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Origin of term "FRED"?(25 posts)

Origin of term "FRED"?Brooks
Dec 18, 2001 2:45 PM
Ok, I've heard the use of "Fred" for 20+ years and I'm sure it goes back further. A Fred is usually a slow, possibly squirrely rider, possibly a newbie and a poser. Distinguished by chain ring marks on calf, cycling kit du jour and no clue. Any ideas as to the origin? Points for creativity!

Brooks (not a Fred)
Dec 18, 2001 3:25 PM
Fred pretends to know everything. Unlike the contributors to this forum, he did not.
the "real" Freds...Dog
Dec 18, 2001 3:39 PM
Good quote:Ahimsa.
Dec 18, 2001 4:31 PM
"Any second-rate pyschology major can tell you that the malcontents of the bicycle world resort to denigration as a maladaptive coping mechanism for any number of common insecurities."

Guess that means some a yous got a tiny pee-pee, eh?


interesting link...biknben
Dec 18, 2001 5:14 PM
So no matter how far from "Fred"ism we think we are, there is someone who will think you fit the mold perfectly.

Hopefully this will bring the Fred discussion to a close. I already envision this thread listed under the Hot Topics.

BTW: I couldn't help notice some of the other contents on the site. A web site that discusses Archaeology and Indoor Cycling??? I've seen it all. :-)
My definition:DAC
Dec 19, 2001 4:25 AM
FRED refers to somebody whose interest in cycling is more of a social statement than a mechanical/athletic one. Freds ride around on old Schwinn Varities and on old Raleigh 3-speeds. A Fred never wears Lycra, rarely wears a helmet, often is a smoker, and hangs out at alternative-culture coffee houses. Freds also sometimes do long-distance touring, but never very quickly. They carry camping gear when they do so. A Fred will never spend more than a week's pay on a bike, and often carries major spares with him.
I need to respond to this.bill
Dec 19, 2001 7:54 AM
What you have described are the true believers, those for whom cycling isn't some accessory or adjunct or proving ground but for whom cycling is a way of life. My hat is off to these intrepid souls, who do not care if their equipment is a little dirty, heavy, rusty, out of date, whatever, just that it works well enough to get them around. They honor cycling as TRANSPORTATION, which is, after all, what it's all about, isn't it? We may think we're taking it someplace else, but the essence of cycling is transportation, otherwise we'd be doing it inside on simulators.
While these people aren't me, I sometimes am ashamed to admit it. I see them riding in weather I wouldn't, not caring what they are wearing or how they look, just pedaling to where they want to go. That's not fred, that's cool.
Ah but...Kristin
Dec 19, 2001 8:08 AM
...cycling isn't merely a mode of transportation. Its a journey. Enjoy the ride! way!Greg Taylor
Dec 19, 2001 8:07 AM
That means that the Netherlands and Asia are ruled by Freds. Ditto France (ok, that actually might be true).

Like Bill said, what you describe are very interesting folks that happen to get around on bikes.

Naah...true "Fred-dom" is multifaceted, incapable of being neatly catagorised. Like pornography, you know it when you see it.
The real story of Fred the First. . .js5280
Dec 19, 2001 9:36 AM
Fred the First was born in approximiately 1123 and rose to become Holy Roman Emperor in 1152. He was temporarily king of Germany and Italy for a short time. After quelling an uprising from Lord Zabel, he failed to subdue papal authority in Italy and conceded supremacy to Pope Lance the III (1177). He drowned while leading the Third Crusade after failing to make a corner and plummeting into a creek.

