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:
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:
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.
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.