Monday, December 17, 2018

Somebody Stop Me

This past Saturday I headed out for a short ride on the good ship Renovo:


Ordinarily I don't ride the Renovo in the rain, mostly because all my other bikes are filthy, so it's nice to have at least one bike with fancy parts that's nice and clean.  As such, I've never had the opportunity to test the braking on the crabon rims in wet conditions.  Well, on this particular ride I ended up getting rained on rather steadily, and guess what?

When it's raining them shits don't stop.

I mean seriously, it was really disconcerting.  Indeed, it's clear to see why road bikes are moving to disc brakes.  (Though of course it's less clear to see why amateurs insist on using the crabon wheels that necessitate disc brakes in the first place.)  Anyway, the upshot of all this was that today I swapped whee's, because I'd like to keep riding the bike through the winter and I'd also like to be able to stop.  So here's my modest little winter beater now:


It's worth noting that these cheap out-of-the-box Shimano wheels cost like a tenth of what the crabon wheels do.  The difference in ride quality is minor enough that I'm not even sure I feel it, yet the braking is orders of magnitude better, which means on balance the cheap wheels are an upgrade.  (I came to more or less the same conclusion last time I switched wheels too, by the way.)  Also, the bike is considerably quieter, and I'm pleased to report that on this morning's ride I didn't hear any of the pirate ship sounds that have been plaguing the Renovo as of late.

This could mean that the creaking was coming from the fancy crabon wheels--or it could just be that I'm still kind of soft-pedaling as I continue to recover from my hurty foot and am simply not producing enough POWER to make the thing complain.

Either way, I'm taking a perverse amount of pleasure from the fact that I'm using an artisanal wooden bicycle as my winter bike, and I may have to move upstate and purchase multiple axes now:


Former city people might find themselves chopping wood (even owning multiple axes), growing some of their own food, heating their homes with wood stoves or learning to spot signs of wildlife, like the marks a buck makes when it rubs its antlers against a tree. At parties, they say, people talk about swimming holes and nature hikes rather than what they do for a living, and gathering around a firepit is as commonplace as a Manhattan power lunch.

On second thought, I don't think I could move upstate, because if some former Park Sloper cornered me at a party and started talking to me about swimming holes and deer markings I'd interject with "I'm gonna go ahead and stop you right there" and then split their head open with an axe.

Plus, I'd probably end up burning the Renovo for warmth.

But hey, maybe I just need to loosen up and take a love-letter writing class:

Upstairs from Lite Brite Neon, he and his wife opened Cygnets Way, a studio that offers community yoga and classes in mindfulness practices, like sound healing. Ms. deVries also teaches bead-making and love-letter writing there.

Dear Ms. deVries,

It's horrible up here.  Please kill me.

Love,


--Tan Tenovo

36 comments:

Lucas Tarr said...

I'm the best. Are there still rewards?

HDEB said...

Three pounds Collins Axe with a hickory handle -- functional, classic and affordable : )

Pist Off said...

Carbon rims are the answer to zero questions, except “How do I waste perfectly good money on unnecessary bike parts?” I love seeing a high end frame with basic wheels.

It’s good to know your habitat. I’m more suited to country axes than boulevard wingtips, but I don’t understand sound-healing or luv-letter-writing anymore than you do. Also have never talked about swimming or nature walks at parties. Maybe it’s just me, but I bet a lotta city folk moved their yoga pants out to the country recently and just have to talk about it as much as possible.

8carlisle said...

Tan, you should have invested in artisanal axes after all; or UBER.

bad boy of the south said...

Tan Tenovo took an axe...

J.D. Leonard said...

Artisanal axe snob up state new york

AASUSNY

It could be a career changer.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...Tan, have you considered wood wheels on your wood bike? Not talking about carriage wood wheels... talking about actual high end wood wheels.

Saftsack said...

