Thursday, November 1, 2012

Bike Afictionautos

Welcome to Flashblog.  I'm Flash, and I discovered a cool new useful phrase in the orthopedic department of my hospital the other morning.  I was there with Flashette getting her arm inspected, we were sitting in the waiting alcove with another older couple, the woman with a splint on her pinky.  The conversation, as usual in places like these, started with "what happened to you?"   After Flashette told her story, the woman one-upped her with a story of a cycling doctor she knows who, due to his flamboyant riding style, visited the ER 9 times in one year.  She said he was a real " a-fiction-auto".  (I tried to not laugh out loud at that one) She also said he only rides his trainer in the garage now.  Yeah...right.  I highly doubt the validity of her story.  That guy would not quit so easily!  In fact, I accuse her of afictionautoing to get attention of Cathy, officially an afflictionauto due to her injuries.  Nice!  I like wordplay.

I'm happy to see the old Flashblog ticker turned over 20,000 visits recently.  My guarantee to you is that there will be no fictionautoing unless disclosed.  I report the real world which is much stranger than fiction anyhow.  I'm in a happier mood now, Flashette is in pretty descent shape considering, I had two very good rides last week, back to back, and I've purchased some neat new bike parts for my 20,000th view celebration.   Nothing like a good excuse to spend money on parts I already have.  But these are special!

 I have an admiration for the tuned products produced by KCNC of Taiwan.  I installed a set of their aluminum headset spacers on both my Lemonds and are extremely pleased with the quality.  So I've been wanting a set of derailleur pulleys to replace the Shimano black units and I found these.  7075 alloy, ceramic bearing, two color anodization, and most importantly:  Drillium!  These are lovely pieces that speak of high level engineering and fabrication.  I got them from Fairwheel bikes, the go-to place for weight weenies.  I'm not a weight weenie, but I admire most products that are derived from that obsessive passion.

On the bike.   The Ultegra derailleur looks underdesigned compared to the pulley wheels.   I just remembered... I have a Campy Chorus 10spd unit sitting in a box.  Yes!  That could work as a replacement! (Maybe...)
And look Oh So Much Cooler with its carbon bits and such...stay tuned for this future project. (possibly)

More on LanceGate:
I've been reading the 200 page indictment against Armstrong written by the USADA.  Its very interesting up until around page 60 or so, then it gets boringly repetitive.  One statement, on page 54, got my attention:

"A few weeks later Armstrong had won his third Tour and the Armstrongs were having 
dinner in Villefranche, France with a few friends, including the Andreus.  The Andreus recall 
that during the dinner the conversation turned to some unflattering comments Greg LeMond had 
recently made about the Ferrari controversy.  Armstrong was incensed with LeMond and vowed to exact revenge, saying “I’m going to take him down” and that Armstrong could make one call to the owner of Trek bicycles, which carried a line of LeMond bicycles, and “shut him up.”

There has been a dramatic forgiveness of Lemond in the media.  He is being called "America's only TDF winner".  Lemond is taking US media point to overhaul the UCI and sack its president, McQuaid, who I think is guilty as hell of complicity with Armstrong.  Maybe Lemond could become the new UCI president?  Ok, that's a bit of afictioningauto right there, but I can dream, can't I?  My other dream is that Trek apologizes to Lemond and offers to build his bikes again.  New Lemonds!  There I go autof'ing again.  Sorry.

My take on full carbon wheels:

"Oh... you HAVE to have carbon wheels!  So light, so fast, so everything your current wheels are not!"  Or so the manufacturers would have you believe.  They cost an arm and a leg, they brake like hot crap, especially in the rain, and they make awful noises.  Last week I was descending the hill but had to stop to clean my glasses first.  As I performed this ablution, two cyclists past me, both with full-on carbon wheels so wide they could probably be used as sails on the Oracle racing yacht.  Cyclist 1 looked fit and worldly, but his damned wheels made popping and snapping sounds over the relatively smooth road surface.  Like two drums.  Cyclist 2 slowly summitted the hill, his wide carbon rims barely turning over.  This guy must have weighed in at 250lbs, his jersey stuffed to the bursting point with excess baggage, yet here he was rolling on $4 thou wheels that might have saved him a few grams over basic alloy models and a second or two in his time trials.  And the things were just creaking, snapping and thumping like bongos.  What is wrong with this picture people??  I don't have any problems with the material, I think it is perfect for many things, but it is a composite and has drawbacks.  Its noisy and makes some bikes sound like boxes of gravel.  I mean expensive rigs too.  I've ridden alongside these bikes.  If this guy rolls 100lbs overweight and thinks carbon wheels are going to help him, well, then that is the definition of afictionautoing, right there.

Me, I like smooth and quiet.  I like to roll like a Ninja.  I like to hear the soft hum of rubber on pavement, the watch-like ticking of the gears turning over the chain.  My bike is not perfect, there is a shoe/cleat squeak I live with, but overall it is just the way I like it.

That's it for now.  I've got not one, but two Team Alameda rides to lead this weekend, plus one big party Saturday night.  That should make for a good story.

Keep pedaling!

No comments:

Post a Comment