Monday, September 19, 2016

A brief look at who's disrupting what and how.

We've seen some indispensable innovation in recent years when it comes to the sporting bicycle.  For example, before electronic shifting, you had to press a button in order to change gears.  Crazy, right?!?  Well, things are much easier today.  Now all you have to do is press a button.

Sadly, water bottle cage development has not kept pace with the relentless pace of bicycle product development--until now.  Meet the Fabric cageless water bottle mount, the system nobody asked for and nobody will want now that it's here:


Yes, say goodbye to the arduous days of simply grabbing a bottle, taking a swig of your beverage of choice, and returning it to the frame of your bicycle without so much as shifting your gaze from the road.  Now you've got to line your bottle up perfectly with a pair of mounting studs:

In either case, the bottle is easy to grab with one hand, just as you would with a normal bottle and cage. The return trip is bit tricky, however, and takes some getting used to. We struggled to get the bottle back on the studs without looking down each time, even after several weeks of using the system.

Sounds great!  In fact, I just installed new smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on my ceiling over the weekend, and interestingly this appears to utilize the exact same mounting system.  And sure, I don't mind doing that once every ten years, but having to deal with a pair of mounting studs every time I want to take a sip of water is patently ridiculous.  Just ask ace bottle marksman Mario Cipollini:


("Yes, is very silly design.  In la casa di Cipollini, stud mount you!")

And there you have it.

By the way, they didn't just screw up the mounting system.  The bottle itself is also designed to choke you:

The lid secures tightly to the bottle and the nozzle opens and closes by pushing or pulling up on it. Inside the nozzle is a soft silicon flow fitting that regulates the flow of water in and out of the bottle. On one of our bottles, this piece detached from the nozzle and we nearly swallowed it mid-gulp. It’s tough to get this piece securely back in place so we had to replace the lid with a new one to keep the bottle functioning properly.

So basically if you don't crash trying to put your bottle back then you'll certainly go down when that chunk of silicon gets lodged in your esophagus--all to save like 30 grams!  Perhaps this is part of a conspiracy to rid the cycling world of Freds and weight weenies once and for all--though ostensibly it's also useful for cyclocross:

We found the cageless design to be especially useful for cyclocross practice and racing when we wanted to carry a bottle with us on warm-up laps but didn’t want to race with a cage. Instead of installing and removing a normal water bottle cage for each race, Fabric’s cageless system allowed us to carry the bottle when we wanted it and then remove it on the start line, leaving plenty of room in the bike’s front triangle for shouldering our bike.

Back when I was riding the cyclocross we used to just stick a bottle in our jersey pockets--or, you know, live life on the edge by riding our 10-minute warm-up laps without carrying water with us.  (And yes, of course true Cyclocross Freds wear skinsuits without big pockets, but you're supposed to wear a regular jersey over them while warming up, I mean come on.)

And the lowly water bottle cage isn't the only commonplace item being "disrupted" into oblivion.  Now you can also help fund a 40-function hooded sweatshirt!



Rest assured at least a small handful of these functions are cycling-specific.  Fore example, it emits an ambiguous neon halo around your head that does nothing to communicate which direction you're traveling in:


It also has turn signals for drivers to ignore:


Which double as warning lights when you're on foot so you don't get hit by one of those pesky cyclists:


Then there's the armpit ventilation system, which I'm assuming is bicycle specific since he's wearing a helmet, though maybe the sorts of people who wear "smart jackets" also wear helmets while running:


For best results, pair with some "smart pants" featuring a similar crotchal ventilation system.

Or, if you decide "fuck bikes" and hop in an Uber instead, it's equipped with both a neck pillow:


And a sleep shade:


Really, the only thing it's missing is an airbag:

A video posted by abc3d (@abc3d_) on

Though it does work as a TV remote control, so there you go:


Lastly, here's a new video from Specialized explaining their new Fred bike suspension system:



Hey, whatever happened to that new suspension stem on Kickstarter?


Looks like a feasting insect.

65 comments:

Ted K. said...

