Fixedgeargallery...of SPECIAL GUEST REVIEWERS!

As difficult as it is for me to admit it, I'm just not qualified to evaluate every single bicycle. As the theme song to "Diff'rent Strokes" pointed out, the world don't move to the beat of just one drum, and what might be right for you might not be right for some. (Of course, "Diff'rent Strokes" also pointed out how dangerous it can be to go to bike shops, but that's another post for another day.) Sure, some of the bicycles I see on Fixedgeargallery seem ridiculous, but the fact of the matter is I have a specific body type and a specific riding style, and it's just not fair of me to apply that to every bicycle I see.

So in the spirit of open-mindedness, I decided that for the first time ever I'd turn the site over to a special guest poster whose unique physical characteristics and considerable cycling insight and experience makes him particularly well-suited to evaluate a couple of the latest Fixedgeargallery submissions. Of course, he's a little biased, since one of the bikes happens to be his own. Nonetheless, I hope you'll agree that what he says has merit, and I hope you forgive this departure.

With that, I'm pleased to turn the keyboard over to Clyde the Orangutan.


Hi, I'm Clyde. Thanks to BSNYC for allowing me to hijack the site. Sure, I know what you're thinking: "Who is this guy, and what does he know about bikes?" Well, my father Clyde Senior was a movie actor who starred alongside Clint Eastwood in the popular 1978 film "Every Which Way But Loose," as well as in its sequel, "Any Which Way You Can." As the "Magnificent Ambersons" and "Citizen Kane" of human/orangutan buddy comedies, I have no doubt that each one of you has seen both those films numerous times. However, what you probably don't know is that my father and Clint were both avid riders, and did a lot of cycling together. Check out this autographed photo:

I inherited three things from my father: an appetite for fruit, a talent for acting, and a passion for cycling. In 1996 I got to play the title role in "Dunston Checks In," and acted alongside Faye Dunaway and Jason Alexander:

Of course, with success comes corpulence, and now that I've reached middle-age it can be harder to stay in shape. I hadn't ridden much since the pre-Dunston days, when I was a hairy fixture on the So-Cal crit circuit. (Show me a banana prime and I'll show you a sprint that makes Ale-jet look like a lemur on a tricycle.) I decided it was time to get back into riding, but at my age I wasn't about to start racing again. For years, a friend of mine named Morty has been extolling the virtues of fixed-gear riding. Here he is racing against a horseless jockey at the velodrome, moments before crossing the line in victory and mauling him:

Awhile back Morty built himself a new fixed-gear bike which you can check out on today's Fixedgeargallery update:

As you can see, he's gone with bars that suit his upright circus-influenced riding style. He also rides a small frame, since when you've got short bear legs it's all about the standover clearance--even an awesome bike-handler like Morty will dab a paw occasionally, and he wants to have cubs one day. Speaking of paws, Morty's currently riding pedals with clips but no straps, since it's hard for him to find something to accommodate his large feet. He's making due with the current setup, but since he wants to pull some wicked skids he's looking into fabricating something out of a pair of snowshoes and some leather belts.
Morty had me sold on the fixed-gear thing, so it was time to find a bike. I spent hours on Fixedgeargallery and Velospace for inspiration. I decided I wanted something that was stylish and aggressive and that also had the kind of unique geometry that would work with my proportions. Here's what I went with. I think you'll agree it's perfect for me:

This bike is an absolute blast to ride. It may seem like you're looking at the front half of the bike through a glass of water, but the small front wheel and low bars are perfect for my long torso and arms. Not only are they comfortable for riding, but they also let me mount and dismount the bike in that cool "swing the leg over the bars" way. As the description mentions, "every part has been hand sourced paying attention to pedigree, performance and of course aesthetic," and I'm sure you'll agree this is very much in evidence. Just look at that 110bcd double crank with a single ring mounted on the inside. That setup's got more pedigree than a dog show. The gear ratio might look big to you, but as an orangutan I have a tremendous strength-to-weight ratio and as a result I'm somewhat of a gear masher. I also decided to go with tubulars. Sure, they can be inconvenient for street riding, but the fact is I lack the opposable thumbs that you need in order to install tubes and use tire levers. Tubulars, however, are a breeze--I just stretch them using my hands and prehensile feet and pop them on. The only thing that sucks is getting glue in my fur, but I'm going to try that tubular tape and see if that's any better. And like Morty, I run brakeless. With fixed-gears, it's all about the purity. Plus, if I get in a tight spot I just grab a low-hanging tree branch or power line and swing to safety.

But the best thing about my new ride is how jealous Morty is. That salmon color scheme has him drooling. Literally.


Well, that's it for me. Thanks, and keep the rubber side down!