My Favorite Bike Ever

04.1.2009 | 12:01 am

I recently liveblogged the building of my new Gary Fisher Superfly Singlespeed (or, as I like to call it, “The SingleFly.” It’s a beauty of a bike, and I’m glad I got it.

Several of you have asked for me to provide details of how this bike rides — and your requests have gone unanswered. Unacknowledged.

I’m sure you’ve wondered why, and the truth is I feel a little bit awkward about the way I’ve been avoiding addressing this. But enough’s enough. The fact is, I haven’t ridden the SingleFly yet.

And you know what? I haven’t even been tempted to take it riding. Why not? Well, because I’ve been digging on another bike I recently acquired. The RANS Ti-Rex:


Just look at that beauty. The elegant drivetrain. The clean frame lines. The mesh-and-gel hammock. The practical-yet-swoopy handlebars. The sweet component spec. I went a little nuts and built mine up so it weighs only 23 pounds! That’s practically as light as any other raceworthy roadbike out there.

If I weren’t so busy out riding it all the time, I swear I’d be happy to just watch it.

And it’s easy to take out to the local bike path (a nice, level trail, since I’ve lately come to find climbs somewhat distasteful — though don’t you worry, when I shift into the granny gear, I can climb just about any road you throw at me!). I just need to give myself an extra few minutes to disassemble it for transport. And then a few more to reassemble it for riding. And then a few more to re-disassemble it to take it home.

But I’m getting faster at it all the time!

Lifestyle Changes

This bike has opened so many doors for me. For example, I no longer feel the need to wear those ridiculous padded shorts — I don’t need them since my saddle’s soft and comfortable. And it is so nice to be able to rest my back against that mesh backrest. Whereas I used to hate having any kind of stomach at all because my knees would push into it on my “wedgie,” now I can lean way back and let gravity flatten my stomach. Or at least displace my lungs.

I have noticed, however, that being in the upright position presents my face to the wind rather directly. I have two choices: a fairing, or a beard. I’m happy to report that I’ve elected to get both! Well, get one and grow the other.

I’ve also observed that people point at me on my new bike. On one hand, I find this flattering; I enjoy the attention. On the other hand, I seem to have found a new sense of outrage at the way other cyclists roll their eyes at me.

I suspect they are just jealous. And closed-minded.

PS: You can find a short video of me on my new bike here.

PPS: I am also pleased to announce that I have accepted a position teaching not-for-credit evening courses on blogging at the local community college.

PPPS: Maybe tomorrow I’ll get around to riding my SingleFly. But for now, on April 1st, I’m all about the RANS.


  1. Comment by Derron | 04.1.2009 | 12:10 am

    That is one SWEET recumbulator! Now I know what to ask Santa for Christmas! Happy April Fools day all!

  2. Comment by TP | 04.1.2009 | 12:40 am

    Padded stem for those unplanned over the bar dismounts?

    all the hip kids are padding their bike parts nowadays. haven’t you been reading bike snob nyc lately? – FC

  3. Comment by Weean | 04.1.2009 | 12:43 am

    Y’know, the best April fools have an element of believability to them. You forgot to mention you’ve started wearing socks with your sandals. THEN I would have believed you.

    but i ALWAYS wear socks with my sandles. doesn’t everyone? – FC

  4. Comment by Co | 04.1.2009 | 12:50 am

    RANS bike – very funny. Link to Rick Astley – priceless. :-)

  5. Comment by matt (ming) | 04.1.2009 | 12:53 am

    i think the 6th circle of hell is reserved for heretics. yeah, that seems about right.

    before you get the beard and fairing, you might want to get some pedals for that bike!

  6. Comment by BikeCopVT | 04.1.2009 | 12:53 am


    Nice Bent, and your beard is coming in quite nicely. Enjoy the day. I’m going to go home and spend it with mother natures little April Fools gift to my wife and I. Yep, our twins were born on April Fools 5 years ago today.

    Win Susan!
    Elden won!!

  7. Comment by Vet Sculler | 04.1.2009 | 1:12 am

    Hey Fatty

    Should I have been Rickrolled ? ‘This video not available in your country’, so April Fool right back to you from the UK (consider a Nah-nah-nah inserted here).

