Thursday, April 16, 2015

I got a new bike. Take that, automotive industrial complex!



So my Washington Post piece now has over 1,700 comments.  I haven't read them, nor do I intend to, and nor do I even have to in order to know that many of them are completely fucking stupid.  This is because we're a nation of idiots.

Sure, we may only be 28th and falling on the inequality-adjusted Human Rights Index, but there is still no better country on the planet in which to be born a complete moron.  This is because we have these mobility assistance devices for stupid people called "cars," and our entire infrastructure is conveniently built around them.  Cars are ideal for people of limited mental faculties because they're just large boxes with a great big wheel inside (not to mention entertainment and climate control!) and all you have to do is turn the wheel in the general direction you want to go and then stomp on a big fat "go" button with your foot.  Also, if you see something you don't like, like a person, you just press the handy "angry" button in the middle of the great big wheel in order to express your displeasure like the bleating fuckwit you are:

"BWAAAAAAAMP!"

Best of all, if you bump into something, there's a whole system built around making it all go away.  Ever had an "accident" with your car?  Everybody from the police to the insurance company to the body shop will hold your hand and walk you through it like you're a kindergartener on a field drip.  Also, they'll make sure you have another mobility assistance device to use while you wait for them to remove the blood stains from your bumper.  Of course, this system doesn't work too well if you're riding a bicycle or, even worse, walking, but that's why it's crucial to remain inside your mobility assistance device at all times.


(We're not so much the world's policeman as we are the world's Six Flags.)

Just make sure not to question any of this, because anything that undermines the mobility assistance device system will destroy America.  See, while you drive around in air-conditioned bovine bliss and occasionally bumping into things, the auto companies and the banks and the insurance companies are putting it all on your tab.  So it's very important we remain a nation of idiots indenturing ourselves so that we can spend our days inside wildly inefficient depreciating assets owned by usurious financial institutions.

Hey, I do it too.  I even have a satellite radio subscription.  Gotta have my Stern, you know.

I'm a bridge and tunnel baby.

By the way, in the Post thing I alluded to a dystopian future for pedestrians, but that dystopia is already upon us:


I'm old but not that old, and when I was a kid it was perfectly normal for us to roam around the neighborhood.  Now, just a few decades later, I guess I'd be some kind of "free range" freak.  Shouldn't be much longer until children aren't legally allowed to walk outside without an adult until they're 21, at which point they'll finally be released into the wild with six-figure student loan debt and absolutely no survival skills.

Anyway, enough about all that.  Let's talk about bieks!


("Yay bieks!")

So yesterday I received a visit from the UPS guy.

It was cool, we hung out for awhile and did gravity bong hits, then he left.

But then I received a visit from another UPS guy, and he brought this:


It came from the Milwaukee Bicycle Company--which sounds kind of like a horror movie:


Now I may have the easiest job in the world (semi-porfessional biek boggler) but I'm also the father of 17--no, shit, 18!--children, which means I can't just drop everything and assemble the new bike I'm really excited about.  (Especially because "drop everything" in this case means "drop baby," which you shouldn't do, even though I'm sure some politician is proposing a mandatory baby helment law even as I type this.)  So it wasn't until well into the evening that I was finally able to drag it into the basement, remove it from the box, and reverse-dismember it:


The bike was packed exceptionally well and there wasn't a scratch on it.  It was also assembled exceptionally well before it was packed, so I didn't have to do anything except fasten a few bolts.  Nevertheless, being a dunce, while installing the handlebars I managed to get confused by the shifter cables until I realized that they'd apparently been set up to cross under the downtube.  (Unless I was even more confused than I thought.  Either way, they cross under the downtube now, and they work, so I'm calling it good.)  Anyway, here's what the bike looked like when I was done:


Before you pick it apart because this is the Internet, please note that I have not yet made the final saddle height or bar tilt adjustments or anything like that.  That will come next.  I simply wanted it out of the box and in one piece before I went to bed.  Also, some bike dork notes:

