Dec 01 2017

I know the blog has been moving slow since the expo.

My bad.

I’ve been working to keep everything a float while we get to the end of this cycle.

I got some other level landlords stuff going on where I’m tied up at night. It’s been a fairly hectic couple of months.

It’s been keeping me off my bikes and I’ve been feeling real restless.

Landlords isn’t the most lucrative of endeavors but it is an important one.

People ask me.

“What is this? What is Landlords”

We’re a bike club.

It’s that simple.

We’re a city club.

I hate the term “urban cycling” it has connotations of bad commuter or fixed gear style born sometime in the mid 00’s.

Actual “urban” cycling operates next to that and came generations before it.

We’re city cycling.

So look.

Landlords has always been a vehicle for change.

Like when we started this blog, actually before the blog, when we created the concept of Landlords it was to make a statement.

There’s a culture of cyclists that grew in most major cities in the US.

Its different in every city but generally it started over 100 years ago.

(Picture is from Germantown Historical Society and is available for purchase without the watermark over everyone’s faces. Check out their amazing archive. Click.)
(It always cracks me up thinking about these dudes riding their big wheel bikes down any of the hills leaving germantown)

A network of local racers, riders, framebuilders clubs and shops developed.

As time moved on the introduction of immigrant groups added to the culture as cars and motorcycle racing took over in the US.

Style developed over the decades.

Mechanics moved from shop to shop. Opened their own shops. Closed their own shops.

Routes and races were passed down generation to generation.

As you must know by now if you’re reading this:
Caribbean immigrants brought fixed gear riding into New York City.

Many of these immigrants became messengers on their fixed gear racing bikes.

The style was passed on to other messengers and branched out from there.

At some point in the 90’s racing bikes forked off from their traditional materials, construction method, and geometry.

The artisan framebuilder became a rarity. Bike racing left all of that in the past.

At this same time that was happening (cool) bike messengers were further committing to the old ways.


steel tubes (reynolds or columbus)
1″ headset
quill stem
fixed gear
track drops.

While most cyclists was embracing domestic builders, new geometry and components messengers were feeding off the unlimited supply of now out of date classic racing bicycles available at low to no cost.

There was a golden era in the late 90’s when Italian Steel was being given away and reynolds… well you get the idea.

Shops like Toga on the Upper West Side in Manhattan went from all Italian Steel to American Aluminum seemingly overnight.

Very few racing shops held the traditional work down.

Cycles Bikyle outside of Philadelphia was one shop that did.

After I got hit by a car on South Street and fractured a couple vertebrae but before I moved to New York (for the 2nd time) Neil from Time Cycle got me a job at Bikyle.

The first day I was there Antonio Mondonico was doing custom measurements for a lot of rich old guys. There was a reception. Wine and cheese etc. Mondonico was a legend and meeting him spurred my interest into learning more about italian bikes outside of Pinarello, Colnago and DeRosa.

This was in 99–Right before 2000 when a lot of people were still convinced that all the computers were going to shut down and there was going to be some kind of global disaster.

So ok I was hooked on racing bikes at the turn of the century.

And time moved on.

Messengers became detached from the old ways.

The track bike on the city street lost it’s connection to it’s originators.

Lost it’s connection to the messenger.

Lost it’s connection to immigrants.

You could see the older generations fading out at the bike swaps.

The old timers with their plastic containers full of campagnolo dust covers and bolts slowly dissapeared.

The seemingly endless supply of steel frames began to dwindle.

Ebay proliferated. Values rose. A young kid was priced out of owning Italian Steel, again.

At this same time the “urban cycling” thing was developing.

New style mass produced bikes.

“urban” specific clothing.

all the stuff that was opposite of what we liked…

Old bikes. Old cycling gear. Old messenger bags.

All of that was replaced by street wear and bmx and mtb component inspired fixed gear.

Good bye cycling caps and drop bars, hello oversized flat brim fitted hat and riser bars.

mass produced style.


mid 00’s

racing bikes were modern

fixed gear was modern

all the old ways were forgotten by the mainstream.

A new culture had developed.

Landlords existed to keep the connection to the old ways alive.

Landlords exist(ed)s for the people from the old ways and for the new people who want to know their history.

It exist(s)ed To keep the direct line alive while procycling went to the future and “urban cycling” forked off the line.

The style, the attitude, the Landlords.

midpoint. The bubble bursts

In 2011-12 a huge vintage bike bubble began to inflate.

Framebuilding was back but it was corny!

I’m serious.

There was so many wack people that went to the two week framebuilding course and started pumping out stupid “theme” bikes.

It was a joke.

The gear that was coming out was so stupid.

It was all very vapid and not based on performance or racing.

Cyclocross racing started to fill in with the new crowd.

Italian Steel was now $$$$$$

Culture vultures had swarmed.

People stopped buying.

Who is really going to spend 10k on an old road bike?

If you’re serious you’d take 10k and buy a modern bike.

If you’re a collector how much are you really going to put into a collection?

So then the bubble burst and everyone went back to their day jobs.

No demand. Lots of supply.

There was a realignment.

The strong survived and adapted and got good.

Riders branched out into other disciplines.

The weak went back to their original niches.

Their pre urban cycling bubble lives.


As time has gone on the “urban generation” has shifted back over to the original timeline.

Most of the bad style elements of the mid 00’s have died or been reabsorbed.

The fixed gear racing scene born from the track messenger has generally moved back into criterium style racing.

USA cycling and the UCI see the writing on the wall and our quickly sanctioning the bigger events.

Messenger or Alleycat races are now full of non-messengers, some people that race in traditional UCI sanctioned disciplines.

Gravel and adventure bikes are gateways to road bikes, or cross racing or MTB.

New framebuilders have risen. Old framebuilders have achieved master levels .

The crossover has happened again.

The line is complete.

So where does this put landlords?

I don’t know.

I don’t feel the urgency. I feel like things are on the right path.

I feel unity with the spectrum of riders on the line.

GS Landlords is a team for people connected to that direct line.

To that main beam.

To the cycling gods.

It’s for people that know cycling history.

It’s for people that respect the creators.

When the magazine is finished I hope it will have told many parts of this story.

It will hold the line and provide information about the line.

It’s not a reference book. it’s not that clear.

it’s something that you have to understand.

Please help keep all of this going now.

I can’t keep it up without your support.

Its financially impossible to provide a full color glossy magazine about bikes, art, punk, messengers and graffiti without ads without individuals purchasing it.

You can’t expect to read your friends copy or just to tell people you know about it.

It’s part of the program here.

Subscriptions are available for the last 5 issues.

Package deals are available for 1-8

Please contact me now to get involved.

As we keep the line moving forward.

contact me through DM on instagram or info@duffedout.com

To purchase single issues please click Print below the header or click here.


I walked away from a lot of things to make this journey last.

Cycling can take over everything.

I sometimes wonder about what will be next here.

Once the magazine is wrapped .

After the exhibitions in Philly, NYC, and SF.

What’s next for Landlords?


I want to thank everyone who has supported us over the years.

Everyone who has submitted photos. gone to old bike shops to take pictures. showed us what their local rides look like.

everyone who has bought kit.

Everyone who bought racing kit from Santini.

Anyone who has bought t-shirts and magazines.

anyone who bought the book.

Anyone who bought any of the zines.

Anyone with the poster hanging up in their place.

Anyone who put a sticker on their bike.

Anyone who has kept us afloat and existing for all of these years.

This is all for you.

other people that don’t support but ride for free?

ehhhh. whatever.