Tuesday, April 11, 2017

THis poST EquIPPED wiTH HydraULIC DroPPER TEChnolOGY


(Does that sticker say "I [heart] TRI or I [heart] TRUMP?")

Visiting Gothamist yesterday, the headline "How To Bike In NYC Without Being A Jerk" caught my eye:
"Oh, great," I thought to myself.  "Another blowhard whining about how those crazy 'bikers' don't follow the law."  So I rolled up my sleeves and got ready to pick the thing apart, only to find out the story was in fact mine:


It's always strange when you bump into yourself online like that.

I do still have an issue though, which is that the link says I'm "inimitable," when I am in fact totally imitable:




When my 10-year blogaversary rolls around I'll probably give you the "Bike Snob NYC" title if you ask nicely.

I'm keeping Wildcat Rock Machine, though.


(Rowr.)

Speaking of mountain bikes, BikeRadar "takes the piss" (as they say over there) out of singlespeed mountain bikes:

I was very disappointed to see this--not because I think people shouldn't make fun of singlespeed (they absolutely should), but because I thought people had finally forgotten about them now that it's all about fat bikes and plus bikes and "bikepacking" and low gears that dwarf even the most massive pie plate.  Once people start griping about something this way it usually means that thing is coming back into fashion.  Frankly I don't think I could live through another singlespeed mountain bike craze, and the only worse scenario I can imagine is an Aerospoke comeback.

Also, I will say that while I appreciated the contrary attitude behind this this spirited take, I do think the writer got it exactly wrong.  Consider this:

The problem here is, if you review a singlespeed as a mountain bike, it should get a terrible score – no matter how well it’s built. That’s because it’s a terrible mountain bike due to having a 3mph operational window on purpose.

Oh, I dunno about that.  Singlespeeds are much faster uphill than geared bikes.  In fact, most Mountain Freds can't even make it up a hill because they lose momentum halfway up and proceed to fall over due to their overdependence on tiny gears.  Plus, once you make it to the top of a climb, gear ratios don't really mean that much, and the real factor in how fast you descend is gravity.  No Mountain Fred in the history of visored helmets has ever utilized his or her big/small combo.  Ever.

As for flat terrain, sure, singlespeeds are slow there, but so are squishy bikes or ones with 3-inch tires inflated to 9psi.  And who the hell rides mountain bikes on flat terrain anyway?  That's what those new gravel bikes are for!

And this:

Singlespeeds are terrible in the way iron tyres on wooden wheels are terrible. They’re terrible in the way the smoking room in a Zeppelin is terrible. They’re terrible like old British money, which was all like “That’ll be 3/16ths of a bob, nine shillings, a half-crown, a florin, 4d, six sovereigns, 240 pennies and thruppence… and there’s no use trying to load that flintlock pistol, sir. I’m closing up in 30 minutes.”

These things are all terrible in that they simply don’t need to be that way any more. Nowadays we have inflatable tyres, commercial jets and simple cash. We have the technology to change gears.

We also have the technology to obsessively track our feeble mileage and performance and we shouldn't be doing that all the time either.  Indeed, it's mountain bike shifting and suspension systems that are like the clunky wheels and currency of yore.  There's a reason a mountain bike that's only 10 years old looks like an antique, which is that this crap doesn't last: either it fails during use, or the rider simply gives up on maintaining it because it's "obsolete" now.  Mountain bikers also make even the most terminal road Fred seem like Grant Petersen in comparison.  Sure, the legions of roadies scowling their way over the GWB with their fascistic matching Rapha armbands are sort of depressing, but there are few things sadder than watching someone unload a $6,000 mountain bike from the hitch rack of a Nissan Armada and inflate the tires with a goddamn air compressor just to ride around in a city park in Queens.

Take a decent singlespeed and the latest boingy/squishy bike and I guarantee you that in 10 years' time the former will offer you a much better riding experience, while the latter will basically be tomorrow's Wildcat Rock Machine.

And yes, I realize I'm taking this far more seriously than I meant to, but how else am I going to justify my artisanal singlespeed?  (I do happen to think having a fancy singlespeed and a cheap geared bike is the appropriate allocation of resources.)

