Monday, August 4, 2008

Downgrade to Win: Increasing Results by Lowering Expectations

As cyclists, it can be difficult to resist the urge to upgrade. It’s especially hard right now, when so many tremendously exciting products are being announced. If you’re like me, you can’t visit a cycling-related website without learning about a new product you simply need to own right now. Just a few such products are:

Electronic Dura Ace

Finally! I don’t know anybody who rides Dura Ace and hasn’t been saying for years now, “You know what would make this group even better? Finite battery life!” Of course, while we can all benefit from electronic shifting systems, nobody will benefit more than triathletes. Not because the remote switches will allow them to shift without compromising their aero positions, but simply because they will now be able to shift, thanks to the “TT/Tri” version of the group. The complexities of a 10-speed drivetrain have long baffled most triathletes, who are unable to grasp concepts such as front derailleur trim and avoiding the large/large combination, and who consequently squander any aero benefits their behind-the-saddle water bottle holders may confer upon them by riding in gear combos that create more friction than a naked thigh on a metal playground slide. Riding behind a triathlete is like getting stuck behind a pepper mill—if that pepper mill were wearing short-shorts and kept trying to run into things. I’m assuming the tri-specific version of electronic Dura Ace will address the poor shifting habits of the triathlete by verbally scolding the user in a voice similar to that of KITT from “Knight Rider.”

Road Tubeless

Mountain bike tubeless tire systems have long traded convenience and easy tire changes for the ability to run extremely low pressures without risking pinch flats. Fortunately, the introduction of the road tubeless system brings all of this inconvenience to the tarmac, where the need to run extremely low pressures is virtually nonexistent. Frankly, I’m not sure the world of road riding is ready for tubeless. Not because road riders can’t appreciate the benefits, but because a disturbing number of them have not yet mastered the clincher tire. The sight of a $4,000 carbon fiber bike turned upside-down in the shoulder of the road as three or four people in various national champion jerseys attempt to repair a flat without removing the wheel from the frame is all too common these days, and adding an incredibly tight tire bead and some sealant to the equation does not seem like a good idea. The people who buy tubeless road systems will not be able to operate them anyway, so if they want to run lower pressures they might as well just use tubular tires. They can repair them in exactly the same way—by grappling vainly with them before pulling their Blackberrys from their CSC jerseys and calling for their wives to come pick them up.

Carbon Mountain Bike Wheels

Fortunately, when it comes to road and mountain technology, the exchange is not one-sided, and they’re swapping spit evenly when it comes to wheels. The roadies may have taken the tubeless road tire, but they’ve given the mountain bikers the carbon fiber rim. For too long, mountain bikers have had to do without the same level of wheel gimmickry road riders enjoy, due to the fact that things like rugged terrain and disc brakes call for more and evenly-placed spokes. But thanks to those same disc brakes mountain bikers can now enjoy the lighter weight of carbon rims, thus allowing them to take the weight savings and apply it to their already considerable midsections.

But what if you’re looking to increase your bicycle’s performance, yet you can’t afford these exciting upgrades? Well, don’t worry. As it turns out, these products won’t actually improve your performance—instead, they’ll compromise it.

As any good bike racer knows, rationalization is a key element to the sport. You don’t lose a race because it was too hard. You lose because it was too easy, and those damn wheelsuckers kept the group together, thus preventing a breakaway from forming—a breakaway which you would of course have gotten into, and from which you would have subsequently ridden away, thus winning the race solo while proudly displaying the logo of your sponsor’s urology practice. Furthermore, your placing in a race does not tell the entire story. Let’s say you placed 43rd in a race, but you finished with the same time as the winner. And let’s say the winner only works part-time, trains all week long, never drinks, and hasn’t known the sensual touch of another since—well, since visiting his sponsor’s urology practice. Meanwhile, you work full-time, never train, drink often, and had to pry yourself from the sensual touch of another in order to get out of bed and go to the race this morning. Sure, the “winner” crossed the line first, but you finished in the same time, and you didn’t give up anything in order to do it. Aren’t you the real winner here?

