Rules To Dork By

5 Feb

Bike dork that is. I don’t want to discuss any other type of dork you might be into. Just your bike. As a matter of fact, just your mountain bike.

I’ve been losing my focus lately. After seeing Jamie’s new ride my inner bike geek has been fighting to get out and I will not allow it.

I got like a zillion e-mails, calls, texts and comments (OK, maybe 2) from people wanting advice and rules to help them in their quest to get their dork on. I was going to ask dug to write this post for me as pretty much everything I know about getting my dork on I learned from him. He is without peer.

It looks as if dug is breaking some of the dork rules in this picture but he borrowed that bike from someone just before the race.


Here they are, your top ten rules to dork by:

  1. Never buy anything. Beg, borrow or steal what you need.
  2. Your frame should be steel. Aluminum is OK in a pinch.
  3. Rim brakes only. V-brakes or canti’s, I don’t care. I’m no snob.
  4. No carbon fiber, titanium, ceramic, bamboo or other exotic material unless you made it yourself.
  5. Square taper bottom bracket. Your local shop gives ’em away.
  6. No suspension.
  7. Mismatched water bottle cages, skewers, tires, brake levers, etc. For God’s sake don’t mismatch your pedals or grips that would just be stupid.
  8. I forget what 8 was for.

I could only come up with 8, whatever. You might argue that my list is incomplete. I didn’t even mention gears, derailleurs or clipless pedals, that woulda been like 11 rules. Besides, like I said, I’m no snob and while it’s possible to be even dorkier than this list suggests I do not recommend it. If you take it upon yourself to implement more rules than the ones above you run the risk of being labeled a bike dork geek. You don’t want that. That would be bad.

19 Responses to “Rules To Dork By”

  1. dug February 5, 2008 at 10:29 am #

    i could never get my dork on without you, since nobody else will let me beg borrow or steal their shit. you’re a dork enabler.

    disc brakes are worth the geek factor. you can ride a wheel out of true (what’s dorkier than that?), and no mud issues. for extra dork, make one hydraulic and one mechanical.

  2. Rick S. February 5, 2008 at 11:04 am #

    I like my suspension fork and disc brakes too much to get my dork on this year but I’m all for it. Unless, of course, it means I need to give up my suspension fork and disc brakes.

  3. jruss February 5, 2008 at 1:04 pm #

    disc brakes? you ought to see the size of my rotors. thanks for including our dear friend the square taper. the cycling industry has made its way all the way back to the creaky days of klien and fisher pressed cartridge bearing bottom brackets that everyone hated in the early 90’s. nice.

  4. UtRider February 5, 2008 at 4:37 pm #

    Can you remind me why you want to be a bike dork? Are you also a car dork, computer dork, cell phone dork, clothing dork, food/nutrition dork, house dork, etc.? Or is this a phenomenon limited to your bike? If so, why? If you’re truly a dork than take it all the way. If not, why pretend to be something you aren’t? 🙂

    PS – I think if you are serious about achieving true bike dorkness you need to extend the scope of your project to include all aspects of riding: No lycra, definitely no chamois, no jerseys composed of high performance fabric, no sports drinks, no pre-packaged foods, no modern, sport-specific sunglasses, no low cut socks (if you wear socks at all…), no cycling shoes or clipless pedals.

  5. Tony February 5, 2008 at 7:16 pm #

    BK, in an attempt to confirm Utrider’s suspicions about being a car dork …. I suggest you post a picture of your custom ride. Do you watch the weather channel to avoid cross winds in that thing?

  6. thinkingcarl February 5, 2008 at 9:40 pm #

    Dug. I am a big fan of 3/4 pants (knickers). Those are sweet!

    What brand are they? Where did you get them?

  7. dug February 6, 2008 at 10:52 am #

    utrider, that kind of thinking, ALL OR NOTHING, is icky. lighten up. unscrew your helmet a twist or two.

    thinkingcarl, i got them off a website somewhere. i wish i could remember the name of the company. or of the website. and now that i’ve forgotten this thing, i feel strangely compelled to forget EVERYTHING.

