Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Which came first: the broken bike or the broken tibia?

So there's this guy, Jason.  Never won a bike race in his life.*  Then he puts on a "Woo-hoo-hoo-hoo!" hat, and guess what?  He's standing on top of the podium:


(Jason points to a pygmy three-toed sloth, which is incredibly rare in those parts.)

So buy a hat, and I guarantee you'll win your next bike race, unless someone else crosses the line first.

*[Disclaimer: I just made that up.  He may have won thousands of races for all I know.]

Speaking of bike races, poor Alberto Contador goes down hard in an alleged eating mishap and breaks his tibia yesterday and all anybody cares about is his stupid bike:


Yes, Freds everwhere are obsessed with how Contador's bike broke and why, as though a plastic bike breaking in a crash were in any way unusual.  If anything it would be unusual if the bike didn't break.  In fact, here's a picture I took at the last curvy-type handlebar race I attended:


However, there are questions surrounding the crash.  Did Contador crash once or twice?  Was he going uphill or downhill?  And did the frame break as a result of a crash, or did the broken frame cause the crash?  Now the Freds have put on their detective helments, and Specialized are playing the old cup-and-ball game.  First it was this:

Specialized, Tinkoff-Saxo’s bike sponsor, initially denied reports that Contador’s bike had broken at all, either resulting in or as a result of the crash, or via some other externality. The company first stated that a bike had fallen off the roof of a car. That story was then amended — it still involved a car, but instead stated that Nicolas Roche’s bike had been run over earlier in the stage. This broken bike was the start of the rumors, it said.

Then this:

We have spoken to Alberto’s brother as well as his personal mechanic (Faustino Muñoz) and the mechanic who was at the scene (Rune Kristensen), and contrary to some early, unconfirmed reports, frame failure was not involved in Alberto’s incident today. Nicolas Roche was involved in a separate incident today and while his bike was laying on the road it was run over by a car causing it to break, potentially giving rise to the initial inaccurate reporting,” the original statement read.

But this:

But the photos do not lie. Contador is #31, and his race number is on the broken frame. The Roche incident relayed in this statement may be entirely factual, but it is clear that Contador’s bike broke as well.

Or would you believe...this?

Specialized later corrected itself again, stating that Contador’s bike that had been run over.

But wait a minute!  No, this:

However, a fourth version of events has since come to the fore, and it’s the most plausible yet. According to Specialized’s Giampaolo Mondini, one of Contador’s frames was broken while it was still on the roof. Following Contador’s crash, the team car had to rush to his aid and clipped the Belkin car as it passed, destroying the bike.

Or perhaps this:

“What happened next is that the team car tried to get recover position and get up to him, passing all the other team cars in doing so. The road was really narrow and the second bike on the roof ended up touching those on the Belkin team car. It was going pretty fast and the frame broke on top of the roof due to the impact,” Mondini told CyclingTips.

Okay, so let me see if I have this straight: Roche and Contador were fighting over a bike, at which point it snapped like a wishbone, though only because it was weakened after falling off a roof rack and getting run over by the entire race caravan.  Contador got the big half of the wishbone, which meant his wish for a broken tibia was granted.  Ordinarily, the bicycle would have survived all of this, except that Contador's brother had accidentally broken the bicycle himself earlier in the season, but he didn't want to get in trouble, so he secretly glued it back together like in that "Brady Bunch" episode where they shatter the vase after playing ball in the house.

But the big question is this:

What happens when Contador limps into his local Specialized dealership and asks for a replacement because he was "just riding along" in the Tour de France and then his bike broke?  Well, no doubt they'll refer him to his owner's manual [warning: PDF], at which point he'll learn he's screwed, because you're not supposed to use a high-performance road bike that way:

HIGH-PERFORMANCE ROAD

CONDITION 1: Bikes designed for riding on a paved surface where the tires do not lose ground contact.

INTENDED: To be ridden on paved roads only.

NOT INTENDED: For off-road, cyclocross, or touring with racks or panniers.

TRADE OFF: Material use is optimized to deliver both light weight and specific performance. You must understand that (1) these types of bikes are intended to give an aggressive racer or competitive cyclist a performance advantage over a relatively short product life, (2) a less aggressive rider will enjoy longer frame life, (3) you are choosing light weight (shorter frame life) over more frame weight and a longer frame life, (4) you are choosing light weight over more dent resistant or rugged frames that weigh more. All frames that are very light need frequent inspection. These frames are likely to be damaged or broken in a crash. They are not designed to take abuse or be a rugged workhorse. See also Appendix B.

