Monday, August 22, 2011

Juxtaposition: A Tale of Two Bikes

There is a bridge called the George Washington Bridge that connects the island of Manhattan to the state of New Jersey. This is the main escape route for New York City's roadies, and I would estimate that it sees the highest volume of Fred traffic of any roadway in the entire world. In fact, if one were one to seal it off completely, the city would swell and swell and swell like pimple until it exploded in an atomic blast of Lycra, crabon, and pie plates.

This past weekend, I joined the legions of cyclists who use this bridge, and just a few of the things I observed while on my ride included:

--A gentleman wearing a Bert and Ernie jersey and riding a Colnago Ferrari;
--Another gentleman wearing a sleeveless base layer with no jersey at all, complete with teardrop aero helmet;
--Yet another gentleman who proved the old adage "the bike goes where you look" when he turned to admire the scenery and rode right into the guardrail.

I of course was astride my gleaming new Ritte Fred Chariot, which I've ironically parked in front of the words "No Parking:"

(I don't need "society", your yellow letters mean nothing to me.)

Having finally maneuvered through traffic and up and down moderate hills and around wayward triathletes I'm pleased to report that the bike rides beautifully, and while I have no intention of subjecting you to incessant "foffing off" over this thing I do realize that in last Friday's post I failed to include certain images that are mandated by the American Bike Dork Society of America. Therefore, I will dispense with these Obligatory Bicycle Shots (OBS) so that I can avoid being subject to further fines and we can then move onto more pressing matters.

Firstly, here's the Obligatory Derailleur Shot:

Notice that the bicycle makes use of something called a "derailleur hanger," which is "replaceable." This is so when you "crash" because "some guy with a TT helmet and no jersey on" runs into you, the bicycle will be easily repairable--provided all the damage is limited to the derailleur hanger.

Next, here's the Obligatory Non-Drive Side Dropout Shot:

Notice it's "cowled" to provide more surface area for the oversized blahblahblah. Alas, notice that the dropouts are vertical, which is the only reason I haven't yet converted this into a sweet, sweet fixie. The wheels use "Itchey" hubs, and Itchey apparently employ a marketing technique known as the "Trifecta System." Ordinarily I prefer handbuilt wheels, but when you have 17 children like I do it's very difficult to sit around building wheels because kids like to do stuff like eat nipples and put spokes up their nose. Therefore, in the interest of time I took a gamble on "instant" wheels, and I guess I'll just see what happens.

This, of course, is the obligatory Seat Tube Junction shot:

The tubings are being made from stainless steel because I tend to wet myself when I'm excited or tired (on a good road ride you'll be both excited and tired at various times), and they are joined by a revolutionary new process known as "welding." It'll have to do for now--at least until I get those fake stick-on lugs.

This is the Obligatory Head Tube shot:

Given the collapse of the world economy, I'm putting all my resources into Chris King headsets based on the relative strength of the Chris King Headset Composite Index (CKHCI). As you can see, the stem is not "slammed." I'm not sure why a "slammed" stem is a good thing anyway; it's the equivalent of having your saddle jammed all the way forward. I'd think you'd want a bit of adjustability in either direction. But what do I know?

Here's the Obigatory Head Tube Badge shot:

The head tube badge is essential because it tells you what kind of bicycle you have in case you forget. I think it's the first head tube badge I've ever had that wasn't plastic and mounted with foam tape. There's also a spare one on the seat tube:

And lastly, the most obligatory of obligatory photos, the Beefy Bottom Bracket Shot:

The plastic band is a chain catcher anti-drop thingy, because the bottom bracket is so incredibly beefy I'm afraid its gravitational pull will overcome the strength of the derailleur cage and draw the chain to it.

And that's my road bike, big freaking deal.



Moving on to the "more pressing matters" I alerted to earlier, these matters concern a bicycle that is not mine but that I am in fact "testing." The bicycle looks like this, and it is called a "Base Urban:"

(No, I don't have any idea why the top tube is shaped like that, and no, a U-lock does not fit through it.)

