Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wednesdayplay noun Wednes·day \ˈwenz-(ˌ)dā, -dē; British also ˈwe-dənz-\

Last week I received an email with the following subject line:

Bike Helmet Breakthrough

And under it were the following words:

Dear Bike Snob,

Imagine staying connected while cycling - without ear buds or wires. This is the safest way to enjoy music or access to your smart phone.
Coros is about to debut its new smart technology helmet - one of the biggest technology advances in cycling. We would love for you to try it out!
The Coros LINX Smart Cycling Helmet connects bikers wirelessly and hands-, ears- and eyes-free to their music, friends, bike mates, voice navigation and ride data. This allows riders to safely get out to enjoy a ride, while also utilizing their smartphone capabilities without the distraction of wires.
Happy to provide advance information to you. The helmet samples we're sending out are the final, consumer model. Would you like me to send one to you? If so, what is your helmet size and shipping address?

Helmets?  Smart technology???  As you can imagine, I immediately responded in the affirmative, and yesterday this arrived by drone at my palatial abode:


I'm pleased to report I've already taken it out for a ride this morning, and you can expect a debriefing tomorrow:


(Spoiler alert: it matches my bike.)

Speaking of helmets, remember the pro-skater-turned-helmet-advocate I mentioned Monday?  Well here's a video forwarded to me by a reader in which he fights four (4) guys at once:



So remember kids: lash out violently if someone calls your heterosexuality into question, but make sure to always wear a helmet when you're riding on the wooden board with wheels.

It's the American way.

As for me, I'm too classy to engage in the fisticuffs.  (And by "classy" I mean cowardly.)  Plus, my looks are my livelihood, and were someone to rearrange my face it could put and end to my media career:


("They say you shouldn't wear underpants with cycling shorts.  I disagree.")

Then again, it's possible the rearrangement could help were it to serendipitously reorder my features into those of Fabio, who knows?


(An uppercut to the jaw could give me a nice butt-chin and a lucrative butter substitute spokesperson contract if the assailant is wearing his class ring.)

The point is I'm classy (sleeveless jersey notwithstanding, and I ain't apologizing for it, either, it was hot as balls), which is why I'm slowly adding EH Works tool rolls to my bikes:


See, first I put one on my travel bike, and it classed it up so much you almost don't notice the mighty tower of headset spacers:


Just kidding, of course you do.  Nothing could distract you from that monstrosity.

Then the other day I was looking at my Milwaukee:


And that old-man-in-the-steamroom saddlebag started to bother my aesthetic sensibilities, which is something I only discovered I had until recently, gargantuan spacer stack and sleeveless jersey notwithstanding.  (Such is the danger of flirting with the world of artisanal handicrafts.)  And so emails were sent, passive voice was used, and then this arrived at my palatial abode by hooded hawk, wrapped in brown paper like a fancy cut of meat:


I realize it's not gift guide season yet but if you're shopping for that special cyclist in your life I can assure you this is the way to go.  In fact, as I unwrapped it, I got angry that nobody has ever gifted me one of these before.  (Well, besides Erica Hanson herself, who handed me the first one in Seattle.)  Instead, it's always that can of Simoniz:



I mean sure, nothing brings out your bike frame's luster like Simoniz, but still.

Alas, there was no mention of tool rolls in the New York Times's recent gear rundown on the eve of the New York City Triathlon:


Though there was the obligatory comparison between the price of the bikes and the price of a random car:

In the swim portion of the swim-bike-run competition, there are goggles and wet suits. In the run, there are sneakers. The middle event, though, is the real showstopper: aerodynamic slivers of carbon fiber on wheels, costing upward of $15,000 — or more than a new Nissan Versa. Huffys with banana seats and baskets on the front are not welcome.

Why is the Nissan Versa suddenly the metric for bicycle prices?  Firstly, there are plenty of cars that would make that bike seem cheap.  Secondly, what is the point of arbitrarily comparing the price of sporting goods to the price of something people in khakis use to get to and from their cubicles?  They have nothing in common apart from rolling on wheels.  It's not like anybody's thinking, "Hmmm, I need a form of transportation.  Should I get the state-of-the-art tridork bike, or the soul-crushing econo-box?  Well, the Versa's cheaper, so I'll get that."  It's like comparing the price of custom ice skates to the price of Payless loafers.