174. On the other hand it is possible that human control over the machines may be retained. In that case the average man may have control over certain private machines of his own, such as his car or his personal computer, but control over large systems of machines will be in the hands of a tiny elite—just as it is today, but with two differences. Due to improved techniques the elite will have greater control over the masses; and because human work will no longer be necessary the masses will be superfluous, a useless burden on the system. If the elite is ruthless they may simply decide to exterminate the mass of humanity. If they are humane they may use propaganda or other psychological or biological techniques to reduce the birth rate until the mass of humanity becomes extinct, leaving the world to the elite. Or, if the elite consists of soft- hearted liberals, they may decide to play the role of good shepherds to the rest of the human race. They will see to it that everyone’s physical needs are satisfied, that all children are raised under psychologically hygienic conditions, that everyone has a wholesome hobby to keep him busy, and that anyone who may become dissatisfied undergoes “treatment” to cure his “problem.” Of course, life will be so purposeless that people will have to be biologically or psychologically engineered either to remove their need for the power process or to make them “sublimate” their drive for power into some harmless hobby. These engineered human beings may be happy in such a society, but they most certainly will not be free. They will have been reduced to the status of domestic animals.

Anonymous said...

Podium?

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Scrotiatious!

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Pudendum!

Two Claws said...

Two Claws Up!

Jasper said...

Early doors

Anonymous said...

top ten ya scrotonauts!

N/A said...

I'm disrupting the status quo with a spicy burrito!

Anonymous said...

Je suis dans le premier dix.

Anonymous said...

I like how the roobay rider in the cartoon looks like my granddad. At least they know who their customer is.

N/A said...

Lots of Fred-tastic goodness in today's post, Wildcat.


Is that hoodie Boost 148 compliant? Gravel-ready?

Anonymous said...

https://www.instagram.com/p/BKbp3uLjpTQ/

Anonymous said...

The rider in the cartoon looks like your graddad giving head anyway.

CommieCanuck said...

My God, just putting on his jacket and he was attacked by a blancmange.

Sigh, This is a blancmange.

James said...

can't wait to see what that hoodie does when I put it in my smart Maytag.

Anonymous said...

isn't cyclocross dead yet?

MattC said...

Yeah, but they left out the wireless tire-pressure monitoring system from the hoodie! AND, they also left out the "how much water do you have left in your cageless bottles" monitoring feature...my GOD...you'd actually have to LOOK AT IT, or even harder, PICK IT UP to figure that out! What good is that hoodie without those VITAL features? A smart hoodie...yeah, well...it's not very smart without those two features. Stupid idea.

Ted Frelke said...

I searched for 40 minutes for that Hovding video on Friday.

Life hates me.

MattC said...

Oh...and the suspension stem? STUPID! 60 to 70% of your weight is on the SEAT...THAT's what needs suspending, not the bars! I've noticed my ARMS do a pretty good job of isolating road vibrations from my body...however my ass does a very poor job in the same department. And what does that dang suspension stem weigh anyway? Quite a bit more than a regular stem I'd bet.

Great Post WCR...any more stupid ideas we can slam today? I'm on a ROLL!

Chazu said...

Ted K is not quite as amusing today as he was last week. Why? Because bombers are assholes, and we're reminded of that fact on a periodic basis.

Hee Haw the Barista said...

MAND IBLE

misster pissta said...

A water bottle cage system very similar to that one was made decades ago by rhode gear or cannondale..anyone else remeber it??

JuanOffhue said...

In other news, Chicago has replaced New York as the best cycling city in the U.S. in Bicycling magazine’s eyes:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-bicycling-magazine-rating-20160917-story.html

Grump said...

Snobby, about 20-25 years ago, there was a waterbottle holder that worked with Velcro. The sides of the bottle were covered with the "loops", and a curved "holder" on the bike was lined with the "hooks".....(Looked dorky, but I bet it worked)
On your "shock" video, near the end, the rider was riding next to some cows. As soon as I saw them, I thought..."Bullshit".



RB1 said...

I never get tired of watching that neck pillow video.

Cafee O'Lay said...

who the hell needs a bottle mount on the tubes in this modern world. Extra large cup holder on the bar to hold you this and that latte (this and that = 2 drops o this, a shaving of that, stirred not shaken, heat to exactly....)

bad boy of the north said...

the praying mantis suspension system.i'm sure there's a lot of bugs to work out.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

A cyclist's arms should be relaxed and hands should be holding the bars lightly, not with a death grip. That Special-Ed suspension stem will be the perfect complement for the Freds that pump their upper bodies fore and aft as the climb hills, increasing the wasted energy and motion that's not going into the pedals.

