Thursday, January 21, 2016

Trials and Tintinnabulations

Life as a semi-professional bike blogger isn't all glitz and glamor.  Sometimes you've got to get your hands slightly dirty.  Such was the case this morning when I deigned to engage in manual labor.

First there was the pesky flat tire on the Pine Mountain 1 I'm borrowing until Marin files a police report:


After reading every single flat fix instructional in the Bicycling magazine archives (there are over 26,000 of them) I was convinced I could do the job myself, and so I rolled up my sleeves and got to it.  First I locked out the derailleur with this clever little button SRAM is using now isn't that handy what'll they think of next:


(Sarcasm aside, it is pretty handy.)

Then, using the six-inch fingernails I've grown specifically for this purpose (I harden them with lacquer), I prized the tire bead from the rim:


It turned out to be one of those pesky flats where you can't find anything in the tire and where you can't find a hole in the tube even after inflating the thing to comical proportions, moistening your lips, and running them around the periphery.  The wheels are tubeless ready, and I had half a mind to just dump some sealant in there and go that way, since as a semi-professional bike blogger I've got all that stuff in my vast parts closet:


However, the other half of my mind said "Fuck it," and instead I just put a new tube in there, because you see it's not my bike.

So I crossed that job off my list.

Done, and done.

It will probably be flat again by tomorrow.

Next it was time to install the new $50 artisanal bell that's been knocking around my mansion and serving as a children's toy for far too long:


Sure, I'd managed to replace an inner tube, but a full bell swap was going to push me to the very edge of my mechanical abilities.  So I studied up on the bell by watching this video:

Spurcycle Bell Craft from Spurcycle on Vimeo.

USA, baby!  Donald Trump approves.  I'm happy to pay five times what a typical bike bell costs so I can be secure in the knowledge that it was assembled on the good side of the Mexican wall by Americans with college educations and California drawls:


See, Donald Trump is going to bring jobs back to America--good ones too, like Bicycle Bell Lubemeister:


You get into that Bicycle Bell Lubemeister union and you're looking at a starting wage of $50 an hour, plus benefits.

And that's how you Make America Great Again.

Anyway, the upshot of the video was this:

"The result is a powerfully loud bell with a convincing tone and a longer ring than any other."

That's good, because I hate unconvincing bells.  You know how it is: you ring the thing and the person in front of you goes, "Was that a bell or did a chipmunk just fart?"  Well, there's none of that ambiguity with the Spurcycle.  It resonates decisively in the unmistakable timbre of liberty.

I was excited to join this rarefied new world, but first I'd have to remove my old bell:


This was a daunting notion, and for awhile I considered just leaving it on there and running two bells.  Sure, it was cowardly, but I could justify it by performing a test wherein I ring the cheap bell and then the expensive bell and then compare people's reactions.  (Cheap bell: "Did a chipmunk just fart?"  Expensive bell: "All Hail President Trump!")

Ultimately though I decided to tackle the bell removal, and after employing an exotic tool known as a "screwdriver" I eventually succeeded in doing so, but then there was a frightening stretch of time during which my bicycle had no bell at all which meant it was completely unrideable!


Finally, six hours later, I managed to install the Spurcycle:


Please note the placement of the bell is temporary until I can get access to a wind tunnel.  Also, I'm going to need some sort of laser sights to level the bell for optimum sonic wave distribution:


Another source of stress is that I failed to ascertain exactly what material the clamp is made from, as well as to pen a desperate screed to Lennard Zinn asking whether I should have used some sort of assembly paste with my incredibly pretentious titanium handlebar:


And perhaps most vexing, I only noticed after installing it that the clamp has a label stamped into it!


Should the label be facing right or left?!?  OH MY GOD!  I am clearly not ready for high-end bell ownership.

Nevertheless, I set my anxiety aside temporarily and looked for an expensive vehicle worthy of my expensive bell's sonorous chime, but I'd missed the morning drop-off at the fancy prep school and any remaining luxury cars were parked:


Indeed, the only vehicle even remotely in my way was a Ford Fusion, and there was no way I was wasting a $50 ring on that.