    WIN Susan !

  8. Comment by Mike | 04.1.2009 | 3:26 am

    You crack me up, happy April 1st!

  9. Comment by Big Boned | 04.1.2009 | 4:04 am

    You know Fatty, I think you might have clearance for knobbies on that thing. They are GREAT on the singletrack…

  10. Comment by Corey from Irmo | 04.1.2009 | 4:09 am

    I’ve been Rickrolled by a 40-something. On April 1st. I’m so gullible.

    Hey, did you know the word “gullible” isn’t in the dictionary?

  11. Comment by pat | 04.1.2009 | 4:11 am

    Rickroll’d by a recumbent.

  12. Comment by Jenni Laurita | 04.1.2009 | 4:30 am

    I watched the whole video.

  13. Comment by Andrea | 04.1.2009 | 4:46 am

    Ahh! I’ve never been Rick rolled Fatty! Thanks! I’m such an April fool!

  14. Comment by Mike Roadie | 04.1.2009 | 5:26 am

    I woke up this morning knowing there would be an April Fools entry from you.

    A Bent, please!!! What’s next, granola and Star Trek???


    speaking of which, i am SO FREAKING EXCITED for the new star trek movie. yes, really. no irony/sarcasm at all. -

    oh, and i also like granola. i’m on a slippery slope, aren’t i? – FC

  15. Comment by Claire | 04.1.2009 | 5:41 am

    Ya got me!

  16. Comment by Mikeonhisbike | 04.1.2009 | 5:53 am

    Happy April Fools!

  17. Comment by Jeff | 04.1.2009 | 5:53 am

    Fatty, I was about to remove you from my favorites list, but then I remembered what day it is.
    Happy April Fools Day!

  18. Comment by Mark-in-spudville | 04.1.2009 | 6:00 am

    Oh, hook,line, and sinker. Wait a sec while I pull it out of my mouth. The link was perfect. I even watched the whole thing, thinking of what I was doing back when that song first came out…Good job, have a great day.

  19. Comment by Linda | 04.1.2009 | 6:02 am

    I’m so gullible. Here I am, looking at the RANS and thinking, “What? Really? Why?” But I still can’t believe that Rick Astley looks like a 14 year old with a voice like that.

    And we still don’t know how the SingleFly rides!

  20. Comment by VA Biker | 04.1.2009 | 6:08 am

    I eagerly awaited the April 1st entry and was not disappointed…

    That Rick Astley is one suave, dancin’ dude. I can only hope to one day acquire those smooth moves.

    BTW, how’s the Chipotle diet coming along?

  21. Comment by Mark | 04.1.2009 | 6:24 am

    That’s just wrong :)… If you were a REAL Fat Cyclist, you’d have a bent in your stable! And you don’t have to have a beard. I only have a goatee and it works just fine!!

    I guess I need to acquire a SS bent to get you to respect bents :)… Also, glad I could do your lead-in to this post yesterday!

    Mark, if you’re local and have a ‘bent and want to show me what they’re all about, I’m willing to be taken on a tour. Just give me a couple weeks to get my clothing and facial hair in order. – FC

  22. Comment by Cyclin' Missy | 04.1.2009 | 6:27 am

    Believe it or not, that’s the first time I’ve been Rick Rolled! Leave it to Fatty! Nice work!

  23. Comment by Dave in Lehi | 04.1.2009 | 6:28 am

    I knew there was a reason I checked in on Fatty first thing this morning; a beautiful start to one of the worst days of the year.

  24. Comment by Rubyblue | 04.1.2009 | 6:33 am

    Am I the only one that can’t figure out where the pedals are?

    doesn’t need them. i’ve modified the ‘bent so it’s electric. – FC

  25. Comment by Don | 04.1.2009 | 6:52 am

    I’ve gone anti-april-fools. But hope you have a happy one Fatty!!
    By the way, thank you!

  26. Comment by MOCougFan | 04.1.2009 | 6:54 am

    Nice. Been looking forward to this post for a while. Your post a couple years ago on your crash was priceless. The Rick Astley link was awesome. Well done FC.