Snob, this is how it works: you have added wheels which absorb by flexure - and then release with a slight delay -and in the same direction- some of the POWER you are putting into them. The crabon wheels don't do any of that thanks to their stiffness. Any energy that doesn't go towards propulsion just gets fed back into the system, where it gets converted into pirate farts, among other things. And by the sound of things, there is a lot of energy going backwards, which explains why using the coal hoops gives zero advantage over the Shimano wheels (it would, however, yield more heat if you ever did have to burn the thing to keep warm so there's that).

Some guy from upstate said...

How is it possible I have gone over 50 years without "hearing the snowfall"? Guess I'm just out of touch with nature ...

At the parties I'm at, the talk is all snowblowers and New York State politics.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Saftsack,

Hope you're kidding--the crabon wheels flex enough that the rear rubs the frame on hills.

--Tan Tenovo

Saftsack said...

Sorry I missed that bit. So ok then, rubbing plus pirate farts plus shitty braking plus 10x the price - I don't blame you for replacing them with actual wheels.

Anonymous said...

Tan Tenovo needs to upgrade to the laterally stiff and vertically compliant carbon wheelset.

Pelon said...

Since i grew up in the forests of Michigan and spent summers chopping trees to feed a solo wood stove to heat the family house and hunting deer with my dad to feed the family over the winter. That article made me throw up into my "re-claimed linen kerchief" that my artisan wife knitted from the recently deceased neighbor polish grandmothers table throw. Did I mention that the grandma brought it from formally Polish Dresden? Haahaa well my wife the knitter/illustrator/dula/yoga guide could give you the full history, Saxon's, Taschenbergs, you know yada yada yada. In all seriousness, fuck those entitled yuppie gentrifying fucks. I can only imagine the nose peering and judgment any time they have to interact with a long time local.

Drock said...

Let’s see 80% of riding is the rider
With the remaining %’s, 80% is the wheels and tires
And I’ll end it with MAVIC OPEN PRO. It’s all you need for a long time as long as you don’t ride like an idiot.
Lastly, I’m a country kid in the city for 18 years now, I own an axe, splitting mull, hatchet, bowsaw, crosscut saw, and a tm-1 so go figure.

Steve Barner said...

I've lived in a cabin in the forest and have heated almost exclusively with wood for over 35 years. No one who heats with it has chopped wood with an axe since the modern chainsaw was developed a couple generations ago, unless they had a teenage boy who they were trying to convince it was time to move out of the house. I cut some of my wood from my land, but the bulk comes on a log truck every couple years and I buck it down and split it. I do an unusual amount of splitting with a hand maul, considering that I have a wood splitter that runs well enough for my neighbor to want to borrow it every year to take care of the knotted, gnarly leftovers when he's finished stacking the easier splitting stuff. There's something satisfying about applying the strength and skill to whack through a frozen block of wood with a single blow, and it doesn't take all that much longer than using the splitter. Whacking away at a tree for ten minutes with an axe, when you could have it done in one with a chainsaw gets old, real fast. I couldn't tell you exactly where my axe is right now, but all three saws are wearing sharp chains and will start on the second or third pull.

Forget the wooden rims idea. I built up a pair for my wife in the hopes that they would soften the ride of her small, steel frame Paramount, but she complained and stopped riding it due to the bad braking that resulted. Instead, I put them on my track bike, which only has a seldom used front brake. They look real nice, but I can't say they ride any different than aluminum rims, though they are around 30% heavier.

Skidmark said...

@Drock - if wheels and tires account for 80% of the 20% which represents the % of non-rider riding, and #whatpressureyourunning equals 80% of this (16%)value (this is a given, naturally), then I think you have mathematical proof that #whatpressureyourunning = 12.8%, brilliant,

Crosspalms said...

Damn, you got back on the bike so fast I didn’t have time to say sorry you’re laid up and can’t ride. So I guess that works out OK?
Last time I was on a skateboard was probably 45 years ago when a friend of mine got one. I rode downhill on a sidewalk in a park and halfway down decided “no way!” then veered onto the grass and rolled over and over. No injuries, but no desire to try again. I bet boards have improved a lot since then, but I’ve moved in the opposite direction ... Glad you’re up and about

Back to the Future!!! said...

