(If you have any comments about how you don't like the color or anything like that please direct them here and I can assure you we'll see to them immediately.)
I don't know how limited they are, but presumably they're still available because I haven't heard otherwise. Also, this discount code is good for 10% off until the end of the month:
So there you go.
Oh, also, while we're talking about caps, I have some Yehuda Moon comic books at home:
And the other day one of my seventeen (17) kids put on this cap with the brim over his face and said, "Look, I'm that guy from the comic book!"Only 15 copies left of Vol 1. If you've thought of getting (or gifting) a set of Yehuda Moon books, now is the time! https://t.co/zU1mhgHk54 pic.twitter.com/ZzCW71d97j— Yehuda Moon (@YehudaMoon) October 14, 2016
That's how you know a kid's growing up in a bike house, and hopefully when he grows up he can find a good shrink to help him undo all the damage.
In other news, the Wall Street Journal's Jason Gay had the exclusive on Robin Williams's bicycle collection, which is now being auctioned:
When Robin Williams died, the world lost a great comedian, and the sport of professional cycling lost its only remaining fan.
In any case, if you're a bike dork (which, if you're reading this blog you are, sorry to break it to you) you'll no doubt find his collection fascinating. It spans years, and I've been totally nerding out on it. Indeed, you could start a museum with the mountain bikes alone:
Plus, if you're a recovering Fred like I am, you'll find yourself nostalgic for bikes you once coveted. He's got all the sweet team replica bikes from the EPO era, like this Bianchi:
Looks like it even has the embroidered Il Pirata saddle:
I'd argue that this era represents the pinnacle of the road racing bicycle: pretty much everything was still made of metal (with the exception of the fork), the headsets were threadless but not integrated, the bottom brackets were threaded but not integrated, and the shifting was integrated. It's even got a square taper crank. I mean sure, it's no Hollowtech II (which is and will always be the world's greatest bottom bracket interface), but I'll take square taper over all this press-fit crap any day.
Oh yeah, and you didn't even have to charge anything.
Alas, it's all been downhill from there. Have we really gained anything with the modern-day equivalent, apart from a bunch of batteries and proprietary fittings and a 100% price increase?
Sadly, I never owned that sweet Pantani replica, but I will admit I did own another team replica in the Robin Williams collection:
(To their credit, Specialized promptly replaced it, but to their detriment they replaced it with an Allez frame with S-Works decals.)
And that's not the only bike I've owned that's also represented in the Robin Williams collection--nor is it the most embarrassing. I also owned this monstrosity:
My excuse is one you'll hear from many Freds, which is that it's what our team was riding that year. Unlike the Festina bike, which at least looked pretty cool at the time, this piece of crap was ugly from Day 1. I could never come to terms with riding this thing, though I rode it anyway, and it wasn't long before the crabon top half of the frame started to separate from the aluminum bottom half of the frame at the head tube, complete with creaking sound. (A similar fate befell pretty much every one of these as I understand it.)
Specialized also replaced that frame for me, with this one, which to their credit was an actual full-crabon S-Works:
Note I moved the stupid Zertz seatpost over from the ungodly crab-O-luminum freak bike, only because I don't believe in putting metal posts in crabon frames (they seize, don'tcha know, unless you're into torque wrenches and boutique assembly paste) and I wasn't about to buy a new one. This frame served me well for a number of seasons, until eventually I suspected maybe it was cracked:
Instead of verifying this I instead decided to end the cycle by stripping the bike of its parts and putting it in storage.
So if you're wondering why I'm often dismissive of the hot new Fred bike technology, there's your answer.
But of course now we've entered a new era of Fred bikes. Now it's all about #whatpressureyourunning, not to mention #whatwidthyourunning:
For years, the standard road bike tire size was 23mm. Thin, light and able to be pumped up to back-achingly high pressures, there was no need to experiment. Then science, endurance events, and gravel riding got in the mix.
Science has now proven that wider tires actually have less rolling resistance than skinnier tires. Wider road tires provide a more forgiving ride and improve handling through a, you guessed it, wider contact patch that makes endurance riding safer, easier, and more accessible. Finally, gravel riding popularity brought on wider tires and the associated equipment to mute the bumps, take on the rocks, and provide some traction in the loose, dirt road conditions.
You know, this pisses me off. For years the bicycle industry has been telling us that the path to excellent ride quality and superior performance was expensive frame materials. And of these materials, ostensibly the best one was crabon fribé, since they could mold it into all sorts of stupid shapes and even put dumb little see-through inserts in it. (Like the ones you see above in my seatpost). Yet during this same period there was nary a mention of how tires affect ride quality, save from impassioned reviews about how this 23mm tire is more "supple" and "confidence-inspiring" than that 23mm tire.
So successful was this propaganda campaign that crabon fribé has pretty much completely taken over the Fred bike market--and only now that the takeover is complete and no Fred in their right mind would consider anything else are they telling Freds the truth, which is that it's all about the tires, and fatter tires make for a better ride.
"Oh yeah, come on, SCIENCE says wider tires are better, where have you been?," says the bike review machine.
"Uh, reading your dumbass reviews of crabon bikes with skinny tires," say the Freds.
But it's already too late for the poor Freds, who now think they need disc brakes to run the wider tires that are now de rigueur, even though they could have been riding on 28mm tires on their short-reach rim-brake Fred chariots all along. My plastic Specialized as pictured above took them happily, as does the Ritte on which I undertook my Brooks gravel extravaganza:
And to go even wider, all you need are some long- (or technically medium-) reach brakes like I've got on my Milwaukee:
And I won't even mention cantilever brakes, which despite being powerful and offering lots of clearance are of course hopelessly out of style.
But no, there was nary a mention of medium-reach brakes until it was too late.
No, in order to run today's slightly-wider-than-23mm tires and slightly lower gearing you've got to buy a dedicated gravel bike with dick breaks and that that's it.
And there you go.
Not that I don't want bike shops to sell lots and lots of bikes or anything like that. And here's a bike shop owner who's also a mayor:
One day maybe we'll finally get a Fred or a Frederica into the White House. Then we'll all get a "pro deal" on our taxes.