Friday, January 9, 2009

Photo Finish

I love this photo that FBM posted the other day:


To some, I'm sure it's just trash (what do you even do with old AODs and Old Boys—melt one down and make two Tierras?), to others it's treasure, but mostly it reminded me of something like this:


Just some vintage American muscle put out to pasture, waiting for the right person to come along. (If anyone from FBM is reading this and wants to send me a 21" AOD, I promise to build it. Doesn't matter how rusty it is.)

Speaking of photos, I was also amused by this one from Kink that shows the contents of Marsellus Wallace's briefcase:


I guess they're just regular ol' Badger Bars, which means they're 27x8 (unless the dimensions have changed), but don't they look really tall? If I remember correctly, GT made 10" rise bars back in the day, so why not? 30x10? Although I still can't think about tall bars and slammed seats without thinking of this photo:


That might possibly be the best photo (non-porn division) in the history of the internet (original is here). Dude's gotta do a Kris Bennett nothing just to hold on. Hit a big enough bump and you'd tear your arms off. I also love that the next exit is the Missouri Department of Transportation District Office. Here's hoping he was on his way to turn himself in for crimes against transportation.

Actually, scratch that first bit. This is the best photo in the history of the internet.

In actual product news, Éclat is making their new brake pads from a proprietary (and tasty) mix of cheddar, mozzarella, and Monterey Jack:


Brake hard enough on a steep downhill and they slow you down and melt simultaneously. And Sean Burns loves nachos.

I'm not even sure what to say about this. Maybe "blech." A 700c fixed BMX bike? Seriously? Brian Castillo done lost his mind. I can't wait until BikesnobNYC gets ahold of this. (For the record, Giselle has much better legs than that.) Then again hopefully he makes millions of dollars from the fixed-gear crowd and uses some of the profits to design a new Hellion that doesn't break.

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Finally, a little shameless self-promotion (what the hell, it's Friday). Nuno from Defgrip kindly asked me to contribute to their "Best of 2008" section, and I just made it into the last part with something that had nothing to do with BMX. Thanks, Nuno! (And Harrison, and everyone else over there.)

And in an epic, wide-ranging interview on BMXUnion, Taj mentioned this blog. Gulp. Thank you, Taj (and Kurt, the hardest-working man in BMX journalism right now). While I'll probably just re-read that quote a couple hundred times, you should read the other 10,000 or so words if you haven't already. A quick excerpt, regarding his much-maligned switch to Giant:
"I feel like BMX is a long way away from the dire state it was in in the early 90's and supporting rider owned companies was so important to me because they were the only companies making decent bikes. Nowadays most BMX bikes are more or less the same, and Giant probably makes half of them anyway. Also, having been in the "industry" for a while I'm sort of disillusioned by the idea of rider owned companies. BMXers can suck just as much as anyone else."
Yowza. It's a great read all the way through.

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31 comments:

steve said...

is it true s&m dropped 'metal' and now wtp makes metal?

robbosstache said...

taj is a conduit of the truth but it's always ahead of schedule...

Anonymous said...

I truely believe Taj has lost his mind

Anonymous said...

steve, yeah.



how did taj lose his mind? dude rules and made one of the sanest decisions ever. I'd love to have his kind of sponsorship because i enjoy riding bicycles that aren't bmx as much as i love riding bmx.

John said...

"Russ from sprfls thinks that the pads are made from cheese, but he's already used the entire world's cheese supply up writing in his blog about old Standards. So ignore him and go have fun riding your bike instead of talking about it."

Was that there when you originally linked to their site?

Kurt Hohberger said...

Hardest working man in BMX journalism? haha I wish! Thanks though I appreciate that.

Russ said...

John: Haha, no it wasn't.

I love the "ride your bike" admonition when it's the middle of winter. Apparently you should be riding your bike 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Or else you're a loser.

Ryan M said...

I fucking love that companies feel so insecure about themselves because of ONE man.

Anonymous said...

It was good of the Eclat kids to prove Taj right so promptly.

Beau said...

Or maybe they wanted to show that the big bad bmx conglomerate that is Eclat can make an attempt at cleverness too?

Anonymous said...

i'd much rather talk about old standards than brake pads.

brien said...

Did Russ even say anything derogatory about the pads? He said they looked like cheese. Change your tampon for christ sakes.