--I chose Shimano 10 speed because all my other bikes are Shimano 10 speed and I want to be able to switch wheels.  Also, I have way too many spare Shimano 10 speed parts at this point to consider changing at this point, it would just be a giant waste;

--I chose a compact crank because I finally hit "compact" about a year or two ago and I don't see that changing--nor do I see going single ring on the road, even though it's the rage with all the cool kids, and even though double is now the new triple, and triple is now the new recumbent;

--I put a Brooks Cambium on it because after a year and a half of using one I really, really like it;

--I specified "no crabon" because that's where I'm at right now in my life;

--I put mountain bike pedals on it because that's also where I'm at right now in my life.  Consider my Ritte:


I enjoy riding this bicycle very much (funky finish aside).  At the same time, my life has changed since I got it back in 2011.  In particular, I've moved, and so now my typical road ride generally takes me on and off unpaved paths a decent chunk of the time.  This means my preferred road tire size is now 28mm, and while the Ritte takes 28s albeit with little room to spare, this new bike has medium reach brakes and therefore lots of daylight between rubber and brake.  Furthermore, given the aforementioned paths, there's not much reason for me to bother with road pedals when stopping for beer or coffee or I'm clomping around in thickets looking for a place to urinate.  Best of all, when winter rolls around I can put full fenders on this bike instead of switching to the winter bike.  Basically then, the Ritte can go back to being a skinny-tire "go fast" road bike (yeah, like that ever happens anymore) and this can be a "most of the time, grab-and-go" bike.

That's the idea anyway.  It's silly to talk about before I've even ridden the damn thing.

 Oh, I also chose black, because I like black bikes, and it's a matte finish, which I really like:


It even matches my Engin, which I'm not supposed to care about but totally do:


So there you go.  I'll report back when I finally have time for a proper ride, Lob willing.

Lastly, thanks to Kickstarter, your safe cycling concerns are now over:


I feel so much better.

115 comments:

Anonymous said...

New bike new comment

Paul Kirby said...

SCRANUS!

Anonymous said...

Coming from Milwaukee and all, you would think it would have come with more spokes.

Anonymous said...

go figure

Freddy Murcks said...

GOO
FEE
TILL
ER
EFF
ECT

Anonymous said...

Rapha!

Freddy Murcks said...

Damn, I miss the good ol' days of gravity bong hits. Thanks for the walk down mammary lane, Snob.

Anonymous (But Really just a Retro Grouch) said...

Just finished counting. The new bike has a TOTAL of 26 spokes. That is not even enough for ONE reliable wheel.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...topus tenus

Snynonymous said...

Top Ten?

Joe K. said...

You'll have to report back on where this stacks up on greatest things to come out of Milwaukee.

It's a short list so far.
-Miller Beer
-The Violent Femmes
-Nothing Else of value

Anonymous (But Really just a Retro Grouch) said...

"Just finished counting. The new bike has a TOTAL of 26 spokes. That is not even enough for ONE reliable wheel."

Sorry, not 26 but 36, which IS of course enough for one wheel.

(I don't know about needing a compact crank but I need something to help with diminished counting skills.)

Shawn said...

I'm just not in a place in my life right now that I can accept LOB as my personal savior.

Fred Salmon said...

"Americans will put up with anything as long as it doesn't block traffic" Dan Rather. Don't forget the wars we fight and people we subjugate to provide fuel for our vehicles.

Vernal Magina said...

By reverse-dismember it, you mean member it, right? as in, put your dick in the seat stay before it's fully assembled? (We all do this, right?! Just sayin')

babble on said...

I love it!! You use "go-fast" bike, too! I thought it might be a one-off yesterday, but nope. It's here to stay, and for some silly reason, that makes me grin from ear to ear. I do ever so dearly love you, Snobi-Wan. You inspire me. :)

It's soooo pretty, yer new go-fast bike. I like mat black, too, almost as much as I love shiny things. It's a yin/yuang sort of thing. Um, and why aren't you supposed to care about the Engin?

