For all the myriad
porn wonders the internet has to offer, there really is no substitute for good old craigslist. I just love it, and can't help but peruse listings for things I have no intention of buying (especially bikes). But sometimes, this perusal, rather than entertaining me, raises questions that need answering. For example, let us take the author of this post:
Raleigh Rush Hour Fixed Gear - $500 (West Hartford)
You're a cool guy, you should have a cool bike. Everyone knows that when you ride a fixed gear bicycle you are a stone cold bad ass. They wonder if it's uncomfortable to ride a bicycle with such enormous cajones*. You answer "Yes, but I have mastered my pain."
This bike will rock your world. Fixed gear means fixed speed: FAST. It also means that if the bike is rolling, you are pedaling. Of course, fine piece of machinery that it is, it comes equipped with a flippy floppy rear hub for all the sallies out there. Turn the rear wheel around it is will allow you to free wheel and coast.
But that's not what this thing is all about. This thing is about feeling the BURN. This thing is about getting somewhere FAST... And in style. Single speed means you even go fast uphill, because you don't need to downshift like a little girl. This bike is about tossing your Macbook into your Timbuk2 messenger bag, rolling up the right hand cuff of your chinos and blasting down to the student center at warp speed. This bike is about rocketing down to Starbucks, parking it next to a Harley, and still having the coolest bike there. Or maybe you're Lance Armstrong, and you're looking for a more bad ass way to train.
Come check it out. Make an offer. Spring will be here soon.
And then there is a picture of the bike, which looks like a fixed gear bicycle, with a cat near it.
So my question, dear seller, is this: Have you determined that this is the best way to move this bike? Or is this a super-duper-meta-ironic post, in which you mimic mockingly the copy that sites like Performance Bike use to sell singlespeed bikes, which copy has been adoringingly crafted to mimic an imagined sense of urban cool that doesn't really exist? I mean, "tossing your Macbook into your Timbuk2 messenger bag, rolling up the right hand cuff of your chinos and blasting down to the student center?" That has to be irony, right?
But seriously, seller of the Rush Hour and all bike sellers, could you please remember two things:
1. Tell us the size of the bike - not the size of the wheels, which is not terribly helpful, but the size of the frame. The key measurement is from the bottom bracket to the place where the seatpost goes into the frame.
2. When you put a single quotation mark after a number to connote distance, you are saying "feet." Two quotation marks means "inches." That's why when I write my height, I put 6'5" - I am six feet and five inches tall. Usually, I know what you mean when you say that the frame is 20', but it is probably really frustrating when someone actually wants to sell a bike that has a 20-foot frame (since everyone assumes it's a run-of-the-mill 20-inch frame), and it's really annoying to me because I hate stuff that's wrong.
Oh, and one last thing: If what you want to sell is clothes that will fit a three-year-old girl, don't post in the bikes section of craigslist!
* I think the poster meant "cojones," which means balls. "Cajones" means boxes, and while it is uncomfortable to ride a bicycle with enormous boxes, I don't think that's what this guy meant.