    I actually had what I consider to be my best April Fool’s joke ever all set up to go for today, but it fell apart at the last minute. I’m not going to reveal what it is, though, because I’m going to try it again next year. – FC

  27. Comment by Sean | 04.1.2009 | 7:02 am

    Wow, can’t believe I got suckered. I guess it must really be April 1st.

  28. Comment by Carl | 04.1.2009 | 7:28 am

    Happy April Fools Day to everyone! Good one Fatty!

  29. Comment by Jeff | 04.1.2009 | 7:30 am

    How did I just KNOW that the video link was going to be a Rickroll?

    But a most excellent jest, good sir.

  30. Comment by lrh | 04.1.2009 | 7:40 am

    Sadly, I didn’t know what happened until I read the comments. My excuse: too early in the morning.

    Thanks for laugh! Have a good one.

  31. Comment by jwbikes | 04.1.2009 | 8:04 am

    Knew what was coming (long time reader), but the rickroll was unexpected. I am such a loser, but still searching for a MIMF.


  32. Comment by Jenny-Jenny | 04.1.2009 | 8:04 am

    What a relief. You really had me going.

  33. Comment by DrCodfish | 04.1.2009 | 8:35 am

    You had me right up till you mentioned socks with your sandals. Believeable would have been purple socks and Birkenstocks, … with the custom SPD inserts of couse, oh and the home hacked coroplast Palin/ McCain yard sign rear tail box.

    Yr Pal Dr C

  34. Comment by itmustbeken | 04.1.2009 | 8:37 am

    Your new bike is sweet. I hope you have those sunglasses with the side mirrors. Its all part of ‘the look’.

  35. Comment by joe blow | 04.1.2009 | 8:41 am

    I think your beard should be Amish style. I’m sure someone with better photo shop skills than I can put that together for you.

  36. Comment by Richie | 04.1.2009 | 8:49 am

    April Fools!!Love the post!!:)

  37. Comment by El Animal | 04.1.2009 | 8:51 am

    Not believable from the beginning Fatty. After so many years reading your blog that’s just not you. Sorry.

    i dunno, man. i feel like i’ve just planted a seed. what if one of those “don’t knock it ’til you try it” guys is a local and takes me on a ‘bent ride and i LOVE it? if i thought it was the best riding experience ever, i wouldn’t put pride above owning a ‘bent. and as a bonus, my facial hair is naturally very thick. – FC

  38. Comment by Daddystyle | 04.1.2009 | 8:55 am

    I love recumbents, wether April fools or not. Don’t knock it till you try it.

    I never knew you were a pop star. Lookin good with the hairdo.

    Thinking of you ,Susan and the family

    i’m not sure i buy that “don’t knock it ’til you try it” thing. i mean, anyone can say that about anything: roller-skiing. clogging. crack cocaine. living in gary, indiana. eyebrow piercing. triathlons. or, of course, riding a ‘bent.

    you see what i mean? – FC

  39. Comment by SYJ | 04.1.2009 | 8:55 am

    A bent, a beard, and a rickroll? Wow!

    However, I think you must agree that Mother Nature had the ultimate April Fool’s joke for all Wasatch front/back cyclists today.

  40. Comment by Rob | 04.1.2009 | 9:00 am

    Nicely played, Mr. Nelson!

    And oh the humanity! I weep for that poor read derailleur.

  41. Comment by KanyonKris | 04.1.2009 | 9:07 am

    Well done! I had a smile on my face as I read the post and chuckled when you Rick Rolled me.

  42. Comment by Les | 04.1.2009 | 9:10 am

    April Fools’s joke or serious?

    Not sure… Nice ride. I’d tip over though. Can’t see my knees hitting my gut on that one!

  43. Comment by WheelDancer | 04.1.2009 | 9:24 am

    I assume the blogging course is on-line so that I can attend while riding around on my new RANS? I’m having trouble balancing on it at this point but as soon as I finish this comment I’m gonna check out the video to see how a pro rides one, I just can’t wait!

  44. Comment by Chris | 04.1.2009 | 9:31 am

    15.9million views… your riding video is amazingly popular!

