Thursday, May 31, 2018

New Outside Column, New Tires, Same Great Taste!

It's been an exciting couple of days over here at Bike Snob Industries, LLC.  Firstly, my latest Outside column just appeared on the Internet:

Once again, illustrator Taj Mihelich has done an incredible job, though for obvious reasons this one will always be my favorite:

As for the Tesla illustration, this tweet was the basis for it:

Though I didn't end up referencing it, go figure.

Anyway, as you probably know, Elon Musk is currently on a mission to end clickbait, which obviously hits me right in the pocket.  Now I know how the fast food industry felt when New York City announced it wanted to ban trans fats.

In other exciting news--are you sitting down?--I put new tires on my (well, Renovo's) wooden Fred Sled!

The bike came with 23s, and especially given the wide rims on that fancy-pants crabon wheelset I'd been thinking something wider would be real improvement.  Current Aerowoods will take 28s, but this one ain't current, which meant that unless I was prepared to break out the file I was pretty much limited to 25s.  Of course I realize buying bike parts on the Internet is evil, but I happened to notice a sale on a certain high-end Italian racing tire in the 25c sizeway, and I couldn't resist.  (Hey, now that Elon Musk wants to destroy my livelihood I have to be frugal.)  So on they went:

The top tire is the 23 and the bottom one is the 25.  It's tough to see the difference, but once the rear wheel's tucked in behind that tight faired seat tube (seat branch?) you get a sense of the extra volume.  As for the ride quality, I can emphatically say that it it is indeed exactly two millimeters better.  In particular the cornering seems to have improved a bit, but I corner as timidly as a shut-in peering down the hallway so there you go.

Finally, Peter Flax wrote an impassioned piece about why he's so upset about Chris Froome winning the Giro of Italy:

It's a strong opinion elegantly and engagingly presented, though I'm not sure I agree:

In moments like this, it is sad to have to say this out loud: The sport of cycling belongs to the fans. These are good people whose patience and passion has been tested for decades now. These are the good people who ultimately enable the business of pro cycling to exist and flourish. These who are the good people who camp out on remote mountain roads to celebrate a beautiful sport and be within an arm’s reach of their heroes for a few fleeting seconds.

And Chris Froome is shitting all over these people.

Did he though?  Or did he do his job by winning a bike race?

I'd argue the latter, though generally speaking I'm not someone who operates on faith:

How long can our faith be stretched before it just snaps?

I believe that faith is like some kind of gooey film on your body: it should be sloughed off with the Loofah of Pragmatism long before it has the chance to congeal and turn brittle:

A-meh and holy luau.


Did I . . . . . said...

. . . . . .podium?

I realized on an otherwise pleasant ride on my bicycle somewhere in New England the other day that ALL the vehicles passing me were either SUVs, pick-ups, or extremely large SUVs or pickups. I don't mind a pickup actually "picking stuff up" for work or whatever, but most of what I saw were clean cabins/storage areas where not a drop of sand, wood, plaster, or concrete had even been introduced. Then I saw the current price of gasoline and managed to both chuckle, and shed a tear for the people who actually need them. Detroit is pushing these monstrosities on those who drive these awful things only for status, and it ain't going to end well.

Blog Drafter said...

Well said Snob. Faith is a spiritual quality, but unfortunately it's all too often a dead end.

And all that about the bikes, too.


Il Pirata est Mort said...

My filthy body film stays right where it belongs!


So, I sure hope you pushed those 25's onto the rims with your hands and not with tire levers, 'cause you know...


grog said...

I put my faith in Recumbabe.

Anonymous said...

Your relentless retro grouchiness is coloring your world view.

Tesla is pushing self driving tech more than any other. This tech is more likely to 1. Reduce car ownership 2. Reduce amount of public space given to car parking 3. Increase awareness of dangerousness of human drivers

Musk is investing in many different technologies to slow/reverse climate change. He is also investing in mars settlement in the not so unlikely event we do ruin earth’s habitability by climate change or nuclear winter. Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket.

Plus, he’s dating Grimes!

BamaPhred said...

