Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What Up With That? Gigantor Bike Edition

Inspired by the recurring SNL sketch of the same name, I'm going to embark on my own "What Up With That" series of blog posts that will shed light on something strange and attempt to tease out why it is how it is, sort of like Balderdash. Today's installment: Gigantor Bikes

I have seen these Gigantor Bikes a lot around my apartment, and I can't say that I approve or understand. If my eyes serve me, there appear to be two bike frames set on top of one another, with a very long chain connecting the two. They are probably 7 feet tall, making the person riding them nearly ten feet tall from wheel to noggin. This allows them to see great distances and over most vehicles, but also quite wobbly and difficult to maneuver. The cons outweigh the pros in this regard. Perhaps they are a gateway bike, a tricycle for those wanting to learn unicycle, but with shoddy balance. The Gigantor bike allows them to feel as though they are riding atop a unicycle, but without the fear of imminent death. Here's another young man aboard his Gigantor:

An alternate theory is that this is a clever game of hipster oneupmanship. Hipsters are known to be a competitive bunch, and while their competitions once revolved around mustaches, times have changed, and they have set their sights on fixies. Being that every hipster worth his salt has a fixie chained outside his apartment, it is only logical that one sect of hipsters should attempt to "raise the bar", in hopes of leaving helpless posers below. It is a classic power play of which no one can claim immunity. In olden days, hip-hop artists measured themselves against one another purely on the basis of the hydraulics and "lift" of their vehicles. It wasn't until a vehicle bounced completely onto its roof that the fad began to fade. I'm afraid it will take a tragic accident of this magnitude for hipsters to realize the error of their ways. Historians say that even Civil War Generals William T. Sherman and Robert E. Lee spent many days "pimping" their horses before battle in the attempt to gain "cred" from allied forces. Unlike war and rap, hipsters follow no rules, so I can only hope that the following image is striking enough to shame them back into a single story bike.

This is where you are headed. This man is still stuck on top of this bike somewhere in rural Canada, subsisting on rainwater from gutters, and whatever flies into his mouth. It is a miserable existence, and I fear, and inevitable one if this trend continues. Boneshakers though, I wouldn't seeing those make a comeback.


  1. Funny you should blog about this - I can provide some background. Your intuition is correct: it is indeed a hipster movement, a kind of combination northwest and brooklyn thing, which (as all things wanna-be) has belatedly made its way to our provincial region. The hipsters like to call them "tall bikes", though I prefer your "gigantor bike" coinage. See link below for informative village voice article which will go a long way (probably too far) towards filling you in on exactly what's up with these things (I only know about this because the jackass with the "Darko" pseudonym who is extensively quoted in the article is - I am semi-shamed to admit - an old friend. And I can confirm that he is prone to, and has suffered from, exactly the type of hipster oneupmanship you warn about).

  2. I would just like to point out that these types of bikes have been around America and Europe for the past twenty odd years, they are also only falling into hipster fad in recent times, many people who ride these types of bikes also known as chopper bikes are part of clubs and gangs, like the club Black Label. The tall bikes are also used in competitions called tall bike jousting, if you youtube it you'll see videos as far back as 5 years ago.