We're so into Cyclocross that we made this special page for it. Also publish a Tumblr about Suffer Faces.

These Tires are Special So Special

These tubular Cross tires are special. +Molly Cameron Special Edition FMBs and the, “best Cross tires I’ve ridden.” Why? Check this G+ thread from earlier today with +Chandler Snyder and +Geoff Williams. I’ll summarize it:

The cotton sidewall is extra supple with latex tubes inside. The tread is soft and pliable so it sticks to the ground and follows it better than other tires because the casing isn’t pushing and pulling the tread around.

I use lots of body english and the tires tracked true to where I pointed the bike. Other tubulars, especially at low pressures, squish around and can get bouncy on tight corners. I notice how well these tires stuck in mud tracks I was following or wanted to get out of and into a better line.

The initial “wow” happened when I arrived on the single track near Hugga HQ. Later, I was intrigued to learn that only 3 people work at FMB and everything is hand sewn.

I’ll post more about the tires after I race them. Also, as I said on Twitter earlier today.

Previously dismissed Mavic’s R-SYS as some weird French wagon wheel thing. Revisiting that opinion after riding them on dirt with FMBs.

Sidi Surgery to Replace Cleats

It takes 3, maybe 4 years, for cleats to fuse into the Sidi cleat receptacle plates. When that happens, no matter how careful you are, you’ll strip the threads of the screw heads. The infographic explains what happens, which is a matter for material scientists to solve, while shop mechanics provide the fix.

These grainy photos were shot in a garage and are of a process that’s not pretty and seldom seen. Mark V was in a good mood, so he let the iPhone camera near him while performing the extraction

Note: seeing a frame get straightened or a seized post removed from a seat tube is even uglier.

The process is simple:

  1. Dremel a slot in the cleat/screw
  2. Use a large screwdriver to unscrew it
  3. Clean, lube the plate, and replace the cleats with new ones

Dremel cuts a slot

Medieval methods

A few seasons of Cross and the cleat on the right shoe required additional, medieval methods. The huge crescent wrench attached to the screwdriver gave Mark more leverage. Blame the goose poop on that one. Racing along the shoreline of City parks that waterfowl frequent means you’ve got poop-imbued mud. Combine that with sweat, tears, plus other bodily fluids. and that’s one toxic, cleat-corroding substance.

Tainted Cash: Five Dolla Make You Holla

Tainted Cash is alluring with a caution tape belt

In any other setting and especially at a city park, this man in a jumpsuit with a fiver dangling from the fly would get arrested and put on a watch list. At MFG Cyclocross races, it’s the Tainted Cash #Hodala hand up.

Beware the one-armed man behind caution tape with a fiver in his pants

Spend that wisely and remember to wash your hands

Tainted Cash is one of many hand up flavors. See more at The Hand UP and photos from the 06 Lion of Fairfax CX Race.

But wait there’s more Tainted Cash #Hodala hand ups on G+ in glorious full rez.

Tubeless Test Ride UPDATE

Rolling tubeless

Made it past the 2-minute mark without an explosion on my second test ride with the AClass tubeless. If you recall, earlier in the week, the test ended in a catastrophic failure.

So what happened was, the screw punctured the tire – felt like I hit a rock – it then tore through the bead and BANG. Bead lost, seal lost, and that was it. Inside the rim, it’s all torn up too.

That was a very unusual circumstance. Mark V checked it out, mounted another tire, and I had an uneventful ride. Looking at photos of the Tubeless Incident, Guy Browne asked

For road, was there anything that made you think, “now that’s worth swapping wheelsets and tires for?” I’m just at a loss as to the justification for going tubeless on the road. Is there anything so remarkable about the experience that bears lobbying for such an animal? Road clinchers being what they are these days, I’m not sure I’m seeing a huge advantage. I do understand the tubular angle a bit more, especially for racing, if only for the fact that the tire will stay on the rim making flats rideable for a while, and sudden pressure loss more controllable. You don’t get that with tubeless.

Yes. On the low side of flat karma one wet Winter, I had an epiphany and that was, “no more tubes! (curse words),” and I haven’t ridden a wheelset with tubed tires since. It’s tubeless or tubular. Note this is even after evangelizing Hed’s C2 platform and agreeing with Guy that clinchers have never been better. A set of Ultremo DDs on Ardennes and you’re rolling well with good protection. Remarkable protection, as Pam learned one commute.


Still rideable

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Russie Says Goodbye to Seattle with a Win

Silver Lake: Russie Wins and Leaves Seattle Behind

‘Racers cracked on this hill

This photo sequence starts with challengers right on Russell Stevenson’s wheel, nearly touching it, then watch the gap open, their grimaces grow, and he never looks back. Russie is a Local Pro.

Silver Lake: Russie Wins 1

Watch the gap grow

As he rides out of focus, check the gap, and the Suffer Faces behind him. It’s a wheel and a half now.

Silver Lake: Russie Wins and Moves Away

Now it’s a bike length and he’s gone

Now further out of focus, the gap is a bike length and that grew to nearly a minute at the finish. Today Russie is flying to CO for a new job, more races, and I expect wins like this.

Full-rez photos on Facebook, Flickr, and G+.

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