Monday, April 17, 2017

The Future's So Shocking I Gotta Wear Pads

***Importent Reminder***

Tonight this is happening:
Rest assured that I've been preparing assiduously--not by working on my presentation (I still have no idea what I'm going to say) but by riding one of those stupid all-terrain bicycles with only one gear ratio:


And then going to the taco truck:


I've also got caps and stuff from Walz to give away, and according to UPS there's a box o' coffee from Just Coffee currently en route to my palatial estate, so if all goes according to plan at least some of you will be going home capped and caffeinated.

Plus, if you're willing to reach into your wallet, purse, or wherever you keep your currency, you can buy a copy of my latest book, The Ultimate Manual Of Velocipeding on Velocipedes: A Velocipede Primer, which I will even bedazzle for you:


So don't miss it, because New York Magazine called it "the hottest ticket in New York City:"

So there you go.

In other news, remember the Specialized FutureShock?  It's that road bike suspension system you're not using:


Well, a friend alerted me to the drama of professional cycling person Niki Terpstra's crash due to a failed FutureShock:

Apparently, despite the vertical frame compliance and comfort across all of the major touch points afforded by the FutureShock system, Terpstra just wanted an old-fashioned rigid bicycle.  However, instead of giving him one, Specialized gave his FutureShock some Viagra so it would behave like one.  The results were disastrous:

The FutureShock system relies on a cartridge between the stem and the steerer that allows the cockpit to move in response to road input. According to Specialized, Terpstra requested a rigid component so his handlebars did not move, so Specialized developed such a piece. A pre-production rigid cartridge ultimately made it onto Terpstra’s bike due to a communication error. This cartridge was not approved for racing use. Quick-Step’s seven other riders used the non-rigid FutureShock system during the race.

Specialized, of course, apologized profusely:

Heading into Paris-Roubaix, a few of our riders asked to try a rigid cartridge as well as the fully-active Future Shock on their new Roubaix bikes. In response to this, we developed a pre-production rigid steerer cartridge and later an approved engineered cartridge for the race.

In the days leading up, Niki Terpstra chose to race the rigid option. Unfortunately, a missed communication on the Specialized team resulted in the pre-production part remaining in Niki’s bike instead of being replaced by the approved engineered part. Ultimately, this failed during the race. All other riders raced on Future Shock equipped bikes.

Though I can't help thinking this is the Fredly equivalent of putting a horse head in your bed, and a message to the world that all Freds who refuse the forward march of technological progress will be systematically eliminated.

As for me, I'll stick to my Rivendell road bike suspension system, thankyouverymuch:


Yes, between that and my Rivendell electronic barend shifters I'm enjoying all the hot new cycling trends while staying true to the retrogrouch ethos:

And yes, of course there's a friction option:


Now all I have to do is add a Rock Bar and I can do some serious "weighted cycle training:"




Train Smarter!

- Bring your training to the next level with the Rock Bar. Designed for use in weighted cycle training, the Rock Bar is available with specially designed, fully adjustable weights.

- The design allows the Rock Bar to be attached to the bike at the best locations for weighted cycling...below your center of gravity. Attach below the down tube or the top tube.

- Adding weight to the bike while cycling will increase your strength and power at your ideal cadence. With today's bikes getting lighter and lighter, it is important now to incorporate weights while cycling. The Rock Bar is available with 7 pounds of weight.

Guess the new question is going to be #whatballastyourunning.

41 comments:

Mike O. said...

Good morning!

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

secondo

leroy said...

My dog is still not buying my explanation that I add weight every winter to help my training each spring.

For one thing, I've nothing to train for. It's a "the journey is the destination" sort of thing.

Jasper said...

Early doors, eh?

Quilled and lugged said...

I add seven pound by still riding around on an old steel frame. Works for me.
Oh, and hey, could you put a permanent link to your other site up at the top there. It's such a hassle trying to add more bookmarks...

wishiwasmerckx said...

We spend literally thousands to lighten our bikes and now we are supposed to spend $45.00 to make it heavier?

SMH...

wishiwasmerckx said...

I hope you don't mind if my money is a little moist. I keep it tucked away in my man-bra for safekeeping.

Bryan Bracy said...

Happy Monday!

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Early doors top ten scranus!

Heidi Topfler said...

Mike Sinyard, Niki Terprsta's crash is nothing compared to the hurt that I'm going to rain on you for co-opting Future Shock!

Alvin Toffler argued that society is undergoing an enormous structural change, a revolution from an industrial society to a "super-industrial society". This change overwhelms people. He believed the accelerated rate of technological and social change left people disconnected and suffering from "shattering stress and disorientation"—future shocked. Toffler stated that the majority of social problems are symptoms of future shock. In his discussion of the components of such shock, he popularized the term "information overload."

Anonymous said...

Jeesh, how much have I saved with all this extra belly fat!?

bieks said...

I spent way more than $45 on my panniers, never mind the cost of the stuff I put in them. Shoulda held out for a rockbar.

Vend403 said...

Add weight for training? I reckon that's what I do when I haul 15 lbs of cargo daily on my 33 lb commuting bike.

N/A said...

Ahaha, your bike's too light, Freds!

jodphoto said...

importent...good one.

Old Timer said...

Huh? What?

