Front Derailleur Repurposing

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by Byron on Apr 22, 2016 at 9:21 AM


A few ideas on what to do with all those discarded front derailleurs from Fairdale Bikes and some humor after a sad day.

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Prince: Let Me Guide U

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by Byron on Apr 21, 2016 at 1:33 PM

Just as I was getting into my day, finishing a batch of photos to share; and, then the news that Prince died…reflections of course, memories, and wondering why so many musical artists of my generation are dying. My friend Anil Dash shared this Soundcloud

I’m so sad that Prince is gone. I think everybody who knows me knows he was my favorite artist, but it might not have been obvious that I didn’t just appreciate his music and his artistic work, but also what a pioneer and innovator he was creatively and in business and in culture.

I just wanted to share this song from 2 months ago, when Prince played “Purple Rain” in a new way, just on piano, like he was writing it for the first time. He never really sings a full verse, he never plays the guitar solo, he never fully gives the audience the cue to sing along with him. He was still just mourning the passing of Denise Matthews (Vanity), and this was a song he’d played for 33 years but it still sounded new. Prince dedicated this tour to his father, but I felt this performance of Purple Rain may have been just as dedicated to the son he lost 20 years ago. It haunts me.

Goodbye Prince, and thanks for so many wonderful memories.

Back in the blogging days I’d meet Anil at various conferences. It was his ‪Prince‬ stories I looked forward to the most. One time he shared with me a bootleg of Prince playing a face-melting version of a Whole Lotta Love. It’s on rotation now with this most haunting version of Purple Rain.

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Rasta Quick Release Skewer

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by Byron on Apr 20, 2016 at 11:06 AM

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Considering how the history of the bike industry in America is infused with cannabis, I’ve wondered why a progressive company didn’t embrace it; especially, in cities where it’s legal or tolerated. Well, today, Paul Components did and happy 420 day to them. As they shared

In light of April 20th, Paul components shows their festive colors with the Rasta Quick Release Skewer. The internal cam design always holds tight, has perfect foolproof alignment, and is fully protected. Skewers are available in your choice of lengths: 100mm; 130/135mm; 170mm; 190mm. The internal cam design always holds tight, has perfect foolproof alignment, and is fully protected. Skewers are available in your choice of lengths: 100mm; 130/135mm; 170mm; 190mm.

Each skewer is made to order, with the quality and precision that Paul Components has blessed the biking community with for almost 30 years. To order, just pick the length and select ‘Rasta’ in the ‘Finish’ dropdown. Show a little Rasta love wherever you ride.

I think by now you should know we prefer thru axles for our disc brake road bikes, but when a bike needs skewers, this is a great choice and costs $55.00. If you didn’t notice, Paul’s skewers were attached to the Triple 3 Fab bike Mark V profiled in Issue 33 Crafted.

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Road Disc Will Prevail

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by Byron on Apr 19, 2016 at 10:28 AM

As my colleague, @bikejourno tweeted this morning

with an edit of the Merida Scultura Disc


While not imported in the States, you’ve probably ridden a bike made by Merida, under a different brand name. They’ve been in business for 25 years and following the Paris-Roubaix disc injury, released this statement.

Following the injury at the recent Paris-Roubaix race and the following preliminary suspension of disc-brakes by the UCI we would like to take the opportunity to give a statement as one of the two bike-manufacturers who used disc brake equipped bikes in the event.

For years and strengthened by the overwhelmingly positive feedback from TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA (who concluded two weeks of world-tour racing to test the equipment under serious race conditions), MERIDA continues to believe in the future of disc brakes on road bikes. We are convinced that the added safety aspects such as better modulation and braking performance especially in the wet and when cornering, avoidance of rim heat up on long descents etc. will help the prevention of crashes and outweigh the potential risks as passive member of mass crashes.

However the happenings of the recent event has shown that further disc technology improvements should be made to reduce potential risks (for example rotors with rounded edges). For this purpose, MERIDA and other leading bike brands are in communication with disc brake manufacturers to push this development forward.

