Of My Own Free Quill

I realize I am remiss in updating you on the pair of track bikes I received from Classic Cycle back in April:

As tempted as I’ve been to ride the Fiorelli slowly around Brooklyn in the hopes that people will notice the massive street cred of my inch-pitch drivetrain, I have not yet had occasion to do so. However, I did take my son to the Kissena velodrome for his very first session with the youth track racing program today…which got rained out 30 minutes into the orientation, so he never actually made it onto the track. (We didn’t even bother to bring the Frejus with us, so dismal was the weather forecast.) Hopefully next week the conditions will be more favorable, my son will learn about bike racing from someone who’s actually qualified (as opposed to his retired Cat 3 loser of a father), and the Frejus will get a new lease on life.

Anyway, since the theme for the day was clearly going to be fixies (and since I was soon going to be spending half the day in traffic on the Long Island Expressway) I headed out for a quick spin on my Midlife Crisis Fixie Mark II this morning. My ambitions were modest to begin with, but I covered even less ground than I expected when I started fussing with my handlebar position:

I’d been noting excess pressure on my palms, so ultimately I went for MQE–that’s Maximum Quill Extension–and I’m pleased to report it feels great:

One could argue that this is a sign I should have chosen a bigger frame, but what’s the point of a Midlife Crisis Fixie if you don’t indulge in delusional Midlife Crisis Sizing? It’s like trying to squeeze yourself into tight trousers instead of surrendering to the Dad Jeans. Also, as the owner of two (2) Rivendells, I’ve become accustomed to quill stem extensions roughly equal to the arm span of a third-grader, so even at full mast the stem on this bike looks positively slammed to me.

Plus, I’ve still got less quill showing than the bike in the photo on Soma’s product page, so there:

Finally, I should mention that the bike rides very smoothly, even with skinny not-fancy tires, aggressive track-y geometry, and a wheelbase that’s shorter than my fully-extended quill stem is long. This leads me to conclude there is in fact something to be said for the judicious selection of frame tubing.

Finally, on the way home, I passed by a bike lane that…doesn’t exactly seem to be working as designed:

This is a new configuration, and like the cockpit of my Midlife Crisis Fixie Mark II, it could clearly use some tweaking.

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