Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Filial Fredness

Great news!

So how will this affect your bike's performance?  It won't.  In fact if you can tell the difference between 10-speed and 11-speed without looking down I'll give you $100.*

No, the reason this is great news is that a move past 11 means maybe people will finally stop making that Spinal Tap reference.

Or maybe not:

Goddamn it.

Is it a hilarious scene and an iconic moment in comedy?  Yes.  If I hear someone reference it again with regard to bicycle drivetrains will I chop my wooden bicycle into tiny bits with my Rivendell axe?  Also yes.

Come on, at the very least we can get a new reference and say that Campagnolo has gone to plaid:

Anyway, you'd think we've reached the limits of drivetrain hair-splitting (or cog-splitting) by now and that anything less than a high-performance road CVT with electronic shifting hardly even warrants a press release.

Speaking of Fredness, last week I undertook an incredible five-day run of pre-dawn rides in Central Park--and when I say pre-dawn I mean it, because the sun was only just peeking over the buildings by the time I was leaving the park each morning:

I haven't engaged in behavior this Fredly since the days when I had an actual job, and the reason I did so was that the schools were closed so it was my only time to go for a stretchy-clothes ride.  It worked out rather well too, because it left me with the day free to subject my son to culturally edifying activities such as visiting the Guggenheim:

And by noon I was already feasting on beer and Shake Shack:

As an aside, the art in the Guggenheim had little impact on my son, but the building itself provided much entertainment.  In particular, I seem to have acquired a fear of heights in my adulthood (that and a wheat allergy), and my staunch refusal to look down or indeed get anywhere near the edge of the walkway was the source of considerable amusement:

Then on the train ride home it became apparent from the large number of people wearing Yankees attire that there was a game that afternoon, and it occurred to me that a more traditional father-son activity would have been to attend said game, so hopefully he does not grow up to resent me for depriving him of a proper American childhood--or, worse, overcompensate in adulthood by driving around in a lifted F-150 with tinted windows and Yankees logos all over it:

With any luck it will all work out and he'll grow up into a well-adjusted adult, by which I mean an urbane snob with an attitude of smug condescension towards anything west of the Hudson.

As for my weeklong residency in Central Park, it culminated with a race in that same park on Saturday morning.  All was going well too--that is until I hit a pothole on the penultimate lap and flatted:

Fortunately I race with a full complement of tools, knowing full well that when you suck like I do saving a few grams just because it's a "race" is not even remotely worth it when it means you might have to walk back to the start in cleats in the event of a mechanical.  I congratulated myself for this as I replaced the tube, though I also upbraided myself for managing to hit a pothole after having ridden around and around that same park loop for five days straight.

Then I finished the week by watching the thrilling--and, as it turns out, also tragic--Paris-Roubaix on Sunday.  However, owing to more kids' activities that morning, all I actually saw was the early part of the race when nothing was happening, and then when I got back home and turned on the TV again Peter Sagan had already crossed the line and the rest of the riders were arriving in spurts. 

Even so, it was a rather satisfying week of family and Fredness that should serve me well as I prepare to depart for L'Eroica California later this week:

I'll keep you posted.

*This is a lie.  Under no circumstances will I ever give you $100.


Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you are going to give everyone 100 dollars.

Anonymous said...

Podio, bitches

Anonymous said...

First Mofos!

Anonymous said...

Sagan'd this B!

Jim said...


Unknown said...

I take my kids to museums and sport games. I can only imagine the irreparable damage I am doing to their psyches by subjecting them to such dichotomies.

RCR said...

Will they go to 13 speeds or skip it because of bad luck? I can't wait to get my hands on that 1X14 drivetrain! It would be like turning your amp up to 11 while going to plaid.

Anonymous said...

I can see my mom's apartment in that pic.

JLRB said...

Whatever you do, don't make the offspring watch bicycle races as a substitute

AND, having read your previous postings we all know you aimed for that pothole because you were in danger of being lapped - notthathtereisanythingwrongwiththat

Mike Owens said...

