An Open Letter to Lew Racing

01.18.2008 | 10:14 am

Dear Mr. Lew,

I very nearly did not write this letter. I thought to myself, “Hey, this is not some big megacorp; this is a wheelbuilding dude named Paul, who probably thought it was a good idea to take a photo of a model in a black dress along with his bike in the lobby of a Marriott and use that as an ad in VeloNews.”


“I should just leave him be,” I thought. “He’s just a wheelbuilder chasing his dream. Why give him grief?”

And then I took a look at your website, Mr. Lew, where you sell wheelsets for up to $17,000 or so (the custom boron option alone is $7500), and now I don’t feel quite so bad, because clearly I am not the only one with a sense of humor about what you’re doing.

What Is This Ad About?
When I first looked at your ad, Mr. Lew, I saw the text “Perfectly Fit,” noticed that the model in the dress is in fact very fit, and then I took a look at the bike.


“Oh, cool,” I thought. “Parlee’s running full-page ads in VeloNews, advertising the fact that they custom-build their bikes so that they’re a perfect fit for you. Good for them!”

It wasn’t until the next issue of VeloNews that I took a look at the mouseprint of the ad (enlarged by 3000% here, so you don’t have to get out a magnifying glass to read it):


“Wha?” I said to myself. “Is this a joint ad between Parlee and Lew?” No. As it turns out, in spite of the fact that Parlee’s logo is an order of magnitude more prevalent than the Lew logo all over the bike, this is in fact an ad just by Lew Racing. And if you pay extra-close attention, you can even tell that it’s an ad for wheels.

Your Model Barely Tolerates You
But let’s put aside your ad’s efforts to sell Parlees instead of your wheels, as well as your considerable prowess in hiding your the name of your company and product in your ad.

Let’s talk instead about the centerpiece of your ad: the model holding up the bike. For your convenience, I have below called out the main problems with the photo (image pops to larger version).


Let’s dig a little deeper, shall we?

  • Models Can Lift Our Bikes! I think your intention is to show that even a waif of a model can lift a bike equipped with your wheels with just a couple of fingers. The thing is, though, any road cyclist knows that every manufacturer can build a bike that weighs less than fifteen pounds, so that’s not exactly a great claim to exclusivity, is it?
  • MUSCLEBOUND Models Can Lift Our Bikes! You go and hurt your case even further by finding one of the most buff-looking models I have ever seen, and then take a photo of her straining away at holding the bike aloft, as if it were a full-suspension downhill mountain bike instead of a featherweight road machine. I mean, seriously. It’s taking her two fingers to hold the bike in the air (it really should take just one), her forearms are bulging out, her neck is straining, and she’s supporting her back with her other hand, as if otherwise the weight of your wheelset is going to topple her over.
  • Keep this thing away from me: Weight issues aside, your model would clearly prefer to be somewhere else. The look in her eyes and grimace on her face as she looks at your wheels are almost exactly the same as when I discover I have stepped, barefoot, in cat barf (happens more often than you might think). And she’s holding the bike good and far away from her — not so much the way you carry an object of fine craftsmanship, but more like the way you take out the trash.

A Feel For the Surreal
After looking at all this, though, what really strikes me about your ad, Mr. Lew, is the strangeness of it. Apart from in a poorly-conceived ad, I’m trying to figure out, how would an event like the one pictured happen? I admit, I would be startled and amazed if I were to walk into a Marriott lobby (I’m not dead certain she’s actually in a Marriott; it could be a DoubleTree) and see a woman in a black dress, hefting a road bike and looking at the back wheel with scorn.

I would walk up to the woman, I imagine, because I need to know more. “Why are you holding that bike in the air? I would ask.

“I am holding the bike in the air because I need to exercise my muscular upper body,” she would reply.

“Seriously? How much does the bike weigh?” I would ask.

“82 pounds and change,” she would reply. “I had the frame built out of solid Kryptonite, because Superman is my arch-enemy.”

“That makes sense, I guess,” would be my reply. “But why are you so angry at the back wheel?” I would ask.

“I have been asked,” she would reply, “to hold this bike until someone can clean the cat barf off the back wheel.”

