The Hum

The best tires money can buy: FMB.
The best tires money can buy: FMB.

One of the things that strikes me most about the English is they don’t appear to have developed any sort of “inner dialog”. It seems anything that passes through the brain is parlayed directly to the tongue; if the thought being expressed is an insult to you, it will generally include a query for confirmation: “You’re not terribly clever, are you?” At least the English have developed the sophistication to keep their voices down which is a skill English children apparently don’t develop until adolescence. I recently spent some time on a small aircraft sitting opposite a young English girl who loudly narrated the progress of her camera’s zoom functionality which, due to the plane’s low cruising altitude, meant it was pointed out the window and in constant operation for the duration of the two-hour flight.

While I don’t consider myself a savage, I also don’t possess the dignity of soft speech; my voice carries as it is, let alone if I’m enthusiastic or angry, which between the two covers about 99.93% of my existance. I’m not sure why people place value on speaking quietly or, for that matter, having any sort of inner dialog. I think this is why I get on well with the English: I spend most of my life trying to sort out what the living beings around me are thinking; if they all had a readout on their forehead or spoke every thought that ever crossed their mind out loud, it would save me loads of time which would free me up for riding my bike.

Riding tubular tires is kind of like riding the tire equivalent of the English, except less cold. Riding tubular tires on deep-section rims is like riding the tire equivalent of English pre-adolescents. (I realized during proofing that I am getting dangerously close to pedaphile territory; this analogy isn’t as clever as it seems, is it? New paragraph, then.)

A well-made, hand-stitched tubular tire is a revelation to ride. The first time I rode tubs, it was aboard a set of Vredesteins which are excellent tires. I was immediately struck by how responsive they were, and how well they cornered. Then I rode a set of FMB Paris-Roubaixs and was struck by all those same things except they also felt like two cushions under my rims, carrying my smoothly from one imperfection to the next as I floated over the tarmac. The most striking thing was the sound: a hypnotic hum that brings the mind inexorably closer to becoming One with The V, the hum sooths and makes you more alert in equal measure; its pulsation reveals the smoothness or imperfections of your stroke with every revolution of the pedals. Clinchers can do much of the same, particularly when ridden with latex tubes, but nothing compares to a well-made tubular to sing the praises or holler the frailties of your stroke.

The Hum whispers to me when I’m climbing well; it shouts at me when I’m suffering worst (read: climbing badly), reminding me to stop pedalling squares and focus on the fluidity of the stroke. The more V is channeled into the pedals, the more difficult it becomes to achieve a Magnificent Stroke. It also hints that its easier to push round smoothly at a low cadence than it in in a high cadence; track racers who can turn round at 160rpm while delivering full power astound me.

The Hum has brought me closer to a Magnificent Stroke. It calls out when I stray, it soothes when I am near. I seek it, I embrace it. Always.

Vive la Vie Velominatus.

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148 Replies to “The Hum”

  1. @frank

    @rfreese888

    Are tubs realistic for daily use commuting on crappy Dublin roads? I roll gatorskins which don’t sound all that sexy but much better than the sound of a flat tire!

    I’m skeptical about using them commuting, but they are realistic for daily training; a flat is a flat is a flat.

    Incidentally, I feel Gatorskins are totally backwards; they try to avoid flats by being very rigid, whereas I’ve had the least flats on the most supple tires. For example, on Keepers Tour we always have flats from people riding Gators, and rarely from anyone crushing tubs.

    The tubs we’re talking about can survive Paris-Roubaix, which is a shit-ton nastier than anybody’s commute.

    I’ve used Pave EVO CGs for commuting for the last 2 seasons.  The only flat I’ve had was the result of a skid that drove a nail through the tire’s carcass.  The application of some superglue and Pitstop got me rolling well enough to roll the remaining 7 miles to work and back.

    Do it, you won’t regret it.  Just don’t use teensy time-trial tires.  Get something made for Pave and you’ll be fine.

  2. @markb

    @frank

    @rfreese888

    Are tubs realistic for daily use commuting on crappy Dublin roads? I roll gatorskins which don’t sound all that sexy but much better than the sound of a flat tire!

    I’m skeptical about using them commuting, but they are realistic for daily training; a flat is a flat is a flat.

