Friday, April 24, 2009

Didn't See That Coming

I mean, I knew they laid it down. Their music is awesome. But the head thrashing, hands flashing just blew my mind. Wow. Former Metal band members evidently.

The Constant Variable

Look at that bike and check out the parts spec for a minute.

About three weeks ago I took an ISP prototype home for a ride, these were my first impressions: Visual: Stunning, simple, elegant, uncluttered. Off the bike:  Saddle height adjustment is easier, as is saddle tilt and positioning, than on any seat post I have used prior. On the bike:  Feels more race worthy than I was expecting.  Harsher over the potholes, I think I’ll be standing over the bumps in the future.  Feedback from the road feels more accurate and true, I feel more connected. Looking forward to the next ride, I’ll have more feedback to give soon. Karl Borne’s an example of the customer saddle clamp design.  I’ll post the demo bike clamp design later.  - RV

This is Seven's new integrated seatpost bike. It is a cool, custom, unique ride built by people who breath bikes, live bikes. The premise of the bike is "comfortable—like velvet—and stiff for racing". Perfectly normal.

What I don't understand is how bike reviews, like this one, do not account for the variable contact points of a bike in a review. When you include references to its harshness over pot holes, and feeling the direct connection to the road components like the 40mm tall aero clincher wheel need to be mentioned. Wheels like that do not absorb vibrations. They transfer them straight to the bike frame and depending on frame materials, to the rider. I could ride a hundred bikes that would have a many standard deviations of handling quality's become inconsequential because I had the same stiff aero wheels.

I've spent many hours riding a nearly identical pair of wheels, the Mavic Cosmic Carbone, and those wheels at a given PSI were relentless, stiff, and fast. They served their purpose well for racing. Training, however, was on traditional pair of hubs laced 3-cross to a low profile box section rims. Lets just say that is a big difference in handling characteristics.

Given that one variable, my bike had two distinct handling characteristics. Complicate this by an entirely new bike and trying to judge every nuance about the way it rides and you can completely forget a credible answer to how it rides. Its new. Of course it rides great. If you didn't change your cables for a year your bike would feel like new once you did swap them out.

If you want some honest feedback about your next big purchase, and care about what you ride, try one piece at a time. That'll give you a direct comparison. Otherwise just pay attention to something practical like failure rate or maintenance issues. When all else fails and you wouldn't know the difference between a mule and carbon race bike, just get the color that makes you look the coolest.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Useful Book

(Ironic use of a text book.)

Three weeks ago I thought to myself what an uneventful end to the skiing season. Temperature in the mountains had been in the 50's and 60's with rain, while the front range enjoyed June like conditions on the trails with dust in the corners and super dry roads. Most welcomed the spring while I lusted for my winter again.

This has been my first winter in 8 years effectively as I eschewed winter sports in favor of the narrow tires, and perhaps narrow mind, of a road bike. The passion for achievement and mind bending desire to make the next step consumed me and kept me from some diverse adventures. It may sound like I lament the decision, but I do not. I wouldn't trade my experience for anything in the world. Everything you do is benefical to your life and character. Humble in victory and proud in defeat, relishing the opportunity to improve and expand, while honing your goal(s) in life.

So as the storms rolled back through the mountains, dumping feet upon moist flakey feet of spring snow upon us, I grew giddy awaiting the next opportunity to drive my skis through the snow with my body's weight held in the balance by the 5mm steel ski edge. Passing the time preparing for the next adventure.
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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bertoud Before Work

"There are certain moments in life that are called truly stellar, because they are not objects of the mind, but objects of the heart. For the mind will forget, but the heart will not."
Patrick Foster