Now, few things are more subjective than aesthetics, and while aesthetic considerations can sometimes overlap with practical ones, other times form and function can be mutually exclusive. In other words, sometimes something that's really ugly can work great, and sometimes something that's really beautiful can work like crap. And what's ugly to one person can be beautiful to another, and so forth.

As it happens, I think this bicycle is wildly ugly. To me, it evokes throbbing dance music, and flat brim caps with the stickers still on them, and cars with neon underneath, and the smell of cologne, and all manner of other things I find aesthetically offensive. Nevertheless, I agreed to test it for a simple reason:

It has an 8 speed Alfine hub and a belt drive.

Belt drives have been debunked to a certain extent where hard recreational offroad use is concerned, but for commuting purposes this particular combination seemed intriguing, since arguably a drivetrain with no chain grime or derailleurs that still offers you the ability to shift and coast is the commuting ideal. And never having ridden a belt drive bicycle in any application before, I was eager to try one, and I figured if it worked well I could overlook the bike's questionable aesthetics in the same way I don't really care what my toilet looks like so long as it accepts waste and flushes reliably.

Anyway, I've only just taken delivery of the bike, so what follows are first impression.

Firstly, the hub shifts by means of this STI-type lever:

This may look familiar to you as shifters in this configuration are sold variously as Microshift (I think technically it's "microSHIFT," and you should always be sure to shout the second syllable), Nashbar, Samson, and so forth. The lever body feels pretty much exactly like the last generation Shimano levers did, and you shift by means of these nubbins:

It's all fairly intuitive and comfy, but the shifting isn't anywhere as quick as with a derailleur drivetrain--though it's perfectly adequate for riding around town. I'd argue that there's little point in a riding-around-town bike that looks like a race bike but doesn't shift like one and that also weighs many many pounds, but that's more of an aesthetic quibble, and the bike does have practical features such as fender eyelets on the fork:

And both fender and rack eyelets in the rear:

Though arguably the fender eyelets are of little use since the fork crown is not drilled:

And neither is the brake bridge for that matter:

And anyway even if they were it's tough to imagine a fender strut clearing the brake caliper:

Not that I tried it, mind you, but it's pretty clear to me that this bike does not want fenders since it's guarding the integrity of those holes like a [insert bad prison joke here].

Speaking of the disc brakes, they're Avid BB7s, a brake with which I have considerable experience and which I generally find to be excellent:

On this bike, however, they feel almost disconcertingly spongy. It could be that they need to wear in a bit, or it could be a cable routing issue, but I've never experienced this with new BB7s in the past, and even my Big Dummy with it's roughly 900 foot long rear brake cable housing has never felt this vague. Though ostensibly a bad thing, the brake's sponginess was in keeping with the overall feel of the bike, which basically rides like the eponymous airplane in the movie "Airplane!":

("Sluggish...like a wet sponge.")

I suppose this is what happens when you take not particularly supple tires and very heavy wheels and spongy disc brakes and not-crisp shifting and assemble them in the shape of a road bike when they really want to be one of those department store chopper bikes. As for the belt itself, I thought the idea was that they were quiet, but as I rode it made a rhythmic creaking noise, which made me feel like I was in a cheap hotel room with thin walls and my neighbors were having a "collabo:"

Granted, I've only just taken delivery of the bike and have not had time to try to adjust it out, but from what I can see while riding, the chainring (or belt ring, or belt wheel, or whatever you would call it) has a wobble in it and as such is moving laterally in relation to the belt. It's very slight--about as much as a typical chainring wobble--but evidently with the high tension the belt requires it's enough to make a racket.

Again, this is just a first impression, but overall so far I'm pretty impressed by how poorly thought through this bicycle is, right down to the fact that the bars were wrapped backwards from the factory so the tape kept peeling under my hand:

All of this for the low price of $1,750:

Though you do get one (1) set of bottle bosses and a bottle cage.

In the coming days I will invent paces for this bike and then put it through them, but given that you could buy a pretty decent road bike and an inexpensive singlespeed commuter for this price (my Scattante rides quite nicely and is still serving me well as a commuter two and a half years later) instead of merging the two concepts into one bike, I'm sort of struggling to see the point of this.

But in the interest of science, I'll keep trying.

121 comments:

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

done!

philip williamson said...

way?