Er, and my little guy has gone free-range since eight. He demanded to be allowed to make his own way to school as soon as the school legally permitted it, though several nosey mothers openly accused me of being an abusive parent, and reported me to the school officials! (Who totally backed me up, blessed be.) I did, in fact, shadow him for a couple of weeks, but he stopped his longboard at all of the appropriate places, and so I could see no good reason to say no to his demands for autonomy. To this day he much prefers a longboard to a lift in an automobile every time. Nowadays I hear from all sorts of various adults who know him that he is a remarkably responsible, independent young man. Go. Figure.

Spence said...

Our Brave New World!

IT Guy said...

Last few days, the Kickstarter links have been broken. Just saying.

crosspalms said...

That's a handsome new bike. I won't show the photos to my wife, because her first question will be "how come you don't keep our basement that clean?"

Thanks for the Lucid Brake light. I want to get one so I can drop it in the cats' water bowl and see how they react.

Anonymous said...

Hey Snobby - you make a pretty convincing argument for driving a huge gas-guzzling, polluting truck. I'm sold.

cycle

RB1 said...

lovely bike. nothing wrong with compact, either.

wisconson_not_so_hardcore_any_more said...

Milwaukee == Die Kreuzen

Martha Stewart said...

I just put a new 10 speed group on my old steel bike and it seems to work just fine. Doesn't shift as nice as the 10 speed grupo-san on my plastic beik, but the wheels are now easily interchangeable, and that's a good thing.

Henry said...

nanny state coming your way soon.
ya gets whats ya pay (vote) for.

babble on said...

Crosspalms - right?! I noticed its meticulousness, too. Nothing sweeter than a clean and organised space. Well, cept maybe a clean and organised space with a few beautiful bikes in it. I recently took posession of a pretty, red, plastic go-fast bike with Campy ten speed bits, (happyhappyjoyjoy!!) and it is sharing a closet (an 8x10 closet) with Ti Baby and its Campy 10 speed hub. Unfortunately, that particular space has a very looooooooooooooooong way to go before it might boast such a clean and tidy floor.

I will get right on it. Soon as I get back from a bike ride. :)

BikeSnobNYC said...

Crosspalms,

Move to a co-op apartment building.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

janinedm said...

Babble, that's awesome. I don't have kids, but I sometimes used to trail my niece when she walked to school "alone" as part of the family quality assurance system, and all these years later my cockles are still warmed by my memories of her proud and determined demeanor when she'd walk to school. I ride a '94 Marin with 7 speeds and a triple crank and Spank Spikes(when I'm not riding my omafiets). Now excuse me while I go look for my bifocals, Matlock is almost on.

crosspalms said...

I'm probably not the first to point outthis story. Is the DMV issuing hunting licenses too now?

dop said...

Actually, Milwaukee is an Algonquin word that means, "The Good Land"

Bennett Surf said...

The Washington Post! WaPo is the journalistic equivalent of BUYcycling Magazine. Infopablum for the terminally reality impaired sheeple. Other than that quite an achievement Snob.

David Pearce said...

Hi, Bike Snob!

I think your Wash Post article / opinion is great! Lot's of great, snappy writing. If only some of the other usual-suspect columnists (like C. Milloy) wrote like you did, it would be very refreshing.

Regarding the comments on your Post story, man, there is a lot of hate and idiocy out there. It always takes me by surprise. You are right not to read them! I feel definitely dumber having waded through some of them, and then decided better of it and came back to read your blog instead!

Thanks!

crosspalms said...

Snob,
Sadly I was just as bad when we lived in a condo building. Everybody had a storage compartment, but I overflowed into the common area. I'm sure our neighbors were amazed at how big the basement was after I moved our bikes, my workbench, tools and miscellaneous crap out of there.

grog said...

