Friday, September 21, 2018

Timeless Design Is Timeless

Yesterday I set more mundane concerns aside and went for a ride on the Jones:


It was the ideal route for this bike, consisting of some pavement, some singletrack, and some dirt trail:


Now that I've set the tone for the fall, I intend to continue in this vein for the next few months.

Speaking of bikes with chubby tires, Lennard Zinn asked various bike industry people about what they considered to be "came-changing" technology:

("The new ultra-precision titanium mustache combs are game-changing when it comes to post-ride grooming.")

It's worth noting that out of seven (7) people, most of whom were mountain bike types, two (2) of them emphatically said wide tires and rims.  Meanwhile, suspension only came up once, and only in passing.

Think about it.

Or don't, I really don't care.

And in other tech news, it's becoming easier and easier to ignore Interbike, but I made a point to check out James Huang's coverage recently because it's always worthwhile.  The first thing that jumped out at me was this magnesium bike:


Sure, I enjoyed their questionable "pound of lead vs. pound of feathers" marketing approach:


But the real reason I took notice was that we all know Segal bikes were making magnesium bikes years ago:



I don't know if Segal are still making bikes, but US distributor Trish Cohen's website is still up, so make of that what you will.  And to be honest I still find myself thinking about that bike from time to time: light, endearingly ugly, and made of metal, it was in some ways the perfect New York City park racer, and I kind of wish I'd held onto it. (Though I think if you own a magnesium bike and a wood bike you may be taking the alternative frame material thing too far.)

Elsewhere in James Huang's coverage I found myself puzzling over this:


The cleverly named Tacx Radar (it’s a palindrome …) bottle cage can be configured for left-hand or right-hand access. It seems to hold bottles quite securely, too.

"How the hell can a bottle cage be right- or left-handed?," I wondered.  What's next, a right- or left-handed water bottle?  So I went to the website:


The Radar is a side load bottle cage with very good clamping and especially designed to fit small bike frames. You insert and remove your bottle sideways, from either the left or the right side.

I guess how it works is that if you have a tight frame and a big bottle you can yank the bottle out at sort of an angle, which does make sense.  So there you go.

Finally, via a reader, Old Man Budnitz is doing a "gravel grinder" now:


Basically, it has a belt drive and a Rohloff hub:

The trick to the dropbar Rohloff setup, the Ø:G uses the shifters from a set of SRAM Force 22 road hydraulic disc brake levers with their internal ratcheting mechanisms removed to control the internally geared rear hub without a bulky, less ergonomic shifter à la the Gebla Rohbox mod.

I thought Rohbox was that video game my kid plays until I read more about it:


Now I see why Budnitz doesn't include any pictures.

Hey, it may very well be a fantastic bit of tech, but that's still a lot to pay for a bike with the Rohloff equivalent of a Jtek ShiftMate.

As for actual useful information about the bike (tire clearance, bag mounting capability, etc.), I couldn't find any of that over at the Budnitz website, but I did find this video:

The Owner from Budnitz Bicycles on Vimeo.

And what I learned from that is that cool designer-type people ride Budnitzes:


So cool in fact they ride on the opposite side of the road:


One thing you can say for design people is they feel really strongly about design:


The world doesn't need junk, it needs responsible, well-considered, timeless, meaningful design.

You mean like upside-down skulls that say "Fuck Apathy" underneath them in Sharpie?


Timeless indeed.

25 comments:

Casey Jones said...

Bicycle Crashes at Skewed Rail Crossing

And for those of you who also like to read...

MolassesChamois said...

Budnietzsche!

pbateman has many bikes and no time to ride because of work and women said...

Pod-I-am

ride safe if you have the luxury of riding this weekend like this snob guy who just jaunts around willy nilly during the middle of the day on all manner of alternatively constructed bikes that cost nothing, only to return back home to a refreshing bath from his artisnal hose that dispenses Voss water.


snob, not sure if you are looking to review any bike specific clothing, but turns out they do make precisely the garment you need:

https://www.bikerumor.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Carrera-jeans-bib-short-low-res.jpg

pbateman freely associates orange with diarrhea said...

@casey jones

i certainly don't actually wish anyone any specific ill, and while some of those crashes are quite funny to watch (man fall down is simply timeless), some of those were pretty damn scary and nearly made the latest installment of Faces of Death.

that said.....

given that pathways proximity to neyland stadium and the university of tn school of coloring books and cousin fxxxing, then i can't help but be a bit amused and think most of the folks are riding without training wheels for the first time.

if you also enjoy hillbilly on hillbilly violence: https://bit.ly/2PW9cDN






Keith Gaunt said...

Tacx Radar is not a palindrome.

Al said...

