06 June 2011

Being Avant-Garde, After A Fashion

As some of you might recall, a couple of weeks ago I sold a few things after doing some very late "spring cleaning."  Thanks to a posting on this blog (which I've since removed) and an announcement on a discussion group, I was able to sell my stuff without going to the dreaded Craig's List or,egad, eBay.

However, I did scroll through listings on both of those sites.  On eBay, I saw a couple of things that appeal mainly to people with more money than miles on their bikes.

You simply have to get a pair of wheels to match your Louis Vuitton purse--or, better yet, your LV custom saddlebag and handlebar wrap:

I can almost see some Japanese tourist in Paris, circa 1985, with these wheels.  

The person selling them claimed that they came with a bike he bought and they  weren't his style.  Apart from the graphics on the rims, I thought the spoke patterns and colors were also wild:  black radials on the front, alternating red and white, laced two cross, on the rear.    I'd like to see the bike that came with these wheels.

The cyclist in me wonders why the rear hub is a Phil Wood but the front is a Formula. I ride three pairs of wheels with Phils and one pair with Formula.  While I can't think of a better hub than Phil's, I think that Formula is a great hub for the money.  But--perhaps this isn't apparent in the photos--the style of each of them is very different and I wonder why someone who was apparently trying to coordinate everything visually would so mix the hubs.  As a practical matter, the mix actually makes some sense:  The quality of the rear is more critical than that of the front, and whoever built those wheels saved a bit of money on the front.

As you may have guessed, the rims were made by Velocity.  I wonder whether it's some sort of special edition, and for how long they will be made.  After all, I have to get a pair and build them when I have some money! ;-)

To be fair, Velocity is the only brand of rim besides Mavic I would use on a pair of wheels I were building, or having built--unless, of course, I were building in a size not made by either of those two companies.  Sun rims, I've found, are strong and are usually good values for the money. But they are considerably more difficult to build and true than Mavic or Velocity rims.

They should paint this next item to coordinate with the wheels:

After all, if you're going to get aerodynamic rims, you need an aerodynamic bell to go with it, n'est-ce pas?  And not any old aerodynamic bell:  It absolutely must be titanium, like this one.  A couple of years ago, I would've said that titanium is, like, soooo 1996. But, as I understand, this year stuff from the fin de siecle is going to be all hip and retro.  But just in case you're a year too early, remember to get the bell painted white and stenciled with Monsieur Louis' "V's."


  1. Okay, I kinda like the rims : )

    But shouldn't the ti bell sit flatter on the bars?

  2. V, You have a point: The bell shouldn't?

    But if it were flatter, would it still be a bell?

    I'd love to know who's buying them. They were listed for about 50 dollars each when I saw them.