"free range" freak
Put that on a jersey.
FREE
RANGE
FREAK

Started for my first ride on the go-fast bike. First pedal down and the derailleur broke clean off. Probly shoulda cleaned and lubed before going out.
Go play with your new Mill Wookie, and may the free range freak be with you.

Citizen of the next France said...

That tail light looks like the things they give you at the Outback to let you know when your table is ready. Does it vibrate, too?

Picolo Cipo said...

Will three legged riding be allowed at this years Gran FonDon't

Anonymous said...

My town had a meeting last night to discuss walking to school. Apparently some hipster midwest natives after a short stay in Brooklyn made their way to my town. Now they will enlighten us on a new thing they invented called walking. It will take several meetings to organize and instruct all participants. Hopefully some test walks could be scheduled as early as spring 2016.

leroy said...

Well I am not letting my dog read any more comments to Mr. BSNYC's Washington Post post.

I barely stopped him from responding to a comment that ended "Physician heal thyself" with "Dear possessor of carnal knowledge of small barnyard animals, seek similar relations with thyself."

But I did like my dog's suggestion that we have Siri read the comments and then auto-tune them into a holiday album for Earth Day.

He assures me that if I give him a few hundred to get started, we'll make a bundle in Kickstarter funding.

I don't know. I've heard that tune before.

Anonymous said...

nice bike. from the tone of this post I'm guessing you probably did read some of the comments to your Washington post piece. If you really want to incite America's dumbest, next time do an article on gun control.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't let my niece warm my cockles.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 1:37pm,

I didn't, but I did get some emails.

--Wildcat Etc.

bieks said...

Something something, your brakes were installed at the wrong time of day or something ... oh yeah ... BRO.

Anonymous said...

How does one who has a compact crank manage to sire 18 offspring?

Matt. Black said...

WARES YOU'RE HELMENT!?!

CommieCanuck said...

Hey Fred, you saddle is 0.001 degrees off, which will rip your scranus enough to get a prescription for steroid cream. Also, no dick breaks so it's not going to be UCI legal next year so if I see you going up Alp D'huez on this thing, I'm telling on you faster than Betsy Andreu.
I'm watching you.

CommieCanuck said...

How does one who has a compact crank manage to sire 18 offspring?

Seminal doping.

Comment deleted said...

I really like your choices in your new steed, Snobby. I'm leaning towards wider wheels these days, also, as our local infrastructure crumbles and potholes cause me half a dozen flats a year.

Mind saying how much it cost you?

wishiwasmerckx said...

Comment Deleted: How much did it cost him? Hardy har har. They are probably paying him for the "free" publicity.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

MBC/Ben's Cycle has got some sweet bib shorts for sale on their site. I hope they threw in a pair with the deal.

Comment deleted said...

wiwm: good point. Then I ask, what would that bike cost *me*?

Tweed said...

Should've went with the fire pit and thrown your left over Specialized parts in it! Ben's is a great place. Just curious...How'd you decide an a MKE Company bike?

https://www.benscycle.com/p-14813-bens-cycle-milwaukee-bicycle-co-fire-pit-large-36.aspx?

PotbellyJoe said...

You should seriously consider the firepit for your basement. Just don't use it when the super is trying to cheat ConEd with a gas-meter bypass...

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the new bike, Snob!

Any reason why you didn't just go for a Surly Pacer (1/2 the price)?

dop said...

DUTCH
RUDDER

Dave said...

Kind of interesting: in a quick sample of the WaPo commenters, I saw that many are reasonably civil, most have strong opinions one way or the other, some have anecdotes, but very few seemed to grasp the argument being advanced regarding whether helmet use should be mandatory. They simply jump immediately to the pointless question, are bicycles evil, or cars?

Not really important what they think when they aren't thinking at all.

nscadu 9 said...

New bike looks great, but I love your Engin. I've been messing around with cogs since a recent move to new terrain and I am curious to know what you are using for gearing.