See that?  The bike's only supposed to give "a performance advantage over a relatively short product life," and I'm sure we all can agree that three weeks is a really long time for a bike race.  Furthermore, "a less aggressive rider will enjoy longer frame life," which would explain why Levi Leipheimer always had such good luck with Specialized bicycles.  Most importantly, this:

These frames are likely to be damaged or broken in a crash. They are not designed to take abuse or be a rugged workhorse. 

Wow.  Likely to be damaged or broken?  Not designed to be rugged workhorses?  Sounds like an ideal bicycle for the world's toughest sporting event.

Now read that all again and think about the fact that Cat 4 weenies pay up to $10,000 for these things.

You have to give the Scarlet S credit though, because they certainly make it clear these bikes are a lousy investment.

By the way, at this point you may be tempted to point out that I myself own a Specialized bicycle, as does at least one of my seventeen (17) children.  However, you should keep in mind that I'm covered under the "less aggressive rider" clause.  As for Wildcat IV, future heir to this blog and the entire Rock Machine fortune, that's a different story:

KIDS

Bikes designed to be ridden by children. Parental supervision is required at all times. Avoid areas involving automobiles, and obstacles or hazards including inclines, curbs, stairs, sewer grates or areas near drop-offs or pools.

Apart from some half-assed parental supervision he violates pretty much that entire paragraph every time he rides.

As for that Rock Machine fortune, it now includes this this signed Robert Mapplethorpe photo I just bought for $5,000:


At this rate I'll be living under the Hawthorne Bridge in Portland with nothing but this photo and a Specialized frame, like a more Fredly Navin R. Johnson.

In other news, here's your Hypnotic Kickstarter GIF Of The Day:


So basically the child's bike is the new entrepreneurial frontier, and the competition is so fierce they're now dicking around with the tricycle.  Why does everything have to be "optimized" like this, and what's the big hurry?  Let the kid pedal around on a regular tricycle for chrissake.  At this rate I expect a Kickstarter some sort of intrauterine balance bike that you insert shortly after conception.

I'm not sure which is more futile: an attempt to re-engineer the tricycle, or the eternally quixotic quest to make helments convenient.  Here's the latest example of the latter:



Hi Kickstarter! We are coming to you with an elegant solution to a practical problem for the style-conscious urban cyclist:  where do you put your helmet when you are not on your bicycle? Whether going on a date or heading to a business meeting, there are simply moments when having a helmet with you should not be part of the visual conversation.

I have an more elegant solution:

Don't wear the helment.

Descending at "Woo-hoo-hoo-hoo!" speed on your plastic Fred Sled?  By all means, wear the matching plastic hat.  Heading across town to a date or a business meeting at an average speed of 9mph?  Skip the helment if you feel like it, you'll be fine.  The American Spirit the typical urban cyclist sucks down in front of the reclaimed bar at happy hour is a thousand times worse than going helmentless.  Plus, the police don't give a crap about you either way, which is why they're using tragic subway deaths as an excuse to goad safe streets advocates on Twitter now:


But it's okay because he's sorry now:


I truly believe he's sorry, because he's obviously a lover, not a fighter:


He's subsequently protected his Tweets, presumably so only Sarah Silverman can read them now.

She's a lucky woman.

103 comments:

McFly said...

Specia lized

JB said...

Early crabon doors!

McFly said...

The split does not represent knuckle tats, it represents brokeness.

Synonymous said...

On the podium.

Anonymous said...

podio again

cycle

RoadQueen said...

Top 10!!!!

Anonymous said...

blimey, top 10 again. So close to the podium

Alan Norman said...

10

leroy said...

Last evening, my dog told me our caps arrived in the afternoon's mail, which he had opened.

They look good. But I had to remove the tinfoil liner from mine.

My dog told me that might void the warranty, but I noticed that his cap didn't have any tinfoil.

Kenny said...

I got here early to re-read yesterday's post because I didn't peek at the plot spoiler, but turned out halfway through that this was actually Tuesday's post.

Now what will I read during lunch?

Buffalo Bill said...

But was el pistolero going woo-hoo-hoo speed? Inquiring minds want to know.

Jason Rumfelt said...

Crashed the shit out of my Aluminum MTB in that race, and still wound up on the podium. #nocrabonhere #onelessspecialized

Angry Beaver said...

Was at a Hooters watching breasts, er, check that, the TDF when all the crashing went on. Actually, I had one eye on the TDF and one on two breasts, so I had my eyes watching three things at once. All very suspicious, the crashes I mean. Then there Nibali flying up the mountain like it was as flat as Olive Oyl's chest (she's not employed at Hooters) last time I saw someone climb like that it was Floyd Landis. Confession, I actually missed the crash because an incredible rack walked by at the same time.

