La Vie Velominatus: The Sound of Silence

Tubular/Carbon hum; the union of past and future.
Tubular/Carbon hum; the unison of past and future.

In most situations, silence is an ominous thing that signals impending doom. Having never been in any danger myself, I base this largely on my experience watching box-office movies. As a general rule, I use Hollywood as the principal source of information on all subjects as they relate to doom and politics, principally because I’m loath to do any “reading” or “research” of my own; the more thinking an actor or actress can do for me, the better. The more glamorous they look, the more trustworthy they are.

For the Cyclist, however, silence signals efficiency. Noise is loss; every creak, squeak, click, clack, groan, moan, or other emanation of sound from our machine or body is energy escaping the system. Energy that we put into the system through hard-fought application of The V. That includes uncontrolled, dog-like panting or wheezing, and the creaking and clicking of body parts, by the way.

Sound is energy carried on waves of vibrating air. Sound escaping our bicycle or body as a consequence of us applying pressure to the pedals is evidence that some portion of our energy is being expended to produce noise instead of moving us forward. This makes noise intolerable and infuriating in equal measure and in extreme circumstances may precipitate a Rule #65-violating Millarcopter. Drivetrain noise means loss with every link of the chain that passes through the derailleur and over a cog. A click in the bottom bracket or a creaking in the cleat signals energy poured into compression of bearings or plastic, not speed. Wheezing or panting indicates air converted from V-giving breath into the useless rattling of a larynx.

Silence the machine, control your breathing into a steady, muscle-fueling source, and maximum V will follow. The mind fixates on noises and is distracted from The Work; it is only through the Principle of Silence that we may find Rule #6.

But riding a quiet bike is far from riding in the silent vacuum that signals impending danger. On the contrary, a silent bike submits us to the genuine beauty of our Sport: the whisper of the wind in our ear, the song of a bird who encourages us along our way, the crisp click of a perfect shift, the rhythmic patter of rain on our helmet, cap, or the tarmac as we carve our path along La Vie Velominatus.

But the most beautiful sound of Cycling has come to me late in my life as a Velominatus. My reluctance to ride sew-ups has for many years denied me the sublime sound of a handmade tubular rolling along the road. This world opened up to me early last year when I finally built a set of Golden Tickets for my introduction to the Hell of the North. This year, almost by accident, I wound up riding my Café Roubaix Arenbergs for all of Keepers Tour 2013, glued to the best set of tires available – the FMB Partis-Roubaix. The amplifying qualities of the deep-section carbon rim allows the supple hum of the handmade tubular to sing like Merckx’s mighty rollers upon the rock of Mount Velomis.

This sound inspires. It is a reason to get out to ride. It is a reason to be a Cyclist. This sound is a reason to live.

Vive la Vie Velominatus.

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138 Replies to “La Vie Velominatus: The Sound of Silence”

  1. @Bespoke

    I find that some freehubs are obnoxiously loud and ratchety sounding, while performing as designed, while others (thankfully mine) are virtually silent. I would think that loud freehubs would be avoided by Velominati.

    A true Velominati would not have a problem with such hubs. Since the ratchets can only be heard when freewheeling, any sound is either a sign of Anti-V or an an indication of whether or not Rule #23 is being observed.

  2. @Bespoke

    I find that some freehubs are obnoxiously loud and ratchety sounding, while performing as designed, while others (thankfully mine) are virtually silent. I would think that loud freehubs would be avoided by Velominati.

    As for the pic with that snugly clad woman, the seemingly unfortunate birth defect that precluded the young man having arms, likely saved his sister from getting pushed in front of the bike.

    I’m with you on this – my LBS recently replaced gratis, the 29er rear wheel on my Epic, with a Hope 2 hub – I was indebted, as despite the four spokes shearing on the one that came with the wheel, they didn’t need to upgrade me
    and could have replaced shite with shite

    However, the Hope 2 is louder than I ever managed to get my wheels, with a full complement fore and aft if cardboard and peg clackers, as a child – why do they do this with the freehub??

    The only good reason is to prevent you freewheeling, which helps your fitness I guess

    I fear I am going to have to strip it down and stick a silent hub in instead (one of the spin offs of being able now to lace and true wheels)

    What say we that these auditory abominations should be beyond the bounds of the V-Book?

  3. @Chris

    @Bespoke

    I find that some freehubs are obnoxiously loud and ratchety sounding, while performing as designed, while others (thankfully mine) are virtually silent. I would think that loud freehubs would be avoided by Velominati.

