Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Hey, would you look at that? It's Wednesday already!

As I mentioned yesterday, I managed to work an all-terrain bicycle ride into my day, for which I selected my Marin Pine Mountain 1 (though currently the equivalent bike is simply the "Pine Mountain," and it's green):

It occurred to me as I rode that it's now been just a month shy of two years since I've taken delivery of this bike, I figured I'd update you on matters, since ostensibly this is a bike blog and bikes bikes bikes.  (Also I resent the "review once and forget" approach employed my the rest of the cycling media.)

Here's the bike as I received it:

And here it is now:

It is, I feel compelled to point out, my second-heaviest grey and orange bicycle:

Though both bikes also share in common the fact that the last thing you're thinking about when riding either of them is the weight.  Indeed, here's what I consider a truly complete day of cycling:

1) Deposit human child at Apple factory via WorkCycles;
2) Switch to Ol' Piney for some all-terrain bicycle cycling;
3) Switch back to WorkCycles to collect human child from Apple factory.

Of course I could probably accomplish all of that without the bike switches if I did something like this:

But by the time I actually got around to it my kids would be grown up and there's be no need for it anyway, and with all that time on my hands all my repressed bike-weenie tendencies will finally come gushing out and I'll put together some absurd high-end bicycle that I'll be too old and tired to ride.

It's the Circle of Fredness.

Anyway, besides the obvious stuff like "Is this bike good for the kind of riding I wanna do?" the most important question when considering a new bike is "Is the stuff on it crappy or not?".  Well, in the case of this bike, overall the answer is "not," and here's everything I've changed and why since taking delivery:

--Saddle (personal preference and because I have many lying around);
--Seatpost (no other reason except I was changing the saddle anyway and I had a Thomson which is what all the cool people use, though I guess now all the cool people use droppers, goddamn it I'm still such a loser);
--Bottom bracket (wore out pretty quickly but it's a standard threaded BB shell so no big deal);
--Crank (I swapped the worn bottom bracket with a Shimano one I had and it was not a perfect fit with the stock crank so I swapped it with a Shimano one I had);
--Stem (I needed an extra centimeter in the cocking pit);
--Grips (I enjoy the labial-esque support of Ergons, whaddya want, and again all of this is stuff I have lying around anyway);
--Tires (I liked the stock Schwalbes though the sidewalls did seem to wear pretty quickly.  I'm now using WTB "summer fatbiking" tires which I purchased because they were the cheapest 27.5+ tires I could find.  This is the criteria I use when purchasing all my mountain bike tires and it has yet to fail me.  The tires on my artisanal Engin singlespeed cost four (4) dollars each and my only regret is buying four and not twenty.);
--Rear brake pads.

So really, the only things I've needed to change were wear and personal fit items which you'd change on any bike--oh, right, except for one major thing:

There was a recall on the original fork.  But it wasn't a big deal.  I just kept riding until the new one came, then I swapped it in about five minutes.  It's bikes, and recalls happen.  In fact there's a recall on my Brompton right now:

FAG Bottom Bracket cartridge BB66 (April 2014 – May 2017) 

My understanding is they're going to replace it with one that has a more politically correct model name.

(Hey, it means cigarette in the UK, just a simple misunderstanding.)

As for stuff I would want to change on the bike, I admit I've been considering doing something like this:

Oh sure, they're ugly as hell, but I'd argue there's no such thing as an attractive mountain bike.  Also, while you might think the fat tires would be sluggish on anything but technical terrain, the fact is that the Pine Mountain invites long rides, and I've done some fairly ambitious dirt outings (by parent-with-limited-time standards) on this thing.  And when I have, the only thing I've really wanted for is more hand positions.  I also think that after, say, two hours my wrists and hands would be happier at more of an angle.

I should probably also get a frame bag or two so I can take advantage of the bike's liberal bosses instead of wearing a backpack.