MERIDA will do its utmost to support the safety improvements of disc brakes during racing so that not just the amateur rider but also the pro-peloton can benefit from the long lists of disc brake benefits.

In my commentary about disc brakes on Medium Bicycles, I shared that no new molds are being opened for caliper brakes. There is also an unprecedented flurry of engineering activity in Taiwan right now, coming up with a fix, that should’ve been in place before the start of the season. Why the UCI is locked into a 1990s mindset is another matter. The impact to us is what the pros ride has never been more irrelevant to what we’re riding. I’ll say it again, when it comes to road bikes, get the disc, like this one.

as

If you don’t understand why road disc is better, the marketers have failed at their job. Well, you can ignore them too because they sold aero and marginal gains instead of massive gains in braking and bike-handling technology. The Merida Scultura Disc is an example of the advances, and so is the Trek Boone or Domane SLR.

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Motor Doping More Prevalent and Sophisticated

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by Byron on Apr 18, 2016 at 5:27 PM

Video from a French TV investigation of motor doping finds it’s more prevalent than previously suspected. No surprise to us, as we shared earlier this year when motor doping at CX Worlds was discovered. In a sport with zero credibility, up to them to prove it’s not true.

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Road Disc This Shit is Bananas

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by Byron on Apr 15, 2016 at 10:08 AM


By now, you’ve probably read or heard that the UCI suspended their disc brake experiment. They did so after a racer at Paris-Roubaix was seriously injured, he said by a rotor. Following the suspension, I wrote a rant on Medium Bicycles, taking the industry to task for this; how you say, “shitshow?” Or, an even simpler way to put it is, this shit is bananas.

Try it yourself and know that because no new molds are being opened for caliper-brake bikes, there is an unprecedented flurry of activity in Taiwan right now. The economic costs of the suspension and bad PR are probably worse the hydro failure at CX Natz and subsequent recall.

And, if you prefer…a GIF too.

The fix? A wider, less sharp rotor or a cowling, like they should’ve done from the onset of road discs. Expect a new, safety disc ASAP.

And the buyers of bicycles, they sure ain’t no hollaback girl.

HT to @Crosssports for the banana/rotor idea.

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Wilier Triestina GTR Team Disc

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by Byron on Apr 12, 2016 at 8:24 PM

Unrelenting

On Medium Bicycles this morning, shared a story about the Wilier Triestina GTR Team Disc. That’s an Italian “adventure” bike and built for all-day endurance. I’ll share another story about it later this month in Issue 35 of our magazine…for now, here’s a bit of what I had to say

When it comes to bike design, youth knows no pain, and up until now, carbon bikes were made as stiff as possible. As carbon technology enters its 30s, being a bit older and wiser, that supposed to hurt belief has given way to preferring an all-day experience, and wherever the route may take you off or on road. Sorta like how instead of wingtips, you’re ok wearing loafers now, or no more neckties.

Also see more photos on Instagram, like this one.

And, the @wilierusa @wiliertriestina GTR Team Disc close up. Read the story today on medium.bikehugger.com and thanks to @martingisborne for the editing help.

A photo posted by Byron (@bikehugger) on

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Hayman Wins Paris Roubaix on a Foil

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by Byron on Apr 11, 2016 at 5:22 PM


Always happens like that, just when I’m burned out and cynical about the sport, a race like the 2016 edition of Paris-Roubaix happens. An unexpected, lucky win, and on a bike I’ve ridden, and raved about. Right? Scott’s PR shared the backstory and video from ORICA-GreenEDGE above. Riding a smart race all day, Hayman proved to be the strongest in a sprint of five, after a grueling 253 kilometers. The 37-year old ORICA-GreenEDGE veteran riding his 15th Paris-Roubaix, made all the right decisions in a race where everything can go wrong than. His first smart move was to jump into a break that formed after about 70 kilometers of racing and stayed there.

“I didn’t have to surge to get in position before the cobbled sectors, I just had to make sure I saved as much energy as possible while being in the front group,” Hayman said after the race. “Everybody that has ridden Paris-Roubaix knows it’s one of those rare races where being in an early break can get a rider a good result.”