I ride bikes, drink beer and smoke weed but not at the same time. Is that being apathetic or do I have to ride on the wrong side of the street to qualify.

leroy said...

Ride safe all!

And avoid alien abductions.

Pro tip: aliens are easily confused by palindromes. Try: Able was I. Radar, I saw Elba.

JLRB said...

My one semi-functioning bike is making some awful noises - time for some serious mechanical work. Who am I kidding. It will be just as noisy a week from now.

HEAD PHNE

Anonymous said...

"Tacx Radar" is not a palindrome, but "Tacx Radar X-Cat" is. So there's the name for the upgraded model. Of course the game-changing aspect of the new model will undoubtedly be that it is symmetric...

Also, I will happily laugh along about the silliness of Budnutz bikes, but leave my Rohloffs out of this! They are fucking bombproof. Perfect shifting every time, zero dropped chains, and you can shift across the entire range while stopped. Rohbox upgrade entirely optional; the factory external shift box is simpler and more reliable.

Glad I got that off my chest.

Dirk

Dirk Montero said...

"Tacx Radar" is not a palindrome, but "Tacx Radar X-Cat" is. So there's the name for the upgraded model. Of course the game-changing aspect of the new model will undoubtedly be that it is symmetric...

Also, I will happily laugh along about the silliness of Budnutz bikes, but leave my Rohloffs out of this! They are fucking bombproof. Perfect shifting every time, zero dropped chains, and you can shift across the entire range while stopped. Rohbox upgrade entirely optional; the factory external shift box is simpler and more reliable.

Glad I got that off my chest.

Dirk

Anonymous said...

"It seems to hold bottles quite securely, too."

Will wonders never cease?

Anonymous said...

How have you never seen a side loading bottle cage before? They are quite useful on small frames or very slopey frames.

dan said...

The first guy in the game-changing-things article is Joe Breeze, of Breezer bikes -- I recently got a Breezer Radar Cafe (http://www.breezerbikes.com/bikes/details/radar-cafe), which is sort of like ol'piney or the Jones, but with not-quite-such-big tires.

I don't think I've had as much fun on a bike in a long time -- I am definitely on board with this do-anything-bike approach. (plus, I went with flat pedals -vs- clipless, which is a breath of fresh air, I really like just hopping on and going for a ride with the kids etc)

Sarah Palin Drome said...

Naomi, sex at noon taxes, I moan

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 1:53pm,

I don't know, I must be a stupid loser.

--Tan Tenovo

Pist Off said...

There’s nothing lazy and basic about skullz as anti-apathy undaground art, no sir, they even turned it upside down because NO FCKS GIVEN BUDNITZ R LIFE

HDEB said...

Fall 2018 Dirt Fondon't please : )

I'd give an arm to be ambidextrous said...

Um, aren't these:

https://www.vintagevelo.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/DSC_0174.jpg

side loading cages for the ambidextrous?

And they've around for decades. But I guess because they didn't make them out of magnesium or wood they never caught on.

bad boy of the south said...

Leroy,i finally visited perry rubber in savannah while on vacay.nice place.

Anonymous said...

A wooden frame can get tinder dry while titanium is a multi-purpose grindr.

Matt said...

Wow...riding around on a magnesium frame...talk about living on the edge! It can burst into flames that you can't put out without a special fire extinguisher! Do all Mag frames come with a frame mounted Class D Fire Extinguisher? Just think of the mfr's liability if not! And am I the only one who remembers McGuyver escaping a very scary situation by cutting up a frame, filing a bunch of the metal inside one of the tubes with a small hole at one end, and then using it as a torch? Come on...that was TOTALLY believable! Stuff like that happens ALL THE TIME! Just imagine his dire predicament if it had been 30 years later and the frame was crabon! He'd be DEAD!! And that all just made me think of MY dire predicament, as I have a vintage Rock Shox Mag 21 suspension fork in my attic for crying out loud...how am I still ALIVE? I bet TSA would totally not let me fly with it...it's almost as dangerous as 3.7 oz of fluid for crying out loud!

Anonymous said...

I put a JTek bar-end shifter on an old found frame that I re-fitted with an 8-speed Alfine hub. An incredibly pleasing bit of kit to use!

Anonymous said...

Timeless designs take time.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps suspension did not make the list of NEW game changing" technology, because it's been around for 30 years....

Scott Maurer said...

"Budnitz Bicycles is currently a three-man operation, with fifth-generation painter and sculptor John Young — whom Budnitz met at a meditation retreat in Boulder, Colo. — handling much of the design, sales and media relations. Mechanic Hunt Manley was hired from Burlington’s Old Spokes Home to hand-build the bikes (the titanium frames are welded in Taiwan)".

Just as I thought. WELDED IN TAIWAN! At least not by meditating communists.