    Agreed. I know a few cycle couriers in old London town. Some ride tubs when it’s for fun, but for work clinchers rule. One can easily change an inner tube in under 5 mins and be back on the road whatever the conditions. Fucking around on a busy carriageway in the dark, cold and rain with sticky tubs is just stupid.

    One place where clinchers will win every time is cost.  At $100 a pop, good tubs are spendy, and couriers don’t make that kind of dough.

  3. @antihero

    One place where clinchers will win every time is cost. At $100 a pop, good tubs are spendy, and couriers don’t make that kind of dough.

    plus the cost of wheels/rims. there’s quite a market in clincher wheels, a lot more limited in ones for tubs.

  4. @markb

    @antihero

    One place where clinchers will win every time is cost. At $100 a pop, good tubs are spendy, and couriers don’t make that kind of dough.

    plus the cost of wheels/rims. there’s quite a market in clincher wheels, a lot more limited in ones for tubs.

    There was an interesting article in Cyclist recently (could be issue 27 give or take one) about the two.  The upshot was that with new technology and developments in tubeless the weight and pinch puncture resistant advantages of tubs will be overcome, however the fact that tubs are safer at the point of puncture because the tyre is glued to the rim is likely to keep them in the pro peloton for some time to come until some kind of roll flat secure clincher can be developed.

    Having said that Tony Martin rides clinchers on his time trials and I suspect it will become a growing trend…

  5. @Deakus

    Yes, remember reading that. I don’t doubt that tubs have their advantages, and certainly on the track they rule, just not sure if the average joe would be ok with them on the daily commute with the occasion of a flat.

    Of course, in an ideal world we would all have enough wheels to switch over from clinchers to tubs at a whim, sadly I for one don’t live in an ideal world. In fact I suppose I should be grateful I existing in any kind of world.

  6. @markb

    @Deakus

    just not sure if the average joe would be ok with them on the daily commute with the occasion of a flat.

    Ahhhh, but there you have it:  We are not “the average Joe” on a bike, we’re Velominati!!!  THIS is the stuff that separates us from the masses.

  7. @antihero

    @frank

    @rfreese888

    Are tubs realistic for daily use commuting on crappy Dublin roads? I roll gatorskins which don’t sound all that sexy but much better than the sound of a flat tire!

    I’m skeptical about using them commuting, but they are realistic for daily training; a flat is a flat is a flat.

    Incidentally, I feel Gatorskins are totally backwards; they try to avoid flats by being very rigid, whereas I’ve had the least flats on the most supple tires. For example, on Keepers Tour we always have flats from people riding Gators, and rarely from anyone crushing tubs.

    The tubs we’re talking about can survive Paris-Roubaix, which is a shit-ton nastier than anybody’s commute.

    I’ve used Pave EVO CGs for commuting for the last 2 seasons. The only flat I’ve had was the result of a skid that drove a nail through the tire’s carcass. The application of some superglue and Pitstop got me rolling well enough to roll the remaining 7 miles to work and back.

    Do it, you won’t regret it. Just don’t use teensy time-trial tires. Get something made for Pave and you’ll be fine.

    You don’t live in Switzerland with baby’s ass roads do you?

    I am getting more and more convinced – at least enough to have a set of tubular wheels in the mix.

    In Dublin it is usually glass on wet roads that causes punctures. Have had no probs with gator skins but for sure they are not the dogs bollocks for overall feel and performance.

  8. @Buck Rogers

    @markb

    @Deakus

    just not sure if the average joe would be ok with them on the daily commute with the occasion of a flat.

    Ahhhh, but there you have it: We are not “the average Joe” on a bike, we’re Velominati!!! THIS is the stuff that separates us from the masses.

    Point taken! On a very tenuous link to tubs,as they use them on the track; two youth members of my club, Fred Wright and Ethan Hayter, have been accepted into the UK’s Olympic Development Programme. I shall do my best to ensure they adhere to The Rules!

  9. Still no Carbone wheels for me but hey, at least I have a buddy with a few sets (Zipps, Reynolds, etc.) and when I ride with him I thoroughly enjoy the sound of the special pads on the carbon brake track.

    Getting close to the time I need to swap out some tires. Mmmm, new Vittorias and Veloflex tires, nothing quite so nice to get ya through a cold winter…

  10. I’ve recently found a wee cut in the sidewall of my Veloflex. Is this repairable and if so, how?

  11. @rfreese888

    @antihero

    @frank

    @rfreese888

    Are tubs realistic for daily use commuting on crappy Dublin roads? I roll gatorskins which don’t sound all that sexy but much better than the sound of a flat tire!