I suppose, Mr. Lew, there are other possible explanations why this photograph might be taken, but none come to mind.

Here’s a thought in closing, though: next time you want to run an ad in a bike magazine, consider taking a shot of a cyclist — maybe a cyclist on a punishing climb. You may even want to position the camera so at least one of your wheels is prominently featured in the photograph.

I know it’s a crazy idea, but I think it just may work.

Kind Regards,

The Fat Cyclist


  1. Comment by Clydesteve | 01.18.2008 | 11:42 am

    Elden, this open letter is very funny. I laughed out loud, at work at least four times.

    I appreciate that you have called this poorly conceived ad to our attention. I would have just numbly kept flipping through the mag, ignoring the ad: “Huh, someone else trying to use a kinda-hot babe to sell a bike”, flip.

    But you have revealed truth. I especially liked the lazer gaze of derision, with p-shopped in led lazers. That is funnier than saying “weasels”.

    Besides, the model should be wearing pearls with that outfit.

  2. Comment by Bitter (formerly known as Lissee) | 01.18.2008 | 11:46 am

    HA! So true!

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention the fact that she looks red. I suppose the photographer couldn’t be bothered to do a white balance or color correction on the image. Not to mention, that the model’s legs are chopped off at the ankles. Any good photographer knows never to crop an image at the joint. So not only is the muscular model annoyed, in pain, and dis-interested, she-he is now walking around on stumps. lol

    It does seem to me that she totally misses the wheel altogether, she’s not scorning the wheel, she’s so disinterested in the bike that she’s looking for whatever happens to be littering the carpet.

  3. Comment by Clydesteve | 01.18.2008 | 11:49 am

    I went to the Lew Racing website and cued up a wheelset that would cost $16,430, but decided not to buy, even though it was a whole wheelset, not just a rear wheel. They did not have an option for the custom boron rims tuned for a clydesdale.

  4. Comment by DerekB | 01.18.2008 | 11:57 am

    Ha! I am glad someone else saw this as one of the worst designed ads ever. . . it makes me shudder. . .

  5. Comment by Bluenoser | 01.18.2008 | 12:08 pm

    I think I’m a bit like you Fatty. I spend a lot of time looking at the ads in bike mags. There may be some repressed stuff there because one I can’t afford any of their stuff and two I try ( and have become quite good at picking out the mistakes that their highly paid ad people make).

    Why do I do this? Because in my poor deprived mind I say to them. “Hey look where your big bucks ad person screwed up which cost you a lot of money so you should give me one of what you’re selling for pointing this out.

    Then I wake up and realize that with better management I wouldn’t be so poor it I wasn’t paying $12.50 for a bike magazine.

    Anyway, I’ll go to work Monday and freeze my but off up here and stew some more while you have your nice long weekend. See what you started.


  6. Comment by bikemike | 01.18.2008 | 12:13 pm

    clearly this is an ad for hotel lobby carpeting. that’s where she’s looking, it’s quite obvious. she’s ticked off because someone left that dang dirty bike on the comfort-plush floor covering. didn’t your mom tell you not to bring that bike in the house when you were a kid. there’s probably dog poo on the bottom of the saddle, that’s why she’s holding it like that.

  7. Comment by Don ( | 01.18.2008 | 12:15 pm

    I laughed out loud at work the whole time, AND almost peed myself I think. I was just starting to miss your open letters. This one was great FC.

  8. Comment by Boz | 01.18.2008 | 12:16 pm

    I think Mr Loo er..Lew is implying his wheel sets are so light even a stick-figured super model could lift them. But it was discovered that this wasn’t possible, so a ‘roided up super model was used instead. Still not a very effective idea. Who exactly is the target market for the mega-priced hoops, anyway?

  9. Comment by System6 | 01.18.2008 | 12:24 pm

    Fatty, normally you’re on key, but this time you missed it entirely. Or more.

