Thursday, October 17, 2013

Observations By A Bike Blogger About Bikes And The Riding Of Bikes

Let's talk about bikes because bikes bikes bikes!!!

This year, for the first time in like a decade and a half, I did not renew my USA Cycling license.  Retirement feels good.  Really good.  I roll out when I feel like it, I go wherever, and I don't pay anyone for the privilege.  I wear mismatched stretchy clothes, I carry a bloated saddle bag that's bigger than my saddle, and I let my legs get all whiskery until I can't stand it anymore and then I give them a quick going over with the weed whacker.

Still, once in awhile I enjoy breaking out the plastic Fred Sled, which I did yesterday:


This was the last bike I really "raced" on, though by then I was already phoning it in.  (Actually, I wasn't even phoning it in so much as I was mailing it in with insufficient postage.)  Before yesterday I hadn't ridden it in awhile since there's a possibility it may be cracked because it's made of crabon and crabon is fucking stupid, but I figured it's been sitting in the basement since June without collapsing on itself and anyway if it is indeed cracked surely it's had time to heal itself by now.  I mean, what could go wrong, right?



Anyway, the reason I mention this is because this bike has the "old" Shimano exposed shifter cables, and I have an extremely bike-dorky question:


Here's my question: "Is it me, or do these shift much better than the 'new' hidden-cable ones?"  Because I have both kinds, and while the newer ones are perfectly acceptable, going from one to the other the superior shifting of the older ones is undeniable.  (To say nothing of the fact that you can change the shift cables on the old shifters without unwrapping your handlebars.  In a sane world, exposed cables would be touted as a feature, not a drawback.)

Now, I know what you're thinking: "Maybe your 'new' shifters are set up wrong."  Well, I did the cabling on both bikes, and while I certainly don't deny my own incompetence, the fact is that both bikes have been set up by the same moron, so the playing field should be level there.

Then I realized that Shimano is probably slowly reducing the quality of their mechanical shifters in order to encourage people to go electronic, which I refuse to do.  Call me a retrogrouch, but I don't want batteries on my bike.  First of all, batteries give you scranus cancer, everybody knows that.  Second of all, the whole point of bikes is that they work no matter what.  In a post-apocalyptic scenario, if you were to find a bike in a basement 30 years after the world was ravaged by a viral epidemic, all you'd have to do would be to inflate the tires and you'd be ready to ride.  (Obviously there would be a pump in the basement, don't be stupid.)  Electronic shifting ruins all that, and good luck outrunning those zombies when you're stuck in a 53x12 and you have like zero fitness because you've been cowering in a subterranean bunker for three decades.

And don't tell me to use Campy or SRAM, because no.  I have my reasons.

Usually though, if I'm riding a bike with those curved-type handlebars like they use in the Tour de France, I ride a bike made out of metal:


This has become my "retiree chariot," complete with fattish tires and compactual gearing:


Of course, I could just have one road bike and switch wheels when I want fatter tires, but when you get to this point in your life it's just easier to have two bikes.  Nevertheless, I should probably just put the "old" shifters on the new bike and lose the plastic one--or, better yet, put a sticker over the ambiguous scratch/crack on the plastic one and sell it on eBay as "never raced or crashed."  Then I could put a metal fork on the metal bike (I've kinda been eyeballing this one) and my de-crabonification will be complete.


(Flag of the International Crabon-Free Siblinghood)

By the way, when I went to Melbourne, I flew Qantas (pronounced "Cunt-Ass"), and the seats were actually made out of crabon:


I have to admit they were both laterally stiff and vertically compliant, and they soaked up the turbulence while I was napping, yet were snappy and responsive when I had to bolt up and sprint to the bathroom.

And yes, I wore my Lycra flying kit the entire way:


If you've been looking for a costume to wear to this year's Single Speed Cyclocross World Championship, you're welcome.

Another crucial component of my ongoing process of de-racification and de-crabonification is ignoring professional cycling, which is pretty easy to do.  However, I do find myself checking in time to time, and when I do I'm unsurprised to find everybody still "foffing off" over this "Reasoned Decision "thing.  Most recently, I guess everybody now thinks that an unnamed rider in the aforementioned decision is Chris Horner:

CN: Let me ask about rider 15 in the Reasoned Decision. There has been speculation and rumour that rider 15 is Chris Horner, something he hasn’t categorically denied. If you’re against speculation and it’s not Horner, is it in your interests and those of a clean Chris Horner to state that rider 15 isn’t that athlete?