Lastly, ebikes are terrorizing Australia:


$1,200 fine...and he was even wearing a helmet!

56 comments:

Anonymous said...

#1?

Anonymous said...

Busted Ebykerz?

Holy Roller said...

Amen!

Anonymous said...

podium?

Bryan Bracy said...

That Ozzy cop didn't have a helment on. Top ten and read the post...

Frickus Rungus said...

What about an older artisinal geared mountain bike that has been neglected to the point where it barely shifts? Does that count as both a fancy single speed and a cheap geared bike? I'm asking for a friend...

Elizabeth said...

We are trying to normalize the legal status of 20-mph e-bikes in NYC. No sympathy for the Aussie e-biker. He was going 44 km/h (27.5 mph), giving him 90% more kinetic energy (to be absorbed in a crash) than a legal American e-bike; and almost 5x as much kinetic energy as a legal Aussie e-bike going 20 km/h.

This guy also had no interest in pedaling. So why didn't he just buy a legal motor scooter? Oh yes... because he has a suspended license. Please, let's go back to videos of cops harassing restaurant delivery workers.

http://www.theverge.com/2016/1/9/10740120/mahindra-genze-2-electric-scooter-ride-ces-2016

N/A said...

I quit using gears on my bikes, that's so yesterday. All of my bikes have been converted to push bikes.

N/A said...

I was riding on a MUP on Sunday, and some dick on a little 50cc dirt bike came ripping-ass down the path with the throttle wide open. I wish he'd have gotten a $1200 ticket, or perhaps a shove down the hill into the river...

Anonymous said...

I always thought it would be fun to move to OZ, by now, not so much. If I can't even ride my push bike above 20KpH, I might as well take up running.............

Anonymous said...

Toppus elevnetheth

BikeSnobNYC said...

Elizabeth,

How long is your commute? Where are you riding to/from?

--Wildcat Etc.

Green Book said...

"He was going 44 km/h (27.5 mph), giving him 90% more kinetic energy (to be absorbed in a crash) than a legal American e-bike; and almost 5x as much kinetic energy as a legal Aussie e-bike going 20 km/h."

People have been looking at kinetic energy with regard to traffic safety since the 1930s. In general there is not much collation. 70 mph interstates in the US with high track traffic often have the lowest crash, injury and death rates per vehicle and passenger mile.

Green Book said...

*truck traffic

Anonymous said...

> People have been looking at kinetic energy with regard to traffic safety since the 1930s.

They've also been designing automobiles with crumple zones, roll cages, occupant restraint, etc. to crash safely at 70mph. None of which is possible on a two-wheeled vehicle. Automobile drivers can (sometimes) walk away from a 70mph crash and live. The statistics are much more grim if you're in the same crash on a motorcycle.

> In general there is not much correlation.

(Total injury rate) = (crash rate) * (injury rate per crash)

Airplane crashes are almost always fatal; and yet, airplanes are very safe per passenger-mile because crashes are so rare. Newbie bicycle riders crash all the time, but usually only scrape their elbow because they're going so slowly. 70mph Interstates are more like airplanes than newbie bikers: they are as safe as they are mainly because crash rates are low. And also those crumple zones...

Our friend down under was traveling neither on a 70mph Interstate, nor did he have a roll cage. Or a motorcycle helmet. or even brakes designed to stop from greater than 20mph.

Anonymous said...

I stopped to take some photographs.

janinedm said...

Can we talk about how I saw my first guy wearing cycling shorts on a Brompton of the year? It's truly Spring.

leroy said...

Well I say this whole urban mountain bike thing has gotten out of hand.

My dog has been riding my bike up and down the fire exit stairwell while I work.

People are starting to notice.

As far as I'm concerned, he can attend every REI urban mountain bike lecture presented by a world famous celebrity bike blogger from now until Saint Swithin's Day (or Tisha B'av, I always get the summer holidays confused)and the only sweet trails he'll ever see will involve a slow hand wave and peyote.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Top Twenty Scrani!

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...sticker says I [HEART] TRAMP

leroy said...

