Monday, January 28, 2013

Lance Armstrong meets Radiohead's "Creep"

This is freaking hilarious.  This has long been one of my favorite songs.

Radiohead's "Creep" by Matthijs Vlot:

The original song:

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Boyd 38mm Carbon Clinchers

Last Friday, my new Boyd Cycling 38mm carbon clincher wheels arrived.  Unfortunately, because of an oversight on my part, they were shipped with the wrong brake pads.  I ordered Campagnolo compatible wheels, which ship with pads for Campagnolo brakes, but I use TRP brakes that use a Shimano style pad.  Yeah, should have specified that.  They arrived in the standard cardboard wheel box with just a piece of cardboard between them, foam on the cassette body, and a protective plastic plug on each hub.  It wasn't as impressive as the packaging that my Easton EA90 Aero wheels came in.  That was an impressive wheel box.
Dog feet, wheel box, my feet
Of course, the first thing I did was weigh them.  The claimed weights are 614g front and 770g rear.  I can only assume that is with the included rim tape and no lockring since that is how they arrived.  On my Feedback Sports "Alpine Digital Gear Scale" they came in at 620g front and 780g rear, a difference of 16g.  Pretty darn close.  The one thing that surprised me is the lack of a lockring.  My Eastons came with an aluminum lockring, which is sitting on the Boyds until my pretty green Far Near one arrives from Fairwheel Bikes.  The Easton EA90 Aero wheels have a claimed combined weight of 1545.  On my scale, they came in at 1600g (680g front, 920g rear), 55g above their claimed weight.  Photos of everything being weighed can be seen here on Flickr.
Ghosted decals
Getting the Kenda Kaliente Pro tires (23c) on the Boyds was quite a chore.  It was impossible without the aid of a tire lever, which annoyed me.  The Eastons were difficult (same tire), but I could get them on with my thumbs.  This might have to do with the difference in width as the Boyds are 21mm wide while the Eastons are 19mm wide.  This is pure speculation as I really have no idea and it could just be that they are different.  Boyd recommends 48mm valves for the tubes, but they weren't quite long enough for my pump to get a good grip.  I went with 60mm tubes but the ideal length would be about 55mm, if they are available anywhere.  The tubes I picked up were regular shop stock, so they are a bit heavy.  I'd love to put some nice latex tubes in which would enhance the ride quality and save a bunch of weight.

After the brake pads arrived on Monday, I finished setting up the bike and getting everything adjusted, but was unable to ride because of time.  Yesterday I was off work a bit early so I jumped at the chance to get in a quick ride to test them out.  My first impressions are very favorable.  They feel smoother than the EA90 Aeros and I didn't feel any flex when standing up to climb.  I have to mention one pretty awful thing about the wheels, which is squeal when you grab a fistful of brake lever.  The front wheel makes a small amount of noise, but the rear sounds like a stuck pig.  I'm going to contact Boyd about it and see if he has a recommendation.  Otherwise, the braking is smooth and much more powerful than I had expected.  I've heard horror stories about carbon wheels taking much longer to stop, but I didn't notice that at all.  We'll see what it is like during a wet rain ride.

This is my first set of carbon wheels, and so far I am very happy with them.  I'll be giving them a much better test tonight at the Laguna Seca Twilight Ride.  Good stuff.

Update:  I spoke with Boyd (the owner and namesake) and he suggested more toe for the rear brakes.  However, and I know this sounds strange, I am unable to toe in the brakes.  The pad holders do not have a spherical washer, and the brakes are carbon-wrapped aluminum so I can't bend the arms.  I'm now on the hunt for a pair of adjustable pad holders.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Craigslist Ad for Aaron Gwin's Trek

Most likely a joke, this Craigslist ad is pretty funny following the news of Aaron Gwin leaving Trek for Specialized.  The ad was quickly pulled, so luckily I got a screen capture.

The ad reads:

Factory Trek Session Team DH Bike - $5450 (Temecula)

Amazing DH bike! Doesn't get much better than this! All Saint factory equipped! Fox shocks! Fox 40 forks! You want race tuned! Here it is! Collectors item for sure! ! Enough said!! No BS offers...once you see it you'll understand! #1 for a reason! 760-594-4638 will trade for toy hauler,Toyota Tacoma , sand car or Bentley ;)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Vintage 1994 Sea Otter Classic Photos

A little while back, my mom found, scanned, and emailed me some photos from the 1994 Sea Otter Classic, which was just before my sixteenth birthday.  Back then it was a fairly large event, but nothing like it is today.  They also had an inline skating race, which I proudly entered.  This was way before my days of actually racing inline (indoors) while living in Sacramento.  I'm pretty easy to spot on my hot pink Specialized Allez Transition.  I miss that bike.  Few might notice that I'm using Scott Drop-Ins, and I really liked them.  The low drop was very comfortable, and with my hands down there, it made it easy to flick the downtube shifter with my thumb for a different gear.

And now for the skating photos.  I'm wearing the very stylish (think grunge era) plaid shorts and dark sweatshirt with a silver Specialized Sub Six Pro strapped to my noggin.  It was cold and wet, and the traction of the skates was horrible.  The race course did not go fully around the track, but was an up-and-back along the flatter section between turns 3 (Andretti Hairpin) and 5.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

How a Cycling Shoe is Made

This is nifty.  It makes the high price of some hand-made shoes understandable.
Vittoria shoes on "How It's Made."

New Wheels Ordered

On Friday I finally pulled the trigger on a new set of wheels for my road bike.  I know I've been whining about wanting a new bike, but nothing is exciting me right now and I really can't fault the Flyxii FR-303 frameset.  The wheels I have had my eye on for a while are the Boyd Cycling 38mm carbon clinchers.  Boyd is introducing a new wheel line soon, so the current wheels are all 20% off.  One thing I love is the option for ghosted decals.  They are scheduled to arrive on Friday, so I'll get out for a test ride on Saturday as long as it isn't raining.  I'd rather not test new equipment in the rain.  Stoked.

Boyd Cycling 38mm carbon clinchers with ghosted decals