    A true Velominati would not have a problem with such hubs. Since the ratchets can only be heard when freewheeling, any sound is either a sign of Anti-V or an an indication of whether or not Rule #23 is being observed.

    Jinx!!

  4. @frank

    @Ron

    Everyone gets bored on a long, solo ride. The trick is not minding that it hurts. Training alone is about exploring the darkest corners of yourself. On a 12 hour solo ride, things get very musty in the ol’ mind. Doubt, obsession on the inconsequential, highs, lows. Its a beautiful thing that inspires one to become a better person.

    I don’t do those rides solo for the enjoyment of it, I do it because of how I feel afterwards. I do enjoy them, but at this point I can’t separate the reward of having pushed myself to do something like that from the enjoyment of a long day on the bike. A group ride of that length gives you other things, but when you drop the flashlight deep in the pain cave, you would be alone even if you were riding through Times Square.

    Cool! I thought I was the only one. Feel much better now that I have a nice support group sag wagon!

    I guess that is the key – are you out riding just to ride or are you out to train, push, inspire, test yourself? I forgot to consider this. I guess just like any other sport I’ve played – I might always love the sport, but individual practices, training sessions, lifting, stretching, rehab – not always fun.

    Maybe since I have a lot of work right now the key for me is to use cycling just as an outlet and not put too much energy into training rides. In a few weeks I should have pushed through a lot of the work and then will still have a whole lotta summer to just ride, ride, ride. I know some folks take time off to recharge or must when work gets heavy, I just feel weird and guilty if I’m not riding 4-5 times a week. But in the long run, scaling back for just a few weeks would be good for me in the long run, both with work and cycling.

  5. @Dr C

    @Chris

    @Bespoke

    I find that some freehubs are obnoxiously loud and ratchety sounding, while performing as designed, while others (thankfully mine) are virtually silent. I would think that loud freehubs would be avoided by Velominati.

    A true Velominati would not have a problem with such hubs. Since the ratchets can only be heard when freewheeling, any sound is either a sign of Anti-V or an an indication of whether or not Rule #23 is being observed.

    Jinx!!

    Great minds think alike…

    Pro 2s are great hubs, keep it. I’m pretty sure that the Principle of Silence does not apply to hooning around in the woods and I can’t think of anything else you’d be doing on a mountain bike with the exception of racing when you’d be pedalling all the time anyway.

  6. @ChrisO

    @TBONE On what distance/time rides would you consume all that ? Seems quite a lot.

    Anything over 4 hours. I ride solo a lot so there’s no tucking in on other people’s wheel(s). Also lots of hills and headwinds here in Vancouver. It’s not that much, mostly strategically placed in my jersey. It should be noted that I eat Alot.

  7. @Chris

    indeed, maybe with MTB hooning, one should be encouraged to make as much noise as possible – certainly couldn’t contemplate using one on a road bike

    By the way, about to build my THIRD set of wheels – indeed, I cannot stop visiting the hubs and rims shops online – seems I have lost all perspective yet again – class!

  8. Lots of sound advice here. I guess it’s my mindset – all rides are different. Some are leg stretchers, some are mind relaxers, some are Meeting the Man with the Hammer.

    If I take a break over 5 minutes during a ride my legs take a very long time to get going again. Anyone else encounter this? And have a solution? Sometimes I’m riding in small groups and people want to stop, or sometimes I go out all day and decide to take a rest. The problem is that the second half is usually grueling because I cannot get my legs churning again.

    Also, I’d like to try rice cakes. Anyone have a good method? I’ve seen Lim’s online but that seems kinda involved. I like to cook, but not so much for cycling, as I’d rather be riding.

  9. @Dr C They do mellow slightly with age and they’re good value for money. I think our glorious leader has a set on a rain bike so they can’t be that bad.

  10. @Ron

    If I take a break over 5 minutes during a ride my legs take a very long time to get going again. Anyone else encounter this? And have a solution? Sometimes I’m riding in small groups and people want to stop, or sometimes I go out all day and decide to take a rest. The problem is that the second half is usually grueling because I cannot get my legs churning again.Also, I’d like to try rice cakes. Anyone have a good method? I’ve seen Lim’s online but that seems kinda involved. I like to cook, but not so much for cycling, as I’d rather be riding.

