Another awesome Artcrank piece.
New-Timey Bikery in an Old Timey Way
Another awesome Artcrank piece.
Check out the 3 inchgear on those trick bikes. HA!
I have a reputation for being technology-forward. But for some reason, as I age, I want to go technology-backwards when it comes to my bikes. Within reason, of course. I’m not going to denounce a light crabon frame just because it’s modern. But many of the advancements of the day that are emerging fill me with ambivalence at best, and apprehension at worst. In this piece, which rah-rahs about three new technologies, at least two of which aren’t new (and is written for, to be fair, a PC magazine) I was kind of unsettled at my own resistance to it.
I mean, there’s nothing WRONG with electronic shifting. We covered it before the 2009 Tour de France, and agreed ‘EH!’ but really it’s all just steps forward. On the upside, precision shifting, and on the downside, eff up your charging schedule and well, you’ve got a single speed or, worse, a bike stuck in mid-shift, unless you can manually seat it without power in the field. But not exciting to me, anyway.
The Continuously Variable Transmission, as you see above (CVT) is a staple in electric cars and now is making its way into boutique mountain bike applications. Instead of cogs, we have orbs of teeth that roll around each other creating (and excuse the original writer’s attempt to say both ‘unlimited’ and ‘limited’ in the same statement) smooth micro-shifts that completely eliminate the stepped shifting with which we are accustomed. But again, something in my mind says the experience of riding is lost when you can just throttle a lever like it’s a gym bike and increase or decrease gearing dynamically. That said maybe it would be awesome, I don’t know.
Lastly, belt drive, which is the one that I DO like, continually being ‘prototyped’ according to this article (despite being in production) has some advantages, but mostly I like it from a dork factor, because it would seem to be quiet and smooth. But you need a breakaway frame, you need to accept fixed drivetrain, and you need to get over some false marketing ploys like claiming that chain drive is ‘the weakest part of a conventional bicycle’… which is just sales hype. The chain drive has been around for so long it’s obscene, and with today’s material manufacturing technology, it remains one of the most reliable designs of it’s type. Chains stretch but this is compensated for, and chains break because we use economical versions, not because of faults in the design. I will contend the greaseless aspect is enjoyable. But it’s still just an ‘option’ and not a fix to some terribly flawed technology.
Anyway, article made me feel like that older guy in a hand-knitted beanie at the coffee shop who’s been sitting there with crumpled Arts sections from two days ago, glaring at the young kids baring tramp stamps near his tea-infuser.
i’m always looking for more efficient ways to carry my ipod when i ride with a bag (i just stuff it in my pocket when i’m not wearing a bag) and until i saw the ARCHIVE BAGS CELL PHONE HOLSTER, i had a pretty good thing going with the CHROME BAGS ACCESSORY POUCH. but to tell you the truth, that thing is bulky as fuck and the closure crushes my headphone jack. so when i saw the archive one, with it’s crazy slim profile and wraparound design (allowing for the headphone jack to sit outside the closure), i fired a couple quick emails to the designer (victor, who’s a no-nonsense, dependable, and friendly dude) and it was on.
it shipped yesterday and arrived today (we’re both in the city — no surprise there), and straight away, i have to say that i’m incredibly pleased and impressed. the design of it is very simple — it’s a large "T" that wraps around your phone or ipod in each direction, and the horizontal wrap doubles as the mounting wrap…
this aspect not only keeps it easy for victor to produce, but it keeps the profile slim and it makes it very, VERY adjustable. i could keep my clunky old ipod in here if i wanted to, i’ve already put my motorola droid 2 in there, and my ipod (a touch) has one of the slimmest profiles going, and it fits perfectly too. as you can see in the banner pic, it is enclosed just slightly off-center horizontally, which allows the headphone jack to sit outside.
once mounted on the shoulder strap of my bag, it looks like so…
i haven’t ridden with it yet, but i have put my bag on with the wrap installed and just moved around a bit, and initially i couldn’t be happier. i can plug and unplug my headphones quickSnap (allowing me to easily put on, take off, or just spin and access my bag), and i can turn my head without my cheek or chin bumping into the thing — a huge difference from where i was at before. i also really love the understated design of it, and the simple, unobtrusive logo (regular readers know how i feel about having logos all over everything).
one thing i need to figure out for myself, and this has nothing to do with victor’s wonderful product, is how to shorten my headphone cord. because my old pouch was so bulky, it had room inside to stuff the extra bit of cord. but now with the hugging profile of this beautiful thing, i have a lot of cord just hanging there. but that’s my issue and says nothing for the product itself, which is nothing short of perfect. good design is ALWAYS simple.
thank you victor, you make a hell of a product and i’m proud to rep it!
Our jazzercise loving friends at Team Hype posted the other day that Contador was handed a ban for the controversial banned substances in his test samples that he blamed on Spanish beef. I still say it was powdered donuts, but hey.
Telling you, piece by piece this can be whittled back down to fixies with tyres across the chest…
This wonderful piece was done for the Art Crank Minneapolis project, inspired by his recent discovery of a baby on the way. It compresses about 33 shirts and prints I have into one perfect image. Excelsior, Alan!
Well, one interpretation anyway…
You may recall from my original review, that i’m a happy user of the Scoche IDR 655m earphones for my ridery. They have amazing sound that rivals my etymotics, a cord-mount remote and mic for voice commands and in my model of choice, bigger drivers and a braided, no-tangle cord.
Last week, to my horror, the dreaded sound-clipping began. You may know this well enough: one earbud starts to go in and out and it drives you crazy. Most often, and this was the case here, it’s a break at the connection between the wire and the plug, from all the yanking of the plug out of the iPhone by the wire, and not the plug itself. Anyway, I can’t fault the equipment: it’s a user error wear problem. And while I killed my earbuds faster than I prefer (7 months) I still enjoyed the quality and performance of these overall better than any of my others. So I acted fast, and replaced them.
Gotta love the interwebs. Got em AGAIN for about $39 and free shipping, approximately 50% off. Just have to put the time in to find the deals.
So I’m back in action. I still endorse this product. But I’m going to try and grab the plug from now on, ha.
Get yours here:
http://www.amazon.com/Scosche-IDR655M-I … 644&sr=8-1
This amazing ride is in it’s third year, and is up to 7,500 riders. The century, with some ridiculous 11,000 ft of climbing, is sold out, but the Medio, the metric, is no slouch. I’m signing up tomorrow. Team lope brethren, join me! These registration slots will be sold out soon.
Ride is 1 October 2011