Of course any good Kickstarter film features a case study, and in this case it's Max:
"This is Max."
"Max bought himself a new road bike."
Good for him. And it was, at least for awhile. See, at first his life was a Fred-tastic idyll of wearing matchy outfits with his riding buddies and pulling through:
But then something awful happened. His friends started taking offroad detours and he could't follow them!
Alas, his relationship with his riding buddies had hit a literal and figurative fork in the road, and it seemed that while they went off to frolic upon mixed terrain he was forever consigned to a life of Fredness:
See how he has to carry a cumbersome backpack while they ride away from him, effortlessly portaging pour-over coffee in the latest high-end bike luggage?
Anyway, you'd think after Fredding, Crossing, and even Camping with these guys day in and day out that Max would be happy to be rid of them for awhile, but apparently not.
So instead, Max consults a guy with a beard:
Who explains to him the difference between a road bike:
And a cyclocross bike:
Hint: they're different colors.
Oh, and also the tires. Road bikes have skinny tires:
And cyclocross bikes have fatter ones, often with bumps on them:
"Oh, I get it!," Max exclaims. "If I just get a bike with more clearance and maybe some rack mounts I can change the tires and use it for whatever!"
Not so schnell, Max!
There's also the headtube. Road bikes and cyclocross bikes can vary in headtube angle by as much as one (1) whole degree!
So which has the steeper angle? Well never mind that, but rest assured it's the difference between life and death.
The difference in seat tube angle is even more profound, with angles varying by as much as one (1) entire degree!
Think that's not a big deal? "Insignificant" you say? Well look at it this way. If you angled a rocket at 74 degrees and launched it into space you'd land safely on the Moon. However, if you launched it at 73 degrees you'd miss the Moon completely and hurtle through space for billions of years, eventually disappearing into a black hole and emerging into another dimension where you exist as one of Stephen Hawking's dingleberries or perhaps a booger in Neil Degrasse Tyson's mustache:
So go meditate on the meaning of "insignificance" and come back when you're ready to buy the right bicycle.
Fortunately for Max, the guy with the beard has invented the Schrödinger's cat of bicycles:
It starts as a regular road bike, but then you change the fork, which isn't annoying at all:
Then you change your tires:
And finally you alter your wheelbase:
Now you're ready to do some cyclobrocross!
Now Max has the holeshot:
Just make sure you carry that road fork as well as some road tires in case the gang decides to veer back onto pavement again, because you don't want to get stuck with a sub-optimal bicycle.
Indeed, it's not hard to imagine poor Max altering his bike five or ten times the night before the big ride as the texts fly back and forth deliberating over tomorrow's route.
Oh, and the Schrödinger's catbike can even carry his camping supplies:
Now Max never has to spend a single waking moment away from his fickle, inconsiderate "friends."
Though he really should equip it with an analog speedometer:
(Via Klaus/Alps and Andes)
Presumably the gauge is optimized to make it easily readable, even through your old-timey hipster beard.
Still, I'm waiting until they come out with a power meter:
By the way, if you're not impressed by one-degree differences in frame geometry, why not try something really different and get yourself a Bird of Prey?
Here's the inventor:
Who, high atop his seaside SoCal perch invented the world's fastest beach cruiser:
He's like a sun-baked Graeme Obree:
Whose idea he basically lifted like a California plastic surgeon lifting a pair of boobs:
Well, that and the infamous H-Zontal:
That's not cycling, that's inland cross-training for snorkelers.
Anyway, descending on the Bird of Prey looks freaking horrifying:
Especially with those diminutive cyclocross bar-top levers:
I bet that bike goes from Bird of Prey to roadkill way faster than the Schrödinger's catbike goes from road to cyclocross.
Lastly, remember Self-Hating Super-Fred from yesterday's post?
Well a number of people have since pointed out that riding two abreast is legal in New Jersey, which is where they all are in the video, having crossed over the state line a mile or two ago.