    The local club rides tend to have a tea and cake stop midway round which can be as  long as forty minutes. Like you my legs tend to think that they’re done for the day if they’ve had much more than five minutes. It hurts but getting back on the front and working hard is the only solution that has worked for me although it’s backfired on more than one occasion when I’ve then got comfortable, spent a bit too long there and subsequently got dropped.

    I quite fancy trying rice cakes as well. I found some sushi rice in the super market the other day so I’m going to give that a go.

  11. @Ron

    Dr. Lim’s book “The Feed Zone” covers a myriad of recipes and food types and at the same time discusses ways to speed up the time spent in the kitchen. The online recipes are just recipes, but the book shares much, much more about cooking and food preparation.

    The VMH, VMN (Velominipper – our son – I think I just made that up; it’s not in the Lexicon) and I have yet to find a disappointing recipe.

    In any event, if you like cooking, it’s full of day-to-day recipes that serve The V quite well, I think. And it tastes awfully damn good.

  12. @Ron

    Also, I’d like to try rice cakes. Anyone have a good method? I’ve seen Lim’s online but that seems kinda involved. I like to cook, but not so much for cycling, as I’d rather be riding.

    I’ve made Lim’s recipe on multiple occasions.  I’ve tried other variations of it, but I still like the bacon, parmesan and Bragg’s Liquid Aminos version the best.  I don’t find them terribly involved to make and they’ll keep in the fridge for a few days.

  13. @paolo

    @scaler911

    mavics by any chance? Just curious.

    No, Revolution Wheelworks. It’s like a combo click/creak, and it seems to happen at the same time on each revolution of the wheel, and under load as well – I did a bit of climbing with them on Sunday to test them out again and got a constant click/creak on hard out of the saddle climbing.

    Last time we rode together scaler spent a bit of time checking it out as I pedaled, since it’s hard to tell what’s going on from the saddle.

    Super frustrating, but at least my other wheelset doesn’t make any noise so I’ve been riding those in the mean time.

    Any ways, enough of that!

  14. @Ron

    I found some of their recipes a bit tricky to get the right consistency – the rice and banana pancakes were a disaster, and their granola is also dubious. However I do like the book particularly for what JACD214 describes – the descriptions and the information that come with the recipes.

    I’ve settled on a slight variation of their rice cakes which is 2 cups of cooked rice, a mashed banana and a beaten egg (they cook the egg first and then mix in, whereas I use it to help bind the cakes). Mix together with a good handful of grated parmesan and some lardons or bacon cubes and a swig of maple syrup.

    Put in a loaf or slice tin (use a little of the bacon fat to grease the tin) up to a depth of about one knuckle and bake in moderate oven for 15-20 mins.

    I tend to use them post-ride rather than mid ride but then that’s because I rarely want or need to eat that much mid-ride.

  15. @mcsqueak

    I’m sure you guys have checked…not trying to piss Scaler off, but when I have had consistent clicking underload I found that the lock ring on the cassette was just not quite snugged up. 

    As you say…enuff of dat!

  16. I’d like to try some of Lim’s recipes too but I’m afraid I’d get the EPO dosage wrong or that my blood bags would go off whilst in the freezer.

     

    Just sayin’

  17. @Chris

    @Ron

    If I take a break over 5 minutes during a ride my legs take a very long time to get going again. Anyone else encounter this? And have a solution? Sometimes I’m riding in small groups and people want to stop, or sometimes I go out all day and decide to take a rest. The problem is that the second half is usually grueling because I cannot get my legs churning again.Also, I’d like to try rice cakes. Anyone have a good method? I’ve seen Lim’s online but that seems kinda involved. I like to cook, but not so much for cycling, as I’d rather be riding.

    The local club rides tend to have a tea and cake stop midway round which can be as long as forty minutes. Like you my legs tend to think that they’re done for the day if they’ve had much more than five minutes. It hurts but getting back on the front and working hard is the only solution that has worked for me although it’s backfired on more than one occasion when I’ve then got comfortable, spent a bit too long there and subsequently got dropped.

    I quite fancy trying rice cakes as well. I found some sushi rice in the super market the other day so I’m going to give that a go.

    One of the reasons I do mostly solo is so I can set my own pace and schedule. In other words, stops at gas stations for liquids are as short as they need to be. Even when I do organized rides, I stop, piss, eat, refill pockets and leave. No hanging about. A forty minute break would kill me.

  18. @frank

    @Ron

    Everyone gets bored on a long, solo ride. The trick is not minding that it hurts. Training alone is about exploring the darkest corners of yourself. On a 12 hour solo ride, things get very musty in the ol’ mind. Doubt, obsession on the inconsequential, highs, lows. Its a beautiful thing that inspires one to become a better person.

