Classic Cycle Thursdays Giveaway Wednesday, Sponsored by Classic Cycle Thursdays!

When you’ve got somewhere you need to be it can feel as though people are deliberately trying to slow you down–it’s like you’re in “The Truman Show” and Ed Harris is trying to keep you from getting off the island, as I’m sure I’ve noted before. Such was the case when I got stuck behind this thing yesterday:

With that leaf blower hanging off the side I figured that instead of passing it I’d just wait until the point at which the bike path narrows significantly, at which point I was sure it would pull over.

It did not pull over:

Oh well, it could have been worse, I could have been trapped behind the Rapha van:

Anyway, as I’ve been threatening since last Friday, I will be giving away a bike, and you’ve probably felt like you too were stuck behind a slowly-moving vehicle. Well, I’m finally ready to do it:

Oh, sorry, that is not the bike.

This is the bike:

[Photo: Classic Cycle]

I took delivery of the so-called “Side Effects” bike back in March. In my time with it, I reconfigured it with a bendy bar that complemented the bouncy beam:

I also planned to race it, though my plans were thwarted:

For my next act, I was considering turning it into the Ultimate Garvel Bike, complete with dirt drops and Ruh-nay Hur-say tires. However, with another Classic Cycle due to arrive soon I must confront the fact that I simply cannot give this exquisite bicycle the time and attention it deserves. But hey, at least I got an Outside column out of it:

Incredibly, Paul of Classic Cycle insisted I give away the bike rather than return it, despite the fact that this technological marvel is obviously his museum’s crown jewel. Moreover, if you’re in the market for one of these babies (and who isn’t?), used specimens command a hefty premium:

Some bikes scream “I really should be riding a Rivendell” louder than others, and I can only hope the seller will use the proceeds to fund such a purchase:

“Okay, who do I have to kill to get this thing?,” you’re now shouting at your screen. Well, not so fast. First let’s take a look at the bike in its current iteration. You’ll note I’ve made several carefully considered component changes ostensibly to enhance the bike’s rideability but really because there were some parts I wanted to keep for myself. (In the bike industry we call this the “bait and switch.”) Here is the bicycle as you will receive it:

[Photo: Arlo Weiss]

Key upgrades include the non-RapidRise, non-XTR, SRAM X-9 rear derailleur:

[Photo: Arlo Weiss]

This is mated to an X-7 trigger shifter and a single-ring crank complete with jump-stop thingy for a vintage non-clutch, non-wide range 1×9 drivetrain:

[Photo: Arlo Weiss]

And yes, that’s an ISIS crank. Concerned about long-term bottom bracket durability? Don’t worry, Jan Heine has you covered:

That’s only twice as much as a Deore crank and bottom bracket!

For pedals, I will happily include the Eggbeaters that came with the bike, but for maximum safety and shoe compatibility I’ve fitted it with Redshift Arclight pedals:

[Photo: Arlo Weiss]

This way people will see you coming…

[Photo: Arlo Weiss]

…and going:

[Photo: Arlo Weiss]

Though lights or no lights it’s tough to miss someone on a Softride.

(Redshift also sells a “Pro” version of this pedal that would be more appropriate for an all-terrain bike but…I’m keeping those.)

Of course the heart of the bike is the beam, and it’s topped with the so-called “Infinity Seat” Paul originally included with it:

[Photo: Arlo Weiss]

This is one of the worst saddles I’ve ever used. I can’t even pretend there’s anything good to say about it, and I put it on there because I want it out of my fucking life forever.

Up front, I’ve reinstalled the iconic Softride stem:

[Photo: Arlo Weiss]

Since I feel guilty about the saddle, I’m sparing you the Scott AT-4 handlebars, and have instead included a generic riser bar that I can in no way warrant is rated for offroad use (it came on a State Core Line fixie) as well as a pair of Ergon grips:

[Photo: Arlo Weiss]

The cockpit is of course absurdly narrow by modern standards, but the entire bike is absurd by modern standards so they’re very much in keeping with the theme:

[Photo: Arlo Weiss]

Additionally, I will gladly throw in the Scott bar, as well as the XTR STI-style shifters that came with the bike:

In fact I may force you to take them.

As for the brakes, the bike came with these babies:

But don’t worry, you’ll get Tektros instead.

I did consider fitting it with cantis since that’s what the bike was originally designed for…

[Photo: Arlo Weiss]

…but like that cable I instead chose to take the path of least resistance.

Wheels and tires remain unchanged:

[Photo: Arlo Weiss]

And overall I like to think I’ve curated a bike that is ever-so-slightly easier to live with than the one I originally received while still maintaining the overall “What were they thinking?” theme. Also, I rode it around the park with the photographer I used to shoot this piece, and apart from the saddle I gotta say it felt pretty good:

Switch out the saddle and possibly the bars and you’ve got yourself a quirky nostalgic retro-thrasher. (With a normal saddle the bike is actually quite fun to ride.) Or turn it into the ironic gravel bike I never did. Or…make it a commuter! It’ll actually take fenders:

The possibilities are endless.

Okay, wanna know how to win it? I got two words for you:

***Scavenger Hunt is over! Bike is claimed! Ad is down!***

Here’s how it’s gonna work:

  • I have posted a “For Sale” ad for the bike on a popular online marketplace
  • This ad makes reference to a certain type of cheese
  • Once you’ve found the ad, email me using the subject line “I FOUND IT!” and noting in the body of the email what type of cheese I make reference to in the ad
  • Your email should also include where you live, whether or not you can pick up the bike, and what you plan to do with it. (See more in the FAQ below.)

That’s it!


On which popular online marketplace have you placed the ad?

I’m not telling you. You have to find it. That’s the whole pernt!

Does the first person to find the ad and email you win the bike?

Not necessarily.

So how will you choose the winner?

I will choose using the following criteria:

  • How quickly you find the bike
  • Where you are located
  • How you plan to use the bike

In other words, being first counts for a lot, but not everything. I’d prefer not to have to ship the bike, so if you can come pick it up, or at the very least meet me someplace that’s convenient (for me), this counts in your favor. At the same time, I’d prefer the bike go to someone who actually wants it, and who will do something fun with it they’ll share with the rest of us. So if it’s between someone in New York who’s like “Whatever” and someone in Kansas who’s like, “I’m gonna ride this thing at Unbound Gravel next year and take lots of photos,” then it’s going to Kansas. Also, if you happen to live someplace I’m planning to be in the near future, you could get lucky and maybe I’ll drop it off or something.

What if I live outside the United States?

You’re welcome to play, but the harder it is to get you the bike the less likely it is you’ll win it.

I’m an eccentric millionaire and I own the world’s largest Softride museum. Can I give you lots of money for the bike and bypass this whole shitshow?

Obviously yes. The money would ultimately go to Paul, less my finder’s fee.

So…I think that about covers it! If you have any questions put them in the comments below and I’ll answer if I feel like it. Thanks Classic Cycle, good luck to you, and happy hunting!

–Tan Tenovo

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