For those of you unfamiliar with bike culture, quite a few bicyclists like to talk shop.  A lot.  This becomes obvious as one trolls lurks in various forums and mail lists.  There’s the iBOB list, the loaded touring list, the icebike list, there’s a Google group for Long Haul Trucker and Cross Check owners, at least one group for people who own (or wish they owned) a Rivendell, rando lists by region, various forums and bulletin boards, Yahoo! groups for fans of bicycle makes that don’t exist any more and were niche when they did exist, and the lists go on and on and on.  If you can think of using a particular bicycle for a particular purpose, even if it’s not that bike’s original purpose (Schwinn Varsities in downhill racing!), there’s someone, somewhere talking about it.  And they are most definitely talking parts.

When you get a bunch of parts to hang on your Schwinn Varsity downhill racer, they are collectively called a group.  I’ve heard the folks from the Department of Redundancy Department use “group set”.  Why a group?  Italians, that’s why.  In Italian it’s “gruppo”.

Some people, mostly roadies and poseurs and elitist assholes jerks continue to say “gruppo”.  (Christie says I’m not allowed to say “asshole” on the blog, either.)  But they often don’t spell it “gruppo”.  Instead, they write “groupo” or “grouppo”.  Why might they do this?  That’s a hard question to answer.  The best way to really understand it is to go into your local bicycle shop and ask everyone there to pronounce “derailleur”.  Then, assuming you didn’t already know how to pronounce it, decide which one of them is correct.  You’ll soon learn why I write and say “derailer” and “group”.  And, AASHTA.

Just in case you’re unsure, I’ll put “group” in a group, listed in order from most acceptable to an English-speaking cyclist, to most acceptable to a douche bag poseur.

  1. Group
  2. Gruppo (This can take the #1 spot if you are referring directly to Italian parts.  However, if you are speaking English to an Italian, it falls to #3.)
  3. Groupo or Grouppo (You have just come out of the closet.  The closet where all the rest of the illiterati hide.  Please disconnect your Internet service.)

Of course, this is all tongue-in-cheek and I should really go ride my bike and not worry about how I inadvertently called it a groupo once, even though I knew better…

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2 Responses to Groupo

  1. Jason Nunemaker says:

    Do I get extra (ahem) “poseur” points if my groupo is made by Mavic, pronounced mah-VEEK? 😉