  8. dug February 6, 2008 at 10:59 am #

    carl, ricks jogged my memory.

  9. UtRider February 6, 2008 at 11:43 am #

    Dug – No worries, my post was more tongue in cheek than serious. I was just trying to figure out if this (speaking of the bike dork movement) was the result of a serious desire to go retro or more of a temporary stunt (for lack of a better word) to poke fun at those of us riding newer bikes. Or, maybe you guys do it for a totally different reason. Which is why I asked the question. Personally, I don’t know how you guys ride singlespeeds to begin with and when you add a fully rigid frame to the mix I’m totally in awe. That alone seems hardcore but to then take it to yet another level by riding old, heavy, steel frames with near vintage components – well, all that comes to mind is why? 🙂

  10. dug February 6, 2008 at 11:47 am #

    some see what is, and ask why? brad sees what isn’t, and asks, why not?

    er. or something like that.

    it’s for shits and giggles. nothing pure or religious about it.

  11. KanyonKris February 6, 2008 at 12:02 pm #

    I think we all need to get out and ride! This winter is making us all cranky (except Forrest).

  12. Fish February 6, 2008 at 5:47 pm #

    So the vibe I’m getting is that Dork is a combination of retro and cheap in which the cheap drives the retro. Old parts tend toward retro and old parts are easier to beg, borrow and steal. I was confused about where my Sabrosa would fit in here. It’s new with retro style, but I begged it off a friend. So BK, will I be getting my dork on riding the Sabrosa this year?

  13. elden February 6, 2008 at 9:43 pm #

    having 8 be “i forget what 8 was for” was my favorite list item ever.

  14. brkeyes7 February 7, 2008 at 4:40 am #


    jruss-Them’s some rotors you got.

    Utrider-Gotta try it.

    Tony-What you sayin bout my ride?


    I made it to Vietnam and havent slept for about 36 hours.

  15. Bob February 7, 2008 at 12:04 pm #

    I’m a librarian, so keep that in mind.

    Aren’t canti/v-brakes and the like just Disc brakes, really? The rim is the rotor and the canti/v mechanism is the caliper. So, if you really think on it, BK, you are running disk brakes, only the ones you are running, really aren’t that effective, cost or stoppage wise.

    Now if you were running coaster or drum brakes. yep, that will keep you awake for the next 36 hours, won’t it

  16. brkeyes7 February 7, 2008 at 7:56 pm #

    BTW, the dork bike with heavy old steal frame and old cheap vintage parts weighs in at about 21 lbs. What I’m saying with the dork bike is that the new stuff isnt necessarily better nor will it make you a better rider. More comfortable, perhaps. And, some old things like the square taper BB have yet to be really improved upon.

    Bob-I still havent got any sleep thanks to you.

    Elden-glad you thought so. it’s my fave list item. should be on every list.

  17. Garrett February 8, 2008 at 1:11 pm #

    I’m kinda abiding to these rules building up my first road bike, mainly because I’m a cheapskate. Of course I have a steel frame, mismatched water bottle cages, front rim is silver and rear is black.

  18. jamie p February 8, 2008 at 9:08 pm #

    First off, I think Brad purposely didn’t give me a heads up on this “dork” thing soon enough because I’ve now given away enough parts to build several dork bikes in the last year or so. Which reminds me, Rick we really need to get your cyclocross dork bike done soon, it’s still hanging in my garage.
    Ditto what Fatty says. My wife and I got a huge chuckle from #8.

  19. Scott R February 13, 2008 at 12:17 pm #

    I loved the Violent Femmes reference! It would seem that their quirky yet vesatile sound would go hand in hand with getting your “dork” on! Mismatched bike parts and mismatched musical sounds can both be utilized to creat something beautiful in it’s own way! My favorite aspect of getting your dork on is my $16.00 square taper Shimumbo-Jumbo bottom bracket that connects my Eno cranks to my Spot Brand 29’er frame! (In order to make that “dorky” i ran a rusty un-painted Karate Monkey fork with the disc tab ground off of it!) Unfortunately peer pressure has rencently caused me to spray paint it!!!

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