Similarly, the less you paid for your equipment, the more your placing is worth. If you cross the line on a $1,000 bike at the same time as a rider on a $6,000 bike, you essentially won, because you spent 5,000 fewer dollars in order to do it. Sure, $5,000 may buy you a fraction of a second here or there in the form of aerodynamics or lighter weight, but saving $5,000 is worth infinitely more in terms of bragging rights. And changing your perception of victory is way cheaper than changing your equipment.

No group has tapped into this wisdom more successfully than singlespeed mountain bikers. The singlespeed mountain biker revels in the fact that he’s accomplished the same thing as the geared rider, and he lives for that moment when someone is impressed by his ability to keep up while using a derailleur-less drivetrain. Of course, the truth is that on a lot of terrain a singlespeed mountain bike isn’t much of a handicap. In fact, often it’s an advantage. When confronted with a steep grade on a singlespeed mountain bike, you either have to stomp up it really fast, or you have to run it. Meanwhile, the geared rider will downshift eternally until he’s spinning a tiny gear so violently he simply falls over. It’s kind of like clothing. It might seem like you’re at a disadvantage if you’ve only got one pair of pants, but the fact is when it’s time to leave the house you just throw on your pants and leave. On the other hand, if you’ve got too many pants, you’ll need time to decide which ones to wear, then you’ll need to find a matching shirt, then you realize the shirt that goes with those pants is dirty, and you don't have any clean pants to match the clean shirt, and before you know it you’re 40 minutes late. Still, the singlespeed is perceived as a handicap, thus allowing the singlespeed mountain biker to stay up late doing bong hits, show up at the race the following morning, finish 15 minutes down on the guy riding the geared full-suspension bike who’s trained really hard, and still look like the toughest guy out there. (A notion that’s only reinforced after the race when he pulls on his one and only pair of grease-stained pants.)

So go ahead, upgrade if you must. But just remember: when you upgrade, anything that’s not a win is a loss. And when you downgrade, even a loss is a win.

106 comments:

Kevan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

second

Anonymous said...

podium

another dam Denver rep

Anonymous said...

top 5

Chris said...

mediocrity

cornhole said...

fuckin top ten

Anonymous said...

first try at a top ten finish

Stuggy said...

Top ten!

O'Bama said...

whinner

ant1st said...

First!

genersal lsmenedd said...

swingin on the flippity flop.

Anonymous said...

same time as kevan. Now who is the winner?

Kevan said...

Relegated for doping, dangerous sprinting, and multiple white line rule violations.

genersal lsmenedd said...

downgrade?

upgrade?

Anonymous said...

Everything you said is absolutely true, and I hate you for telling the rest of the world that my single speed mountain bike is not the liability everyone thinks it is. Oh well, I guess I'll just hit the bong, sensually touch my woman, finish 45th this weekend on my single speed, and be happy.

Cool The Kid said...

I am feeling this

One day doing laps around Prospect Park I got passed by some punk on a Pista in cutoff pants

From that point forward I knew less was more and have been riding fixed ever since

Strayhorn said...

Snob has explained a mystery that has perplexed me for ages.

I often come upon a scene just as he described: dentists and CPAs crowded around an Obea or a Parlee in the middle of nowhere, trying to figure out how to get the rear wheel out of the frame without greasing up their Liquigas jerseys.

So I'll apply a little brake and as I coast up I always call out: "Everything OK?" They always refuse my help.

I first thought this was because I was riding an alloy frame. Then I thought it was perhaps because I was wearing 20-year-old GI-issue prescription sunglasses instead of Oakleys.

Now I know it's my off-the-sale-rack single-color jersey. I can understand the horror of being seen borrowing a tire lever from a guy in a white Hind jersey. Or the stigma of getting a CO2 cart from someone wearing a yellow Cannondale jersey from a couple seasons ago (and it's not even LE!)

