Late Christmas Comes Early

08.19.2008 | 11:58 am

One of the really great side effects of having been married for 20 years is that you get to know each other pretty well. You learn what’s important to each other, and what isn’t.

For example, I know that Susan really likes it when I can come up with a Christmas present that surprises her — something she never would have even considered, but turns out she really likes. Like the Kindle.

Susan, on the other hand, knows that I do not care about being surprised with a gift at all. In fact, I love the anticipation of a gift even more if I know what’s in store for me.

And so, last week, when I stumbled across something I immediately realized I desperately wanted — something I knew I must have no matter what — Susan said, "Well, it looks like you’ve figured out what your Christmas present is going to be."

So, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present my Christmas present:


Yes, this is a Gary Fisher Superfly. But take a closer look.

It’s a singlespeed.

That’s right. I’ve got a Superfly SS frameset on order. A carbon fiber 29" singlespeed frameset.

It’s as sexy as it is hard to get. From what I understand, these are not being sold to the public. So how did I get one? Well, frankly, I begged. And now the order’s in (and from what I understand, they’re not doing any more orders. Tick tock, game’s locked). I should get the frameset in January.

It’s enough to make a 29" SS geek swoon, I tell you.

My plan is to make this a light, sexy racing bike, and — by next season — be worthy to ride it. Which is to say, by the time I have this bike built, I am going to be much lighter and faster.

When you’ve got a bike like this, you don’t want to have a paunch resting on your thighs at the starting line. It kind of spoils the effect.

The Other Great Part About This Present
So I know what I’m getting for Christmas very early…but I won’t get it ’til late.

That’s OK, though, because that gives me months and months and months to figure out how I’m going to build this bike up.

I’ve already made some decisions:

  • Wheels: I’m having Mike Curiak build me a set of wheels. All black, but with pink Chris King hubs. It is my hope that some of his endurance mojo and philosophy will osmotically (unsure whether I just made up that word) transfer to me via these wheels. The process of describing to Mike what I want from a wheelset, getting his recommendation, making tweaks, and then finalizing the plan with him has been a pleasure. I hear great things about Mike Curiak’s wheels; I admit I’m nearly as excited to get these as I am for the frame itself.
  • Handlebars: I’m putting on On-One Mary bars. Naturally.
  • Fork: The frameset comes with a Fox G2 RLC 29 suspension fork, but I’ve got an On-One Carbon Fork I’m planning on using, at least whenever my shoulder permits. Yeah, this bike is gonna be kinda light. Excuse me, I seem to be giggling.
  • Saddle: Selle Italia SLR — the saddle that I put on all of my bikes.

But I’ve still got lots of decisions to make. Brakes? Seatpost? Cranks? Pedals? I have months to decide, and I have to say, I love it.

There’s nothing as great as riding a new bike. But waiting for one and planning out how you’re going to build it comes pretty close.


  1. Comment by matt (ming) | 08.19.2008 | 12:06 pm

    woo hoo for new bikes! this will be way harder than waiting for a surprise.

    my first bike was a GF, over a decade ago at this point. i still have a soft spot in my heart for them.

    im very happy with my new bike, i hope you get to be as happy on yours. i think im about to swear off slrs though, theyre good for about 80, then bad things start to happen with me.

    mary bars rock, i have an inbred and they make all the difference

  2. Comment by Emily | 08.19.2008 | 12:13 pm

    +1 for pink hubs
    +1 for black spokes.
    Those wheels will be very cool and perfect for the bike. Enjoy the months of anticipation.
    Like Matt, I have a soft spot for Gary Fisher since my first real MTB was a GF (a 92 Hookoo– yes, I am old)

  3. Comment by Uphill Battle | 08.19.2008 | 12:18 pm

    Bike, Smike, I think SUSAN is the best present!

  4. Comment by Clydesteve | 08.19.2008 | 12:22 pm

    ok. just wow.

    and waaaah, me want a new carbon SS 29er MTB.

  5. Comment by graisseux | 08.19.2008 | 12:24 pm

    It’s OK, I guess.

  6. Comment by Phill | 08.19.2008 | 12:29 pm

    Nice !

    Come on, give us a rundown of ALL the bikes in your stable ?

  7. Comment by Boz | 08.19.2008 | 12:36 pm

    All I can say is “nice”.

  8. Comment by scrooge | 08.19.2008 | 12:38 pm

    Don’t put brakes on it. They’ll just make it heavy.
    And make you a wussier down-hiller.