    I’m skeptical about using them commuting, but they are realistic for daily training; a flat is a flat is a flat.

    Incidentally, I feel Gatorskins are totally backwards; they try to avoid flats by being very rigid, whereas I’ve had the least flats on the most supple tires. For example, on Keepers Tour we always have flats from people riding Gators, and rarely from anyone crushing tubs.

    The tubs we’re talking about can survive Paris-Roubaix, which is a shit-ton nastier than anybody’s commute.

    I’ve used Pave EVO CGs for commuting for the last 2 seasons. The only flat I’ve had was the result of a skid that drove a nail through the tire’s carcass. The application of some superglue and Pitstop got me rolling well enough to roll the remaining 7 miles to work and back.

    Do it, you won’t regret it. Just don’t use teensy time-trial tires. Get something made for Pave and you’ll be fine.

    You don’t live in Switzerland with baby’s ass roads do you?

    I am getting more and more convinced – at least enough to have a set of tubular wheels in the mix.

    In Dublin it is usually glass on wet roads that causes punctures. Have had no probs with gator skins but for sure they are not the dogs bollocks for overall feel and performance.

    Negative.  Nashville, Tennessee, USA.  We have a surfeit of idiots here that think nothing of chucking their empties on the streets.  Not unlike the Scots, who are the worst litterbugs I’ve ever seen.  I ride over broken glass and shit pavement on a daily basis.

  12. @rfreese888

    Anyone tried the Sprinter Gatorskins? (Conti puncture resistant tubulars)

    This is making my new 9 bike project more interesting!

    Yes.  They were awful, like riding a pair of bricks.  Don’t do it.

    Notably, Conti tires don’t fit on Golden Tickets worth a damn.  I had blood-blisters on my thumbs to prove it.  Vittorias?  Easy as pie.

  13. Ah, tubulars.  Yes, I remember my first set.  Mavic rims Vitorria CXs 28h Campy hubs 15g double-butted spokes = V ready wheels.  Light, strong, and smooooth as buttah.  For sure tubbies are the way to go for a lot of performance riding.  But to get the most out of them you sort of need to know how to really glue them on.  For the dreaded squirm is a killer, which is likely why the PanzerWagen rides clinchers for time trials.  He doesn’t give a damn about the weight penalty.  He probably pummels the weight penalty with his large manly thighs before he pummels the poor miserable bastards who have to ride against him. But, I digress.

    Yes, youngsters, do try a fast set up tubulars at least once.  You may not go back.  But make sure you seek out an old crusty mechanic to learn how to really glue on a tire before you do.

  14. @Bruce Lee

    Yes, youngsters, do try a fast set up tubulars at least once. You may not go back. But make sure you seek out an old crusty mechanic to learn how to really glue on a tire before you do.

    Very, very true.  The 1st few times, it’s messy and weird, and you will fuck up.  Don’t let this scare you off.  Once you’ve learned the technique, it’s easy as pie.  If you’re worried about trashing a $100 tire, go buy a cheap Vittoria Rally and learn with it.  Just don’t ride it much – you’ll not enjoy it.

  15. Hey all, re: Vittoria Pave’s…when I first started riding ’em they had the green stripe down the middle. Now they come with the green sidewall. And, I’ve recently noticed, they also care available in all black. That’s news to me ’cause if they’ve always been available in all black then I’ve not noticed. I just figured Pave’s were green and didn’t matter if the green looked a little odd on the bike because they were Pave’s and Pave’s were green. So, the question I’m asking myself is, is my next set of Pave’s gonna be all black ? or is that like dressing Santa Clause in black or something like that ? Just not meant to be ?

  16. @Haldy

    @antihero

    @Haldy

    I can’t wait to hear the hum from these….

    Sooooooooo sexy. My tongue is lolling.

    A guy once referred to my Golden Tickets as “training wheels” whilst comparing them to his Zipp 404 clinchers. No class.

    I hope you stabbed him repeatedly with his tire levers for such heresy!

    Ha!, awesome

  17. @Bruce Lee

    Yes, youngsters, do try a fast set up tubulars at least once. You may not go back. But make sure you seek out an old crusty mechanic to learn how to really glue on a tire before you do.

    One of these days, I’ll get my hands on some tubs….

