Winning At Any Cost
Bike Snob NYC Blog
by Eben Weiss
1h ago
As the proprietor, at least for the time being, of George Plimpton’s Y-Foil, photographed here at a discreet angle to spare you the fill impact of it’s Y-Foilness… …I find myself reminiscing about the year 1998, when the model first appeared. It was in many ways a simpler time. We were a naive people with quaint taste: Titanic won the Oscar; Titanic: Music From The Motion Picture was the top-selling album; and Subway flopped with its “Titanicwich” tie-in meal, which was a soggy meatball hero served in a large collectible cup of ice cold salt water. But the world of cycling was anything but si ..read more
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This Ain’t No Party, This Ain’t No Disco, This Ain’t No Foiling Around
Bike Snob NYC Blog
by Eben Weiss
1d ago
As you know, I recently received George Plimpton’s Y-Foil, and yesterday morning I took it out for its first proper ride: [You can read more about the bike at the Classic Cycle site…if you can handle more Y-Foil, that is.] I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t self-conscious about being seen on this thing, but I figured in the wee hours the only people out are fitness freaks who think flogging yourself on an aero bike first thing in the morning is normal behavior. (Even my wife laughed at the Y-Foil, and she’s become so inured to all the bikes that come and go around here that she hardly notices th ..read more
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Classic Cycle Thursdays: A Crooked Letter
Bike Snob NYC Blog
by Eben Weiss
1d ago
On March 19th, 2008, I collected 21 famous quotes about cycling: Some of the quotes were real, and some I simply made up–like this one: Give me good books, good conversations, and my Trek Y-Foil, and I shall want for nothing else. –George Plimpton My intent was not to mislead anyone as I figured it was obvious which ones were fake. However, I inadvertently fooled the then-editor of The Paris Review, who in 2012 mentioned that George Plimpton used to ride around the city on a Y-Foil as though it were common knowledge: I was simultaneously amused and alarmed by the almost Orwellian manner in w ..read more
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Function Specific Design
Bike Snob NYC Blog
by Eben Weiss
3d ago
Like presumably every other person who writes about bicycles on the Internets, I recently received an email about a big embargoed announcement concerning bicycles and LeBron James, and you can imagine my surprise when I learned that after the NBA he’ll be starting a UCI pro road team and riding alongside Mathieu van der Poel: Just kidding: Though he has launched a new campaign with Canyon, a company in which he has an investment: LeBron James has long promoted cycling, though to my knowledge he has yet to partake in a gravel race: Or own a bike custom-painted by Joe Bell: Presumably he pr ..read more
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Safety First
Bike Snob NYC Blog
by Eben Weiss
5d ago
In 1885, the transportation landscape changed forever when John Kemp Starley designed the so-called “safety bicycle:” This design persisted and for the entirety of the 20th century, and it even made it into the 21st, though by 2024 it was officially dead, having been completely replaced by the battery-powered stand-up scooter: Ah well, the bike was fun while it lasted. Of course, some of us still enjoy riding the old-fashioned safety bicycle, though increasingly we’re becoming something akin to Civil War reenactors or renaissance fair attendees. I myself ride a safety bicycle on a regular ba ..read more
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Close At Hand
Bike Snob NYC Blog
by Eben Weiss
6d ago
Yesterday I put the ‘Nonerini up for auction: And I’m pleased to announce it looks like we’ve got a winner! I can only imagine how much money we would have raised had I auctioned off something more exotic, like the Normcore Bike: However that won’t be happening very soon, as this bike is a priceless piece of velocipedal history. Speaking of which, like any bike dork I’ve always got one eye open for interesting bikes when I’m walking around the city, and recently this setup caught my eye: In the post-integrated shifting era people with old bikes will often go to great lengths to get their ge ..read more
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Now’s Your Chance To Own A Piece Of Crap. I Mean History!
Bike Snob NYC Blog
by Eben Weiss
6d ago
At the end of last year, Bicycling asked me to write a little something about the Star Track Youth Cycling Program in New York City, which I gladly did: My elder son participated in Star Track for two or three years, and while he’s no longer involved, I was consistently amazed by what a great program it is. It’s completely free (they even provide bikes), it’s phenomenally well-organized, and it will take a nascent bike racer as far into the sport as they want to go. Even the kids who don’t evolve into bike racers benefit tremendously; not only is the program fun, but think of all the adults y ..read more
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Small Setbacks
Bike Snob NYC
by Eben Weiss
1w ago
Testing old crap the bikes of yesteryear is a risky endeavor: This is true whether the bike is a 1916 Mead Ranger, or a 2003 LeMond Tete de Course: I was reminded of this when, on a recent ride, I noticed a wiggly sensation in my right pedal: At first I thought my cleat was worn or something, but when I finally stopped to investigate I discovered I’d loosened the threaded insert in the crankarm with my massive power output: Following Old Crap Test Pilot protocol, I lit flares and called for support, and within 15 minutes a chopper arrived and airlifted me to safety: Just kidding: I was a ..read more
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By The Dawn’s Early Light
Bike Snob NYC
by Eben Weiss
2w ago
After today I’ll be checking out for the remainder of the week in honor of our great nation’s annual sales event: On the Fourth of July we Americans celebrate our independence from the hated British. Oddly it took Canada like another century to gain their own independence, and yet their Independence Day comes before ours, which makes no sense: They like totally shoaled us. Meanwhile, I’ve been riding in the golden light of dawn: And on a pair of seemingly down-filled tubular tires: Back in March, I incurred a flat on the Cervino: And in an act of profound generosity, a reader sent me four ..read more
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Over-Roaded
Bike Snob NYC
by Eben Weiss
2w ago
In 2024, for the first time in my life, I saw through a New Year’s resolution, that being to reduce my total number of bicycles. Now, I didn’t exactly cut it close to the bone, but I did manage to get my total number of road bikes down to three–arguably two more than anybody really needs, but pretty good for a semi-professional bike blogger and recovering middle-aged Fred. I had the Milwaukee, which was to be my “main” road bike: I had the Cervino, which was my ceremonial cosplay bike, because there’s really nothing like riding a classic road bike in wool on a crisp autumn day: And I had the ..read more
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