TT: We don’t comment on speculation or innuendo. We don’t confirm or deny because otherwise journalists would then send us a list asking for us to confirm that rider 10 isn’t this rider or that rider 19 is this rider and before it’s all over there’s a list of riders who people speculate might fit the list. Out of respect for the process every rider is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proved otherwise by the legal process.

In other words, yeah, "Rider 15" is totally Chris Horner.

But at least nobody cheats in cyclocross.

In other news, if you've been keeping track of all the Kickstarter would-be saddle entrepreneurs who can't come to terms with the fact they should just give up and ride a recumbent already, here's another one for the file:


You know the story by now, which is that some aero-weenie can't get comfortable on his freak bike:


"I love biking.  But I don't love bike seats."

Yeah, what you're doing is not "biking."  Not even close.  At best, it's putting on a costume and mimicking a suppository's journey up the rectum.


"As bikers, we've all searched for the perfect seat, without much success."

Okay, first of all, this guy needs to search for a pair of bib shorts because we're about to fall victim to a "crack attack."  Second of all, I think most of us have found success when it comes to finding a comfortable bicycle saddle.  If you want to say, "As rolling suppositories, we've all searched for the perfect way to be comfortable on our absurd contraptions," then by all means go ahead.  But please don't attempt to wrangle people who actually ride bikes into your delusion.

By the way, I'm willing to bet that, like most people who ride bikes like this, he never, ever gets out of the saddle--including when he comes to a stop, at which point I guarantee he does that awkward thing where he unclips one foot, stays on the saddle, and balances on his tippy-toes.  So lose the aero bars, ride a normal road bike when you're not doing one of your dork-athalons, and stand up now and again.  I guarantee that will solve 95% of his problems.  (The remaining 5% of his problems, which consists of being a terminal tridork, is sadly incurable.)

Anyway, then he goes through a ridiculous history of the bicycle, pans across a row of saddles, and declares:


"Basically, all the seats have remained virtually the same..."

Then he shows this thing:


"...'til now."

Wait a minute.  Are you telling me your ass gasket of a saddle with the cutout in it (saddle cutouts have been around forever, by the way) is more "different" than that freakish noseless thing you casually lumped in with all the other seats?

Then he tries to get all "medical," because he's a "chiropractor:"


No!  The problem isn't the saddle, the problem is that he doesn't know how to use it.  This is like saying:

Problems with the classic dinner fork

1) Chipped teeth
2) Lacerations in tongue

Maybe instead of redesigning the dinner fork you need to learn how to fucking eat!

Then there's this:


Yes, he actually illustrates the process of someone sliding all over a poorly adjusted saddle because he's splayed out over aerobars like an idiot, and unbeknownst to him this illustration completely undermines the supposed validity of his entire invention.

Look at it this way: for well over a century billions of people around the world have managed to ride bicycles without issue, yet somehow a small handful of tridorks are unable to get comfortable on their bikes.  And this indicates there's a problem with the bicycle saddle?  I mean come on!

Of course, what this saddle does have going for it is that it provides the user with mid-ride prostate stimulation:


I guess the concept here is to cancel out the pain with pleasure.

If so, I look forward to the Kickstarter for assless half-shorts with a super-absorbent chamois.

131 comments:

Anonymous said...

Podium!

grog said...

Clown

Anonymous said...

Whoop! first albeit doping i'd better read it now!

g. said...

Dammit!

Serial Retrogrouch said...

top tens!

le Correcteur said...

Top ten; now to read

40 gincest

JB said...

But you dropped it on the curb! CATASTROPHIC FAILURE ALERT!

Vernal Magina said...

Speaking of Shimano probably slowly reducing the quality of their shit --

I replaced my Shimano road cleats for the first time in a while just a few weeks ago, only to realize I've already got to replace 'em again (not that I've been riding all that much, even). Like, they're just not as sturdy or manufactured as well as they used to be, etc...

Anyone else noticed this, or I am just totally imagining it?

Comment deleted said...

The cutouts on my saddle cover the saddle completely. This ensures that there are no painful contact points.

Plus, I stand up a lot.

Anonymous said...

top 10?! Would have been higher but the prostate stimulating impact of my saddle caused me to sit up...

Tal F said...

Top ten?

Hegnawed Hertitsov said...

Moose and Squirrel must die!

DB said...

What's wrong with Campy?

Buffalo Bill said...

They're called chaps. The assless part is superfluous.

babble on said...