Then again, if you substitute the word "water" with "coffee" and the word "racing" with "riding to work," this description of the bike does make it seem like the ideal commuter:

“So when I’m doing a race, I can actually just stay in my aero position, use this hose or little straw that pulls out, and I can drink water while I’m racing in the aero position without having to sit up, pull the water bottle out, drink from it, close the water bottle, put it back in and then come back down into the aerodynamic position that we’re usually using when we’re racing,” Szekretar said.

Wow, he makes it sound so easy!  Maybe all this guy needed was a more expensive bike:



But of course the real reason to own an expensive triathlon bike is the feeling that your machine is so exotic that it confounds mere mortals (though that does require more car comparisons, the only metric Americans understand):

“This is the equivalent of a Ferrari or a Maserati,” Blyer said. “So you can’t go into your local bike shop, in some cases you can, but a lot of the times if you walk into a bike shop that deals with kids’ bikes or commuting bikes with something like this, they’re going to scratch their head and say sorry.”

Yeah, I don't know about that.  It's still just a bike.  Anybody can adjust it--it doesn't even have disc brakes!  They're probably blowing you off because they don't feel like rummaging around for the meter-long valve extender you need to put air in your tires.

And yes, inflating the tires is the most challenging aspect of owning a triathlon bike, as I found out firsthand:


I may have to do a handmade artisanal bento box "collabo" with EH Works.

72 comments:

clyde said...

First

clyde said...

2nd

clyde said...

The podium is mine

Swood said...

Dangit, just short of podio. Top ten scranus.

N/A said...

Wildcat is planning on debriefing us tomorrow? Joke's on him, I don't even wear briefs!

Ted K. said...

155. Our society tends to regard as a “sickness” any mode of thought or behavior that is inconvenient for the system, and this is plausible because when an individual doesn’t fit into the system it causes pain to the individual as well as problems for the system. Thus the manipulation of an individual to adjust him to the system is seen as a “cure” for a “sickness” and therefore as good.

Matt BK said...

TOPT ENSS

Chazu said...

Tetanus/Taintnus, Top Ten Scranus

BamaPhred said...

This is what as known as the tease. Tune in tomorrow. Well played, Sir Snob, well played.

Anonymous said...

Je suis dans le premier dix.

Chazu said...

Hey I resemble that cube-dweller remark! However, I don't try to compensate for it (or any unfashionable attribute) with tattoos, which is what most of the population of Canada's undercarriage under the age of 60 seem to be doing.

Dave - Everywheere said...

Snobby - I re-read your post about filling up the tri-dork's tyre and I must admit that you may have a future in this blogging business. Thanks for the regurgitated laugh!

Anonymous said...

$66 for a roll of tools? You must be joking. How much do you get paid to push this crap, sellout?

Sax Huret said...

It bums me out that Wilier's Cento model isn't their tri-cycle offering because if it was I could have a bento in my Cento.

The worst part of my twisted musing? It's their aero dork model. You were already halfway there! Italo Svevo wept.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 1:32pm,

The woman who makes tool rolls herself in Seattle is paying me millions of dollars.

This blog is free. So is not buying the tool roll.

If you think writing a bike blog is selling out you're a fucking idiot.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

janinedm said...

So, the music, friends," directions, etc, etc aren't distractions. Wires are distractions. And bluetooth doesn't exist. Mmm'kay.

N/A said...

Hahaha, the people that cry the loudest about "selling out" are envious because they have nothing of worth to sell.



Speaking of which, I love my Brooks saddles!
*adjusts brim of Walz cap*

Dooth said...

If that smart helmet has any brains, it'll sense an impending crash and say, "danger! danger! danger!"

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

It's not the size of the saddle bag that evokes the "old-man-in-the-steamroom" image, it's the tautness of the mounting straps. Mount that bag nice and snug against the seat rails and it can be as big as you like. Leave the straps as loose as possible so that the sack sways back and forth in the breeze and you've got old-man-in-the-steamroom no matter how small the bag is.

ken e. said...

flames of ridicule? jumping in! pay money for a decent product? the whole hemlet debate will be washed away by the deluge of the saggy saddle sack siding saga.

