Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A Quick Entry in the Journal of Irrelevance

Forgive me for posting and dashing, but today's post by necessity must be a short one.  This is because my life as a semi-professional bike blogger is busier than you can possibly imagine.  For example, the other day I spent lots of time on location riding my bicycle for an upcoming Brooks blog post:


I realize this picture raises more questions than it answers, such as:

--Where is that?

--Is this going to be part of next year's BSNYC Gran Fondon't cours?

And, most importantly:

--WHAT PRESSURE WERE YOU RUNNING?!?

Well, my upcoming Brooks blog post will answer virtually none of these questions, but I'll let you know when they publish it nevertheless.

Speaking of #whatpressureyourunning, Bicycling wants you to know that you should be keeping a tire pressure journal:


No, seriously, this is apparently a real thing:

Gear You’ll Need
  • Cyclocross bike, preferably with tires similar to those you race with or ride regularly.
  • --A good floor pump with a quality gauge, or a mediocre floor pump and quality hand-held pressure gauge.
  • A diary or log to keep track of starting points and pressure changes. 
Note: Try to use the same pump or hand-held pressure gauge every time you make a change to pressure.

The only thing more embarrassing than someone finding your diary and reading your innermost thoughts and feelings is someone finding your tire pressure diary and discovering that you are the sort of terminal Fred who keeps a tire pressure diary--though worst of all is a diary that conflates the two:

Dear Diary,

Today I dropped my tire pressure by 2.5psi.  It felt strange and unfamiliar, yet supple and yielding, like a tentative lover's touch.  I hope nobody else at the cyclocross clinic could see my obvious excitement through my Rapha bibs.  Tomorrow I may go even lower...if I dare.

I dunno, it seems to me you can simply mess around with your tire pressure without taking the additional step of journaling the whole process, but maybe I just don't take cycling seriously enough:

Adjust

Once you get back to your start point, note in your journal how your tires felt. If you were worried you were going to roll them off you rims, add a couple psi and write down that new number. they felt skittery, let out a psi or two. Remember, with low-volume tires like you have on your cyclocross bike, small changes in tire pressure can have big results. It’s best to keep changes to the 1 to 2psi range to start and then, once you get comfortable riding low, play with smaller adjustments (0.5 to 1psi changes).

That sounds sphincter-tighteningly tedious.

Though selfishly I do hope this whole tire journaling really takes off, because believe it or not there is such a thing as a Bike Snob journal:


Hey, what can I say?  Chronicle, who published by first three books, are way into the journals, so a couple or so years back we did one that says funny bike-related stuff on every page.  Until now I've only been using my personal copy as a training log:


But clearly I need to start a fresh log* for tire pressure as well.

*[Ha, ha, he said "fresh log," gigglechortle gigglechortle, etc.]

Maybe this will become the hot new must-have cyclocross accessory and I can finally retire.

And I shouldn't even have to mention that in addition to using state-of-the-art digital tire gauge like this one:


(If you use a $159 tire pressure gauge you might also want to invest in a torque wrench to loosen up that sphincter.)

 You should also log your tire pressure with a $580 Meisterst├╝ck Classique fountain pen:


The handcrafted gold nib is laterally stiff yet vertically compliant, and the pen even has a "piston converter," which I don't even know what that is.

It's also made of "deep black precious resin," which I assume is the writing instrument equivalent of high-modulus carbon fiber.

And with that, I'm taking off, for as I said necessity necessitates the curation of a somewhat truncated post today.  Rest assured I'll be back tomorrow (even though it's a school holiday AGAIN), and in the meantime happy journaling.

Dashing off now.

Until tomorrow,

I remain,

Yours in expertly-curated tire pressure,

Etc.,


--Wildcat Rock Machine



80 comments:

dnk said...

Back in the saddle!

JLRB said...

#!?

dnk said...

Of my old hoss Mr. Hosseyhoss

JLRB said...

Damn store front images!!!

How was I to know there was a tire pressure store in the mix?!?

Ted K. said...

183. But an ideology, in order to gain enthusiastic support, must have a positive ideal as well as a negative one; it must be FOR something as well as AGAINST something. The positive ideal that we propose is Nature. That is, WILD nature: those aspects of the functioning of the Earth and its living things that are independent of human management and free of human interference and control. And with wild nature we include human nature, by which we mean those aspects of the functioning of the human individual that are not subject to regulation by organized society but are products of chance, or free will, or God (depending on your religious or philosophical opinions).

dnk said...

My hoss's tire pressure is 4. 4 European units.

Bryan said...

