Thursday, April 7, 2016

Sorry I'm late, actually I'm not sorry because I was riding my bike.

Once upon a time, electronic shifting was hilarious:



This was partially because it didn't really work, but also because there were people who put it on Softrides:


(Via here.  Wow.)

Alas, now that all the big companies have got electronic shifting all figured out, we need a new laughingstock.  Enter UNO, the hydraulic group nobody asked for:
To be fair, UNO does have some things going for it, though sadly shifting the front derailleur is not one of them:

More problematically, we had persistent issues with the chain refusing to drop onto the small ring under load. In a standard mechanical setup, a powerful return spring shoves the chain off the big ring. We’re not completely clear how the Rotor derailleur compares in this respect, but it certainly wasn’t as assertive as we’d have liked, and the ramping of Rotor’s outer ring was proving rather too effective, grabbing the chain back when we wanted it to drop down.

We also found that the combination of the four-position front derailleur and the DoubleTap-style shifter arrangement wasn’t particularly intuitive. Because the shifters aren’t tied directly to the movement of the derailleur in the way that they are with a cable setup, you can’t feel what the chain is doing.

Sounds great.  You'll definitely want to be one of the first people to run out and buy this unproven technology despite the fact that at least three other companies make a wide variety of mechanical and electronic shifting systems that work flawlessly.

As for me, I'm pleased to report that since yesterday's post I've squeezed in two (2) BSNYC Gran Fondon't recon rides.  And yeah, sure, these "recon rides" are simply an excuse for me to fuck off when I should be doing more important things, but rest assured I'm also working very hard to curate the perfect blend of pavement:


And dirt:


Of course, this will require you to go out and purchase some kind of industry-approved "gravel" or "adventure" bicycle in order to participate.  Which one should you buy?  Well, once I've calculated the exact ratio of pavement to dirt you'll be able to narrow down your selection.  See, a 60/40 pavement-to-dirt ratio ride requires a completely different bicycle than a 75/25 one, and even a 2mm bottom bracket height miscalculation can result in serious injury or death.

Also, even with the right bicycle you've also got to run the optimal tire pressure, which is why we'll be stopping at every terrain transition point to adjust ours accordingly.  For example, here's Tire Pressure Checkpoint #17, which is less than ten (10) miles into the ride:


Obviously stopping this often to change pressure will add some time to the ride, but to facilitate transitions I'll be sending out a Tire Pressure Cue Sheet complete with the exact pressure for each checkpoint.  (All pressures will be listed in Pascal of course.)

You'll want to clip that to your bars with the bike map holder from Tuesday's post.

And naturally you'll also want to bring a $159 tire pressure gauge with you:


For those looking for the utmost accuracy in tire pressure! Ideal for fat bike, cyclo-cross and mountain bike applications where 1-2 psi variation can mean the difference between gripping it and ripping it and folding the casing mid-corner. The digital gauge eliminates any parallax error inherent in all analog gauges. 

Yep.

A miscalculation in tire pressure of as little as 6894.76 Pascals can result in serious injury or death.

Can't wait until Omata comes out with an analog version, despite the severe risk of "parallax error," whatever that is.

You can also expect to marvel at some exotic sights as we wend our way through suburbia.  For example, there's plenty of fauna:


(Get it?  "FAUN-a!"  I'm such a pun Fred!)

That's Deer #15, according to the tag in its ear:


Presumably they're numbered so you can tell the village police exactly which deer at your azaleas.

Not to generalize or anything.


Oh save it, Rudolph.

You might even be lucky enough to see one of these precious little lending libraries:


Even though there's an independent bookstore and a beautiful library with river views a short walk away I guess when you live in the 'burbs you need conversation starters:


Plus you get to show off your highbrow literary tastes--though there are definitely places I'd be afraid to approach one of these for fear it's a trap to lure "intellectual" types.  What happens is that when you open it someone shoots you with a dart and the next thing you know you've got a tag in your ear and a "Make America Great Again" tattoo.

Anyway, as you can see I've been quite productive, and you can rest assured there's very little chance I'll include this very, very old carriage road in the route:


Unless someone starts selling a dedicated very, very old carriage road bike of course, which could obviously happen.

Nevertheless, I somehow muddled through on my Milwaukee:


It's now been almost exactly a year since I took delivery of this bicycle, and I can't say a single bad thing about it, because SURPRISE! it's hard to go wrong with a metal frame made by Waterford, medium-reach brakes, standard headsets, and threaded bottom brackets.  Of course, astute readers will notice I've removed the killer fenders, but I was planning to do that anyway since I like to shave my wheelbrows for spring and summer.  (What's a little wheel spray when it's warm and sunny?)