Opposite Gender said...

Road Queen, #6 on the hit parade today.

DB said...

Impressed by McFly!
Nice podium JB and Synonymous.

babble on said...

I represent brokenness these days, too. Still waiting on the podium, though...

babble on said...

Oh fuck. I have inner Specialized-ness. I am not designed to take abuse or be a rugged workhorse, either...

K-Bo said...

its 6:48 on the west coast a-hole

mikeweb said...

Congrats to McFly for the win and to Jason for the actual win.

theEel said...

weed.

Anonymous said...

Knuckle Tats.

Now to read...

vsk

Not a weight weenie said...

I've crashed my steel frame so many times, and it still rides good after all these years...

Gimpson said...

Sincere question, I apologize in advance: Can't we just lock our helments to our bikes? Am I a terrible person for doing that? I feel like it doesn't really block other people from using my bike rack/parking meter.

Regular guy said...

Nothing better than the old verbal shell game where you throw around a bunch of foreign sounding names, toss in some semi plausible car on bike mayhem, case closed.

The real reason, and I'm surprised the Specialized lawyer team didn't see this, was that the photo of the broken bike clearly shows Alberto Contador wearing jeans, and that is grounds to nullify
any warranty.

babble on said...

Gimpson - I do that, too, at least I do if it isn't raining. And not a weight weenie - right?! That's why I went with titanium. Jason - Congratulations! McFly - podium kisses. XX

Here's to those who keep racing in the face of certain defeat.


babble on said...

JB - late podium kisses!! XX

Jefe said...

Specialized Cover-Up!

JLRB said...

Jason - First, congrats on the new hat. (Rollie - please insert your golf clap link here)
The guy on #2 podium looks like he is going to punch you. The guy on podium #3 appears to need a helmet to stand on a 2' high block.

Anonymous said...

I'd wear that helment bag chick on my face. sorry, i'll be in my bunk "... playing the old cup-and-ball game" for a while now.

ron jeremy said...

i see tittie @ 0:55
woo hoo hoo hoo

Letli Viride said...

best snark of the day:
'"a less aggressive rider will enjoy longer frame life," which would explain why Levi Leipheimer always had such good luck with Specialized bicycles. "

Letli Viride

Hold my Bag, Please said...

and the luck on loser boyfriend stuck modeling the bag at 0:58-59 is priceless

Anonymous said...

we do (almost) anything for tittie,
Hold My Bag Please

MannersBot9000 said...

Third photo, what are those 3 bumps under the pink Lycra? Or or these one of those things it is more polite to pretend we don't see?

Cant blieve it didnt sale yet said...

Forget the woohoo hat and buy this bike

I've got some peeps interested so you better not be a dick

Anonymous said...

In general, following an engineer failure, the person/people with the earliest explanation, who talk the loudest and try to get the most people to hear, are the one(s) who the fact end up showing are at fault.

Fred of the Sea said...

Chubby Fred maybe should not ride short-life, incremental edge, bike.

And, to paraphrase a saying from the sea-fredding business, the perfectly designed racing bicycle will fall apart right after the finish.

Colin Chapman said...

"the sea-fredding business..."

I thought I said that about the automobile racing business.

DB said...

Only 38 comments today. Must be a rest day.

ce said...

Special lies

BikeSnobNYC said...

Cant blieve it didn't sale yet,

Nobody could possibly be interested in that.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

The Amazing Kreskin said...

I predict the price is about to double for someone...

dancesonpedals said...

A sspecialized frame could never fail in oublic...I used to follow auto racing, and the protocol for a dnf as the result of a major sponsor's component failure was to say, "the throttle slides jammed"...kind of hard to pull off in cycling when every fred can see the broken down tube..

Spokey said...

Guess no specialized for me.

I carry 50+ lbs on self supported touring including bags. After the weight of the front + rear rack and my half of the tent, it's going to be well over 60.

Forgot to take the bike off the roof back in June. Drove in to the garage. Or rather part way in to the garage. Bike is fine other than the two gouges on the downtube where the house (that I own) ripped the bike off the bike carrier. The car (that I own including some drum breaks) is currently at the auto body shop.

you've wasted my valuable time and you're a dick said...

you've wasted my valuable time and you're a dick you've wasted my valuable time and you're a dick you've wasted my valuable time and you're a dick you've wasted my valuable time and you're a dick you've wasted my valuable time and you're a dick you've wasted my valuable time and you're a dick you've wasted my valuable time and you're a dick you've wasted my valuable time and you're a dick you've wasted my valuable time and you're a dick you've wasted my valuable time and you're a dick

Vernal Magina said...

