Let me take a deep breath here. WHEW. Remember recently how I was talking about inventions? The gist was that when someone designs something really well, she should get to call herself an inventor. Well, kids, I'm just not sure this is one of those special times. Behold:

What's hilarious is that I KNEW this was destined for a Don't as soon as I read about it. I could almost read the Snob copy before it was written. It's just, I'm also a sympathetic sort of a person. And I don't like to be snotty, much.

But like I said, let me take a deep breath. For starters, pretty much anyone could make these with their bare hands, though this is only one of the reasons why I don't count this as any sort of invention. Take a dime-store house key, heat it over a flame, force it through one of those ugly plastic bar ends and you will have these ridiculous accessories, christened Biker's Revenge. The original pitch:
These modified handlebar plugs speak to the disgruntled urban cyclist. By retro-fitting stock parts with up-cycled keys, bikers can now find satisfaction with close encounters. This concept puts an new twist on the timeless tradition of car-keying revenge. by Matt Braun and Jared Delorenzo

Upcycling?! In mere moments, you are now able to turn once lovely handlebars into scary, hideous weapons which could just as easily catch you in the thigh (or worse, the groin) in an otherwise gentle tumble over. The proof left out of this pudding is that bar plugs are meant mostly for drop bars...Which means you'd have keys pointed toward you on your bike. They'd still prevent core-sampling, but may take out both your knees instead.

The real problem comes when you consider their alleged use. Have you ever tried to exert force out the end of your handlebars? From the standpoint of common sense physics, you may as well throw yourself under a bus. Only people particularly learned in the art of counterbalancing will emerge from such an encounter unscathed. A beloved friend of mine once kicked the mirror of a parked SUV only to F his bicycle so terribly he had to replace his wheelset. Yes, Oscar's was involved, but this friend was no freshman to the brew and no rookie on two wheels. I'm just glad that said friend had not employed the use of these death hooks. SCARY.

In sum, this is the most terrible thing I've ever heard of. I'm not even against it from a "destruction of property is no way to get cyclists an equal share of the road" perspective. And I'm not going to touch the dopey mountain bike featured in their relaxed-fit action shot. It's just the most ill-advised solution to any possibly scary situation. It demonstrates little to no comprehension of an urban cyclist's true experience riding in the city and perhaps most embarrassingly, they lack any aesthetic considerations. I know many fine products of Philly's UArts, but I'm sorry Jared and Matt, I'm afraid you should head back to the drawing board. Not just that, but sell that Giant and buy a bus pass. Your Wallabees would be a lot comfier and we'd all feel quite a bit safer.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Worst invention evar. Seriously? That is stupid shit. 1/2 the time, when I'm in a tight squeeze (but only 1/2) it's my own damn fault for trying to squeeze by stopped traffic and/or being an agressive biker (like passing gas-guzzlers on south street).

    Seriously dick, and seriously dangerous, and (even sadder to say) bad design socially, and mechanically.