In fact I could easily make this my only curvy-handlebar bike, but as a middle aged Fred I feel like I've earned the right to have one road bike with road pedals and another road bike with mountain bike pedals.

Oh, and of course the Gran Fondo will end at a place where there's beer, which prompted Bob from New Zealand to forward this ad for a place where they don't allow Lycra shorts:


Rest assured I'll pick a place where you're free to steep in your disgusting chamois for as long as you like.

Penultimately, as more and more people purchase bicycles online, here's a service that will come over and assemble it for them:


"E-commerce and the expectations from consumers for a direct model are forcing change in the bike industry. Today all bicycle manufacturers need to have a dependable and efficient last-mile delivery program in place," said Velofix co-founder Chris Guillemet. "The single biggest challenge to fulfill customers expectations for a direct sales model in the bike industry is the need for the bikes to be assembled, fit and for a safety check to be performed."

The company said Velofix Direct can be fully integrated with manufacturers' backend systems.


In other words now your bike and your bike mechanic will arrive by truck, which means your "One Less Car" sticker will have to be amended to say "...but at least two more trucks."

Lastly, here's a Kickstarter for a stem with an integrated light:



Says the inventor:


"Nothing like the Lumineer exists today, and I really don't understand why."

Maybe because it locks you into using a shitty stem that looks like E.T.'s dong?


Needs more hydraulics.

75 comments:

Anonymous said...

Podium on the toilet

Vernal Magina said...

blam.

Jeremiah Johnson said...

Just where is it I could find bear, beaver, and other critters worth cash money when skinned?

BamaPhred said...

Ton Ten

Two Claws said...

Two claws up!

Anonymous said...

Sorry Jeremiah, all beavers are shaved now

Freddy Murcks said...

DEEP HED

DEEP HEAD

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

parallax error

P. Bateman said...

top ten! finally.

Anonymous said...

Top X!

Kraig said...

Hide Rahul? Ick

Vernal Magina said...

Wow. Since when and in what kind of gentrified universe does 1-2 psi on a fat or mountain bike make any kind of practical difference.

A slight gust of wind can account for 1 goddamn Pee-Ess-Eye in a motherfucking bicycle tire what the fuck.

P. Bateman said...


i've always been a big fan of free literature - creative loaferings and the like.

once in San Francisco i went to open a newspaper bin for the local homeless publication and to my surprise the bin contained a large quantity of random pornography!! which of course i picked up and started thumbing through until my friends realized what i had and immediately scolded me and warned me not to touch random pornography on the streets of SF.

i was thrilled. they were disgusted. i still think when life gives you free titties you should accept them.

Spokey said...

lucky 13

top tweenie

Gee business said...

Omata could design an integrated eyeglass/plumb-bob as an analogue antidote to parallax error. Might add unnecessary weight to your kit though.

Spokey said...


damn you bateman. took Triskaidekaphobia out from under me

Gertie said...

It was his finger that lit up on the end you sicko.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Vernal Mangina,

You're dealing with such low pressure on a fat bike (single digits) that the line between "just right" and the tire folding over is very thin...though the idea you need a $160 gauge to dial it in is pretty funny.

Doubly so now that I know what "parallax error" is.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

P. Bateman said...

you can have it tomorrow. on a friday no less.

gsport george said...

Someone needs to organise a ride ending at the plough hotel and then simply have everyone remove their shorts before entering the establishment to keep them happy.

P. Bateman said...

the Parallax View is a great little film if that helps anyone decide on that $159 gayge.

balls™ said...

Maybe it's because I'm turning into a retrogrouch, or maybe I'm just lazy and stupid, but...

Bicycles are perfect without charging batteries or bleeding hydraulic lines. Stop making them more complicated (and more expensive).

Done.

Blow me.

BamaPhred said...

I'll go with lazy, anyway. I don't want any greasy azz hydraulic fluid leaking all over my bike and clothes. Next thing we'll have a special valve off the hydro line to apply chain lube in the precise amount at the link that needs it at the moment. Better for the environment, saves the weight of excess chain lube, improves fitness, increases watts, yada yada yada

I'm down to +1 bikes now, got rid of the n bikes. Now if I could just get these canti's to stop like discs.....

Vernal Magina said...

Weird, all this time I just assumed fat bikes required even less diligence on tire pressure than the average mountain bike --

Probably since most fat bikes I see in the city are by casual riders who ride them in lieu of a much less fashionable beach cruiser.

... kind of funny to picture all those fat bike city cruisers chatting to each other at stoplights about #whatpressureyourunning, though!

clyde said...

TOPPUS XXV .... ( $&@#% it)

Anonymous said...

