Kind of business as usual.

Head-Explosion-1troygonzales.jpgIllustration courtesy Troy Gonzales.

Between ham-fisting my way through my day to day duties here at the Black Market, and simultaneously uprooting my life, I found some time to pen a post which will assuredly promise to meh-xcite and underwhelm.
Without further adieu, let’s get down with business.
There is a fellow who resides out in the Midwest who goes by the name of Mark Savery;
Photo poached from Shawn Lortie.
I first met him when we were on the NORBA circuit together in the mid nineties and he was filling tech support duties with Manitou suspension. For being a young man, (you know, like somewhere between thirty to fifty) he has been riding and racing the bicycles for a shockingly long time and has seen a number of technological ‘advancements’ come and go. In all of the time I have known him, I’ve never seen anything phase him. That is until I came across his recent Twitter feed. He begins;
I can’t even start a rant about disc brakes on cross bikes because it’s so stupid I don’t even know where to begin
1. The bike will be heavier regardless. Light bikes accelerate quicker.
2. The extra weight will be in the rotor which adds to rotating mass which is even worse.
3. It won’t help with mud clearance because the last time I checked the bike still has a bunch crap around the bottom bracket.
4. Most cross courses are generally flat so the amount of time you actually spend on the brakes is minimal.
5. You can bomb whatever descent you want with disc or rim brakes but you still on have 33mm of rubber keeping the bike upright.
6.You’ll always be limited by traction.
6a. Do you (can you) late brake a file tread?
6b. I’d rather be fast on 90% of the track than fast on 10% of it.
7. People can’t bleed their mtb brakes. Let’s try to do it around bar tape and lever hoods
8. I’ll throw you a bone here. Pad wear.
I think I’m tapped out. It’s just getting stupid, like disc brakes.

After hearing an individual from Gates touting the benefits of a belt drive choose ‘and you don’t even have to lube it’ as one of their main supporting arguments of their ‘technology’, nothing the bicycle industry comes with in order to make money off of suckers will surprise me.
I’m sure that our shared opinion won’t be a popular one, and that’s fine. I don’t have to ride your bike and you don’t have to ride mine, and at the end of the day, the more money people throw into the bike industry, the better off all of us in, or even on the periphery of it will fare. Plus with the implementation of this technology, the legions of hood descenders will be all the more hilarious;

Clip courtesy of Plattyjo.
For regular readers, last week we saw numerous references to the World Championships of Single Speedering’s past. This week, thanks to Nic, we will see one regarding its future;
“As you probably know, SSWC is in South Africa this year. You may not know that it is at Spionkop, in KwaZulu Natal, the site of a particularly pointless and tragic battle during the Anglo Boer war of 1899 to 1902. These graves are at the summit;
The whitewashed stones are defensive barriers the British troops built because the ground was too hard for trenches. They were in the wrong place.
The trail from here down to the Tugela river is a happier thing.Think about coming along.”

These images make a lump well up in my throat for a number of reasons. Some are because I’m moved by the intensity of the history that they portray, and some are because I would like nothing more to see this beauty with my own two eyes.
Then some are just because I am an emotional train wreck right now. I haven’t made my way overseas in any direction for a number of years, unless you count wading into the Pacific. There is little I would enjoy more than sharing some time on a bike with friends in a distant land. My calendar is marked and my appointment at the sperm bank is made, though I doubt that visit will net me much more than fifty cents and a sympathy card.
In news of parties of a more domestic nature, Mike from Maximo Supremo residents The Banjo Brothers sent me an announcement regarding some upcoming tomfoolery going down in Portland East;
Will you be joining us?
I can promise you a matching seat cover if you can make it to the party. And, Banjo Eric and I will be driving the shuttle bus all night…Bada bing, bada, boom.”