Evidently they didn't talk to Contador's personal chef, did they... Isn't he the scapegoat for all of Contador's TdF travails?

CommieCanuck said...

Final version from Special Guys head engineer, Johan Brockenlotz:

Nicholas Roche stole the bike from Contador, replacing his bike on Contador's by switching numbers. Contador then crashed because the Roche bike did not have as beefy bottom bracket and the wheels did not spin up as easily, plus the aero was sub-optimal. The children in the Chinese factory have been sacked and docked $1.25 for that day's work. None of this is to be confused with Roubaix.

rural 14 said...

rural 1st!

Thanks for the link to Jason's blog. Deilightful, if a trifle bitter. Send him another hat!

Maniacs continue to run cyclists off the road here....now that it's "in season".

SUVs get bigger and bigger every year. Very spinal tap like.

JB said...

I don't think I will ever buy a crabon frame. The lb. or two the crabon will save me is not what's holding me back at this point.

Bama Phred said...

How many beiks do you think Cancellara breaks in a race. I had not noticed how much bigger he was than everyone else until the sprint for 2nd either Sunday or Saturday, I forget.

Anonymous said...

mispelings abount twoday, cheese?

Anonymous said...

You have to apply effort to go uphill,
everything goes downhill naturally, with no effort.
there's a moral in there somewhere.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

So how many road flares can one fit in that helment bag?

CommieCanuck said...

Last version: Contador crashed while threatened with a clenbutarol-laced steak from the side of the road, then Greg Lemond came out of a bush and smashed the bike with a sledgehammer (Park tools #SH3342), Nicholas Roche was not involved, but was raped by Mario Cipollini, as revealed on sheep-cam.
BustedFrame Technology is now a Specialized Trademark.

crosspalms said...

Speaking of broken bikes, there was a nice photo of a busted Specialized in the Sunday NYT style section. I read the story but couldn't quite figure out why the photo was there. Something happened to somebody and they couldn't go on a bike trip. But what happened? What trip? Beats me.

crosspalms said...

Oh, Italy. That was the trip. Reading for comprehension isn't the same as reading for remembrification.

crosspalms said...

OK, I went back and looked. Switzerland. But the photo still doesn't work.

Spokey said...

plus the aero was sub-optimal

commie

are you saying here and now that contador was not using an air spear?

Is that going to be your testimony? You sure you want to stick to that story?

dancesonpedals said...

contador broke the bike by leaving it in a hot car while sexting babel

le Correcteur said...

What a strange fantasy world people live in buying bikes that have warnings about short frame life!

The only people who should buy them don't have to buy them; they get them in sponsorship deals.

JC said...

Anyone know where I can get Brooks harness for my flying rider? I worry the leather hammock will give me painful ingrown zits but when I'm gliding through my first century it'll all be worth it.

Spokey said...

any S&M store in Vancouver carries them

fake_jamaican said...

le Correcteur,

The crabon sell great! Don't need no stinking multipurpose biek.

Crabon adds 30 Watts! That's why you sees them on dem biek races.

ubercurmudgeon said...

27 fugly plastic bikes on the Tour, 27 plastic bikes. Take one down, pass it around, 26 fugly plastic bikes on the Tour. If one of those bikes should happen to fall, 25 fugly plastic bikes on the Tour...

...No more fugly plastic bikes on the Tour, no more plastic bikes. Go to Asia and buy some more, 27 fugly plastic bikes on the Tour...

Dave said...

I was all set to volunteer to test this flying rider prototype, but then I thought: what if, when I slow down for some reason, my glorious long red cape sags down and gets caught in the chainwheel, or worse yet, the rear derailleur? Sure, I'm invulnerable and all that, but people would point and snicker. Can't have that.

Bama Phred said...

Speaking of Cancellara, looks like he packed his toys up and went home. I wish my job would let me do that. Ok boss, be back in September to clean up the database, then see you after the first of the year.

Flyover BC said...

So, wearing a helment is unattractive.

Yesterday, this middle-aged hottie that gave me the triple take, but then more or less ignored me. I assumed that I am so ugly that she couldn't look away. Now, I'm relieved to know that she was put-off by my helment.

I guess I need the metrosexual scrot-bag, made in a gen-u-wine NYC sweat shop.

Spokey said...

what about that bag for tandem users? And let's put a pocket there for my 12 gauge. Now we're set.

JLRB said...

The only bags worth anything in that kickstarter were the fun bags

JLRB said...

