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What is a Fred?

Old 11-14-14, 09:49 PM
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eastbay71
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What is a Fred?

I see a lot of references to looking like a Fred. Mostly from people in the Northeast. What is that. I can vaguely assume but I would rather have a definition from someone that uses the term. Pictures of course would be the best.
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Old 11-14-14, 10:09 PM
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Juding from your sig line, I think you know damn well what a Fred is.
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Old 11-14-14, 10:25 PM
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"Fred" is a derogatory term that cyclists call each other, sometimes in jest. Usually it refers to a different type of cyclist - like f'rinstance, roadies think commuters or urban cyclists are freds, and commuters think that roadies are Freds.

Generically, though, it is applied to poseurs. For example a person in full team kit that clearly does not have full team ability (i.e. did not earn the honor) is - a Fred.

I call myself a Fred just for fun. The term can be endearing or condemning. If you are a cyclist, you are a Fred - at least some of the time.
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Old 11-14-14, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by tractorlegs View Post
"Fred" is a derogatory term that cyclists call each other, sometimes in jest. Usually it refers to a different type of cyclist - like f'rinstance, roadies think commuters or urban cyclists are freds, and commuters think that roadies are Freds.

Generically, though, it is applied to poseurs. For example a person in full team kit that clearly does not have full team ability (i.e. did not earn the honor) is - a Fred.
Why did "Fred" start being used to describe poseurs? To me they are complete opposites, so it confuses me why some people started using "Fred" for poseurs. "Fred" once was a term applied to commuter/urban cyclists who characteristically were unconcerned about appearances, who used and attached a lot of practical things to bikes that typically aren't on road racing bikes like bells, mirrors, racks, kickstands etc., and most certainly did *not* wear "full team kit" and did not shave legs. But they ride a lot and are typically quite fit. A poseur on the other hand is all about appearances, buying expensive blingy stuff, but all for show since they aren't actually riding all that much and are often rather slow. It makes no sense to me to use "Fred" to describe two polar opposite classes of riders.

Some history:
Fred (bicycling) - BikeParts Wiki
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Old 11-14-14, 11:41 PM
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A Fred is a Derf spelled backwards.
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Old 11-15-14, 12:32 AM
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A fred is a bike rider who doesn't have quite the "right" clothing and gear. If, like me, you ride a recumbent, you are automatically a fred. A poseur is a bike rider whose clothing and gear matches a little too well. If your clothing has any logos that you didn't get paid to wear, you are a poseur. The line between the two is so utterly razor thin that NOBODY can do it.

In other words, we are going to laugh at you no matter what you do.
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Old 11-15-14, 03:08 AM
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Originally Posted by stephtu View Post
Why did "Fred" start being used to describe poseurs? To me they are complete opposites, so it confuses me why some people started using "Fred" for poseurs. "Fred" once was a term applied to commuter/urban cyclists who characteristically were unconcerned about appearances, who used and attached a lot of practical things to bikes that typically aren't on road racing bikes like bells, mirrors, racks, kickstands etc., and most certainly did *not* wear "full team kit" and did not shave legs. But they ride a lot and are typically quite fit. A poseur on the other hand is all about appearances, buying expensive blingy stuff, but all for show since they aren't actually riding all that much and are often rather slow. It makes no sense to me to use "Fred" to describe two polar opposite classes of riders.

Some history:
Fred (bicycling) - BikeParts Wiki
+1
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Old 11-15-14, 04:42 AM
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Me riding that. Just call me Fred. Happy wearing my basketball boots and hivis jacket with a flasher on my back, helmet, and bike.
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Old 11-15-14, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by krobinson103 View Post


Me riding that. Just call me Fred. Happy wearing my basketball boots and hivis jacket with a flasher on my back, helmet, and bike.
I think you get a FRED T-shirt! Not complaining mind you, just enjoying the company. Like Sunday when I FREDed out of church in my knickers and Sidi SPD shoes to get on my recumbent and ride away. FRED-ville!
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Old 11-15-14, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
A Fred is a Derf spelled backwards.
It all makes sense now...
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Old 11-15-14, 06:26 AM
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Its like having the cast of "Big Bang Theory" get into their bike clothes and riding. Except Penny, of course. Just wondering if viewers like her new short hairdo.
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Old 11-15-14, 06:34 AM
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Now we got the guy sorted out. What do they call a woman? Fredette perhaps. Oh wait, we are not supposed to call women any derogatory names now. I think it comes under the category of "Political Correctness".
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Old 11-15-14, 06:37 AM
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Real Fred