    My only questions having seen this ad, are:
    1. How do I justify to the missus spending $17k on (another) bike
    2. Is there a special rate if the model is thrown in (need someone to draft behind; she’s more carved than I am, so I gotta believe she can pull the line)

    Secondly, I like overdone but understated, artsy, made-in-a-motel ads. However, if I saw her at my favorite HoJos my first thought wouldn’t be about spending money…on the bike. I don’t mean to be off-color (but afterall it’s not my blog) — but I’m thinking interval training. Wink.

    Most bike ads actually have sliver-thin waifs of boy-men with shaved legs (or is it?) straddling these ridiculously-priced machines, and THAT’s supposed to make me want to drop several large to add one to the stable?

    Me thinks that Fatty needs to go a little primal and get his head on right, pronto.

    Call me masculine, or at least comfortable with muscular super-models, maybe, but I like what I see.

  10. Comment by Ghisallo | 01.18.2008 | 12:29 pm

    Awww…give the poor guy a break. He obviously can’t afford to hire anyone to make his ads until he sells a few of those 16K hoops.

  11. Comment by Lee | 01.18.2008 | 12:34 pm

    Very funny! Yes, I can relate, sadly, to the cat vomit. Although stepping on it in just socks may be even a bit yukkier.

  12. Comment by mark | 01.18.2008 | 12:40 pm

    C’mon, they’re just trying to use sex to move non-sex-related product. It’s only one of the many reasons for which both the cat and Mr. David Ogilvie would be barfing after seeing this ad. But such tomfoolery is not limited to the cycling industry, as evidenced by this ad for Stoeckli skis:

  13. Comment by System6 | 01.18.2008 | 12:45 pm

    p.s. I wish I could edit my post to wipe off the drool.

  14. Comment by Al Maviva | 01.18.2008 | 12:55 pm

    Funny you guys read all that into this picture.

    All I see is a smokin’ hot, fit looking (and probably badly ignored) looking young wife thinking, “another bike? I guess he thought by hiding it in the nearby motel lobby that I wouldn’t notice it. And cripes, these wheels probably cost him $3750*”

    * An accurate guess on her part, as far as it goes. In accordance with the Rules of Bicycle Black Budget Purchases – section 356.1(a)3 – “if asked, purchaser is to reply that bicycle or components cost exactly one half what was actually paid for them.” This is in keeping with the same rules the Government uses when stating the CIA’s budget to Congress, so it’s okay if you use it at home. Thus the $7500 wheelset’s estimated price, to the individual who attempts to rein in black budget purchases, is one half the actual price of the item. Good guess, honey!

  15. Comment by Jen | 01.18.2008 | 1:01 pm

    Maybe she is gazing longly at the floor where her chopped off feet are, since obviously this does not cost two arms and a leg, but your feet, which as we know are pretty useful for sticking on the pedals. (Granted you might still need 2 arms and a leg to ride.)

    Or maybe … maybe … she picked up this cute little bike by its saddle and well, it peed in self defense and now she’s looking at the puddle with the look of horror we all know from the first time we picked up a frog. Or perhaps she’s trying to decide how well hydrated the bike is … very yellow, pale, etc.

    It’s definitely Friday afternoon.

  16. Comment by monkeywebb | 01.18.2008 | 1:12 pm

    I don’t understand all the negativity. It’s entirely possible to buy a set of Lew’s for as little as 2 1/2 times the cost of my bike.

  17. Comment by Susan (another one) | 01.18.2008 | 1:16 pm

    I want arms like those.

    And I’m a girl.

  18. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 01.18.2008 | 1:19 pm

    There’s a perfectly good explanation for a photograph like that being a true depiction of a valid scenario. If you can afford $17,000 for a wheelset, you can afford to use a model as a bike rack.

    Personally, I continue to make most of my significant bicycle purchases from the Good Will dumpster of the internet (eBay). As such I will also continue to NOT use a model as a bike rack.

  19. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 01.18.2008 | 1:30 pm

    You must still be using the ‘06 edition of Black Budget for Dummies. On page 162 of the ‘08 ebook edition (print copies available late March) it clearly states that apart from running the black budget through a different financial institution and establishing a post office box nearer to work than home, any suspiscious purchases should be brought home only after smearing some dirt on obvious, but not mechanically significant, parts thereby feigning “secondhandness”.

