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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 02-22-12, 10:46 PM   #1
Andy_K 
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How to De-Fred your bike in 10 easy steps

By request....



1. Select at most one bag, preferably a small seat bag. A backpack will at least make your bike seem less fredly after you walk away. A single pannier won't do because it's asymmetric. Two panniers makes you look like you're touring. A truly successful non-fred might get a domestique to carry stuff for him.

2. Choose at most one front and one rear light. The lights should be as inconspicuous as possible. Very few lights are stylish, and so it's best if they go completely unnoticed. If you absolutely must use a light, the best way to avoid freddom is a small handlebar mounted unit. Consider disguising it as a Garmin GPS unit.

3. Ditch the kickstand. It's extra weight and adds nothing to the good looks of your bike. When posing the bike for photographs, it should be entirely unclear what is keeping the bike from falling over. If you must prop the bike up, for instance while discussing its weight at a rest stop on a charity ride, you should do so by positioning the pedal on a curb such that the chain tension holds the weight of your bike. (Note: this is unacceptable for photographs because it leads to poor pedal orientation.)

4. Lose the airzound. Water bottles are for carrying sports drinks and promoting your favorite bike shop, not for making sound. A non-fred bike should make absolutely no sound of any kind. What's the point of paying your mechanic to spend endless hours chasing every last creak and rattle if the thing is going to make a loud, obnoxious wail at the touch of a button?

5. Slam the stem. As comfortable as it may be to have handlebars at or above saddle level, it is a major fashion error. The stem (preferably a Thomson) should be non-adjustable, level with the ground, between 90 and 120mm long and should be touching the top of your Chris King headset. Be sure the stem is properly color coordinated with your handlebars and frame.

6. Get rid of the chainguard. This is a tricky one. The chainguard, like the kickstand, is a piece of dead weight that adds nothing to the attractiveness of your bike. On the other hand, all your de-fredding efforts can be spoiled by a single unsightly grease spot on your sock or cleanly shaven calf. Short black socks can help with this if you have the ability to pull off that look. Otherwise, avoid riding the bike in any conditions which might compromise the sleek shine of your chain.

7. Toss the mirror. Looking at others is a fred trait. They should be looking at you. Maybe your bike needs a bit more carbon fiber or some white handlebar tape to grab people's attention more effectively. Be sure to add a healthy portion of the bling to the front of your bike so you can enjoy it without benefit of a mirror.

8. Go clipless. Truly stylish bikes are sold without pedals. This obviously isn't done to keep costs down. It's done to spare the bike the indiginity of ever having had platform pedals attached to its pristine (yet stiff) crankarms. The first thing you should do upon acquiring a bike is figure out what color your shoes and clipless pedals should be and then get them on there.

9. Never allow your bike to be photographed from the non-drive side. It's a little known fact that he biblical story of Ham "uncovering the nakedness of his father Noah" was just a polite way of saying he photographed Noah's bike from the non-drive side. You should never expose your bike to such humiliation. You may think this doesn't matter while you're actually riding, but you never know when you'll be riding along and some stranger on the street will lean over to the person next to him and whisper about having seen the non-drive side of that bike on the Internet. You don't want to have to live with that kind of doubt.

10. Turn off those tire lights. If your tires are large enough to have a reflective strip, they're probably too wide. Besides adding gratuitous grams of rotating mass to your bike, the reflective strip contributes to increased rolling resistence. Not only that, it only looks cool to freds.


WARNING: De-Fredding your bike can significantly reduce the safety and utility of your bike. De-Fredding should be performed for vanity purposes only and should not be considered a useful transportation-related option.

NOTE: It's possible I've been spending too much time lurking on the roadie forum.
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Last edited by Andy_K; 02-22-12 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 02-22-12, 11:11 PM   #2
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Bravo, Andy!
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There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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Old 02-23-12, 01:59 AM   #3
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Andy, I'll give a proper answer when I can manage to pick myself up off the floor!!! lol

Great article, will follow your advice to the letter, beginning now by tossing away the panniers for a rack-bag; the other stuff will be removed soon!
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Old 02-23-12, 02:37 AM   #4
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One bag - check
Slam the stem - check
No airzound - check
White bar tape - check
Lights - removable
Drive side picture - check
No mirror - check
Remove chainguard - check
Tire lights - what are those ?
Kickstand - oops.

Looks like I am 9/10 here.

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Old 02-23-12, 02:41 AM   #5
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Better... this one does not have a kickstand. (I pack my blinkies away in the daytime).



You did not say anything about fenders...
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Old 02-23-12, 02:46 AM   #6
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Sixty Fiver is a straight up hipster! Who's down for some PBR?
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Old 02-23-12, 02:58 AM   #7
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This also activate thiefs magnet ability too. XD
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Old 02-23-12, 07:57 AM   #8
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LOL Good laughs! Thanks!
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Old 02-23-12, 08:03 AM   #9
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Pure gold there Mister Andy. Well done sir!




Quote:
Originally Posted by fastbartender View Post
Sixty Fiver is a straight up hipster! Who's down for some PBR?
Not so fast there Mr. fastbartender. The bikes that 65’r posted are nowhere near Hipster.