  45. Comment by FlatsMan | 04.1.2009 | 9:33 am

    Hate to tell you but I think you were outdone this year by professionals:

  46. Comment by Mark | 04.1.2009 | 9:42 am

    Comment by Mark | 04.1.2009 | 6:24 am

    That’s just wrong :)… If you were a REAL Fat Cyclist, you’d have a bent in your stable! And you don’t have to have a beard. I only have a goatee and it works just fine!!

    I guess I need to acquire a SS bent to get you to respect bents :)… Also, glad I could do your lead-in to this post yesterday!

    Mark, if you’re local and have a ‘bent and want to show me what they’re all about, I’m willing to be taken on a tour. Just give me a couple weeks to get my clothing and facial hair in order. – FC

    Not Local unless you are headed to the Kentucky Derby… However, looks like a nice bent dealer down the road:

    Aren’t you sorry you asked?! Riding bents can become a bigger addiction than DF bikes too… watch out – Mark

  47. Comment by Big Bird | 04.1.2009 | 9:43 am

    So where can I get a beard, and how do I grow a fairing? Or do I have that backwards?

  48. Comment by Banger | 04.1.2009 | 10:06 am

    I dare you to ride your RANS on rollers for the ride to Nowhere. Maybe for just a 25 mile warm up.

  49. Comment by Mike | 04.1.2009 | 10:14 am

    I’m gullible. I really thought you were turning into a nerd there for a minute. Thanks for putting in that little reminder at the bottom.

  50. Comment by Skidmark | 04.1.2009 | 10:23 am

    You got me. I don’t know who that hoser is in the youtube links, but you got me twice. I thought you had to be a licensed engineer to ride one of those…

  51. Comment by Hilslug | 04.1.2009 | 10:26 am

    In order to have this new bike really work for you, you have to grow a grey beard, a grey ponytail. Happy April Fools!

  52. Comment by Hilslug | 04.1.2009 | 10:26 am

    In order to have this new bike really work for you, you have to grow a grey beard, and a grey ponytail. Happy April Fools!

  53. Comment by Sandy | 04.1.2009 | 10:34 am

    You never fail to put a smile on my face. Happy April Fools right back at you.

  54. Comment by TwoWheels | 04.1.2009 | 10:35 am

    Hey, Fatty, it’s a real gas to make fun of someone else’s ride, isn’t it.

    I’m neither fat nor bearded, and the only thing you’ll see of my v-rex is the ass end of it disappearing in the distance.

    see ya.

    hmmm. you seem…angry. – FC

  55. Comment by Steve | 04.1.2009 | 10:48 am

    Don’t forget the wool jersey. Catches the crumbs better when you eat during the ride.

  56. Comment by Kathleen | 04.1.2009 | 11:06 am

    You couldn’t pay me to get on one of those. How fun to teach! Or is that an April Fool’s joke…you don’t really have the time.

  57. Comment by bikemike | 04.1.2009 | 11:54 am

    man, you know what’s a gas…making fun of other people’s ride.

  58. Comment by Matt | 04.1.2009 | 12:21 pm

    Not that I’ve ever ridden a ‘bent’ but with looming neck problems, I have a feeling that I might be growing a full beard in the next decade, wearing sandals WITH socks, and embracing the bent crowd if I want to continue my skinny tire adventures. They do look rather ‘comfy’ for the long haul (and I hear they absolutly RULE on flats/downhills/headwinds). But seriously…what did you think of the Singlefly?

    And on a truly serious note, I have a question: On your San Jose LiveStrong Challenge team page I see 59 of us registered members. That IS just for the San Jose ride, right? Or is that for all of the LiveStrong rides? Cuz if it IS just for San Jose, how about posting a link to a page where we can see how ALL of Team Fatty is doing! I’d like to be able to see who ALL of our team members are and how they’re doing (if thats ok).

    Great post today…you totally had me for about the first paragraph! Happy April Fools everybody!

  59. Comment by Matt | 04.1.2009 | 12:25 pm

    Oh..and I clicked on EVERY ONE of your hyper-links…and was LMAO by the 3rd one…you’re an evil man!

  60. Comment by Scott | 04.1.2009 | 1:34 pm

    As someone who owns an mtb, road bike, a tandem, and two recumbents and enjoys riding all of them, I’m looking for the day that we can all just get along.