    I don’t do those rides solo for the enjoyment of it, I do it because of how I feel afterwards. I do enjoy them, but at this point I can’t separate the reward of having pushed myself to do something like that from the enjoyment of a long day on the bike. A group ride of that length gives you other things, but when you drop the flashlight deep in the pain cave, you would be alone even if you were riding through Times Square.

    I agree with all of this except your food intake. My 7 hour ride was about 190kms. If I hadn’t eaten I’d be dead by the side of the road. There’s something great about committing yourself to be so far from home knowing that there’s only one way back – your own effort. Yes, the rides are hard but there is immense satisfaction at the end. 8kms from the end I passed a friend walking their dog. I yelled “hi” and kept going. I was too close to the end to slow way down and chat. It’s funny how you can keep going when you need to but if you give yourself a break, it’ll be 100 times harder to finish.

  19. @Deakus

    @frank

    East Maui Loop; 170km, 2200km. Bidons: 2. Food: none. Pace: moderate. Lost one bidon on the bumpy section but did refill the other one once.

    That’s training.

    I see another big volcano to the NW on that island……so, you weren’t tempted to tag it on to the end for shits and giggles?

    There is a guy Rob who does what he calls “The Corkscrew”, which is to then ride up Haleakala after doing the East Maui loop. That’s a real ride. Did it for his 50th birthday this year.

    The Volcano on the west side doesn’t have a road up it, but there is a hefty loop around the west side of the island.

  20. @Blah

    @Chris

    That’s disco corner. The lady in the powder blue slacks had meant to pull her top up but the speed of Merckx caught her out.

    No way is she going to be able to pull that top up. It’s all pretty packed in there and those pants aren’t going to let go of the hem without a fight.

    And what about the kid in the jump suit? Re-posting because it got buried. I have a feeling blue pants has some sweet shades on.

  21. @ChrisO

    I’m less worried about my body consuming muscle during a ride – I train to avoid that. More concerned with replenishing glycogen afterwards.

    Spot on, replenish afterwards but consuming muscle is, in my opinion, a modern myth by hobby nutritionists. I’m sure at some point you can start to consume muscle, but not so long as you are fit enough that you body knows HOW to burn fat and that you have fat left to burn.

    Same with halting metabolism by not eating. Like I said before, if that were true starvation would be a non-issue.

  22. @the Engine

    Thus far next year’s planning consists of remembering to enter, being a bit more organised in travel to the start, sleep, kit checking and losing half our body weights.

    Start with solid foods, but as you carry on, you can switch to gels. Find some with less sugar but not chewing helps a lot. Plus, on a ride that long, chewing starts to be too energy-intensive anyway. I’ve been so burned that chewing caused a lactic acid fire in my jaw.

    By the way – when the Strava map shows an entire country to get your ride in – you know you’ve gone a long way.

    This.

    @ChrisO

    @G’rilla @T-Bone I agree, it is an awesome photo.

    It’s the girl’s hair and her expression that make it for me – she is trying to resist being sucked into the V-ortex of Merckx’s slipstream.

    You can see that the smaller child behind was also being pulled in but has been grabbed by an adult, who presumably had taken the precaution of tying himself to a tree, just out of shot.

    As for the woman, she’s well fit, with signs of nicely developed guns. It is in fact Marianne Vos’s grandmother, and a genetic fusion has occurred spontaneously as drops of Merckx’s sweat found their way into those delightfully clinging slacks. But as we saw with Axel, even Merckx’s DNA doesn’t work fully in the next generation.

    A masterpiece.

  23. @Bespoke

    I find that some freehubs are obnoxiously loud and ratchety sounding, while performing as designed, while others (thankfully mine) are virtually silent. I would think that loud freehubs would be avoided by Velominati.

    I’ve never stopped pedaling, so I’ve never noticed the sound of my freehub.

  24. @Chris

    @Dr C

    @Chris

    @Bespoke

    I find that some freehubs are obnoxiously loud and ratchety sounding, while performing as designed, while others (thankfully mine) are virtually silent. I would think that loud freehubs would be avoided by Velominati.

    A true Velominati would not have a problem with such hubs. Since the ratchets can only be heard when freewheeling, any sound is either a sign of Anti-V or an an indication of whether or not Rule #23 is being observed.

    Jinx!!