Maybe if I charged for my services they would be more willing to accept them. Failing that, I'll just start blowing past broken-down cyclists like the cool guys from Chapel Hill do.

JIM N said...

I was all set to hate electronic Dura Ace until I remembered I had largely the same reaction to integrated brake/shift levers. "What can these do that my downtube levers can't", thought I. "And besides, when the cables stretch you'll have to readjust them constantly."

I was buggin. Brifters are dope.

... not that I can afford Dura Ace but that's another matter.

Anonymous said...

... let's see, if I were to run tubeless tires with my Roval Fusee Star Wheels I could achieve both "aerodynamic superiority" and optimal rolling resistance.

And thank God for the unbiased product reviews offered by VeloNews. Keeps me from giving into cheap marketing gimicks. Thanks VN!

e* said...

this may be your finest hour.
this post delivers awesome like hipster fixie kids deliver annoyance.

Anonymous said...

It's very competitive at the bottom, especially if you want to stay there with respect. I started riding single speed mountain bikes 10 years ago as a way of maintaining my "King of Mediocrity" status. Now everyone rides them so I had to switch to a cyclocross bike last year as my excuse why I couldn't keep up on the trails. This year everyone shows up on a 'cross bike and kicks my butt. Now what? This "keeping down with the Jones'" is getting ridiculous. I guess next year I'll show up on a big wheel. "Yeah, that dude finished like 3 hours behind, but damn, he was on a Big Wheel!!"

Anonymous said...

i may be the 20th comment but i did it while reading twelve other blogs, cooking and eating breakfast, repainting my bathroom, and sewing new sheets for my king-size bed, so basically i win.

Brendan said...

Didn't we have carbon Spinergy MTB rims in the 90s? Oh, wait those were rim brake wheels.. nevermind.

Obviously the new ones, paired with largely ineffective, and super lightweight, tiny rotors will make us all faster. I better go sell some plasma so I can get my hands on those rims. I mean, I occaisonally race Sport after all, I need the best!

Jim said...

and who consequently squander any aero benefits their behind-the-saddle water bottle holders may confer upon them

Low speed wind tunnel tests show that if you're going to have water bottles on your TT frame, you should just use the regular downtube locations, and if it's a short TT, don't leave the cages empty. That's right, "aero" bottle positioning is less aero. In fact, with some frames, it's more aero to have water bottles on the downtube of the bike, than to leave bottles and cages completely off.

Hey, is knowing that arcane fact a win? And if my arm goes asleep and I rub myself all over but my hand doesn't know it, does that count as "the sensual touch of another"?

Ps. I only ride a single speed MTB because my brain doesn't work well enough to pedal and steer an MTB most of the time, much less shift too. Plus geared MTB has gone all straight-edge with short hair, shaving and sobriety, while nobody will question a single-speeder pulling out a flask of Cuervo mid-ride.

Anonymous said...

The dead baby DH race was a blast. Quite the collection of freakshows. Fixie scenesters, BMXers, bike shop rats, punk rockers, chopper bicycle gangs, mountain bikers, and lots of people in head to toe 80’s neon spandex? Sadly, not a triathelete to be found. I had never seen so many facial tattoos in the same place. Foot high Mohawks, ass length dreads all over. Made me feel square.

$10 water bottle, all you can drink Fat Tire. Must have been 40 kegs and a bunch of bands. One rockabilly band was pretty good. Amplified and distorted banjo and stand up bass. There were crazy bikes all over to try to ride. A tiny bike with 4” wheels. A bike chariot. A 8 person circle bike. Tall bikes. A really long bike with no seat that you stretched out flat superman-style to ride. A bike with the seat attached with a linkage to the cranks, so when you pedal, the seat moves up and down. The most fun was the full size Bigwheels with casters for rear wheels. You could do mad 360 doriftos on those things. Good times, and definitely was comedy to watch people try them out after a beer or 8. I rolled a bigwheel doing a 1080 burnout. ROACH THE TIRES!