It would take a lot of pleasure to cancel out the pain in my neck these days... Hmm... Kk. Count me in!

g. said...

"anonymous" screed on how some other brand's fork is vastly superior to Rivendell and that they travelled to another country and insulted the locals and Jews in....3...2....1...

Yeah Cleveland! said...

I need to go back to reading before commenting.

3G said...

ASSLESSCHAPS

Anonymous said...

Roadies:
have poor mechanical apptitude.
erectile difficulties.
more money than sense.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Scranus

BikeSnobNYC said...

DB,

Nothing, I just prefer Shimano for reasons I won't bore you with.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

BamaPhred said...

Scrotanular stimulating saddle, not sharp as a razor, can't roll.

Marcel Da Chump said...

Retro shift.

Nerding 449

db said...

No thanks on the McD's skinsuit. I'm holding out for the Jack in the Box one, for obvious word-play reasons....

Anonymous said...

"… for well over a century billions of people around the world have managed to ride bicycles without issue …"

In light of studies linking time in the bicycle saddle to decreased sexual function, I suppose that isn't too surprising.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 1:09pm,

Yes, the earth's population has declined precipitously since the invention of the bicycle.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

babble on said...

LOL!! Yeah, you tell em, snob. :D

Freddy Murcks said...

Babble - I am sure that there are a lot of fellas who would gladly take you up on the "a lot of pleasure to cancel out the pain in your neck" challenge. Just sayin'.

Sincerely,
Freddy

26 ridenci

crosspalms said...

I always use a safety fork when I eat. It's called a spoon.

Anonymous said...

Vernal Mangina,

Get Time ATACs. Your cleat problems solved. Those last longer than any other cleats I have used.

Anonymous said...

Bike Snob projects his prejudices about the engineering and manufacturing strengths of societies in this post.

Obviously, the Japanese are best.

Americans design cool looking, good working stuff, but have it manufactured in Taiwan, at lowest cost possible, and over charge. The rightly figure, 90% of bikes sold, do not get ridden. The 10% that do ride, get generous warranty programs. But who the fuck wants to deal with bike parts crapping out all the time.

Italians design cool looking, good working stuff, and make it in italy, but put way too much emphasis on making it good looking. Bike snob is not good looking, so these priorites do not mesh.

Anonymous said...

I take much pleasure in blowing past "aero-weenies" on my commuter with fulled loaded panniers, a 40lb kid in a child seat, all while wearing a suit.

Poppadaddio said...

I concur that the older, exposed cable Shimano shifters work easier than the newer hidden-cable ones.
Not funny, just true.

xyxax said...

And the "chiropractor" successfully enhanced his "medical" bona fides (which is Latin for "good dog") by putting up the x-ray backwards.

McFly said...

Man that Ritte is so Sawweeet. Why would you even ride the plastique one?

g. said...

Called it.

Comment deleted said...

Good comeback, Snob, though points must be given for an excellent play on words by anon.

Dr George, Scottish doctor said...

Saddle guy might be a chiropractor but he can't spell 'tuberosity'.

balls™ said...

I guess we can assume that the "chiropractor" likes having a finger up his ass, to each his own, who am I to judge, etc.

But... why would he want to do that while riding?

Vernal Magina said...

Anonymous 1:16 PM

But it's all about the road pedalz for me, and I love those ultegra pedal platforms and whatnot (gave up on Look a long time ago)

It does seem like Shimano's changed the way they make the road cleats tho, like the same cleat by all feel and appearance just ain't what it used ta be :-/

gray old mare, I know... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4-8mJ2xOLU

bk jimmy said...

That's Sebastian's travel bike. There's nothing wrong with it, they just accidentally blurred out the S&S couplings along with the stickers.

Anonymous said...

"Yes, the earth's population has declined precipitously since the invention of the bicycle.

… and air pollution and two world wars. No negative health effects there either.

Anyway, I was trying to harsh on your writing, not cycling. Can't we agree on that?

JLRB said...

The chiroquacker took a hemorrhoid donut and turned it into an anal probe bike saddle. That is odd. Even odder is I find the worst part to be that he keeps calling it a bike SEAT.

JB said...

Speaking of crabon things on your bike, you may want to replace the seat post too.

Anonymous said...

As a bicycle cycle mechanic I must admit that the newer Shimano shifters shift better than the old ones.....when properly adjusted. The older shifters just have a much more "clean and crisp" (I work with freds so I have to tell them that so they understand that they dont need to upgrade shit) shifting mechanism.

Steve Knowlton said...