Where is that picture? It's purty. Fall is a wonderful time of year, especially if you happen to be a road fred - the other freds are taking off onto the dirt leaving me wide, open spaces without them mucking it all up. I usually wait until winter, or at least late fall, to go off road.

Freddy Murcks said...

I keep a penis pressure journal to track every time I get a stiffy, how long it lasts, whether or not I am able to do anything productive with it, etc. I find it really helps with my performance.

wishiwasmerckx said...

I have been riding competitively since 1983, and cannot recall a single time where my tires felt "skittery," although if I have consumed enough adult beverages, I have been known to break out a chorus or two of "skidamarink a dink a dink, skideramarink a doo"

Also, I call bullshit on somebody being able to recognize a 1/2 lb difference in tire pressure. That's some real Princess and the Pea bullshit right there. Oh, wait, perhaps my scranular area is simply too unrefined to notice?

ken e. said...

pedaling here! tire pressure? less is more.

Snob's Rabbi said...

You had better fucking not post on Yom Kippor!

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

FRES HLOG

Anonymous said...

I believe torque wrenches age used to TIGHTEN things to a desired tightness, I have not heard of using a torque wrench to loosen things.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 11:28am,

You use a torque wrench to bring a fastener to a desires tightness, even if that tightness is less than where you started out.

--Wildcat Etc.

Old timer said...

Huh? What?

bad boy of the north said...

Early in early out

Victor Kaminski said...

******** PLEASE BE CAREFUL !!!!!!!

vsk said ...

What a really range of emotion phucked up commute I had this morning.

On 9th St and 3rd ave found a great 12" crescent wrench. Along Bond St had a nice interaction with a cool dude on a pink + black Serrotta. I was jealous of his fastness!

Got to Jay + Tillary in the midst of all this phucking construction. I mean, NYC is full. No one needs more super-luxo boxes to live in any more. The bubble will burst.
Anyway, got to Jay + Tillary and there's a truck blocking east bound Tillary from a turn. Cop cars, ambulances, etc. A helmet laying there and smear and blood all around. I don't know why the stuff was on the outside of the truck's turning path, I hope the poor person just got knocked over vs. worse case.
That intersection is carpeted with bikes. Anyone who drives there knows they have to be surrounded and drive accordingly. I hope he/she's going to be ok. Still just shocked.

Be aware.
Good luck,

vsk

Tom Dalton said...

The tire pressure journal seems downright silly... Then again, the guy who wrote that was second at CX nationals (45-49)in 2015, so maybe he knows something we don't. Then again, again, does anyone reading Bicycling, or this blog, even race cross for realsies?

It might also help to keep in mind that 1 psi is only a 1% change at road pressures, but could be 3-4% at CX pressures. Not all pounds are the same, oddly.

dnk said...

vsk --- damn!

Anonymous said...

That collision is on the interwebs here.
http://gothamist.com/2016/10/11/cyclist_truck_driver_jay_st.php
Right turning truck-trailer
There are injury collisions there about 4 times/year.

Grump said...

I check my tire pressure with my 32 year old Silca Track Pump that I bought new for $29 (which in today's modern money is $350)
Forget tire pressure, people should log their tire width, over the years (if they ride 20mm tires, they should also log their filling replacement)

Log, the new Blog said...

My vertical stiffness exploded like a Texas oil well gusher blowing past it's max psi containment this morning; a shame to let all that lubrication go down the drain, where is Babble when I need her.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Not all pounds are the same, oddly.

That's what she said!

bad boy of the north said...

Wow,vsk,wow.

N/A said...

Ahaha, a $600 plastic pen. Pen Freds are wicked silly, like their biek brethren.

N/A said...

The fresh logs are tapered at the end.

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

Thanks Anon 12:06pm. Interesting article. Gruesome photo. 35 y/o guy should live. Head and leg trauma.
Now I'm gonna Citibike it from 40th + 5th to 52nd + Broadway.

vsk

N/A said...

In honor of the good folks over at The Brooks Saddling Factory, Funny Helments, And Other Leather Concerns, I believe we need to add to the BSNYC phrase collection. In addition to #whatpressureyourunning, we could have #howdoyoubuffyourleather and #doyouevenskive.

dnk said...

vsk: Daily News has an article with an uncropped photo here

The article says that both the cyclist and truck were traveling south on Jay when the truck made a right turn. But from the photo it looks that they were actually traveling north---the cyclist toward the bridge and the truck making a right turn crossed the bike path and hit the cyclist.

Awful.

JLRB said...

Today's Log Entry: Hoping the 35 year old hit survives

CommieCanuck said...