The tall bike jousting was hilarious. People were getting worked. Somehow I missed the footdown competition. Chris broke the bunnyhop contest bar, casing it on some random kids clapped out Rocky Pipeline. They just moved the poles closer together, thread the needle style. Fat Mike Hoder won the bunnyhop contest. Kid has skills, and also probably the sketchiest tattoos there, which is saying something. Hoder’s Facad video part, one of the top 5 burliest street parts evar. The Garfield banks gap banger is retarded.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hnzc8M6WDb0

Anonymous said...

Electronic Dura Ace is just what the cycling world needed.

Now that everyone has a carbon frame manufactured using deadly chemicals that release violent fumes, it only makes sense that we all throw in a battery that will leak poison into the groundwater one fine day.
Because cycling is not not, nor has it ever been about human powered propulsion; just look at those carbon MTB wheels! And it's certainly never been about harmony with the environment.

Well, so I guess, now that Campy 11 is like Shimano, and Shimano is electric.... I guess our family will have to upgrade all our Campy equipped bikes to Electronic Dura Ace, ride out and shoot some ocelots.

bikesgonewild said...

..."well, i felt so strong today & w/ my awesome 'tubeless' road wheels, i know coulda won the race, if not in a breakaway, then by taking the sprint...but i forgot to charge my new 'dur-achey' electronic shifters...so i hadda sit in my suv in the parking lot"...

Ronsonic said...

At the CN link hyping the electronic D/A group they list among the advantages: "- True all-weather performance thanks to the removal of cable and/or housing contamination."

What sort of hack/flack/tool/whore believes that electronics have better reliability in bad weather cable and pulley systems? Neither technology will be brought down by simple exposure to water or sub-cyclocross levels of mud. Both will die from the subsequent corrosion and wear. Any dumbass bike racer can replace a cable - many can manage housings - none of them are going to be able to anything with this other than sign a check.

specialrider said...

anonymous 2:03
"And it's certainly never been about harmony with the environment."

if you have enough $$$ to spend it on Dura Ace electric then I think you also have enough $$$ to buy your carbon credits to help the environment....

it takes a lot of $green$ to be green.

Anonymous said...

heh. carbon credits.

Ronsnic! I never thought of that. Wow. I wonder how many riders will be struck by lightning because they're using the new Electronic Dura Ace?!

cool.

-d said...

Wow. Carbon mountain wheels? That makes me think of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0dzMp61G5w

Anonymous said...

Hey, isn't this post just an argument for riding fixed, as long as it is non-bastardized, non-hipster fixed?

Kind Of A Big Deal said...

Too many cyclists buy hyped stuff and follow media advice like lemmings. For example, there are way too many fat dudes on cervelos in northern new jersey. If your fat, just ride anything until you are in shape for a cervelo. To protest these yuppies, I will continue to ride my 10 year old steel, celeste bianchi for at least another 10 years, maybe more.

leroy said...

Uh-oh.

BSNYC, I think you may have missed something.

The roadies standing around the carbon fiber bike in national champion jerseys don't need to take the wheel off the frame to fix the flat.

It works something like Hansel pulling his underwear out of his pants to win the "walk off" with Derek Zoolander.

Honestly, I thought everybody knew that.

bikesgonewild said...

...ronsonic...
...you ask (rhetorically, i'm sure) "What sort of hack/flack/tool/whore believes that electronics have better reliability in bad weather cable and pulley systems?"...

...oh, you know...the 'just got outa school', advertising, media dummy thats just so happy to be a part of it all, that 'if it sparkles it must be good' kinda 'hack/flack/tool/whore'...

...they'll learn if they stick around...or they'll go on to sell somebody else's sliced bread...

Der Blaue Reiter said...

Hey Anon 1:42, I sew sheets for my king-size too! Now I'm gonna bomb bob-sled on my singlespeed MTB. BSNYC/RTMS rules!

ant1st said...