    “Borrowed them from Jimmy” should be your only response to any confrontation about the product in question, possibly followed by “They’re pretty good though, I might slip him 50 or 60 bucks to keep the pair of Zipp 808s.”

    Big Mike
    keepin’ it covert

  20. Comment by bikemike | 01.18.2008 | 1:36 pm

    Big Mike and Al, The Idiot’s Guide to Black Budget Purchasing is a more comprehensive guide than The Dummies book. take it from an idiot.

    look for MY new book, The Idiot’s Guide To Dummies.

  21. Comment by Stan | 01.18.2008 | 1:37 pm

    This reminds me of the old Lambert bike ads from 1973. They had an ad with their bike and a model wearing a miniskirt and high-heeled boots. She was very hot and all, but completely implausible as the rider of the bike. You can see a version of that ad here:

  22. Comment by Sprocketboy | 01.18.2008 | 1:38 pm

    This is indeed a strange ad. One of my friends runs Lew wheels on his superlight Tarmac SL but is terrified to ride them in the hills as he is not so confident about the braking. That model looks like she could stop any runaway bike, though.

  23. Comment by BurkeInTheOzarks | 01.18.2008 | 1:50 pm

    Yep, she’s definitely looking at the cat barf on the carpet.

    Summon the hotel cleaning crew, stat!

  24. Comment by Born 4 Lycra | 01.18.2008 | 2:41 pm

    I wonder what her shoes looked like.

  25. Comment by BurkeInTheOzarks | 01.18.2008 | 3:12 pm

    Wowee Zowee (obscure band reference)!

    Nice redesign, Fatty!

  26. Comment by | 01.18.2008 | 3:24 pm

    much lol’s from me. great post. Cycling ads suck just as bad as any ads out there. Great comments too…..

  27. Comment by Sophia | 01.18.2008 | 3:35 pm

    Wow. Very sleek and pretty new design.

    And very funny post. But having nice muscles isn’t just for men. Me thinks someone might be a wee bit jealous???

  28. Comment by eunicesara | 01.18.2008 | 4:33 pm

    About that boxing Fresian in the logo . . .
    The page changed between my checking at lunch and my checking now. Wasn’t sure what rabbithole Internet Explorer had fallen into this time; but the new page is – cute.
    and, Nice Fresian

  29. Comment by DrCodfish | 01.18.2008 | 4:55 pm

    Marriott? I was thnking Super 8 lounge.

  30. Comment by rosehill | 01.18.2008 | 4:56 pm

    I LOVE the new site design!!

  31. Comment by MonsieurM | 01.18.2008 | 5:03 pm

    I love your open letters… and this one is no exception, good writing! And the new look for the site is just great.

  32. Comment by Clydesteve | 01.18.2008 | 5:14 pm

    new site design it Xlnt, Fatty. Good job!

  33. Comment by David Schloss | 01.18.2008 | 5:32 pm

    Laughed out loud. Thanks.

    BTW, the material that came from planet Krypton is Kyrptonite. It would be like saying you made a bike out of “solid earth”.

  34. Comment by | 01.18.2008 | 5:43 pm

    HOLY REDESIGNS FATMAN! I really like the new site. The logo looks sweet too! Does this mean the Twin 6 Stuff is just around the corner? OH! and what about Susans book.

  35. Comment by Jeremy | 01.18.2008 | 5:48 pm

    Ummm…that is Mrs. Lew. No free swag for you.

  36. Comment by yukirin boy | 01.18.2008 | 6:24 pm

    Excellent insite Fatty – I look forward to seeing Lew Racing’s next ad.
    great new look for the blog too!

  37. Comment by Bluenoser | 01.18.2008 | 6:45 pm

    The new duds look great fatty.

  38. Comment by jerry | 01.18.2008 | 7:18 pm

    What’s that smell? Hopefully it doesn’t linger and ruin the good stuff that’s stored in here.

  39. Comment by RachelGio | 01.18.2008 | 7:58 pm

    Uh, and what’s up with the chicklet squatting too? Is she doing plies to work out her obscured, yet also ripped quads and glutes whilst holding said cat vomit dipped bike? Or is she squeezing one off, in responces to the cat vomit bike? Hard to say…discuss….