I don't check my pressure like some kinda fucking caveman, I have Bluetooth transmitters on my tires stems uploading pressure information 10 times a second. Them, I pour over the data logs for the rest of the evening.ie.
105.00
105.00
105.00
105.00
104.99
105.00
105.00
105.01
105.00
105.00

That's just one second, it goes on for 600 pages.

Science, bitches.

Everbody said...

Buy a Mont Blanc refill for ~$10, put in a similarly sized $1 pen.

Anonymous said...

"Gage" pressure is relative. You also need to log atmospheric pressure, whether by weather or altitude.

Spokey said...

may i suggest the following edit to todaze post?

from

Chronicle, who published by first three books, are way into the journals, so a couple or so years back we did one that says funny bike-related stuff on every page.

to

Chronicle, who published my first three books, are way into the journals, so a couple or so years back we did one that says funny bike-related stuff on every page.

Spokey said...


who wooda thunk we'd read such a spot-on example of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle in the form of a tire pressure journal.

don't need a journal for tire size. i know every tire i've put on me bieks since me bieks came with 700 wheels. Before then i'd buy either 27 1 1/8 or 1 1/4 gumwalls depending on which one i ran in to first. of course $3 gumwalls.

now days i pump my 700x37 tires to a little above 80. when my thumb / forefinger pinch suggests they are getting soft, hook up the pump and go back to a little above 80. the re-inflation point seems mostly around 60.

that bike snobbie journal is too big to carry around (and expensive, yeah he would be able to retire). So i'll post any changes here and that will be my more economical journaling mechanism.

sTONEdEADLAND said...

It's also made of "deep black precious resin,"...

I'm a little behind on maintenance of the smoking apparatuses, I got lots of that precious stuff.

Anonymous said...

Ok seriously, when you remove the chuck from the valve, there's always a bit of air released, yes? So how in heck can you ever have air pressure accuracy to 1 or 2 psi? After you measure air pressure (release of air) and after you pump up the tire (release of air), you will always lose air removing the chuck from the valve.

Am I missing something?

Joe said...

DID YOU HAVE AN APPROVED GRAVEL BIKE????

dem_bieks said...

psi? PSI?!?!?!

BAR

Lieutenant Oblivious said...


39th again, Scranus!

N/A said...

Let's take this to the bar to discuss our PSI. That's the only civilized way to handle it.

1904 Cadardi said...

I have "sort of" logged pressure in the shocks of my mountaining bikecycle by putting a piece of white electrical tape on the top tube and writing down the pressure. I did that till I found a pressure I liked. Which only took about 4 tries, not a full season of double blind placebo controlled testing as suggested by Beikcycling magazine. I left the tape there because I go mountain bikecycling so infrequently I don't remember what worked. So, yeah, I'm a little bit Fredly, but more absent minded.

Spokey described my method for tire pressure maintenance on the roading bike. I go to 105 and usually think the tires feel too soft around 80, but I'm riding/rocking/rolling/rubbing 700x25s (that measure 28mm?!?! So much for German quality control).

And Snob, torque wrenches should only be used when tightening fasteners unless you have a specific breakout torque wrench . Makes an excellent gift for the Fred you love that has almost everything.

N/A said...

I refuse to learn some mamby-pamby method of pressure measurement called "bar". I'm tired of all this jibber-jabber. "Why my tires hold 14 hectares per hogshead" is what it all sounds like. "PSI" has the word "Pressure" right in it. How can you get more official than that? Damnit, man, why's it all got to be so divisive?

N/A said...

Canadians that live in windy cities use Tuque Wrenches to make sure their hats don't get blown away.

dop said...

I'll guess 'Byram Lake' for that picture.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

If you don't include moon phase, latitude, longitude, relative humidity, length of fingernails and specific gravity of your last urine sample that tire pressure log is going ton be pretty fucking useless. Just sayin'.

BikeSnobNYC said...

1904 Cadardi,

Think it all the way through. If sphincter/bike component is over-torqued you would loosen with regular wrench and then set to correct torque with...a torque wrench. So I stand by my prose.

--Wildcat Etc.

Spokey said...

N/A @ 3:22 PM

bars is much better. you use less of 'em so it's easier and faster. and as you won't use them all, you have a left over bar or two to have a 'quick one' or 'one for the road'.

psi doesn't give you any of that. in fact psi sounds like something you gots to do when your bladder fills up. yech and yuck.

leroy said...

Oh dear fucking God.

The blood isn't dry and we're getting "you'd think cyclists would learn" and the poor dump truck driver needs consoling.

Here's a thought. If you're turning a large truck through a crosswalk and bike lane and your hear screaming, you might want to hit the brakes.



CommieCanuck said...