Anonymous said...

vsk said ...

All my bikes are Shimano 9 speed. Even my single spee... oh wait.

Compact ain't compact enough for me, I need a real triple.

Gun control, ... use both hands.

vsk

Frickus Rungus said...

WCRM,

I curated a similar biek not too many years ago. Nice steel frame (for that "is real" feel), fender eyelets, mid-reach brakes (for fatter tires and fenders), taller head tube (to avoid Shermer's Neck syndrome), a triple chainring (I live near the mountains, and I'm old) and spd pedals (I got the ones that look like road pedals, but take mountain cleats).

I must have been clinging to some youthful ambitions, since I decided to outfit this sensible bike with a crabon front fork, wheels with just a few bladed spokes and skinny tires.

I hate the bladed spokes, after having skinned my knuckles on them a few times while repairing flats.

I've switched my tires from 25s to 32s, after being reminded that I am old during a few group rides.

And I'm regretting that I propped up the front end of the bike with a piece of plastic that is sure to explode at any moment.

Otherwise, it's my favorite road bike so far.

Have fun with your new bike!

dongo said...

Okay I DID read a bunch of the comments from yesterday's Post piece, which I thought was terrific and would begin a lively debate amongst the open minded well-educated readers of one of our nation's oldest and best publications.

Wow.

PotbellyJoe said...

You get almost as many comments on WaPo as an article linked by the Drudgereport does.

I hate the public.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Jello Biafra took over BikeSnobs blog for the day: "Just make suURre not to question ANEEEEEY of this, because ANEEYYYthing that undermiiiiines the mobility aSSistance DEVICE SYSTEM will destroy AAAAMerrrica."

bad boy of the north said...

congratulations on the new ride.
at some point ya gotta show the headbadge.(I know,we saw the shot from the makers website).it would be nice to see it with the matte finish.safe ridin'.

McFly said...

Field drip is what one does after beers in nature.

BamaPhred said...

WaPo comments- Scranus

Nice bike. Enjoy

dnk said...

Leroy@1:35

I think your dog is onto something. Still, I'd be wary of fronting him the few hundred.

Anonymous said...

Bladed spokes. On a leisure bicycle? what? go faster, but slower and in comfort?
What is this bladed spoke nonsense?

Frickus Rungus said...

Anonymous @6:46
I think I was hoping to go just a little bit faster than the other slow people. Or maybe they were on sale. I can't really remember what possessed me to buy them.
-Frickus

dop said...

Once again this blog has changed my riding hygiene...I took a long commute from the burbs to the city today (past seaman & Cummings) without energy gels. I went with one of those big sesame-honey bars & had a piece every half hour. Results: One bad cramp near destination (I'm out of shape...doesn't count) Zero farting at work.

meltyman said...

"I chose Shimano 10 speed because all my other bikes are Shimano 10 speed and I want to be able to switch wheels." yes yes yes me too me too!

Old-timer said...

Snob, thanks for sharing the unpacking and assembling your new bike! I haven’t had that satisfying experience for over twenty years! (Yeah, my bikes are old…but still ass-kickin’ good! Steel, don’t-cha-know.) Your reception of the “Milwaukee” was good vicarious fun! Looking forward to your ride reviews!

babble on said...

I learn so much here. I didn't know what bladed spokes were till now, and now I know that my lovely shiny Campagnolo Shamal Ultra Gold clincher wheelset has bladed spokes. They're just flat, though, not sharp. How did you skin yer knuckles on em??!! That musta taken some doing.

Today I learned that the Zipp crabon crankset needs a special tool if you want to shift it from one set to another. Something to do with the bearings (ceramic) being outside of something else...

I also learned that Campy is no longer supporting ten speed clusters in Chorus. Bastards are trying to force me to upgrade to eleven speeds. Because if you ride yer bike any sort of distance over a winter you're going to have to replace the drivechain every year. And now you either have to upgrade to eleven speeds or downgrade to a heavier groupset.

