The Old Road Bike Pie Plate
While I have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to pie plates, I also understand that not everybody realizes they need to be removed. Sadly, too few bike shops take it upon themselves to do it or to educate their customers. Hopefully, one day that will change, and I for one am trying to do my part by raising public awareness. But in the meantime I think a grace period between new bike purchase and pie plate removal is warranted. Let’s call it six months. By that time you should have either figured out your pie plate needs to go, or you should have had to remove or change your cassette for some reason, in which case (hopefully) logic would dictate a pie platectomy.
After that, though, you are in clear violation. I regularly see road bikes that are five, ten, even twenty years old that still have pie plates on them. If your bike has both downtube shifters and a pie plate on it, you are exhibiting a disregard for propriety that is nearly inhuman. Only a sociopath could be capable of such a thing. In fact, while I believe we cyclists should regulate ourselves, in this case I think the perpetrator should be turned over to the police. According to the controversial “broken window” theory, chances are someone with a yellowed pie plate on a twenty year-old bicycle is also guilty of something else. He’s probably also using an Italian crank on a JIS spindle, planning a bank robbery, and keeping kidnapping victims duct-taped in his basement.