are sometimes smooth and silky, and other times tired and tight.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Shake, rattle, and roll

I've never been a fan of appropriated graffiti aesthetics, especially on bikes. Maybe that's because I started riding in Manhattan, during of the Koch era, when graffiti was still everywhere, including my bike. It could also be due to the fact that I currently live in a city where a can of spray paint is the go to solution when you want to disguise a stolen bike.

It doesn't help when some boutique bike makers misread artists like Jean Michel Basquiat, to rationalize their concept behind a horrific paint job. While they see it as edgy, all I think of is middle class suburban kids, spraying Anarchy A's on brand new leather jackets, or cutting holes into their brand new jeans, in a futile attempt to mimic something they saw in a magazine, or MTV. At least that's what I did when I was in High School.

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These days that kind of DIY rebellion is passe. Why do it yourself, when you can buy it at the mall? Companies like Rock & Republic have made their fortune selling pre packaged disent to the masses, so it didn't come as a surprise to see that, along with their grafitti and stencil aesthetic racing kit, they've got grafitti paint jobs on their bikes. What did surprise me is that this wasn't some high end paint job like last year. With their financial issues, I guess that's to be expected.

Now, I can understand the desire to cover up the fact that they're riding a bike that can be picked up on the internet for less than the price of most other pro team's wheels. What I can't understand, after seeing some shots of the Rock Racing work area in VeloNews, was why they couldn't have done something to cover up their attempts to customize.

At this rate I won't be too surprised to see Hamilton, Peña, Mancebo, and Guiterrez showing up to the Solvang time trial on spray-painted bikes that look suspiciously like Treks.

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Does Michael Ball stand next to his Escalade, shouting "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain," as a can of Rust-Oleum spreads the message?

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