Anyway, this bike's been a pleasure to ride on everything from the technical (at least for me) trails of Blue Mountain to the flat dirt trail that connects me to the various parks with trails in the area, and it wasn't long after receiving it that I determined my hardtail redundant and put it in storage until such time as one of my offspring can avail themselves of it.  Between this and my singlespeed I've pretty much got it covered, and all without having to resort to suspension or other frippery.

And there it is.

I guess what I'm saying is that for all my griping about how there are too many kinds of bikes I think the current crop of rigid metal bikes with fat-but-not-insanely-fat tires is a very good thing.

Moving on to news of international Fred-dom, the French take cheating in amateur bike races really seriously:

An amateur cyclist in France has reportedly been caught using a hidden motor during a Category 3 race in the Dordogne.

The 43-year-old man, who has not been named, is said to have been in the sights of France's national anti-doping agency, the Agence française de lutte contre le dopage (AFLD), for some time.

You'd think involving the police in some Frédéric's ebike scheme would be like having the IRS audit your kid's piggy bank, but apparently that's how they operate over there:

State prosecutor for  Périgueux, Jean-François Mailhes, said: "We were advised by a representative of the AFLD of suspicions of [technological] fraud using an electonic system, in other words a little motor."

After the motor was found in the bike following the race, the rider was interviewed by Gendarmes, who are now trying to piece together his racing history and identify any prize money he may have won due to the illegal assistance.

Clearly the FFC (which I believe stands for "French Fred Coalition") wants to nip this thing in the cliché:

"This wasn't an overnight operation," said the president of the French cycling federation (FFC), Michel Callot.

"My fear is that we'll find a lot of this kind of cheating in the amateur ranks because the technology is becoming accessible and we don't have the same means of detection as in professional cycling."

Just goes to show how subjective our respective existences are.  Legions of e-doping Freds is Michel Callot's greatest fear, whereas it's my wildest fantasy.  Amateur doping among middle-aged cyclists is delightfully satisfying in the same way that watching a stiff breeze carry away someone's toupée.

Finally, here's some moto-doofus in Denver yammering on about cyclists:

In the course of an eight-minute video he manages to catch two cyclists rolling slowly past a stop sign in a manner that poses no threat to either them or anyone else, and while he's blathering on about how he's qualified to deride cyclists because he's "one of them" someone in a Hummer does exactly the same thing:


I have to go and ice my brain now.


Watch and Camera Guy said...


Atherton said...


Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Podium? Could it be?

BamaPhred said...

Weednesday already?

ken e. said...

i love the mystery podium!


Is the power of that motor measured in Watts? or Diminutive Frenchman Units?

Anonymous said...

Heavy bikes are more fun and last decades : )

Unknown said...

vsk said ...

1 comment showing, it should be podio. But I'll probably be 10th or so ...


Old Timer said...

Huh? What?

N/A said...

I've been debating on picking up a set of Jone's bars, too. I think they're just the right thing for less-than-epic and leisurely mountain biking rides. And if my rides can be described as anything, "less than epic" is right on the nose.

Plus they give you tons more cockpit (heehee) space for hanging baskets and bells and such.

Mr. Lund said...

Just got my FFC license in the mail.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

ken e. the mystery podium is fine as long as there is no comment moderation doping involved-and I am by no means insinuating there is, but Donald Trump says people are saying....

Pist Off said...

Jones bars seem like just the thing. Sweep bars are comfy for climbing and cruising. They took some relearning for "gnarly downhill crushing" but if I can do it anyone can figure it out. The forward options are great for an all around bike.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Ol Piney is pretty dope. This weekend I rode with a bro who had a Surly with rigid fork and fat-but-not-insanely-fat 3" tires. Looks like a similar setup. He was kind enough to show me around the local trails. He was very fast and it looked like the thick tires grip well to the trail.