So I continued on into the northern suburbs in search of wealthy people walking purebred dogs, but they'd long since headed into Manhattan:


So in the end I was left to contemplate the bell's elegance, as well as its resemblance to various parts of the human anatomy, including but not limited to the eyeball, the mammary, and the phallus:


As of press time though I have yet to ring it.

I'm saving that for something special, such as a double-parked Tesla or a jaywalking Dalai Lama.


110 comments:

Happy Unicorn said...

HORS DONGNeigh Neigh Penthouse

Ted K. said...

104. FOURTH PRINCIPLE. A new kind of society cannot be designed on paper. That is, you cannot plan out a new form of society in advance, then set it up and expect it to function as it was designed to do.

Vernal Magina said...

omg.

Anonymous said...

Je suis le deuxíeme.

Two Claws said...

Two claws up!

Dorothy Rabinowitz said...

Always on top!

Red Ross said...

Be sure to buy bread and eggs everyone! The storm, it comes!

ricochet said...

BIKE SCUM WILL REMAIN

Spokey said...

top something or other less than 10

Anonymous said...

I am a robot Ted K.

le Correcteur said...

A jaywalking Dalai Lama asked, "did a chipmunk just fart?"

Theodore said...

I like my spurcycle bell.

the2002saga said...

Stupid fucking X4.

N/A said...

Do you have to apply an artisanal lube to the bell clacker assembly before every ride?

Freddy Murcks said...

Just ring the fucking bell already. Jeebus! I am on tenterhooks waiting for the description of its sonorous tone (and, of course, the description of the spastic, startled reaction of the person at whom the bell ring is directed).




[[In order to pass the "I am not a Robot" test, I had to click on images of trucks. I think that this blog is subtly trying to tell me that I ought to say "Fuck it. I'm leasing an F150.".]]

BamaPhred said...

Fackpodder

Comment deleted said...

The placement of your bell is ridiculous, and will ruin the handling.

Anonymous said...

Ok maybe not. Damned robot thing!

Anonymous said...

"California drawls" As someone who has lived in both NY and Cali, I can tell you that NY accents are way more noticeable than Cali accents.

rudimentary peni said...

We can just promote all the fast food workers to bell lubricators and pay them $15 to scab out the bell lubers' union.

Also, let's all make fun of Snob's handlebar shim.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 1:08pm,

That's entirely relative.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

JuanOffhue said...

I’m using Chrome, and never have to solve any picture puzzles to prove I’m not a robot. So maybe I am....

Anonymous said...

Hey Snob, can you give the Pine Mountain 2 a test? I'm curious how it compares to the 1, is the suspension fork and upgraded drivetrain really worth the extra $1500?

Anonymous said...

The positioning of the bell is dependent on whether you are a left thumb or right thumb masturbationest.

dop said...

The Eyeball, The Mammary and the Phallus.

One of the lesser-known Narnia books?

Name of a London Pub? (more likely 2 Pubs. The Eyeball Katy-Corner to The Mammary and Phallus)

Start of an old Vaudville (fr) joke? (An eyeball, a mammary and a phallus walk into a bar...some punchline about missing pairs/pears and/or nuts)

BikeSnobNYC said...

rudimentary peni,

BUT IT'S ARTISANAL!

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Anonymous said...

I hate to break it to you, but a running car with its windows up is not going to hear your twee bell.

Mort Goldman said...

Ding.

Eric the Infrequent said...

I want a spurcycle bell.

P. Bateman said...

the "meaningful" ringing made me think of L.A. story but couldn't find a clip anywhere when steve martin hears the loud clanging sound and richard grant says: its a nuisance. its my damn testicals.

N/A said...

Mort Goldman @ 1:20 PM...

Fries are done?

Anonymous said...

I do not want a spurcycle bell.

Joe said...

No way you'll be able to ring that bell with that f-ed up geometry. You're really missing out, Snob.

P. Bateman said...

i should think an airhorn setup might cut through the rolled up windows of a distracted driver:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAKZIs5w5NY

wats7 said...

I'm using Chrome as well but mine says that "Bike Snob Blog is unresponsive. Do you want to wait or KILL it ?" I chose to wait.

dcee604 said...

Please post a video of when you actually ring your bell, so we can hear the chime. Thanks!

Freddy Murcks said...