And do you even serve PBR at your establishment? Back to hipster school for you my friend!
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Old 02-23-12, 08:04 AM   #10
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Sixty Fiver is a straight up hipster!
Quite so.
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Old 02-23-12, 08:18 AM   #11
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Looks like I have some work to do ...

One small bag - not
Slam the stem - not
No airzound - not? (I have a bell)
White bar tape - not
Lights - not (2 head and 3 tail)
Drive side picture - not
No mirror - not
Remove chainguard - check
Tire lights - check
Kickstand - check
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Old 02-23-12, 08:19 AM   #12
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I can see a new shop on the horizon:

ANDY'S BIKE SHOP

Tune-Ups / Repairs / De-Fredding
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Old 02-23-12, 09:03 AM   #13
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Awesome!
You know, Andy, since I don't commute any more (not cause I don't want to) I decided to de-fred my bike to make weekend club rides less painful... I will post pics tonight, but it's surprising how funny this was to me!

Oh man... you guys would freak if you saw what my bike looks like now.

I'm ashamed, actually... I couldn't score a 10/10 of Fredliness before... no kickstand, no tire lights, no chainguard... after I stripped it, I'm down to 2/10, I won't go clipless and I can't slam the stem!

Just a teaser, though... bladed spokes!

Last edited by FunkyStickman; 02-23-12 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 02-23-12, 09:14 AM   #14
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LOL! This is great, Andy.
Thanks for the morning chuckle.
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Old 02-23-12, 09:15 AM   #15
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my fair weather commuter is pretty de-fredded:

1. just a small saddle bag on the bike for flat repair kit (i'm a backpack commuter)
2. just 2 small removable blinkies, 1 front, 1 rear
3. no kickstand
4. no horn, bell, or noise maker of any kind, just my loud booming roar.
5. the stem has one spacer, but that's because i messed up chopping down the steerer. i still have respectable saddle to bar drop, so i'm good.
6. no chainguard
7. no mirror
8. pedals: shimano 105 SPDs
9. drive side photo
10. no tire lights (wtf are those?) or reflective tires

bonus points: no fenders

points deducted: i have a black steel bottle cage on a titanium bike. i really do need to get a Ti bottle cage one of these days




Last edited by Steely Dan; 02-23-12 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 02-23-12, 09:34 AM   #16
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The bike I rode to work today is currently outfitted with:
touring bags
kickstand
bright headlight
three taillights
fenders
reflective strips on the tires
high handlebars
comfy seat
Flat pedals
My helmet has a mirror, and I wear a reflective vest.

Oh, and it's a long-wheelbase recumbent

I'm pretty fredly.
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Old 02-23-12, 09:48 AM   #17
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Well done Andy! Thanks.
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Old 02-23-12, 09:57 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcrowell View Post
The bike I rode to work today is currently outfitted with:
touring bags
kickstand
bright headlight
three taillights
fenders
reflective strips on the tires
high handlebars
comfy seat
Flat pedals
My helmet has a mirror, and I wear a reflective vest.

Oh, and it's a long-wheelbase recumbent

I'm pretty fredly.
Yeah! Keep up the good work! Be Fred and be proud of it, ha ha!
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Old 02-23-12, 10:13 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcrowell View Post

Oh, and it's a long-wheelbase recumbent

I'm pretty fredly.
I noticed the balaclava in your avatar pic.
The next step in your training, young fred-i, is to begin growing a full beard. Once your "chin-sulation" is in full bloom, you can free yourself from your perceived need to use a balaclava.

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Old 02-23-12, 10:25 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
1. Select at most one bag, preferably a small seat bag. A backpack will at least make your bike seem less fredly after you walk away. A single pannier won't do because it's asymmetric. Two panniers makes you look like you're touring. A truly successful non-fred might get a domestique to carry stuff for him.
But how will I get my bike to scream "I'M A HOMELESS PERSON" to the world for me?
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Old 02-23-12, 10:27 AM   #21
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Uh...I think "Fred" is my middle name.

I'm like 0/10 for all of those.

Oh well. Better to be unfashionable and still able to walk, than stuck in a wheelcahir and trying to figure out how to "un-fred" it.
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Old 02-23-12, 10:29 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigdaddy021970 View Post
Uh...I think "Fred" is my middle name.

I'm like 0/10 for all of those.

Oh well. Better to be unfashionable and still able to walk, than stuck in a wheelcahir and trying to figure out how to "un-fred" it.
Oh wait... I don't have a kickstand so I am 1/10.
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Old 02-23-12, 10:38 AM   #23
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need to buy a mirror for a perfect score
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Old 02-23-12, 10:42 AM   #24
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Quote:
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But how will I get my bike to scream "I'M A HOMELESS PERSON" to the world for me?
See previous posts about growing a beard.
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Old 02-23-12, 11:00 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
WARNING: De-Fredding your bike can significantly reduce the safety and utility of your bike. De-Fredding should be performed for vanity purposes only and should not be considered a useful transportation-related option.
I wouldn't feel safe riding in traffic if I didn't have a kickstand.
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