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What's that ugly bike? (that's what she said!)

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What's that ugly bike? (that's what she said!)

Old 10-15-12, 06:58 AM
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rhm
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What's that ugly bike? (that's what she said!)

Has someone you love ever made unkind and disparaging remarks about your bike? Tell the truth, now!

I will start.

One day a couple weeks ago when I was at work and my wife was at home, she and a colleague were going to go for a ride, so she got her bike out of the shed. And then she called me up because she had a question about the route they were going to take. And while we were on the phone she asked:

“What's that ugly blue bike in the shed?”

Now, I could only think of about three blue bikes in the shed, including my wife's Bianchi, which she loves and, I presume, would recognize since she and just got it out to go for a ride. So that couldn't be what she meant. Nor could she mean my daughter's bike which, I am told, is purple (I don't actually believe in purple, but that's another story). So it must be one of my bikes. I racked my brain. Yes, I considered, my Trek is pretty ugly, but she knows that bike well, that couldn't be what she meant. Had I inadvertently left a bike in the shed, that I meant to keep in the cellar? It is true, there are a couple more blue bikes down there... but none of them are ugly. Seriously, did she say ugly? With perfect candor I told her I had no idea what she was talking about.

“It has a big headlight on the fork and a ginormous generator hub!” she added.

Oh, my! I thought, but I held my tongue. With these details added, I realized she was talking about the Fothergill.



I'll admit it's a bit of an esoteric build, and old fashioned for its time (early post-WW2), but that's the beauty of it! Doesn't she appreciate that generator hub, ginormous as it may be, was a gift from Auchencrow? Didn't she notice the voluptuous swoopiness of the unique Lauterwasser handlebar by Frank the Welder?



Or the chromed scimitar curves of the Resilion derailleur?



Maybe she was referring to the big bag hanging off the back of the seat, which is my own work and little on the ugly side, but doesn't utility make up for that?

I was speechless. This, ugly? I wished her and her friend a nice ride.

Last edited by rhm; 10-15-12 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 10-15-12, 07:06 AM
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yeah, why would you even ride that? get a madone already.
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Old 10-15-12, 07:21 AM
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Ugly? Who the heck did you marry? Even my wife, who is not into cycling and thinks I'm nuts that I need more then one bike, doesn't even consider any of my bikes as ugly. You have a very nice looking older bike that is rare in today's world to find not alone find one in the condition of yours. Maybe the bike I personally would not be riding it very frequently or long distances due to the rarity of the parts on it, but for special occasions it would be fun to ride in a group ride, but I can tell you ride it a lot which is ok, it's your bike after all.

I do know those derailleurs were bullet proof, made extremely well back in the early 50's while other derailleurs of that time period were fragile and had all sorts of issues.

I guess the only thing on the bike that I didn't personally like was the black handlebars, Nitto makes a similar looking bar in silver aluminum finish that would make the bike pop and look closer to original. But that's just my opinion. Not sure if the Nitto would fit the stem, but if it's too small in diameter shims would make it work. It's a beautiful bike and it's been very well preserved. Thanks for sharing it with us.
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Old 10-15-12, 07:23 AM
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soo i can't look at those pictures with the nose of that saddle up that high all i can think is. Ouch.... Ouch.....ouch ouch ouch ouch. Okay i must leave this thread the pain is unbearable.
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Old 10-15-12, 07:29 AM
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Common folk just ask how old my bike is. Most are in the 40 years of age range. They don't know what to say.
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Old 10-15-12, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Common folk just ask how old my bike is. Most are in the 40 years of age range.
The folks, or the bikes?
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Old 10-15-12, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by bigwooly View Post
soo i can't look at those pictures with the nose of that saddle up that high all i can think is. Ouch.... Ouch.....ouch ouch ouch ouch. Okay i must leave this thread the pain is unbearable.
Sheesh, aren't we sensitive! But okay, I've adjusted it for you. Better now?

Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
It's a beautiful bike and it's been very well preserved.
Thanks! But it really is a rider, not a museum piece at all; not as well preserved as you'd think, being a repaint with no original components aside from the bb and headset. I had that Soma bar on it for a while, but Frank's bend is more like a real 1930's bend than anything made today. At the time they were typically covered with black celluloid; I tried black heat shrink but it didn't work out so I settled for paint.

Last edited by rhm; 10-15-12 at 07:52 AM.
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Old 10-15-12, 07:55 AM
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Now that is much better. And I rather like the bike. What's up with the derailleur setup it has a 3 speed internal hub and then two same sized cogs on the rear is one a fixed gear or something? Never seen a setup like that before.
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Old 10-15-12, 08:08 AM
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Points to your wife for knowing what a generator hub is.