I have an appropriate adventure bike, count me in for the gran faundon't! the 2016 Scran faundon't: the ride that will redefine epic©

Anonymous said...

"(What's a little wheel spray when it's warm and sunny?) "
If in San Francisco, rotting pee?

Frickus Rungus said...

This spring I've lost two nuts on my right and one on my left (don't ask).. Luckily, the helpful ace hardware man was kind enough to size up my remaining nuts and get me some replacements. It was really starting to affect my pedaling...

1904 Cadardi said...

PSI? Puh-sha. The only correct unit of pressure is the Barye . As in "Hey Bro, how many Baryes you got?"

BamaPhred
Over on VeloSnooze there's a video of Greg Herbold where he says essentially: Anyone complaining about disc brakes is a whiner. Try getting cantilevers to work well and quietly.

Spokey said...

alas i'm at death's door. i over-pressure my tires when i inflate them. then as the days go by i squeeze each tire until it feels it needs some more air. typically that's about 10lb down. and each and every day i laugh in death's face

as for gauges, a couple years ago i bought an electronic / digital gauge that is supposed to be very accurate. it was from a racing car supply place. bought for those $200 / tire donuts i put on the 300zx. i think it was 50 or 60 bucks. i can't imagine what a $160 gauge will do for me. but i don't use the fancy racing gauge (mostly as i'm to lazy to attach an adapter as it's schrader) or even the $5 one i got from amazon. i just use the one built in to the job blow pro pump. and each and every day i laugh in death's face

Anonymous said...

That Lumineer gotta be pricey. I hear in the video it's made of AL-OO-MIN-I-UM all Brit-style. Rapha hardware!

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

Inspite of Sr. Snob's ramblings to the contrary. Him and his merry band of 2 wheelerers go pretty quick steppy. I was happy to keep up at the rate I did last Fondon't. I don't know if I'll have enuff time to shed these extra pounds for the next upcoming one. We'll see.

Shifting ...
You can have all the shifting you want but it won't make you as capable as the gentleman who rode the last Fondon't on a Raleigh 3 speed! I'm still in awe.
I'd love to do it on my 1956 Schwinn Corvette. ... I'd still love to be able to do it on a properly granny geared bike too !!

vsk

crosspalms said...

You can easily convert any bike into an adventure bike by just leaving your pump, tools, and spare at home. True adventure Freds also leave their lock, wallet, and keys behind.

leroy said...

As I remember last year's Gran Fondon't, Mr. vsk may have been led astray by someone getting text message directions from a dog.

P. Bateman said...

wait? is there a recommended training regimen for the Fondont?

whatweightyouliftin'?

Joe said...

The Gran Fondon't sounds fun, but I'm afraid I'll have to miss out unless an official Gran Fondon't style bicycle is marketed by then. I've scoured all the recent issues of Bicycling, and they haven't yet mentioned if any of the reviewed bikes can 'careen down carriageways with confidence' or 'transition between aquaduct right of ways and country roads without trepidation' or come with the right 1x gearing to handle that short little punch by Wave Hill where the road is in pretty bad shape and often has lots of loose gravel. Maybe next year.

grog said...

Pfft. Skip chains completely and go to hydraulic drive.

P. Bateman said...

also, how many members of your support team are allowed to attend?

at minimum i need two of the girls from my team. am i supposed to wipe my own brow? i think not.

WIPO_rules!!! said...

Because the shifters aren’t tied directly to the movement of the derailleur in the way that they are with a cable setup, you can’t feel what the chain is doing.

Somehow, electronic shifting is immune from this criticism. Oh that's right, Shimano advertises.There's a future in hydraulic transmissions. Unfortunately, it will take as long as it did from Mavic's to whenever Shimano/Sram released theirs.

The reason they built a hydraulic system was Shimano patents. Which is why patent systems need reform. Lots of it.

JLRB said...

Front dealers need to be assertive. None of that wishy washy pansy liberal nonsense. I sent mine to Dale Carnegie training - it was pricey but no more sloppy lazy shifts.

BamaPhred said...

I'll have to do the Fondon't vicariously. I'll just get dropped from a group ride, get lost somewhere close to home, have a few flats, and call The Ms to come pick me up when I run out of tubes and patches. It'll be just like being there, without all the travel and expense!

JLRB said...

derailleurs not dealers

JLRB said...

And wasn't Parallax that Dr. Seuss character

Bryan said...

Suntour had a RD that was indexed instead of the shifter. My friend has one on his Gary Fisher commuter (the RD is also like 1/3 of the way up the chainstay). Crazy times. In a few more years, electronic shifting will go to wireless. I'm slightly surprised it isn't already an offering.