A medical professional should know how to spell the terms he's using when trying (and failing) to impress folks. It's tuberOsity, not tuberIsity

Anonymous said...

Re: BSNYC cycling cap

Snob,
Do Walz give you a share of the profits?

If so, I'll buy one.

Thanks

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Are you thinking of going with the curved or straight blade?

I don't so much care for straight blades. I'd like to swap out the crabon that came with my metal road cycling bicycle with the curved steel ones as per your link.

apitets 47

the Jimboner said...

I guess the concept here is to cancel out the pain with pleasure.

Words to live by.

Anonymous said...

I have never heard of an USA cycling license. Do I need one to commute into midtown? Will the NYPD ticket me if I don't have one on me when stopped for coasting through a red light in Central Park?

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 1:45pm,

So basically my old shifters are more forgiving of my lazy incompetence?

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Anonymous said...

Regarding the lugged steel fork:

You have two Riv options @ $200 (though I imagine they prolly give you one for free, given your shameless promotion of their BS artistry)

-the flat crown, curved leg model. This offends my delicate asthetic sensibilities.

-the more sculpted crown, straight leg model. The crown on this is much nicer looking.

Are you aware that Kona sells nearly the exact same product as #2, for $70?
Kona Project 2, Retro Road Fork
Also made in Taiwan, would not be surprised if they are out of the same factory... as far as I can tell, the difference is that the Kona has fender mounts, while the Riv does not. The riv also has a little white paint detail in the fork lug.

They are available in all black. If you hunt around a little, you can find the black leg, chrome lug version, $50

I personally ride a lugged steel road fork. It has a similar sculpted crown, with gently curved and tapered legs. It has hand crafted in California, by the guy who has his signature on the matching frame. He first got his reputation for fine work, when one of his custom track frames won the olympics. The next olympics, the USA team had him build all of their bikes. He emigrated to the states and ran the Masi frame shop for awhile, before starting his own line. He gave up frame building in the 90's, when Lances fickle tastes veered toward aluminum and crabon. He is now an author.

The fork does have a 1" threaded steerer... it is what it is. The bike was $600... with barely ridden Campy Chorus... figured it was a better deal than a Surly.

If I were the BikeSnob, I would rock the Enve fork for 2-3 seasons. Crabon forks are pretty dialed these days, are really do smooth out the ride a bit and are significantly lighter. Use industry connects to get a new Enve or Easton or whatev's every 2-3 seasons, and sell the old one cheap to some broke college kid. Pay it back to the deluded race scene, helping out the dooder with the time, drive and talent to race, but not the disposable income.

Etherhuffer said...

Sora seven speed. Old, cheap, not fancy, and still chugging along after a few thousand miles. Note that for the really cheap arse ride, there is a new seven speed Tourney level. Ugly, cheap, probably works just fine....

leroy said...

Unless I'm very much mistaken, the Ischial Tuberisity Discomfort was a death metal band that had some success with a single "Ick, Been Eying N. Berliner."

But Nathan Berliner's mom put a stop to that.

Of course, I could be very much mistaken.

Anonymous said...

Hey Leroy,

Are you going to wear a BSNYC cycling cap with your Fatcyclist kit??

Pisstank said...

Tit anal fubifoff

Anonymous said...

Snob,

"...more forgiving of my lazy incompetence"
Yep, that's pretty much it.

I have two road biking bicycle cycles, one with new 10-speed Shimano levers, one with old 8-speed levers. The old ones have a more positive click, but the shape of the new hoods is so much more comfortable I'm okay with the trade off.

Having dusted off the even older bike with downtube friction shifters, the new integraded shifters would have to be much much worse for me to switch back.

leroy said...

Anon 2:35 --

Good question.

My dog picks out my clothes.

I'll have to ask him.

And my dog will have to get our sponsors' approval.

Whenever he has me contact sponsors, they act like they have no idea who I am.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I blew off the USA Cylclking lisccence to bikecycle racing style bikeen cycleing a few years ago, wonderful. This also parallels your (WCRM) tendencies to ride my metallic framed bikecycle with curved bars like in the le tour day France, whether it is a RITTE/RUSS DENNY all the same. Crabon doesn't withstand the abuse I dish out, because I don't ride much and it sits around, leaning on the lawnmower, etc.

Roille Figners said...

Ischial Tuberisity is different - it's when you put a potato in your pants. That's why they keep cutting away pieces of the seat, to make way for ever-larger potatoes. Science.

Anonymous said...

