Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Wood That I Could

You may remember that last week I posted about SRAM's mustache-rich promotional video for their new DUB crank interface:


While I speculated that SRAM may have some sort of facial hair-related hiring policy, one commenter pointed out the following:

Anonymous said...

FYI - Yes it was filmed in November (read the YouTube description). No, it was not a corporate challenge. It was a charitable challenge honoring a co-worker who had passed.

January 23, 2018 at 1:19 AM

Well now don't I feel like a douche:


In any case, while I was wallowing in the comments, I also came across this:

Anonymous said...

I have also found the square taper to be reliable. And cheap. When it is improved upon I will stop being a retrogrouch.

JANUARY 19, 2018 AT 9:01 PM

Nothing against square taper, but it has been improved upon:


Hollowtech II uses the same bottom bracket shell and makes installing and removing cranks about as complicated as adjusting your threadless stem.  Plus, since it's external, the bottom bracket itself is a lot easier to install and remove.  I'd call that an improvement--certainly not an "I'm gonna change all my bikes over immediately!" improvement, but easily an "On my new bike I'm gonna go with..." improvement.

I will entertain no additional opinions on this matter, and if you're tempted to leave a comment about how square taper bottom brackets allow you to adjust your chainline I invite you to send it here.

Then there was this comment:

Jojo Potato said...

Why are mountain bikers in videos with pounding music always going downhill?

JANUARY 18, 2018 AT 10:15 PM

Because going downhill on a mountain bike looks cool and going uphill doesn't:



Moving onto more roadlier matters, as I mentioned yesterday I've been doing some intensive testing on the Renovo Aerowood, aka the "Loophole Bike," shown here with my finger in the shot:


And please note that's "Loophole Bike," not "Knothole Bike:"


No knotholes in the Renovo, so if you're a squirrely rider you're gonna have to find someplace else to hide your nuts:


Sorry.

In any case, the dead of winter may not be an ideal time to test an aero bike with skinny tires:


Nevertheless, now that I've sorted out the creaking (as I mentioned, it turned out the bottom bracket simply needed tightening--which was very easy since it's a Hollowtech II with a threaded shell) I've been riding it regularly, and so seductive is this exotic wooden bicycle that my inner Fred, dormant for years, is now sprouting anew from the frozen earth.  Yes, it's true: while at first I thought the bike had kind of a deluxe backgammon set aesthetic that was at odds with my recent affinity for unhurried riding on pragmatic metal bikes, I must admit I now find myself beaming from the sense of self-satisfaction that comes from riding an esoteric Fred Toboggan.  Indeed, as I pedal, I'm transported 20 years back in time, when I used to look covetously at the older riders astride their Calfees and Colnagos and tally up the components in my head.  "Perhaps one day that will be me," I used to pine.  "Successful, busy with children and career, yet able to reward myself with an expensive bicycle and--most importantly--also still able to hammer."

Well, here I am: I've got the kids and I've got the expensive bike (on loan anyway), and while I may not have a career, be successful, or even be able to hammer, it turns out none of that really matters that much when you've got a couple decent kids and a sweet bike.

Basically riding the Renovo makes me feel like I've arrived, despite having never gotten up off my ass.

So yes, I'm here to confess that this bicycle has managed to rekindle my inner Fred.  Moreover, between this and Ol' Piney I'm currently existing in an ambiguous Schrödinger's cat-like state, suspended between monied master douchedom and jorted, fat-tired dirtbagitude.  Of course I'll fully revert to the latter when it's time to send the Renovo back, but until then I'm enjoying the paradox.

As for the particulars of the bike, it rides beautifully, as you'd expect from a well-fitting bike with high-end components.  My experiments with wheel-swapping also indicate it preserves this ride quality even when fitted with wheels costing roughly 1/10th of the price of the crabon wheels with which it came.  (Not to mention the metal wheels result in much better braking.  While the crabon wheels stop acceptably, they're nowhere near as smooth as metal rims, and they continue to shriek intermittently which is, quite frankly, antisocial.)

As for the cost of the bike, as the discount perineum salesman says, "Taint cheap:"


But let's just say you have actually arrived in life, and you want to blow a bitcoin on a road bike that will draw attention to you.  Here's comparably priced bicycle:



On one hand it's got Dura Ace instead of Ultegra, but on the other hand it's not from Portland and made of wood.  And if you've got a globe that opens up into a bar, you're gonna want to go for the latter:


Anyway, now that I've taken delivery of an 11-speed cassette I plan to configure the metal wheels for the Loophole Bike and continue riding into the spring and summer when I can truly unleash my pent-up Fredness upon the world, and like it or not I'll continue to keep you apprised of my exploits.  (Of course, they might want the bike back before then, but I'd like to see them try to get it.  Portlanders don't scare me.)  And watch out, because already over the weekend I bagged my first Strava KOM!