Don't feel bad about your (artisinal) handlebar shim, Snob. I have been running the same pop can shim on the handlebars of my road bike for over a decade. It may be the most reliable bike part I own.

grog said...

Beautiful Belle.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

You need to rotate the bell up to the top of your bar so that it's circumference is on a horizontal plane. The sound waves focus and travel out 360 degrees around the bell's circumference. The way you have it configured now a quarter of the bell's strongest waves are hitting the street while the opposite waves fly straight up into the sky. The remainder off to each side. Ideally you want the focus of sound out in front of the bicycle.

Your welcome.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Has Buy-Cyclinc. Magazine run more "Ride Your First Century" articles than the 26,000 How to Fix a Flat articles or less?

Ask not for whom the Spurmcycle bell tolls.

P Bateman at 1:22-today Steve Martin could just tell Richard Grant to park those things in the KuKu Penthouse.

bad boy of the north said...

methinks using chamois butt'r(tm) would be an excellent ass-embly lubricant.notice,i didn't say anything about cj.

Anonymous said...

Snob, I just tried to tubelessize that thing last night. Unsuccessful. I suspect despite the high quality appearance of the rim strip, that is is not meant for tubless;as in porous. I even tried to seal my lips on the rim strip and blow over top of a nipple hole and seemed like my breath was getting through (all true, not even attempting to be hilarious). I bet since you've sold your soul to Marin that they might answer you if you asked if it was a tubless rim strip. Or is it not a 2 way street like that?

Anonymous said...

If a bell is struck where there is no warn-ee, does it make a sound?

bad boy of the north said...

but,recumbent conspiracy theorist,he may have it positioned as a shield,a la,roman.i know,i know.using some French to convey Italian in one sentence.
hey snob,are you planning a blizzard ride to test the marin and bell together?

CommieCanuck said...

Listen to RCT, the current bell orientation will scare wildlife flying above, and six species of rare turtle on the ground, you heartless bastard.

Chazu said...

This reminded me that Sheldon Brown used to read your blog. How fucking excellent is that?

bad boy of the north said...

oopsie!meant paste,not lubricant.damn reading comprehension.well,back to reading my SRA booklet.

CommieCanuck said...

This will further kill artisanal Canadian lubeist jobs, devastating out dollar even further, leading to Netflix dramas about Canadian coyotes sneaking people across the border in search of 55" 4K TVs at discount. Dammit, we're human beings, we need more pixels too. Hire me. I can work. i.e., "no, noooo....Mr.Snob, hees not home, come back tomorrow."

Anonymous said...

Rapha should make a bike bell...sounding like an old cash register...Ka-Ching! Wearing full Rapha kit, riding by some dweeb...KA CHING!

trama said...

Jaywalking Dalai Lama, the flowing robes, the grace, bald... striking.
Gunga galunga...gunga- gunga lagunga
so you got that going for you, which is nice

RING BELL!

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

When Quasi happy, Quasi ring BELL !!

Balls to bells, the beel you want is brass vs. whatever other alloy they got. Whether you're macroaggressively trying to alert the i-pod zombie ahead that you're in the bike lane which you've been fucking told to get in or whether you're microaggressively* giving the audible thumbs up to a well heeled high heeled hottie.

*sorry, don't mean to cause a trigger event rush to the safe space.

The only other old saw that beats out the Crane brass bells is the Ventura Tire Bell. So loud it should be illegal.


... and ah ... how much snow we gonna get ??


vsk


sTONEdEADLAND said...

This east vs west coast dialect topic is indeed relative, and seems to be basically Charlie (It's Always Sunny) vs Spicoli...

Take your pick

DB said...

Al Roker says NYC has 5 inches coming, and goodbye West Virginia, Virginia and DC.
Time for studded tires.

Where's Crosspalms?

Freddy Murcks said...

Anon @1:48 - put wide Gorilla Tape over the existing rim strip, reinstall the tire with a tube and inflate to compress the tape real good, and then try tubeless setup again. This VIDEO is for full fats (not mid-fats), but it should still be helpful. (My apologies for the unsolicited bike maintenance advice. I know that unsolicited advice annoys people, including me.)

Anonymous said...

