Todays post is the result of my stupid cell phone not sending the picture I want to to the website to have it post for all to see but is in relation to stupidity that is voluntary rather than beyond one’s own control and in fact negates all control one might have in a braking situation on your bike.
I like to stay abreast of what the kids are into these days and as such I went out to QPB (quality bicycle products, a website for all things quality and bicycle, they are a huge bicycle distributor in the US, think Surly, Salsa, All-City, Civia, etc etc) to research the new Dropout frame from All-City as some guy named Oscar just had Carytown bicycles build one up for him. I was amazed to see how awesome of a job QBP did again in incorporating so many features into this frame.
I for one am totally about frames that can do everything and this frame can do everything from run a 38c tire (which is pretty big actually) to acceptance of a BMX 990 style brake! That’s actually really cool! In addition to that it has your standard sidepull road bike brake mounts and several other features that look great for this frame. It surprised me then that this bike walked out of the door (at least was photographed without) ANY type of braking aside from one’s legs in the event of an emergency?! I hate to be a negative nancy (ok I love being a uber-curmudgeon but negative nancy I am not) but is this really a safe practice for the LBS to be engaged in? I guess you could argue that they are simply catering to their clientele and who knows maybe this guy Oscar is the next Fixed Gear Freestyle wizard to be destroying mad barspinzz all around the prefecture but I kinda doubt it (because if he was that into the sport I guarantee you he would order the stuff and build his own bike up or know a friend who could, there are like 5 parts on this bike, it’s a one piece crank or looks like one) and I don’t care if I am out riding or driving but I don’t feel like being shoaled by this guy then to have him do a MEGA trackstand while I sip my latte from my commuter bike or worse have him dart out in front of my car due to a lack of braking available to him from, well, a lack of brakes.
Disclaimer: I used to work with Braden who is cited as being the author of the post regarding Oscars bike and overall he’s been a positive force for cycling in this community. If there is one thing I am beginning to understand it’s that you don’t have to cut people down with little provocation and I am not going to do so in this instance. I don’t know the situation, maybe this bicycle is only for indoor, secure, no car use or for nights at the Go-Fast, Turn Left series that Braden started and continues to keep going but it looks to me more like Oscar saw his buddies riding around on fixed-gear freestyle bikes and decided he had to have one.
If that is the case, and I am making a broad assumption here, than I’ll go ahead and be the negative Nancy and state that I don’t really think it’s wise to be sending people out the door and into the streetzzzz to try their luck at navigating traffic or pedestrians on sidewalks without mechanical braking apparatus. Who knows maybe that suggestion was made and who’s to say the local bike shop should dictate what this guy rides…..lord knows I don’t take my cues from the local bike shops around here even though plenty of them have wonderful staff, dedicated employees, and vocal cycling advocates in their midsts….and lord knows no one will be taking my advice and gearing their carbon time-trial bikes up with full Honjo fenders….but maybe they could try out some Kool Stops just for sh1ts and well, stopping.
Then again it is entirely possible this bike has a coaster brake and I look like a total a$$hole….it’s been known to happen before but I’ve cut back on my drinking since then.