WHERE THE FUCK DO YOU PUT YOU BALLS ON THAT STUPID SEAT?!?!

That seat advertises:
1. I have problems with achieving and sustaining erections.
2. My testicles are the size of raisins

JB said...

Good point Roille,
Wait until that tri-nerd crashes and shears off the ol' lime satchel.

NUTS HEAR

bannana_hammock said...

FYI on the idea that Shimano reduces the quality of a part over time: instead of raising the price on a part produced on the original production process,they lower the cost of the part by changing the production process.

Your under-the-bar-tape brifters are *very* likely cheaper to make than the older ones you prefer.

Recently switched from 8-speed to 10-speed drivetrain and do not find the shifting better. I'm still using bar-end shifters too. I have no urgent need for brifters.

Looks like 9-speed upgrade in my future judging by the short life of 10-speed chains. Where is a Chinese 9-speed gruppo? They make everything anyway.

Anonymous said...

Had not thought of that. Tri dorks never invest any time in actually learning how to ride a bike; they just worry about pedaling.

The are so shitty at riding bikes, not only do they need to physically attach themselves to their pedals, they are now moving toward an organic SPD balls/seat interface. WILL THEY BE ABLE TO HOLD A LINE NOW?

DerZoots said...

Hello Mr. Bikesnob,

I know I make a mess in your comments section on occasion in addition to saying stupid things but on this day I do have a message of importance for you considering steel fork selection.
Please look at Christopher Igleheart (iglebike.com) before purchasing the fine Riv fork. To compliment a high performance frame I suggest the 853 fork. Light, strong and about twice the price of the Riv fork and worth every penny. You can get whatever axle to crown you want to accommodate tire size.

Check the site it's worth your time.
I have a 631 cross and MTB fork. Outstanding quality on all counts.

Thanks for your listening.

Oh yeah. You are correct about the Shimano difference. They've only been under the tape for a little while so give them a chance to get caught up. Although you do make a good point on driving business to Di systems. Not zombie proof indeed. : (

Now go buy a sweet fork.

Robotcatchphrase: 3 quurged

Anonymous said...

Is the improved seat a joke? If it is, South Park already did it.

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

JLRB said...

So with all the talk about politics around town I keep hearing people say they are "fiscally conservative and socially responsible" and all I keep hearing is laterally stiff and vertically compliant. I blame you wild rock paper scissors machine. I blame you.

Dooth said...

I'm contemplating a shift to electronic, but does that battery thingy make an annoying beeping noise when the power is low?

Anonymous said...

Do your balls hang low?

Nut Bra is required cycling uniform for new fangled tri dork saddle

Anonymous said...

that seat looks dangerous to me, looks like you could potentially twist your balls off in a fall. also not sure reallocating the weight from your ass bones to your spine is a great thing. but then again I'm no doctor.

Anonymous said...

I am a firm believer that a new crabon and a old steel framed road bikes can coexist in ones stable. I ride me crabon on longer rides and the 35 year old italian road bike on shorter rides and just for the fun of it. I generally enjoy the steel bike more than the plastic bike, but both are fun to ride. I have shimano on the crabon and original campy nuovo record on the masi, which is still smooth and solid. I guess that says something about all of the "game-changing" bike innovations over the past 30 years.

Anonymous said...

"First of all, batteries give you scranus cancer"

Ummm, they are supposed to be inserted into the electronics...

Mr Plow said...

Your bicycle pictures are missing the disembodied hand. Very disappointing.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Mr. Plow,

It's there, just out of frame because it's down my pants.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

crosspalms said...

I have bar-end shifters on one bike, stem-mounted on the other (yeah, I should have gotten a free pie plate and disco ball with them...) and use the Rivendell Silver shifters on both. Very nice. But I say that as a lazy flatlander who doesn't shift much. In any case, I like them better than the Shimano bar-ends I replaced.

Dooth said...

*Also*... All this bike talk is making me thirsty. Thanks y'all...think I'll have another.

Lumpen Fredetariat said...

Snob, "I just prefer Shimano for reasons I won't bore you with".
Come on, it's a bike blog replete with a commentariat who just love to discuss this kind of shit (plus the anonymous grouches who point out that you wrote a better post about it in 2008). Give it a shot, please.
I'm still on Campagnolo and steel, so what do I know?

crosspalms said...

Campagnolo and Steel should be a TV cop show.

Anonymous said...

"TuberIsity" - really..?

Matthew said...