"Pounds per square inch" does not have the word pressure in it. Just sayin. Also, square inches make no sense in a round tire.
While he was Mayor of Canadatown, Robs Ford changed the pressure measure to the Ford. One Ford is a lot of pressure.

So I'm runnin' about 34 milliFords, or 48 Imperial Millifords, which of course is 39 US MilliFords*.


*Excluding Texas.

JLRB said...

The most important factor to keep in mind is attitude - attitude always affects the effect of pressure

N/A said...

Look, Commie, if'n you're going to go and inject facts into things then I just can't even talk to you. Facts are for people that aren't fluent in bullshit.

JLRB said...

Leroy - What does your dog think of Deniro calling The Donald a Dog and a mutt among other nice things

while The Donald showed Hillary barking like a dog

leroy said...

JLRB - Mr. De Niro and my dog are old friends. I don't know him, but our kids went to school together. According to my dog, he and Bobby are good.

Glen McGregor said...

You also need to start recommending $150 zip lock bags

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 2:45

Switch to presta. The air that is released when you remove the chuck was inside the chuck and pump tube, but not inside the tire, so no problem.

bieks said...

Dear Diary,

I'm feeling squishy today. Not sure what to make of it.

Cat 404 said...

Bike Rumor horns in on Bikesknob's franchise to parody Jagwire's new product....

About cable housing: "there’s ounces hiding in plain sight."

Everyone knows all hobby cyclists have nearly no place else to spare an ounce.


http://www.bikerumor.com/2016/10/11/eb16-jagwire-cuts-serious-weight-cable-housing-ways-one/#more-140357

BamaPhred said...

Loved the Bicycling screen grab with the old B&H commercial. The juxtaposition of anal tire pressure monitoring, cigarette smoking, and sexist advertising. But the legs are great, so it's got that working for it, I guess.

Umustbjoking said...

On the reception and detection of pseudo-profound bullshit.
http://journal.sjdm.org/15/15923a/jdm15923a.html

dancesonpedals said...

The guy in the B&H ad isn't wearing a helment

Bogusboy said...

Oy!

bieks said...

Just checked my hand gauge reads in 5 psi increments, pump gauge reads in 10 psi increments, they're about 5 psi off each other and I probably let out 5 psi fumbling with the pump head and/or gauge. Is there a formula to calculate 1/2 psi increments? Asking for a friend because he wants to know too.

Dooth said...

What fresh log you running?

Anonymous said...

TWEEOURNAL!!

BamaPhred said...

That Krappius #whatpressureurunnin gauge is for noobs, this is a gauge.

Spokey said...

dop leave the guy alone

it's hard to phone date when you can't even find a fuck-o phone booth anymore.

oh, and btw, he is wearing a helment. it's one of those early nutcase helments. he is also packing the requisite zephal frame pump so he doesn't have to beg snobbie to fix his flat.

all in all a frood dude.

AC said...

Tell me. Are you always drunk when you write your posts?

JLRB said...

Leroy - Have your dog tell Dan its a shame the PSA people were too timid to include him in the snoozer of a final product.

Drock said...

I log my chain lenght after ever ride, let's me know how much torque I applied.

crosspalms said...

So I asked Siri to add tire pressure to the list I already have, but now she says stuff like "replace batteries in furnace filters" or "pump up smoke detectors to optimum pressure" and frankly it's kind of a pain in the ass.

Whinny the Poo said...

Didn't Captain Kirk have a logbook?

McFly said...

How many "rest segments" are in that fresh log?

BamaPhred said...

Speaking of optimum tire pressure, does anyone also measure the circumference of their tire/wheel combo? Seems like there may be some milliwatts to be gained by balancing pressure at 0.x psi with millimeters of circumference.

JLRB said...

Remember, you can't spell PSI without pie

JLRB said...

Free yourself of the shackles of tire pressure

Drama4u said...

I keep a penis pressure journal to track every time I get a stiffy, how long it lasts, whether or not I am able to do anything productive with it, etc. I find it really helps with my performance.

Benji Reynolds said...

I mean.... 1 PSI differences do make a difference on my fat bike and digital gauges are dope. I have a $134 digital inflator from Blue Point, it's amazing. I use it for my car, my motorcycle, and my bicycles. It reads from 5-150 PSI in .1 PSI increments.

At any rate, I find that off-road on the bicycle I can run different pressures in different conditions and locations, so it's interesting to keep note of these pressures. As I have too many different off-road bicycles that run different tires and therefor different pressures. It easiest to write down which pressures I like for which conditions on which bike, that way I don't have to guess every time I grab a bike I haven't touched in a couple of months.

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Anonymous said...

Yeah, that seems reasonable...