***Please note that Monday, September 7th is Labor Day, so we'll pick up again next week on Tuesday the 8th. That's right, a lengthy high-ate-us and Labor Day. I'm putting the "semi" in "semi-professional," suckers!***
Further to yesterday's post, my new WorkCycles Fr8 is now rolling, so make way for the Smugness Tank!
Until recently, I've been using a Surly Big Dummy for purposes of human child-schlepping and neighborhood errand-running:
I love the Big Dummy, and the sheer utility of the thing has been a revelation. However, some time ago my wife took delivery of a WorkCycles, and since then I've been jealous of it:
In particular, I realized that at this point in my life I'm ready for a bike with an enclosed drivetrain and internal gearing that can live outside for a good portion of the year. Currently the Big Dummy lives outside, but the exposed chain and derailleurs aren't terribly happy about it. (Sure, I could mitigate this to a degree by changing some components, but I'm a semi-professional bike blogger, so I'm obliged to get a new bike instead.) Furthermore, my broken mind and body liked the idea of sitting more upright when not engaged in sporty-type cycling, and I also didn't mind the idea of a shorter wheelbase for parking or the times when I do have to bring the thing inside.
Most importantly, my wife and I now have his-and-hers bikes, so when you see us you'll want to throw up.
Anyway, once the bike was together the first test involved portaging a rapidly growing human child through my hilly neighborhood. On the way up I appreciated the 8-speed hub, and on the way down I was impressed with the "hydrolic rime breaks." Then, later that evening, I headed to the grocery store:
Here's my tribute to Dennis Hopper. I mean Edward Hopper:
Do you see what I did there?
There's nothing like a city street lying quiet under a curtain of darkness, though in this case the quiet was fleeting, for soon a train rattled by:
Which was followed by the usual Denizens of the Night:
As for the bike, it rode beautifully with its saddlebags filled with groceries and its rack laden with a box of kitty litter:
I'm sure someone will take issue with my fancy utility bike, but not only is it eminently useful, but it's also a total bargain when you consider what's happening to cyclocross. Consider this Velo-whatever review of the $5,200 Specialized Crux Pro Race, to which I was alerted by one of my very few friends:
Yep, over $5,000 (that's artisanal handmade bike money for chrissakes!) is now an "attainable price tag."
Now, you may be tempted to forgive them for that. After all, technically everything is "attainable," isn't it? This is America! Work hard, grab hold of those bootstraps, and you too can live in a McMansion with a brace of Hyundais (Hyundae?) in your two-car garage! But no, because not only is this price "attainable," but it's also an "exceptional value" for "budget-conscious buyers:"
All this at an exceptional value puts the Crux in a league of its own. The Pro Race comes spec’d with mechanical Shimano Ultegra, which keeps the price down versus Dura-Ace or Ultegra Di2. For budget-conscious buyers who want race-proven performance, this is the way to go.
Oh come the fuck on.
$5,200 is an "exceptional value" so the "budget-conscious buyer" can race circles on the grassy hillside behind the mall?
Apparently so, because you get a "budget-conscious component selection," but what do you expect for OVER FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS?
Part of the Crux’s relative heft seems to come from budget-conscious component selections in the cockpit. We’d certainly go with lighter bars. But the tubeless-ready Roval Control Carbon wheels are a great addition at this price point.
Stop saying "price point." It's the price. JUST SAY PRICE!
But don't worry, just because it's heavy doesn't mean it's not laterally stiff and vertically compliant:
Surprisingly, the remarkably low deflection numbers in our lab tests — 3.33mm of total deflection — did not translate into harshness while in the saddle. The CG-R seatpost with Zertz vibration damping may have something to do with that.
Yeah, maybe it's that stupid seatpost. Or maybe it's because you ride a freaking cyclocross bike on grass with your tires at like 40psi. "3.33mm of total deflection" my ass--and if you say your ass can feel "3.33mm of deflection" through a pair of squishy cyclocross tires then you're talking out of it.
Sadly though the Crux is not perfect, because again, what do you expect for over $5,000?
The Crux’s one glaring flaw, while not a fatal one, is sluggishness off the line. This is an exceptionally stiff bike, with a total deflection sum of less than 4mm, that should jump forward eagerly with those first few pedal strokes. Instead, it lags ever so slightly. We’ll chalk that up to the weight.
Oh please. It's not a goddamn motorcycle. Just "chalk that up" to that you're slow.
Anyway, between this and the Speedvagen review it's clear that someone at Velo-whatever has made the editorial decision to be the new "Bicycling."
And now, I'm pleased to present you with a quiz. As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer. If you're right then wow, and if you're wrong you'll see way too much.
Thanks very much for reading, enjoy your holiday weekend if you have one, and I'll see you back here on Tuesday the 8th. (Presumably not in white shoes.)
--Wildcat Rock Machine
1) Google cars are confused by:
--Kids today with their saggy pants, cellular telephones, and gender identity issues
("Pretty sure I can manage that myself.")
2) OTTO allows you to use your iPhone to:
--Align your frame
--Adjust your derailleur
--Determine your air pressure
--Put on your bib shorts
(No shit, putz.)
3) Bikes are cars.
(The music of REO Speedwagon is about as essential as pubic lice.)
4) Which of the following is not a feature of the Speedvagen Urban Racer?
--An "integrated chain guard"
--A lack of provisions for fenders or racks
--A $400 "distressed paint job"
--An included helme(n)t with integrated face shield for when messengers attempt to punch you in the face
5) Mayor of Portland is to this bike as:
--Mayor of New York City is to Lender's bagels
--Mayor of Philadelphia is to Stouffer's Philly Style Steak & Cheese Toasted Sub
--Mayor of Toronto is to Unilever's "I Can't Believe It's Not Crack!" crack substitute
--All of the above
("While Wildcat Rock Machine died penniless and insane, still trying to shift a bicycle with a chipmunk.")
6) Rotor stole the idea for the hydraulic bicycle drivetrain from this very blog.
("Here comes the story of the Hurricane...")
7) Hurricane Fred is...
--"CONTINUING WEST-NORTHWESTWARD AS A TROPICAL STORM..."
--Riding a BMC and wearing a full Sky kit
--So hairy he looks like he's wearing angora leg warmers
--"ON YOUR LEFT!!!"
***Special "Most European Thing I Have Ever Seen"-Themed Bonus Video!***
She'd confuse the fuck out of a Google car...