Thursday, October 27, 2016

Gravel Compatibility Is This Decade's NJS

[Please note: Due to popular demand (or at least lack of total indifference) the Bike Snob NYC/Walz Limited Edition Bicycle-Riding Hat is now back in stock while supplies last!]

I had the craziest dream after watching "Black Mirror" last night:


I woke up screaming, but my horror turned to delight when I fired up my personal computer and discovered that someone is Kickstarting the crabon tire lever of my dreams:



For far too long we've been forced make do with utterly reliable tire levers made from inferior lightweight, durable, and inexpensive nylon.  We've longed to experience crabon's fabled lateral stiffness and vertical compliance whilst prying our tire beads from our rims.  Now our day has finally come--and best of all, they're GRAVEL COMPATIBLE!


Everybody knows the geometry of traditional tire levers is completely inappropriate for use with gravel tires, and that attempting to remove a gravel tire with such a lever can result in injury or even death.  How many cyclists have to die when they're gravel-specific tires and rims reject their standard tire levers and send them flying like arrowheads right into riders' hearts and jugulars?  In fact, I'm pretty sure it was just such an ill-advised flat-repair attempt that caused the injury necessitating all this crazy tape:


After all, it was Archimedes who said:


Funny how people always leave off the most important part of the quote--though I suppose it's the same for most platitudes:


Even those of a more recent vintage:


Eddy Merckx worship is a warning sign of terminal Fredness, right up there with using boutique embrocations and wearing Rapha sunglasses:


Interestingly, much of this review was about the thrilling experience of opening and holding the glasses, with very little information about what it's like to actually wear them while riding:

Instead, open the black rectangular tin and lift out the glasses by the rubberized grips on their arms—arms that feel exceptionally sturdy despite being a smidge wider than a cocktail straw. Next, set aside the fleecy protective case, then unfold the information sheet and read it. 

Apart from an obligatory sentence about the "clarity of the lens," and of course this:

You might even catch the curious glances of fellow riders who may or may not comment on the bold statement the sunglasses make and who may or may not silently resolve to keep refreshing the Rapha site until the often sold-out Flyweights are back in stock.

And if they do comment, it's likely to be something along the lines of "How can you see through all that Euro-cheese?"

Speaking of Euro-cheese, there is life after pro cycling...and it's the "thug life:"


Yes, where do you go from winning the Vuelta a España?  Why, robbing a mobile phone store, of course!

The 41-year-old was arrested early Tuesday morning “next to the property where the window had just been broken,” according to diarioinformacion.com. He claimed to have not been involved, and put the blame “on the person who accompanied him, whom he had met that night while they were partying.” He said that this other person broke the glass and then fled the scene.

Just another caper to add to his already impressive palmarès and/or rap sheet:

His first arrest came in 2007, for driving under the influence of alcohol and cocaine. A year later he was arrested for hiring three people to beat up someone who owed him money. That was followed in 2011 with an arrest for a bank scam.

Though in fairness to him, given the state of pro cycling in 2002, he probably broke far fewer laws during his post-career crime spree than he did in pursuit of that Vuelta win.  Indeed, by cycling standards he's got a fair amount of integrity, and if he keeps up the good work he'll probably be UCI president by 2020.



(Warning: contains both an auto-play video and frequent misspelling of "pedal" as "peddle"...both of which you should expect by now from local TV news websites.)

Basically the victim was accompanying a paraplegic hand-cyclist during a charity ride, and so the driver rammed him from behind for riding too slowly:

However, the man still blared his horn at the cyclists. Sullivan went back and explained to the driver that Northbrook is a paraplegic and can't go that fast because he hand-peddles his bike.

"'We've gone 590 miles, give me 90 seconds, I'll have him up and over this grade, you can be on your way,'" Sullivan said he told the man. "Completely agitated, he says to me, 'I don't care if it's f-ing God up there. Get out of the f-ing road.'"

Sullivan said that's when he stopped talking to the man and got back on his bike. The truck's driver accelerated and hit Sullivan's bike, causing him to fall to the roadway.

Sullivan sustained several injuries.

Needless to say, the cops were ON IT:

"Just at that moment, coming in the opposite direction, is a cyclist who happens to be an off-duty Oceanside police officer," said Sullivan.

