Out Of The Loop

Back in 2007, during the heady, exuberant days of the urban fixed-gear trend, I came up with something called the PistaDex. In those days, the Bianchi Pista was the default starter track bike, and despite the fact that it was both cheap and easily attainable, people were always selling theirs on Craigslist at or near retail price, as though these bikes were somehow not subject to any sort of depreciation. It occurred to me that analyzing the relationship between Craigslist Pista prices and retail Pista prices was an ideal way to gauge the fixie phenomenon, and in retrospect it’s no surprise that with my brilliant financial insight and acumen I went on to make millions in the stock market.

As for the PistaDex, it’s largely forgotten–even by me–though it does live on as an entry in the Urban Dictionary. And I did remember it again just recently while poking around on Craigslist, so I figured I’d check and see how the PistaDex was doing. At this point I’m so out of it that I didn’t even know if Bianchi still offered the Pista, but it turns out that they do, and it now goes for $800. Then I went to Craigslist, where I found one Pista, with an asking price of $650:

Given that, I’d say the PistaDex is still quite robust all these years later–especially when you consider the state of this one:

[Needs a top tube pad. Remember those?]

Though it does have the crabon fork.

As for what I was doing on Craigslist, I admit I was looking at cars. While we’ve already established there’s such a thing as a Pando Cyclist (basically someone who’s taken up cycling because shit’s closed and they’ve got nothing else to do), I’m kind of a Pando Driver in that I’ve been indulging my long-suppressed interest in motor vehicles, mostly by looking at them online. In this case I was shopping for a cool beach car that I’ll never actually buy, and eventually I narrowed it down to this. Of course it’s not very beachy, nor is there enough room for either my beach stuff or my children, but it’ll sure look great sitting on the side of the Belt Parkway in a pool of oil as I lean jauntily on it and gaze at the Marine Parkway Bridge in the distance.

Maybe I’ll just buy the Pista instead–which is pretty much the bicycle equivalent of that Porsche.

Speaking of storied Italian bike companies that are mere shadows of their former selves (as a shadow of my former self I’m allowed to say that), I took a break from shopping for beach cars in order to shop for new handlebars for my vintage mountain bike, and I stumbled upon this:

Really? Cinelli just flat-out stole the Jones Loop Bar–the bar that has not only led countless riders on countless adventures, but has also led me on a personal voyage of discovery in which I discovered the joys of riding upright while wearing jorts?

The Cinelli bar isn’t even cheaper than the real deal; Jones makes multiple versions of the Loop Bar, and the straight-gauge version is the same price.

Then again, what do you expect from the company that sponsors Lucas Brunelle, who’s currently spending his time drafting off dump trucks?

This is exactly why you should buy a Rivendell while you’re still in your 40s; if you don’t, you could wind up like this one day. And you really don’t want that.

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