Thursday, May 24, 2018

Shoulda Coulda Wood-a

After the publication yesterday of my cloyingly smug Outside column about the joys of riding super early in the morning:

(Yeah, I just plugged it again, so what?)

I set my alarm for a super-early ride this morning.  However, I must have turned it off in my seep, and by the time I finally woke up it was too late to ride.

So much for that.

I also took a lazy and gauche mid-day ride yesterday, so clearly I'm reverting to schlub mode just as we move into prime morning riding season.  And it was on my ride that I saw this kludge-tastic skateboard deck fairing:

It's hard to see because I didn't feel like squeezing past the parked car, but there's also a fender made of two (2) skateboard deck tails on the back of the bike:

Speaking of wood, I was also on the Renovo:

Which I hadn't ridden for awhile owing to the fact that until a couple days ago we've been subjected to a near-constant soaking from above and I'd been riding my bike that was already dirty:

Having now shuffled the Renovo into my deck of bicycles I've had ample opportunity to compare it to the others (if you're wondering about my one-bike resolution I promise a full accounting at the end of the year) and at the risk of sounding like a douchebag (oh, who am I kidding, I've been sounding like a douchebag for 11 years now) I think I'm finally buying into Renovo's claims:

Renovos have an unequaled smooth ride. This is because vibration is absorbed by the wood itself, enhanced by our designs where appropriate.

Well, okay, I shouldn't say "buying," since there's no way I'd spend ten grand on anything I couldn't live in (and no, I'm not becoming RV Snob), but going from bike to bike it does ride really, really nicely in comparison.  I also can't discount the wood's role in all this since it rode more or less just as nicely with a pair of cheapo Shimano wheels.  Really, the biggest problem I have with the bike now (apart from the single bottle cage, which I'll keep mentioning forever) is that it feels too damn fancy--I just look down at that woodgrain and I can't relax completely.  It's kind of like walking around in a pair of new shoes you're afraid to scuff.  I mean there's no reason the Renovo shouldn't get gouged and notched like a bar or a stairway handrail, but despite my forced irreverence I still harbor an Inner Fred who remains overprotective of certain velocipedal items, especially when they're expensive.  So I should probably just take my own advice and ghostride it off a flight of steps to get it banged up a little bit.

As for the parts, they're all holding up well.  Since last November I've only charged the Di2 once, in early March, and it still seems to have plenty of juice.  The crabon wheels remain true, and the braking remains noisy, but not unbearably so.  (Seems to depend at least partially on atmospheric conditions.)  The Continental Grand Prix Whatever-Number-They're-Up-To-Now have also held up well, though I'm going to change them soon to 25s to see if that increases the sumptuousness factor at all.  And I like the handlebar shape, but still not the fact that the tops are bare.  (When the bars need re-taping I'll wrap them all the way up, but since the current tape is that Lizard Skins stuff I don't expect it to wear out until roughly 2032.)

So yeah, I'm a pathetic middle-aged club racer on an expensive wooden bicycle and I've got absolutely no problem with that.

Of course the only thing left to do now is compare the Renovo to a state-of-the-art high-end crabon road bike, but the chances of my either buying one or receiving one gratis are virtually nil.

Finally, they've deleted it now, but the LAPD had some advice for cyclists recently:

The above is a screenshot from a Twitter thread, and it's a shame it doesn't include the complete photo because it showed that the car was in the bike lane with a crushed bicycle beneath it.

So yes, a reminder to cyclists to wear helmets, but no reminder to motorists not to drive in the bike lane or run over any of the cyclists they might find in said bike lane.

Got it.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Alabama says “ Run’em down ina bike lane, piece a crap!”

Schlub-tastic in my seep.

Select all images with crosswalks, brilliant! Such a feeling of false safety...

bad boy of the south said...

I see that you're into the "woods" today.

pbateman said...

came here first to see if there were any comments about early mornings, dreams, wood, and seepage

i may be first, but i can't imagine this wont be a theme.

thanks Snob

Pretty Wendy said...

There may not be any comments today.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Chazu said...

Speaking of AM rides:

My alarm was on the other side of the bedroom this morning. It sounded as planned at 5:08. I woke up, got out of bed (ran a comb across my head), turned off the alarm, and got back into bed.

Then I could feel the initial stage of the creeping regret I would experience later in the day if I didn't ride in the morning.

So I was out the door at 5:33 and rode 21 miles with 1,115 feet of elevation gain. I won't share my average pace, especially since no one cares in the first place. But I thoroughly enjoyed it. The breeze was scented with honeysuckle and magnolia blossoms (flyover rube!), not to mention the skunk that had been smeared across a neighborhood parkway overnight by a motor vehicle.

A nap would be nice right about now.

Fausto Coppi said...

Woody podium!

pbateman said...

this long term wood review that has lasted more than 4 hours actually prompted me to pop over to Revnovo's site to check them out.

I didn't know wood bikes were a thing (aside from all the bamboo bikes, which is a grass anyway, so doesn't even count as that can't compare with actual HARD WOOD).

They are actually excruciatingly pretty. Not going to say they are cheap, but they aren't that bad comparatively speaking.

never would have thought i'd like how much wood a woodchuck chucks so much and dont blame you for not wanting to scratch one up.

in fact, i think we'd have a real axe to grind if you threw it off some stairs you bio-phobic tree slugger.

bad boy of the south said...

Never mind.carry on.

Drock said...

Wood without a top coat, pretty grey weathered wood like cape cod gets me into my loafers faster than any carbon di2 set up

Anonymous said...

I may have picked up some fake lizard skins which certainly did not last like the tape from the late 80's. Maybe lizards are an endangered species.
The renovo should be tested against a titanium lugged bike with wooden main tubes (i think they hollow them out just like bamboo).

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to your reports of any upcoming morning wood rides you might have.

Anonymous said...

That "other" Anon is right. Never seen Lizard Skins that last a year.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 6:11pm,

Really? The tape on my Milwaukee looks like I put it on yesterday. Must be my Palmolive soft hands.

--Wildcat Etc.

HDEB said...

I am a douchebag who rarely rides my bicycles and I suck at taping bars : )

Anonymous said...

That is because you a weak, soft, a woosie, a poser, and a disappointment to your parents. A real man would wear out his bar tape and be writing for the tv by now.

Chazu said...

George Costanza: "I'm a writer." (pronounced 'rightah')

Woman in bar: "Really? What do you write?"

George: "I write for television, mostly."

Woman: "You're part of the problem!"

Skidmark said...

Paperback writer,🎼🎹🎷, paperback writer...

Poor Simon Yates said...

Maybe Froome actually was on a wooden bike today.

Billinrockhill said...

Ah, wood. Such a strong, firm topic for discussions among BSNYC group members. As far as bieks go the Renovo sounds really cool. I saw a wooden bike one time When riding TOSRV in Ohio several years ago. It was a walnut tandem hand-built by a man in Pennsylvania. I later saw that man and that bike at NAHB in Charlotte. I found him today at A video there shows how he builds with wood and explains why they are walnut and not, say, hickory. Or steel. Or titanium.

pbateman is GDPR compliant said...

Here's a quiz question for your friday quiz....are you even GDPR compliant bro?

better lube your compliance officer, he/she is in for a long weekend defending your chamois cream covered buttocks.

Stump said...

vibration absorbed by woody