Slick little Bugno reference.

Grump said...

12 speed???.....11 speed???.....Since I do not needs gears that look like a pizza pan, I can get along with 10. A 12-25 gives me everything I need, except an 18. If I want that, I just use a 12-23 (with that gearing, I will have to occasionally use the small ring)...........Snobby, you really have to get one tubular wheelset to prevent those pinch flats.

Anonymous said...

All other Anonymous' who think they were first today will give me 100 dollars.

Unknown said...


Going back to last Tuesday, when "...any well-built frame that puts your components and body parts in the right places relative to each other is going to perform about as well as any other."

That wood bike has an extremely short wheelbase, the rear tire overlaps the chain ring by quit a bit. Never having ridden a bike like that, can you say having the rear wheel so far forward relative to the other bike and body parts makes a different?

Skidmark said...

I’d like to see the Renova cellulose fiber machine retrofitted for L’Eroica.

wle said...

i'm refusing to get a new bike..

i'm skipping 8, 9, 10,11, 12, and 13 speeds

3x14 will do it for me though

oh wait, it also needs auto smooth power engineered rapid gear electric robo shift
----- --> ASPERGERS


Bill said...

Yes! Go, Snobbie, Go!

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Top Ten? Probably a moderator queue ahead of me. Top Twenty? Scranus!

BikeSnobNYC said...

Ted R.,

I don't think it has a short wheelbase compared to other road bikes.

The bike fits me well and I'm very comfortable on it with the seatpost clamp in the middle of the rails.

--Wildcat Etc.

leroy said...

Oh dear.

Riding over the Manhattan Bridge this morning, my rear derailleur starting hopping around like a full bladdered Easter Bunny outside an occupied Port-A-Potty.

I stopped in a local bike shop and it was obvious it was time for a new pulley wheel, cassette, and chain. (It's been 2-1/2 years of year round riding and sporadic maintenance.)

Yes Reader, I made the cassette goes to 11 joke only several hours earlier today.

I'm not proud.

My dog is a bad influence on me.

But I highly recommend Qian at Off The Bridge Coffee (it's a bike shop with coffee).

cyclejerk said...

Hmmm,I believe I will install a high/low axle in my 11sp cassette, so as to double muh speeds to 22, combined with the compact crank, I'll be able to hit 88 mph! (Nearly Double Woo-hoo speed, possibly Plaid!)

Olle Nilsson said...

Aw, 12 speed. 35 years ago, my friend was so jealous I had a 12 speed and he only had a 10 speed. Oh wait, that was total gears. Never mind.

Everything I know about trucks, I learned from the comment section of this blog. Apparently, an F150 isn't a real truck, but the F450 in your picture qualifies. Unless you like a different brand, then it's junk. Well, they have that in common with bikes anyway.

BamaPhred said...

12 speed? Great, another gear to go before I’m totally crosschained. When does it make its appearance in 105 group sets?

BamaPhred said...

It was a magic pothole you hit. One of your associates pulled the Acme Instant Pothole out of his jersey pocket and threw it down in front of you.

MUSE EYUM said...

Yay, QIAN!

Shit, he's the only bike mechanic I know in NYC other than my old pal Bob at some shop somewhere in Harlem. I am glad to see Qian is still there!

Oh, if I give BikeSnob $150 to pay me $100, do you think he'd go back on his word?

Museum of Natural History next, I think you get a price break for groups of more than 6 kids, so consider that in your plans.

HDEB said...

Five pre-dawn rides in a week is serious motivation

Fix my flat, scumbag! said...

Does that tile really say
"Stick you cock up her ass you mother fucking worthless cocksucker"
you mother fucking worthless bike pump bitch?

BikeSnobNYC said...

Fix my flat, scumbag!,

Yes, it's a quote from "The Exorcist." For this I have to go to the Guggenheim..."