JD said...

podium

hellbelly said...

podium...now!

Amy said...

Nice!

Anonymous said...

podium

Anonymous said...

top ten, bitches!



dirtbag

Bike Fail said...

Bert and Ernie FTW!

Anonymous said...

Huggy top 10?

petrus said...

Top X!!!

who am i? said...

fuck the system, they can't have me!
i don't need society!

rural 14 said...

ant 2nd!

theEel said...

WeeD.

Chris said...

I read "nubbin" as "rubbin"

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

Snobby,

Don't answer the door!
Someone from BaseUrban has been spotted in your neighborhood1

Trofonov, not Fofonov said...

Ouch!

I need a bike lawyer!!

bikesgonewild said...

...these days, this is as "...1st..." as i get !!!...

...& looking at those welds, i see your bike was built by 'the new guy'...still pretty nice though...

One Who Knows said...

RD1.0 Is an "outside-the-box" Frankenbike you can get in a box.

Anonymous said...

you can fit a fender over a disc brake, you just need about an inch of spacers and a willingness to bend some struts. the undrilled crown is a tougher nut though

Pubic Bikes said...

Missed the sprint!

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

Wow Snobby, maybe the weld shots were a bad idea.

hillbilly said...

wow, I did a spit take at the price.

ptfe said...

Did you look for horsehair dangling in the downtube? Maybe that top tube was intended to be a quick-release violin bow, you know, in case you find yourself in the orchestra pit and ready to play but all you have handy is your new bike.

Anonymous said...

I love the idea behind RD1.0. I ride in a lot of wind, so the drops are nice. I have a long commute (13 miles each way), so the road bike set up is nice and I like STIs and 1x8 would be more than enough gearing. The disc brakes are great because I'm 260lbs of a fat load and I ride in rain (forget the bus). Belt drive is nice because I love to ride, not to lube and clean the chain all the time and replacement chains ain't exactly free these days. You didn't mention if there are rack mounts on the seat stays because racks take 4 contact points, or at least 3...

Kenny Banya said...

mcro SHFT

Anonymous said...

Belt drive/hub gearing, drop bars, disc breaks, fenders, racks, beefy top tube, supple welds... you want everything in one bike? Why not ask for labia too?

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Hey bikesnob, Get a triple for that thing and you can loose the the anti-drop thingy. The granny will catch your drops and it's good for climbing hills too.

One Who Knows said...

Well, it does have a beefy bottom bracket...

BikeSnobNYC said...

Recumbent Conspiracy Theorist,

But what happens when the chain falls off the granny? Do I get a micro-granny? Where does it end!?!

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Anonymous said...

the bb7's work crappy because they're the road version that works with the higher tension lower cable travel brake levers attached to your handlebars. the v-brake version works a lot better. If when you squeeze the brake, you see the housing flex, then you could improve the responsiveness of the brake by switching to a compressionless housing for brakes such as the odyssey linear cable. But I don't think you will find that they feel like the v-brake lever driven bb7's no matter what you do to the cables.
-anonymous 3:16

mikeweb said...

$1,750 for backwards bar tape.

What a country!

Anonymous said...

the 8speed hub probably has a minimum gain/gear ratio. if you drive it with a granny gear, you may blow out the hub. I know the rohlhoff is like this, so if actually considering running a smaller front ring, research it first.
-anonymous 3:16

Anonymous said...

all i gotta say is base urban has balls asking snob to review a bike fresh from the "handmade" factory floor...it doesn't bode well if a perscantte outperforms your overpriced-bloat-o-cycle.

URBN BALZ

Anonymous said...

Once saw a belly dancer doing a photo shoot on the GWB. Beefy bottom bracket indeed Sir!

Marcel Da Chump said...

Can't relate to modern components...and don't call me Shirley.

crosspalms said...

That's pretty pricey for a commuter you can't put fenders on. Maybe they should call it the IIRTTB. Thanks for the review, though -- the belt drive/hub combo is intriguing, so I look forward to hearing more.

Marcel Da Chump said...

Can't relate to modern components...and don't call me Shirley.

studioe said...