ZZ Top, She's Got Legs said...

Starting Kickstarter Campaign to raise airfare for Babble to attend the BSNYC Gran Fondon't. How many Loonies for a RT?

Grump said...

Remembering Mavic Zap.....around 1993, or so.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Bryan,

SRAM's is wireless.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Comment deleted said...

I am amused by the essentially-Heisenbergian fruitlessness of worrying about one's *exact* tire pressure. Every measurement reduces it.

dop said...

I don't want velofix to integrate anything with my backend system. If they try, I'll call a cop.

JLRB said...

aren't there tires that adjust their own pressure to match the terrain yet?

let the designers develop an app for that

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

Leroy, the reason I stopped when I did was someone said my Rivendell FrumpySac was looking like it was coming off my rear rack and I stopped to vestigte. Then I saw you and the fat tire bike guy.

Comment of that Day ...
"Man you must have spent a lot of time on eBay putting that bike together... "

Really great day.

vsk

the commentariat said...

"Every measurement reduces it."

Sadly, this seems to apply to my aging boners, as well.

Spokey said...


not for a kick-startling. they could measure pressure by introducing counterpressure until it is equalized and take that pressure. why you ask? so we can say fuck-o you Heisenberg and your lack of principals.

DB said...

I would come to the Fondon't and bring my new Milwaukee bike, but I'll be in Washington, DC watching the Nats! I also will be forced to play golf. Torture.

Txzen said...

The seat sure is pushed as far as it can go forward on the 'inventors' bike. Probably because he's locked into a stem that is too long for him.

Mr Wizard said...

A terrain matching self inflating system?
Where's RF when you need him? You could design/install a self inflating system on your hubs and run it off those cartridges you carry anyway. An algorithm could be written to run off your smarting phone incorporating decelerometer, thermometer, compass, sex toy, etc. and it would blue tooth to the valve to decrease or increase pressure. A better idea than leaky hydraulic fluid.

BamaPhred said...

Well VSK

If someone told me my FrumpySac was dangling loosely I wouldn't know whether to be embarrassed and mumble excuse me, check to see if my bibshorts had split, call the unwanted advisor a pervert for looking, or say thank you for noticing. Life is getting so confusing.

Freddie said...

Pressure should be measured by using inchs of Mercury.

Spokey said...

dear mr wizard

let us think outside the wheel. like the peeus (sp?) that has regenerative breaking, the self inflamed tyre should be pumped up by self inflating canister. simply attached a thermal engine to the breaks or rim (i guess rim as it then rotates with the valve simplifying things). the energy transfer cools the rims while recharging the pressure canister.

perhaps roille can provide us with the draft design on the morrow.

Captain Oblivious said...

Freddie at 8:24

Some of us prefer inches of Venus or even Mars over Mercury rising.

bad boy of the north said...

good scout work,scout.

Some guy from upstate said...

Maybe its just the angle, but that looks like one of the celebrated tripod deer of Yonkers. They gave her the number when she was waiting in line to fill out the accident report. No criminality suspected.

McFly said...

Folding your casing in a corner sounds painful.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Will there be a groupetto off the back at the Fondont for the non gravel bike skinny tire road bike Fred crowd? Or at least let us know.the address for post ride beers at the start of the ride?

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

PS I was concerned that today's late post was due to an inadvertent broken digit relapse on International Beaver Day, glad it was for Fondont recon...

babble on said...

Hey!! How do you know what ET's dong looks like??

Wow, that's serendipity for you. Just yesterday, I brought a couple of books to and took a couple of books from the "Free Library" bookshelf a few blocks from here on Trafalgar and 3rd avenue. It's a shelf with a glass door, situated right beside a lovely little bench on a tree lined street in Kitsilano. And though I've been here for years, I only just noticed it a couple of weeks ago. Sherlock I am not.

Roille Fyongyors said...

You guys are on fire with the invention idears. It's a goddamned revolution!

I think if I were a gonna do a self-inflating tire why then I reckon I'd a be a doin it by some gadget somehow inside the hub, like this here idear.

babble on said...

Um, and yes, please. You collect the loonies, and I'll be there with bells on. :)

ken e. said...

tibetan bells? i'll contribute.the avionically challenged can do their own "don'ts".

babble on said...

Are there any Tibetan bike bells??

ken e. said...

the two different sized ones i own are on twine, so not without some finagling.

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Nit Licker said...

Q: Where dat azalea eatin' deer be at?

A: at your azaleas.

acquiesce808 said...

hey, if you need some grandfond don't after party jamz, my new post-klezmer band "Parallax Error" is looking for a gig...

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