Stephen said...

they do look like cheese.

i am still floored by the fact that sean burns rides for them. what next? nickelodeon kids choice awards hosted by slayer?

i don't care what they say, i am trying some of those on a ritz.

Beau said...

The shit they make is pretty nice, it's not like Sean is riding for Alienation. I don't understand peoples problem with Eclat, can someone delve into it?

Russ said...

I'm pretty sure those pads were actually made from the seven-cheese fountain that was in "Talladega Nights."

The only thing that bugs me about Éclat is the pretentious-sounding name. And the plastic seat/post combo. Oh, and the fact that they call their logo "iconic."

DaveClymersBellyButton said...

has anyone seen this? Mantyhose?

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/28527841?gt1=43001

What the fuck is this world coming to?

Anonymous said...

hey Brian Tunney, i know you're reading this. stop being such a little bitch

ali said...

‘Oh, and the fact that they call their logo "iconic."’

Would that be because almost all logos by definition are symbolic? Well, in regards to semiotics anyways

Anonymous said...

now that taj has sold his soul he want to denounce rider owned co's f him

Anonymous said...

Hopefully that last comment was a joke, if not, you're a moron.

Anonymous said...

I want one of those rusted FBM frames!

James said...

those brake pads look like vomit

Mat said...

@ Ali: The Eclat logo (I'm sorry I meant "éclat") is not "iconic" in any sense of the word. It's just a wordmark of two stylised "E"s composed against each other. In fact it reminds me of the Roxy logo more than anything else. An example of a truly iconic, symbolic logo would be UPS's original mark by Paul Rand (now sadly replaced by a swooshy gradiented shield). It communicated the idea and name brilliantly. Something the "éclat" doesn't really do. But they needed something to look good on parts and it does that so, I guess it's fulfilled it's purpose. Sorry for such a long design rant (for a blog comment, anyway).
I think Russ juts dislikes the pretension of the company.

Russ said...

I kind of like some of their products, though (if the cranks are good enough for Sean Burns, they must be pretty good), and I've always gotten along well with Brian Tunney. Oh well.

Chad S said...

Those eclat pads look like powerbait.

ali said...

Hey Mat,

I agree with you on some points but have a counter point on the idea the logos can be iconic signifiers.

I guess I was talking about logos in the sense that they are signs and can be read. In the domain of semiotic analysis, almost all logos are symbolic signifiers because they don’t resemble the signified and the link between the two is arbitrary. Chandler gives numbers, verbal language, traffic lights and national flags as examples.

Iconic signifiers resemble or imitate the signified. Again Chandler offers examples like cartoons, scale models, metaphors and imitative gestures as being iconic signifiers.

However, even the two dictionaries I consulted defined icon in the semiotic sense only. So unless the logo looks like a bike parts factory in Taiwan and a distribution business in Germany, I’d suggest someone is perverting the definition of icon. I’m sure business would like to think of there logos as iconic but to Saussure, Chandler and myself I just doesn’t work like that.

Good post though – I’m forming the opinion that SPRFLS readers are smarter than the average rider. I think this would be the first time I have seen a discussion about semiotics in the world of BMX.

http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/S4B/sem02.html (ignore the slightly condescending title of the page)

Beau said...

After looking through my official Scrabble dictionary, I have determined that Eclat makes nice parts and nobody gives a fuck whether the logo is "iconic" or not. As long as it doesn't have anarchy signs on it what difference does it make, all the logos are just a means to identify parts, they could have "gay rodeo" etched in those cranks and I would still ride them, it's not like I am going to get distracted by an iconic logo midair and front case the coping.

tony said...

right, whether or not a brand's logo is "iconic" is not the issue. the bullshit is eclat describing their own logo as iconic.

steve said...

i think the parts are clever and simple. i think a bit of cockiness is good when they think their parts are the best, and 'logo is the bestest'? beause i do infact believe eclats parts are some of the best there is.

Guy said...

"The hardest working man in bmx journalism" that STILL cannot write and refuses to use even a basic spell-checking program, and copy-pastes e-mailed interviews. Give me a fucking break.

Russ said...

I think that says more about the general state of BMX journalism, but that's wholly besides the point.

Is a copy/pasted e-mailed interview somehow less valid than a transcribed recorded one? I suppose the lack of follow-up questions could be a problem, but what if it took place in multiple sessions?