Listen Mr. Snob, I also purchased "The Bell" only in Black. This was a short while ago. Since then I have noticed that people of an advanced age would not respond to it. I realized that they could not hear the high frequency that is emitted by it. The final resolution was a cheaper larger bell. Say hi to Mr.N and Mr. E, for they will hear it loud and clear.

Bryan said...

With snowmegeddan on the way, are you going to go out and play with your semi fat bike?

Bryan said...

With snowmegeddan on the way, are you going to go out and play with your semi fat bike?

Anonymous said...

Utterly screedless, we'll let it pass this once, not everyone can be grouchy all the time.

Anonymous said...

DB, studded tires are for ice; you need a fat bike for snow.

ur welcome.

bad boy of the north said...

I get the feeling that there will be thousands of commentariats here for the next few days if the snowpocalyse occurs....better check on daddy and his wife.they're bulls-eyed.

bad boy of the north said...

sh*t!snowpocalypse.....damn frothy beverage!robot bikes.

P. Bateman said...

"Al Roker only has 5 inches coming"

a little surprising.

Frickus Rungus said...

WCRM,

I would like to suggest that you request 40 more of those bells ($2K worth!) and mount them all over your bike, like you did with the hipster cysts. I'm thinking they would be called wanker warts? Or maybe wealth warts, since they might end up costing more than a lot of complete bikes?

Not really Mort Goldman said...

N/A: Dumb cartoon.


https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjik4O41rvKAhWJvYMKHW6CCcMQyCkIHzAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DvgVsD0Mn6yA&usg=AFQjCNEfx5p26sGGNYiScJYlECPV-_Fxrw

Not really Mort Goldman said...

Thanks google!

Anonymous said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgVsD0Mn6yA

Regular guy said...

I like the SCRAM derailleur lock thingy, too, but it'd be nice if you could count on having a chain hanger on the ol' seat stay like they did back in the day.

Anonymous said...

As you approach middle age you are to often reminded of your own mortality. Perhaps you know deep down that the bell tolls for thee.

Happy Thursday!

Charllie said...

"...inflating the thing to comical proportions, moistening your lips, and running them around the periphery."

That's what she said.

Also, isn't it "prised", not "prized" in that context? You're welcome.

leroy said...

My dog interrupted me before I could finish explaining that today's post "seemed familiar, but didn't ring a...."

Now I'm not sure I should tell him about the time I changed a tire in Cleveland using Nine Inch Nails.

Billy said...

Holy crap, I knew I forgot something on my new bike build!!1! Do they have overnight shipping for those bells?

Roille Figners said...

From the Spurcycle website: "You don’t come off as a tool..."

LOL yeah right.

I wonder how an extra-loud bell would would go over with the mentally ill/homeless/meth-heads on the Springwater Corridor a.k.a. AVENUE OF TERROR!!!! where extra-bright lights are already enough to piss them off.


PING PING

SCUS MEEE

antibozo said...

I'm glad to see that you mentioned a chipmunk in today's post, since the 21st of January is Squirrel Appreciation Day. (For those not in the know, chipmunks are a species of ground squirrel.)

Captain Oblivious said...

Chipmunk? Ground squirrel?

A rat by any other name

Spokey said...


i donna no. my crappy old free bell from the bike league gets peeples attention in duke is pawk. that's about the only place i ring it as pedestrians are pretty much banned in this part of the hemorrhoids. and the few that do tempt fate are taken out by leased BMWs.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Many tasty roadkill recipes call for ground squirrel!

Captain Oblivious said...

And Sylvester Stallion enjoyed tasty rat (& tasty Sandra Bullock) while chasing Wesley Snipes

Anonymous said...

Hey Commie Cannuck

Abe Vigoda

Short and Sweet

Anonymous said...

This was a good one, Snob

1904 Cadardi said...

Is that artisinal bell's ding capable of penetrating the earbuds of the woggers on my local bike path? Unless it can pierce the veil of highly distorted top 40, it won't be that effective. Maybe if it was mounted on a stick and used like a mace.

Spokey said...


that's the ticket. a selfie bell

Anonymous said...

"Was that a bell or did a chipmunk just fart?"

Grump said...

