Author Topic: What does your bike tell us about you?


What does your bike tell us about you?
« on: December 18, 2017 »
Crossposted (unless there's a statute of limitations on crossposting?) as an example of the services on offer

The bike say's i am a flash git

The fact that you have an actual bike stand for photo ops tells me that you are the self-reliant type. The bike itself is a mystery – doesn't fit into any of the standard categories, so it's diffficult to even guess what sort of riding you prefer. Pootling in the lanes? Gentle mountain biking?

Quick nip to the shops?

Rims look vaguely aero so I'll hazard you indulge in the occasional commuter challenge, where being a "flash git" gives you a psychological edge.

Wonder what mine reveals

Your photo appears in somewhat soft focus, which is an effect usually reserved for a beauty with flaws. I can't see any obvious flaws other than the ginormous head tube, which is having a deleterious effect on your front wheel.

It's less than a week old, but I'm looking forward to the personality deconstruction:

And no, I did not want the black one. I'm just not that 'individual'.

Oh but you are. The devil is in the details. Red inner tube valve caps. First, there's the fact that you have left them on, even on a bike "less than a week old" – a seeming throwaway line meant to throw us off the scent. This means you are a very cautious individual. But red? That's like wearing red suspenders.

Don't click – think of the children!

No, the other kind


Combined with the red accent mark on the tip of the saddle, and the bag of tomato (the forbidden fruit) planter in the background, a trend is emerging that a streak of flamboyance runs through your life, though you may try to hide it with the respectable paint job of your Planet X. This is at odds with your cautious nature. Odds are you're a {secret?} Gemini, among other things.

Technically I am a Gemini...

It is professionally satisfying to so rarely be stood corrected.

Earlier on today, as I was adding some bits here and there - saddle aero-bag, mini-pump, bottle cage, etc - I took the red valve covers off. Then I thought, no; I'll leave them on. In order to feel happy doing this, I wore my wife's underwear, for comfort reasons.

Is your wife's underwear comfortable? No, not unless you're wearing it on your head. (You didn't specify. I know some things by book learning, others through experience.) We all have our little rituals and quirks, some more deserving of Facebook status updates than others. Textbook case of the id overruling the ego. Also for comfort reasons.

go on then , i can a good ribbing.

Your bike had me scratching my head. Then I examined it under infrared. Whoa!

A wicker basket! With an adorable puppy poking his head out. This tells me you're not attempting any Boardmanesque feats, but prefer social riding at a conversational pace with others out "walking" their dogs. However, another detail would seem to present a darker picture. See it on the seat tube? Here's an enlargement:

You don't specify if this was off-the-rack, custom built for you by Boardman himself, or bought used. If new and this is the standard spec, it calls into question the ethics and dark machinations of the cycling industry. If used I would seriously question its provenance. If Chris Himself is implicated, God help us all & get that puppy out of there. Not a reflection on you btw: caveat emptor.

My recently acquired Flier Fixed Commuter and me on my Sunday best Verenti.

Given your fondness for fixed, I'll devote most of my attention to your recent acquisition.

First, I note that it is unable to trackstand on its own. We can blame the disbalancing effect of luggage on the rear rack for that and move on to the toeclips. There is no shame implied in my typographical treatment; I use them myself. Still: TOECLIPS.

This may be too technical for the layman
It's a well known tactic amongst those in the brain bothering biz to try to provoke a reaction by challenging core {{TOECLIPS}} beliefs, to see where you land on the continuum from "Essentially normal" to "Cancel all my afternoon appointments, this one is going to take a while." Or at least it was in the classes I audited.

If you have maintained your equilibrium, I adjudge you to be fundamentally sound. This is further evidenced by your unflappable good cheer even whilst being attacked by a badger.

What an interesting thread. See what you make of these two:

Unfortunately a scheduling conflict left me no time for group therapy today, so let us flip a coin (even doctors do this more often than people can ever be allowed to learn). Alighting upon the Hawk, your no nonsense bell

and resolute Brooks saddle tell me you don't mess about, as do the formidable environments you routinely conquer. Scary hills and the bleak chilled surface of what may seem to the untravelled eye to be Clacton in springtime hold no terrors. Plus you use a kickstand. There's nothing like a kickstand to announce to the world "Here is where I make my stand." However, I suspect your panniers are not stuffed with ample provisions; you are capable of foraging and surviving on whatever the landscape provides, from acorn scratchings to hill monkeys to snow-worms. Those bags are filled with rocks, for stone soup with the natives or dead weight for building character.