  9. Comment by LuckyLab | 08.19.2008 | 12:45 pm

    +1 for the Chris King pink hubs – a nice touch, all things considered and King is relatively local to me

    Someday I’ve got to get a mountain bike… thing is the nearest respectable trail is an hour’s drive. :-(

  10. Comment by KanyonKris | 08.19.2008 | 12:50 pm

    Thompson seat post. Light, strong, easy to adjust, durable. Please don’t get a carbon post – I’ve seen too many break.

    I appreciate the elegant design of Avid brakes, but maybe that’s too pedestrian for this hot rod.

    I love the comfort of my Ergon grips.

    No computer – go Kenny style – fits better with the minimalist SS theme.

    Pedals: I’m sure you have your favorite, go with that.

  11. Comment by Robb Sutton (198) | 08.19.2008 | 1:07 pm

    Brakes – Hope Mono Mini’s – The limited edition would match the bike perfectly…but they also make a set in pink that look incredible.

    Cranks – I like the Shimano stuff…it just works every time, but if you are a square taper guy…a set of black Middleburns would be perfect.

    Seatpost – Thomson…always Thomson. They are American made in Macon, GA and they are the best posts/stems on the planet…

    Pedals – XT or XTR out of Shimano if you are a SPD guy…Times are still my favorite though.

    My fiancee bought me a custom steel ss for a wedding present so I know how you feel. I sold my custom green Curtlo 24hr SS with green/black Industry Nines to buy her ring and she out did herself with this new build.

    It’s great having a woman that knows you that well…and loves you even more. Congrats on the new bike.

  12. Comment by jsv | 08.19.2008 | 1:15 pm

    Spoiled brat….

  13. Comment by Bill Martin | 08.19.2008 | 1:18 pm

    Congratulations, I can detect your giddish-ness. The comment, “Tick tock, game’s locked” hit me in the heart. How mean spirited! I will never be in position to put the hammer down on one of these rigs. If anyone wants to race me in a lengthy mountain bike race and put their Superfly on the line I will gladly put up my cheapo Leader mountain bike.

    Still pushing the positive thoughts for Susan! I hope things are going well.

  14. Comment by dug | 08.19.2008 | 1:24 pm

    a basket. ALL singlespeedsd should come with a basket. local grocery store usually has em in the toys/bicycle aisle.

  15. Comment by greg | 08.19.2008 | 1:28 pm

    So, GF has no intention of marketing these to the public? Strange, seems like demand would be quite high.

    As hardtails go, SS is the only way I fly.

  16. Comment by Rick S. | 08.19.2008 | 1:35 pm

    I’ve had my eye on this special frame for several months. I think there are currently only 2 or 3 in the public’s hands. I hate you.

  17. Comment by Gary Lake | 08.19.2008 | 1:44 pm

    I 2nd the Hope Mono Mini Pros in Pink – has to be done!

  18. Comment by mark | 08.19.2008 | 1:50 pm

    Didn’t your other superfly break? Why people buy carbon MTB frames is beyond me. Steel is for real, and aluminum ain’t bad either. Carbon belongs on the road, along with tight shorts. MTBs should be made of metal and ridden with baggy shorts on. Unless you’re in a race.

  19. Comment by Aaron | 08.19.2008 | 2:02 pm

    Jealousy building….. Must try to resist…..

  20. Comment by dug | 08.19.2008 | 2:04 pm

    mark, mtbs should be made of metal and ridden with baggy shorts on ESPECIALLY if you’re in a race.

  21. Comment by Hamish A | 08.19.2008 | 2:19 pm

    I’m not the jealous type. Really. I’m not. But… wow. I’ve been trying to get a standard Superfly frame that I can adapt for singlespeed and now this turns up. Which would be perfect. But I’m not special enough to warrant one.

    Right. Must remember I’m not jealous :-)

    Another vote for the Chris King hubs. There is nothing better out there (sorry Phil) and they’re pink. Which is awesome.

    Susan once again demonstrates just how much she Rocks (yup. With a capital ‘R’), enjoy the planning and the new ride. You deserve it!

    WIN SUSAN!!!

  22. Comment by Jake | 08.19.2008 | 2:19 pm

    Add to Dug’s “basket” some pink streamers from the grips and you have yourself one fine ride.