I'm sure Snobbish had the welds custom sloppy, as to detract from the fetish value.

Anonymous said...

I like your new bike. Stainless? very cool. One thing though, a beef which is not specifically aimed at your bike, those still-new-to-me outboard bottom brackets are disappointing. It seems like they get all crapped out much before they should. I have ruined several BBs in cyclo-x foolery, some took many years to die, others were done in after two weeks. Guess which ones were outboard and fancy.

One Who Knows said...

I'm wondering if the Ritte would pass the coffee-shop lift test?

Anonymous said...

"fender strut" - is that the special kind of walk employed by guitarists (who think that you ought to think they're good, even though they're not?)?

Bit of a blob on the weld at the top of the left seat stay, hmmm?

hey nonny mouse

Marcel Da Chump said...

Is there an echo? Looks like I picked the wrong time to be retro-grouch.

You'll be hearing from our lawyers said...

The American Association of Dwarfs and Midgets finds your reference to "micro-grannys" highly offensive.

Lee said...

Thanks for posting more photos of your bike, Wildcat Rock Machine. I've always been curious about what you'd pick out for yourself for a real race bike.

I think some people are comparing those stainless steel welds to titanium welds. Those are awesome stainless steel welds. Steel just doesn't weld like titanium.

Ritte seems like a cool company to me. I mean you can knock any company, but I like the way their bikes look. I like their web site. I like what they write. They're into racing and real stuff. They're funny and sharp. Plus, that badge on the seat tube is super wicked.

The Chris King headset is a given. The Enve fork is faultless in the same way.

Ultegra is the way to make this whole bike not too precious. Ultegra is a work horse. It's racing stuff. That it's not Sram is mildly interesting to me, and makes me happy 'cause I still do Shimano, too.

The only letdown for me are the wheels. I was hoping the Snob would have some handbuilts with more spokes in the rear than the front, like 32/28, with aluminum tubular rims. Or fine, clinchers, but something more aligned with what Jobst Brandt would silently accept. Those CXP33s that were on yesterday were closer.

studioe said...

@Marcel Da Chump

Years of ankle thumping from Super Record Cranks in the 80's has accelerated my appreciation for modern-day parts....and aero is sexy AND functional.
https://picasaweb.google.com/111007621136534702763/Mine?authkey=Gv1sRgCKKjrbzEq6ibPw#5643726991187748146

g said...

So, there I was, looking over my wife's shoulder while she was picking images on iStock photo when who should show up but the TTRFFPTD, aka Brett. I proceeded to tell her who he was and then had to explain just what the hell I do at work all day. And, I saw a bike very similar to the Base Urban in a decor magazine, but it was a left-hand drive train. Must have been Engrish.

Lee said...

Whoops, those Ritcheys probably do have different spoke counts, and they look pretty traditional. The paired spoke holes on the hubs threw me.

Plus, props on getting the rear derailleur housing just the right length. That bend would make Sheldon Brown happy, I'd bet.

Fred's dead baby, Fred's dead... said...

The saddest thing about that belt drive is that some dentist's going to buy it and use it as their commuter while the Serotta sits gathering dust.

Actually, is that so sad...?

And even though I have G3 lacing on my Campag wheels, I'm still going to make fun of the wheelbuild...

Spears said...

That chain is in backwards.

Spears said...

And by in, I mean installed.

John said...

You should be able to put fenders over disks. I mounted Planet Bike Cascadia fenders on both my Karate monkey and Big Dummy. Both bikes have BB7s. The lack of a drilled fork of brake bridge is sloppy but can be gotten around.

And yes, BB7 can feel spongy if not proberly set up. When I set up my first pair I was disappointed at first. When I changed the pads the first time, I set them properly and they were great.

If you want a comparison for the Urban, my KM is set up with and Alfine and BB7s but of course with a chain. I'd be willing to ride down to Brooklyn some weekend for you to compair it.

-John

Anonymous said...

Every single belt drive transmission I, or any of my friends, has ever purchased or ridden has been a complete piece of shit. Somehow manufacturers can get them to manage the torque of a 1200cc motorcycle engine well enough, but when it comes to bicycles they just don't work well. Good luck with that POS, Snobbie...