  40. Comment by TimK | 01.18.2008 | 9:28 pm

    Not sure what’s going on and if I am the only one, but the site layout is messed up on Apple Safari and Firefox.

  41. Comment by TimK | 01.18.2008 | 9:29 pm

    doh, now it’s not!

  42. Comment by fatty | 01.18.2008 | 9:39 pm

    timk – i’m doing all kinds of tweakage to the site right now, and i’m nowhere near professional enough to do it on a staging server. expect intermittent bustification while i geek out.

    i’m testing on ie, safari, and firefox, btw (safari and firefox on mac, ie on vista). so when it looks good to me, it oughta look good to you too.

    everyone who’s left comments saying they like the new design: thanks! i had pretty much nothing to do with it — i’m lucky enough to work with a really good designer who did this for nearly free, and with an IT pro who — as near as i can tell — did this for exactly free. so now i’m just making little changes and busting stuff up.

    jerry – sorry about the smell. i hereby offer you a 50% off discount toward your next visit.

  43. Comment by cheapie | 01.18.2008 | 9:40 pm

    looks great! only two complaints. 1: your “how to be a bike snob” post is missing from your top posts. that is one of my all-time favorites. 2: you have me confused. in your “How to be Popular, Part II: How to Behave” post you say that i can only give advice 3 times in my life. but in your “How Not to Get Invited on the Next Group Ride” post you say “No more than three tips per ride no matter what, and a maximum average of two per ride.”

    have the rules changed in the last 2.5 years since you wrote that?

  44. Comment by Bitter | 01.18.2008 | 9:47 pm

    Oooooo! Snazzy new look! Love it! :)

  45. Comment by fatty | 01.18.2008 | 10:19 pm

    cheapie – i’ll find and add ‘how to be a bike snob’ to the list. thanks! also, the discrepancy is due to me becoming increasingly old and crusty.

  46. Comment by DNAtsol | 01.18.2008 | 10:33 pm

    Ahh yes, the sweet confluence among concept, execution and assumption of consumer idiocy. I gotta get me some of those!

  47. Comment by Little1 | 01.18.2008 | 10:36 pm

    We have a winna wean!

    Cheapie – uh it makes sense to me and (I’m blonde) to be popular only 3 in a life time, if you don’t want to be invited then 3 per ride. There was nothing there about being popular, I think it had more to do with… “a punch in the throat”, if you want to give tips with out a punch in the throat, 3 is your max per ride, if you want to be popular 3 in a life time.

  48. Comment by Little1 | 01.19.2008 | 1:13 am

    ah bugger! that should have been we have a winna wena! awesome new site fatty!

  49. Comment by Mathias | 01.19.2008 | 4:13 am

    What a coincidence, I had to clean cat barf off my back wheel yesterday

  50. Comment by Pammap | 01.19.2008 | 5:30 am

    Love the new site design. At first glance, I thought it was a man in a black dress holding a heavy bike, since all of “his” muscles are tightly flexed. Good observations. Dumb ad.

  51. Comment by Mike Roadie | 01.19.2008 | 6:04 am

    I have seen that in Bicycling ADver-zine and just quickly turned the page. the model IS hot, but not in a Tom Boonen/Paolo Bettini “I’ve got to have that gear” type way. Who do they think we are??? And how do they know us so well!!!! I’m just sayin’

  52. Comment by TIMK | 01.19.2008 | 6:47 am

    Not sure if you were aware, but LEW is an acronym.
    It stands for Ludicrously Expensive Wheel.

  53. Comment by Debamundo | 01.19.2008 | 7:05 am

    Love the new look. Is that you in the photo?

  54. Comment by swtkaroline | 01.19.2008 | 7:18 am

    The new banner is sexy. Very nice.

    And yeah. Stupid ad. Well done all around!

  55. Comment by buckythedonkey | 01.19.2008 | 7:35 am

    I like the new site design, nice work mate.

  56. Comment by fatty | 01.19.2008 | 8:07 am

    debamundo – yep, that’s me in the photo. The photo is called, “0.5 Seconds ’til Impact.” If you look closely, you can see that my back wheel is in the air and I am lurching forward. This did not end well.