[submitted without comment]

You maintain your rear mudguard stays of a length sufficient to discourage squirrels from sleeping on them. Your Carradice, like most Carradie, has lasted forever and will continue to last forever, or at least until you replace it with that pre-stressed Carradice you've had your eye on. It holds a few tools and mementos, but mostly twine and acorns [yes acorns again – it's a recurring theme in psychological investigations]. There is also an overdue library book in the side pocket, Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Most people ignore the subtitle: An Inquiry into Values, because they're looking for a basic repair manual. Even bookstore clerks often get it wrong. You, however, know that Pirsig sought to explore the metaphysics of quality. You were trying to impress a girl when you checked it out.

That chain is so tight it's about to snap – everything OK at work?

I hate to have to ask if that's fixed or free, it can be a fraught question, so I won't, we're all entitled to follow our muse even if it puts us with the wrong crowd. That does however look like it could be a White Industries freewheel. Those are loud, almost loud as a motorcycle. Sometimes you grip and twist the bars, which is satisfying as your fingers wallow in the plush psychological boost of new bar tape.

Much as I wish this was a beautiful, artfully lit and bokehlicious portrait of my beloved... isn't.

We begin with the lack of decals. Who has a bike without decals? The pretentious, that's who. People who think they're too good to be labelled by the labels they keep. I'm surprised the OP didn't try to tape over the provenance of the tyres – Conti GP4000s, the choice of sheep easily influenced by Wiggle reviews.

The fact that it's singlespeed freewheel would suggest a slavish devotion to fashion if that had ever been in fashion in the first place. Titanium? As it's already an admitted custom build, this means the OP is serious about his fetishes. Well, we already knew that, given the toeclips and use of the photogeek's beloved descriptor of all things soft and pleasing "bokeh[licious]."

The admission of "not caring" about the rear brake cable rubbing on the head tube was slightly too offhand, suggesting a lack of awareness of the situation. What else is he unaware of? Turning on the infrared again didn't yield answers, but a photographic negative did:

Big supermarket-type retailer but very understated branding. Stealth bomber styling but, if you look closely, it has a bell on the handlebars. Make of that what you will

Your bike was actually made using alien technology from Area 51. The good news is it will still pass a UCI inspection thanks to certain hidden technologies. The bad news is the aliens aren't happy about patent infringement and want it back.

btw this is how it looks to them. It is beautiful to their eyes.

How their right eye sees it:

How their left eye sees it:

how the eye in what we think of as a belly button sees it:

(very strange one, that belly button eye)

It may come as news to you that when you go a certain speed it starts to oscillate at a frequency undetectable to Strava. (Note that it has to be this exact speed, for an exact length of time, right down to the cesium standard.) At this point it is no longer necessary to pedal. That's right: you own a perpetual motion machine. Of course your tyres have to be pumped up to 500,000psi, which will be a challenge even for the highest thread count tubs.

The bell, which is clearly a stealth bell, is actually a homing device. If you want to keep your bike, either throw that bell away or attach it to something you never want to see again, such as the newest bling of a 'mate' who's been gabbing his way out of your good books.

None of which tells anything about yourself, other than that you're a very lucky nickyboy. Anyone in possession of a ride like this is both well connected and modest; such machines don't come innocently from "supermarket-type retailers", or if they do, the take-a-number machine was fixed. Your work (I mean your real work) is classified, and at least half your life, maybe more, is a complete fabrication to make your loved ones comfortable. You can't blame them if they can't handle the truth – you have their safety to think of.

Anything more I tell you about yourself will only either blow your cover or get me into hot water with the aliens, and I'd rather not go through that hell again.

OK, Here's my pride and joy.... No badges, no declas, no logos. Lot's of silver & Ti bling. I like flash, I like understated. This bike does both.

There is little I can say about your bike the poets haven't already said. Shakespeare: "So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee." That other Shakespeare, Bacon: "What then remains, that we still should cry ti!, For being born, or being born, to sigh." Keats: "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: Its loveliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness..." Browning: "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height / Far beyond the span of those seat stays." Even Plath got in on the act, alluding to the lack of decals, no poetic license necessary: "But I grow old and I forget your name. (I think I made you up inside my head.)"

