Monday, April 4, 2016

It's been awhile so read slowly, you don't want to strain yourself.

Thank you very much for abiding my absence from this blog last week.  Rest assured that while I had business to which to attend, I also took some time for introspection.  For example, I rode a racing-style bicycle with curved-type handlebars like they use in the Tour de France and those pedals with the big cleats that make walking difficult:


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:

Nevertheless, at some point I attempted to "upgrade" the adapter with some fancier unit that everybody says is great.  Well guess what?  It wasn't.  So I'm back with the cheap plastic thing and the bike is happy again.  (If you're having trouble with a PF30 I suggest overcoming your roadie aversion to cheap plastic and using one of these too.)

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.

Guess what?

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.

83 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yay! You're back! Happy snow day.

Bryan Bracy said...

podium

Anonymous said...

podio

Anonymous said...

Je suis dans le premier dix. Oui, le premier.

dnk said...

Welcome back Mr. Snob

N/A said...

Oh, hey, look who's back. Whatever.

Grump said...

Snobby, it may be my eyes, but it looks like you switched stems, also. It looks like the new stem is a little bit longer, and a little bit lower. Of course, it just might be my old eyes.

Joe A said...

WAPOS

dop said...

April scranus, brings Uranus.

Old timer said...

My goodness...

N/A said...

Whenever I'm not sure about whether or not to purchase something, I consider David Millar testing it on the cobbles. For example I just recently bought a food dehydrator, and the video of his jiggling ass cheeks really brought some clarity to my decision-making process.

Anonymous said...

That 750€ BMX bike - a total throw back to when the construction of BMX bikes was crappy. And they even put on a crappy side pull brake. The Least they could do is put on a proper 990 brake.

DB said...

Welcome back!
Opening Day for baseball!
I just read that there is a doping inquiry in Britain. Secret filming of a British Doctor talking about providing athletes including British Tour de France cyclists with banned substances.
This is news?

bad boy of the north said...

welcome back,kotter.oops,meant snobbie.well....thanks for the saddle video,not.now i'm blind,i tell ya,bli.....

BikeSnobNYC said...

Grump,

It's the same stem in each photo, though it is maybe a touch lower now and I did remove some steer tube.

(I have another, shorter stem I use sometimes, but I've been feeling spunky lately.)

--Wildcat Rock Machine

leroy said...

Not trying the Alpecin.

The last thing my dog needs is caffeinated fleas.

Spokey said...


so sad. i was really hopping to make top tempest. alas only top tweeny

Roger Kummert said...

Snob:

Welcome back! It seems that your time away has done some good. A few hearty chuckles while reading your latest.

Hee Haw the Barista said...

Could get a Haro cruiser for a lot less than 700 Euros.

JuanOffhue said...

One LOL and one WTF. Well done!

Trailer Park Cyclist said...

Where am I?

Anonymous said...

Was Bill Strickland trying to say his Snob was "planing"? They're going down the Heine hole over there. And Frenchies wearing the American flag on an upmarket cruiser: know thyself, eurotrash!

Spokey said...


i couldn't believe the stupid dog cover. biek-sickening promoting cruelty to animals and applauding a menace to society.

Buffalo Bill said...

So if I understood that video, which I'm certain I did not, the guy in the flannel shirt was angry because the other guy stole some of his dirt?

BMX is weird that way I guess.

McFly said...

I needed to laugh and precision-crafted state-of-the-art rubber-and-crabon ass mallet: did just that.

Anonymous said...

Rippling arse cheeks!

Dooth said...

Can anyone identify Millar's shoes? They're to die for!

Frickus Rungus said...

Hey! Welcome back...

I think I found a way to help defray the cost of that ironic 80's euro bmx cruiser bike. Just claim that you are using it for commuting to work and convince your employer to provide tax-free reimbursement for bicycle commuting via the IRS rules for transportation fringe benefits, and you could get up to $240 a year!

BICYCLE COMMUTER BENEFIT
The Bicycle Commuter Act provides a tax-benefited reimbursement for the expenses of bicycle commuting. On January 1, 2009, the bicycle commuting reimbursement was added to the list of qualified transportation fringe benefits covered in section 132 (f) of the Internal Revenue Service Code (26 U.S.C. sec. 132(f)).

Anonymous said...

Toppus XXX

BMX bike that doesn't look badass said...

Good luck selling that Xtra douchy BMX bike to the BMX crowd who tend to be less douchy about their bikes, though about as douchy about their clothes.....