  57. Comment by Earl | 01.19.2008 | 9:21 am

    Actully when I looked, I was think’n that the photographer was a bit slow and she had to hold it up there too long. Hence the strain and the expression.
    Or maybe, like the car dealers here, he thought he could make his own ad……

  58. Comment by MBonkers | 01.19.2008 | 1:50 pm

    I love the new site design. Don’t be so modest, if you weren’t “wildly popular” people wouldn’t have done the site for you for free. It’s your skill at influencing people that made this all possible. Now I just need to follow those steps to wild success…

  59. Comment by Griffin | 01.19.2008 | 4:14 pm

    I love the redesign Fatty! More than that though I love the Iphone icon/clippy you’ve added. It really smartens up the link on my Iphone springboard – Thanks!

  60. Comment by fatty | 01.19.2008 | 4:47 pm

    griffin – yay! I was hoping someone would find the iPhone icon I put up.

    Did you notice the drop down menus work on the iPhone browser? I was both surprised and pleased.

    (this comment left using my iPhone)


  61. Comment by Kim | 01.19.2008 | 6:16 pm

    Yikes! Gorgeous new design!

  62. Comment by Velofreak | 01.19.2008 | 6:33 pm

    I like the new look of the site. Is that you in the picture looking suspiciously like you are going over the bars?

  63. Comment by fatty | 01.19.2008 | 7:33 pm

    velofreak – yep, that’s me, caught right in the middle of an endo. there’s a follow-up picture, too, with me laying face down about six feet down.

    kim – thanks! i like this new design a lot. i’ll pass along your compliment (and the many other nice things others have said about this new design) to the guys who did the design and execution. my part in this process was to complain about the parts i didn’t like until there weren’t any parts i didn’t like.

  64. Comment by Born 4 Lycra | 01.19.2008 | 7:45 pm

    Hey FC might be time to put the endo pics up again for those that have not seen them. I find it amazing that you are still able to write a blog after the incident.
    Congrats on the new site – I’m a traditionalist (read into that don’t like change) but when it’s all said and done the new stuff is not bad.
    Did my first group ride on my new bike today – I noticed an improvement but the best comments I got was your still slow but now you are smiling going up the hills. All the best to Sue.

  65. Comment by Miguel | 01.19.2008 | 8:22 pm

    Haha! Not bad! I love the new look going on. Yes, that is fantastic… good luck with everything.


  66. Comment by TomE | 01.19.2008 | 8:26 pm

    The main picture of you on this website is SO linked to the LEW picture. Don’t all of you agree that it is SO OBVIOUS!! If Fatty had spent $17,000 on those wheels, there is no way he would have endo’ed. Ahh…poetic justice!! I’m not saying that $17,000 is reasonable for wheels..but I’m just saying…

  67. Comment by | 01.19.2008 | 10:04 pm

    TIMK: heh heh heh… nice acronym.
    FATTY: How do you like the iPhone. Worth the bank? I just still can’t justify it. 1) Im just not important enough to own one and 2) I already slack enough without having 24/7 access to the ‘interweb’

  68. Comment by bikesgonewild | 01.19.2008 | 11:28 pm

    …why you insufferable prig !!!…just because a man sells wheelsets for over 17 g’s & offers his product to the world through pretentious ads is no reason to mock…

    …good god, man, who will be the next undeserving ‘poke-e’ ???…perhaps someone who contributes so solidly, yet quietly to the sport, like a micheal ball…

    …unscrupulous behavior, sir !!!…

  69. Comment by JB | 01.19.2008 | 11:59 pm

    The new look is moving you away from the Blog community. Maybe powered by wordpress but it’s starting to look very commercial, not so sure the By Stuff is a good way to go but that’s just my opinion.

  70. Comment by fatty | 01.20.2008 | 8:06 am

    jb –

    1. the “buy stuff” link has been there for more than a year. you just noticed it now because the design’s different.

    2. i’d hope this design would be considered as a step toward other bloggers, since i now have a blogroll, something the site has never had before.