    Great minds think alike…

    Pro 2s are great hubs, keep it. I’m pretty sure that the Principle of Silence does not apply to hooning around in the woods and I can’t think of anything else you’d be doing on a mountain bike with the exception of racing when you’d be pedalling all the time anyway.

    This is correct; hub noise is not included, though it can be annoying. I happen to like the nice, crisp click of a hub, and both my Royce and Hope hubs have this characteristic.

    I base this on spinning the wheel in the VVorkshop, as I don’t stop pedaling, per the above. Of course.

  25. @mcsqueak

    @paolo

    @scaler911

    mavics by any chance? Just curious.

    No, Revolution Wheelworks. It’s like a combo click/creak, and it seems to happen at the same time on each revolution of the wheel, and under load as well – I did a bit of climbing with them on Sunday to test them out again and got a constant click/creak on hard out of the saddle climbing.

    Last time we rode together scaler spent a bit of time checking it out as I pedaled, since it’s hard to tell what’s going on from the saddle.

    Super frustrating, but at least my other wheelset doesn’t make any noise so I’ve been riding those in the mean time.

    Any ways, enough of that!

    Only when pedaling? Take the cassette off, clean it, grease all the spacers, and put it back on, tight.

    Oh, and whatever you try, just try ONE THING AT A TIME. Don’t change too many variables at once.

  26. @wiscot

    @frank

    @Ron

    Everyone gets bored on a long, solo ride. The trick is not minding that it hurts. Training alone is about exploring the darkest corners of yourself. On a 12 hour solo ride, things get very musty in the ol’ mind. Doubt, obsession on the inconsequential, highs, lows. Its a beautiful thing that inspires one to become a better person.

    I don’t do those rides solo for the enjoyment of it, I do it because of how I feel afterwards. I do enjoy them, but at this point I can’t separate the reward of having pushed myself to do something like that from the enjoyment of a long day on the bike. A group ride of that length gives you other things, but when you drop the flashlight deep in the pain cave, you would be alone even if you were riding through Times Square.

    I agree with all of this except your food intake. My 7 hour ride was about 190kms. If I hadn’t eaten I’d be dead by the side of the road. There’s something great about committing yourself to be so far from home knowing that there’s only one way back – your own effort. Yes, the rides are hard but there is immense satisfaction at the end. 8kms from the end I passed a friend walking their dog. I yelled “hi” and kept going. I was too close to the end to slow way down and chat. It’s funny how you can keep going when you need to but if you give yourself a break, it’ll be 100 times harder to finish.

    To be fair, I brought cliff bars and shots, but didn’t want to use them unless I had to. I wouldn’t normally do that, but for a long winter training ride, it is a great way to lose weight. Wouldn’t dream of that in the summer.

    People disagree with me on my approach to food, but Museeuw and I agree and I like those odds.

  27. @frank

     

    Same with halting metabolism by not eating. Like I said before, if that were true starvation would be a non-issue.

    I always thought the advice regarding eating throughout the day was more about curbing binge cravings due to spikes/valleys in blood sugar as opposed to halting metabolism.

    Regardless, since I rarely get to ride anymore since become a parent, I never bring food.  Since the rides I do get in are much shorter than they used to be, I need to burn all the calories I can.  Anyone need a 10 gallon pail of quick dissolve maltodextrin?  I’ve got two in my cycling gear closet going unused.

  28. It is only in the last month since taking delivery of my #2 that I really appreciate what the principal of silence is, and it’s a fucking amazing feeling to hear the hum of the bike with nary a sound more than the workings of the machine.

    My #1 is a touch of a weenie with very light contact points and with my too fat too climb mass aboard sometimes tests the upper working safe limits of the components. It teaches me that I need to work harder to be worthy of riding her on the best days.

    The #2, being the newborn, is currently impressing the nuts off me. A repeat 170km sportive with 2,500m of vertical, 500m greater than a year ago, saw me completing in a time 20 mins quicker than before. I was less “dark” than before in the later stages where the man with the hammer comes knocking, I was astonished may how much better I felt. It also wears golden tickets laced and tried by my own hand to Royce hubs stuck to FMB 25mm Paris Roubaix tubs. I’m tempted to put my Enve 6.7  on to see how it is but worry that a classic lugged bike logged bike might look shit with such modern hoops.

    Is there a rule that says you shouldn’t put modern components on classic skinny steel ???

    A timeout article Frank, can’t believe how important the principal of silence is now that I have it in spades.