That being said, you ride in prose, as must we all on these roads. A liberal helping of titanium to smooth out the bumps marks you out as practical. Your choice of an Ultegra crankset (I think) rather than Dura Ace shows you are also sensible, though it would have been more sensible yet to follow the lead of your Eddington Number.

Dustcaps are now Blue.... of course.

The colour of one's dust caps doesn't say much (the science of cycleology has moved on since the beginning of this post). However, that you use them at all speaks volumes, as the common practice amongst veteran cyclists is to throw them away. First, you're no weight weenie. Although you know they serve no vital purpose on a road bike, you enjoy the sense of completeness that comes from screwing them on tight after you've topped up your tyres. While some would opine the use of caps also indicates a buttoned down man, ie. a conformist, the fact that you changed from pinstripes to solid black on your bar tape belies this, as secretly you know this was the wrong thing to do even if it looks better.

As part of the service I'm sharing this x-ray to show your frame has no stress fractures.*

* Picture Magnus Magnusson asking this: In the movie Heat, what book was Neil reading?

Yes I know this one is in the house, but it's not like I have a child in the shed to make room for it, child has it's own bike free bedroom so all is ok in my world

Whoa, almost had a flashback to the Boardman Comp with that 888, which apocryphal scrolls list as The Beast's Big Brother. Fortunately didn't detect anything more untoward than a very slightly relaxed geometry, and they're pretty thorough.

As you have this hanging like a work of art from a stylish bike holder, you clearly work in a creative field. Accounting can be creative, too.

It's extremely clean, having been run through the decontamination airlock (wish I had a decontamination airlock) before being carefully mounted. Just make sure to tighten that holder.

This must be your spare 888; the one you keep for emergencies that never quite happen even when they're legitimate, eg, your 'user' bike gets accidentally trash compacted ("Mustn't use the spare, there always has to be a spare"). You also have a spare set of tools to work on it in a clean room you never use (wish I had a clean room).

you could hear a spare pin drop

What I'm getting at is, there is a very very unclean room with a filthy bike that doesn't even have dust caps. You call that your Mr Hyde room. Your Dr Jekyll room is where measurements are taken and slight adjustments are made in readiness. Damien your child is in the room at the end of the hall, the one with the unearthly glow emanating from the crack at the bottom of the door in the middle of the night.

[submitted without comment]

Using downtube shifters is as close to shifting as God intended it. Even evolutionists can agree on this; at least the reputable ones. Granted they're all reputable. The fact that there's bar tape missing from the lower half of the handlebars, and the upper half is covered in pipe insulation, reinforces the view that you are practical, if unlikely to be on the Christmas card list of your LBS. Who uses the lower half anyway, other than those who've had gastric bypass surgery to ensure concavity?

The saddle is anti-capitalist, mended rather than replaced. It's also pointed high enough to cause concern for your perineum, but you know that area better than I. Make sure you've had your tetanus booster – that barbed wire looks rusty.

My two distance machines. One's about 13 years old, the other nearly new.

Your bicycles started as identical twins, but one of them has gone very wrong and become vestigial. Oddly enough it is the older, geared bike – The Omega – which has shrivelled up but hung on for dear life. [Yes, it's possible for identical twins to be born years apart. There are examples in the literature which may not bear close scrutiny to the academically unadventurous.] That you've stated both are "distance machines" means you bear neither ill will, but no matter what our best intentions, we will always play favourites. Always.

They're beautiful, by the way. The wallet photos you carry to show potential admirers are carefully positioned so that the Qoroz is easier to retrieve; a practical maneuvre which allays your guilt about not showing off its older brother more often.

Think i can take it.........

Of course you can. And so can your bike. Whatever that is. The tyres are far too wide for safe passage down public thoroughfares: thin = nimble. The shock absorption will handle potholes and roadkill, what about when you want to turn on a dime? Squidgy knobbly mattresses will catapult you off to the side and into the madding crowd. All this tells me you have a great sense of adventure. You also wanted to be a fireman when you grew up. Unfortunately you failed the exams and the psychological profiling and became a firebug instead, though a relatively harmless one, content with BBQs in the back garden.

Now sporting summer tyres...

This says what it means and means what it says. Which is? "Thanks for taking off those winter tyres, the rolling resistance was killing me."