  23. Comment by Eufemiano Fuentes | 08.19.2008 | 2:25 pm

    mono mini pro’s…no doubt

    XTR cranks

    Eggbeater Quintuple TI pedals

  24. Comment by Bluenoser | 08.19.2008 | 2:31 pm

    Seatpost and stem have to be Thomson fatty. The’re on all my bikes and the cozy bee love them.


  25. Comment by cyclostu | 08.19.2008 | 2:49 pm

    Just. Not. Right.

  26. Comment by bikemike | 08.19.2008 | 2:49 pm

    Superfly…Schmooperfly, we just got 7 inches of rain dumped on us by this Fay chick and she’s stalled almost right on our town. top that!

  27. Comment by Corey | 08.19.2008 | 2:58 pm

    This is your Waltworks. I’m jealous. I gently carried you all the way through the Leadville 100, and this is how you repay me? By getting a “sexy” new SS hardtail!
    Was it something I did…something I said?

  28. Comment by Shiny Flu | 08.19.2008 | 3:15 pm

    Weight weenie huh? ok…

    - Stan’s Alu Rotors.

    - Titanium bolts to get 0.09% extra performance (but everyone else will be pink with envy when you tell them).

    - Aluminium bolts for bottle cages.

    - Hope seat collar. It’s not the lightest but it comes in Pink and they’re strong. Got one on my Niner.

    - Stronglight chain ring perhaps?

    Oh by the way, you suck… you know that? :P

  29. Comment by Philly Jen | 08.19.2008 | 3:35 pm

    Oh, Waltworks, do not despair.

    Fatty has slaughtered many a frame before (Fisher Paragon, Ibis Road Ti, *cough-cough*).

    If you are patient, you never know when he just might walk back through the door again, pink hubs and all.

    WIN Susan

  30. Comment by Ant | 08.19.2008 | 3:57 pm

    Oooh, Fatty, that is a sexy, sexy bike. (just wiping the drool off the keyboard)

    I had the absolute pleasure on the weekend of test riding an Orbea Alma 29′r singlespeed (carbon, of course, sub 9kg) and let me tell you, I was absolutely smitten.

    A whole new world has opened…

  31. Comment by Anonymous | 08.19.2008 | 4:52 pm

    Why don’t you hang up those clips for a while and spend some time with your wife. The bike will be there.

  32. Comment by Don | 08.19.2008 | 4:55 pm

    Your wife must love you… WIN SUSAN!

  33. Comment by Jeff at Ergon USA | 08.19.2008 | 5:36 pm

    I got you covered on grips…if you like. How about the GX1…our lightest offering at a 128 gr per set. Email me if it is of interest to you.

    WIN SUSAN!!!!

  34. Comment by Chris | 08.19.2008 | 5:41 pm

    Ummm fatty? This is Chris. I hate you. That is all ;)

  35. Comment by DOLPH | 08.19.2008 | 6:26 pm

    I don’t refer to my paunch as a paunch, more a handy store of energy that you’ll never leave at home when embarking on an epic ride.

  36. Comment by Marla | 08.19.2008 | 6:36 pm

    Oh, so that was what Guitar Ted was talking about. You lucky dog!

  37. Comment by Al Maviva | 08.19.2008 | 7:44 pm

    Nice bike. But as bikes go, doesn’t this totally fall into that category of life known as “hot chick inexplicably rolling with heroically ugly guy?” Not that you’re a bad guy or anything, just that I’d expect to see Barry Wicks on that thing, not down-home Elden. Nice pull, but you’re going to have nightmares about Kenny sneaking into your garage then going out and riding it better than you. And the bike’s enjoying it.

  38. Comment by Don | 08.19.2008 | 7:55 pm

    So this makes 862 bikes, right?

  39. Comment by bodhisativa | 08.19.2008 | 8:02 pm

    What’s the eight limit on that thing and on that fork??

    Really. How do you afford to have so many nice bikes. I just don’t get it….what am I doing wrong? Is it really that much money being made by people other than myself.
    Ok, what I really wanted to say is that bike is daaaamn light and will be FAST. I am pretty much just jealous.

  40. Comment by ann | 08.19.2008 | 8:07 pm

    Still waiting to be overcome with the urge to bike. Still waiting. . . . Still waiting. Have fun! I’ll still be waiting when y’all get back.

  41. Comment by dug | 08.19.2008 | 8:33 pm

    “Why don’t you hang up those clips for a while and spend some time with your wife. The bike will be there.”

    wow anonymous (of course), judge much?

