Author Topic: impulse bike


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impulse bike
« on: July 24, 2007 »

This morning I visited my local for a serious gear readjustment on my Genesis Day 02 (the "firmament" day) and rode out with another bike slung over my shoulder. It was easier than cycling with it next to me.

During my last visit I'd spied the Specialized Langster. Don't really know why it caught my eye: it's ugly. Rust paint job. Integrated headset, which I still haven't come round to. Some carbon fibre here and there, which I also haven't come round to. Half narrow half broad I believe bi-ovalized is the term for it downtube with skulls on it. Skulls. Supposed to be edgy and urban(?). Curly bars, which I've always liked the look of, but haven't used in over 20 years. Singlespeed not fixed, thank you very much, though one always has the option.

Anyway, last time I'd seen it it must have made an impression because this time I decided to take it out for a spin while the wundermechanic was busy. In less than five minutes I wanted it.

This is silly, I told myself. I don't need another bike, don't really have room. So I managed to talk myself out of it for as long as it took to check on how repairs were going. Started inquiring as to price (never pay sticker). Decided another test ride was in order, just to make sure I didn't need it. Came back and succumbed.

Yes, it must be the simplicity that is so appealing. It helped that the saddle actually fit, which is unprecedented. Already had toeclips. Handled great. Everything just worked. So there's another £300 into the economy, despite my best intentions. And please don't tell me I overpaid.

on edit: this is apparently a bike some people love to hate, making it even more appealing

on further edit: it's stopped being ugly


we££ie interlude
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2009 »

Indeed, I've come to see the virtue of having a bike the same colour as mud.

Since moving to the country, mud is my lot. And so wellies entered my life, in a segue as clunky as they are. Every couple of years I find myself in Homebase replacing the last pair, which have either been punctured by barbed wire or brambles or dry cracked into fissures and donated to squirrels.

First I attempted a repair using a tyre patch. It didn't work. Gore Tex oversocks provided a stopgap measure while I sourced new ones (Homebase was out of my size, though such a notion as sizing almost seems quaint when it comes to wellies). A rural boutique in T. Wells had some at £100.


One more time: £100.

Who do they think they are charging such prices for something which can be gotten cheaper outside of retail niches – a bike shop?

I kept looking and finally ended up with a lovely pair of Argylls.

I just used the word 'lovely' to describe wellies. No wonder the locals keep sending invitations for tea in their wicker man.

PS. If the Olympics were held in Yorkshire.


« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2009 »

Now appearing at this venue: a BMX hub. Why? clunkCLUNK clunkCLUNK clunkCLUNK Sorry, I'm having trouble hearing you. I could be the South of England distributor for noisy singlespeed freewheels. What's that you say? Ride it fixed? Fixed is for sissies. Fixed is for people who are afraid to freewheel because they think it makes them look weak. True strength is pedaling not because you have to but if you want to. It's trusting yourself with that freedom. It's much harder to get anywhere if you don't pedal. I know, I've tried. And I will keep trying, turning the cranks only when absolutely necessary, to challenge myself and grow as a person. Braveheart said it best:


suitable for framing
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2009 »


the single life
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2010 »
Recently I went into a bike shop to escape the zombie apocalypse kill time, and saw something titanium and bike-shaped for sale. This triggered my salivary glands, as I have a ti fetish due to its high strength-to-weight ratio and the fact that basically I like shiny things.

One of the first qualities I look for in a bike is how easy it will be to scrape off the decals. It's hardly a deal breaker, but it does put me in a happier 'spendier' place. This passes the fingernail test. (Next time you see a bike in a shop with a tiny bit of the decal turned up, blame me.) Then my eyes slide down to the drivetrain.

It's got gears.

Since going single I've come to regard derailleurs almost as cancerous growths. This is entirely unfair: multiple gears are wonderful, I would almost go so far as to say miraculous. But at some point in the last few years my brain has quietly rewired itself and now regards singlespeed as the natural order.

I look at the vertical dropouts and think, OK, I'll just find the magic gear. First I've got to strip off all those superfluous Ultegra bits. Pity.

It's a pleasantly absurd train of thought, not least when contemplating the logistics of organising a new identity and plastic surgery after my wife sees the credit card statement, so I say goodbye to the bike which can't possibly know how over-specced it is and carry on my way, still drooling slightly.


the last singlespeed
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2011 »

I have six working bicycles. All are now singlespeed. Only two of them started out that way. This Bike Friday was the last to be converted. In large measure it's down to maintenance. Don't give me your bike to fix, I'll remove the gears.