    3. as far as the “commercial” look goes, i definitely think it looks nicer, and maybe you’re thinking that it’s too polished of a look for one guy’s blog. for myself, i just consider it a great side effect of having some coworkers/friends who do this kind of thing for a living and are really good at it and are willing to do me a favor for cheap/free. in practical editorial-vs.-advertising terms, the design actually gives a little bit MORE space to content, with the same ads in about the same location there have been since i launched

    in any case, the blog will stay the same — me writing whatever pops into my noggin — no matter what the chrome.

    thanks for your feedback!

  71. Comment by Kris | 01.20.2008 | 9:53 am

    Hello? Is this thing on?

    Nice new site design, but it’ll take a little getting used to. Lotsa black. The new logo is sweet. Interesting choice of photo in the banner – I guess you’re like me: my greatest achievements are my most miserable failures. ;-)

    That is a dorky ad – I think I could have done better and I have no training in photography or advertising. Call me crazy, but shouldn’t an ad feature the product and company? Maybe that’s too old-school for Lew.

  72. Comment by JB | 01.20.2008 | 2:21 pm

    Hi Fatty. Trust me I won’t stop reading. I love the fact that writing whatever pops into your noggin is a huge part of why I read the posts. As cyclist we MUST stick together. The site is looking really schmick, you’re on my blogroll and that not about to change.

  73. Comment by aussie kev | 01.20.2008 | 2:29 pm

    we have had the “men in black” out training to avoid the uci drug testers, maybe she is a “mrs black” just getting hubbies bike ready for his ride !!!!!!

    love the site well done

  74. Comment by Yukirin Boy | 01.20.2008 | 4:15 pm

    woah there Fatty!
    Whats this No1 social ranking for biking blogs!
    When did this happen?
    Does this mean you are officially an “A” class celebrity?

  75. Comment by Brandy | 01.20.2008 | 9:05 pm

    New site design ROCKS!!

  76. Comment by Tyson | 01.20.2008 | 9:56 pm

    I think #3 (hold it far from body) is directly responsible for #2 (straining neck).

  77. Comment by Dutch Girlie On a Bike | 01.21.2008 | 12:50 am

    Hey fatty the new set looks great!

    As for the ad I think it’s cool and I aspire to look like that.

  78. Comment by ShortSpan | 01.21.2008 | 7:15 am

    New site design is great…thanks for adding an iphone icon as well, fatty is now rocking my iphone proudly.

  79. Comment by KT | 01.21.2008 | 9:28 am

    Wow, Fatty… the site redesign ended up amazing! Tell those guys they did an awesome job.

    I don’t spend a lot of time looking that deeply at ads in magazines, so I missed this one in print. I like your redesign on his ad with the photoshopped lazer beams of disgust (different from the lazer beams of death… they sting instead of destroy, kinda like nettles on a hot day).

  80. Comment by Anonymous | 01.21.2008 | 11:22 am

    Are you sure that Mrs Lew is not the model.

  81. Comment by Lifesgreat | 01.21.2008 | 11:24 am

    I think someone just heard hubby/bf/so’s answer to “It’s me or the bike, which is it?”. I know where that bike is heading. . .

    I like the new site design.

  82. Comment by Donut | 01.21.2008 | 11:49 am

    She has arms that I wish I had – and I’m a man.

    She is straining so hard and trying to look away so as not to waste her Laser Beams of death on her agent who set her up for the shoot and Mr. LEW who is directing the shoot to save money.

    The site is awesome – can I use the theme to paint my bikemobile?

  83. Comment by Kevin Saunders | 01.21.2008 | 12:29 pm

    Good press, bad press, just spell my name right. I can’t wait to forward this to Kelly, our model. FYI, most people we meet are a bit jealous of her fitness, and yes, she had to hold that bike up for 417 minutes for our slow ex photographer!

    Great laughs. Thanks a million for the insight. BTW, we still love expensive bikes no matter what!

    Kevin, KGS Bikes, working with LEW on ads that get people to comment. More coming.

  84. Comment by dkirkavitch | 01.21.2008 | 1:13 pm

    Wow, now you’ve done it fatty!
    If you click on Kevin’s name you can see her feet before they were amputated.