Spokey said...


yah, seems like a couple pizzas and a sub would be cheaper way to add weight.

i just love my front suspension. stiff steel fork over soft 700x37 contis.

creamy_cheese said...

Ahhh. The old "Someone you don't know, and doesn't actually exist, made a mistake that we're calling pre-production.. blah, blah, blah..."

Sinyard blame shifting, again. Classy.

McFly said...

Will a battery pack fit in the Rock Bar?

Asking for a friend.....

janinedm said...

So that ballast thing seems like a dangerous fix, no? I've never owned a carbon fiber bike but I'd imaging that albs on strapped to the downtube in that way could easily result in the sort of hairline fracture that makes those bikes disintegrate under a rider.

Anonymous said...

Dammit Rockbar! I was going to launch a Kickstarter campaign called Thunder Thighs. I wanted to fill Worksman frames with concrete and charge $3000.00 per bike. Back to the drawing board.

The Candid Cyclist said...

I don't need no damn rock bar, I own a Surly!

Frickus Rungus said...

#whatballsyourunnin? Why, they are the scranus ones as always...

leroy said...

Oh great.

Now my dog is singing:

The shareef don't like it,
Dropping the Rock Bar
Dropping the Rock Bar.

I fear his karaoke night this evening is going to be insufferable.

He told me I should catch BSNYC's REI appearance and report whether they're rocking a cash bar, rocking a cash bar.


Frickus Rungus said...

Janiniedm,
Aren't bottom brackets the "beefiest" part of the frame nowadays? If you are going to add weight, it would seem like as good a place as any.
I'm going to kickstart a product that allows you to add water ballast to strategically placed "cages" that are bolted to special threaded fittings. Three large ballast containers should weigh about 7 lbs...

leroy said...

On second thought, I might face a tough entertainment decision this evening.

My dog claims he's working on a Bob Marley/Clash mash up.

I shot the shareef.

Intriguing.

bedazzled scranus said...

I add ballast to my midsection yearly. No rock bar required. I suggest those who have trouble gaining weight put water in their inner tubes. Cheap and effective rotational weight.

janinedm said...

They're the beefiest, yes but I'm reminded of the truss bridge calculations i has to do for this technology in Greek & Roman architecture class. It's not the amount of weight that worries me it's the concentrated, downward force in one place. Bear in mind, I have a deep mistrust of bikes that aren't made of steel.

I'll probably regret even raising the possibility said...

Hopefully no one will want a cobblestone specific bike.....

CommieCanuck said...

So FutureShock is the new Zertz? Remember Zertz? Me neither.

Joe said...

I'm really looking forward to Mastering the Metropolis. BSNYC and zoning! Buckle your seat belt folks

bedazzled scranus said...

I bet the pre-production rigid cartridge was actually a cut-off section of an old Specialized Workshop broomhandle, stuffed inside. The wood dowel was dry from years of leaning in the shop corner. With the low humidex on race day, it splintered early in the race.

Chazu said...

Break a leg!

Anonymous said...

It's only 7lbs. My farts add more downward force on the bottom bracket. Frankly, this Rockbar thing is genius and I'm kicking myself for not having invented it. Sure those of us who own panniers and carry milk, beer, watermelons and kids around will laugh (no matter what our frames are made of).

Conversely, my 70+ yo dad lamented last summer that he failed to climb his backyard mountain pass, a moderate 2000'/8 mile climb. I suggested he might remove the canvas bags with oak stays purchased from Rivendell and give it another go. Fashion is a hard impulse to buck.

Spokey said...


depends on your position

sitting upright, yes, you'll put downward force on the seat and thus add traction.

however on the drops, your butt directs your fart back and down thus providing forward thrust*** as well as a 'lift' on the rear wheel shifting your weight to the front wheel. while that provides enhanced steering, it also increases the risk of taking a header.

*** UCI has several current ongoing investigations in to ass doping

Anonymous said...

What? Only weights? No Air Hub?! http://terraindynamics.com.au/airhub
What a wuss!

Spokey said...


i'm just younger than your dad but i find that more than 'moderate'. the closest to that i remember specifically was mckenzie pass which i think is around 5600' in 18 miles. i was still in my 50s when i climbed that and thought it was a bitch. had about 60lbs of gear including pannier weight.

nater said...

The futureshock advertisement on specialized's website made bicycling look like about as much fun as rubbing used cat litter into your eyeballs.

I could imagine the caption reading something like:

'Hey boys and girls do you enjoy your grim life as a soulless sell-out corporate drone trading away your youth, passion and dreams in order to afford a million dollar mortgage, ikea furniture, two mid-range BMWs sports cars and a couple of kids that hate your guts? Well if you want to make your life even more miserable and painful buy our bicycles! We take the fun out of bicycling and replace it with hours of tedious pain! You will never amount to anything and you will never be competitive because you work for a living, but at least you can upgrade to ceramic bearings!!'

JLRB said...

Imagine a future where bikes

Crosspalms said...

I went from friction shifting to index, back to friction, laughed at electronic, now I have to decide about blame shifting? It actually sounds pretty intriguing, but if it's from Specialized it's probably too rich for me.

Chris Nieman said...

"With the Future Shock, however, we set out to find just what happens when smoothness is treated as a component of speed."

Sounds like we now know what happens when smoothness is treated as a component of speed.