Bikes should be made out of bones so they can shatter along with the tibulas and collar bones and what not

gE said...

I'm stunned. I thought Specialized was the one helment guaranteed to prevent tibia* fractures. Lies. As soon as I get over the shock, I'm ordering a woohoo hat and all will be right and safe in the world again.

*and all other subscranal bones

Cuter Commuter said...

Where do I keep my helmet when I am not on my bike? My head. Because it looks like a hat. And when people ask why I am wearing a helmet when I'm not on my bike I act surprised and look around with wild eyes and ask what helmet?!?

leroy said...

Dear Ms. Cuter Commuter --

What a coincidence, I keep my helmet on my head too!

But if you really want to guaranty a seat on the subway, also wear your bike shorts and jersey while muttering under your breath.

It's amazing how fast folks will move to the other end of the car.

Spokey said...

leroy

depends for me. On a hot day I'll likely take it off if I pop in to a store for a moment. Hang it by one of the straps from a brake hood.

But, no disrespect to you of course, but I'd like to hear from a real authority.

what does your dog do?

McFly said...

Kelly McGillis knows how to push a product. SHE IS A CIVILIAN BUT YOU HAD BETTER LISTEN TO HER BECAUSE THE PENTAGON DOES!

wishiwasmerckx said...

What would Leroy's dog do?

Order your "WWLDD" bracelets here! Only $199.95 plus shipping and handling...

ouabacher said...

"Enter the helment tote" Wasn't that a Chuck Norris movie?

dancesonpedals said...

scranus 78

Jason Rumfelt said...

@JLRB the guy on #2 podium is a buddy of mine who only punches me when we are drunk. (it is worth stating here that we were both hung over as hell when the race began so I got punched a lot ;) Guy on #3 does need a helmet ;) ...but seriously, they are both good friends of mine and I was super happy to share the podium with them ...and the glory which is being mentioned in a Bike Snob post. Also, the cap kicks ass!

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

I would be so much more into The Tour if the competitors had to ride touring bikes, loaded up with all the clothing, bedding, messing, and spare parts they figure they might need to make it through the ordeal. No team cars and a good dose of self supported camping. They could still ride in teams and make the domestiques carry the bulk of the crap on cargo bikes or trailers if they choose, just so long as the riders make it through on the bike they started with. If they get a flat they could still swap the wheel out, but some poor bastard in the team has to carry it, so it might make more sense to run more durable tyres. Just imagine the opportunities for cheating! How is this not a thing already?

McFly said...

Those baller bag buildin beechez are kind of hawt. Will they install a custom hot pocket for my flesh rocket? I did not see any titty but I did spot some aerola outskirt. Which is somehow even more enticing.

Anonymous said...

This just in: world largely doesn't care about broken bicycle.

JLRB said...

Jason - Thanks for the confirmation on the two other podios. Checked out your blog - liking the bike porn!

JLRB said...

CE - A popular search engine search reveals several self-supported bike races, but they all appear to be mountain bike events.... I like the idea of replacing the team cars with cargobikes - the carrying your own stuff would only mean the riders would wear the same stinky chamois for three weeks...

Anonymous said...

weedkneesday

Spokey said...

Tell ya one thing

Climbing those hills ain't pretty when you're lugging 50+ lbs of crap.

We generally take 3 or 4 sets of bieking gear. I spose you can ditch the street clothes if you're in a race. We can generally find showers and often warsh the bieking clothes in the shower.


as for speed, would probably take me 17445 days to complete the TdF

Spokey said...

hmmm

no early snobbie blog. Maybe a sprint for yesterday's centurion?

Bama Phred said...

In amateur baseball there are wooden bat leagues as opposed to the commonly used aluminum bats. Is there anything like that in bicycle racing, such as steel frames only? Maybe a No Crabon limitation?

Spokey said...

now that's an idea.

Wooden bats handed out to the spectators along the side of the road.

JLRB said...

91, at traffic light, getting shoaled, time to downshift

JLRB said...

93 clah, clink

JLRB said...

94, crabon frame cracked by baseball bat

JLRB said...

95, riding newly formed crabon unicycle

Spokey said...

damn

lost the chain again. Baggin those 'S' chains and switching to wimperman

JLRB said...

96, can't pop wheelies in the sprint

Spokey said...

ugh

cat 1 hill. need a better granny

JLRB said...

98 - head butt battle

Spokey said...

cenurion podi?

JLRB said...

101 -lost it at the finish - tipping my helement bag to Spokey

Spokey said...

is it too early for a celebratory single malt?

notgod said...

Like, oh my fucking god!