Wednesday, May 30, 2007

a rant of sorts

since moving to chicago i have seen a few trends that are driving me crazy. i’m sure this is going to make me sound like i’m mr. know-it-all, but it has to be said. first, i’m a function before fashion guy - it only makes sense; that’s why when i see people with straight bars (or riser bars) cut so short that their hands barely fit i get irritated. i’m sure you’re going to say that you do it so you can fit through those tight spots in traffic. . .ummm no, your shoulders are wider than your handle bars, so that’s not the reason. i’d like to see you stand up and really pedal, you must get some awesome leverage like that. and last, riding brakeless like that is ridiculous. how the hell are you going to back pedal? to me it’s just dumb. i don’t know who started it but i think it’s stupid. next on my list is people who ride a track bike or conversion with a free wheel and a front brake. have you thought about this? i’m sure you have seen other people with this look, but it’s because they are riding fixed gear bikes and they can use their legs to slow the back wheel. you, my friend, are going to haul ass into traffic, freak out, pull hard on you r front brake (because that’s all you have) and flip over your handle bars. brain damage comes to mind. i know that i’m just supposed to be happy that people are riding bikes, and don’t get me wrong, i am; but i also don’t want people to die because they want to look cool.


cole

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

A+ Rant.

Kendra said...

i ride a free wheel with a front break, jerk, and not once have i even come close to introducing my adorable mug to some gnarly pavement, simply because I know how to ride a bike.

i have, however, seen the back wheel on Chad's fixed pop up a few inches on whatever the hell kind of crazy dance you people do when your just trying to stop your bike.

seveneight said...

amen cole!

seveneight said...

amen cole!

seveneight said...

amen.

Jeff said...

Truth be told, if you ride a fixie with a front brake, it's no different than a freewheel bike with a front brake. You see, people who use the front brake (like me) aren't 100% dependent on using their legs to stop. So when the shit hits the fan, they're subject to the almighty endo as well.

Still, when I see just a front brake on a freewheel bike, I want to ask the rider, "Why?"

hippy said...

and when your brake cable snaps.. you do.. what?

Anonymous said...

Uhh, when slowing a fixed wheel using the skip stop method, one intentionally raises the rear wheel to make it easy to stop rotating. That'll be why you've seen it 'pop up'.

But, having said that, it is perfectly possible to bring a bike, on dry tarmac, to a controlled stop as quick with just a front brake as with both front and rear. (Ask a phycisit or a mechanical mathmetician). In the wet, however...

Anonymous said...

As long as you can control your own bike I say ride it like you want too. Cole piss off!! Sounds like you should ride more and stop thinking of things to rant about.... Don't knock anything until you try it.

Anonymous said...

i ride a free wheel with no brake and use my $150 ne0-retro chuck taylors to slow my bike and my ill-fitting, constantly shifting courrier bag to break my fall.

Anonymous said...

You (and anyone else stating "amen") obviously have never ridden a track bike or you would understand why we do it. You have to actually read traffic and predict when freaked up things are going to happen. It is a feeling that those with brakes will never understand. Also next time you see a guy with a narrow flat bar ask em if you can measure it. Bet you it will measure between 40 - 44 cm wide...now what widths do must road drom bars come in? (Answer: 40 - 44 cm)

Anonymous said...

Sure you don't want anybody to die, but I think what's between your ears is a bigger factor than how wide your bars are........

Anonymous said...

I see everyones oint and I just say, to each his or her own. I would never ride a free wheeled bike without a brake, but hey, I ain't bragging about my cycling skills. If you are comfy, and riding, then that is all that is important. I have been riding fixed for just a short while and geared bikes for a long time and have never, ever even come close to flipping over with front brake usage. I give all the fixter's, SS'ers, and geared bike rider's out there a big f@#%ing salute for doing their own thing no matter what the rest of us think!

Anonymous said...

Do what you like like what you do!! Don't give a hoot what anyone says!

Eric J said...

A freewheel bike with only a front brake is suicidal, not to mention cheesy, fake and a wannbe. Losers. Fixed gear bikes
with no brake is suicidal also- this is me. The ss riders with the front brake are fakin the funk and are tobe admonished loudly and repeatedly for being fake ass hipsters. Ride hard, bitches, and dump that brake and learn to depend on your legs.

Anonymous said...

Short straight bars kinda ruin the bike...I agree, they also are prolly super unstable. freewheel! lol

Anonymous said...

if you know how to ride in traffic, you know how to ride. i've actually locked up the front wheel and skidded. if you know how to lean, you can do anything.

Anonymous said...

My handlebars are skinnier then the width of my shoulders, however turn my shoulders to the profile and voila'! As far as leverage, I like my knees. If you need loads of "leverage" from your upper body you need a smaller gear and more endurance. Pedal more.

Anonymous said...

If your fat enough, the pavement don't hurt. If your already ugly it might give you more character. For a fat ugly gy like me, riding through trafic dressed like Elvis, you don't need to worry about breaks.
Plus I am learning to steer with my belly so I can eat while on the road.

AKA Fat Elvis

Falkon said...

I couldn't care less if hipster kids rode without brakes, if it didn't affect me. Now, it's just one more "cyclist" on the road that can't ride for shit giving the rest of us a bad name.

As for single speed with a front brake, cosider this: the front brake really does all the work. If you grab a handful of front brake and don't shift your weight, you'll find yourself over the handlebars. My track bike fixed gear just has a front brake. My conversion fixed gear has full brakes, and my geared road bike has full brakes. Yet, I don't stop any worse on the track bike than I do on my other bikes.

And for those that ride brakeless and think skidding is a good way to stop, do us all a favor and ride straight off a bridge.

Dr. Benway said...

Out of curiosity, is there a need for everyone to be so agro about this? Perhaps offering some advice instead of scathing rants might be more helpful. Hipsters are dumb and sometimes need some hand holding to make sure they don't ruin things for everyone - as they tend to do.

However, since you clearly have some sort of bug up your ass, why not go after some real issues: bike lane parking, people riding fixed in flip-flops or without traps & straps/clips of any sort, people swinging in front of traffic when riding in the parking lane, cops not taking car related bicycle accidents seriously, etc...

And finally on the bar tip, some people like to have fun on their bicycles. For them it's not about what YOU think. Take me for example, I just put risers on my fix and you know what, it's comfy. I sit a lil' higher which helps me in dense traffic and when I wanna eff around, they're way easier to control as you don't have the unbalanced feel of drops. They looked ridiculously small to me and thought I'd messed up, until I put my drops next to them... they're the exact same.

The lesson in all of this; it's all perspective.

Dennis said...

A good brake set up is not all that important if you pose more than you pedal and avoid steep downhills.

Anonymous said...

bars are generally cut slimmer than shoulders to make the squeeze rear view mirrors pose on the hands of the rider. so you can have a 3 foot squeeze for your shoulders to get through, but that's cut down 10 inches on the hands because of the mirrors.

marcus said...

more Dr. Benway!