Sullivan said the officer called 911 and Carlsbad police arrived to speak with the truck's driver. However, the man wasn't arrested and was allowed to drive away.

Sure, he was wearing his helmet, but that doesn't mean we can't victim-blame, because I'm sure this never would have happened had he been equipped with a pool noodle.

88 comments:

bad boy of the north said...

Early...sorta.

cdinvb said...

No time. Gotta go change a rim tape.

N/A said...

"Shut up, legs. You too, scranus."
-Mark Twain.

N/A said...

Hitting a person with your car, with a cop as a witness for Lob's sake, is no biggie if they happen to be peddling on a biek. No criminality suspected, you're free to go, sorry for the delay.

bad boy of the north said...

Peddling a bike must be a left coast thing

Anonymous said...

Top ten

Bryan said...

What in the actual fuck, that asshole truck driver wasn't arrested? That's assault with a goddamn deadly weapon. Fuck that limp micro dick shit head. Maybe the paraplegic can have Gonzalez hire people to beat the driver up.

DeWayne Stark said...

Read the article earlier about the truck driver being to drive away after hitting a rider. It appears that it is SOP.

Grump said...

I once let another rider use my "plastic" levers to change a tire. He managed to snap one of them. After being released from prison (for killing him), I decided to pray for technology to provide a futuristic device to change tires. I hope a three lever set doesn't cost more than $49.95.

Two Claws said...

Top Ten?

Two Claws Up!

BamaPhred said...

Would Stand Your Ground apply in a vehicular assault case? Perhaps only if you were the driver? But I just cant see how the driver is a victim, no matter how hard I try. I must be a deplorable.

And Now for Something Completely Different said...

Back in Stock, Back in Stock, Back in Stock.

YouKnowWho said...

Also, never trust advice given by someone covered in bandages.

wishiwasmerckx said...

I hope that the tire lever is sturdier than that guy's leg because no amount of physiotherapy tape is going to hold together your busted-up crabon tire lever.

The Mustang Ranch said...

That lever needs some leverage.

wishiwasmerckx said...

...and I do own, use and endorse DZNUTS, so I check off the Merckx worship and boutique embrocations boxes. I own two Rapha t-shirts, but am unlikely to buy their euro-trash sunglasses.

Guess I'm a terminal Fred. They say that the first step is admitting that you have a problem.

Alina said...

Grump, you know there are metal tire levers available, I've used them to mount studded tires on some narrow mtb rimb. Long and sturdy takes the cake.

bad boy of the north said...

I ordered the very limited,limited bsnyc cap.i had a limited time to order it so without any limits I limited myself to just one cap.

Whizzer said...

Laugh out loud funny. Thanks Wildcat

Anonymous said...

Hey, writing from up north. Heard *nothing* in your election coverage or debates about obesity, childhood obesity, diabetes epidemic, death by car, endless traffic jams or promoting any sort of sustainable transportation (could Trump or Clinton even recognize a bike if they saw one?).

It doesn't surprise me that a driver gets a pass for running down a cyclist because he's delayed 90 seconds.

dancesonpedals said...

Forget tire levers (I never could figure out how the notch worked.) Get me some crabon fly boxes. Like everything Orvis makes, it's bullet proof and costs double the price of any other brand.

Anonymous said...

Not to put too fine a point on things, but since you criticize the misspellings in the article on the cyclist being run down by the truck, may I respectfully guide you back to the early part of your blog wherein you write "...have to die when they're gravel-specific tires and rims..."; I want to believe a little leftover Wednesday weed smoke drifted into your eyes at that moment and you actually meant to type "their". Love and Kisses from your third grade grammar teacher.

Drock said...

Road rage up everywhere this time of year, was yelled at last night while parked at a bike rack, was told to get off the fing road, I stated I was, they kept driving. On a more serious note, I have a new journal entry on seat height. Moving the seatpost mm up and down and recording it in my log has really helped my performance, seems however my height is based on my mood. Some days I ride high, some days it's low. Lastly I sold all my stock of tires with studs. No snow no more, thanks global warming, and you hydrocarbon burning muscles heads. What's a rake unless it's spilling out fumes? Leaves be gone.

Anonymous said...

How is that cops can shoot people who "threaten" them with their car but when a car actually hits you there's "no criminality suspected"? When it happens to them it's assualt with a deadly weapon justifying the use of deadly force and when it happens to a cyclist it's not even worth a ticket?

