Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Wednes·day ˈwenzdā,ˈwenzdē/

Do you long to be liberated from the chains of drivechains?  Do you dream of a bike with the mag wheels of a vintage BMX freestyler, the dork factor of a folder, and the geometry of an early 19th century Laufmaschine?  Well, your wait is finally at an end, thanks to...this thing:



Of course the bicycle took its current form like 130 years ago and since then we haven't looked back.  (Especially the triathletes, because when they look back they crash.)  So why then are we poised to make a return to the old-timey velocipede?  Well, because now that we have disc brakes the technology has finally caught up with it:


Yes, disc brakes can breathe new life into any contraption no matter how dated, which is why I'm looking forward to the return of the pennyfarthing:


The massive front wheel diameter will have you rolling over gravel with ease, though you'll definitely want to shift your weight back when applying that powerful brake, because taking a header on a pennyfarthing is easy enough as it is:


You learn something new every day, and today I learned a pennyfarthing crash sounds like a Victorian-era thief dropping a sackful of silver while he's escaping through the window.

BUT WAIT!  There's also rear-wheel steering, so you can turn on a farthing:


Though when you really think about it you never need to make such tight turns, with the possible exception of bike polo, but even then due to the tight wheelbase and small wheel size you'd need to get all new mallets:

Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, you've got this:



If only there were some kind of bike that split the difference between a tall bike and a chainless 21st century velocipede...

Ah, forget it, it'll never happen.

And in apparel news, you'll be pleased to learn that Fred slippers have finally broken the $1,000 barrier:



We first saw them on Dan Martin’s feet at the 2016 Tour de France, and now Mavic is bringing the Comete Ultimate shoes to market. They can be yours this fall for the eye-popping sum of $1,000.

You read that right. For a cool grand, you get two-piece construction — an outer carbon shell with a swappable liner within, akin to ski boot design — that Mavic says will create a more connected feel between rider and bike. The system is also supposedly more efficient: 4.2 watts saved per pedal stroke, according to Mavic. Two Boa closures snug up the carbon shell over the soft liner.


Hmmm, an outer shell with a swappable liner, eh?



So in other words it's basically a Fredly take on the SPD sandal:

Except with SPD sandals you've got to buy the liner separately:



Anyway, the idea of $1,000 crabon roadie sandals seems almost as ridiculous as the idea of shoes that require dedicated socks...which has also happened, so never mind:


At this rate the only way you're going to turn any heads at the rollout of your next Fred ride is to show up in a pair of $1,030 Manolo Blahnik pumps that have been retrofitted to accept a road cleat:

All the expense and Euro flair of a road shoe with even less walkability.

You really can't lose.

39 comments:

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

podi!

Anonymous said...

In like Flynn?

Seattle lone wolf said...

Last podi?

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Go Fourth and Scranus!

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Damnit, the minute I start working the new blog is posted!

Fergus Nash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Duck said...

Read it. And watched all the videos too!

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Chainless would do better if they had used the Bird of Prey girl in their video. Does the rider of the Chainless bike have any weight on his/her sit bones, or is it all on the soft tissue? There are going to be a lot of sore taints and grundles! It must be hard to stand and pedal on that thing too.

Don't fret over the Mavic Comete fred slippers. In 18 months they'll be available at Nashbar for $199.99, but wait until you have a promo code for at least 23% off!

Matt Foster said...

The disk brake penny farthing is poorly designed...obviously it should have a 160mm rear disk in addition to the front disk.

Prince Albert said...

Pennyfarthing crash video, what is all the noise BEFORE the crash? Also that "course" seemed to have a slick surface, and is te red stuff i the corners supposed to increase traction? Or is it just red for danger, you are going to crash here?

Grump said...

That guy on the chainless bike.....Isn't it illegal to ride on the sidewalk in most states????

Fausto said...

Those shoes clipped into penny-farthing pedals might really increase the power transfer efficiency? Need to look onto that...

Grump said...

One advantage of a pennyfarthing. You can corner at crazy angles and not worry about a pedal strike.

Frickus Rungus said...

I'm sure id crash my "safety" bike if I was sawing the wheel back and forth that much...

Anonymous said...