Good post Snobby. Here's is my method for achieving victory through mediocrity: I looked at geared and suspended bikes, as well as SS 29ers, and figured, why not take the worst of both worlds. So I built up a geared 26 inch rigid bike, which I never clean. The gears never work properly so I'm effectively riding a SS, unless my rear derailleur feels like working, in which case it's a 1x9. I have none of the downhill advantages of suspension, and my puny little 26 inch wheels do not "roll over anything" like 29ers supposedly do. It's a rolling excuse machine that allows me to always maintain an ego without ever achieving results.

broomie said...

I am so happy! Are they really coming out with electronic shifters! Now I can stop pinballing off cars and other cyclists and pay more attention to how my low-cut hi-rise tri-shorts show off my legs.

Sadly, whenever I stop to see if guys on the road need help I can only offer a 650c tube and 20" drinking straw.

Oh and don't get me started on the most aero spot to put a water bottle. Let's just say it takes getting used to, and muscle control really helps.

pathlete said...

just wondering when they will come out with the electronic fixed gear? i'm sure the boys and girls down a mission cycles are working that project hard. no doubt it will be as soft on the environment as algore's ass is wide.

mojito said...

Very nice post, BSnob.

You hit the proverbail nail on the not-pointy-end with the comment about ss mountainbiking. I love a self-evident excuse not to win. Last month I did my first ever mtb race. The plaudits for me, the idiot with the 1986 'rigid' (a term I hadn't heard in that context before) with 'platforms' and a singlespeed in the beginners race, were something to behold. After the race, even my friends were talking to me in the patronizing, high pitched and happy tone usually reserved for Feats Conducted By The Disabled. Of course the fact that I was about as inexperienced and timid as a new-born kitten may have also been a factor in my low placing. Now I know what it must be like to have palsy and actually play pub darts ok ("You beat a bunch of other guys too!").

Mongo Pusher said...

I just downgraded my Dura Ace to Suntour Superbe. All I need is a Brooks saddle and a 1" headset reducer to complete the trasformation.

dopepedaler said...

Sorry DBNYC, off-road tubeless rules with the voraciousness of Caligula, grips like a Vietnamese masseuse, mounts quicker than a lascivious midget (small person, sorry) is easier to use than middle management and takes abuse like a graphic designer.

This is the only thing off-road tubeless will be good for...an entirely new facet of cheating in road racing.

Jim said...

A 8 person circle bike.

Man, that sounds a lot like something my weird neighbor, the one who never gets up before noon and who wears his silk bathrobe to go to the grocery store, would be involved in.

I can only offer a 650c tube

Size only matters if you think it does, Broomie!

Loren said...

With all the new equipment coming out, I'm ready for more Kludgies!

Anonymous said...

I thought all the fat dudes on those Cervelo's with the aero wheels were Triathletes?

Grump said...

Mr Snob
You forget that there are thousands of riders out there who have already place their order for the carbon version of the Dura Ace crankset. For the last few weeks they've been worrying their silly heads about what next to hype up their egos. They've already purchased three sets of carbon wheels for their 28mm clincher tires (to prevent flats). They've already purchased a $5500 carbon frame. What is left to purchase?
Just in the nick of time, Shimano comes to the rescue with Electronic Dura Ace.

Thank you Shimano.

mojito said...

And Strayhorn:

What's your, uh, beef with people riding in Chapel Hill? They're a very nice bunch in the main.

Ira Needleman said...

Check the last sentence Snob. When when you notice what's wrong with it, you will know what to do... Oh, and nice post. So apparently you got bested again this weekend by a 'niner, or a dentist, or to someone riding a more/less expensive bike? Yeah, me too.

dopepedaler said...

This is literally "priceless". '09 D/A cranks for $700 and D/A carbon cranks for $1,400?

That damned radiology/accident and personal injury law firm/failed mortgage company team is going kill it for sure.

Bikeslob 80220 said...