  42. Comment by Lucas | 08.19.2008 | 9:44 pm

    Wow. You suck. I used to love you. Not so much anymore.

  43. Comment by fatty | 08.19.2008 | 10:59 pm

    bodhisativa – that’s the great thing about this blog. my bikes and bike trips are now business expenses and are tax deductible! yay!

    al maviva – i am not worthy of any of my bikes. this is just a continuation of a trend.

    jeff @ ergon – i would LOVE a pair of those GX1s. email is on the way.

    don – my wife does love me. i know, it boggles the mind.

    anonymous – i’ll take your recommendation under advisement.

    philly jen – oh, i guarantee the waltworks is not going to collect dust. i love that bike. but i also love getting new bikes. i can’t help myself.

    hamish a – you think you’re jealous now? there’s stuff about this bike i didn’t reveal that would make your head explode. that’s why i didn’t reveal it: so your head wouldn’t explode.

    jsv – you think i’m a spoiled brat based on this post? you should see me when the ice cream store is out of my favorite flavor. the screams are incredible.

    phil – i think i will do a post with a photo of each of my bikes sometime soon.

    eufemiano – i was going to go with the quintuple ti eggbeaters, but then at the last moment went with the googolplex ti eggbeaters with the moonrock axles. they’re ok, i guess.

  44. Pingback by | The RocBike Review » Links of the Day: 19 August 2008 | 08.19.2008 | 11:28 pm

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  45. Comment by Rob | 08.20.2008 | 12:32 am

    I admit to not knowing a lot about bike mechanics/building, but how is a singlespeed frameset different from a standard frameset? Isn’t it just a standard frame with no derailleur hangers or cable stops for the shifter cable?

  46. Comment by diamondjim | 08.20.2008 | 12:40 am

    On the subject of cranks, can a single-speed be two speed?
    On the subject of how many bikes, my brother taught me the following formula, where ‘x’ is the ideal number of bikes, and ‘n’ is the number of bikes you currently have.
    x = n + 1

  47. Comment by Nix | 08.20.2008 | 1:05 am

    Wow, perhaps I should start a blog too ;))

    Really happy for you, enjoy the feelings of anticipation! 29′ will never work for me with my length of 1m60…

  48. Comment by buckythedonkey | 08.20.2008 | 1:21 am

    Bah! bang goes my recumbent theory.

    Brakes: pink Hope Mono Minis surely (

    Ro:: an SS frameset will have some way to maintain chain tension, horizontal drop-outs or an eccentric bottom bracket (“which allows the bottom bracket to be moved slightly for purposes of fine-tuning chain length” – Sheldon Brown).

    Jeff at Ergon: can I have your email address too? :-D

  49. Comment by Tom | 08.20.2008 | 1:51 am

    What rims will you be getting?

    Brakes the pink mono minis, or some formula bling.
    Cranks, pink ones from superstar components, mmm bearings!
    Oh and stick a half link chain on for extra gorgeousness!

    That is going to be sexy, you should raffle off one of your older bikes that you don’t cough cough need cough cough any more

  50. Comment by bikesgonewild | 08.20.2008 | 2:10 am

    …obviously susan thinks yer a winner, pal…

    WIN, SUSAN, each & every day…

  51. Comment by Paul | 08.20.2008 | 4:05 am

    omg HOT BIKE! wow Fattie, that is a work of art. I’d love to see it with the custom wheels.

  52. Comment by Hamish A | 08.20.2008 | 6:53 am

    Thanks for the concern Fatty, sadly it came too late. My ‘jealousy’ was just an early warning of the impending explosion. *sigh* Never mind. They grow back, right?

    On brakes – I’ve tried the Hopes many times (currently have M4’s fitted to one of my bikes) and I’m afraid my vote has to go to the Forumla Oro Biancos which are just much nicer (to my mind). Not as bling as the Hopes but awesome brakes.

    Now if you’ll excuse me I’m off to bombard Gary Fisher with requests to put that frame into production.

  53. Comment by PissedOffCil | 08.20.2008 | 7:37 am

    My vote for brakes goes to Formula K24s
    My vote for seatpost & stem goes to Thompsons
    My vote for cranks goes to Truvativ Noirs
    My vote for pedals goes nowhere as it depends if you prefer SPDs or CBs

  54. Comment by Rob L | 08.20.2008 | 9:09 am


    As for other components, that damn thing will be so light you may not need pedals or cranks to get it going, a good running start should hit the trick!