  29. @VeloVita

    I always thought the advice regarding eating throughout the day was more about curbing binge cravings due to spikes/valleys in blood sugar as opposed to halting metabolism.

    I have to snack on fruit and veggies all day long, it helps with the cravings and keeps my blood sugar consistent. If it gets too low I become even more insufferable than normal.

  30. @frank

    Only when pedaling? Take the cassette off, clean it, grease all the spacers, and put it back on, tight.

    Oh, and whatever you try, just try ONE THING AT A TIME. Don’t change too many variables at once.

    As far as I can tell… the ratchets make a nice clicky whir while coasting, so it’s hard to hear if the noise is still there or not.

  31. Frank – grease the spacers. I’ve cleaned my cassettes but never done this. Grease whether plastic or metal or just metal? A light coating of a general lube? I don’t think something like the Park Tool grease would make the chain/cogs that happy. I guess if you are careful you can put it just on the spacers and the inside of the cogs, but not really have it getting on the chain?

  32. @frank

    @wiscot

    @frank

    @Ron

    Everyone gets bored on a long, solo ride. The trick is not minding that it hurts. Training alone is about exploring the darkest corners of yourself. On a 12 hour solo ride, things get very musty in the ol’ mind. Doubt, obsession on the inconsequential, highs, lows. Its a beautiful thing that inspires one to become a better person.

    I don’t do those rides solo for the enjoyment of it, I do it because of how I feel afterwards. I do enjoy them, but at this point I can’t separate the reward of having pushed myself to do something like that from the enjoyment of a long day on the bike. A group ride of that length gives you other things, but when you drop the flashlight deep in the pain cave, you would be alone even if you were riding through Times Square.

    I agree with all of this except your food intake. My 7 hour ride was about 190kms. If I hadn’t eaten I’d be dead by the side of the road. There’s something great about committing yourself to be so far from home knowing that there’s only one way back – your own effort. Yes, the rides are hard but there is immense satisfaction at the end. 8kms from the end I passed a friend walking their dog. I yelled “hi” and kept going. I was too close to the end to slow way down and chat. It’s funny how you can keep going when you need to but if you give yourself a break, it’ll be 100 times harder to finish.

    To be fair, I brought cliff bars and shots, but didn’t want to use them unless I had to. I wouldn’t normally do that, but for a long winter training ride, it is a great way to lose weight. Wouldn’t dream of that in the summer.

    People disagree with me on my approach to food, but Museeuw and I agree and I like those odds.

    Well that makes me feel a wee bit better. It was pretty warm here on Saturday when I did the 7 hours. Started off cloudy at 11am but warmed up fast. I was overdressed. And, as you know, SE WI isn’t flat. My route was perpetually lumpy. I needed the food!

  33. @frank

    @Blah

    @Chris

    That’s disco corner. The lady in the powder blue slacks had meant to pull her top up but the speed of Merckx caught her out.

    No way is she going to be able to pull that top up. It’s all pretty packed in there and those pants aren’t going to let go of the hem without a fight.

    And what about the kid in the jump suit? Re-posting because it got buried. I have a feeling blue pants has some sweet shades on.

    Ok, I don’t want to come across as too pervy (but given some of the issues covered on this site, that’s unlikely),, Ms Blue Slacks is of an undetermimed age, but look next to her left wrist; is she showing excitement at the Prophet’s exertions?

  34. @frank

    @Bespoke

    I find that some freehubs are obnoxiously loud and ratchety sounding, while performing as designed, while others (thankfully mine) are virtually silent. I would think that loud freehubs would be avoided by Velominati.

    I’ve never stopped pedaling, so I’ve never noticed the sound of my freehub.

    Definite plus one on that reply.

  35. This is fine, fine writing. Indeed, the Principle of SIlence is of primary importance to me. I’ve found I like listening to all the subtle sounds of my bike. I’ve even discovered some of the noises are related to the expected flex of the components, and are not indicative of pending failure. I also do appreciate the difffrent sounds made by different tyres, and have found different road surfaces make huge differences.

    As far as long term suffering, I’ve found that my thoughts involving the longest upcoming rides haunt me. Will I be able to survive the next Cogal? I’ve 6 complete centuries planned this year (not counting the uber-gruelling V-to-V Stage Cogal in late July) so I question my committment to suffering. Will I be worthy of the V? These thoughts along the white line distract me from my current work.