This account based, loosely, on a true story ;-)
lol :-D nmSpinchick
Dec 19, 2001 11:31 AM
Thanks why I'm glad your back Spinchick. . . .js5280
Dec 19, 2001 4:49 PM
you laugh at my posts ;-)

Actually that is a blurb about Fredrick the First, Frederick Barbarossa, w/ some creative cycling references thrown in. It would almost be perfect if the Pope were in France. . .
Don't confuse Fred with poseur.Hi Life
Dec 19, 2001 10:18 AM
A Fred is someone who's very enthusiastic about cycling, but is clueless regarding technique, equipment, etiquette, etc.
So what's a poseur?(nm)Kristin
Dec 19, 2001 10:28 AM
X-ray specsHuevos Rancheros
Dec 19, 2001 11:02 AM
To quote poly-styrene

I am a poseur and I don't care, I like to make people stare...
A poseur is a phoney.Hi Life
Dec 19, 2001 11:04 AM
A poseur thinks he's a great rider or racer, but isn't. He has the latest and greatest equipment and clothing and won't give the time of day to those that don't. Poseurs usually have big egos - they talk the talk, but can't walk the walk.
The cycling Taliban's term of opprobrium . . .DCW
Dec 19, 2001 11:05 AM
for those who ride nice bikes and wear high-quality kit but who have earned only the money, not the "right" to do so. The Taliban assume anyone who would do such a thing does it to show off.

I assume the cycling Taliban never buy fine wine, eat in nice restaurants, care what cars they drive, what clothes they wear or what books they read until some social critic has given them dispensation. To do otherwise would risk being called a "poseur."
wears a pro team or national/world champ jersey (nm)nfm-
Dec 19, 2001 11:55 AM
Please call me WilmaKristin
Dec 19, 2001 12:26 PM
Eeeks...I'm a Fred

Clueless about

So what does a Fred aspire to become? It occured to me that most Freds are potential posuer's. A Fred is sort of a newbie or wannabe (sorry Andy) posuer. Is there some kind of training class or test one can take to exit the Fred/Posuer career path? Or is this a birth right kinda deal? (i.e. I am a Fred by default because I'm a first generation cyclist (know absolutely nothing), but my children--should they follow in my footsteps--won't necessarily become Freds.)
Dec 19, 2001 12:46 PM
Nah, you're not a Fred...Hi Life
Dec 19, 2001 1:33 PM
Freds don't hang out at cool biking web sites like
This guy is a FredDutchy
Dec 19, 2001 3:55 PM
I know a guy who loves technology, has to have the latest and greatest. Custom made frames,
Biopace chainrings etc. The trouble is he barely rides 600 miles a year. When he does ride
it has to be a perfect sunny day and he always wants to ride down to the beach and drink cappuccino's,
and eat Gelato. Though his riding clothes are more Fred than Poser, Lycra top, burgundy totally
void of any logo's/labels, white socks that come half way up his shins, seatpost 4 inches too low,
and a cadence of about 50, Ave speed after 3 years of riding 15mph/24kph on the flat!

Now I know not everyone wants to wear clothes covered in logo's but the white socks have got to go.

He doesn't carry any spares whatsoever, only a mobile. When he hits 30mph/50kph
on a decent he puts the brakes on. I wear bandanna's and I asked him, how does he keep the sweat out
of his eyes? He said he just rides faster. I nearly fell over laughing, he obviously doesn't realise you
sweat the most while riding UP HILL. Sorry to rant, the guy doesn't deserve to be called a cyclist,
he should be called a Fred I guess.

The worst part is he parks his bike in the office, and everyone thinks he's some kind of cycling god.
Everyone going goo goo over his bike. I'm not jealous, he bought his bike after seeing mine.

re: Origin of term "FRED"?josh_putnam
Dec 19, 2001 5:35 PM
There have long been two conflicting definitions of a Fred -- one essentially the same as a poseur, the other a totally unfashionable cyclist with old gear and clothing and no pretenses of being a racer. Poseurs really hate Freds, because Freds blow right past poseurs on hills despite riding bikes that cost less than a poseur's clothes.
re: Origin of term "FRED"?josh_putnam
Dec 19, 2001 5:39 PM
re: Origin of term "FRED"?dave woof
Dec 19, 2001 11:17 PM
When I raced (aggh) we called 'em 'Turkeys' - guys who bought multi thousand dollar bikes but never put miles on them, or bought team kits and were 40 lbs overweight. agh.

Only been hearing fred last few years