    Good job on the site

  85. Comment by Mike Wells | 01.22.2008 | 12:59 pm

    Hey Fat, Got a big bang out of your commentary (as well as some of the responses) I did, however want to add a few points. I have to agree the ad is pretty tired. (Wonder who wrote it??). A wheelset is 6000.00 dollars. Special order wheels are more as you stated although, I haven’t checked out the website to see if they are as much as you stated. I am the proud owner of a pair of these wheels and they are amazing. I don’t think anyone needs to sweat a fast descent. The most critical point,however, is that besides being extremely strong the set weighs 880 grams. Wheelset (two wheels) 880 grams!!! Fantastic ride, smooth in crosswinds and VERY quick in the sprint. My bike is 2 lbs lighter and is a now a wicked on the climbs…. Mike Wells

  86. Comment by Gary | 01.23.2008 | 1:49 pm


    Your letter about made me fall out of my chair! I guess that Mr. Lew was going for the adage that Sex Sells by using real athletes who represent visually our concept of beauty, quality and style!

    Why else would Saris have a bike rack aptly named Thelma? (that name just makes me soooo hot)

  87. Comment by Bill Martin | 01.24.2008 | 8:21 am

    Fatty, thanks so much for making me laugh this morning. I remember distinctly seeing that ad and thinking the same things. It is amazing how you found a way to put it to words. Excellent article.

  88. Comment by Nick | 01.24.2008 | 8:42 pm

    Great upgrades Fatty!

    Well maybe their future advertisements will have some Olympic Gold Medalists if their newfound relationship pays off with USA Cycling. Looks like this just hit today:


  89. Comment by Ángel Pasos | 01.24.2008 | 11:21 pm


  90. Trackback by Outdoor Blog | 02.1.2008 | 1:33 am

    The Fat Cyclist Is Scared Of Buff Girls

    Listen, I’m the first guy to call out gear companies for ridiculous
    sexist advertising. As one of his readers pointed out I’ve been on Stockli’s case for ages for their stupid ads.
    I’ve also called Lange out for their equally exploitive and juv…

  91. Comment by Jake | 10.10.2008 | 2:50 pm

    Just as an FYI, I believe the person mostly responsible for this ad is KGS bikes. He most certainly hired the model, and explains why the Parlee bike is center piece and not the wheels, etc… That being said… Well done! i could never complain about mockery directed at Paul Lew…. He has a new clincher out that deserves your review….

  92. Comment by Kevin Saunders - KGS Bikes | 12.22.2008 | 5:26 pm

    Kevin at KGS Bikes here and yes, I am the perp. I hired the model and let the photographer take too long. I do the photos now.

    For the record, I like the ads and they put us on the map. Lew liked them too and if I put their logo on my ad they paid to put them in national mags. A good time was had by all because like em or not, people remembered them.

    Fatty, I just came back and saw this again today and am still laughing as hard as the first time. Bravo!

    Thanks for laughing, all. It beats the alternative!

  93. Comment by Owner Operator | 07.26.2010 | 3:15 pm

    Great stuff thanks for the cool blog.. We will back for more!

  94. Comment by moocow | 11.1.2010 | 8:14 pm

    hi guys there’s a great survey website where you can earn cash fast. visit

  95. Comment by Roscoe | 04.8.2011 | 6:39 am

    It seems that not only sells well priced, affordable wheels…also their own website! Exellent. Also just read this story and was shocked by what went on! $15,225 for a wheel set that never came!

  96. Comment by Amelia Johns | 07.27.2011 | 3:05 pm

    Your feed was mentioned by Christian Dillstrom, you must be doing a brilliant job as mobile + social media marketing guru is pointing towards you!

  97. Comment by zipp 404 | 08.14.2011 | 4:20 am

    When I first saw the ad, I didn’t think that anything was wrong with it. It looks like a well done ad that says that it is a top level bike and it is sooo easy to lift. Is it just me or what?

  98. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » A Preview of My Contribution to the Interbike Web 2.0 & Social Media Panel | 11.16.2011 | 11:16 am

    [...] An Open Letter to Lew Racing [...]


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.