I have mostly Brooks B17's on most of my bikes and my wife says they look like an "old man's seat". Some people just don't get comfort over aesthetics.
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Old 10-15-12, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by bigwooly View Post
Now that is much better. And I rather like the bike. What's up with the derailleur setup it has a 3 speed internal hub and then two same sized cogs on the rear is one a fixed gear or something? Never seen a setup like that before.
Not quite: the two cogs are different sizes, I think a 19 and a 22, which evenly splits the gearing of the hub; the result is six evenly spaced gears and a slightly wider range than I'd get with just the hub.
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Old 10-15-12, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by bigwooly View Post
Now that is much better. And I rather like the bike. What's up with the derailleur setup it has a 3 speed internal hub and then two same sized cogs on the rear is one a fixed gear or something? Never seen a setup like that before.
The idea with the two cogs is to set up a half-step gearing. The three speed hub selects the range, and the derailer selects a graduation within that range, making six evenly and small spaced gears.

An earlier version of this bike had the same setup, but with a five speed hub, making it a ten speed.

As far as ugliness, I rather liked the home-made headlight in the earlier version, tied to the rear dynohub, it looked cleaner and, I guess more aerodynamic?
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Old 10-15-12, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by jrecoi View Post
An earlier version of this bike had the same setup, but with a five speed hub, making it a ten speed.

As far as ugliness, I rather liked the home-made headlight in the earlier version, tied to the rear dynohub, it looked cleaner and, I guess more aerodynamic?
True, it did look cleaner and more aerodynamic; it was also lighter. I thought it looked too 'French' for such an English bike, though! But what I really like about this hub/light setup is that this being the first generation of dynohub, it puts out 12V which lets me run a really bright LED. To ride a century in the winter, I like to start well before dawn, so good light is essential.

The earlier hub was actually a four speed, so I had an even wider range and more closely spaced gears, which was nice; but every now and then the hub slipped in low gear and this really annoyed me on long climbs.

But we digress. Am I really the only one who has suffered the indignity of hearing my wife call my bike ugly? I think you guys are holding out on me.
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Old 10-15-12, 08:46 AM
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Everybody who saw my old Moulton, including several persons that may or may not have been Others in various degrees of Significance, found it a lovable, ugly little duckling, and so it was.

P1040980 by ctjr, on Flickr
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Old 10-15-12, 08:47 AM
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The last "flip" bike I sold was called ugly by my other half. I actually liked it.

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Old 10-15-12, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm
Has someone you love ever made unkind and disparaging remarks about your bike?
Yea.. ...My Raleigh gets it from both sides, the C&V'ers and the Carbon Fiber jockeys...no love for the Brifter totten, Fendered Beast. I'll admit it, the original components are not the best, but as they wear I upgrade them. Brown, grey and off-white...it's more often called the "Flying Turd". But I have a thing for it...don't know why...love is blind and perhaps stupid at times but it's nice when you're in it or on it in this case.


" The Flying Turd"
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Old 10-15-12, 09:19 AM
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Your wife has no taste.

NO wait....she married you, that can't be it!

Must have been the lighting!
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Old 10-15-12, 09:19 AM
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I don't think it is that ugly but it does carry a sort of brutish charm about it.


On the other hand you should be happy she knows the difference between a Dyno hub and an IGH hub.

"" “It has a big headlight on the fork and a ginormous generator hub!” she added. ""
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Old 10-15-12, 09:23 AM
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All bicycles are born beautiful. Any perceived ugliness is typically a reflection of the owner.
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Old 10-15-12, 09:32 AM
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My fiance thinks my Surly LHT is hideous. I will admit, with the long stays and wonky geometry designed around 26" wheels...I kind of agree with her!
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Old 10-15-12, 10:32 AM
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I heard a disparaging word about my bikes from Himespau a month or so ago, but he was just trying to get my (ungettable) goat.
Who cares? One man's ambrosial whiskey is another's noxious tequila, and vice versa.
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Old 10-15-12, 11:29 AM
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Your "Other Half" is right, its Ugly. Nothing wrong with liking an Ugly bike if that's what you're into. I mean hey, I like fat girls.



Originally Posted by bigwooly View Post
The last "flip" bike I sold was called ugly by my other half. I actually liked it.

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Old 10-15-12, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
Your "Other Half" is right, its Ugly. Nothing wrong with liking an Ugly bike if that's what you're into. I mean hey, I like fat girls.
And we all know it's more fun to ride an ugly bike.
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Old 10-15-12, 12:04 PM
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rhm, you fail to consider the paint. My wife rarely makes comments about the bikes in the basement. Like most people, she views bicycles as tools, not objects d'art. However, she will occasionally comment on a frame with a "pretty color". I really don't think she sees the components.

If I remember correctly, you painted that frame yourself. That must sting.
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Old 10-15-12, 12:13 PM
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Your wife has good taste in bikes

Mine often insults certain bikes...particularly the De Rosa Primato, which she always "accidentally" calls the De Rosa Tomato. I (briefly) had a Velosolex Le'Etoile in rough shape and she took an immediate dislike to it...asking why I bought something "poop" brown, asking what brown could do for me...etc. All signs point to her being unimpressed with the Cinelli SuperCorsa, which she described as "orange like your Marnati, except really ugly" and like a nuclear survivor.
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Old 10-15-12, 12:33 PM
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I just checked with my son about my bikes. He said ,"no one cares".

I suspect he is right.
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