Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Bike Snob Who???

Wait a minute, so there's a Bike Snob Australia now???

There’s no denying that some drillium efforts can be beautiful, but this distinctly DIY effort as spotted by Bike Snob AUS — the Facebook account of Brisbane based shop Cranks Bicycle Garage — hasn’t quite hit the mark.

I was unable to find the original Facebook post (probably because I'm not on the Facebook) but if Bike Snob AUS did not point out the delightful irony that the drillium derailleur is an Ultegra then he/she/they should cease and desist using the moniker forthwith:

If weight is such a concern why not just buy the Dura Ace in the first place? 

Anyway I'm currently running Sora derailleurs with both pulleys removed in order to save weight, so maybe I shouldn't talk.

(Runs a little rough with no pulleys and the shifting does suffer a bit--well, it suffers tremendously--but it's worth it for the weight savings.)

In other tech news, while searching to see if anybody has covered the Jones SWB Complete nearly as comprehensively as I have, I happened upon this review:

I agree with most of it, I thought he did an excellent job, and I'm sure he has his reasons for not removing the reflectors.  (Maybe Bike Snob AUS wants to weigh in there.)  I was also intrigued by these nubbins:

Here is the source of the intriguing nubbins in question:

I think having a place to hang the ol' thumbs when using the forward hand position in conjunction with the Jones handlebar purse would be just the ticket, and I may have to order a set of these things just as soon as I get around to it, which knowing me will probably be somewhere around 2020.

In the meantime I'm still getting plenty of use out of the bike:

And it's pretty much become my default choice for fall, except when it's been raining and the ground is all muddy, in which case I revert to a state of Fredness by riding a road bicycle.

Speaking of road bikes, VeloNews goes uncharacteristically advocacy-ish by way of explaining why the road bike will once again have its day:

Couple that with the woeful state of cycling infrastructure on and around American roads and you’ve got a hurricane of doom for road bikes. Let’s be honest: People who don’t feel safe riding on the roads won’t ride on the roads. And since there’s almost no accountability for drivers who injure or kill cyclists, the problem persists. Compare that to many European countries in which drivers are always on the hook if they strike a cyclist. (Go ahead and Google “Stop de Kindermoord.”)

The industry response to this problem has been inadequate at best, lazy at worst. Hi-viz clothing and flashing lights are nice and all — and boy were they everywhere at Interbike —  but they won’t stop a texting driver from mowing a cyclist down. The best way to increase the road cycling population in the United States is to protect riders from drivers. That means infrastructure, not bright, goofy-looking clothing with embedded crystals and wiring for flashing red LEDs. It’s going to take some real, coordinated effort and a lot of heavy lifting to make real headway here.

Nice.  At this rate they'll be admitting bicycle helmets are mostly BS in no time.

As for road bikes, it's their "long and storied" heritage that will save them:

But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Road bikes are not dead. Not even close. While they’re certainly not as profitable as they used to be during the halcyon-yellow days of Lance Armstrong’s dominance, group rides still roll out on Saturday mornings. Lunch riders abound around noon. A culture as long and storied as the roadie culture isn’t likely to die a swift death.

So are road bikes cool anymore? Who cares? If it’s fun, ride it. It’s clear we’re in a downtrend heading toward a trough, and road bikes could even be considered a small niche. But the bounce will come. If you’re not convinced, take a look at the data.

I'll buy that.  Every now and then you've got to run a razor over the leg stubble, swaddle yourself in Lycra, and hunch over the drops.  I suspect it's the same sense of familiarity and obligation that compels mostly secular people to go to their respective places of worship on the major holidays.

Every so often you've got to supplicate yourself before the Altar of Fredness.


theEel said...


Swood said...

I drillium'd my jones bars for maximum aero upright comfort.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I ended up buying a Jones SWB, due in no small part to your evangelism. I'd been looking at his bikes for some time but couldn't justify the cost of one of his domestic builds. What pushed me over the top though was a call from Jeff Jones. I dropped an email in their inbox one day with a couple of questions about building up an SWB. About 2 hours later my phone rings with an area code I wasn't familiar with and it's Jeff calling to answer my questions! I got a bit of a sales pitch too, he's obviously a guy with a passion for what he sells. With both the Snob and Jeff pushing the bike how could I resist? I don't have a lot of miles on it yet and am planning one of those epic rides real soon but so far I'm very pleased with the SWB, even without the thumb hooks.

Podium maybe?

That Aussie Dude! said...

Where is everybody?? Oh yeah, podium!

JLRB said...

BSAUS? Worlds collide.

pbateman is gathering strength in the warm waters of the gulf said...

Hurricane of Zoom is more like it, 'cause when i get going...my windspeeds are Cat F'ing 6

it would be more helpful if the ratings systems for Bikes and Hurricanes were not inverse because when I'm riding at Cat 6 hurricane speed it means I'm actually Cat 0 on the bike scale.

can be tricky to remember but the damage to your roof will be the same.

