike with one of those baby-air-bag seats. You mean America can look like this?

Zen Master said...


recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Nice. You should get the biek polo team back together.

Anonymous said...

Man, that is one murdered bike.

roseann barr none said...

i'm wet where i'm supposed to dry and dry where i'm supposed to be wet.

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

.....and now we wait for Snobby to induce more witticism and scintillating commentary with his next post.

roseanne barr none said...

someone spelled my first name wrong...i'm gonna sue.

JLRB said...

If one more person says "Too cold for you to ride in today" - Pow straight to the moon

Spokey said...

i'll consider venturing out on my safety biek when the damn weather station on the deck adds another 50 'merican. i'm even considering using the remote start on the dino eater when i go to the store todaze.

Dooth said...

I say, Old Sport, got any weed?

trama said...


The crab-mac and cheese is shit right now cuz the local crabs are poisonous so the crab is from somewheres else/frozen.


Also, I need a new washer/dryer so I'm heading out to scope around maybe get lucky

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