Look Pro(phetic): Muck Around with Your Seatpost

Look Pro(phetic): Muck Around with Your Seatpost

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I have a friend who is borderline OCD. He’ll sometimes wash his hands dozens of times a day, doesn’t like sticky stuff, cats drive him to antihistamine hell and there is a place for everything, with everything in its place. This can be annoying, not only for those around him, but especially for himself. It’s not a great place to be.

The upside is his bikes are always meticulously maintained, fully Rule compliant, or they are in a state of tear-down having last week’s grease freshened up and each ball bearing individually polished. He’s gotten it under control quite admirably these days, and while a chip in the duco of his beautiful steel frame will still understandably piss him off, there’s not the slightest hint of sending it back to Italy to be re-sprayed by the 78 year old artisan who originally painted it, who inconveniently happened to retire in 1984. But you can rest assured the touch-up job he’ll do himself is of paintshop standard.

But I’ve never seen him muck around with his seatpost height. Not once it’s set, anyway.

This poses the question: did The Prophet have OCD? To this observer it seems so, if numerous viewings of Le Course En Tete and A Sunday in Hell are any reliable indicator. The guy was constantly fiddling with his seatpost height. His mechanic must’ve been ready to throw his hands in the air proclaiming “Merde, Eddy! I’ve measured it three times already! Why do you not trust me?”

It seemed to matter little to Eddy that poor Charly had adhered to the numbers scribbled on the lid of his toolbox, taken the slide rule and spirit level to every possible surface and angle, and used his impeccable line of sight to position the saddle just right, exactly where it was requested to be. “How’s that Eddy?” “Is perfect.” “Then why are you borrowing a spanner from RDV’s team car? Hmmm?”

If he wasn’t adjusting his saddle, he was adjusting his stem. If he wasn’t adjusting his stem, he was squirting water from his bidon onto his brakes. If he wasn’t doing that, he was simply laying down the law. The law of The Prophet.

Obsessive? Yes. Compulsive? For sure. Did it affect his ability to waste all comers? Not likely.

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// General // Look Pro // Nostalgia // Technique

  1. @James
    @Oli
    I know it sounds like a frustratingly obtuse answer, but Oli’s correct; whatever works best is the only answer.

  2. @zalamanda
    actually I got it in Belfast, so I imagine if you email them, they’ll tell you who stocks it – are you in London?

    Had another one last night – did 60K in the dark – trying to ride without eating, which backfired as I have a 250m hill between me and anywhere else, so bonked as I hit the bottom of it and made my slowest most miserable ascent in history – that said, Owd Rodger was in the fridge, and coursed through my veins like a transfusion with Epo added, and I slept like a baby last night!


  3. Actually, the thing that really made my ride so miserable last night, necessitating excessive quantities of V to get home, was a stupid fricking pimple where the sun don’t shine, right next to my walnuts – it’s not like I even shave there! Is this a sign of being Pro, and part of the job, or am I just unlucky?

  4. @Dr C
    I’ve just the remedy for that, my club shorts. The pad is so ineffective that you’ll be completely numb from the waist down to wherever you start shaving. Thankfully they’ve gone with a different brand this year (unfortunately not Castelli though)

  5. @Chris

    @Dr CI’ve just the remedy for that, my club shorts. The pad is so ineffective that you’ll be completely numb from the waist down to wherever you start shaving. Thankfully they’ve gone with a different brand this year (unfortunately not Castelli though)

    Okay, can you wash them before I wear them?

  6. @Dr C

    @Chris

    @Dr CI’ve just the remedy for that, my club shorts. The pad is so ineffective that you’ll be completely numb from the waist down to wherever you start shaving. Thankfully they’ve gone with a different brand this year (unfortunately not Castelli though)

    Okay, can you wash them before I wear them?

    Genius, and nipple lube.

  7. @Dr C
    thanks for the heads up I’ll try Borough market. As for that pimple next to your jewels I’ve got something similar which fills up with ‘juice’ after a ride which is then squeezed out. I’ve tried lancing it but it won’t go away… I don’t geddit

  8. @zalamanda
    You can get it online from a number of places including Marston’s themselves.