It’s always a good time in MPLS, and this one promises to be no exception. If you are in the neighborhood, put on your best finery and get down.
Besides today being the last day in which you can place orders for the brand new and amazingly kickass AHTBM speedcycling suit, I have recently taken delivery of a brand new and equally awesome thing, of which you are sure to want at your home;
That’s right, it’s the lovely and talented Chölië once again lending her prowess as a model, donning the newest of the new Chuey Brand AHTBM winter cycling cap.
These wool, black on black screened hotnesses are sure to go quickly. As a matter of fact I’m wearing two at the same time right now. Act fast or spend your days looking like a schlub with cold ears.
Having little explosions come out of them also can remedy this problem, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

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13 Responses to “Kind of business as usual.”

  1. -dan February 6, 2012 at 7:34 am #

    cuz the “legions of hood descenders” need more braking power more than they need skillz…

  2. Perma Frost February 6, 2012 at 7:43 am #

    Rant on about Disc Brakes on CX bikes, but to the person who uses their “race” bike as a daily year-round commuter and an adventure bike as well as a CX “race” bike, disc brakes are a fantastic addition. Not everyone who races cross has the funds or connections as Mr. Savery nor the snob-douchery that lurks in the “race” circuit. Unless you race for a living (ie pro)…don’t give a f**k about what others are riding. In the words of the immortal Digital Underground…”Doowutchalike” Accompanying video:

  3. Ben February 6, 2012 at 8:21 am #

    Brakes just slow you down…

  4. Stevil February 6, 2012 at 8:24 am #

    I never said I cared about what others were riding. I take issue with the industry constantly implementing googahs and doodads which then people feel that they ‘need’ in order to enhance their riding experience. I too ride a crosstyle bicycle in all manner of conditions, and I even have a disk brake on my fat tired crosstyle bicycle, which I like a lot, but only put it on because a builder friend gave me a cross disk fork to try out. I like it, but still don’t see the advantage.
    There will be heaps and piles and piles of crossbikes with disk bakes being sold, along with the idea that they are superior to cantis, which for racing simply isn’t the case. Luckily the bike world is known for being populated with individuals who want to believe.
    Furthermore, I have a case of Shimano Airlines set ups I’m willing to sell to anyone who is interested in far superior shifting.

  5. rogbie February 6, 2012 at 10:10 am #

    Yet more evidence of the bike industry’s insidious reach (this time into dirtjumps and pumptracks): Stumpjumper Prototype
    It seems, the marketing department at the dastardly S think “concept” means taking a stock frame and stock parts and calling it a new type of bicycle. Don’t forget the offset cranks.
    On the same note, all those “fat bikes” fall along the same lines. I passed a pair of “fatties” walking their beasts through 18″ of snow while my 42c tires cut right through to the traction underneath.

  6. pablo picnostral February 6, 2012 at 10:52 am #

    Thanks for the anti-disc rant. Keep throwing technology at it, and some point cyclocross will just become “MTB Jr.”
    CX and MTB are and should remain two different things.
    Now how about tubeless road tires? That’s even stupider.

  7. Andy Reimer February 6, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    I don’t care about CX. I just want to know if Chölië added some highlights to her hair. She’s looking extra fine today.

  8. curtis February 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    I learned how to descend in the drops (on my cx that was built in the 90’s) after my hand went numb for two days from descending on the hoods out in Wilder when I was first learning to ride skinny tires on dirt.
    Something tells me the people in the video need to “take a course in good water and air; and in the eternal youth of Nature,” as John Muir would say.
    Stevil, if you sell out of those hats before I can buy a few, so help me God I will punch you so hard in the nads that the unrealized potential of your future children will feel it.
    Oh, and the flowers to the right in your banner are called Sticky Monkey Flower. I know it was keeping you up at night…

  9. 333 February 6, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    LOL @ Andy’s comment.

  10. Uncle Muscles February 6, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

    If you want to look PRO, you gotta slam that stem bro. That means you can’t reach the drops which means you descend on the hoods which means you don’t look so PRO anymore. I’m so fucking confused I’m going back to riser bars.

  11. scearley February 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    I was going to say something about the Boer War but I forgot what it was after Digital Underground came up so now it’s just a dance party.

  12. hans February 7, 2012 at 8:48 am #

    Another view of that carnage at Golden Gate park:

  13. EK February 7, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

    too fired up to read previous posts, great thoughts on South Afrca. Fighting aint pretty, you’d think we knew this by now. Great space Steve