Another mechanic here, and yes I'd say shifting quality went down when Shimano moved from the 7800/6600/5600 generation to 7900/6700/5700. It's just not as crisp.

Having said that, they've undone their mistakes with the latest generation. DA 9000 and Ultegra 6800 shift beautifully and I expect 105 5800 will too when it appears in a year or so.

JB said...

7800 7900, whatever it takes.

JB said...

I was thinking of getting a new cassette to provide lower gearing on my road bike racing cycle. Would it be easier to just get a smaller small ring up front?

BikeSnobNYC said...

Lumpen Fredetariat,

Prepare to be bored.

My experience with Campy is having the Record stuff right when it went 10 speed, with the little crabon plate in the rear derailleur and the crabon brake levers and the single-pivot rear brake and all of that. It was the stuff of Fredly dreams at the time and I was still at a point where I found that stuff very seductive. I was due for a new bike anyway, so I got this Festina replica Specialized that came stock with the Record. (The frame cracked after about 6 months, my first, but by no means my last, failed Specialized.)

Anyway, the Record stuff was great, except (and this is just my own experience) I didn't like the way it wore in. In other words, the levers are rebuildable, which is good, and I guess after awhile you need to replace the innards or the "g springs" or whatever's in there. In practice though what this seemed to mean was over the course of a few seasons the shifting would gradually wear and degrade until overhaul time. Sure, your chain, cassette, cables, etc. do this to, but I didn't like the shifters being yet another maintenance item and sort of a "moving target" in terms of performance.

Again, this was just my experience, and I don't know if they're even designed this way anymore.

Shimano on the other hand (and again, this is my experience, and I'm talking about road stuff) works consistently without maintenance. I know people have all sorts of horror stories about STI levers failing and freezing and needing to be flushed and all that, but that's just not been my experience. The levers on the plastic bike above are from whenever the 10-speed Ultegra first came out, which I think was like 2005...? (I think I got them after the Record stuff.) Anyway, I've had them on 3 bikes in that time and they work the same today as they did then. My older Shimano levers were similarly reliable.

Some people also hate the Shimano shifty/brakey combined lever thing, but I actually prefer it since you can downshift and brake at the same time if you need to brake coming into a climb or something.

Most of all, the ubiquity of Shimano stuff makes compatibility less complicated and it's just easier if you have a lot of bikes and wheels like I do and like to switch stuff back and forth.

I'm sure people have much different experiences and will tell me I'm stupid, but that's how it's been for me. Of course, all of it (SRAM, Campy, Shimano) is all very good, even the low end stuff, and honestly I'd be happy to use any of it. It's really all just hair-splitting, but for me the hair splits in favor of Shimano.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

BikeSnobNYC said...

Lumpen Fredetariat,

I will add though that the hidden-cable Ultegra stuff I have now, in addition to not shifting as well as the older stuff, is cursed with these awful little plastic cable covers and stuff which are terrible. As someone above commented, I think their (in my opinion pointless) transition to hidden cables was not very smooth, though as someone else points out maybe they've got it right on the new, new stuff.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

the Producer said...

crosspalms, I like your idea...may have to change it to Campy and Steel. I'm sensing a hit with the hipster crowd. I GOT IT! Fixie-riding bike cops, out to bust a gang of bike thieves in Williamsburg.

Slow Joe Crow said...

a serious answer about the Shimano shifting is that the old style exposed cables have a larger radius bend and thus less cable friction that the new style under the bar tape cables. You can improve new style Shimano shifting by routing the cable on the back of the bars since it gives you a smoother cable route and using top quality cable and housing.
Personally I ride SRAM because I prefer their shifter design but I have ridden both old and new style 105 and they shift OK either way.
If you really want 10 speed shifters with exposed cable and really don't care what the Freds think you can always get Microshift shifters or use Retroshift.

Roille Figners said...

Hey how many tridorks does it take to replace the clits on his SBD-compatible shoes?

INFINITY.




Knock knock.

Who's there?

Tridork.

Tridork who?

*falls over*




Q: Hey what do you call a tridork with a potato in his pants?

A: "You Silly Arse"

Roille Figners said...

A tridork walks into a bar.

"Ouch," he goes.

Roille Figners said...

Why do tridorks wear aero healemenettes?

Because they always fall.

Roille Figners said...

Two roadies(*) are discussing the merits of various brifter-cable configurations. A tridork(*) walks up.
Tridork: "Hi guys, what are you talking about?"
Both roadies: "Santa Claus."
Tridork: "Yaaaaay!"


