Monday, April 28, 2008

May 18th AlleyCat

Race will be timed, probably 60-90 minutes. Winner will have collected the most photographs of Norfolk's Cheesy Mermaids.

Spoke Cards -

Tie-Breakers will be determined by Indian Leg-Wrestling.

Free Bicycle Purchasing Advice from the Wrong Person.

Pete, creeping me out., originally uploaded by ( kurtz ).

"Can you recommend a nice bicycle for me?"

I get this question every once in a while, so I'll can it here for future reference. As you can see, I do my best to absolve myself of accountability in the face of customer dissatisfaction. This particular response deals with Road Bikes (the last road bicycle I owned was in high school - a Western Flyer 200lb piece of cast iron I won in the local newspaper subscription sales contest):

If I were buying a road bike, I'd look at and try out a few different new frames. Especially to see if i'm more comfortable with traditional or compact frame styles. And then I'd look on craigslist or ebay for that same frame style in a 1-2 year old model (probably more C-list than ebay so i could actually go see the ride in person/test it out).

Because components are so expensive, buying used seems to be the way to get the best gear on a bike (ie, Ultegra vs. Shimano 105, wheel upgrades, etc). Plus a lot of really well off people tend to buy expensive bikes and find out they don't like riding, so they'll use them very little and sell when bike season begins. Their mistakes can be your opportunities.

This, of course is only one way to shop. You can also just buy within your budget New, knowing that a shop will do your tuneups for life (or they should - it would help to ask). And then you can upgrade components as you wear parts out / budget it in.

As you can tell, I stayed away from dropping name brands. I just don't know who is really great when it comes to road bikes. Even with MTB or track bikes, you can really fall in love with a frame because it's what you ride all the time, and the seatpost/saddle/bearing/brakes are dialed in to what you like. But since that's your only reference point, you can't draw from the experience of riding a few thousand miles on a potentially better frame.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Dear Shimano Cycling N America,

upgrade?, originally uploaded by ( kurtz ).

Your website makes quite a claim about the quality of your Dura-Ace products:

"Top of the line performance for serious cyclists... "

Based upon my experience, "top of the line performance" does not include 14T track cogs lasting over 4,500 miles. Maybe I'm not serious enough. Yeah, that's got to be it. Because had I paid full retail for your cog, I would be Seriously heated right now for blowing my investment.

Let's hope this 15T cog from the same line lasts at least 10k miles, considering I'm giving up about 6 gear inches.

"Three key words have emerged as the theme for the latest DURA-ACE system: Speed, Smooth and Strength. '100% Power Transmission' is the goal pursued by the fusion of these three concepts. Lance Armstrong used Dura-Ace to win the Tour de France seven consecutive times."

I'm pretty sure he wasn't riding that same DA groupo all 7 years.

I hope you all choke on your smug sense of self-satisfaction, you jerks.


- R. Kurtz -Bicycle Commuter

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

the omega man

charlton heston, originally uploaded by c_theokas.

From Family Guy episode "And the Weiner Is," during a Gun Club's family firearms safety video:

"Did you know Jesus and Moses used guns to conquer the Romans?"