Anonymous said...

Can i get that BMX bike in pink or apricot?

Anonymous said...

Oh look, another Brooks post. Sellout. Can you even go one day without pushing their crap? Seriously, they must finance your whole operation.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 12:42pm,

OH MY GOD I'M SUCH A SELLOUT I MAKE SO SO SO MUCH MONEY DOING THIS AND I POST ABOUT BROOKS EVERY SINGLE DAY!

Look up your ass, you'll find the refund for what you paid to read this blog.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Spokey said...


how is the C13? i like the C17. haven't looked at the specs but assume the 13 is narrower? about to get a new biekly and figured on another c17 although i'm still unsure of how to colour match.

"Adults" who drink 40s said...

Not much of a market for "adults" who ride BMX, but I could definitely see Brunelle acting like a tool, i mean fool on that lame BMX....

Anonymous said...

One question about the rusting stainless frame : When you had the bottom bracket apart, did you look for rust inside the tubes ? There are a lot of welds right there .

Joe said...

Dear Mr. Snob,

I looked where you instructed. I found no refund and I am now banned for life from all Orange Julius franchises.

Thanks for nothing.

N/A said...

Well, that's just fucking great. Wildcat went and hurt Anonymous on his feelings. Now Anonymous is going to leave and we won't get to read Anonymous posts every day. DAMNIT, I DON'T WANT ANONYMOUS TO LEAVE.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Spokey,

The C13 is narrower, shorter, and firmer than the C17, and thus feels much "racier."

--Wildcat Rock Machine

dop said...

What pressure are you running?

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 1:00pm,

Of course not!

(Not even sure it's possible to check the inside of the tubes from the BB shell on that bike...)

--Wildcat Etc.

N/A said...

Once a bike is middle-aged, it is recommended that a scope be inserted in the bottom bracket to analyze what's happening inside the tubes.

DB said...

Leroy:
Hope your dog didn't have any money stashed away in Panama.

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

OH, shit, it was the coffee enemas that are responsible for my hairy ass!

balls™ said...

Observations:
1) Your "stainless" steel bike now looks like something out of Mad Max, or perhaps it is only revealing the increasing age of it's rider.
2) If I use that caffeine shampoo in the morning, will it take the place of that first cup of coffee?
3) I could've sworn I saw something on the internets about the length of a man's perineum having a relation to fertility. Bigger is better, but it's all scranus.

balls™ said...

4)By the way, I'm so old that my aluminum frame has a crabon rear end.

P. Bateman said...

FINALLY! BMX coverage. about time. Snob, can you do a review on an 80's GT Performer please.


speaking of coffee enemas...firstly, i just tried one just now to get the BSNYC refund that apparently has been sent to that address...didnt find a thing.

also, did anyone see that My weird addiciton tv show with the couple that was doing coffee enemas like...5 a day or something insane. what a weird thing to get addicted to.

Anonymous said...

what happened to the Ritte logo on the down tube?

Anonymous said...

My Cambium has been less than satisfactory, popped a rivet for no apparent reason and the edges of the seat are beginning to fray. I've had it only about 1 year. Can you ask Brooks to send me a new one. thanks!

Roille Figners said...

"...the frame neither excessively deflects..." = laterally stiff

"...nor holds resolute..." = vertically compliant


I knew this Russian guy in college, who was all depressed because he was going bald already. Called his mother up (in Russia) and she said to cut an onion in half and rub the cut side on his scalp. That depressed him even more.

P. Bateman said...

who's stainless tubes does ritte use? they using reynolds 953?

i always wanted a 953 frame but good to know they actually do stain.

Roille Figners said...

Oh yeah forgot - stainless will corrode when exposed to salts, e.g. road salt, which I suspect is what happened here. Though there are other things.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

Roille F "f. Galvanic corrosion - If two dissimilar metals are in contact with each other and with an electrolyte e.g. water or other solution, it is possible for a galvanic cell to be set up. This is rather like a battery and can accelerate corrosion of the less 'noble' metal. It can avoided by separating the metals with a non-metallic insulator such as rubber."

That would mean Snob did an inadvertently smart thing by keeping the cheap ass plastic bb cup.

Respect!

leroy said...

Now that I think about it, the coffee this morning did taste a little like shampoo.

DB - my dog informs me he placed our investments in Panama Red.

McFly said...

The C13 is narrower, shorter, and firmer than the C17, and thus feels much "racier."