Here's a thought, if the bars and bike are too stiff, try running wider tires at lower #whatpressureyourunnin!

And can I get that hoodie with a built-in Heimlich maneuver option for when I'm choking on the nipple from that half-assed water bottle?

Anonymous said...

"For example, before electronic shifting, you had to press a button in order to change gears. Crazy, right?!? Well, things are much easier today. Now all you have to do is press a button."

You mean - charge the battery and THEN press the button....

BamaPhred said...

Excellent post Sir Snob, on a day when my mind is all over the map. Don't know how you do it, but thanks.

CommieCanuck said...

No one is listening guys, back in the early days of mountain biking, arms were the front suspension, and you got better handling and lighter weight from a solid fork bike, now they stick those stupid suspended forks on kids bikes to just add weight and cost.
So, the fat bike was created, with cushy low pressure tires, lasted about a month before twats started putting suspension forks on fat bikes, asking the question, why? Fuck why?
Comfort, the obsession with making cycling easier, suspension, turn signals, electric motors, it's all just designed to ease hipsters into their first Hyundai lease.
My favorite is still the guy who shows up to Cat 6 races with thousands of junk miles under his belt, then uses a motorized tire inflator.
I didn't get to be Canada's Prince of the Cobbles with adjustable compression and rebound damping and preload. Woosies.

Anonymous said...

Just rode Cino Heroica 2 weeks ago in Montana. Nothing to do with L'Eroica, other than being a Fredly event on old bikes. And L'Eroica may sue your for having Heroica on your blog.

But coming from the flat smooth paved roads of Chicago to mountain passes on rough gravel roads, that Fredly shock would have been a benefit, if it had been invented 30 years ago so it would qualify for this Old Fred event.

While steep ascents on gravel are difficult, it is nothing to the beating you take on a gravel, washboard descent. My scranus and hands are still numb.

CommieCanuck said...

You mean - charge the battery and THEN press the button....

No first make the credit card payment or avoid the credit agency's phone calls, then charge the battery for several hours, eating Funyuns, then...what were we doing again?, fuck it , we're in the Elantra for another Funyuns run.

PHUN YUNS

Anonymous said...

Finally! A hoodie that can facilitate armpit farts.

art said...

Suspension stems make me miss the '90s. Along with Brikos, anodized parts, and being too young to understand unsprung mass.

izdildos said...

I watched the Specialized video without sound, and what I can gather from it is that for some reason we're going to put a spring-loaded shake-weight in a head tube because roads are bumpy.

Anonymous said...

Same shit - different day. Is nobody at the Big-S old enough to remember SoftRide? A dumb idea then, a dumb idea now. But then again, lots of Freds and Fredinas popped for those bikes with the rubber baby buggy bumpers in 'em, so what do I know?
As to the hoodie, these folks next invention (brain fart) will be one of those "enema bags" you see folks wearing instead of using an old-fashioned water bottle - but this one'll be hooked up to an electronic rectal probe that will automatically hydrate you as you ride...and perhaps maintain your tire pressure as well. Kickstart me baby!!!

Winky said...

Girvin flex-stems were the bomb. The Big-S continues to innovate garbage.

Mark S. Lafite said...

HOVDING!!! Thanks, Snobby, for that blast from the near-past.

Dooth said...

Specialized Rubaix penis pumps are a handy complement to dick brakes.

jodphoto said...

Specialized,

Smoothen is not a word.

1904 Cadardi said...

@Grump,

I had one of those Velcro bottle holder system thingies and it actually worked for a while. There were a few design flaws: eventually the loop portion wore out so the bottle wasn't held that tightly, if the bottle is filled with anything containing sugar that gets spilled on the outside the fabric gets crusty, the fabric on the outside of the bottle also get's soaked with road spray which makes the velcro hold less tightly, the glue bond between the bottle and fabric begins to fail over time and you couldn't buy replacement bottles. So yeah it sucked.

I was young, naive and the American Classic weldless bottle cage hadn't been invented yet.

