Thursday, September 9, 2010

FixGear Silliness

I do miss Bike Snob NYC when he used to cruise FixGear Gallery or Craig’s list and find some of those bikes that don't just rise to the top of the milk. So occasionally I entertain myself by writing one. The bicycle of this post was on FixGear Gallery; Sampson and his unknown brand fixie.

“ unknown road frame: paint stripped, with a touch of surface rust and sealed with a 'look through' paint. other parts found cheap on taobao handlebars: c-unit plus cheap hacksaw Built by Karl Ke (housed by Austin)”

rides like a dream, thanks

It amazing how much nonsensical information can be put into such few words, but first lets look at the bike. It’s tig wielded steel frame that has been almost stripped to bare metal. I say Almost, because for some aesthetic reason, or maybe the lack of a wire brush, the person who stripped the frame decided to leave a good quantity of the old white paint on the fork crown, bottom bracket and fork dropouts. This might not have been a big deal, except the “builder” decided to clear coat the frame, or “look through paint.” I’m not sure if there is a difference between clear coating and “look through paint,” but apparently it has something to do with a “touch of surface rust”. The next thing you notice is the artistic use of contrast by mounting a white painted front wheel, on a frame with "look through paint". Very nice.

Next we have the handlebars described as: "c-unit plus cheap hacksaw." One is left with a conundrum here; was there some aesthetic purpose to using a cheap hacksaw, or his he trying to mitigate a poor hack job, aka flop and chop minus the flop. I mean looking at the handlebars, how much could he have chopped anyway? 2 inches? There is also the issue with the length of the crank arms being used with this build. Traditionally one uses short crank arms to stop one from striking the ground with your pedals, but not this builder. Not only would these cranks necessitate the riding in one direction at a time without ever turning, it also can be used as a kickstand when the need arises. The owner says the bike “rides like a dream”, but he really doesn’t say what kind of dream. I would guess he dreams of walking besides his fixie trying to stop the pedals from putting divots in the asphalt. Finally one has to wonder about all the people involved with this bike. This bike is owned by Sampson, built by Karl Ke and housed by Austin. Wow! It took all these people to make a bike that looks and works like this does. I does make one wonder.

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