Thursday, April 03, 2008

Mishmash - April 3, 2008

Hybridzilla rocketed to 36 MPH from a dead stop. I decided to do an all-out sprint right after I got off the bus. I think she has more in her than that but I wasn't warmed up yet. The rest of the commute was quick and painless after I finished sprinting, panting, coasting and drinking water. As far as ghetto-rigged beaters go, this is a great back-up bike but I wouldn't dare trade it for my road bike. It's served me well for the last few days.

The Twelve is back.
Finally. The 105 derailleur they had picked up for me was a short cage. That's great on a racing bike, but won't work for a triple-crank bike with a touring gear range. I just went with the Tiagra-level one they had at the shop. It looked fundamentally the same as the 105 anyways, just weighed more. Who cares? Not I, if it's the difference between riding my bike now or waiting another week. The Sora Derailleur, however, looked like crap. No way I was using that one.

Chillin' With Robert.
I got home with my bike as Robert, my neighbor across the hall was getting home from work. He mentioned a wireless cyclo computer thing that he'd gotten for Christmas but hadn't installed it yet. I told him I could install his computer for him, and I got crackin'. He also mentioned that his bike shop (The KC Trek Store) offered him one free tune-up and was asking what kinds of things the tune-up involved and if it was worth it. He's one of those guys who's ridden most of his life. This is his first really nice bike, and he has always relied on shops for everything. He kept asking questions, so I kept answering them and showing him what he wanted to know. I tuned his bike up for him (only his brakes needed tightening, everything else was well adjusted and true) and showed him how to use barrel adjusters for his shifters and brakes. It was cool to talk to him for a while. I've been meaning to try to ride with him for a few months but his schedule and the weather haven't been cooperating.

More Wrenching.
The FD was out of whack on The Twelve when I got home, and the RD was acting funky, too. I kind of expected my bike to work flawlessly after a trip to the shop but it wasn't anything I didn't know how to fix. About 20 minutes spent tinkering around and The Twelve was dialed in and wired for sound. A grocery run provided the perfect opportunity to find any remaining glitches. The only thing I'm finding is that the tech adjusted the FD so it's closer to the chainring. In theory, this should result in more positive and accurate shifting. In practice, the cage brushes ever so slightly on my hammer ring if I am in the middle ring and really hammer on it. It's one of those things that absolutely will drive me bonkers the first time I ride the full trip to downtown or back home. I'll figure it out this evening.

This Morning.
Grimy. Wet. Mist turning to heavy rain with temperatures a little below 50°. It was generally unpleasant. Bah. I'm glad I was able to dry off and caffeinate this morning while the rain stopped. I spent a good amount of time explaining the Trek Lime and Shimano's "Coasting" technology to Lorin. Now he understand how it works, but still doesn't get why anyone would buy it. I tried to explain, but I don't think it worked too well.

Sorry for the verbosity. You're now in the loop. I'll leave you with these:

Quandaries and Observations.
A few days ago, a scruffy old man on the bus commented on my mirror. "What's that glass on your helmet?" When I described its purpose, he went on a terribly long-winded diatribe to the point of berating me for even owning a helmet. My reply? "You're just smarter than me." I can almost, kind of see the point in berating someone for NOT wearing a helmet, but to poke fun at someone's safety equipment simply because they haven't done a face plant after being run off the road seems paradoxical. Live and let die, I suppose?

Can anyone give me a practical reason why leaving the test pedals on a pair of double-sided SPDs is wrong? I'm not talking about how DORKY it looks. I mean a practical reason. I've read comments in forums about it being unsafe, but can't figure out why. Hybridzilla is set up this way. The cheapo test platforms don't fall off, they let me ride easily in regular shoes, they provide one more set of reflectors, and they flip to the bottom so the clipless side is ready to go. I don't get it. Any takers?

Random Tunage:
Madonna - I Love New York (Thin White Duke Remix)
White Zombie - More Human Than Human (Meet Bambi In The King's Harem Remix)

The Madonna track has absolutely NOTHING to do with the horrendously lame TV Show of the same name, featuring the psycho tramp from one of the "Flava Flave" alternate reality shows. In fact, all of those "* of Love" shows pretty much grate on my last nerve despite the fact that my wife seems to obsess over them. There are no less than three different series running on VH1 right now. How much cleavage, testosterone, cat fighting, swearing, man-whoring, woman-whoring and slavery can we throw onto a single TV Channel?!? Stop the madness.


Chris said...

Oh...I know I know!!!! The reason you can't leave the test platforms on a double sided entry\release spd pedal is that the weight weenie police will confiscate them and all your weight weenie friends will scoff at you lack of weight reductions techniques.

SiouxGeonz said...

You have totake them off so you don't sue anybody:) Don't use Q-Tips in your ears, either!
.... except this humble rider did get thrown from her bike yesterday because her foot slipped off the pedal, which could happen with platform pedals. Though... you would probably have your shoes all the way on instead of stuck on like clogs, so that the whole shoe wouldn't get sucked into the wheel and bring you to a sudden stop.
So... I guess you need to take 'em off if you're not thinking :)

Sirrus Rider said...


+1 on the poser weight weenie police will come confiscate your bike and all your spandex cycling shorts. The only other thing I can think of is the platforms might scrape the ground when you clipped in

Yokota Fritz said...

The Tiagra is decent, except for the time when the plastic parts deconstruct spontaneously at the most inopportune time. (Yes, I've experienced this).

105 is now all 10 speed, though, so it's hard to recommend these days. $50 for a 10 speed chain!

And what's with all this hate to "weight weenies," Badger? Who urinated in your coffee to make you so grumpy?

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