Is it just Campy doing that particular dirty, or is Shimano pulling the same nonsense?

I should just ride a nine speed over the winter and save the ten (or eleven) for summer, and for the races. You see?! No matter how many bikes a girl has, she always needs Just. One. More.

bieks said...

bad boy of the north -

head badge?

JLRB said...

Nice frontal attack on the automotive complex. Thank you.

Purty bike - It will look sweet once you add the lucid brake and kickstand pump scranus scrathcer. I do agree with the commenters on low spoke count - I hope the rims hold up for you.

As a result of random impulse purchases over many years I have 7, 9, 10 and 11 speed set ups from three different manufacturers - three different road shifter styles - two different types of mountain shifters. Confusion reigns.

David Pearce said...

Dear Wildcat,

I STILL like your Washington Post piece of Wednesday, and I like the way it has started endless arguments between earnest people & other earnest people, and between earnest people & trolls, and between trolls & trolls. "Let's you and him argue", as they say. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!

Also, I'm glad you like your new Milwaukee bike. It looks nice! But, and it always my pleasure to break the inevitable "But" in our card game of Bike Snob Hearts, I don't think you have really scored a point, or "taken the trick" against the Automotive Industrial Complex, unless you adopt some sort of xenophobic, anti-religious, bigoted viewpoint.

Henry Ford has a good head start, I grant you. But you mustn't lose hope, nor feel obligated to hate the Jews. That would be what we call these days, "derivative".

Maybe you could be an "Anti-Buhddite" or something.

Anonymous said...

why do you have so many kids? ever hear of a rubber?

JLRB said...

ANon @5:12 - you missed the column where e explained that he learned the hard way not to use patch kits

bad boy of the north said...

bieks,thanks for the heads up.
I'm not on twitter,but it didn't dawn on me to check anyway.again,thanks,snob,nevermind.carry on.

JB said...

Can someone figure out how much scratch that bike would cost me to buy? kthanksbye

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking Mr. Snob is out this morning on this be Black Brewski Bike, and today's post will be late.

Anonymous said...

dop said... "Zero farting at work"

Well what was the point, then.

JLRB said...

You think he is out riding with Laverne & Shirley? Wearing a Brewers Kit? Shotz Brewery kit?

Where will it end?

BamaPhred said...

I would like to think he took the train down to DC and is riding around with a Black Flag flag saying BSNYC AYHSMB, on the Brewski Bike, of course.

BamaPhred said...

I accept no responsibility for the estimate, but I came up with a swag of $3K.

Anonymous said...

Snob crossed shift cables!?!

The bike will explode.

Nice reading ya, WCRM.

TeamKarp said...

Congrats on the new bike. I just got one too. It's satin black. That's kind of like matte black, right?


Upgrade http://teamkarp.blogspot.com/2015/03/upgrade.html

babble on said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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jackie durand said...

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89 said...

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eighty ten said...

eighty ten

91 said...

91

urign said...

92

ulatm said...

93

all right already, I'm a fucking robot said...

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94 said...

95

frisa said...

96

iearr said...

97

eldeld said...

978

barbara feldan said...

99

dop said...

century

Anonymous said...

Can scouts earn a head badge now?

paulb said...

WCRM, I hope you will pour your local expertise into a a Bikecycling Westchester book. I wouldn't even insist on explicit route descriptions. The odd photo with a strip mall (darn, I'm sure I've passed that Sleepy's!), cemetery, or perfectly focused road sign, and we'll take it from there.

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Richard C. Lambert said...

Andrew Burt, Toshiba America's VP of Image Sensor Business Unit, continues his "Eye on Sensors" blog with a second post on automotive image sensors. The post primarily talks about TU-Automotive Conference held in Detroit in June. Viet Hoa

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Bike News said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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Charlotte J. Gravely said...

I'm just not in a place in my life right now that I can accept LOB as my personal savior.
Charlotte

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