This bicycle, as you may or may not know, is an early version of a bike Ritte now calls the "Snob," made specially for me back in 2011 because people still cared about my blog back then. I don't know whether they called it the "Snob" because of me or not, nor does it matter. What does matter is that I'm one of the few people writing about bikes who has actually kept one for five years, so let's check in on how it's doing.
Here was the bike when it was new, fresh out of the box as Ritte sent it:
Besides wear items (tires, bar tape, that sort of thing), as you can see the only meaningful changes I've made to it are the compact crank and the Brooks saddle, concessions to age, comfort, and general foppishness. The bicycle remains quite fun to ride, and I have only two quibbles about it:
1) As I've mentioned before, the stainless steel is in fact quite stained. Of course, as a person who doesn't clean his bikes very often it's sort of my fault, but then again why should I have to? Therefore, I don't really understand the point of this material. It seems to me if you want a light metal bike you're better off with aluminum if you're on a budget or maybe titanium if you're not and you want everyone to know it. As far as I can tell the main advantages of stainless are that: A) you have to clean it constantly; and B) when people comment on your "titanium" bicycle you get to correct them. So if that sort of thing turns you on stainless is the material for you.
2) The PF30 bottom bracket shell. Now, I should point out that mine happens to run quietly using a Hollowtech II crank, thanks to the $20 SRAM/Truvativ/whatever adapter Ritte set it up with:
So my quibble with the PF30 is not that it doesn't work, since mine does, but more that it's a very roundabout way to accomplish what a threaded bottom bracket shell does, and it's a completely unnecessary hassle when you need to do maintenance. (Last time I had to service a bike with a threaded bottom bracket shell and a Hollowtech II crank it took me two (2) tools and maybe ten minutes start to finish.)
Anyway, here's what Bicycling said about the Ritte Snob:
Under hard braking, in can-I-make-it corners, during prolonged furious efforts in tight packs, and in top-end sprints, the frame neither excessively deflects nor holds resolute so much as it yields then strikes like a Tai Chi master. It's a living ride. It has a heartbeat.
And if you want to know what the fuck that means I can't help you, though maybe it's because my early model was made here and the current Snobs are made by a Dutch family who made a wrong turn and wound up in China somehow:
The stainless steel frame is made one per day by a small-batch build factory in China run by a Dutch family.
I'm not saying my Ritte isn't hugely fun to ride (it is), but what I am saying is that the whole "Tai Chi master" analogy is an extraordinarily roundabout way of saying "laterally stiff and vertically compliant." Indeed, it's basically a linguistic PF30 bottom bracket.
As for the saddle, it's the new crabon Cambium C13, which I wholeassedly love and I'm not just saying that because I'm their third- or forth-best blogger:
Don't believe me? Well then check out this video of David Millar testing it on the cobbles:
First he looks perturbed:
Then there's a distressing close-up of his jiggling ass cheeks:
And then he smiles the smile of a man who is savoring the pleasure of being pounded in the perineum with a precision-crafted state-of-the-art rubber-and-crabon ass mallet:
Frankly I'm not sure what Brooks were trying to accomplish with this video, since it seems to be less about the saddle and more about David Millar's scranus, but I do sincerely think the C13 is a great saddle so I guess the roadie butt porn is just a bonus.
Speaking of riding on cobbles, the Touring of Flanders occurred this past weekend, and CyclingNews has the answer to the question everybody's been asking--namely #whatpressureyourunning?
According to a popular search engine, 5.5 bar is apparently equal to 550,000 Pascal:
So if you want to confuse the shit out of your fellow competitors at your next cyclocross races, make sure to tell them #whatpressureyourunning in Pascal, just don't specify the unit until after their tire blows off the rim:
("I meant Pascal, not PSI, you dumbass.")
By the way, the above CyclingNews article refers to the Giant-Alpecin team, and it hasn't even occurred to me to wonder what Alpecin was until today.
It's a "Caffeine Shampoo" for fighting baldness:
Clearly the idea that caffeine can cure baldness is ridiculous. What about coffee enemas? If caffeine really promoted hair growth then half the people shopping at your local food co-op would be walking around with horse tails.
And unfortunately Alpecin couldn't use their clever commercial slogan, for obvious reasons:
For sensitivity reasons, Alpecin will not use its commercial slogan — “Doping, just for your hair” — in connection with its work with the cycling team.
Though as I understand it the team does use Alpecin shampoo as energy gel, since it contains exactly the same ingredients as caffeinated Gu:
Lastly, speaking of clinging desperately to youth, check out this '80s-style BMX for "adults," complete with "What the fuck did I just watch?" promotional video:
BMX bike has reached its peak in 1991.
Tuff, easy to handle with a unique look this bike is symbol of freedom for a whole generation.
Iconic, it is highly represented in the 80’s culture and still strong in our memories.
Three years have been necessary for Paris based label Bogarde to develop an 80’s inspired BMX.
The idea was to create a highly evocative object only manufactured with premium materials in order to rediscover the original BMX spirit.
Sleek and streamlined styling combined with crafted and original details create a strong and unique urban riding experience.
Bogarde presents a first collection, a 24’bike that comes in three different colours and will be available through selected european concept-stores.
And here it is:
Seems like a lot of money for a BMX with a leather saddle on it:
Wonder how many Pascals they're running.