(*) I hate how white people are always separating themselves into different shades of white based on their style of bicycle-cycle cycle-riding.

Roille Figners said...

This is for CJ: A black guy, a Jew and a tridork are on a ride, and they come upon a concentration camp. The black guy's like "Awww HEEELLLL no!" The Jew is like "Are you kidding me, how short do you think my memory is?" The tridork falls over.

Roille Figners said...

All right I think I've now crossed the line.

crosspalms said...

And now for something completely different: bike shorts that let you know when your penile blood flow is in trouble. It's the last item.

Blog Drafter said...

Quite a trifecta there, Rollie.

Two Rollies walk into a bar, Babble says "hey there, geez four of ya! Line'em up".

Smiley Face.

I love SRAM brifters. My wife says they're too hard to shift, especially the left one, and I have to agree with her on that. A lot of women we ride with say the same thing and all have Shimanos.

SRAM grifters, now...that's another story.

DB said...

Crosspalms:
I'm worried about the state of affairs in Chicago if those are the best new ideas coming out of your city.
I monitor my penile blood flow the old way, when I can't feel it anymore, it's time to stop at a bar, stand up for awhile and have a beer.
Good conversation today. I learned a lot. I have Campy, Shimano and SRAM, and Shimano is my favorite. It's ten year old Dura Ace with the cables exposed. Never thought about it, but maybe that's why it's trouble free. Gotta love the sound of the Campy, though.

Comment deleted said...

You could climb Rollie's handlebars like a ladder today.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Sudio Head said...

CP and Producer, love it...no LOVE IT! I'm greenlighting you. See mee Monday in my office for a talk around. ciao.

crosspalms said...

DB,
If you ask me, those shorts sound like just one more thing you have to switch off when you get on a plane.

ge said...

Snob, seems to be a simple solution here since:

a) not worth spending money on a cracked crabon frame and

b) you like single speeds

So the obvious solution is to shift to a gear you like, leave it there and ride it until the frame explodes.

Comment deleted said...

C

Anonymous said...

Blog Drafter,

You ride with women? They don't seem too interested in the guy in the full-fairing recumbent.


Maybe I should get different glasses...

Lumpen Fredetariat said...

Snob,

Thank you, that was not at all boring, and I am surprised you splurged it all out in the comments - I guess you must have a lot of material lined up.
I could never afford Record, and have to say I did have that experience with my Chorus shifters in the end, but then I always thought the hidden cables were more stylish.
Sorry to be slow replying, took the steel steed down to the beach - it is a toasty day in the Bay Area.

DB said...

Lumpen:
You didn't happen to leave a package unattended in Union Square today, did you?

Grump said...

The two best saddles ever made were the Turbo, and the Flite (I'm talking about, what they now call, the "classic" Turbo, and "classic" Flite.
You won't catch me dead on one of those "clipless" sissy saddles.

As for exposed cable housing....Less friction....better shifts.
In order to get close to the great shifting on exposed housing, the new housing for 7900 and 9000 costs three times as much as the old SP-41 housing.

Anonymous said...

a doctor (me) walked ino a bike shop on his on his lunch break to buy some inner tubes. He found the owner & first assistant trying to put together an anatomic model, a plastic pelvis, with a few wires intended to be nerves, to demonstrate a new pecker-preserving saddle...I was wearing my white coat & ID tag, so they stopped.

"We give up, you put it together." It's been years since I had to think about anything below the waist (insert punchline here...oh, wait..)
It took me awhile, but I looked at it & I said, "The three wires should come out of these little holes in the sacrum, to form the pudendal nerve, then exit down here."

"How can you remember all this shit?".

(Chant) S, 2, 3, 4...

keeps your penis off the floor



Bogusboy said...

No, it's not just your terminal retrogrouchiness. The "old" shifters with the "non-aero" cables do work better.

McFly said...

If you breaked coming into a climb it might be why you sucked at racing.

tubasti said...

BikeSnob is right. 7800 was the apogee in Shimano shifting. But wait til you try 11-speed.

BikeSnobNYC said...

McFly,

You just blew my mind.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Anonymous said...

Also this:

"You have a Di2 bike as well? That SRAM Red brakeset will not work well with the Ultegra levers. Those levers are made for lower leverage and higher cable pull, so you will have to pull them harder to apply the brakes than they are designed for. All Shimano levers with shift cables under the handlebar tape are designed this way with lower leverage, and the corresponding brake calipers have higher leverage in order to be used with them.
―Lennard"

Anonymous said...