Lee said...

One other thing to note: WCRM is using a press fit adapter to use a threaded bottom bracket with a BB30 shell.

Since it's a custom frame, that's a bit curious. If you like a bike with a threaded bottom bracket, why not just get one? I guess this gives you either option. You can't change the frame to accept BB30 once all your other bikes have them, and for now he probably gets to swap cranksets with a cross bike or a couple other bikes.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Spears,

Holy crap, I think you're right! No wonder it goes backwards when I pedal.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Bobby said...

Welding stainless, you need an argon-CO2 blend for a happy arc. Still, those welds don't look too bad. Looks vertically stiff and laterally compliant, eh Sir Snob?

Those Shimano hoods always did look huge and wonky.

Your Ritte looks like a nice ride, get out there for some happy Fred-stomping!

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Stainless steel...like a De Lorean. I knew there was something pretty cool about your new bike Wildcat.

Anonymous said...

Wow, and this guy probably hasn't even seen your blog yet...
http://streetbonersandtvcarnage.com/blog/bikers-need-to-suck-my-entitled-pedestrian-balls/

la Cosa Nostradamus said...

Shimano is about to introduce it's new ESP Gruppo which is shifted by mental telepathic command. No cables. No wires.

Of course a three pound transmitter must be inserted in the cranium but other than that this is the lightest gruppo of all time.

Marcel Da Chump said...

@studioe, I'm all for progress ( and not just in bikes ). I just like the feel of a lugged Reynolds 531 frame and a Clement tubular at woo hoo speed. Someday, I'm sure I'll be on the modern stuff.

Cortelyou Anquetil said...

Nubbin--

I believe Ritte bit those dropouts off Pegoretti, unless Dario P. copped 'em from someplace else.

Also, where's your SADDLE BAG?

Spastic White Guy said...

What the F***, man?!

Charlie Didrickson said...

Stainless Steel huh? I hope you had the mind to upgrade to the 42" wheels and granite saddle...

shu-sin said...

@anon 2:37
it's ironic that the image they chose for such bigotry is a woman having a shoe-gasm while txting and walking across the bike lane. hats off to bigots.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Spears,

Chain was totally backwards, I just fixed it.

Silly directional chains.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

thegock said...

SHOE GASM

EVIL KIWI said...

WELD PORN

g-roc said...

That's the beauty of riding fixed - if the chain's on backwards, you just pedal backwards.

livingjetlag said...

Went to the website and looked at the specs for this odd bike. It made reference to the "brake leavers." Where are the brakes going, exactly, and will they be coming back?

Interesting that Shimano has figured out how to get STI-like shifters to work with an internally geared hub, and Rohloff still hasn't (that I've seen).

GhostOfTyrone said...

@ la Cosa Nostradamus -

This was foretold:

From the East it will rise

Rolling man inside himself

Every spoke turns as if dreamt

Doom from the head down.

Lee said...

Both bikes have directional chains!

That's the answer to this tale of 2 bikes!

David Henderson said...

Nice Ritte bi-cycle. Is that a 59cm frame? (just wondering if I'm a good guesser).

studioe said...

My guess is a 55ish....but it's a custom, so it's probably 55.12854 (virtual of course)

Anonymous said...

Steel! you can't be serious?

Anonymous said...

nice ritte, I take it Junior will be attending community college or a trade school?

Spears said...

I would say half of the new shimano directional chains that come through my shop are installed backwards. At the dura ace di2 presentation I attended, one of the reps had his chain installed backwards too.

Anonymous said...

i also rode across the gwb yesterday morning, on my way back i saw at least 100 bikers heading over to the jersey side. It was eerily depressing.

bikesgonewild said...

...hmmm...did i touch on a nerve ???...

...not a 'nervex' (the fake stick-on ones are in the mail) but a nerve ???...

...oh well...as they say "...all's weld that ends weld..."...

...& if 'they' can say it, i'm just sayin' it...

Sri. Ranjith AK said...

Sir

Please more stories on bamboo bicycles, building successful bamboo communities, or Hi-Tech Bamboo Flooring.

