Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Cycling and roaming (whining and moaning)

I'm not cycling and roaming. It's raining, and I'm in the middle of my second cold of the year.  I'm actually in the whining and moaning phase.

And of course, when I'm in this state I spend quite a lot of time contemplating bicycles. And researching bicycles. And thinking about rides that I've taken.

It's truly a joy researching bicycles on the internet. There are so many experts out there willing to share their vast wealth of knowledge that it's overwhelming.

Consider the expert judgement of the commenter who said "Sloping top tubes on bikes are an abomination. No serious cyclist will ride one of these bikes."
See? The horror of the sloping top tube. (Photo from Rodriguez Bicycles.)
Where did sloping top tubes come from, anyway? Mountain bikes? Everyone knows that mountain bikers are just kids who shouldn't be taken seriously.

And for a well-reasoned opinion, you certainly can't beat this: "You should absolutely remove the paper tags from your brake rotors. I can't believe the number of people who don't do this."
Do you see the problem here? The bike can never truly be "aero" with this tag on the brake rotor!
I've left the paper tags on my brake rotors; it just doesn't seem worth the time to take them off. Eventually I'll have ridden the bike enough that the paper tags will be worn off by the weather. Badge of honor, baby. Just like the marks on my rack where the pannier fastenings have worn off the finish.

And of course, there is the never-ending spacer argument. "You have to cut your steering tube right away, because having more spacers showing than you need...well, it's just wrong."  This makes no sense to me. When a bike is new, the rider may not know for a while what handlebar height is best for them. I believe it's smarter to keep the uncut tube until the rider can figure out what the optimal height of the handlebars should be. And there's this: what if the rider prefers a different handlebar height as their riding style changes?

Sly Stone put it best in his song Everyday People: "Different strokes for different folks."

Based on internet research, I've just about decided on my next bike. Because it's the best thing ever. Except for its design, which is just wrong.  It's a great "allroad" bike. Except the geometry is all wrong for riding on gravel, so it won't do that.  Oh, and it's pretty easy to work on. Except you can't possibly mount a rack on it. Best of all, it can be converted to a single-speed. Well, if you disregard how badly the dropouts are designed.

I get confused about the actual merits of a bike sometimes. I base my impressions on test rides, which is obviously a foolish course of action. From now on I'll gratefully accept the uncommon wisdom of the internet.

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