Snobby, did instructions come with the bell on how, and how often to re-lube the bell?? Should you use wet or dry lube, or wax???
Some jobs are best left to the Professional mechanics.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Careful of that bell. It's goofy sound wave tiller effect can send you to the ground faster than an Australian motorcycle cop.

wishiwasmerckx said...

That bell has great spondee.

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

VSK 2:06

Your Quasi reminds me of the old joke...The End Of The Hunchback...

As we all know, Quasimodo, the hunchback, used to ring the bell at Notre Dame. He as so dedicated, that on the day the rope used to ring the bell had broken, Quasi deigned (learned that word from Snobby today) to ring the bell by running face first, as fast as he could into the bell, thus ringing it. The time came and Quasi gets up to speed, and launches face first into the bell, eliciting it's beautiful tone. Unfortunately, in doing so, his moment until carries him out of the bell tower and he falls to his death in the courtyard below. While being questioned by the local gendarme, the cathedral groundskeeper, was asked if he could identify the unfortunate Quasimodo. He replied, "I can't remember his name, but his face sure rngs a bell" (True story).

Snobby, your mechanical skills are astounding. When I get a flat in the rear tire I usually throw the bike away and get a new one.

Anonymous said...

Palisade Punks.

Beerfueled said...

ARVO PÄRT

(Tintinnabulation)

:)

FATT BIKE said...

You better get them + size tires ready. As Ned Stark said: "it's gonna snow bitch!" I can finally justify my owning a fat bike and living in the mid Atlantic.

JuanOffhue said...

Bells, feh. I have one, but all the pedestrians I come up behind have earbuds in and think I’m just part of the mix.

Rim around the Ring said...

Bella, Bella, beautiful Bella, kiss me Bella, now kiss my neck Bella, now my chest Bella, kept on going...ring, ring.

Orange Peal said...

I have an olde timey brass bell that has a timbre so pure and a sustain of such greatness, that people weep when it sounds.

Anonymous said...

I have a mouse mounted on my handlebar and when somebody is in my way I squeeze the little mouse and he farts. Sometimes people ask, "Did a $50 artisanal bell just ring?"

Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA It's a Titty!

McFly said...

Freddy, thank you sir. Had a little trouble getting the rear to seal up with gorilla tape. Did not think about using a tube to pressure seal it.

McFly said...

It would be cool if they offered that bell up in the titty colorway motif. When you tweak it there would be a squeal.

Anonymous said...

What about that Panera tv commercial eh? Sheesh!

ken e. said...

buck rogers called about his bell. good one RCT.

wishiwasmerckx said...

99th...

wishiwasmerckx said...

...and 100th.

Hoghopper said...

Can I have your old bell?

Helen Smart said...

"It turned out to be one of those pesky flats where you can't find anything in the tire and where you can't find a hole in the tube even after inflating the thing to comical proportions, moistening your lips, and running them around the periphery."

Just fill a big bucket and immerse the thing in water to find any air leaks.
(Not much use on the road, of course.)

Dooth said...

The itty bitty titty committee called...

bbotn said...

alright ladies and gentlemen....time to start your shovels...or maybe not.waiting for the fat tire review to commence.

bad boy of the north said...

where?where?

Spokey said...

i'll be back in a bit. need to hit the liquor store just in case. i'll check out the local store 'cause i need some celery but fuck-o it if it's too crowded. and as i have no fattie biek, i'm taking the dino eater that i owns.

N/A said...

I stocked up on all sorts of alco-provisions just in case the storm of the century was going to bury me under. Looks like it's going to miss my area for the most part. Oh well, I'm going to drink all this anyways because that planter in the hallway isn't going to piss in itself, you know.

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

Tell it to the Marines !

http://www.grindtv.com/bike/u-s-marines-crack-down-on-trespassers-confiscate-45-mountain-bikes/#v1vxRz50SMJ5sLeQ.97

vsk

Spokey said...

i only keep the alcohol for medicinal purposes. but got my celery so i'm all set for snowmegeddon. semi-anxious to loose power and final test out that generator. hopefully mine will work better bama's(?) did and not go pop pop fizz fizz

EricBikeCO said...

recumbent conspiracy theorist.. YOU'RE WELCOME... FFFS.