Dear Janinedm @12:21 -- We certainly can talk about cycling shorts on Brompton rider as long as we don't discuss me in full kit (sans clippy shoes stored in backpack) on Citibike this weekend.

I lost a bet and my dog wouldn't go double or nothing.

janinedm said...

@leroy pics or it didn't happen

Fred Fredriksen said...

Man, that Yanni is like Cipo. He makes everything look easy, always looks good and gets the prettiest ladies.

leroy said...

@janinedm - My dog says the photographic proof should come with a trigger warning.

I say it's been a long winter.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Been thinking about dusting off the old SS conversion mtb and going for a trail ride. Might have to do it.

Seattle lone wolf said...

I was wondering where the WRM moniker came from, but was too lazy to Google it. Should have just asked Leroy's dog.

Anonymous said...

Hey! Why all that dissin the perfect currency? When we had 240 pennies to a British £ and even better when we had 960 farthings: remember bike blog, penny farthing!, then it was easy to share out cash in just about every portion except seven. It is just dumb computers which forced us to use this new fangled decimal nonsense.

US is a strange place where you just can't make up your minds which way to jump. can you buy a tyre now which is measured in inches instead of itsy bitsy millimeters?

Abacus

bieks said...

A lot of physics & math going around here today. Elizabeth, I'm impressed if you calculated those figures and didn't make them up like I might have.

McFly said...

You killed my father...prepare to die.

1904 Cadardi said...

You're keeping Wildcat Rock Machine? You're damn right you are!

But as for the disdain of the fully squished mountain bike, just wait a few more years and your back will begin dropping hints that suspension is good.

Anonymous said...

there is a full kitted out grand fondo dude on a folding bike that I see often coming over the GWB from NJ and also occasionally on the Hudson greenway. They dude is serious (-ly delusional). saw him yesterday on my way home from work on the greenway absolutely flying through the very crowded path and coming about 6 inches from a kid who was out with his parents for a leisurely stroll taking in the great weather. Clown bike Sagan, if you happen to be reading this, the greenway is not for racing, if you like to race stay on the streets otherwise share the path and don't be an inconsiderate prick. You're welcome.

Hair Furor said...

No comments on that spectacular title?!?! I nearly spit out my seltzer!

Bravo!

janinedm said...

There's a guy I see uptown who rides into and out of NJ who wore full kit on a Brompton for a while. I forgave it in his case because his sweet road bike had been stolen and it took him about a month last Fall to adjust to his situation. He dresses appropriately to his ride now. (Postscript: I believe he replaced his road bike but he won't bring anything over the bridge that he can't fit under his desk, which is fair.)

Chazu said...

Hair Furor,

In a recent blogular entry, WCRM made reference to a sex act with a dropper post. I think he invented a new sub-genre of pornography.

I'm a little disappointed that the title of today's entry isn't more...graphic.

Very Slim Pickens said...

Janine at 12:21 About a month ago it hit 79 in San Diego. A midday running tour of Coronado Beach revealed the first bikini sightings of 2017. Now that's what I call Spring!

bieks said...

Now that Ringling Bros is going out of business, I'm hoping to get a sweet deal on a used clown suit for future Brompton rides.

bieks said...

I suppose I could use the British RACING Green paint job to justify a Fred suit, but that's just too clownish.

dancesonpedals said...

It's not spring until the UPS guy is in shorts.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...or until you see butt cracks on bicycles

Anonymous said...

Yeah the rule for e-bikes in Victoria is 20kph for motor-only contraptions and 25kph for pedal-assisted machines with the assistance cutting out above 25kph (ride faster if you want, but you have to pedal). That bloke was taking the piss with his home-made motorcycle and can smb for getting fined.

Green Book said...

"...Crumple zones, roll cages, occupant restraint,...

(Total injury rate) = (crash rate) * (injury rate per crash)

...Newbie bicycle riders crash all the time, but usually only scrape their elbow because they're going so slowly....

Our friend down under was traveling neither on a 70mph Interstate, nor did he have a roll ...or even brakes designed to stop from greater than 20mph.


All of those thing listed above correlate strongly with traffic safety.