Preferably with high-definition photos of Craig Calfee shirtless, wearing cycling shorts and riding one of his bamboo single-speed bicycles in a successful community or on Hi-Tech Bamboo Flooring.

Shots from with a rear orientation would be most gratifying.

I thanks you in advance.

Respectfully,

Sri. Ranjith AK

leroy said...

As far as I'm concerned, anyone riding a Colnago Ferrari while wearing a Bert and Ernie jersey is a genius.

Albeit a genius with a ridiculous amount of disposable income, but a genius nonetheless.

But what do I know? I was stuck doing laps in Prospect Park yesterday with Bert's "Doing the Pigeon" song stuck in my head.

Saw a pretty nice Ritte out there too (not WRM's tho').

Anonymous said...

what happened to the cxp22s!

Anonymous said...

Most boring blog post since you reviewed the look...

Marcel Da Chump said...

bgw, thanks for referencing Nervex lugs.

Waitin' for Wednesday said...

Just went through nearly a whole package of action wipes after foffin off to that gratuitous seat tube badge crotch shot. More Ritte titte bitte!

SingleSpeedMark said...

Snob-
Thank you for the link to the review of the Gates Belt Drive system; I've been mulling over the specs on a new bike, and I can now safely that the belt has been removed from the list.

Word.

Jasper said...

Re G: "it was a left-hand drive train. Must have been Engrish".

We do some crazy things - like putting our brakes on the other side, but chains - no. I think the photo editor flipped the picture and couldn't tell the difference. Wouldn't be the first time.
And even we would draw the line at bar tape back to front. Must have been Commies.

bikesgonewild said...

..."this nubbin makes it harder - this nubbin makes it softer"...

...that's what she said...

Feminine hygene specialist said...

Jasper, wrapping bar tape is just like wiping for a woman - always front to back; never back to front.

La Cosa Nostradamus said...

ATTN: Ghost of Tyrone;

"Doom from the head down."

Which Head? Upstairs? Downstairs? Ritte stainless Head Tube.

You must be more specific when dealing in astral time expansion statements.

I am a confused engine said...

http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Sesame_Street_cycling_jerseys

That is a three year old jersey, some peasants just forget to upgrade every year.

I wish I had seen that.

Anonymous said...

Scoop!
Levi Leipheimer will be joining the HTC-Highroad team in 2012!

He will the team leader.

You read it here!

GhostOfTyrone said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GhostOfTyrone said...

@ la Cosa Nostradamus -

Here's where the scholars differ.

While some translate as "Head"
Others as "head"
Others still as "HED",

Head specialists agree:
Other words may suffice -
Occipitalis, Orbicularis oris, etc.

Anonymous said...

Hey Snob,

I'm leaving Montreal right now as I write this, pedaling the 600km to NYC.

I should make it in time for the "Surprise Cat 6 Freebie Extravaganza" tomorrow.

I've my coupon ready!

Shit, yeah!

Anonymous said...

I'm definitely gonna pick me up one of those Schindelhauer Siegfrieds. It's got classic seeming add on components. Can you say NASTY?

Anonymous said...

'lube' the belt with baby powder to stop the noise. sure, one of your 17 babies will have to go without for a day, but you'll be out enjoying your silent drivetrain while baby cries. so, win, win!

BikeSnobNYC said...

Spears,

Not only were you right about the chain, but fixing it has solved some lingering issues I thought were just matters of break in/fine tuning. It shifts absolutely perfectly now. Thank you!

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Anonymous said...

miCROshift, since you said the second syllable should be emphasized.

LK said...

Steel is a ferrous and magnetic material. I can't blame you.

Anonymous said...

stainless steel is the new crabon,,,i'd sell fast before someone see you on it.

PK said...

Dalmatians!

TessV said...

Snob, I can offer an opinion on both the spongy BB7s and the creaky belt. I manage a bike shop that specializes in belt drive disc-brake IGH bikes.
BB7s: The Versa "STI" brifters have the wrong cable pull leverage to make the brakes feel nice. Try compressionless brake housing.
Creaky belt: it's probably the belt cog on the wheel. Pull it off and grease the back side of it. If it's the aluminum version, it might eventually fail at the three tiny splines.
Although, with all that, it will still be the ugliest belt drive, disc brake, IGH bike I've ever seen.