  9. @Dr C

    @Chris

    @Dr CI’ve just the remedy for that, my club shorts. The pad is so ineffective that you’ll be completely numb from the waist down to wherever you start shaving. Thankfully they’ve gone with a different brand this year (unfortunately not Castelli though)

    Okay, can you wash them before I wear them?

    Best not, in their post ride state they’ll kill off whatever is causing your pimple.

    On the Owd Rodger front, I can see a title for your first guest article “Beer in the Bidon: Owd Rodger on the Paris Roubaix Parcours”. There’s got to be a few calories in a bottle of the stuff.

  10. @zalamanda

    @Dr C
    thanks for the heads up I’ll try Borough market. As for that pimple next to your jewels I’ve got something similar which fills up with ‘juice’ after a ride which is then squeezed out. I’ve tried lancing it but it won’t go away… I don’t geddit

    Have you tried doing that, after first lying on your arm until your hand goes numb?

  11. @zalamanda

    @Dr Cthanks for the heads up I’ll try Borough market. As for that pimple next to your jewels I’ve got something similar which fills up with ‘juice’ after a ride which is then squeezed out. I’ve tried lancing it but it won’t go away… I don’t geddit

    Winner for the grossest comment I’ve read on the interwebs today. Yeeesh.

  12. @Dr C
    I feel your pain… I’ve had something similar but what seems to have cured it for me is chamois cream. I haven’t bought ‘proper’ chamois cream, just a tub of cocoa butter that solidifies at room temp so you have to heat it up in the microwave. Lather that on and you won’t believe the difference.

  13. @James

    @Dr C
    I feel your pain… I’ve had something similar but what seems to have cured it for me is chamois cream. I haven’t bought ‘proper’ chamois cream, just a tub of cocoa butter that solidifies at room temp so you have to heat it up in the microwave. Lather that on and you won’t believe the difference.

    That sounds just the ticket – and I guess if you don’t need it you can always spread it on a toasted muffin to go with a nice cup of tea – sounds tasty

  14. @Dr C
    Indeed, although I can’t decide if it’s a good thing to smell like chocolate down there!

  15. @James

    @Dr C
    Indeed, although I can’t decide if it’s a good thing to smell like chocolate down there!

    I thought the ladies liked the smell of chocolate.

  16. Depends on what is on the menu I guess

  17. @zalamanda
    Try some mild cortisone cream, as long as you aren’t subject to doping controls.

  18. I wonder what it would be like if this guy met the Prophet in person:

  19. Bike fit is an evolving science but the modern foundation was begun almost 30 years ago with the Look system,probably derived from the Renault team Hinault, Lemond,Fignon ,Madiot etc the first team to really look at ergonomics.I used this system back then about 1988 and used it for the next 5 years or so.I stopped riding for about 13 years or so and then after 3-4 years of riding got a Specialised BG fit, the only thing I needed to change was putting shims into the cleats and shoes to counter leg length discrepancies  So I’m not sure if it’s due to good bike fit in the first place or because I was used to riding in that position that I now naturally morph to that position despite my age and lack of flexibilty, muscle memory perhaps or a vain attempt to copy the pro’s. The thing that strikes me most looking at modern riders is how far forward the seat is set, compared to riders like Hinault Lemond Fignon, Indurain, Rominger they all sat far back and churned a big gear in the mountains, and also the TT position. I think the theory was the higher the saddle and further back the set the better the aero position and power, just like a track rider. Perhaps a Velominati keeper could shed some light on the way top riders find the V locus?

  20. Man I should look at the date’s on these posts I tink I’m still in Feb 2012.

  21. Whatever his OCD, they left the loading dock door open one day in 2002.  Johan’s steed laying against the wall of the loading dock and the Prophet himself, who was the perfect host.

  22. Ok, with the picture this time.

  23. @Elric

    Ok, with the picture this time.

    Not yet… Try again.  Would love to see it.

  24. @Skip damn, I’m logged in and it shows up after the post took and now it’s alone again. Melts try again because its definitely worth it.  If anyone can clue me in (its coming from my computer and I am logged into my ca count).

  25. It was in 2002 and I don’t think he had started riding again.  It was great to share a Coke and chat for a few minutes.  Considering we were some knuckleheads that had a Belgian Army counterpart drive us there and then walked in through the loading dock he was very welcoming.  A true champion and gentleman.

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