What!no helments on those CHAINLESS demo riders. When is the CHAINLESS GRAVEL coming out

blunchbelly said...

Are all the bike kickstarters targeting investors that don't actually ride bicycles?

I'm not a robot said...

I'm not a robot

Abraham Lincoln, vampire slayer said...

"A kickstarter investor and his money are soon parted."

Nothing New Under the Sun said...

That 2 wheel unicycle? It have been
Kickstarted before

Cat 404 e-Racer said...

Bikesknob,

You gotta get out beyond the Ross Dress for Less of cycle clothiers.

Try these dogs if you got the 2K+ Euros....

https://hanseeno.myshopify.com/collections/shoes

Nothing New Under the Sun said...

Also, why wasn't this funded?

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Hey nice pairing with those socks to the spd sandals. I'd rock that setup on my bents.

N/A said...

Haha, oh man, the Chainless. Hipsterbait.

-Stubby handlebars? Check.
-"Aero" wheels? Check.
-Uncomfortable for rides longer than 50 feet? Check.
-Stupid? CHECK.

The only good thing to come from that is that the weirdos on the Pennyfarthings will get a break from the mockery while the kids on the Chainless get laughed at.

N/A said...

I've got cleats on my Vibram Five Fingers. That combo saves me at least 3 or 4 watts, or whatever.

Bryan said...

I'm holding out for the fat farthing! Truly, a run over evrything bike.

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

Wow, What's the wheelbase on the chainless? It looks shorter than my Dahon. In the video, anyone riding It cant keep it going straight, just like the pennyfarthings.

Roger Kummert said...

How do they measure this new efficiency and watt savings? I've never even seen them prove that using clicky shoes is any more efficient than flat pedals.

Mano Mano Hosejob said...

A grand a pair; give me seven pairs, a different color for each day of the week. Socks to match?

PS Those pumps, Babble already rides in them.

Jesus Boots said...

Hey, what about those SPD sandals? I rocked a pair of the Lake versions one really hot, humid summer here. Sockless, with knee armor: Now that's a conundrum!

Pist Off said...

Exactly right @ Roger Kummert. A recent pedaling output study actually showed that World Cup downhillers had higher max VO2 output on flat pedals than clicky slippers. Most of the WC DH pros are on clicky pedals, but it's more for pedal security than efficiency. Rigid shoe and clicky pedal efficiency is another of the unassailable myths that the Fred/Barney industry lives on.

Some guy from upstate said...

What the hell is watts per pedal stroke? Watts is power (work per unit time). You could turn pedal stroke into distance (depends on gearing) or unit of time (depends on rpm), but then you have watts per foot (or whatever unit of length you like) or watts per second (or whatever unit of time you like), but then you have watts (a rate of doing something) per something, which is what exactly? It's like saying I have some car gizmo that saves 10 miles per hour per foot. It doesn't mean anything. You could say you saved some unit of work (like foot-pounds or newton-meters(joules)) per pedal stroke, and then that would turn into watts at some rpm. That would at least make sense. Or you could just say you save some number of watts. That would also make sense. Although it sounds like bullshit. Save 4.2 watts compared to what? This? https://www.instagram.com/p/BDhkA4vrTez/?taken-by=velocaine&hl=en

wats7 said...

Someone at Chainless should go back and learn geometry. Not one person in that video could ride a straight line.

Robot said...

Bleep, bleep, speak for yourself

Die free said...

Holy chainless, shameless, battleship anchor.

That thing looked heavy. Watching that guy pick it up and waddle up the stairs, made me think his next stop was a hernia specialist... And that lady now she has good form, after the setup, notice how she paused slightly before engaging in the lift to heave that POS in to the trunk of the car...

Old Timer said...

Huh? What?

leroy said...

Told my dog my dedicated socks were holier than thou's.

He left the room muttering something about a Manolo Blahnik check.

BamaPhred said...

I gave up watts for the Senior Citizen discount.

Matt said...

That seat to pedal location looks like it puts a substantial amount of weight on your uhm....hootevator. Yep...looks REALLY comfy.

bad boy of the south said...

#whatheightareyourunning.nice pennyfarthing connection post.