It's an industrial looking bike, matching the person of industry riding it. Note I didn't say Captain of industry: there aren't enough logos for that. No, it's a busy person, not a capitalist bourgeois swine living the easy life on the backs of the proles. That shiny shiny bar tape was paid for with money earned through honest labour.

Interested to see what else I could glean from your picture, I applied a variety of diagnostic methods. (Pixelmator is a standard tool in my profession.) 'ASCII' offered an intriguing but ultimately sterile interpretation

'Noise' offered a piquant comment on the signal-to-noise ratio we all struggle with on a daily basis

and 'Brick' was weird. Even those of us in the profession are allowed to use layman's terms if it will advance understanding.

Finally I arrived at this, 'Colors' (there's no accounting for American spelling):

Bingo. Pretty. Granted I'm mostly talking about the purple flowers and cool blue wall, but the bike itself has made the transition in style, the green on the downtube a clear marker to the colour therapist that balance, harmony and growth are what you seek and, to a degree which is a credit to your mother (it always comes back to the mother), have achieved. 

That maintaining patios is not a priority of mine.

Funny, I actually read that as 'patois' the first time around, which had me examining your bike for signs of linguistic interest, arriving quickly at Mason. A mason denotes a builder of quality if one is using that word in the first place, else we'd be discussing brickies. Leaving aside that your patio could probably use the services of one, or at least an apprentice who hasn't yet been entrusted with vertical structures, we can assume that your Definition, unless it has been terribly mislabelled, is a fine example of a bike.

We look past the sleek glossy blackness which announces a person of impeccable taste to observe that you ride tubeless, if Stan is to be believed. This is an increasingly popular option for those who desire immediate satisfaction when they acquire an unwanted hole in their tyre.

Go ahead, hang it on the wall when you're not using it; you know you want to.

Rendered ironically in 'Pop art'. Should ideally be sculpted.

[submitted without comment]

You are what you read. I know this because I have read very few classics but a great many Stephens King, and as a result am prepared for rabid dogs (carry a taser), firestarters (carry a taser), and Walkin' Dudes (don't accept any favours from Walkin' Dudes), amongst other supernatural antagonists. Madame Bovary, on the other hand, would have me flummoxed, though like Carmela Soprano I can be ironically earthy. Romanitas "is used to refer to the collection of political and cultural concepts and practices defining what it is to be a Roman" says Wikipedia. It is also an alternate history novel by Sohia McDougall, complete with crucifiction by the look of the cover; a motif that would not be out of place in The Stand. Then again, that might not even be your book.

As for your bike, it is a standard Brompton, unless it actually unfolds to be something completely different, like a Dahon, which is unlikely given how neat the fold is. Having been placed next to a filing cabinet for scale, you file it under 'handy'. The Brooks saddle marks you out as more serious than the typical Bromptoneer, and the tyres look used, so you actually ride this rather than keep it in the office as a conversation piece advertising your green credentials.

Nothing much can be inferred by ownership of a folder, as such bicycles are widely available and they let anybody buy one these days, even people who don't know how to fold them back up when they're done showing them off to their friends. The fact that it's black, however, proves that this was not a frivolous purchase. Given your choice of reading material (or if not, books you don't mind being seen with), one is convinced that you take your pleasures seriously.

Titanium unicorn
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2021 »
Quote from: vickster
A Ti bike that I used to lust after has appeared for sale in my size. It’s not a spec I would choose (10 speed ultegra triple), the bars are way too wide and stem will be too long. I have a Ti bike, I have a loved steel bike with a very similar spec and I have two other bikes I barely use. It’s also a 3 hour drive away so would need to be bought unseen! Will I regret not buying, bearing in mind I’ve had an alert on this bike for at least 5 years?

Quote from: samsbike
congratulations on the new bike

Your patience and trophy room tell me you are an elite hunter. Etched “lugs” will divide opinion, but not everybody knows what should be liked. Believe it or not, your indecision and slightly nervous chatter come from absolutely knowing you're going to pull the trigger.

It wouldn't suit me, as I only ride singlespeed. Nevertheless I was a little jealous (and it's my size too!). I gave the fixed version a spin way back when, but chose something else. Wish I hadn't let it get away.

This bloody thing still comes up in searches. I'm considering suing Lynsky for pain and suffering for its continued ability to tease us lustful ti lovers.

No longer available in your timeline

Also across the road...

Quote from: Johnno260
Enigma is a 10min drive door to door for me.

Door #2
Door #3
What's this? Another door?