1904 Cadardi said...

N/A

I'm too busy crying that no one wants to buy what I'm selling to be envious. All I ever wanted was to sell out. Is that wrong?

On a beikcycling note, last night I watched a Fred ride slowly up and down my street apparently testing out some new clip-on bars. I saw him again this morning as he slowly commuted, I mean raced, to work in his aero position. I didn't see if he had coffee in a triathlete sippy cup. Amazing how today's post was so eerily prescient. I guess that's why Snob is able to sell out for the big bucks.

Kosher Gelatin Marshmallow said...

Snob, I am a bit concerned. Your mom seems amazing from her appearance in yesterday's blog, but it seems very odd that she would go to such a school were she Jewish. You've made references to your Judaism many times in this blog, but as an orthodox Jew* I can tell you that you're not Jewish if your mom wasn't Jewish. I'm confused and scared. Yes, I have my tallis in a bunch over this. Please clarify.

Sincerely,
A Guy Driving A Sienna at High Speed Through Williamsburg While Typing On His Phone*

*Not really. But I am Jewish. My mom's Jewish. So there.

Bryan said...

I ordered one of those tool rolls the day you first posted about procuring one. It was shipped and in my grubby little fingers a mere two days after ordering. I love it! I'm still slightly paranoid about it falling off or dropping something out of it and cinch it down tight. I probably don't need to, though.

N/A said...

1904 Cadardi:
I am trying my hardest to sell out. t'aint wrong at all.

Bryan said...

@Anon @ 13:32 $66 for the tool roll? I think the one I selected came slightly over $50 - shipped! Darn good deal for something handmade right here in the US of A. I guess keep buying stuff from Wiggle, Performance, and Nashbar. Nothing wrong with that. Have you looked at the other companies advertising on this blog? Brooks, Rivendell, etc. EH Works follows suit, in aesthetics, craftsmanship, and pricing. At least you know the money went to an American, who is hand making the rolls herself and not going to a company with kids making them in the 3rd world.

N/A said...

You want something pendulous hanging from your saddle? Check out these here lights.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous Kosher Gelatin Marshmallow,

When have I ever said I was Jewish?

--Wildcat Rock Machine

N/A said...

I'm just going to leave this here. Pay me no mind.

Anonymous said...

I was going to let the sleeveless jersey slide but then you had to go and bring it up again. It did nicely showcase what appeared to be some fairly involved upper arm tattoos? No regrets there.

dancesonpedals said...

Another hard-hitting story from the New York Times: Triathletes Buy Expensive Bikes!

A follow up to their earlier story, that triathletes spend a lot of money on training.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 2:57pm,

Nope, no regrets. Most of them are over 20 years old, they're just there, like my many, many moles. Not saying if I woke up and they were gone I'd run out and replace them, but actual regret? Not at all.

--Wildcat Etc.

Anonymous said...

kosher gelatin person,

I didn't know that. Can't a person convert to Judaism and become Jewish regardless of his mothers background? My wife is a Jew, although I'm not (and not thinking of converting because I think all religions are basically silly superstitions) but was just curious as I know some people who have converted and apparently wrongly consider themselves to be Jews (by religion not race). Or will those people never be really considered true Jews by the real Fred Jews? Not casting aspersions, just gathering information. L'Chaim

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

So there I was in my pounds, I mean LBS, or Loco Bike Shop and was waiting for the guy to get me a tube or something and smoe gentleman rolls a heavy Schwinn/Peugeot/Tank up to the counter and was looking to get his brakes either adjusted or get new pads. They were some Weinmann / M.A.F.A.C kind of centerpulls.
With a straight face, the shop owner says "Hmm, we don't service these, these are really old, you should look into getting a newer bike.

Now I'm all about Capitalismo and stuff but, I have a conscience. Maybe not as finely tuned as it should be as I did not tell the guy immediately in front of everyone, "Hey, I'll do it for nothin."

vsk

Kosher Gelatin Marshmallow said...

I am driving my Sienna too fast to search through the entire site. I can't drive, search on my phone AND eat this kreplach soup at once, what am I, an octopus? Certainly not! An octopus is about as kosher as an abusive nun.