  18. @wilburrox

    Hey all, re: Vittoria Pave’s…when I first started riding ’em they had the green stripe down the middle. Now they come with the green sidewall. And, I’ve recently noticed, they also care available in all black. That’s news to me ’cause if they’ve always been available in all black then I’ve not noticed. I just figured Pave’s were green and didn’t matter if the green looked a little odd on the bike because they were Pave’s and Pave’s were green. So, the question I’m asking myself is, is my next set of Pave’s gonna be all black ? or is that like dressing Santa Clause in black or something like that ? Just not meant to be ?

    Try getting your hands on the all black version. They are listed on inventory sheets, rps claim that they have seem them, but as yet..I have never laid eyes on the all black version of the Pave. My current ones have the green on the side. Vittoria moved the color from the center stripe to the side as it was difficult to perfectly center the color on the tread and people complained that the tires were defective and “out of balance” because the color wasn’t perfectly straight….

  19. @Haldy

    @wilburrox

    Hey all, re: Vittoria Pave’s…when I first started riding ’em they had the green stripe down the middle. Now they come with the green sidewall. And, I’ve recently noticed, they also care available in all black. That’s news to me ’cause if they’ve always been available in all black then I’ve not noticed. I just figured Pave’s were green and didn’t matter if the green looked a little odd on the bike because they were Pave’s and Pave’s were green. So, the question I’m asking myself is, is my next set of Pave’s gonna be all black ? or is that like dressing Santa Clause in black or something like that ? Just not meant to be ?

    Try getting your hands on the all black version. They are listed on inventory sheets, rps claim that they have seem them, but as yet..I have never laid eyes on the all black version of the Pave. My current ones have the green on the side. Vittoria moved the color from the center stripe to the side as it was difficult to perfectly center the color on the tread and people complained that the tires were defective and “out of balance” because the color wasn’t perfectly straight….

    Huh, very interesting.  I am due to buy some new Pave’ tubs and I am sorry to hear this.  I started on tubs when I started seriously riding at age 14 in ’86.  I loved, and still do, the center green stripe.  That was the essence of “Pro” to me back then.

  20. @markb

    @frank

    @rfreese888

    Are tubs realistic for daily use commuting on crappy Dublin roads? I roll gatorskins which don’t sound all that sexy but much better than the sound of a flat tire!

    I’m skeptical about using them commuting, but they are realistic for daily training; a flat is a flat is a flat.

    Agreed. I know a few cycle couriers in old London town. Some ride tubs when it’s for fun, but for work clinchers rule. One can easily change an inner tube in under 5 mins and be back on the road whatever the conditions. Fucking around on a busy carriageway in the dark, cold and rain with sticky tubs is just stupid.

    I’m in phase on everything except the speed to change the tire – I can change a tub faster than a clincher and there’s actually less muss and trouble by avoiding having to fit the tub back into the tire.

  21. @Chris

    @frank

    @PeakInTwoYears

    It appears that someone got an early start on some variety of noble grape.

    Nonetheless, this is an important topic, and I’m curious about the environmental conditions under which one hears the Hum betterly or worsely. If one played the guitar, let’s say, and one were a tone geek, on what road surface would one play for maximal satisfaction?

    The smoother the better; concrete is also quite good. If you can climb alongside a wall (concrete ideally) it will reflect the sound even more. It is sexy and beautiful.

    And temperature. My Vittorias sound so much sweeter when there’s a bit of frost about.

    The first time I really noticed how beautiful tubulars sound was on the Sunday after riding PR on KT13. A fucking freezing ride through the silence of dawn but most of us were on tubs and the noise was glorious.

    That might have been the best ride of the week; so surreal in the cold, and we were all so tired from the previous day’s soul-crushing.

    Except Alex took us over more cobbles, the pisshead.

  22. @Buck Rogers –

    To be honest…I like the green on the side better than on the center stripe. The green becomes more visible from all directions. Then more folks( assuming they are educated enough..I know..big assumption) can see you are rolling on Pave’s

  23. @Gianni

    I believe Frank is generalizing about all English from the interaction with one obnoxious English child. Fair enough, sweeping generalizations, that’s what we do here.

    Close. It was the kid plus the English ex-pat car driver who brought us to said airport.