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Pack Fodder! These irregular posting times are difficult to podium. Props to those that are these days!

Spokey said...

resting on my laurels* really sank my position in the peleton today.


* that is what i call my left cheek. i call my right cheek "hardys"

Grab 'em by the pu**y said...

"Long and sturdy takes the cake."

That's what she said.

Anonymous said...

Could have podium-ed but I "took the wall" and spared someone's life. Then I smashed the mouse which I was borrowing from my coworker, but he said it was cool.

Spokey said...

dop

i actually used those notches once with circa '70s aluminum (?) tire levers that don't even have airbags. hooked that notch in to the spoke and it worked pretty well. the lever didn't come flying at me like a missile of death or anything. the downside was the difficulty in getting it out. i think it is still stuck in that wheel.

clyde said...

I knew someone would grab that and run with it - thank you for your commitment to middle school humor in this esteemed blog! Boobs!

Anonymous said...

Knock a bike cop off his ride and see what happens.

Freddy Murcks said...

How do you say "No criminality suspected" in the local California dialect?

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Because we believe in the zoom,
and the roar, and the thrust.
And when it’s made here, it’s made with the one thing
you can’t import from anywhere else. American…Pride.
So let Germany brew your beer,
Let Switzerland make your watch,
Let Asia assemble your phone.
We…will mow down…your bike riders.

(with no criminality suspected!)

William Volk said...

Who used tire levers anyway?

Real men do it bare handed.

(Yeah, even Schwabe Marathon Plus tires).

Anonymous said...

That driver needs a sharpened tire lever through the eyes as a start to their punishment!

Kort.

Mike O. said...

Any discount on the BS cap? Last time there was a 10% off promo.

Thanks, Mike O.

Anonymous said...

William Volk - What kind of name is Volk? Real men aren't named Volk. Cars are named Volk(swagon). Go sing a Volk song about barehanded manly men pulling on their levers.

Bryan said...

I'll skip the crabon tire elvers until Pedros starts making their own. Best tyre levers ever right there

leroy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
leroy said...

My dog informs me that the Limited Edition Walz BSNYC makes a thoughtful birthday present. I didn't even know it was his birthday.

BeerDrivenCyclist said...

38th. Read it. 38th. Today's winner of the (baby poo) brown jersey.

Anyhoooo - enough joviality. Down to business. Who do I need to ring at the local PD in Carlsbad to confirm that I won't be charged with an offence or arrested if I embed my vintage 1960s mild steel 6 inch tire/tyre lever in the driver's forehead. I mean, it's not like I'm trying to kill him or anything? Am I right?

I hate the police anyways - I much prefer Sting's solo albums.

BeerDrivenCyclist said...

Crap. Relegated to 42nd while typing. Bummer.

Chris Horny said...

I do not approve of today's NYT crossword. What's wrong with your city, Snob?

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Boy that is a scary dream.

NHcycler said...

Who wastes their time on the NYT Thursday puzzle? Easy peasy. We Bad Hombres (and Nasty Women) only attempt Friday's and Saturday's.

Grump said...

Alina, I still have some aluminum tire levers that I bought back in 1984 from Bike Nashbar (back when I was a true "bike nerd") They tend to bend a little on a tough wheel.

Spokey said...

leroy @ 1:43

but they must come fast and furious given he gets 7 for each 1 of yours

Anonymous said...

My upcoming KickStarter will be for sunglasses with removable crabon fibre temples that double as tire levers. Price will be eight hundred dollars or so, which is amazing because of the net weight reduction of more than 3 grams.

Winky said...

To be fair, there is a current (inexplicable to me) trend towards tubeless road tyres. In order that they not "fart" air when run at the currently fashionable ultra squishy (whatpressureyourunning?) settings, they need to be tighter on the rim than......something that is really, really tight. This requires the use of insanely strong tyre levers (crabon?) when they do inevitably get punctured and spray white goo over the rider behind.

Spokey said...

grumpy

i think mine are aluminum. they haven't rusted and have that aluminum crust. they're also very light although maybe given the mass, i might not notice any diff between al vs steel.

never have bent. they're quite good. don't remember if i got them local or from nashbar. which btw you're dating yourself. they've been nashbar (dropping the bike part) since shortly after performance bought them and killed the spike nashbar division.