That is 100% a Strava error since I actually made a right before reaching the very top of the climb but I'll be goddamned if I'm gonna report myself.

So there.

30 comments:

Charles Young said...

Howdy. And falling on a stump looks fun.

HDEB said...

Technical climbing is fun -- My comments are inane : )

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...wait Strava makes mistakes?

BikeSnobNYC said...

Serial Retrogrouch,

It has totally tracked me on segments I've ridden near but not on.

--Wildcat Etc.

wle said...

I think, editorially-speaking-wiselyish... "jorted" reads, less unpleasingly, as "be-jorted"... No...?????////

Charlie said...

sartorially-speaking, they are both terrible.

Lisa Hyundai said...

I store my nuts in the KuKu Penthouse where they belong.

softcore said...

GXP: All the advantages of Hollowtech II, plus some chainline fudgeability. You'll love it.

Hee Haw the barista said...

I've got nuthin.

Pist Off said...

GXP non drive side bearings always wore out really fast for me. In SRAM’s latest B.B. propaganda storm, apparently GXP was their own benchmark for bearing durability. So, the new DUB stuff is supposed to last longer than something that didn’t last very long. That’s good I guess...

1904 Cadardi said...

The Hollowtech II is a good interface, but some of Shimano's bottom brackets have been less reliable (i.e. prone to crunchiness, but still not creaking) than their older square taper cartridge units. The $50 up charge for a Chris King is usually worth it.

boys on the hoods said...

As for the cost of the bike, as the discount perineum salesman says, "Taint cheap:"

Gold Snob! Pure Gold!!

BikeSnobNYC said...

1904 Cadardi,

I've never had a Hollowtech II go crunchy, but then again I am a bit of a "woosie."

(Then again the low-end Campy square taper BB in my Ironic Orange Julius Bike still spins like new...)

--Wildcat Etc.

Anonymous said...

I am truly jealous of the delight your spawn will feel when they one day look back through Pop's old archives and see "decent kids" on the blog.
The feels!
The douchechills!

leroy said...

Wait, you can fit a bar in a globe?

Well that explains why my dog's geography club meetings are always so noisy.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Well I for one, and hope many of the commentariat concur, hope that Renovo “forgets” to ask for the wood bike to be returned!

Grump said...

One advantage of a timberfied bike is that nobody can complain if you shout "I Got Wood" as you ride past a convent....PS. I had a Hollowtech II BB go sloppy on me, but that was after 35,000 miles.

Fourhourerection said...

Love the Hollowtech II on the mountain bike, and Campy Veloce square taper on my Trek 330 still spins like new, unlike my 105 bb on the fancy road biek. WTH.

Paul Heckbert said...

If de Blasio persists with his e-bike crackdown, perhaps the delivery workers should turn to "auto wheels" instead. Reviewers say the auto wheel "affords greater ease and increased safety awheel". http://www.oldbike.eu/museum/world-war-one/1913-first-pattern-wall-autowheel-fitted-to-ww1-bsa-bicycle-with-military-fittings/

Joe said...

Snob, I think a fair assessment of the loophole bike should include a CRCA club race and a Floyd Tuesday. Time to renew that USAC membership.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Joe,

Way ahead of you.

--Wildcat Etc.

Irwin said...

Thanks Snob for excellent words! May your Fred re-awakening be cathartic . Crabon rimes.. meh.

JLRB said...

Once a Fred, always a Fred, notthathteresanythingwrongwiththat

And don't worry too much about the ebike crack down impact on the food delivery workers - with the alt-right immigration crack-down there will soon be nobody left to deliver food (and there will be 700,000 or so young people that really hate us spread around the world to further seed anti-USA hatred)

bad boy of the south said...

i sure am hoping that the seemingly rotting stump has been removed since the video was made.i wouldn't want to be the one to say i have a stabbing pain,after falling on nature's spear.
i wonder if brompton is going to make an artisanal folder out of wood.

Anonymous said...

Snobby, I hardly recognize you anymore!? BikefredNYC?

I was kind of surprised how untechnical the "technical" section in the video was, but then then majority of riders looked like novices. If that's what passes for mountain bike racing these days maybe it's time for me to jump back in!?? - masmojo

Freddy Murcks said...

Regarding the technical climb video, I am not going to declare that I could definitely do better, but I also have the good sense to not film myself while I am flailing along on my Barney bike. There were some seriously inept riders in the 1.5 min.

Anonymous said...

I bet your the only reviewer riding a fancy road bike in the winter

Gerardo from Sure said...

OMG, why it´s so expensive!!! I want one for my boy...
Thnks for the post.

Peanut Farmer said...

Those would-be mtb climbers suck and they would do better on a 26er hardtail dammit.

Peanut Farmer said...

... And furthermore, the hollowtech II is the holy grail of bottom brackets. 24mm Shimano stylings can't be beat...