Anonymous said...

so no need to ever return that wooden fred sled huh?

leroy said...

On my commute yesterday morning, I pulled up at a light on First Avenue behind a white guy of a certain age in a vest with blinking LED lights.

He had just pulled alongside a young woman riding in jeans and a dark shirt.

He was explaining to her why her clothing choices were sub-optimal: if she were riding behind a black car, she would blend in and might be hit because no one would see her.

I was so dumbfounded, I couldn't tell him before the light changed that man-splaining why a woman might be victimized based on what she's wearing is just plain wrong.

I pulled alongside the woman a few blocks later and, on behalf of old white guys, apologized that one of us felt he had to tell her how to ride a bike.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: One side benefit of riding a bike in the city is that it provides a reminder (albeit small and temporary) of what it's like to have your privilege put on hold.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Comment deleted said...

Road bikes forever, I say. I've been commuting on curvy-bar'd bikes for nearly fifteen years, and nothing else quite fits the ticket. If you just want to mosey along on your commute, a hybrid is fine (I guess). I do the same ride many hundreds of times a year, so I want the most efficient mount.

My tires are gradually getting wider, though.

huskerdont said...

Infrastructure. Okay, sure, that and enforcement.

I'd rather ride on roads where motorists obey the law than be shunted into "protected" bike lanes. Also, I want a pony.

cyclejerk said...

Thumb hooks? Might have to try that. Or not.

bad boy of the south said...

Reflectors complaining? still have mine on all four bikeys in my stable.i know,i know...newbie sign.but,even though each one is off road capable, there are times they hit pavent.
Also,don't ask about the pie plates i have.

Spokey said...

back from my high-ate-us and already in the top 20. patting meeself on the bak

Anonymous said...

My prediction is that the gravel bike phenomenon will actually get more people back on road bikes, once they realize that a 32-pound bikepacking rig with 3" tubeless tires is WAY overkill for 90% of their fitness pursuits. That's what they're being sold these days, but the pendulum always rebounds.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: said...



Thumb Nubbins said...


Carrying extra pounds said...

Weight weenies are scary.

BDC said...

The right bike depends on how you ride first, then where you ride. As Flavor Flav taught us, don't believe the hype.

Rode bikes are fine if you have smooth roads and aren't carrying stuff. Gravel bikes are good if your commute is over mixed media and rough terrain.

bad boy of the south said...

BSAUS?Who's next? BSUK? We can only have one BS and we've got 'em.

Schisthead said...

"in a vest with blinking LED lights."

To be fair, it sounds like he was critiquing fashion instead of making any sort of functional riding advice available.

I'd listen to those people if they had one of those question mark suits.
Even a nice cape might sway me.

janinedm said...

Hey Leroy! On my way to work today, I saw a guy in a fluorescent vest and a helmet with a mirror on it passing a turning car on the inside of its turn so he was pretty much a safety genius.

Also, Snob's snarky comment gave me a crowdfunding idea. A bluetooth shifting and brake system All the cables would be on the underside or even inside the frame's tubes and you'd wear special cycling gloves that would have sensors. Pinky + ring is downshift, Index + middle is upshift. All four is brake. It would be wonky. The battery life would be a concern. You couldn't ride it in the rain. It would be unrideable if anything went wrong with it. Plus with the bluetooth, you could add additional stupid functionality. Cadence meter, for example. It would very likely be a hit.

Finally, I wish I could wake up early enough to see the road cyclists who actually get in the drops. When I'm out, it's the witching hour for people who stay glued to the hoods like schmendricks.

Anonymous said...

We have lots of gravel roads around here and I'm sure plenty of folks are riding on them. The problem for me is that the worst drivers in these parts drive pick-em-up trucks and, on gravel roads, that is pretty much _all_ of the traffic.

Like A Rock said...

Even though I ride a very non-fred bike these days with a three speed coaster brake setup farkled with front basket, fencers, and bike bell I find myself hammering that three speed for all its worth wondering every now and then what it would be like to get back in that Fred groove with drop bars and everything. Maybe now that gravel bikes are "in" I can pick up a road bike on the cheap??

Chazu said...

I was out during the Wolfing Hour this morning, glued to the hoods the entire time like a schmendrick.

Lately, the sun doesn't rise until I'm wrapping up my Fredly Wolfing Hour ride. Riding in the drops with no sunlight or moonlight is an instinctive no-no, now that I'm a father and a husband. I have a 550 lumen Nite Rider on my helment, and a 650 lumen NR on my handlebars. 1200 lumens aren't enough to inspire confidence at speed on dark suburban and country roads.