    @TommyTubolare

    @Nate

    I find it to be the best on the sidewall. Let air out of the tubular, apply thinly, let it dry and pump up normally. In some cases a bit of air left in a tubular helps, depending on how or where the cut is.

    https://www.mcnett.com/gearaid/seam-grip#10510

    Wherethefuckyoubeen?

    Missed you my friend, good to see you around again.

  24. @Deakus

    @frank

    @rfreese888

    Are tubs realistic for daily use commuting on crappy Dublin roads? I roll gatorskins which don’t sound all that sexy but much better than the sound of a flat tire!

    I’m skeptical about using them commuting, but they are realistic for daily training; a flat is a flat is a flat.

    Incidentally, I feel Gatorskins are totally backwards; they try to avoid flats by being very rigid, whereas I’ve had the least flats on the most supple tires. For example, on Keepers Tour we always have flats from people riding Gators, and rarely from anyone crushing tubs.

    I am presuming that is because of tubs resistance to pinch punctures at lower pressures…I suspect any clinchers would struggle on the pave, the beauty of tubs on the cobbles is the enclosed nature of them preventing tubes pinching against rims?

    No, it has to do with how supple the casing is and how well it can flex and adjust to rocks and other debris.

  25. @teleguy57

    Wow, talk about cosmic convergence. Yesterday I get an email from Belgianwerkx (cool name and just as cool a shop!) telling me for the first time in a long time I actually won something of value. And now this article..

    Since my knees don’t let me run for CX or anything else, they were gracious enough to substitute a pair of Paris-Roubaixs. Now my first-world problem is deciding whether to put them on my Golden Tickets, my Aeolus D3 35s, or my Nucleons. Do I want to look like old-school Tommeke or new-school Faboo? I have a winter of tire aging to decide:)

    These are the sorts of problems you genuinely need to cherish. Much beer and wine will also be required to find the right answer.

    In other news, my 27 PRs just showed up at the shop (Branford Bike); the owner’s been aging them for a year.

  26. @frank

    @Deakus

    @frank

    @rfreese888

    Are tubs realistic for daily use commuting on crappy Dublin roads? I roll gatorskins which don’t sound all that sexy but much better than the sound of a flat tire!

    I’m skeptical about using them commuting, but they are realistic for daily training; a flat is a flat is a flat.

    Incidentally, I feel Gatorskins are totally backwards; they try to avoid flats by being very rigid, whereas I’ve had the least flats on the most supple tires. For example, on Keepers Tour we always have flats from people riding Gators, and rarely from anyone crushing tubs.

    I am presuming that is because of tubs resistance to pinch punctures at lower pressures…I suspect any clinchers would struggle on the pave, the beauty of tubs on the cobbles is the enclosed nature of them preventing tubes pinching against rims?

    No, it has to do with how supple the casing is and how well it can flex and adjust to rocks and other debris.

    Indeed, I believe pro mechanics know that the pressure is right for le pave when the rim kisses the stones through the tub on the roughest patches. Must be hitting the rim with free abandon at 60kph into the Arenberg..

  27. Love this blog, but Jesus Christ: for someone claiming or suggesting that British people don’t have an “inner dialogue,” presumably in contradistinction to Americans (seriously?), you didn’t appear to have used yours very much before posting one of the weirdest howlers of all time, i.e. “am I really going to start off a post with a premise so unbelievably stupid”?

    I’ll generously assume this is typical American parochialism and ignorance on your part. Which is disappointing, considering the otherwise excellent nature of this site, but oh well.

    The reason Britons sometimes (key word there) appear to be more direct than North Americans is because they aren’t wilting violets when it comes to verbal exchanges. A disagreeable or disagreeing statement is generally considered an invitation to begin a stimulating conversation. Hurt or offended by something? You could chuckle about it, or you could shrink into a corner in horror and plot your revenge via an Internet posting.

    You did the latter because you weren’t intellectually or verbally equipped to deal with it. But really now, you didn’t actually believe that, did you? The nation of Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde, Morrissey and John Lennon, Churchill and Darwin, no inner dialogue?

    We’ll have to forget this posting ever happened, and never speak of the shame of it again, I think.

  28. @frank

    @teleguy57

    Wow, talk about cosmic convergence. Yesterday I get an email from Belgianwerkx (cool name and just as cool a shop!) telling me for the first time in a long time I actually won something of value. And now this article..