Here is a short clip he made.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

I recently saw an old riding friend I hadn't seen or heard from in over a year. He was thinking about buying those Jeff Jones handlebars and building a bike around them and ended up buying a whole Jeff Jones steel bike with the truss fork, fenders, dick breaks and smooth fat tires. I thought it was someone on an ebike has he approached me, I was climbing as he was descending. Said he doesn't feel safe on skinny tires on the road any more, and some of his skinny tires were 28 and 35 mm wide. He is selling all his rode road bikes.

Neighborhood Watch Captain said...

The Putz has a point about momentum - I hate losing it. Other than that, the two cyclists he saw were hardly close to any cars and those cars were slowing down as well, so really no big geadl.

If I lived in that neighborhood I would find it weird that a dude is wandering around an intersection with a helmet with a camera on it talking to himself. THat is just bizarre!

Grump said...

The moron should get a ticket for having his pipes too loud.

Skidmark said...

Professor Putz at the 4-way stop sign waves his arms around when he talks like Dondolt Trump.

JLRB said...

Stop signs mean stop pedaling and look around

leroy said...

Is it just me or did anyone else notice that the Colorado video putz Mr. Soopabee does the same "looka there, that's what I'm talking about" locution that celebrated video putz Keith "put 'em in a ditch" Maddox used to his later chagrin and regret?

Someone really should tell Mr. Soopabee he's derivative (and now famous).

My dog says his voice and outfit remind him of Super Dave Osborn.

You know, I think I see the resemblance.

Anonymous said...

I watched a couple of minutes of that video and I only saw one car come to a complete stop I think and the ones coming towards him nearly came to complete stops probably because they thought he was a cop or something. Didn't see a lot of turn signals either.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...Snob, apropos your TransAlt post and this post today, I second your motion to go for an upright position (gigglechortle) on a commuter. Last week I finally rid my commuter of the dropping bars and slapped some swept-back pair on the coking pit... as well as one o' them long neck stems. I'm now riding bolt upright and not the slower for it.... It's quite regal, if I may say so... getting me to be all sartorial and shit.

...but more to the point, I think you are right that people don't fear you as much as if you are crouched over the handlebars... maybe it goes both ways: you don't feel the need for speed when you're upright.

...I think it's time we shed the fad of the 70's and embrace the vintage positions (gigglechortle) and copenhagenize our city... you lead, we follow.

...and totally go for those insane bars... it's only natural that you evolve further away from your Fredliness.

Anonymous said...

I can handle the frothing hate I get from some folks, but this fucking guy needs to go fuck himself.
Opinions are like assholes right?

Knüt Fredriksson said...

I was in a hurry to get home last night and I almost got smushed. I use a mixed use path that goes through a tunnel under a busy street. Right after you come up out of the tunnel you have to cross at an intersection that has a stop sign parallel to your direction of travel. I could see that I would enter the intersection before the car that was approaching the stop sign, so I didn't slow down. The car only barely slowed down and turned the corner towards me. I skidded to a stop part way into the intersection, but the driver continued turning towards me until my front wheel was dragging down the side of their car. The force on the wheel turned my quill stem about 90 deg in the fork.
Moral of the story: never bet your scranus on the fact that people are going to obey traffic laws. Always ride defensively and assume that any of the people that you are "sharing the road" with could be an ass-hat who is going to do something stoopid.

Anonymous said...

SoopaBee is quite the raconteur. Riveting commentary, I was on the edge of my seat.

1904 Cadardi said...

Wait a moment. Is that guy expecting ANYONE in Denver to actually come to a full and complete STOP at a stop sign? He must be new here.

DR said...


Thanks for the follow up review. I've been eying the Pine Mountain ever since you introduced it a couple years ago. I honestly should have just bought one last week when Performance was blowing out the 2017s for like less than the cost of a dura ace derailleur. One thing that discouraged me is that the new models (since your purchase in 2016) have boost spacing with regular quick release levers, this makes for hub spacing that is unique in the world only to this bike (from what I can gather with limited patience for this sort of thing). I was disappointed to see that the new green color didn't just do the thru axle with boost spacing, as is done on every other mountain bike these days, it seems. I just want something I can hang on to for a while and fix if something breaks. As someone that hasn't bought a MTB since the mid 90s, it's hard to justify getting involved in this mountain bike component sizing nonsense (and the fact that I can't ride to the trails and have a 2 year old).