    Stems are hard to do without having the bike infront of me/you. I’m changing mine soon and have a few on order and will return the loosers.

    formula for sure, my next upgrade is to a set of Oro’s after borrowing a friends rig with them.

    I’d think the shoulder issue would be part of getting ready. Maybe at the minimum some PT to strengthen the muscles in the area.


  55. Comment by Jared | 08.20.2008 | 9:40 am

    Cranks: Definitely Truvativ Noirs
    Stem & Seat Post: I agree with KanyonKris, I saw 3 carbon posts break in ONE race in the ICup this year. Thomson (no P people) all the way
    Brakes: I’m an avid fan. Juicy Ultimates
    Pedals: Egg Beaters for sure
    Also, may I suggest some Chris Kings with funbolts? I run TA on my Niner and the added rigidity is amazing! No harder to get off than a QR (if you carry a 6mm hex) and with all the “sway” generated when riding a SS bike, I think this may help provide solidity to your ride. Sure, it’s a bit more weight, but…it’s pretty marginal.

    BTW, what kind of Fox fork is that again? F-Series are usually white.

    Reading your blog has made me regret changing my career from the higher-paying tech industry to the not-so-high-paying field of social work. :s

  56. Comment by Aaron | 08.20.2008 | 10:33 am


    I realize that you’re joking, but nonetheless, don’t regret your switch to social work because of money. Salivating over bicycles is fun, but when it comes down to riding, a good bike is only marginally worse than a great bike for most of us. And a good bike has its advantages compared to a great bike, one being that it’s fun to pass people on good or great bikes. If you’re on a great bike, passing people on good bikes is not fun, and getting passed by any cyclist is really not fun.

    Tongue-in-cheek aside, I think there are two real advantages to having a good bike instead of a great one, besides the obvious (don’t need to fear robbery, damage, etc.): (1) satisfaction comes from personal performance, not the bike; (2) “good” brings us closer to the inherent simplicity (and thus beauty) of a bicycle; the high-tech complexity of “great” can kill that simplicity.

  57. Comment by Bitter (formerly known as Lissee) | 08.20.2008 | 10:39 am

    Wow, all this crazyness is making me crazy!

    I actually fully considered getting a single speed for a full 75 seconds. That a lot considering I don’t currently ride, and I live in a paved mecca. Of course, I’ve seen bike messengers on single speeds. Maybe I should do it?

    Either way, Congrats on news of the new bike! *grin*

  58. Comment by Garrett | 08.20.2008 | 11:43 am

    You’re such a spoiled brat Fatty

  59. Comment by Redheadedstepchild | 08.20.2008 | 12:29 pm

    Fatty, I’d just like to let you know, out of consideration for your garage, I’m willing to store your old superfly, or your old waltworks, in my garage. I’ll even make sure the tires don’t rot.

  60. Comment by ralph | 08.20.2008 | 3:17 pm

    Gloating over something like this is so much fun.

    So Eldon, who exactly do you know who attended the Trek show in Madison last week????

    Or did you make your plea directly to Trek/Fisher??

  61. Pingback by Intermission « The Unbridled Joy of Cycling | 08.20.2008 | 6:01 pm

    [...] I will practice cello and dream about my winter bike.  Thank you Fatty for taunting me with your Christmas present.  I am so [...]

  62. Comment by IMNJ | 08.21.2008 | 12:15 pm

    x-mas in August… and what a tasty ride. Some people have all the luck….

    Enjoy it!

  63. Comment by bodhisativa | 08.23.2008 | 5:52 am

    It might be a write off although you still have to have money to spend on it……it’s still not FREE.

    Keep donating the money for fatties bikes.
    only am i a little bitter….

  64. Trackback by Prozac. | 11.13.2008 | 12:39 pm


    Prozac menopause. Prozac. Prozac by mail….

  65. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Fight Cancer, Win a Superfly Singlespeed | 01.14.2009 | 9:38 am

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  66. Comment by Grandy | 01.29.2009 | 12:00 pm

    2 Coming to this shop, both spoken for. Can’t wait, I heard from our rep that it is going to be March before we see these…….

  67. Comment by Grandy | 01.29.2009 | 12:03 pm

    One of the builds will be:

    Race X Lite Scandium wheelset and Inform Saddle

    Race XXX Lite crankset, seatpost, bars and grips

    Avid Ultimate brakeset

    Can’t wait to put it all together!

  68. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » A Little Something to Tide Me Over | 02.9.2009 | 12:19 am

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