When pre-race favorites caught up to Hayman’s group, Hayman was he let the others work

They knew I was in the breakaway during large parts of the race. I was able to just sit there and save energy,” the ORICA-GreenEDGE rider commented after the race.

I’ve had enough bad luck in Paris-Roubaix in the last fifteen years. Everything went right today, I was in a good place mentally, I was relaxed and I was trying not to put pressure on myself.

Then we all know what happened next….

About the Bike

Hayman won Paris-Roubaix on a Scott Foil Team Issue. While the first Foil was super stiff and not very comfortable, the engineers at Scott invested a lot of time in order to improve the comfort of the new Foil. Did Hayman win cause he was less fatigued? Perhaps, sure didn’t hurt, and I know when I rode the Foil, I appreciated how fast and compliant it was.

See my review of the Foil in Issue 32 of our Magazine. And, congrats again, for such a huge win for Hayman, his team and Scott.

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Motos in the Mix and a Call for Better Production Values

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by Mark V on Apr 10, 2016 at 10:27 PM

Team Sky’s speedster Elia Viviani was caught behind a crash within the Arenberg sector, and perhaps he was thinking that there would be no way that he would play any further role in this year’s Paris-Roubaix.

And then the motorcycle plowed into him from behind.

Viviani walked away from the collision with contusions and cuts, but just two weeks ago at Gent-Wevelgem another pro cyclist was killed. Belgian Antoine Demoitie died of injuries sustained when a following motorcycle attempted to evade him where he had fallen in a crash but unfortunately tumbled directly unto his head and upper torso. Demoitie is the first fatality involving a race vehicle collision in many years, but in the context of a recent epidemic of such collisions, perhaps UCI officials and race organizers should look at his death, not as an isolated incident, but as the natural and inevitable result of current practices and protocols.

Viviani’s incident really is the last straw, as if someone’s death (apparently) wasn’t. Crashes are given with Paris-Roubaix, especially in the Arenberg Forest, and it is not as if anyone could have forgotten the loss of Demoitie in less than 14 days. Despite all that, a race moto could not avoid mowing down a stopped rider at the most predictably crash-prone portion of a race that is synonymous with crashing, while painfully aware of both severity and recentness of the previous incident. It is past being an issue of individual carelessness, because concerned operators and the predictability of situations has made no difference. Eliminating those variables, something must be wrong with how these races are being run.

Is it that there are too many race vehicles in the caravan? It is often said that the parcours of today’s races encounter more road furniture (speed bumps, posts, reflective dots, traffic turtles, etc) than in the past, making them more treacherous to racers. Are there likewise more motorcycles mixed in with the racers? Assuming that there are more motorcycles than in years past, are those motorcycles used by commissaries, neutral support, medical support, or television crews? I don’t have the data, but I think it is a safe bet that media interests are the likely sources of additional motos.

If that is true, then not only is it reprehensible to race organizers and officials to sacrifice rider safety for monetary benefit from the television coverage, but it also shows a lack of ambition and imagination on the part of media and the UCI. With today’s technology, you can’t tell me it’s impossible to put a transmitting action cam on the majority of the bikes in the peloton. With the plethora of power meters used on bikes, you could include all kinds of metrics on the video feed, which would no doubt appeal to a broader television demographic. And by broader, I mean American. Americans love quantifying their sports. Baseball is mind-numbingly boring, but all the statistics give it a satisfying tangibility. Imagine cycling coverage like Formula One…from the driver’s POV, and Monday morning’s dominant discussion at the watercooler will be about Kittel’s gear choice and cadence for the sprint , or whether Quintana was sustaining too much wattage too early in the Alps. Bike manufacturers would love it too, since the camera equipment could count towards the 6.8kg weight minimum that they’re always bitching about, allowing them to sell lighter yet more expensive framesets to the (well-heeled) everyman.

There are so many better options to televise cycling than motorcycles getting all up on the riders to film their feet going round in circles.

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