They used to call me Fred (really). said...

I've got a pair of Bolle's from the '80s that look just like the Rapha shades, and prescription to boot! Think Bolle should sue.

janinedm said...

It depends on the bike. On the Oma and my beautiful monster wooden crate city bike, I use bare hands because the tires are wide and the beads just slide over the rim. On the filthy Marin, I have to use levers. On my road bike, I use a tire bead jack. I'm not trying to cramp up my hands and break my nails. I have other hobbies like guitar and I need them.

leroy said...

Spokey @3:01 --

Oh I've had way more birthdays than my dog.

The great thing about being born yesterday is that every day is your birthday.

The bad thing is, as my dog explained, we missed it. It was yesterday.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Grump and Spokey, I've got an old VAR par of aluminum tire levers back from my 10 speed racer 27 inch wheel days. Haven't used them in 40 years but somehow haven't thrown them away either.

And Grump, as an alter cocker myself I was going to say you meant Bike Warehouse, not Bike Nashbar, as it was originally known, but looking at an enlarged version of the picture in this article it appears that the name had already been changed by 1984.

Lob, I'm getting old. Beats the alternative, I suppose!

bad boy of the north said...

we used to use old butter knives as tire levelers(at least we thought they were old) when we were kids.if they were in the silverware drawer at the time we'd use them.sorry ma.

Freddy Murcks said...

NHCycler - I waste my time on the Thurs NYT xword. I try to do it every day of the week, in fact. On the easy days, I try to solve as fast as possible; on the harder days, I just try to finish. Although I often think that the Friday is easier than the Thursday. Go figure. Saturday is never easy.

DB said...

Today's NYT crossword had me stumped quite awhile.
Thursday's can be tricky.

DB said...

Happy Birthday to Leroy's Dog.
Hope you got some real estate.

Frickus Rungus said...

I encountered a hand-cyclist on a mountain bike trail a month or two ago. He was climbing up the hill I was planning to go down and the double wheels in the front of his bike took up the entire trail. I was actually glad I had to wait for him to finish the climb, since it allowed me to catch my breath after the climb up the other side.
I like it when I can pretend I'm not out of shape by being courteous.

camembert teuton said...

à propos Trucks..
Read today that Mercedes will soon build... pickup trucks.
We are so fucked.

Spokey said...


ann landers advises me that it isn't acceptable to wish leroy's dog a belated birthday greeting a day (or two?) late. so i am going to wait for his next birthday and wish him a happy birthday tomorrow.

Soya Coming a Mile Away said...

How about a dual-ended tire lever, with road specific on one end and gravel specific on the other, perhaps crafted out of bamboo? If you made them on the longish side then they could function as chop sticks as well, for those emergency sushi stops.

JLRB said...

I need to update m tire lever journal

Doc Sarvis said...

Canadians are fatter than Americans,unless you include the Quebecois. Maybe you're an Inuit and can't really see any difference...

Cool Karl said...

I thought Unimogs were built by Mercedes, they sort of look like pickup trucks, and they've been building them since the 50's.

Anonymous said...

@leroy 3:56 - that is very good.

Here is another car driver ramming a cyclist from behind which the police couldn't prosecute due to "lack of evidence".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ua92cASvgw&feature=youtu.be

Anonymous said...

clicky link to above video

Sid said...

Hey Karl. On some of the Mogs you can adjust the tyre inflation from inside the cab, thereby creating a safe transition from tarmac to gravel, even while on the fly.

Hugh Janus, Expert Motorist said...

So the guy ran over a turd on a bike who was in his way. What's the effing problem jaggoffs? He didn't even back up and finish the job...which, as a Great American Motorist, he would have been well within his rights to do. The only disturbing part of that whole story is that there is apparently an officer of the law out there playing with a pedal-toy in the middle of vehicular traffic. This is most troubling. Such deviant behavior must be nipped in the bud, lest we be plunged into the Abyss. Jeezus H. Kryst! What's next? Teachers on bikes? Clergymen? My gawd...think of the children! You shit-birds really need to keep yer filthy little habit confined to your own little incestuous circle of chamois-sniffing, dick-smoking misfits. And for crying out loud, stay off my highway. You've got plenty of seedy little "bike paths" on which to continue your self-flagellating ways. For any weak-minded bike turds out there who are seeking a path to redemption, it's quite simple: Set yer pedal-toy on fire, roast a few weenies, and go buy a 1969 Pontiac GTO Judge. Heaven awaits. Yer welcome.