    Imagine riding a century or brevet and being pain-free except for your leg muscles, where it’s a good kind of burn. Looking around, even straight up, without any neck strain. Admiring the scenery, not the white lines.
    Fatty, it might be worth the trouble to put on a fake beard and some oakleys for a test ride.

    Bobke shaved his head for significantly less!

  61. Comment by Anonymous | 04.1.2009 | 1:40 pm

    Saw Fatty rolling on the trail and snapped some vids..

  62. Comment by graisseux | 04.1.2009 | 1:56 pm

    Well, I read some comments before clicking on any links–watched the video anyway…coupla times, actually. That little dude’s got such a big voice. Rick Astley’s got soul; he’s a brotha trapped in a tiny, redheaded, Englishman’s body. Tom Jones is from the UK and he’s got some serious pipes, but booming vocals seem less incongruous coming from a large Welshman than from little Rick Astley.

  63. Comment by Formerly Bent022 | 04.1.2009 | 2:03 pm

    Good one! Actually it is perfect coming from the person responsible for my conversion to a wedgie. Have a great day Elden! Oh and if you ever make it down my way the bent is still sitting in my garage and I would enjoy taking you out for a ride, although I will most likely ask you to remain 50 yards behind me at all times.

  64. Comment by bikerchick | 04.1.2009 | 2:51 pm

    After reading this blog for 2+ years, you’d think I would know when we were all about to be Rickrolled? Daaaaaaaaaang. Nice one, Fatty!

  65. Comment by Anonymous | 04.1.2009 | 2:56 pm

    here is a bent that can be ridden without a beard.
    you might want to add a red triangular flag so cars see you.

  66. Comment by mayeblle | 04.1.2009 | 3:03 pm

    Thanks Fatty! That was my first rickro11.

  67. Comment by Clydesteve | 04.1.2009 | 3:09 pm

    This was really very funny, but even before I looked at those sweet links I knew. But white socks and sandals would have been a great compliment to go with beard and unpaid CC instructor.

  68. Comment by Clydesteve | 04.1.2009 | 3:15 pm

    Skidmark – I AM a liscensed engineer, and ‘bents STILL don’t work for me!

  69. Comment by Dustin | 04.1.2009 | 3:47 pm

    I can’t believe I just got rickrolled by the fat cyclist. Funniest part of my day by far!

  70. Comment by Anonymous | 04.1.2009 | 3:54 pm

    The bent looks nice, but could use a “Real MAN Saddle”:

  71. Comment by Matt | 04.1.2009 | 3:55 pm

    Anonymous…I’ve never truly considered riding a bent…but THAT is something (the Velokraft)…I think that would be one REALLY fast ride on flats and downhills! In fact I think it would be downright SCARY on my normal hills where I typically hit into the mid 40’s…can’t imagine how fast it would WANT to go. Wouldn’t even need a fairing on that…heck, wouldn’t WANT one…you’d need SOME drag to slow you down! I agree w/ the red flag..or more likely even would be a few BRIGHT RED flashing LED units on the back and sides…and a BRIGHT Daytime Running Light (much as I hate those). That and maybe paint it bright yellow or orange! Hmmmm……Hmmmm….(didn’t see the cost…that would probably shake me out of my desire to try one out). Someday when the neck can’t take the standard bikes anymore….

  72. Comment by Philly Jen | 04.1.2009 | 4:06 pm

    True story: One of my friends rode a bent all the way across RAGBRAI. At the end of each day, he would just stay in his seat and rest while munching on pie or taking in some scenery. He basically just kicked back and relaxed in high bike-o-lounger.

    Finally, one of his riding companions, sorely tested in his man-bits by several days in the saddle, couldn’t take it any longer. “$#*&^!, would you get the ^&*@ off yer bike!” he snapped at the guy on the bent. Yeah, it was driving the guy on the road bike nuts.

    It’s sort of like the part of this diagram [no Rickroll, I promise] that says “No No No No No No No”…

  73. Comment by axel | 04.1.2009 | 4:29 pm

    another cool ride: half a bent

    the perfect bike to take your significant other for a comfortable ride.