Kinetic energy does not.

Anonymous said...

Why the crackdown on ebikes? Because they threaten car supremacy, which threatens big oil oligarchy.

P!N20 said...

...the only worse scenario I can imagine is an Aerospoke comeback.

Careful what you wish for: https://aerospoke.co/

geoff_tewierik said...

Hohohoho you mentioned Aerospoke.

You shouldn't have.

https://aerospoke.co/

2 days to go.

Elizabeth said...

> All of those thing listed above correlate strongly with traffic safety. Kinetic energy does not.

Since we don't have crumple zones, roll cages or passenger restraint on e-bikes, all I have left to ensure my safety in a crash is a low speed and an egg crate on my head. In the absence of other safety measures (the situation we have on 2 wheels), I'll be that kinetic energy DOES correlate more strongly with safety.

Persia said...

Yes, Mr Aussieplod was just about right in pinging the motorbike man - just got his 20kph and 25kphs mixed up.

Get a real one!

Freddy Murcks said...

I am inclined to think single-speed bikes are stupid because I like gears and choice and I am not that strong and I MTB because I like to have fun in my free time (single speeding looks like a lot of grim work), but I agree with the point about the oppression of thinking that you need the latest Barney tech if you're going to be a seerius MTBer. I just spent a small fortune on a new Barney bike and I will probably do it again in a few years and then again a few years after that just because they changed some doohickey and then succeeded at convincing me (and my Barney brethren) that I desperately need the new doohickey.

Freddy Murcks said...

In addition to being a gear lover, I am also a fan of squishy bikecycle suspension thingys. I don't know at what point I went full Barney (for instance, I now where baggy shorts over my stretchy shorts), but it happened and there seems to be no turning back now.

Helmets are not optional said...

>Our friend down under ... a motorcycle helmet. or even brakes designed to stop from greater than 20mph.

Which is why ALL bicycles should be speed limited to 20mph and ALL bicyclists should be forced to wear motorcycle helmets. FFS. Why are there so many sanctimonious safety nazis around? Australian is a bogan dystopia.

milo said...

EBikes have one outstanding advantage, that they are likely to encourage more people to bike. This correlates directly with their most serious disadvantage: they will encourage more people who cannot be trusted to ride a bicycle at ANY speed unsupervised, to bike.

Patrick Hoebeke said...

hey, I always want to start my own blog... BS Changzhou New North is not sexy...the battle for stationless bike sharing has not started here yet. It is raging in Shanghai and my own un-scientific opinion is that this month OFO is winning, Mobike is loosing.

dancesonpedals said...

I think snob admired Lloyd Lindsey Young as a child and wanted to be a weatherman. If he says thunderbumpers on his transalt blog, that would clinch it.

Anonymous said...

He just got a warning by the looks of it - no fine. The show helpfully warned what he could have been dropper posted with.

Anonymous said...

You get a bigger fine for riding a bicycle without a helmet then operating an unregistered motor vehicle. Way to go Australia!

nater said...

Jebus.

Australia is actively de-balling it's males. Can't own guns, can't carry pocket knives, can't put hood scoops on their cars, have to wear big overpriced foam coolers on their heads, and now can't drive 16mph on a bicycle with a motor.

What's the point of living when you are not allowed to live?

Meanwhile I survived years of cruising around in a hopped-up moped that went 40mph and didn't have brakes that were capable of holding me still on a hill. Worst thing that ever happened to me was being chased around by a irate and likely drunk highschool gym teacher in a SUV because I drove though a empty football field.


This 'I am a rule follower' safety nazi mentality needs to go before we all die from boredom and soccer mom exhaust. The goal in life is not to make the world safe for idiots.

Denise said...

The man is not kidding. Saw him yesterday on my route home from work on the scenic route entirely flying through the extremely swarmed way and occurring 6 crawls from a child who was out with his folks for a comfortable walk taking in the colossal climate. Comedian bicycle Sagan, on the off chance that you happen to peruse this, the scenic route is not for dashing, on the off chance that you get a kick out of the chance to race remain in the city generally share the way and don't be an impolite prick