One of my Strava connections, however, is hammering away, setting PRs and winning KOMs in the dark. (He isn't married, and doesn't have children, and he doesn't "get" why that would make a difference. Yes, youth is wasted on the young.)

HDEB said...

It's been years since I rode a bike with drop bars, my road bike is aging, lonely and feels ignored. Snobby is a time management magician if he finds time to shave legs, ride, blog and care for seventeen kids : )

BamaPhred said...

This old white guy learned to not comment on ladies fashion choices when the Annie Hall look was a thing.

therewillbedrums said...

I'm drilling out the cobbles at PR as we speak

Joe K said...

I've only had non-racy road bikes with drop bars since I got into bikes circa 1970. Still like them. Partly because I'm a pianist and a single bar position drives my hands nuts...they need to roam. I admit wider tires could do me some good here on rougher street surfaces though.

Grump said...

I hope more people become afraid to ride on roads. I'm tired of having to slightly respond when road Freds wave at you, and you feel obligated to make some sort of response.

pbateman is hoping this storm does not make an abrupt right said...

just rode back from work a few min ago and sky was something else.

some pretty funky outer-band looking cloud formations, in an eerie red colorway, moving quite rapidly. and that is way over here the east coast, hopefully well out of harms way.

poor Apalachicola, one of my favorite spots (and a great island for biking by the way) i fear is about to get drillium'ed right to the face by this storm.

Hurricane Michael is like a newly announced through-axle sizeway ...no one needs this shit right now.

Spokey said...


i don't think i've ever owned a bike without drop bars as an adult. gives me more handy positions as me hands get cramped up and otherwise hurt (i 'spect my extra fat puts more pressure on them hand things). in fact i have aero bars on all but one biek. not because i am aero but i can rest me forearms on them and the hands are happier.

not sure if i have a roadie biek though. they all were bought as touring bieks. none have seen anything less than a 700x35 tire and they manage along the road and most dirt and gravel just nice. the co-motion is now over 16 years old and it was just as sweet today when i took it out.

i guess if i went stumpy or rock hoppin' i'd want something else, but don't think i'll be in the situation ever.

dop said...

Chardonnay gone...Chardonnay back

Hoppy IPA going....beers that taste like beer back

Rode Bikes? As long as they're light and fun to ride, people will 'rediscover' them (cf wcrm & the wooden fredsled)

Anonymous said...

"Hurricane Michael is like a newly announced through-axle sizeway ...no one needs this shit right now."

That right there is why I read the comments. Well done, sir!

NYCHighwheeler said...

Hey, get that thumbgrip outta there! You don't know where that thumbgrips been!

Just did the 60 mile route of the Dirty Apple Ride this past Sunday. Amazing dirt roads among the mansions of the .001%. Great route, and fantastic event! Well stocked even for our flat tire plagued group. Next year will have to organize a Bike Snob Readers group so we can crack scranus jokes and make knuckle tattoo references.


beck the biker said...

We are all Fred. We are DEVO.

Spokey said...

Hoppy IPA going....beers that taste like beer back

although a whiskey lass myself, when forced to imbibe in hippity hoppity fashion, i find an ipa one of the few palatable brews.

Anonymous said...

file under future content:


bad boy of the south said...

Here we go again.
stay safe to those in michael's path so that you can ride those two-wheeled contraptions again.

janinedm said...

Dagnabbit, those WCC rides look cool and I never think about looking up their schedule until after all the rides are done. If you keep up with their schedule, can you drop a line in the comments when stuff is coming up? I'm not really a dirt rider, I'm more urban but I have enough flight hours riding over unidentified...stuff on the NYC streets that I ought to be able to keep myself upright offered.

Also, sorry for calling the hood-huggers schmendricks. I mean, I told you all years ago that my first thought upon seeing almost any other cyclist (except the "out of control" youths who pop wheelies on Screamers and whose cheeks I want to pinch) is "great. Who's this asshole?" I suppose that kind of thinking would make me an avid cyclist, but I'd never express such thoughts in the presence of non-cyclists or to ever fight infrastructure or safety laws. I'm just a mean lady.

Wesley Bellairs said...

I just built a New Albion Privateer steel bike for a guy for under $1000. Downtube shifters and ders from Sunrace, crank Sunrace, wheels from Origin8, etc. Rides and shifts better than Campy 6/7sp ever did.

Helen Balcony said...

There is no sign of a decline in Fredliness in Australia. The commute to work is still dominated by people who look like they think they're on a group training ride (and ride accordingly, including on bike paths, which is not a good thing.)
Le sigh.
Eventually we may achieve bike infrastructure for the rest of us who are not buff, male and fast.

Unknown said...

Has anyone else here seen ForestyForest's epic (ironic quotation marks not necessary) touring videos on Youtube? Really beautiful stuff, highly recommended.