Did I did make an assumption based on your references, which even for a New Yorker were excessively Jewie? Yes I did. And listen boychick: I know several other readers, both Jews and goyim, who also came to that conclusion. In 2008 (I'm going from MEMORY) you said something like "everyone assumes I'm Jewish" and then DIDN'T DENY IT. You know what that means? JEWISH! (I'm now screaming like Gilbert Gottfried, who you'll probably tell me also isn't Jewish!)

Weiss is pretty Jewish too, bubbalah. We're talking NYC. Your verkakte first name sounds a bit goyische, I'll admit. But I guess it was a blind spot like the one in my Sienna's side mirror.

A shanda fur die cyclists. A shanda, Eben! The blog is trayfe? I'll have to read it alone in the Sienna now?

I was going to invite you to Kiryas Joel to ride mountain bikes. Now what?

Old timer said...

Huh? What?

Anonymous said...

I'm rubbing 40 year old Campy technology on one of my rides and on the very, very rare occasion when I need a replacement part I just go on ebay. It's fairly easy.

N/A said...

KGM, why don't you just ask to examine his schmeckle and let's get this over with, for cryin' out loud.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Kosher Gelatin Marshmallow,

Here's the simple answer: paternal side of my family is of Jewish background, mother's side is not. I was not raised into any religion. Jewish culture obviously informs my identity but religiously speaking I don't subscribe to Judaism or any other cult.

--Wildcat Etc.

Anonymous said...

I'm of Italian and Irish lineage and people sometimes think I'm Jewish. I think it is the swarthiness and maybe the big dong? Point being, you can't always tell a book from it's cover. I'm guessing our esteemed host's mother is a goy and his dad (Weiss) is Jewish. Who cares really.

Anonymous said...

I nailed it.

Kosher Gelatin Marshmallow said...

I'm the same! I just play a Hasid in the comments section (and usually use another name).

Thanks for clarifying even though it wasn't necessary. Have your mom do a blog post!

1904 Cadardi said...

WCRM,

You "don't subscribe to... any other cult"? Really? The cult of cyclists doesn't count? We have wacky clothes, crazy rituals, myths, initiation rites, brain washing, even fractious infighting. What are we lacking?

The UCI/USCF needs to be informed and this must be remedied!

Freddy Murcks said...

I can't believe it's not bloo tooth connected.

crosspalms said...

If that tool roll is big enough, I'll put a ukelele in there. Then I don't need the fancy helmet when I want a little music with my ride.

dan said...

To be fair, I think dealing with cables that run inside a bike is a colossal pain in the butt, and the super-duper-high-end bikes tend to have that sort of thing a lot. Park sells some sort of special magnetic thingamajig just for this purpose, for instance: http://www.parktool.com/product/internal-cable-routing-kit-ir-1

Sarah Silverman said...

I'm Jewish, but I can also play Italian, or a Black Irish.

Comment deleted said...

I wish to study more triathlete-bike-handling-tips videos, please.

wishiwasmerckx said...

I won't again be drawn into this debate.

Just own up to it, Jewboy!

BikeSnobNYC said...

wishiwasmerckx,

Well I am a Tay-Sachs carrier...

--Wildcat Etc.

Sax Huret said...

Victor Kaminski, I call a shop and ask if they'll service my outdated imperialist dogma cycle (with centerpulls, freewheel hub gears, European made components, and other sundry antiquities) precisely to avoid such situations.

wishiwasmerckx said...

To elucidate for the benefit of those lacking in recall, following a lengthy debate, we previously determined that Mr. Weiss is Schrodinger's Jew, a blank canvas upon which we project our own impressions and expectations of his devoutness and his Judaism.

Just Say No to Bogarting said...

Hey Clyde, Don't Bogart that joint. As the Brits say, it's poor form.

HDEB said...

Appreciate your openness about your background Bike Snob. I am an adopted Colombian who was raised in a predominantly Jewish south-shore Long Island town, my Mom is Irish Catholic raised in Marble Hill, my Dad was Jewish raised in Flatbush. What does that make me? A knish eating cyclist who can climb well and enjoys alcohol : )

Anonymous said...

Is it reasonable to assume that Clyde's posts originated from the Firth of Clyde, Scotland.

Frickus Rungus said...