**Now that everyone has a carbon frame manufactured using deadly chemicals that release violent fumes, it only makes sense that we all throw in a battery that will leak poison into the groundwater one fine day.
**

I have aready come out with a green version of the gruppo. It self-charges with a generator from an '83 Schwinn Varsity. The batteries won't end up in the landfill but, sadly, the modification adds 730 grams. You may also have to gear down a little bit, since the generator creates considerable drag on the rear wheel.

Anonymous said...

thank you for justifying my drinking and bong hits before a 'cross race.

mr.complaint said...

I can't wait for the electronic brakes.

Wunderkind said...

i'd do electronic if they were self-correcting. Like when your car knows that something is wrong and richens up the fuel mix. If my bike could micro-adjust mid ride, that would be nice. I never did learn how to use those little barrell rollers on the downtube.

Anonymous said...

how about electric cranks?

Karl Rover said...

Damn, great post! I was hoping that you might discuss integrated carbon seat posts for MTBs, but maybe another day. How that style has made it's way to off road cycling is unbelievably stupid. At least you never have to lend your bike to anybody...

Anonymous said...

My hope is that this new equipment becomes so desirable that people will start to shed their old groups and I can ride Dura Ace for pennies on the dollar. God bless the Tri-Dental/Lawyer/Doctors.....

Anonymous said...

All this tri-lawyer stuff pains me. I ride a ten year-old C-dale (upgraded to Ultegra 10), a six year-old Giant cross bike, and a 6 year-old TT rig (It is Cervelo, but before everyone had one). In addition, I did 12 tri's but also 13 bike races of various sorts. For the sake of tri-lawyers everywhere, spare our fragile feelings...please. Now about those dentists...

Anonymous said...

Since we in no way can match the income power of a Tri-Lawyer/Dentist/Doctor, there has to be some way to elevate ourselves above them, so mocking their conspicuous consumption of bike equipment is just about the only way to feel superior to them. If they were in the bank and happened to overhear my investment conversation, they would snicker too....so all is fair...

echuck said...

BS,

Tequila during the ride? It better be of the top shelf variety. The heartburn will tear through the stomach lining at higher altitudes. I recommend a smooth bourbon or scotch and a portable bong. If you run out of water, your bong will have enough watery reserve to get you home. Just my 2 cents.

Great blog.

mary p said...

careful bikesnob, by enlightening your mighty readership to the pointlessness of upgrading, you might topple the entire bicycle industry!!11

broomie said...

Wait, you can turn those barrel adjusters yourself? I would take my BMC Time Machine, Look 596, Scott Plasma LTD into the shop and have the mechanic turn them while I had my legs and chest waxed next door.

Oh, and Scott is the new Cervelo for triathletes. Be sure you know which subgroup you are holding in disdain. If they are on a Cervelo they may be a middle management or construction management type who are adopting cycling as the new golf. At least out here on the west coast. It seems that fashion follows the rotation of the earth from east to west but Triathlon fad moves west to east.

IT types seem to prefer some of the less ubiqutious brands: Argon, Valdora and Griffen. Lawyers lean toward the euro pomposity of Look and Orbea. Medical types seem to think Cannondale is still a company and Cervelos are trickling down to the masses.

Will Handsfield said...

I was course marshaling a Crit this weekend, and got to see a couple gnarly crashes, the worst of which was the Cat 4 men. The peloton was tight, one guy flatted on a manhole cover and whirled through the group sending two other riders down. One skidded on his back and threw his carbon fiber Kestrel Talon off his feet flying into a tree, whereupon it cracked its top tube.

Guy said he'd never road race again, and that road racing was fucking bullshit. I only take exception to the fact that he was racing a $5k bike in Cat 4 men's race, now that's just foolish. Anyway, that's how things go when you race. If you don't like it, Run a 5k.

I myself sat out this crit because I'm still recovering from a crash in the Xterra Triathlon, and as a triathlete, I don't have any bike handling skills, apparently.

I'll tell you one thing though, somebody was sandbagging the hell out of the citizen's class race.

Anonymous said...

Doctors on Scalpels, how appropriate. If the Cervelo can trickle down to me, then yahooooo!!!!, disdain away...

