Thursday, January 6, 2011

Custom made: Catering to your every delusion

In our last post, we discussed the recent discovery of cattle-eating cougars here in Missouri.  And as one reader pointed out, the danger of predatory cats is truly "no joke" especially if you are like me, and are considered a cycling "enthusiast".  Because honestly, there is not much that separates cycling "enthusiasts" from cattle.  We are typically slow, ride in lumbering herds, tend more toward rumination versus quick action and, depending on the lineage, have an affinity for butterfat.  As these characteristics are generally considered undesirable, there exists a certain marketing sex appeal of naming your bicycle after predatory animals, especially if it has mystical powers.

Such predatory feline breeds can also sexy up a new Schleckified bike team.

But just as leopards are unable to change their spots, squeezing a middle-aged cycling "enthusiast" into lycra and plopping him or her on an $8000 racing bicycle doesn't make him or her any faster no matter what it is. And to this end, the bicycling manufactures provide we, the collective "enthusiast" cattle herd, with anything and everything we need to make attacking that couple on the tandem bike at the Diabetes Charity ride that much more gratifying.

Case in point:  The Cyfac Absolu custom carbon bike that tech writer Charles Manantan for PezCyclingNews recently had made for him.
Is it not bad enough that we enthusiasts embarrass ourselves out on the road with our lack of skill and strength on a daily basis?  But then along comes a review like this which is so saturated in pretention and quasi-pornographic obscenity, that as a group, we cycling cattle decline further into the bowels of Fred-dom.

The author comments here on what he asked of the Cyfac builders when it came to the appearance of his new bike:
"We talked through a pattern that would leave the BB area more exposed, show the head, top and down joints.....Frankly I thought it would be a breeze, and I was "doing them a favor" by coming up with something with some style..."

I'm sure the Cyfac design team was absolutely overjoyed to be given a lesson in style.  And keeping with his inability to be content to simply ride on a stronger engineered bottom bracket, but rather desiring to show off the business end of things, one has to wonder whether Mr. Manantan also likes to ride around in just his bib shorts that are cut extra-small as well?
Everyone craves to see Mr. Man's BB area.

He next goes on to describe what he desires in a color scheme:

"I also thought it would be a nice pattern to have a red, white and blue head badge and that if we ran the colors on the head badge off to their own sides, I would effectively have a bike that matched 95% of the clothing I had...."

It cannot be an easy task to both show off one's BB area AND color coordinate simultaneously, so chapeau to you, Mr. Manantan, chapeau.

Next was his description of how a matte finish on EVERYTHING was paramount, including the headset spacer.

"And no way I could let the gloss headset spacer stand....that got the same one handed man love as the SRAM levers."

Does Charles' dedication know no bounds?  I wonder how many one-handed man love sessions is required to take the shine off a glossy headset?  All Mr. M likely needed for inspiration to help him figure it out was an 8"X10" glossy photograph of his sprint finish at the last MS150 and a full can of TriFlow.
Next up Mr. Man-love chooses a saddle:
"Selle San Marco make my current saddle of choice in their still relatively light, massively channeled Mantra.  If this thing puts pressure on your perineum, all I can say is congratulations....climb off the bike, buy a ticket to LA and start your adult film career..."

Jealousy is not becoming, Charles.

Lastly, Mr. Manantan clues us in to what he actually intends to use this bike for....

"I...selected a more stable geometry and less emphasis on "Race."

I for one was a little disappointed in this comment, as I was hoping Charles was really going to put this ride through its paces.  But then again, he wouldn't want to risk damaging his Zipp 404s by getting all competitive.

After all, he's going to need those for the next Sunday morning do-nut ride..


  1. I believe that the reason Mr. Man did not cover his nipple is that he DID cover his nipple (with his bib shorts straps). This can lead to only one possible explanation.... three nipples!