Just gonna link to something today and ask an open-ended question. Nothing too exciting. Hopefully I'll get something more substantial posted tomorrow. As it is. I've got about 20 minutes before I have to get out of here.
Anyway, Taj posted a great blog update today, tongue firmly in cheek, about the BMX bike of the future. (Which made me think of Disney's "Tomorrowland" for some reason.) Things won't ever get that bad. Will they? (Not that I haven't seen—and even photographed—roving packs of Razor Scooterers at the Brooklyn Banks. I remember even seeing one equipped with a King headset, which cost more than the actual scooter, I believe. But hey, if you're gonna be doing triplewhips, you need to cut down that friction.)
I guess the question is, where is this all going? And what's the priority of the average rider? For me, personally, I want a bike I can ride around on. Transportation is key—and I don't mean commuting, just being able to get from spot to spot. I'd like a bike I can sit down and pedal when I'm carrying a camera bag, but still ride once I get to wherever I'm going. Weight is a secondary concern. I think my bike now weighs around 27 pounds with four steel pegs. That's plenty light for my purposes.
Thing is though, weight appears to have become a primary concern now, even at the expense of practicality and rideability. Lowered toptubes and shortened rear triangles are simple ways to achieve substantial weight savings without further butting and fluting and whatever else gets done these days. So you wind up with a bike that loops out at the slightest provocation (especially when you factor in eight-inch bars and a topload with spacers), but hey, the frame weighs less than five pounds! Where we're headed is flatland bikes with longer toptubes and (much) lower seats. Bikes you need to drive to wherever you're going to ride. Tailwhip machines that you wouldn't want to ride more than a block.
So where ARE we headed? Will toptubes continue to drop, rear ends continue to shrink, until we reach the Segwaypocalypse? Or will things swing back the other way towards ridability and sanity? I'm just asking.