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Old 11-15-14, 06:43 AM
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I think a female "Fred" is a "Wilma." As mentioned, a "Fred" is not the same as a poseur.
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Old 11-15-14, 07:01 AM
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Some claim the term "Fred" refers to Fred Birchmore.

Among other remarkable achievements, Birchmore rode a bicycle around the world and walked down the steps of the Washington Monument on his hands. He has worked out regularly at Athens’ YMCA for 90 years, since he was 10 years old.
His bike, Bucephalus, is on display in the Smithsonian and he has a trail named after him. Anyone who can ride a 40# steel bike around the world and still be working out at the Y at 99 years of age, has my respect whether he had a lot of cycling fashion sense or not.

I'll admit, I don't ride top end bikes (my general purpose bike is a 21 year old steel flat-bar), wear MTB shoes on my road bike with dual sided pedals, sometimes ride in jean shorts and t-shirts, my sunglasses say Dewalt on the bow, and I'm an overweight 50-year-old. Call me Fred if you want to, I'll take it as a compliment.

RIP Fred Birchmore (died in 2012 at age 100).

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Old 11-15-14, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by stephtu View Post
Why did "Fred" start being used to describe poseurs? To me they are complete opposites, so it confuses me why some people started using "Fred" for poseurs. "Fred" once was a term applied to commuter/urban cyclists who characteristically were unconcerned about appearances, who used and attached a lot of practical things to bikes that typically aren't on road racing bikes like bells, mirrors, racks, kickstands etc., and most certainly did *not* wear "full team kit" and did not shave legs. But they ride a lot and are typically quite fit. A poseur on the other hand is all about appearances, buying expensive blingy stuff, but all for show since they aren't actually riding all that much and are often rather slow. It makes no sense to me to use "Fred" to describe two polar opposite classes of riders.

Some history:
Fred (bicycling) - BikeParts Wiki
"Fred" is an evolving term, and means different things to different people. The article you link to makes it pretty clear - the definition is pretty fluid. Here at BF, in my own experience anyway, the term is almost always used in humor.
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Old 11-15-14, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by krobinson103 View Post


Me riding that. Just call me Fred. Happy wearing my basketball boots and hivis jacket with a flasher on my back, helmet, and bike.
Off-topic, but what is that contraption the bike is leaning against?
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Old 11-15-14, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by J.C. Koto View Post
Off-topic, but what is that contraption the bike is leaning against?
I looks like an exercise station. Some cities have parks with exercise locations along a designated route.
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Old 11-15-14, 10:29 AM
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Fred Willard , actor , comedian .. Fred Willard, Funnyman and Star of Stage, Screen and Television.
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Old 11-15-14, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by J.C. Koto View Post
Off-topic, but what is that contraption the bike is leaning against?
10 Wheels drags that boat anchor behind his bike/trike for resistance training.
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Old 11-15-14, 12:14 PM
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It's a term that simply describes someone that isn't doing what everyone else is doing. We have many terms that describe this, but people in general don't like other people that do their own thing. If you aren't a conformist, then something is obviously not quite right with you. So you must be a 'Fred'
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Old 11-15-14, 01:00 PM
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I am a real Fred. 2nd Generation actually. My Dad and I are both Fred. I have 3 bikes and ridden 7,000 miles this year. I kind of take exception to the whole concept of this Fred thing.
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Old 11-15-14, 04:18 PM
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Love the various definitions all in one thread. That says a lot, right there.
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Old 11-15-14, 04:31 PM
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Old 11-15-14, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Still Pedaling View Post
I looks like an exercise station. Some cities have parks with exercise locations along a designated route.

Yup. Han river in Seoul. They have fantastic cycling/walking/relaxing by the rivers. Spans the whole country.
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