“…but beyond that you just go for a ride and, you know, usually, especially when you are riding with friends, you’re talking. Not about bikes, about anything. And so you sort of forget the whole bike thing and the bike intrudes when it does things that you don’t expect. Or you never notice the bike, you say ‘man, this is a great bike’ we just rode, you know, 75 miles and not once did I think about the bike. You know, so it sort of the best bike is the one that you don’t notice. And, you know, people sometimes think because we focus so much about bikes [sic] and technology that we’re constantly thinking about bikes. But I think about my bike when I am not riding, so that I don’t have to think about it when I’m riding.”
“Nevertheless, the fact remains that the age of 40 has long since disappeared in my helmet mirror (no, I don’t use a helmet mirror, it’s just a metaphor), and while colonoscopies and mole removals may take up more of my time than I’d like, overall I’m rather enjoying pedaling down this particular stretch of road. In fact, I like to think my latest velocipedal acquisition is a perfect encapsulation of where I’m at right now.” Bike Snob NYC, through space and time, has recently given himself a trans-dimensional high five for finally aquiring that new bicycle.
“If there’s one group of road users virtually immune to being cowed by a lowly act of terrorism involving a motor vehicle, it’s cyclists. We’re reminded every day—through rolled-down car windows, on too-narrow roads, via social media—that we “share” the roads with people who actively hate us and that our interests (including safety) come behind theirs. Every one of us knows what it’s like to stare death in the grille. Daily riders have all had drivers aim their cars at us as if they were about to plow us down, whether because of run-of-the-mill inattention or out-and-out road rage. This reality is priced into our decision to ride.” Eben Weiss alias Bike Snob NYC offers the urban cyclist’s perspective on the latest terrorist threat.
“Worse, those reaction times are for an undistracted driver. Consider that it takes about four seconds to unlock an iPhone, which at just 30mph equates to almost the entire length of that football field.” Joe Lindsey suggests that you grab as much attention as early as you can.
“On most roads, and especially on rough ones, a 32 mm Compass tire will be faster than a 26 mm Compass tire. But a 42 mm Schwalbe Marathon will be slower than both, even though it’s wider—because it’s so stiff that its casing absorbs way more energy.” Jan Heine concludes that higher tire pressures do not result in faster speeds.
“As bikepacking becomes ever more popular, it seems that there’s ever more people trying to tempt the unwary to venture away from the trail centre or off the sofa and into the hills. The words and images used, make it a tempting prospect but you must exercise caution, as these words and pictures are often gilded with half truths and exaggeration, making them a trap for the unwary and ill-prepared.” Bearbonesnorm attempts to redress the balance.
“Back when we were fewer there was a glorious freedom in dancing through the traffic, whose rules and logic we learned so well that it often felt like a benevolent force, sheltering us as much as it threatened us. We were the pilot fish darting in among the sharks, the gazelles sprinting through herds of lumbering bison.” Requiring only two sentences, Emily Chappell manages to capture the essence of cycling in London before Boris Bikes and cycle superhighways.
“I want it all banned. I want to ban power meters, heart rate monitors, the lot of it. Chuck it all in the bin.” Simon Warren would like riders to return to racing without the availability of real-time performance data such as that released by Team Sky.
This page is gradually evolving into a showcase of cycling creativity. I am seriously considering a contribution of my own. 18 days left to add your bike…
“I’m an asshole cyclist. I’m that jerk weaving in and out of traffic, going the wrong way down a one-way street, and making a left on red. I’m truly a menace on the road.” Jim Saska is owning up to some pretty bad behaviour when on two wheels, but insists that he is not the reason you hate cyclists.
“The problem is, if you choose to believe Armstrong, that it’s a witch-hunt, then you are also a conspiracy theorist, because the only way you can explain all the witnesses who are willing to testify is to say that they are part of a massive conspiracy against him. One that spans the Atlantic Ocean, includes former team-mates, journalists, doctors, administrators, soigneurs, strangers and mechanics.” Ross Tucker joins the debate.
“So that’s what we’re all getting at when we say the Tour is getting slower. It is, and it’s a good sign, because it brings everything back into the realm of expected physiology.” Ross Tucker puts forward an interesting analysis of rider data from the Tour de France.
“Evidence based cycling is not high on the bicycle salesman’s agenda. No one will tell you how much more efficient one bicycle is over another; they just say it is better.” Steel or carbon? Jeremy Groves buys a new bike in the hope of saving up to five minutes on his daily commute…
With thanks to Lutz Meißner
“Over his nearly three years of obsessing over, satirizing and deftly puncturing the sport of cycling, the anonymous blogger Bike Snob has made his worldview clear. He loves to ride his bike. He wants you to ride, too. Just maybe not on those florescent wheel rims.” The identity of the Bike Snob NYC has been revealed, solving one of cycling’s last great mysteries.
“Following on from last week’s show on well-being, we look at the importance of getting a good fit between rider and machine.” Scherritt Knoesen and Jack Thurston talk about finding the right position on your bike.
Cannondale Cross XR 7 08, wheels Mavic C29ssmax, fork Trigon XC06A, front brake Avid Juicy Ultimate 160 mm, rear brake Avid Juicy Ultimate 140 mm, chainset SRAM Rival 180 mm, chain SRAM PC1090, pedals Crankbrothers Egg Beater SL, seat post Easton EC90, saddle Selle Italia SLR, bar Easton EC90, tyres Schwalbe Kojak 28 x 1.35, weight 8.5 kg
“Clearly, somebody in this room murdered Lord Smythe.”
If you are a cyclist and would like a more comfortable ride, you might want to consider switching to a seat post made from carbon fibre. At a diameter of 27.2 mm, the Easton EC90 is the most compliant seat post that I have used to date. With enough of the post exposed, it offers a much more comfortable ride. If you require a larger diameter seat post, the theoretical advantages of carbon over other materials are much less likely to be realised in practice. At a diameter of 30.9 mm or greater, I’d stick with aluminium. Use a torque wrench and carbon assembly paste.