Scary for me to think, but this story is probably from ~12 years ago. I worked as shop hand at a bike shop in Redmond, WA. In the shop, we had an ace mechanic named Val - this guy could fix anything. His handlebar mustache made him somehow seem even wiser. Val continues to dazzle folks with his wrenching skills - and he shares his experiences here from time to time with his comments.
Anyway, the store assistant manager was a bit of a blow-hard, and had a serious case of short-man’s disease. He was headed out on a biking vacation with his old riding buddies in California. He was talking a big game about how he’d upgraded to Cat3 and he was going to be making his buddies suffer with his new-found fitness. Of course, being the manager he used his position and had Val pack the bike for him.
Well, Val had proven time and again that he is, if nothing else, a clever man. Val dutifully packed the bike in the shop-owned bike box, but put special attention to packing the wheels. He unscrewed the air chamber of the shop Silca floor pump, and filled it…with water. He then carefully pumped the tubes full with the H20. The best part - Val didn’t tell a sole until the Manager had left town.
A week later, the manager gets back from his trip and told us of his little get-away. He said built up his bike, pumped up his tires to 100psi, and was ready to show his friends his new skills. Not so much. He said he was killing himself just to keep up with the group on the flats. When the road went up, he was really getting killed. As I remember him tell it - he didn’t figure out the gag until a couple hours into the first ride. Thanks for the laugh Val - that was impressive. Couldn’t have happened to a more deserving guy.
After a discussion, we agreed that a “fast and freezing” descent back home was better then the “slow and cold” longer way home. We wanted to get that ride over with … we got the turkey, fixins, and rather cold.
Friday looks like it’s going to be as nice as Thanksgiving here in Seattle, brisk but clear, a great day for an evening ride!
The media climate is shaping up as well: check out this recent SeattlePI letter to the editor criticizing Critical Mass. I’m not 100% down with Mr. Dudley, but I definitely am down with having a down-town ride that’s a bit more integrated and a bit less confrontational than CM. Hopefully that’s just what we need here in Sea-town. Mr. Dudley, we’d love to have you and anybody else who’s wanted to come to CM rides but been put off by it’s reputation.
We’ll meet around 5:30 at Westlake Center in downtown. We’ll plan on leaving shortly after 6:00, and wrapping up the ride around 7:30. See you there.
Earlier in the week, the conditions were just right – a side tailwind across the bike, “lifting” the wheels – and I rode the Modal fast. As “a roleur” type of rider, I get a rush from the momentum of a bike, from getting on top of the gear, and holding it there. Riding a tailwind for me, is like a surfer dropping into a big wave and with 60 mm of wing surface, the Jet 60s catch that wind and roll almost effortlessly.
As we first blogged, the C2s are Hed’s wide rim wheel. The wider rim changes the profile of the tire, spreading it out. OK, in principle, I get that, but really had to just ride these wheels to understand and feel what’s going on. On the rims, a 23 Michelin tire looks like a 25 and at lower pressure, around 90 PSI, the tires ride like tubulars. I didn’t notice it right away, but after a few bumps, cornering, and riding, there’s definitely something going on.
The C2s are also, “fun.” I don’t know that I’ve ever described a wheelset as fun, but because they ride so differently, there’s more road sensation, you want to just throw them into a corner and that translates to fun!
Check with your Independent Bike Dealer that carries Hed Wheels, or ask me out on the road. Whatever you do, definitely try the wide rims out.
Does changing the tire profile, affect durability?
Don’t know yet – long term tests will answer that. Hed sent us the C2s for the Modal and I plan on traveling everywhere with them.
How low PSI?
I ran them at 90 and that worked for me. I’ve heard that others are running them as low as 60.
What size Tire?
I like lots of rubber and run Michelin 23s. I think a better choice is 20s.