  36. @Ron

    Frank – grease the spacers. I’ve cleaned my cassettes but never done this. Grease whether plastic or metal or just metal? A light coating of a general lube? I don’t think something like the Park Tool grease would make the chain/cogs that happy. I guess if you are careful you can put it just on the spacers and the inside of the cogs, but not really have it getting on the chain?

    Yeah, I’ve never greased the spacers either. I’ll take the cassette apart, scrub the cogs in a bath of warm water with a little orange cleaner, then rinse, dry, and re-assemble on the hub.

  37. @VeloVita

    I always thought the advice regarding eating throughout the day was more about curbing binge cravings due to spikes/valleys in blood sugar as opposed to halting metabolism.

    If that’s what it is, then I suggest a regimen of Rule #5 adherence and exhibiting some fucking self control.

  38. @frank

    hub noise is not included, though it can be annoying.

    Don’t know why, but I hate the loud noise of the expensive/flash hubs these days. I can’t remember where, but I read an article where a rider joined some pros for a training ride. After discussing prior with one of them about ettiqute and style, on the first downhill his mentor chided him “PROS DON’T FREEWHEEL!”

    Descents aren’t for recovery, they’re for going faster…

    And if you feel the need to freewheel in the group, how about jumping on the front and using up all that conserved energy champ?

  39. @mcsqueak

    @Ron

    Frank – grease the spacers. I’ve cleaned my cassettes but never done this. Grease whether plastic or metal or just metal? A light coating of a general lube? I don’t think something like the Park Tool grease would make the chain/cogs that happy. I guess if you are careful you can put it just on the spacers and the inside of the cogs, but not really have it getting on the chain?

    Yeah, I’ve never greased the spacers either. I’ll take the cassette apart, scrub the cogs in a bath of warm water with a little orange cleaner, then rinse, dry, and re-assemble on the hub.

    AND GREASE THE SPACERS. And you might want to drop a bit of triflo on the rivets of the spiders on the bigger cogs, assuming your cassette has them. Wipe it down afterwards, you want lube IN there, not on the outside.

    Grease the spacers whether they’re metal or not, by the way.

  40. @eightzero

    This is fine, fine writing. Indeed, the Principle of Silence is of primary importance to me. I’ve found I like listening to all the subtle sounds of my bike. I’ve even discovered some of the noises are related to the expected flex of the components, and are not indicative of pending failure. I also do appreciate the difffrent sounds made by different tyres, and have found different road surfaces make huge differences.

    Yeah, and I’ve been wanting to say that the better clincher tires also have a great sound, and that if you pair them to some nice wheels, you’re on your way. Supple clinchers on 3x box section rims is a great sound. Carbon clincher will give you a hardon any time you ride alongside a wall and can hear the roar of the wheels.

    But tubs and carbon together…ohmama.

    As far as long term suffering, I’ve found that my thoughts involving the longest upcoming rides haunt me. Will I be able to survive the next Cogal? I’ve 6 complete centuries planned this year (not counting the uber-gruelling V-to-V Stage Cogal in late July) so I question my committment to suffering. Will I be worthy of The V? These thoughts along the white line distract me from my current work.

    I suggest an adjustment of attitude. First off, you organized what could be the most ambitious Cogal to date, and that is saying something. A Stage Cogal? Yes please. Chapeau.

    The question you should be asking yourself is not can I do it, but how long will it take me? There is no quitting, but it might take you for fucking ever. I remember climbing off my bike on a long ride in France when I was 14. That shit haunts you. Don’t climb off. Just slow down if you have to.

    Now, this starts getting tricky with these really long days, but my most valued training technique is to train to ride farther/harder than the ride you are training for. I’ve done that my whole life. If you are doing a 200km ride, train to ride 250km. Knowing you’ve gone longer/harder etc will walk in like Guido and knock those pesky doubts right out of your mind when you hit 125km and start to wonder.

    You are on your way, the next step is to learn to eradicate those doubts and replace them with strength. Strength comes from knowing you can do more.

    VLVV, mate.

  41. @frank

    @mcsqueak

    @Ron

    Frank – grease the spacers. I’ve cleaned my cassettes but never done this. Grease whether plastic or metal or just metal? A light coating of a general lube? I don’t think something like the Park Tool grease would make the chain/cogs that happy. I guess if you are careful you can put it just on the spacers and the inside of the cogs, but not really have it getting on the chain?

    Yeah, I’ve never greased the spacers either. I’ll take the cassette apart, scrub the cogs in a bath of warm water with a little orange cleaner, then rinse, dry, and re-assemble on the hub.