    Since my knees don’t let me run for CX or anything else, they were gracious enough to substitute a pair of Paris-Roubaixs. Now my first-world problem is deciding whether to put them on my Golden Tickets, my Aeolus D3 35s, or my Nucleons. Do I want to look like old-school Tommeke or new-school Faboo? I have a winter of tire aging to decide:)

    These are the sorts of problems you genuinely need to cherish. Much beer and wine will also be required to find the right answer.

    In other news, my 27 PRs just showed up at the shop (Branford Bike); the owner’s been aging them for a year.

    Very sweet tires!  You should really enjoy them.  How often do you see yourself riding 27s?

    And you just added to my questions — I’m pondering 25s vs 27s.  I think for 95% of my riding the 25s will be primo, but there is something about having some 27s.  Leaning toward 25s since I’ll be riding them a lot, and some Vittoria Paves in 27.  Or I could go Veloflex Roubaixs in 25 and the special set being FMB 27s…. or, or, or…   arrgh, brain just blew up….

  29. I had one, just a measly one, good year on the road. 69kg, muscle def and veins on my legs. Rode like a Belgian. Treated myself to a set of 303s and silk-cased FMB Competition 25mm tyres. The ride quality was truly buttery and the pleasure factor of every ride went sky-high. Now hovering around the high 70s kilo-mark and all definition having melted away, the wheelset hangs in a corner of my workshop as a permanent reminder of the best summer of riding, taunting me to get fit again. I’ll do it – next year.

  30. @Angling Saxon

    Love this blog, but Jesus Christ: for someone claiming or suggesting that British people don’t have an “inner dialogue,” presumably in contradistinction to Americans (seriously?), you didn’t appear to have used yours very much before posting one of the weirdest howlers of all time, i.e. “am I really going to start off a post with a premise so unbelievably stupid”?

    I’ll generously assume this is typical American parochialism and ignorance on your part. Which is disappointing, considering the otherwise excellent nature of this site, but oh well.

    The reason Britons sometimes (key word there) appear to be more direct than North Americans is because they aren’t wilting violets when it comes to verbal exchanges. A disagreeable or disagreeing statement is generally considered an invitation to begin a stimulating conversation. Hurt or offended by something? You could chuckle about it, or you could shrink into a corner in horror and plot your revenge via an Internet posting.

    You did the latter because you weren’t intellectually or verbally equipped to deal with it. But really now, you didn’t actually believe that, did you? The nation of Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde, Morrissey and John Lennon, Churchill and Darwin, no inner dialogue?

    We’ll have to forget this posting ever happened, and never speak of the shame of it again, I think.

    A la “You’ll have to excuse him, he’s from Barcelona” … simple explanation:  He’s Dutch.  We Yanks do not claim him and he does not claim us.

  31. Why can I not upload photos anymore??? Both at work and at home I cannot get any photos to upload. I tried clearing my cookies/browser but to no avail. Anyone know what is going on? Anyone else have this problem?

  32. @teleguy57

    Very sweet tires! You should really enjoy them. How often do you see yourself riding 27s?

    And you just added to my questions “” I’m pondering 25s vs 27s. I think for 95% of my riding the 25s will be primo, but there is something about having some 27s. Leaning toward 25s since I’ll be riding them a lot, and some Vittoria Paves in 27. Or I could go Veloflex Roubaixs in 25 and the special set being FMB 27s…. or, or, or… arrgh, brain just blew up….

    The two-step questionnaire to decide:

    1. Can your bike accomodate 27s?
    2. Are you racing?

    If your bike can take them, why not? And if you’re not racing, again, why not? For training, there’s no real reason not to ride big rubber. The only reasons to decide against big tyres are clearance on the frame and aerodynamics. Rolling resistance is lower and cushioning higher – why not 27s on both sets of tyres?

  33. @rfreese888

    @Angling Saxon Wilde was born in Dublin, but I take your point – the English do have inner dialogue-ability

    And Churchill’s mother was American. Both Morrissey’s parents were Irish. The rest were 100% English though . . .

  34. @Monty Stubble

    I had one, just a measly one, good year on the road. 69kg, muscle def and veins on my legs. Rode like a Belgian. Treated myself to a set of 303s and silk-cased FMB Competition 25mm tyres. The ride quality was truly buttery and the pleasure factor of every ride went sky-high. Now hovering around the high 70s kilo-mark and all definition having melted away, the wheelset hangs in a corner of my workshop as a permanent reminder of the best summer of riding, taunting me to get fit again. I’ll do it – next year.