TessV said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bikesgonewild said...

...ghostoftyrone...when you say "Head specialists agree:", are you talking about hookers ???...

Chuck said...

Snob, are you still rocking the Perscattante fixed, or have you gone back to the original configuration, having accumulated, surely, more than enough street cred?

Ferrous Bueller said...

LK 9:28

Stainless steel isn't particularly magnetic.

Evan said...

Snob, I think it's possible that the brakes are spongy because those rotors are not BB7 rotors. They are Shimano rotors - probably crappy shimano rotors that are meant for a different pad material (I think the rotor should say). Why they went to the expense of spec'ing nice BB7's and not the right rotors is beyond me though. Maybe the centerlock wheels were cheaper? The guy who says the sponginess because they're the road version of BB7's doesn't know what he's talking about. I run road BB7's and my bike stops on a dime.

ktrueman said...

To paraphrase Clint Eastwood's character in the movie 'The Rookie', anyone riding a Colnago Ferrari while wearing a Bert and Ernie shirt "ought to have his ass removed".

ktrueman said...

BERT ERNE

Majid Ali said...

Please help me for Christ sake

ce said...

Science is golden... GOLDEN, SNOBBY! GOLDEN!

Hey, glad to hear that your long awaited delivery of finely crafted fancy metal in the form of a bicycle arrived. I have been likewise blessed in that my titanium Apocalyspork turned up in the mail today! Many people in the world didn't eat today, but I ate with titanium. I must be doing something right.

Of course it rained for my new spork's maiden outing, but I can gladly report that it performed superbly in these conditions. Given the product name I am assuming it will be equally as good to eat with during showers of fire, brimstone and the like.

By the way, what's going on? You've got everyone talking about bikes, like a bunch of bike dorks. Well, seeing as bikes are the topic of the day, I might just mention that the only thing I would have done differently in a custom build is opt for an aluminium frame with a Phil Wood stainless bottom bracket.

ce said...

r c t 2:35,

De Lorean... time travelling bike dorks... quite a theme is developing. Nice observation.

screaming skull said...

A Lexus ad? Whoa, can't help noticing all the new high profile ads. Wise choice--hiring a sales professional. And I don't think it's a sell-out, just good business sense. When you edit yourself so as not to offend advertisers; that, then, is a soul sell-out.

Anonymous said...

hey, where did you throw your cxp wheels???

Anonymous said...

Ritte sure knows how to make them ugly welds.

leroy said...

My dog ate my coupon.

agentdetroit said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiPPUTr8cfc

Anonymous said...

Base Urban? You made that up. But it would have been funnier if you had said the name of the bike is "Urban Brooklyn Brooklyn Urban Brooklyn Urban Urban Urban Vintage."

John Latham said...

A hub-geared, disc-braked road bike makes practical sense, in theory.

Hub gears mean you can run a full chaincase and have never have to clean the drivetrain.

Disc brakes mean you can run big tyres and have brakes that work well in the wet and don't wearing out the rims.

The version reviewed appears to have narrow tyres and no mudguards. What's the point?

Those shifters are made by Versa in the UK (AFAIK) based on a modification of the microshift design.

I'm building an 11sp Alfine one at the moment with 35mm slicks, 29er rims, dynamo front hub, full mudguards.

I finished building it last night. It's crap. The shifting acceptable but the brakes are unusable. And it weighs over 12kg.

So I've ordered some non compressible cable housing and some 180mm rotors.

It is a far, far harder build to get right than a normal road bike, and the result will be mostly worse.

There is a reason why most road bike use derailleur gears and rim brakes. They're cheap, simple and work well.

Fixie Bikes said...

This is a very nice build.

Anonymous said...

I have that bike and put fenders on it. I had the same problem with the squeak in the drive train. If you loosen the belt it will go away. I commute 200 miles a month in Portland Oregon and I think it is a great commuter. The brake cables suck, the tires suck, the seat sucks and the bike was assembled poorly, but after new bars, new brooks b17, front and rear racks, and some fenders I think it is a fine commute that has next to no maintenance.