I thought wildcat WAS a cult leader. He of the devine verbosity has been known through the ages by many names: including, but not limited to: BSNYC, RTMS, WCRM, etc. I guess it was all a Lob damn lie! I'm going to have to change my childrens names to Froome and Segan instead of Pieplate and Pistadex...

dancesonpedals said...

It's not the size of your tool roll, it's what you do with it.

clyde said...

I can't help it the dope was STRONG

JLRB said...

You should trademark this and put it on stuff

"If you think writing a bike blog is selling out you're a fucking idiot."

babble on said...

Hear Hear!! I second that opinion. Or is it maybe third?

And oh goody. Tomorrow'a post shold be good for some fun and games. Mr fancy pants smart healment hasn't been doing his research, and nobody rips a new hole better than Lob's own Snobi Wan. :)

babble on said...

Mr Cadardi? OMG yes yes yes on all counts! We came out to see snobberdood's first bike release ride and chat, where he mentioned something about how the best way to get bikes to stick to mainstream culture is to turn it into a religion, which is pure fucking genius. And I want to be the Pope of that one, too.

And prescient? Fuck yeah. Yesterday, (well technically the day before, bit I haven't slept yet, so it's still my birthday:) before I read his mum's witty little ditty on Catholicism, I had a very long and in depth text (!) conversation with a lovely and well meaning young relative who keeps trying to get me to join his particular brand of Bible based cult.

Far as I'm concerned, religion is the root of so much evil. There are a couple of tried and true ways to find god: one of em involves a bike, and the other happens between the sheets (generally speaking) in the arms of someone you love. Pretty simple, really.


babble on said...

First *book release, etc.

Anonymous said...

Mr Snob,

Another triumph of artisinal blog post curation today, sir.

You know that they take the little hoods off the hawks before they fly, right? Though in this day and age, I can imagine a helmet mime in a passing passenger aircraft seeing the hawk and, while pressing her face as hard as possible against the window, yelling "helmet!, helmet!, helmet!" at it and pointing to her head.

Heh, I used the term "this day and age". Damn I getting old.

ZigaK said...

Here here

Bromptonaut said...

I look forward to your review of the Smart healment, which I assume will be entirely consistent with December 2015's review of Livalls's similar Kickstarter product that they didn't send you. Or not.

I supported the Livall Kickstarter, planning a nice Christmas present for myself. The hi-tech head case arrived in April, and it's actually very good for those times when a healment is a sensible thing to wear (discuss if you wish). British drivers seem to appreciate the built-in blinkies and give me a bit more space (Middle aged man on clown bike + blinky helmet => 'Accident' waiting to happen => keep out of his way!).

According to Kickstarter, the handlebar controller for the indicator light function is now in the post to me.

How will the healment mimes cope if integrated flashing lights & Bluetooth connectivity become part of their concern for the survival of humanity? Suggestions welcome.

clyde said...

Nay - my posts at artisanally curated from the land of milk and honey - Oregon.

N/A said...

Happy birthday (belatedly), Ms. Babble.

66 said...

67

67 said...

68

BamaPhred said...

Ahhhhh the coveted 69 podium

Anonymous said...

"If you're not paying for the product, you are the product."

This blog isn't free. We pay for it with our page clicks and artisanal bike tool purchases. Which is why you got into bed with all these companies to shill their products.

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Coros Cycling said...

We had no idea Cipo's name meant small onions. Hilarious and relevant on so many levels. And that you stayed with us, wet your pants, commented on the limiting social prospects of the average cyclist, and found a way to wax on about Coros Smart Helmets for a week while you rode 4 mph - not just solid, truly impressive. Even though your particular case is definitely on the unique side, we've paid close attention.

Since we're on Kickstarter soon (9/7), we have been triple checking what happened to you - especially on the app - to be sure that remains rare....So far so good with 3 weeks to go to our Kickstarter.

Only "guidance" (since you asked) for now is that staying connected, especially in more remote places/mountain biking, to get music, calls, etc etc sometimes just doesn't work on smart phones. It's usually better on roads, in cities, when you don't stream music, which might also be why your phone drained out in seconds? Our helmet is designed mostly for road so maybe try a road ride out and see what happens. Anyway, if you want to talk through it all, we're happy to run through it with you. In meantime, thanks for keeping it real.