    Fuck that, you might die between now and then. Life is too short to have such primo shit gathering dust. Put those fuckers back on the bike and ride the shit out of them. Ask not am I worthy, thoust doth ask thy self, are they worthy of me? Rhetorical, naturally.

  35. @Haldy

    @wilburrox

    Hey all, re: Vittoria Pave’s…when I first started riding ’em they had the green stripe down the middle. Now they come with the green sidewall. And, I’ve recently noticed, they also care available in all black. That’s news to me ’cause if they’ve always been available in all black then I’ve not noticed. I just figured Pave’s were green and didn’t matter if the green looked a little odd on the bike because they were Pave’s and Pave’s were green. So, the question I’m asking myself is, is my next set of Pave’s gonna be all black ? or is that like dressing Santa Clause in black or something like that ? Just not meant to be ?

    Try getting your hands on the all black version. They are listed on inventory sheets, rps claim that they have seem them, but as yet..I have never laid eyes on the all black version of the Pave. My current ones have the green on the side. Vittoria moved the color from the center stripe to the side as it was difficult to perfectly center the color on the tread and people complained that the tires were defective and “out of balance” because the color wasn’t perfectly straight….

    Haldy,you gonna try harder mate. Here you go

    http://www.highonbikes.com/vittoria-pave-cg-isogrip-road-bike-tubular-tyre-full-black.html

  36. @Haldy

    @Buck Rogers

    To be honest…I like the green on the side better than on the center stripe. The green becomes more visible from all directions. Then more folks( assuming they are educated enough..I know..big assumption) can see you are rolling on Pave’s

    Plus the two stripes just look cooler.

    versus

  37. @teleguy57

    Very sweet tires! You should really enjoy them. How often do you see yourself riding 27s?

    I was happy moving to 25s, then 26’s. The FMB measures a bit wide, so it will ride like a 28. I don’t see not riding them regularly but we’ll see. 25s seem to be very good all-round tires. I rode the cobbles on that width two seasons of KT, no flats.

    @Angling Saxon

    Well, I had to figure out if any of you were actually reading the articles. In this instance it appears none of you are reading the posts, because about a dozen of you have made the same observation.

  38. @Haldy

    @wilburrox

    Hey all, re: Vittoria Pave’s…when I first started riding ’em they had the green stripe down the middle. Now they come with the green sidewall. And, I’ve recently noticed, they also care available in all black. That’s news to me ’cause if they’ve always been available in all black then I’ve not noticed. I just figured Pave’s were green and didn’t matter if the green looked a little odd on the bike because they were Pave’s and Pave’s were green. So, the question I’m asking myself is, is my next set of Pave’s gonna be all black ? or is that like dressing Santa Clause in black or something like that ? Just not meant to be ?

    Try getting your hands on the all black version. They are listed on inventory sheets, rps claim that they have seem them, but as yet..I have never laid eyes on the all black version of the Pave. My current ones have the green on the side. Vittoria moved the color from the center stripe to the side as it was difficult to perfectly center the color on the tread and people complained that the tires were defective and “out of balance” because the color wasn’t perfectly straight….

    Whats the point of all black Pavé’s? Isn’t the charm in the “wet-weather” rubber that apparently only comes in ugly shades of turquoise?

  39. @Buck Rogers

    Why can I not upload photos anymore??? Both at work and at home I cannot get any photos to upload. I tried clearing my cookies/browser but to no avail. Anyone know what is going on? Anyone else have this problem?

    Perhaps your photos lack an appropriate degree of avvesomeness.

  40. @Chris

    @Buck Rogers

    Why can I not upload photos anymore??? Both at work and at home I cannot get any photos to upload. I tried clearing my cookies/browser but to no avail. Anyone know what is going on? Anyone else have this problem?

    Perhaps your photos lack an appropriate degree of avvesomeness.

    @frank

    @Haldy

    @wilburrox

    Hey all, re: Vittoria Pave’s…when I first started riding ’em they had the green stripe down the middle. Now they come with the green sidewall. And, I’ve recently noticed, they also care available in all black. That’s news to me ’cause if they’ve always been available in all black then I’ve not noticed. I just figured Pave’s were green and didn’t matter if the green looked a little odd on the bike because they were Pave’s and Pave’s were green. So, the question I’m asking myself is, is my next set of Pave’s gonna be all black ? or is that like dressing Santa Clause in black or something like that ? Just not meant to be ?