Evidently I have the Brooks C13 of penii.

Anonymous said...

did ya try a praxis?

ken e. said...

intergranular corrosion is the worst. welcome back! looks like great blue herons come in a few different colourways, so apologies are in order. saw a jumbo heron alight last winter from about 10 ft. away, profundity ensued.

Hoghopper said...

Because no one has ever heard of a 24" BMX cruiser before...

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Welcome back!

Stainless Scranus!

A Bottom Bracket Ostemy is now only recommended every 10 years unless your frame builder has a history of previous findings!

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Bottom Bracket Oscopy, the Ostemy is only in cases of Galvanic Corrosion!

And regarding your harsh retort to Anonymous re Brooks, as June Cleaver once said, Ward, don't be so hard on the Beaver!

Anonymous said...

Don't bogard(t) that joint man.

Spokey said...


roille

good to know. some of my knives (stainless tableware) have started to corrode. i blamed it on that bosch dishwasher we got about a year ago so i started washing the knives by hand (except when i'm too lazy). but now i'm thinking that i shouldn't put batteries in the dishwasher along with the stainless. not sure whether to wash the batteries by hand or in a separate load.

Spokey said...


The C13 is narrower, shorter, and firmer than the C17, and thus feels much "racier."

as i'm no longer narrow nor firm although still reasonable tall i guess i'll stick with the c17.

grog said...

Glad you're back.
I too am good with general foppishness.

babble on said...

Mr Oblivious - Yeah, but as Betty White so eloquently intimated, a beaver can take a real pounding. Most of em even like it.

N/A - heh, what, and then it's supposed to cough?

RF et all - oh fuck. So in a few years I can expect to lose those all of those damned spikes embedded in my shoulder to corrosion??? Sure wish I'd specified Ti...

Snobberdooder? Heh heh. Gold, solid gold. You were missed.

BamaPhred said...

550,000 Pascal? Exactly what I'm running today. Incredible..
Is the Ritte undergoing passivation?
Welcome Back

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 2:04pm,

Interesting, I've had no such problem.

I could contact Brooks and say a nameless person with no contact info wants a new saddle. Or, you could contact either Brooks or the retailer who sold it to you and tell them your problem directly.

I think I know which would work better.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

BikeSnobNYC said...

P. Bateman,

It is KVA tubing.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Billy said...

For way more comprehensible, awesomer, and truer-to-the-90s BMX bike nostalgia, check out TurboKid: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3672742/

Also why the hell is David Millar riding on those cobbles when there's perfectly good asphalt right next to him?

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 2:40pm,

The Praxis was the one that didn't work. (Play that wouldn't come out.) I don't recall the exact back and forth but first they sent me some replacement pieces and then just a new unit. (Might have been there were problems with earlier units that they since corrected, again I don't remember.) However by that time I'd gone back to the plastic thing so I never installed it.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

1904 Cadardi said...

Spokey,

Always wash your batteries in a separate load and be sure to check the filter for any loose coin cells that might slip down there with the onion peels.

bad boy of the north said...

Babble...just keep salt out of your diet.

Anonymous said...

Easier said than done. Semen is quite salty.

Yum Yum said...

I'd like to watch a video of Liz Hatch riding over the cobbles. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Sweaty people shouldn't ride stainless steel.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Babble at 3:34: "...a beaver can take a real pounding. Most of em even like it."

And on the flip side a good smack on the tush too! Where is that Frilly Tush's tush? (still in Kansas?)

A Critic said...

Mr. Snob;

Clearly, you are not their "third or forth best blogger."

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 8:32pm,

Good thing cycling isn't sweat-inducing.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Anonymous said...

Oops, I meant a stainless steel dildo.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Anon 11:49: Steely Dan from Yokohama?

Anonymous said...

That Brooks is tempting. I'm not sure what width to get.

Anonymous said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRDDGPjQ-W8

Here's another car-free harpy making fun of mainstream America. if we spoke to her, she would probably go on about inclusiveness and diversity. Yet she proceeds to insult ways of life she disagrees with with a laugh. Even makes up an insulting name about "Lycra Studs."

I doubt she has a family, but I'd like to see her raise a family without a car. Oh wait a minute, there are families that carry their kids around on bakfiets.Not in downstate Illinois.

Wesley Bellairs said...

The Dutch Family is Colossi of which I am the only dealer in the USA as far as I know. Stainless frames start at around $1400.
Polkadotbicycles.com