here's everything you need to know:
Somehow I missed that, but what do you want from me? After all, I'm the guy who busted a digit thanks to haphazard fender curation.
Anyway, it's merely in keeping with the tradition that began on the cover of my first book (go ahead, buy yourself another copy, you deserve it), specifically the somewhat improbable left-hand drivetrain:
I didn't notice that either until legions of smug dorks who were way too pleased with themselves gleefully pointed it out to me.
But hey, if I didn't give you nits to pick then what fun would any of this be?
Speaking of stuff I learn from reading the comments, remember how we were talking about boutique chain lube treatments and the Freds who are apparently delusional enough to pay for them?
Well obviously paying $200 for a hand-lubed chain is stupid, but one commenter citied a study that proves exactly how stupid it is:
Basically, chains are highly efficient regardless of what you squirt on them, though there are some other factors involved:
The researchers found two factors that seemed to affect the bicycle chain drive's efficiency. Surprisingly, lubrication was not one of them.
"The first factor was sprocket size," Spicer says. "The larger the sprocket, the higher the efficiency we recorded." The sprocket is the circular plate whose teeth catch the chain links and move them along. Between the front and rear sprockets, the chain links line up straight. But when the links reach the sprocket, they bend slightly as they curl around the gear. "When the sprocket is larger, the links bend at a smaller angle," Spicer explains. "There's less frictional work, and as a result, less energy is lost."
What's that, larger sprockets are more efficient?
Now that I've upgraded to the 300-tooth chainring I'm roughly a million times more efficient, though I do keep getting chainring tattoos on my inner thigh.
Anyway, higher chain tension is apparently more efficient too:
The second factor that affected efficiency was tension in the chain. The higher the chain tension, Spicer says, the higher the efficiency score. "This is actually not in the direction you'd expect, based simply on friction," he says. "It's not clear to us at this time why this occurs."
Go figure. I guess those dweebs over at Fixedgeargallery with their over-tensioned chains were onto something after all:
Though if you run your chain too tight you can collapse the front end of the bicycle, as above.
As for which lube you use, according to the eggheads at Johns Hopkins that doesn't mean shit:
The Johns Hopkins engineers made another interesting discovery when they looked at the role of lubricants. The team purchased three popular products used to "grease" a bicycle chain: a wax-based lubricant, a synthetic oil and a "dry" lithium-based spray lubricant. In lab tests comparing the three products, there was no significant difference in energy efficiency. "Then we removed any lubricant from the chain and ran the test again," Spicer recalls. "We were surprised to find that the efficiency was essentially the same as when it was lubricated."
So there it is.
Meanwhile, in other go-fast bike parts news, Campagnolo is launching a new component group:
Well for all lovers of parity and equality, worry no more, because Campagnolo’s new Potenza 11 Speed groupset is aiming to strike a direct hit on Ultegra, seemingly shuffling Athena out of the way in the process. Meaning power, intensity and strength in Italian, Campagnolo describes Potenza as an Ultegra rival (no SRAM pun intended), but with more soul. The Italians think they suffer a little in the marketplace from having too many groupsets (five mechanical options).
Campagnolo certainly makes some excellent bikey parts, and I imagine this group is no exception, but if you believe it somehow has more "soul" than its competitors then you might also be interested in a $200 chain lubrication upgrade to go along with it.
As for the name, which means "power, intensity and strength in Italian," Mario "Il Potente" Cipollini will surely have something to say about that:
Indeed, Cipollini will unveil his own self-lubricating fully hydraulic group at next year's Eurobike, and that's the name he was planning to use. In fact you'd already have heard about it if only it wasn't for that misunderstanding about the media embargo:
("No embargo! I say secrete, not secret. You write article now please.")
The only thing Cipollini turns faster than the pedals is your stomach.
Lastly, New York City-area Freds and Fredericas will surely recognize this stretch of road, and they'll also be all too familiar with admonishments from motorists about riding single-file:
Though this one is especially pathetic as, judging from the user's profile pic, it appears to come from some king of self-hating Super-Fred:
(Is he showing off his light bike or his wanking strength?)
Indeed, the very idea of a Fred driving around and castigating other Freds is beyond pathetic. It's Fredness doubled over on itself. It's a self-fellating Möbius strip of Fred-tastic weeniedom.
Anyway, the admonishment occurs on 9W just by the entrance to the Palisades Parkway. When you're riding north on this stretch the southbound motorists do their best to kill you by turning right into your path in order to enter the parkway. But when you're heading south as well, like these riders are doing, the drivers are usually content to yell stuff at you because they have to turn their steering wheels ever so slightly:
"Single file, you know that!," says Super-Fred.
"Yes we do," the other Freds reply in an incredible display of tactful restraint.
I'd have gone with "File this, asshole," but that's just me.