1904 Cadardi said...

@jodphoto

Neither is colorway, but that doesn't seem to stop the marketeers.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Jodphoto, irregardless of the fact that smoothen is not a word, would a Specialized flex stem with Zertz smoothen things out even more?

1904 Cadardi said...

Snob,

Riding cyclocross with one of those fancy-pants new bottles seems like a bad idea. The appropriate grip for shouldering the bike is on the down tube, right where the bottle buttons would be. Or are kids these days ignoring the old ways and picking up their bikes by the top tubes?

Besides, real cross bikes don't have bottle bosses (mine does, but it's not a real cross bike much like I'm not a real cyclocrosser).

Frickus Rungus said...

Here's a bike with a built in trash can: http://www.diamondback.com/andean

N/A said...

A cyclocrossdresser wearing a skinsuit makes me think of Silence Of The Lambs on bieks. Anybody else? Just me, then? Ok.

dem_bieks said...

Instead of installing and removing a normal water bottle cage for each race,

There is your first mistake.

Speshulized reinvented the softride stem. Seems like a litigation party waiting to happen.

Anonymous said...

James at 12:17 PM,

They'll either fight each other to the death or they'll form an alliance to subjugate humanity.

Hook,Line and Stinker said...

Lt oblivio

Irregardless is not a word!!!!!

(Happy now)

Remind me to never race cross said...

How has this sport ever survived with this warm up laps with bottles in your warmup lap clothes

wishiwasmerckx said...

Word of the day: vicenarian.

You are welcome.

Frickus Rungus said...

I just watched the spazz-alied video. It starts out by describing some kind of man-machine bestiality, then goes on to talk about bumping anatomy and upward thrusts. Then it climaxes with an animated picture of a dildo that was made with a bead-spring and an empty bottle of Oxycontin.
What are they announcing?

EricBikeCO said...

Pit zippers are fuck the world good in a coat; even a dumb ass coat.

Old timer said...

Huh? What?

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Hook, Line & Stinker, I know, which is why I used it in that instance. Regards

Barry Tantlinger said...

They will have to pry my King cages from my cold, dead hands.

Some guy from upstate said...

I thought true cyclocross Freds do their warm-ups with their "B" bike set up on a trainer using a dedicated spare wheel with a trainer-specific tire. Hey - they need a place to put the bottle - look for my new "water bottle valet" Kickstarter!

And someone tell Specialized that Harley-Davidson gave up on suspending the rider instead of the bike with the introduction of the Duo-Glide in 1958.

Blaue Reiter said...

Anonymous 1:41

Chicago has "flat smooth paved" roads?!? You could have warmed up for those washboard descents by running laps on Kinzie!

crosspalms said...

Blaue Reiter,
Amen. And lots of our side streets.

Meanwhile, how come La-Z-Boy hasn't started making bikes?

The Angry Inch said...

I once got "disrupted" by some fish tacos that I got from a food truck. At least then, the blood tests I got in the ER allowed me to get a leg up on a blossoming syphilis infection. So, let's think positive boys and girls. Maybe there are some unforeseen bennies just waiting to be discovered amongst all of this seemingly superfluous "disrupter" detritus? Yeah...me neither.

McFly said...

Could one not just permanently mount the bottle to the frame and just pick the bike up to take a drink? I know it seems like a fuss but pulling it out is such a nuisance.

NourskSiklist said...

Meesa dusagreen wid yousa, meesa sayen "smoothen" issa favorite worden ever

Anonymous said...

"Anatomy of a bump". Jebus, there is so much wrong science in there I don't even know where to begin. There is a spring that get's compressed like any other suspension system.. Energy is lost compressing the spring, "some" energy is returned when the spring uncompresses... the difference between the two is an energy penalty that can only be paid by your legs.

Fucking science.. I love dis shit.

rovinato said...

Man, I'm fat and old, and one thing I've never thought while riding on the hellscape known as Los Angeles roads is "I wish I had an inch or so of suspension above the fork to tame these shitty roads." I'm usually thinking about not getting doored, smashed, squished, or flattened. Like others have already said, my arms do a good job with the bumps. Besides what little core strength I maintain is under my sweet protective blubber shell I've proudly sort of tried to use to keep my hands only lightly on the bars. Isn't that the point?