Snob, I apologize, I'm sorry for what I'm about to say...the long stem on your Ritte puts this vision of you in my head; riding on the drops, back stretched out, booty in the air. I don't want to think about--let alone, visualize-- your booty in the air. I'm the one who's suffering here.

cw said...

I didn't read your blog for about a year while I took a break from obsessing over bikes and now that I'm back reading your blog agin it seems like you've gotten crankier.

Also, the captua thingy below I'm supposed to copy says "cuntkee." I didn't know exactly what this word means but I like it. Ican imagine several pleasing definitions.

Lumpen Fredetariat said...

DB - no, luckily I never have to go to Union Square. Was it all bollixed up? I guess I will have to look it up.

MOnster Ein VInyl said...

Tri dork even has his seatpost backwards. Shaft up front, nuts in the back.

leroy said...

Dear Anon 8:46 pm --

My dog wants to volunteer me for a study examing the interruption of transmissions along something he remembers with the mnemonic "On old Olympus's towering tops, a Finn and German viewed some hops."

He assures me I have nothing to lose.

I could use the $20 and he says he gets an honorarium for enrolling me.

Should I get a second opinion?

ChainWhipped said...

Snob, While I agree that 6600 shifting was super awesome, the new stuff does work better, if set up correctly.

1) Your 6700 shifters and derailleurs will function noticeably better if you use Shimano's PTFE cables and Shimano's housing. I thought the stuff was stupid and overpriced until the rep made me try it. So simple. So much less effort.

2) You may be doing this already, but if your rout your shift cables around the backside of the bend in your road bars, the curve is less extreme. This reduces friction and allows a easier shift in both directions.

If you do both of these things with the 6700 kit on your Ritte, you'll experience an exponential improvement.

Anonymous said...

Retro grouch rant: What the hell is with bike shops not carrying basic maintenance parts for old bikes? Can't devote a peg or two for a pair of 27" tires and some lollipop-end shift cables when Wal-Mart can manage to squeeze 'em in? See, all those old steel bikes that use that stuff are still around, they don't explode just because a bee farted.

Anonymous said...

Retro grouch rant continued: I can't imagine bike-source-village-whatever draws a lot of bike sales from that. "Doris, the nice man who works on commission says our his-and-hers Schwinns are obsolete. I guess instead of paying 40 bucks for some tires, we'll just have to drop a few grand for new, overly complicated bikes!" Baah! (That's old-guy for "fuck it")

McFly said...

I went from 105 external cable routing to 105 internal cable routing strictly because that's what the cool kids do. I would not make fun of anyone for having external cables but I WOULD quietly judge them. For the record one of the externals locked up but it was under warranty. I also needed the New and Improved Shitty Shifting Technology of the internals for another reason, I have a special side pocket for it in my Make-Up Bag Full of Excuses.

mikeweb said...

I was busy yesterday driving the car that I don't own for about 7 1/2 hours to meet with my daughter's teachers and to spend some time with her.

What did I miss? Are the various anons still antagonizing the locals? Is the bikecycle-industrial complex still trying to bamboozle us with bullshit? Is Snob still his usual eloquently spot-on and grumpyesque self?

Good. So everything is as it should be.

JB said...

I have 105 on the downtube. It's more aerio-dynamic and I can coast faster.

DB said...

Mikeweb:
It was pretty mellow yesterday. Actual bike talk. Everyone behaved, no one sent to detention.
Hope your meet with the daughter went well.

Anonymous said...

yo, leroy...

they voraciuously ate ham

Anonymous said...

VORACIOUSLY!!

Anonymous said...

Horse Snob took the chaff hit.

BamaPhred said...

Why do I want to retch everytime I see a recreational cyclist out for a fredly ride in a aero healment and a pair of crack baring half shorts? To be honest, I really shouldn't care what anyone else wears.

mikeweb said...

Thanks, DB.

We had a very nice time.

Anonymous said...

What I learned from this video is that the entire evolution of the bicycle -- from the penny-farthing on up -- has culminated in the "modern day triathlon bike." Knowledge is power.

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Mountain Bike Pants said...

I'm a mountain bike racer. So when i have used their mountain bike for racing so i weard jersey and pant for racing my bike saddle is very good and comfy and my pant good fit in the saddle and not down in the heel i'm glad because it's pretty good work.

mekore said...

1. 5700 brifters are good enough, would not want anything better than that. Maybe the last without any crabon in it

2. chiropractors are not doctors, period