Joseph said...

@wunderkind

They are self-correcting from what I've read. You can cross-chain too, the trim is self-adjusting. No problems with shifting under loads either apparently.

Not that I still don't think going electronic is crazy, but knowing all this does make it seem a little more understandable. The shifting will be smoother. I like trickle down myself- so I urge all you dentists reading to buy buy buy.

Also apparently the battery life is 700-1000 miles, so the whole the battery can die thing is just a luddite knee-jerk. It takes 1 1/2 to charge, and lasts 700 miles, with a low battery warning well in advance. If you run out of juice, you are an idiot.

Now catastrophic failure, that's the real issue.

echuck said...

Speaking of wrecks:

http://www.katu.com/home/video/25652879.html?video=pop&t=a

Prepare yourself...

Robert Mackey said...

Relatively lengthy shift lever throws are now just ultra-short button clicks!!

Where the f**k were these while I was doing "The Climb"?

Anonymous said...

" Also apparently the battery life is 700-1000 miles, so the whole the battery can die thing is just a luddite knee-jerk. It takes 1 1/2 to charge, and lasts 700 miles, with a low battery warning well in advance. If you run out of juice, you are an idiot."

But now randonneurds on the longest of brevets may have shifter failure! At the least they'll fight over the few available outlets to charge their shifters while they nap (and make sure the charger is in their drop-bag).
They'll need that Franzus adapter plug, for P-B-P.

But... no doubt some will manage to cobble a trickle charger from the hub dynamo during daylight.

Viajero said...

I don't know why I read this blog; I seem to be the type of rider who is the subject of much of the commentary...hmmm. What do all the cool kids ride?

Camp Cupboard said...

I for one enjoy a coupling of perceived toughnesses: riding a SS mountain bike while being a woman.

drunk seamstress said...

Where does the hierarchy of iterations rank when contrasted with the status of upgrading? Today's ridiculous gruppo du jour is tomorrow's blue-collar work-horse.

broomie said...

Will Handsfield 5:46

Of course we have no bike handling skills. Everyone knows we can't corner or climb, just ask Conrad Stoltz. Because we all know only triathletes crash other riders never do. I have never seen a crash in a bike race (except a triathlon which isn't really a bike race). Heck I crashed walking out to the garage this morning. Then when I looked at my bike I fell over again. Fortunately I had a pocket full of GU's that broke my fall. Then I cross-chained my bike on principal before riding to the pool and doing a masters swim in a dayglo green speedo and crop top.

Emily said...

I am often stumped by what to wear in the morning. I am also occasionally stumped by what gear I want to be in when I am mountain biking. In both cases I think the real culprit is not the diversity of choices before me, but simply the lack of caffiene in my bloodstream.

Anonymous said...

I have to plead ignorance. After I've removed my rear wheel to fix my flat, what do I do with the frame, other than flip it over? I'd rather not try to balance it on the RD.

Andy Pandy said...

I will wait till there is a solar powered, low carbon, green foot printed version of 11 speed Durace.

Sprocketboy said...

"And changing your perception of victory is way cheaper than changing your equipment."

From now on, these are the words that will govern my life. That said, I have been using road tubeless for a year and I ain't never goin' back to tubes.

S.K. said...

Fucking guy just summed up my entire life the final paragraph.

Anonymous said...

We can't drill our way out of this (formerly energy-free) energy crisis. Besides, we won't see any return on this technology in ten years or more.

The Black Messiah

Jim said...

>>>What's your, uh, beef with people riding in Chapel Hill?

Nothin'. Any town that can both be the World Corporate HQ of Performance Bikes and still claim to be cool with a straight face, gots my respect.

>>>hmmm. What do all the cool kids ride?

Your mother.

Anonymous said...

you are like the chris carmichael of lowered expectations. hope you have the photoshop skills to match

Mark said...

I like your pants analogy of single speed mountain biking/gearing. Bravo.