Loofah? Looks like a corn cob. Maybe I could sell cobs as an organic, locally sourced, artisanal, body cleansing solution. Oh, the Giro is over? Froome won? Not surprised.

That's what she said...

"you get a sense of the extra volume"

N/A said...

I don't keep any eggs, or anything else for that matter, in a basket. When I was a kid, I watched a very compelling documentary on bears and their voracious appetite for baskets containing foodstuffs. You just can't be too safe, you know.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 3:38pm,

The title of the column *may* be a tipoff not to take it *too* seriously.

--Wildcat Etc.

Pist Off said...

Musk is on the line between huckster and genius, and his actual record of delivering on his promises is pretty bad. Autopilot is a terrifying idea to me. I work on computers and electronics and they’re just reliable enough to fool us most of the time. Software is human - it always has errors. In no way will mass deployment of self driving cars be as safe as we’ll be told.

HDEB said...

GM just received $2.5 billion from Soft Bank to develop their own self driving vehicles. Not too much longer until self driving land yachts are all over. Cars stink, ride a bike!

wishiwasmerckx said...

I have never looked at the man the same way once I learned that his name is short for Elongated Muskrat.

Anonymous said...

well written piece. you could make a fortune as a ghost writer.

bad boy of the south said...

wishiwasmercyx,what would "the captain and tennille" say about that?

Drock said...

My 32mm are narrow and wide and fast and slow. Supple and relaxed, like me.

leroy said...

Well I for one thought Mr. Flax's article was pitch perfect and put into words what I could not.

My dog assures me my insights on the issues of credulity and credibility are particularly poignant because my faith has been tested so much it has loofah resistant stretch marks.

Oh ye of feckless faith.

pbate likes bicycles and cars, but not teslas in particular said...

i like watching the spaceX launches - seeing them land the boosters is definitely an eye opening, "holy crap i'm living in bladerunner and elon is a replicant" moment, but F tesla right in the A.

Building expensive cars that are leaky, creaky and not well assembled, as though they are a cell phone with wheels that needs to be replaced every 2 years, as well as dangerously using the public as beta testers..

no thank you.

the coming combo of high gas prices, subprime car loans and various not advisable finance terms on cars (84 months on that kia loan is apparently common) will likely get more cars off the roads than elon and his hair will anytime soon.

my advice: invest in the new bike share program that i'm starting that only has really nifty bikes built with only Reynolds 753 and various handsome campy parts (bling!)

just $1,000 per month. inquire within.

AtLeastHeIsNotaNaziSympathizerLikeHenryFord said...

"Musk is on the line between huckster and genius..."


"...his actual record of delivering on his promises is pretty bad."

The delivery rate is low because the number of promises made is huge. The promises he has delivered on are impressive:
- Started a (profitable) space company from scratch, developed technology to re-use rockets.
- Started a major (non-profitable) car company from scratch.
- Installed a giant battery system for a Australian wind farm in 90 days.

"Autopilot is a terrifying idea to me. I work on computers and electronics..."

Here is a guy who also works with computers and electronics and he is more terrified of some of the humans he sees driving cars now, than of autopilot cars:

Driving Cars
Fatal Crash Rate
Self-Driving Issues
Self-Driving Car Milestones

"...mass deployment of self driving cars be as safe as we’ll be told."

True, but is could be safer the the mass deployment of individualy driven cars we have now.

Unknown said...

vsk said ...

As far as I remember, Ford did not take bailout money.


Anonymous said...

The invention of the automobile is man's greatest mistake. Electric cars, green cars and self-driving cars are still just, you know, cars. And the car is a symbol of slavery, ecocide, and the meaninglessness of modern life. But it is the great taboo to speak truth about our addictive, diseased preoccupation with our freedom machines. And with that, I'm getting on my Indy Fab and I'm outta here. Have a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

I don't troll blog posters about grammar, and if I did I'd have little to complain about here on this site. But, et tu, The Atlantic????

"... write about Tesla because of they’re click-hungry, dishonest creatures ..."

JLRB said...

I’m in a bind cause I’m way behind

dop said...


In your favorite picture, your bike has aero bars. Is that why you're riding hands free?