Anonymous said...

Anyone know when they are going to open the south path on the GWB again? The north path sucks, with all of the portaging.

Anonymous said...

As of two days ago, I've been seriously thinking about getting a pine mountain. My current hauling bike feels so dainty and it has only one gear. I don't have room for a long bike in the apt.

I'd put big racks on the front and back, and carry lots of string.

Either that or a bike coop frame with some durable new components. Pros: cheap, can afford quality components, no hydraulic brakes to fight. cons: kind of flimsy

Phil Le Git said...

Ball Sac de Blue. Next thing you know we'll find out their cheese is made in China.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 4:05pm,

Closed thru end of the year.

For stair-free riding ride up through my neck of the woods and use OCA or South County as the springboard for your roadie "epics."

--Wildcat Etc.

Dirk Montero said...

Jones Bars plus biq squishy tires on a full rigid bike makes for a lot of fun. I've been doing the same thing on a Surly Troll for a few years. Try some big light slicks like Supermotos. I don't miss the knobbies on the trais, and I really don't miss them on the road!

Jones just came out with their first riser model, in case you want to make the bars higher when you swap them out. In either case, the new straight-gauge versions are a bit easier on the wallet than the originals.


Unknown said...

Mr. Bike Snob,

I totally recommend those bars as I have the “loop” version on a Jones Spaceframe for three years now and own several of the Titec “h-bar” version on FIVE of my other bikes, including commuters. Undeniably comfortable! Have you called Jeff yet?

Unknown said...

Mr. Bike Snob,

I totally recommend those bars as I have the “loop” version on a Jones Spaceframe for three years now and own several of the Titec “h-bar” version on FIVE of my other bikes, including commuters. Undeniably comfortable! Have you called Jeff yet?

Dooth said...

That Jones Loop bar has so many a beer 🍻 tap!

bad boy of the south said...

Hey.dumb do I go about getting my bike frame repainted professionally? Do I go through the "yellow pages" or do I ask at a lbs, or does anyone have any other suggestions?
It looks like I scratched the crap out of the downtube while portaging from NY to NC this past week.

8carlisle said...

I'd like to see that hog rider film a group of hell's angels run through red lights just because they can.

Anonymous said...

Snob, why/how did the bottom bracket not fit right with the cranks??

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 12:30,

With a Shimano BB and the stock crank there was still a just tiny bit of play after the crank arm bottomed out.

--Wildcat Etc.

George Krpan said...

Yep, do the Jones bar. I have one on my no suspension 29+.

N/A said...

Bad Boy, ask your LBS if they have anybody they recommend.

Alternately, embrace Beausage.

Pist Off said...

Bad Boy / South, check locally for a powder coating company. Been weighing this for my Bridgestone. Around here they do most of their business for hotrodders and that means the finish quality is amazing. I was quoted about $140 here for soda blasting and one color of powder. Do not get sand blasting done as bike tubes are really thin.

JLRB said...

One of your many venues in recently included A quote from someone saying always wear a hat under your helmet to avoid the dreaded how much hair. What do you do to avoid hat hair?

bad boy of the south said...

N/A and Pist Off, your responses are much looks like the cable running down the downtube must've vibrating in the wind while strapped into my saris hitch rack.

bad boy of the south said...

Oops!"must've been vibrating".

Anonymous said...

I hate to say it, but some of this vehicular cycling stuff could save lives in NYC, at least until they get a protected bike lane on every single road in the City. Also, one of the main arguments against vehicular cycling is it requires riders who can maintain 18mph, which is only the minority. Anyone on an e-bike can attain and maintain that speed, making vehicular cycling techniques potentially more relevant with the rise of e-bikes.

Unknown said...

This one is for you Bike Snob. Straight Outta D-Town.
4-Way Stop