    Try getting your hands on the all black version. They are listed on inventory sheets, rps claim that they have seem them, but as yet..I have never laid eyes on the all black version of the Pave. My current ones have the green on the side. Vittoria moved the color from the center stripe to the side as it was difficult to perfectly center the color on the tread and people complained that the tires were defective and “out of balance” because the color wasn’t perfectly straight….

    Whats the point of all black Pavé’s? Isn’t the charm in the “wet-weather” rubber that apparently only comes in ugly shades of turquoise?

    +1

    @frank

    @teleguy57

    Very sweet tires! You should really enjoy them. How often do you see yourself riding 27s?

    I was happy moving to 25s, then 26’s. The FMB measures a bit wide, so it will ride like a 28. I don’t see not riding them regularly but we’ll see. 25s seem to be very good all-round tires. I rode the cobbles on that width two seasons of KT, no flats.

    Made me think hard there with that double negative “I don’t see not riding them regularly”  I agree 25s are great for all arounds; I do ride 28mm Ultremo ZX clinchers for some things (they measure out at a hair over 29.5 on my TB-14 rims)

    so I’m thinking the FMB 27s will fit in the same space, but give a far superior ride.

    @frank

    @Haldy

    @Buck Rogers –

    To be honest…I like the green on the side better than on the center stripe. The green becomes more visible from all directions. Then more folks( assuming they are educated enough..I know..big assumption) can see you are rolling on Pave’s

    Plus the two stripes just look cooler.

    versus

    You’re aesthetically correct, as usual, @frank.  However, while the green of Paves looks very fine on some wheels (and on Nucleons they even have light-warping capabilities — see the spokes for proof!):

    But it’s also hard to argue with the classic tan sidewall:

    And on some wheels, the Pave green actually leave me feeling “meh;” thinking I should go to classic sidewalls on these wheels:

  41. @TommyTubolare –

    I live here in the US of A, and Vittoria North America lists the tires as possible to order, but they never import them. I have seen them on the order sheets for years. My local walks in the door of the shop and right after saying “hi”, the next quote is..” No, Haldy..still no black Pave’s”….

  42. @frank

    @Haldy

    @wilburrox

    Hey all, re: Vittoria Pave’s…when I first started riding ’em they had the green stripe down the middle. Now they come with the green sidewall. And, I’ve recently noticed, they also care available in all black. That’s news to me ’cause if they’ve always been available in all black then I’ve not noticed. I just figured Pave’s were green and didn’t matter if the green looked a little odd on the bike because they were Pave’s and Pave’s were green. So, the question I’m asking myself is, is my next set of Pave’s gonna be all black ? or is that like dressing Santa Clause in black or something like that ? Just not meant to be ?

    Try getting your hands on the all black version. They are listed on inventory sheets, rps claim that they have seem them, but as yet..I have never laid eyes on the all black version of the Pave. My current ones have the green on the side. Vittoria moved the color from the center stripe to the side as it was difficult to perfectly center the color on the tread and people complained that the tires were defective and “out of balance” because the color wasn’t perfectly straight….

    Whats the point of all black Pavé’s? Isn’t the charm in the “wet-weather” rubber that apparently only comes in ugly shades of turquoise?

    I completely agree…however I do have customers that are concerned that the green clashes with their bike( don’t get me started…), hence my search for the all black Pave’s.  But for me I have always and proudly run the Pave’s for Rule #9 season here in Seattle.

  43. @Haldy

    @frank

    Whats the point of all black Pavé’s? Isn’t the charm in the “wet-weather” rubber that apparently only comes in ugly shades of turquoise?

    I completely agree…however I do have customers that are concerned that the green clashes with their bike( don’t get me started…), hence my search for the all black Pave’s. But for me I have always and proudly run the Pave’s for Rule #9 season here in Seattle.

    These people need to have it explained to them that in this case the green is not a colour but a statement of intent and on the basis that it’s not a colour it can’t possibly clash with their bike.

    It should also be explained that as this is a concept that is clearly beyond their ken, they can’t have a pair.

    There are no black Pavés, it’s a trick question.

    Whilst we talking about Pavés, will you lot stop using apostrophes. Plural, for fucks sake, not possessive.

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