Archive | Technology

An example of why off-road excursions are worth while.

Know Your Limitations

by / / 37 posts

I always strongly consider observations from anyone willing to wave a 44 Magnum in people’s faces.  As such, I’ve always appreciated Dirty Harry‘s recommendation that a man know his limitations.  For example, I can appreciate that I am not an elegant creature and it is best if I avoid sports involving hand-eye coordination. I’ve also noted that…

Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni at the summit of K2 in 1954. Photo: K2: Challenging The Sky

Doping: The Acceptability of a Method

by / / 60 posts

Performance-enhancing methods. This is a term we hear so often in cycling; it refers to the practice of using products or processes that elevate your performance beyond what you could naturally do. It is a terribly complicated matter for the fans, and I can only speculate as to how complicated it is for the professionals…

Certified hardman and aesthete, the Swiss rider Hugo Koblet.

The Cycling Aesthete

by / / 37 posts

There are those who are challenged to find the value of aesthetics in a sport which requires eating 11T cogs buttered with chain oil for breakfast and drinking kegs of Rule #5 at dinner. Ye of the Congoscenti, I present you with the following photos of some of the quintessential hardmen of our sport who…

A Velominatus' labor of love: working on a bike

Le Mecanicien

by / / 132 posts

Each of us remembers how they became a Velominatus. For me, it was at Grimpeur Wielersport, in Zevenaar, The Netherlands. Its the perfect place: a small shop, on a small street, in a small town, in a small country, run by a Giant of the Sport, Herman van Meegen. I haven’t been back in years,…

The way they used to do Rule 5

Italian Thoroughbred, Hand Built with Care in China

by / / 32 posts

While walking about town, one of my favorite things to do is to puruse the commuter bikes locked up outside stores and study some of the gems being ridden around.  Sometimes, I come across a really special bike, and marvel at the notion that the bike’s owner might not have any idea what piece of…


Dear Thule: GFY.

by / / 10 posts

Spoiler alert– this post has nothing to do with professional cycling or racing. This post is about trying in vain to get existing bike trays to fit on a new car. Given that we put a man on the moon and all, this seems only modestly ambitious. WRONG, says Thule. It can’t be done! At…

Before race radios, riders had to think for themselves or risk falling back to the cars to speak with their D.S.

Race Radio

by / / 12 posts

Anyone who watched Flanders and Paris-Roubaix can agree that the strongest and most deserving rider won both events; Fabian Cancellara dominated both races and did nothing to lessen his reputation as Spartacus.   One thing that that struck me, however, is how significantly race radios factored into how the races played out. In Flanders, Fabian…


Mektronic and the Electronic Revolution

by / / 44 posts

The migration to electronic transmissions in cycling is inevitable. Cables have lots of inherent problems; they stretch, rust, break, and get clogged in their housings. Worse, they are part of an imprecise mechanical system that requires constant maintenance and adjustment, and one that can by design only work perfectly in one gear and gets progressively…


Framebuilding: Subcontractors and Big Names

by / / 18 posts

I’ve made mention before of Rouleur magazine and their amazing, in-depth articles.  In one of the past issues, they had a wonderful piece on frame building  in the eighties and nineties describing how many of the big names sourced the building of frames – especially custom frames – to subcontractors.   The article focused on one…


Fixie Challenge: Matching Aptitude to Confidence

by / / 35 posts

I think it goes without saying that riding a fixie properly takes quite a bit of skill and finesse; the pedals being directly connected to the rear axle demands a fluid pedaling technique when riding at speed, not to mention the skill required to stop (quickly) without brakes.  The issue I have with the fixie…


The Dahon

by / / 29 posts

My friend Robbie is no slouch on a bike. He is a former Mass-Rhode Island district road race champion, he has been beaten by the likes of Steve Bauer and Davis Phinney. The man can always get on a bike and haul ass, he always will. He drove by two days ago and was hot…


The Golden Era: Downtube Shifters and Delta Brakes

by / / 41 posts

I miss downtube shifters.  I miss them in the same way I miss the days before the widespread use of race radios, when races were less choreographed and more unpredictable.  Racing on downtube shifters, a rider had to be seated and take one hand off the bars to shift.  Shifting had to be planned into…


Theory of Bike Fitting: Tall Riders Walk Their Own Path

by / / 79 posts

Fitting yourself to your bike properly and being comfortable while riding is probably the most important aspect of cycling. It doesn’t matter if you’re riding the Worlds Lightest Bike or your Clunker Rain Bike/commuter; if you feel good on your bike, it will be a pleasure to ride. My 10 kilo, 8-Speed Shimano 105, fender…


Lost Art: Mashing a Giant Gear

by / / 4 posts

Cycling enthusiasts used to mash a giant gear for one, simple reason: it looked super cool.  Do you want to ride like Lucho Herrera who is always falling off his bike or Eddy Merckx who is always winning races? Even as recently as the 90’s it was a common sight to see the pros riding…


No Braking Allowed

by / / 5 posts

Jens Voigt can always be relied on for entertaining comments to the press.  One of my favorite quotes of his was during an interview discussing the role that a rider’s mind plays during a race: When you go hard, your body says, ‘STOP!’ and your mind says, ‘BODY, SHUT UP!’ And, sometimes it works!  And then…

Skip to toolbar