10 January, 2008

Circus Bikes and Yellow Tape


One type of bike we've never discussed here is the circus bike, you know, the type that clowns ride. Now some of you may consider that a good thing, but I bring this up because I keep answering e-mails about the shortage of yellow cloth handlebar tape. Recently a large and internationally known circus company bought our entire stock of yellow Tressostar handlebar tape. That was over 500 rolls! And they asked if we knew where they could get more. I know; I should have asked why a circus needed 500 plus rolls of yellow bar tape. That's a lot of clowns on little circus bikes.

We'll have more yellow tape in a few weeks.

If anyone has more to add regarding circus bikes, please leave a comment.

13 comments:

thatcher said...

what wonderful story! my first bike was from a circus - the perfect size, bomb-proof kids bike
There were 3 drawbacks:
*no brakes
*hard rubber, non-pneumatic tires
*no clutch mechanism (the pedals turned as long as the wheels did)

This last point made for some spectacular circus-worthy crashes.

Anonymous said...

Funny, where I live there are a lot of clowns on bikes with brakeless, non-freewheeling bikes. A few days ago, I got to enjoy watching a very circus-worthy crash by a young gent on a beautiful Eddy Merckx track bike that he had outfitted with a cut-off MTB riser bar crash into a newspaper box that he couldn't avoid because of his brakeless clown bike. Thank you for giving me a new term for these sorts of bikes--clown bikes.
M Burdge

reverend dick said...

Yes! Clown bikes for all my friends...does anyone have formulae for spoke lengths on elliptical wheels? I need to bob and weave. Seriously, how do I calculate spoke length for that? And we haven't discussed railbikes yet...

James said...

Did they tell you anything about the bicycles they use? I imagine clown bikes have a unique geometry for clowning around, or do they just modify kids bikes?
And the question is how did french clown bicycles differ from the ones currently used and is there a small group of disgruntled ex-clowns who prefer to ride up front.

tomcat said...

bikeforest has a wheelbuilding applet to build hula bike wheels....
http://www.bikeforest.com/CAD/hulaCAD.html

zman said...

OK guys, stop clowning around!

Andrew said...

Is it preferable for a clown bike to have a low trail steering geometry? How does pneumatic trail affect handling when a second clown is perched on the handlebars?

fixedgear said...

I'm thinking that as several folks have noted they are fixed wheel bikes. As near as I can figure they often run a 1:1 ratio, i.e. a tiny 20 tooth chainwheel mated with a 20 tooth cog.

500 rolls is enough to do 250 bikes, or one bike 250 times. Maybe they tape bars once a week to keep them fresh loking? Racers get new white tape daily, it shows up better in the photos.

Brakes Good! said...

Clown Bikes! Perfect term for the brakeless fixed gear bikes with hard tires ridden by all those Darwin Award candidates. But I wanna know what kind of wheels they use on the actual clown bikes. I counted nine people on the bike in the photo. I have trouble keeping rear wheels true with just me on there!

benzzoy said...

Maybe the tapes are used for the trapeze?

reverend dick said...

Tomcat- thanks alot for the bikeforest link, it's perfect! The hula bike isn't what I had in mind, I want a regular bike with elliptical wheels, but the formula is what I needed.Great site, too.

And...Railbikes. Anyone?

Gunnar Berg said...

To the world,
I don't the think rear femders could be pre-drilled, other than the rear stay drilling. Those of you who have followed this blog for any length of time might remember the VO mixte I had made a while ago. There were a couple of issues and the frame was remade. With only slight changes to the geometry, the fender holes moved an inch. I also want to publicly thank Chris for resolving all these issues. The new bike built up from the revised frame is wonderful and Chris took care of EVERYTHING. Velo Orange was a joy to deal with. Thanks again! I have a couple of pictures on my blog site (http://oakwoodlife.blogspot.com/)if you're willing to put up my non-bike posting.

Anonymous said...

Yes, they use cloth tape (usually white) for the trapeze, and change it frequently. I've sold large amounts to Cirque Du Soleil for just that purpose, for example.