I have held the belief that single speeding is KISS, keep it simple stupid. The nice thing is you really don't have to think/strategize about what gear to be in and when so you can keep focused on the important things like what beer am I going to drink at the end of this ride.

tex said...

The Dura Ace Automatic can't be very far off! High zoot components for people who can't figure out how or when to shift. Perfect!

Anonymous said...

Old frame, used high quality components, makes me feel real good passing the Cervelos of the world. I would have to come in 5 hours behind those guys to actually be considered even close to loosing total victory....

Commiecanuk said...

Anon 2:03:

Rechargeable batteries can be 100% recycled into new batteries, as can alkaline batteries. Just because people in Dumfukistan throw then in the garbage, doesn't mean this is the only alternative.

This retarded argument is the basis for the anti-electric car movement, which would have us avoid a potential, possible, maybe , kinda, toxic nightmare with the continued definite toxic nightmare.

What electronic Dura Ace, Campy 11-speed, etc. are doing is driving good bike prices above that of a good car. No doubt, we are about to see the dawn of bike leasing, where people can smugly look at another in a bike lane and say, "see? I'm better".
This can only lead to no-money down sub-prime bike mortgages, raising the cost of bikes with absolutely no foreseeable consequences down the road. Bidding wars on used Craigslist Huffys to $15,000. the pistadex would be through the roof. Philosophers in Seattle shacks making customs would have huge guilt issues. Invest bobby's college fund now.

Jim, Chapel Hill has its power-walkers..

"you really look so stupid when walk that way..
so sorry if it hurts your knees, why don't you just run, run way?"

--AOL

Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with the previous post, but i thought it was right up your alley.

http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/bik/781268604.html

dopepedaler said...

"The nice thing [about single speeding] is you really don't have to think/strategize about what gear to be in..."


If you had to "strategize" about what gear to be in while riding, I don't blame you for switching to a single. What do SS's call the process of fiddling with rear cogs, chain links and EBB's before each ride? Strategerizing?

plum said...

Exactly, exactly what I wanted to read after racing this weekend. I fared only marginally better on my Trek 5200 than with my Langster. I feel slightly better. Not much though.

http://em50.blogspot.com/2008/08/ready-set-dropped.html

Anonymous said...

Fantastic! My balls just dropped :)

skidmarkpdx said...

Sometimes I get offended when you inadvertently describe me, but that bit about singlespeed mountain bikers was spot on. I'll go one further and say I still won when someone with a brand new ss 29er beats me, because my ss/fixed MTB is mostly from about 1988. It is so retrogrouch that it has bullmoose bars.

Anonymous said...

Will somone please look at this?

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/bik/782640631.html

I don't know what to say??
How do you make 13 gears??

ant1st said...

simple - it has 2 chain rings, so it must have a 6.5 gear cassette.

Sunny said...

Just goes to show how ignorant some cyclists are to the complexities and differences of riding a road bike as a triathlete versus just a road rider. Our goals are efficiency, comfort, endurance. Our saddle positions and gearing are designed to establish a balance between power on the bike and saving running muscles for the run. We have just as much fun on our two wheels as you bike snobs do on yours, we just add some serious cajones for riding in aero bars. I'ld venture to say riding behind a cyclist is like driving behind grandpa... can't figure out what pressure to put on the gas to maintain even speed so it becomes a maddening game of start-stop.

Incidentally, as a cyclist, triathlete, MTBer, and cyclocross rider, I completely agree with you about the Road tubeless, no place for it on the road.

Commiecanuk said...

sunny, still doesn't explain away this.

Andy Pandy said...

Hey that is my cervelo with my soon to be ex girl friend

franko said...

carbon mtn bike wheels are alive in well in MA

http://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/bik/785572972.html

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:46 PM

"Will somone please look at this?

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/bik/782640631.html "

THIS is the perfect bike for electro dura ace! With electronic shifters we can upgrade the firmware to shift 13 gears. And because this bike is ugly, expensive and doesn't do anything better than a normal bike it's a perfect match.

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