Archive | Accessories and Gear

Going Phantom Aero on the FMB naturals. Photo: Rouleur.cc

The Aesthete’s Choice: Boyaux Naturel

by / / 79 posts

Tradition and innovation are the two opposing edges that cut our evolution through the fabric of our sport. Tradition grounds us, while innovation ensures we advance ever forward. The problem with tradition is that it is comforting and familiar, often shielding us from adopting newer, improved practices and technology. The trouble with innovation is that its freshness can blind…

Use the Five, Pedalwan.

On Rule #74: The Targeting Computer

by / / 38 posts

I could feel the power in my body as I breathed in the warm Spring air and pulled lightly on the handlebars; strength flowed from my lungs and shoulders into my chest, through my hips and down to my legs which churned over with alarming ease. With every change of gradient, I either stood on the pedals to maintain the…

What has four thumbs and loves climbing in big gears? Those guys!

And the 39 Was Clean as a Whistle

by / / 116 posts

I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn’t it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailleur? We are getting soft… As for me, give me a fixed gear! — Henri Desgrange I like to think that any time a rider running a…

Woopsie-dasies.

Test Drive Dummies

by / / 96 posts

Everyone knows it’s a great idea to change out pieces of equipment the day before a group ride, especially an honorary Ronde van Vlaanderen Cogal involving steep, cobblestone climbs. There is obviously also no need to test-ride the equipment after making said change. I remark at this point that it is rather unexpected to find an 11 speed…

The Goldilocks Principle in full effect.

Goldilocks Principle: The Golden Ratio

by / / 127 posts

There is a disturbance in the V. I have felt it for some time, and I suspect many of you have as well. The matter has to do with the ever increasing length of bibshorts and socks, approaching the knee like two lionesses stalking their prey in the savanna. Tracing back to the origin of this trend,…

A fenderless creature emerges from the bog of the Forest of Arenberg.

Fendangelism

by / / 143 posts

Mudguards (fenders) and saddlebags are two subjects that are sure to get our collective ire up as Cyclists. When I wrote in one of my columns for Cyclist that saddlebags should never be used, my editor told me that he received a record number of emails threatening to cancel their subscription on the basis that my column was a…

This is a gordon, not a bidon.

To Bidon Or Not To Bidon

by / / 144 posts

This is serious, people. I hope you’re sitting down. Really. Sit down. Not a half sit. A real sit. Both cheeks. If you’re reading this on your phone, put the phone away and wait until you are sitting behind a computer like a civilized person. Ready? Deep breath. I have it on the excellent authority…

Always store your bike in the mechanic's position: small-small to ease tension on the derailleur springs. Photo: Pedale.Forchetta

On Rules #26 and #65: Spring Theory

by / / 80 posts

To hold opposing truths in one’s heart is a beautiful thing; to find resonance within contradiction is a liberating force that opens one’s mind to a wide world of possibilities. Life lived in black and white is a bland, simple world, after all: everything interesting in life happens in the gray space in between. There is…

Pete Boydell shows us what Rule #5 looks like.

On the Rivet

by / / 94 posts

I’m proud to declare that I am fluent in three languages: Hyperbole, Dutch, and English. All of them rubbish. The language of the peloton is, by and large, the most beautiful and expressive in French and Italian, which already make anything sound sexy. But they really excel in le langage du peloton: Sur la plaque, La Volupte,…

Kelly crushes fools with properly layered kit.

Dress Like An Onion: The Art of Layering

by / / 94 posts

The thing about the cold is that you can never tell how cold it is from looking out a kitchen window. You have to dress up, get out training and when you come back, you then know how cold it is. – Sean Kelly Apart from the obvious lesson in Rules #5 and #9, hidden…

Casually Deliberate embodied to the bones.

The Pain of Adolescence

by / / 58 posts

There are three subjects you should not bring up in new company: Politics, Saddle Bags, and Helmets. In my experience, in fact, politics are a much safer subject with a stranger than that of the cursed EPMS; no subject I’ve ever broached has been met with more vitriol. Except maybe the use of helmets. I’m not…

Misty Mountain Hop

The Nine Kit

by / / 77 posts

Riding in bad weather is an incredible experience assuming you don’t fall off and break your hip, or you don’t get hit by a car. Those realities aside, the weather adds a dimension to the ride that you simply don’t have on a sunny day, lovely as they are. The other day I was riding early…

A ride for the people, the Sean Kelly Cyclosportive

Inflation

by / / 93 posts

My first bike was a Sears Moonlight Special. It was literally a piece of shit – figuratively. I mean, it would only “literally” be a piece of shit if shit was made of sand-filled steel tubes salvaged from the plumbing of the local sewage facility. Which it might have been, but I simply don’t have…

Hinault keeps the guns clean.

Cover High Before You Cover Low

by / / 102 posts

With the transitions of seasons occurring all over the world as Summer shifts to Fall in the Northern Hemisphere and Winter to Spring in the Southern, we are faced with the seasonal challenge of how to kit up properly for volatile and variable weather conditions. One of the most common mistakes made, apart from overdressing,…

The Funnybike

In Memoriam: The Funny Bike

by / / 80 posts

Summer, it appears, has been snatched abruptly from Seattle’s grasp, like a squeak toy from a puppy’s mouth. A week ago, we were setting record temperatures which were sadly playing their role in producing the worst wildfire season the state has ever seen. On the plus side, I haven’t ridden my Nine Bike in so long both its…

13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. That's a corncob Popeye would make a pipe of.

In Memoriam: The Straight Block

by / / 151 posts

Disc brakes and 1x drivetrains. These are the sort of things that belong on mountainbikes, are questionable on cross bikes, and should make an immediate trip to the rubbish bin when it comes to road bikes. Change for the sake of change; gimmickry masquerading as innovation. And to make matters worse, the appearance of 11-speed blocks has killed…

Certificate Of Unoriginality

Maker’s Mark

by / / 64 posts

If the best things in life are free, Messrs Lennon and McCartney must’ve just been given a huge bag of top-grade cocaine and were off their little chops when they wrote that one. There are plenty of great things in life that are free, the outdoors, mountains, air, but no-one is giving away bicycles, cocaine or…

The dreaded slow leak

The Race of Truth

by / / 70 posts

We’ve all felt it; going over a bump or through a corner and feeling that unmistakable bit of slop in the handling that sends your heart straight to your feet. Hoping you’re wrong, you bounce the tire as you roll along, confirming you’ve got a puncture. But it’s not really flat – not yet, at…

The Kuwahara Hirame pump head

Reverence: Kuwahara Hirame Pump Head

by / / 36 posts

I pump my tires up every single day, and every day it is the only part of Cycling I don’t like. The act of pumping while holding the pump in place is itself a bit of a bummer, especially if you are trying to do it in your Cycling shoes because your brain is too small to…

Meet your Maker

Meet Your Maker

by / / 44 posts

The wheel has always fascinated me, and why wouldn’t it? It’s one of the oldest known inventions, with the earliest archeological example believed to be about 5500 years old. They get us from point A to point B every day, one way or another. Without the wheel, we’d be reduced to walking. It’s not natural.…

Skip to toolbar