    AND GREASE THE SPACERS. And you might want to drop a bit of triflo on the rivets of the spiders on the bigger cogs, assuming your cassette has them. Wipe it down afterwards, you want lube IN there, not on the outside.

    Grease the spacers whether they’re metal or not, by the way.

    I’ve never in my life greased spacers. Rather than flame on about wether I think it’ll work or not (I can just call you if I want to do that), I’ll drop over, hell, I’ll quit beer for 3 months (’cause there’s no need to get stupid with the betting), if that solves the problem.

  42. @scaler911

    @frank

    @mcsqueak

    @Ron

    Frank – grease the spacers. I’ve cleaned my cassettes but never done this. Grease whether plastic or metal or just metal? A light coating of a general lube? I don’t think something like the Park Tool grease would make the chain/cogs that happy. I guess if you are careful you can put it just on the spacers and the inside of the cogs, but not really have it getting on the chain?

    Yeah, I’ve never greased the spacers either. I’ll take the cassette apart, scrub the cogs in a bath of warm water with a little orange cleaner, then rinse, dry, and re-assemble on the hub.

    AND GREASE THE SPACERS. And you might want to drop a bit of triflo on the rivets of the spiders on the bigger cogs, assuming your cassette has them. Wipe it down afterwards, you want lube IN there, not on the outside.

    Grease the spacers whether they’re metal or not, by the way.

    I’ve never in my life greased spacers. Rather than flame on about wether I think it’ll work or not (I can just call you if I want to do that), I’ll drop over, hell, I’ll quit beer for 3 months (’cause there’s no need to get stupid with the betting), if that solves the problem.

    You apparently need to learn how to push on the pedals. Fabian and I can show you how to do that after I show him how to snap the pawls off the Zipp freehub body.

    Admittedly, laying down massive wattage is not likely to be the Squeaker’s issue (sorry mate). If the cassette is not 100% tight, the spacers will creak and my Campa cassettes have this problem consistently as unless I locktite the lockring, they always seem to come loose.

    Don’t quite beer for three months because you’re wrong (you are) – lets just get shitfaced together after my super secret Festum Prophetae celebration once that gets cemented.

    Oh, and don’t ever question me. EVAH.

  43. @frank

    @scaler911

    @frank

    @mcsqueak

    @Ron

    Frank – grease the spacers. I’ve cleaned my cassettes but never done this. Grease whether plastic or metal or just metal? A light coating of a general lube? I don’t think something like the Park Tool grease would make the chain/cogs that happy. I guess if you are careful you can put it just on the spacers and the inside of the cogs, but not really have it getting on the chain?

    Yeah, I’ve never greased the spacers either. I’ll take the cassette apart, scrub the cogs in a bath of warm water with a little orange cleaner, then rinse, dry, and re-assemble on the hub.

    AND GREASE THE SPACERS. And you might want to drop a bit of triflo on the rivets of the spiders on the bigger cogs, assuming your cassette has them. Wipe it down afterwards, you want lube IN there, not on the outside.

    Grease the spacers whether they’re metal or not, by the way.

    I’ve never in my life greased spacers. Rather than flame on about wether I think it’ll work or not (I can just call you if I want to do that), I’ll drop over, hell, I’ll quit beer for 3 months (’cause there’s no need to get stupid with the betting), if that solves the problem.

    You apparently need to learn how to push on the pedals. Fabian and I can show you how to do that after I show him how to snap the pawls off the Zipp freehub body.

    Admittedly, laying down massive wattage is not likely to be the Squeaker’s issue (sorry mate). If the cassette is not 100% tight, the spacers will creak and my Campa cassettes have this problem consistently as unless I locktite the lockring, they always seem to come loose.

    Don’t quite beer for three months because you’re wrong (you are) – lets just get shitfaced together after my super secret Festum Prophetae celebration once that gets cemented.

    Oh, and don’t ever question me. EVAH.

    PDX Cogal. We’ll see………….

  44. @frank

    If the cassette is not 100% tight, the spacers will creak and my Campa cassettes have this problem consistently as unless I locktite the lockring, they always seem to come loose.

    I have never ever had this problem with a Shimano cassette. That is all.

  45. @Steampunk

    @frank

    If the cassette is not 100% tight, the spacers will creak and my Campa cassettes have this problem consistently as unless I locktite the lockring, they always seem to come loose.

    I have never ever had this problem with a Shimano cassette. That is all.

    Shimano is so crappy, it doesn’t even require unnecessary maintenance or precautions!

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