Wednesday, March 4, 2015


I mounted the cassette, rear derailleur, and cranks:

As I've been doing this, I'm learning some of the tricks bike builders and photographers use to get those sexy bike show pictures. If you use some shiny, blingy parts, and keep everything cleaned and shined, you can make even the most clunky toy-store frame look like it belongs in a handmade bike show. But as soon as you lube everything up to go ride, you lose most of the glamor.

That's not to say you should not get a bike just because it's beautiful in the shop. Emerson reminds us that beauty is its own excuse for being, and Hopkins says it in his own way (Hopkins always does; he must have been a pain to live with; can you imagine asking him a simple question about the weather?). But don't expect a bike you use to stay beautiful in that way... the shop-perfection, if you will, will be replaced by what Grant at Rivendell Bikes calls "beausage". (Hrmph. Others evidently use this term, too!)


  1. I love my bike so much more for it's bangs and knocks... It's kind of like the Velveteen Rabbit. I've never heard the word 'beausage' before, it sounds like another pretentious attempt to bastardize a lazy amalgamation into common use... I don't think I'll use it but Damn I wish there were a decent word that describes "...the beauty that comes with using something." As an idea it is gold... just don't like that word. (I bet I start using it now. Thanks a lot!)

    1. David - As Charles Dickens wrote about a form of praise, "If that's not high praise, tell me higher, and I'll use it." It's the way I feel about "beausage". Tell me a better word for it, that captures the meaning succinctly and doesn't require reams of explanation, and I'll use it.

    2. True.
      It is the worst word to describe such a wonder just as Churchill described democracy as "...the worst form of Government, except for all the others"
      And thus let it be written and so let it be said.
      And in our use of the word let the beautiful things with bangs and dings proliferate in our consciousness. And may the scars and welts of use and practical function become the badges of our loving appreciation.