26 August 2016

How Many Hipsters--Or Pimps--On The Head Of A Spoke?

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

That was, apparently, the question-of-the-day (or -century or -millenium) among medieval theologians.  If nothing else, it tells us that medieval theologians had lots of time on their hands.  Somehow I suspect that modern theologians do, too!

Apparently, some physicists have idle hours as well.  At least one took it upon himself to look for a possible answer to that question through a study of quantum gravity.  Now, I last took a physics class before most of you were born.  So, while I had a lot of fun reading the article, I can't tell you, exactly, what--besides its very premise--made it so amusing.

So now that I've waded into the territory of idle inquiries and can't get out  (a black hole,  perhaps?), I will plunge into another pointless probe.   

Here goes:  Is it possible to be a hipster and a pimp?

Such an inquest is not as impractical as it sounds.  It actually has profound implications for the bicycle world.  

After all, we really need to know whether it's possible to design a bike that will appeal to both a hipster and a pimp!

(Humor me and agree with the previous claim!)

A tiny company in Italy by the name of La Strana Officina may have given us the answer:

 At first glance, it might look like one of any number of "hipster fixies" you can find in almost any first-world city.  But the Cellini Uomo, to be fair, has touches won't find on very many other bikes.

As an example, the frame--made of TIG-welded from Nivacrom steel tubing--is bronzed before it is painted, in several stages.  Care is taken so that the dropout is not covered, and that the matte black paint does not completely mute the lustre of the metal.

The handlebars are 24-karat gold-plated.  So are the cable-housing ends! The handlebar covering on the right side is faux-python leather and the lever is, according to the company's website, of their own design, based on a joystick.

My favorite detail, though, is the gold anodizing on the pedals, which are built around titanium spindles.  The classic Christophe clips are great, but I'm rather surprised that those aren't gold-plated, or at least anodized.  That wouldn't be a deal-breaker for me (assuming, of course, I would buy such a bike).  However, this would:

Even if I were to buy the bike as a wall decoration (in what kind of space, I don't know), I would not want wheels with "bread tie" spokes.  They were a fad, mainly among mountain bikers, about twenty years ago.  I never saw the point of them--and I don't even like the way they look.  (Why they're on a "luxury" bike is beyond me.)  Both wheels of Cellini Uomo are spoked that way.  I guess if you were to order the bike, you could ask for a more conventional spoke pattern.

Somehow, though, I don't think a pimp or a hipster would care.   And either or both of them is the intended audience for this bike.  I'm not. 

Note:  The La Strana Officina website is only in Italian.  I interpreted it as best I could.


  1. "Is it possible to be a hipster and a pimp?"

    Another question: "Is it possible to be a hipster and not be a pimp (in some sense of the word)?"


  2. Leo--I was waiting for someone to pose that question. Thanks!