  74. Comment by stuckinmypedals | 04.1.2009 | 5:27 pm

    Check out the matching cake at

  75. Comment by bubbaseadog | 04.1.2009 | 7:25 pm

    i liked the bent hated the rick happy april 1 to you tooooooosocks with sandals is cool especially if you ride a big wheel

  76. Comment by Kevin | 04.1.2009 | 8:28 pm

    You kill me! You had me going on April 1st. I know what you think of the recumbant sub culture.

    Keep up the craziness!!!

  77. Comment by RealEngr | 04.1.2009 | 8:40 pm

    Hey Fatty,

    So we will see you with all of your friends at Battle Mountain again this year?

    Nah. Didn’t think so……

  78. Comment by Lisa | 04.1.2009 | 9:09 pm

    Who knew they have college courses in blogging? Crazy! I found you recently through another bloggers link – I’ve already forgotten who. And I’ve been reading. I like biking but am a tool-around a bit gal, not so serious as you! But, my heart goes out to your family with your wife’s diagnosis. My mom-in-law is in her early 60’s. 9 years ago fought breast cancer. And a couple of months ago was dx with metastasis to the bones. They tried anti-estrogen & bone strenghening meds but tumor has worsened. Today she started chemo. Such a terrible diagnosis. Like you, this has touched our lives and family and heart in a way you never wish for. Like you, I am doing what I can to try to donate to the cause, though on a MUCH smaller scale… I have a little business apart from my regular full-time job & am donating 10% of all sales through Halloween weekend to a friend walking in the Susan Komen 60-mile walk in Tampa.

  79. Comment by Dan O | 04.1.2009 | 9:28 pm

    You should see my Freeride/Hucking/Downhill recumbent.

    It’s awesome dude……

  80. Comment by Dobovedo | 04.2.2009 | 12:20 am

    Didn’t get me. Knew it was just a stock photo.

    “How”, you ask?

    Never mind the lack of waterbottle, cyclometer, GPS, frame pump, fenders, fairings, tool kit, panniers, saddle(?) pack, or little bell that goes ‘ding’.

    Nope.. that’s all too easy to miss. Only a marketing schmuck and/or product photographer would be so anal as to make sure that both tube stems were at precisely six o’ the clock.

    And only I would be so anal as to notice.

  81. Comment by Leon | 04.2.2009 | 5:56 am

    Make that bent an SS and it’d make a great weapon of choice for Leadville 100.

  82. Comment by Ambassador of Kool | 04.2.2009 | 2:23 pm

    Check out my article on Rapha: Cycling with style!

    Find out the latest in kool, from fashion to food at

  83. Comment by Michelle | 04.3.2009 | 6:22 am

    No more – Please no more Rick Astley! :)

  84. Comment by John H. | 04.3.2009 | 12:38 pm

    Ha! Joke is on you Fatty! My RSS Reader timestamped this at 11:02 on March 31st! So much for accounting for time zones!

    I am however embarassed to admit that I have that CD. Still.

  85. Comment by Jennifer | 04.3.2009 | 9:11 pm

    Rickrolled. Feel the love.

  86. Comment by recumbent enthusiast | 04.3.2009 | 9:39 pm

    The RANS Trex is certainly an efficient bike but quite an ugly one, lookks like a scafold on wheels indeed, the design of the fork is totally outdated, the folding stem really kills the look of the bike, and the general design is like no design at all, take no offense, I am really sensitive to design, curvaceaous sexy shapes like the Optima Baron or the Velokraft VK2 or straigth line like the Carbent Sea Dragon, I love it, but all these RANS bike are just plain ugly and heavy.

  87. Comment by CHAS | 04.4.2009 | 10:38 am

    Loved it. Have a new TiRex. No beard or sandals yet.
    Call it my Magic Carpet.
    Some guys just can’t let go of their very intimate diamond frame saddles, can they?

  88. Comment by Trikester | 04.5.2009 | 10:46 am

    That is just such a nifty bike. I’m so glad I’ve found someone else who isn’t all about “athletic appearance” and still thinks cycling is for all of us, regardless of our level of ability.

    You GO!:-)


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