Tyler Farrar at the Tour Down Under

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Farrar finishes Stage 3 on a fan’s bike after he crashed near Cudlee Creek. Photo: Anne Fedorowytsch.

The news from the TDU today is that a fan gave Tyler Farrar his bike and shoes after a crash. Tyler went on to finish with no penalty – there’s a rule against taking a nonteam bike, but hey, it’s the TDU? Who’s paying that much attention. According to the Adelaide Advertiser, Anthony Tooman, gave Tyler his shoes because of the mismatch between Shimano and Speedplay.

“We could see him (Farrar) on the side of the road and asked ‘do you need a wheel?’ and he said ‘na, a wheel is not going to cut it’,” Tooman last night told The Advertiser.

“Then it went to ‘well, what pedals are you running?’

There isn’t video of the bike and shoe swap, but see the reporting of the crash here with an unlucky racer upside down on the side of the road.

I haven’t seen Tyler since we raced cross together, but he grew up in Washington state and I watched he come up through the ranks. During that race he said, “On your left Bro” and, “F this is hard.”

Great to see Tyler back in the news, now let’s hope for something better than a crash…..



CX Nats Edit

U.S. Cyclocross Nationals 2016 Highlights from In The Crosshairs on Vimeo.

Quite possibly the best CX course ever, in the States at least…and nice drone work.

Dropouts, Good Aesthetics, and Bad Design

The old saying “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link” has an analog in bike frames, and on metal bikes often times it is the area around the right rear dropout. Millions of bikes don’t fail at the dropout, but I’m never surprised when I see one break. Fatigue failures basically require two things to occur: a cyclical load on the structure and a focal point where the stress can overwhelm the strength of the material. A bicycle frame is a deceptively complex problem to analyze stresses, with a huge number of variables that are difficult to quantify. I suspect that the vast majority of dropouts in the history of bicycle design were designed with aesthetics and intuition in mind rather than detailed stress analysis. Accumulated experiences would be incorporated into new designs. By now, you’d think that the dropout would be perfected, but manufacturing methods, frame styles, and drivetrain components have continued to evolve. Setting aside the carbon fibre frame construction and the rapid onset of thru-axles, dropouts on metal bikes still fail too.

This first photo shows a fixed-gear/single speed bike with a fractured dropout. It is a steel bike from a somewhat niche yet inexpensive brand, a brand that has the wherewithal to have its own dropouts made rather than buy generic frame fittings. The brand’s marketing taps into the everyman appeal of traditional steel framesets, which is made accessible through the economy of Taiwanese manufacturing. The dropout design incorporates a practical integral axle tensioner bolt and stylized cutout windows beside the chain stay and seat stay attachments that harken to the delicate embellishments the framebuilders of yore added to forged or stamped fittings with much hand-filing labour. But these windows are not added by hand, nor is the dropout is likely stamped or forged. Most likely is investment cast, since modern manufacturing methods allow near-net shape items to be quickly developed and economically produced. However, cast steel parts frequently have less strength than forgings. In all likelihood, the strength of the material was just not sufficient with the windows removing so much metal in the area. Interestingly, the left dropout partially fractured in the exact same place. Basing statements on anecdotal evidence can be shady business, but I did see two more bikes with broken dropouts like this not long after. And current production of this model eschews the window cutouts adjacent to the chainstay, suggesting that the manufacturer felt compelled to change the design.

Preparation

A video from a few years ago, but still relevant to the work it takes to become a world champ like Sven did in 2013. A win I watched on assignment for Wired. While CX is pretty much over in the states, Worlds is later this month on the 31st.

FUJIFILM X-Pro2 Launches

This morning on Sony Mirrorless Pro, blogged about the new Fuji X-Pro2 and welcome the completion in the compact-pro camera market. Also noticed the bike-related photos in Fuji’s 5th anniversary photo contest. Like this Tour photo

France

Photo: Julien Lacroix, Camera X-Pro1

dreamy

And dreamy urban shot

Photo: Andreas Lamoutsis, Camera X-T1

Worth nothing too how Fuji is emphasizing rugged toughness with outside imagery and this battered-hero image.

Sony

Also see fashion and BMX

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Photo: Peiro Migailo, Camera X100T

asfas

and tricycles.

Photo: Rami Gilvanon, Camera X-T1

Their mini site about the their AF technology also features more bicycle imagery – HELLO FUJI PR!

Expect the X-Pro2 to be welcomed by Fuji fans, as well as us, in our ongoing quest to travel lighter, smarter, and take better photos. The X-Pro2 body goes on sale for $1,699.95 next month at $400 more than the X-T1 from 2 years ago. It’s a premium pro compact camera targeting professional shooters, like the market Sony defined.

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