So your kid’s athma is linked to the nearby highway? I’ve got just the ticket foryou: heatyour home with a wood-burning stove! Particulate schmickulate!

Matt said...

But if you move upstate and start buying axes, you then need to get the ones with the new crabon axe-handles, which result in smoother and more consistent chopping. The small downside is as you swing it there are pirate ship noises from the designed-in flexing of the handle (which gives you more power at the strike). Then later you need to upgrade to the high-mod crabon handles used by the pro axe-users. The rat race never ends, it just shifts to other sports. Have you SEEN what they do with chain-saws lately? Hi-octane super saws that can rip thru a beastly log in a few seconds. But I think they are mounted on crabon frames.

Matt said...

And Skidmark @ 10:37pm, that's beautiful. Seriously.

huskerdont said...

Man, I love swapping "whee's." Who the l doesn't.

WoodSnobNY said...

wtf is a "splitting mull"?

12LB MAUL

Anonymous said...

An 85 year old, life-long resident of urban Passaic NJ once told me, "Never go where you aren't wanted".

Anonymous said...

I must say, the aesthetics of that bike (the Renovo) aren't exactly improved by "ordinary" wheels. Ugh.

Old saying guy said...

Yep, chopping wood heats you twice - once when you chop it and once when you burn it.

Yeah, I know, I can't spell said...

Oh my - how pretentious! "They get their bread from an "artisanel bakery." How about just from a bakery?

Al said...

Cygnets Way sound healing sounds unsound.

Anonymous said...

I can relate to these pretentious self congratulatory axeholes (I didn't read the article since I just had lunch, but know the type), as I also recently gave up the hustle and bustle of NYC for a calmer, more rural lifestyle. San Francisco. "Hella" expansive (they still say that here?), and less diverse but the weather is great and the cycling off the hizzle (I still say that). Yay me.

Unknown said...

I mostly try to stay out of the rain, and do not own carbon wheels regardless. Also, I'm at an age where my bikes will probably out live me. What I'm saying is I will probably never own a road bike with disc brakes even though I'm totally sold on them for mountain bikes.

Beck the Biker said...

When an axe handle gets loose, and old-fangled trick was to soak it in water to make the handle swell up. It was only a temporary fix, better was a new wedge in the handle. Same things probably happening with the Renovo, the water's helped stop the creaking. Looks like it's not due for the chopping block yet!

Hand hewn man said...

I don’t always ride a wood(en) bike. But when I do, I prefer to pretend it’s a pirate ship.
Keep pedaling, my friends.

Schisthead said...

I have previously banished the demons of crabony rim creakiness with a drop of chain oil on each spoke hole.

If you swap back to the plastic wheels and you get the creaks back try it out.


Strange thing is, when I strung it up I make a habit of greasing where the nipples seat, so it seems strange that in a year or so it would all have washed out. I guess carbon just sucks it. And is expensive.

leroy said...

Well this explains that cease and desist letter from the Toy Story cowboy guy's lawyers demanding that someone stop using their client's name on a winter beater bike that I noticed affixed to a tree with an artisanal axe in Highbridge Park.

Drock said...

A splitting mull is a hair style, long in back, short on top and sides. Then comb the sides apart so one has a split down the middle. Only a city person has to ask that question. And when you see a person with a splitting mull and an ax in hand, stay back at least 300 ft.

Mr. Doom said...

Ha DIK BREAKS!!! Told you so. Running disk brakes since 2002 on the MTB 2005 on the commuter.

Fat bikes in the snow > Plus pseudo fat bikes too.

Ted Lives!

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/mar/04/will-2018-be-the-year-of-the-neo-luddite

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/12/the-unabomber-ted-kaczynski-new-generation-of-acolytes.html

Escaped from NY said...

Man, after reading that NYT article I'm glad I moved out of the Empire state completely. I'd have a hard time not punching any of those people after spending 2 minutes engaged with them...and they are spreading. I believe there are enclaves of them in the Adirondacks. When will they reach the Finger Lakes?