Anonymous said...

All You Haters Suck My Quik Stik.

dop said...

Would it be too much to ask that the next batch of 'limited edition' walz caps be marked as "2nd edition" (2nd tranch? 2nd cru). That tingly feeling running up my leg when I saw they were all sold out (while mine was on the way) has faded.

The 2nd cru ltd ed walz caps would go perfectly with limited edition commemorative buzz aldrin medals.

McFly said...

In true Fred Fashion I watched Stop At Nothing on the Netflix yesterday evening. Still....love.....you.....Lan....

I inadvertently got me a little Betsy Andreau crush going on. Hey if she blow's whistles....

Nuttin 2 Sey said...


Now that proves that Hugh Janus is really hugh ja phake

1969 Pontiac GTO Judge? You gotta be kidding! I suppose you just have to have the fuzzy dice hanging from the mirror too?

'69 Chargers laugh you off the road. Even a '69 Road Runner would be embarrassed to be on the same road. You probably run down to sears to buy some cheap bias tires for that kind of junk.

dancesonpedals said...

In 1968, my brother suggested that a Firebird would be our ideal next car. My father thought it was too small and bought a GTO instead. Four years later when I got my license, it was still ridiculously fast. Teenage nightmare: After riving home late at night, sitting in the garage and realizing that the speedometer needle was stuck all the way to the right. Two slaps on the dashboard brought it back to zero.

Spokey said...

i had a '68 mustang. back seat almost as bad as the '61(?) sunbeam alpine.

a couple years later picked up a '68 coronet 440 (basically a charger without the extra sheet metal) from a friend for $65. even a car that big didn't have much of a rear seat although at least you could have stuffed 1/2 dozen bodies in the trunk.

that beast would shake above about 80 but smooth out as you approached 100. The speedo topped out at 120 (i think, maybe 110). but at least the needle didn't get stuck.

those V8 certainly could eventually moving, but for fun, nothing beat my 260Z. Even the 300ZX convertible wasn't as much fun.

Paul Heckbert said...

Snob, who claims to be an English major, asks "how many cyclists have to die when they're gravel-specific tires ..." The answer is zero, because no one has yet invented a cyclist that is also a gravel-specific tire.

N/A said...

*boldly stands up*

I AM ALSO A GRAVEL-SPECIFIC TIRE.

babble on said...

Bad boy - peddling a biek is a Merckx thing.

Mr Helcklebert - and nobody has invented a commentariat wealthy enough to pay overworked bloggers enough that they can afford to keep a proofreading, editing helper monkey alive, willing happy and well, either. Unless you have any suggestions?

dancesonpedals said...

Snob was an English Major? No way.

N/A said...

I guess the hat-shilling gig isn't quite the income-generator that we have all suspected.

dancesonpedals said...

Babble! Thirteen months and no posts. Good to see your cute little icon.

babble on said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
babble on said...

Thank you, Mr dop! I have been writing, but The Great Canadian Novel is no simple thing. And besides. Snobberdoodles does such a good job expressing my outrage at the auto-industrial complex which rules our planet. Redundency sucks.
have been here, too, but ussually I comment so late that mine is the last in line and everyone else has moved along to the next day.
BUT Just yesterday I started to vent again on blogger, and indeed even had a nekkid ass photo to add to the others which fit the subjet of the post. You can still find me on Instagram (spokenscene) fb, twitter, linked in, etc. :)

And if you talk to me here, I will get back to you, it's just that you may have to wait a bit. Kind of like riding up a mountain with me. Downhill? eat my dust. Up? Maaaaaan I suck. Better now that I'm so damned slim, but still I suck.

Freddy Murcks said...

If you're like me and you had to look up NJS, I offer the following linkways: linkway 1 (some scrolling required) linkway 2

Spokey said...


i'm getting a tad queasy. i'm thinking snobbie is curating the monster of all friday quizes. i'm gonna fail worse than a sew-up on gravel.

Less Is More said...

Emily post u mean?

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