I go to the Museum of Natural History roughly 500 times a year (I amortize the membership fee by like February), the Guggenheim was for my own sanity.

--Wildcat Etc.

BikeSnobNYC said...


I don't know, but the article about how it has all the performance of DA and Ultegra for a fraction of the price and a slight weight penalty has already been written, they just left a blank spot for the date.

--Wildcat Etc.

Chazu said...

I took the detour to the 2013 entry involving the Rivendell hatchet and enjoyed the trip down memory lane.

You'll be West of the Hudson soon. Don't let the Rube virus infect you. I suspect that your readers have zero interest in BikeSnobHomogenizedSuburbia.

1904 Cadardi said...

Around these parts a lifted F-150 is for woosies and teenage girls. Real men drive 3/4 ton (at least) Diesels. I am not bragging, it's a cry for help!

More L'Eroica vintage bike porn if anyone cares.

1904 Cadardi said...

And for everyone joking about 14 speed clusters: Shimano already has that patented.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a snob. Did not get the Bugno reference.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 4:38pm,

Don't worry, I didn't either, I have no idea what he's talking about.

--Wildcat Etc.

wle said...

*this* bugno? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gianni_Bugno

Skidmark said...

A more careful reading of the Shimano14speed/patent reveals: besides a patent on any number greater than twelve (12).
—the embodiment of an exceedingly excruciating plurality of sprockets wherein they are packaged into a stupidly small singularity of space such that, the space between adjacent sprockets is less than the thickness of any single or adjacent sprocket.
—necessitating a chain consisting of a single end and a description of alternating and intermediate pairs of inner and outer pluralities.
—therefore requiring a hub spacing which is wider than it is narrow on one side.
—other embodiments of this design are possible and some even imaginable.

Unknown said...

The difference is one... and i didnt look down

Anonymous said...

What happened to your other kid? Did they not work out and have to be sent east of the Hudson; perhaps to an institution run by SUNY Oneonta?

bad boy of the south said...

Oml(ohmylob)woody is on the ground.be careful, it may take root.

dop said...

Snob-Please include a trigger warning if you're going to mention the AMNH. I spent too many rainy days in there with my kids ("Take them out of the apartment, Honey".) The 3 yo would play hide and seek without telling me. This would be indistinguishable from a kidnapping. After circling the Hall of Evolution 2 or 3 times, in a cold sweat, I would find her under a table, beneath an interactive computer display, giggling.

Joe said...

More Spaceballs content, please.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 8:13pm,

His school was still open.

--Wildcat Etc.

NourskSiklist said...

Great post! Snob is on form, seventeen (17) juvenile dependents notwithstanding. Up, out and riding while milk farmers are still rubbing sleep from their eyes. That's dedication right there. At this point I have to ask, is that Sean Connery on the L'Eroica poster - maybe an old shot of him on a break from the set of "Zardos"? I do hope the Campy R&D folks are being well paid for coming up with that 12 speed cog. That's pretty devious. But they couldn't fool She-Man-O's spies though. At this speed (heh) we'll soon have razor-thin 36-speed cassettes, with a chain so slender it can only be discerned in profile. Or the old designer guard finally succumb to old age, and we get sensible gear boxes instead. Ah,who am I fooling - the trend for 2020 will be 27,724 tyres and 14-tooth cassettes. But for heaven's sake, don't extend the range. That's for woosies.

Mike Owens said...

Bugno claimed that he feared high speed, high mountain descents because of a wheat allergy.

janinedm said...

The New York Historical Society is underrated. While I haven't been to the renovated Luce Center, the old one was like exploring the world's coolest attic. Revolutionary swords! Tiffany lamps! Old mile markers from when New York was farmland! It's just bunch pf cool old stuff.

Anonymous said...

Try magnesium supplements to for the wheat allergy, it has worked for me.

JLRB said...

My 11 speed cassette became a one-speed on my ride home yesterday when my shifty cable snapped. Ignore routine maintenance at your peril!