Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Buy a steel frame. Shift in friction. Use toe clips. Try a fixed gear. Ride conventionally-spoked wheels. Keep it simple.

Cafiend out.


Anonymous said...

Now that's not bad! Great advice for reminding people out there that there's life above and beyond (*way* above and beyond) Madones. Personally, I'll pass on friction and toe clips, but steel, fixies and 32 spoke wheels are where I try to be at almost every day.

But what if I don't want to ride steel, but I still want to get at the heart of what you're saying?

Unknown said...

Thanks for the reminder. Especially the "shift in friction" part. One can't hear these things too often, really. (Like carbon frames, I think I'll put indexed shifting on the list of, "Things that are acceptable if a sponsor is outfitting me with them." Just so I can hold out hope of being the next Robbie McEwen.)

cafiend said...

32? 36!

Everybody ride what you like. Everything has its price.

And my heart is readily accessible on my sleeve.

Tom Reingold said...

My God. I think we are brothers.

I was a bike mechanic from 1978 to 1984. I am now a mechanic as a hobby. I have a nearly-complete shop in my basement and normally own between 10 and 20 bikes. I would never ride without toe-clips, even on a cheap bike. I don't have any radially spoked wheels.

Two other pearls of wisdom one of my bosses, Lenny Preheim, may he rest in peace, gave me: oil the chain and inflate the tires for your customer. This will give a good impression of how the bike works, no matter what other work you've done on the bike. He was a cruel boss but an excellent mechanic, and I learned a lot about bikes and life from him.

Ham said...

Can't argue the sentiment, but I wouldn't want to exist without SPD's and while my 80's steel Muddy Fox is a beaut that fits me like a glove, and rides city streets like a tank, my new ally/carbon Marin (point reyes) is better.

How about, keep it simpler? Just ride.

cafiend said...

Hambone, ride what you like. Like what you ride. Personally I think SPD is just more proprietary BS, but in that category it is benign compared to some more heinous BS. In fact, all step-in pedals only solve one problem at the expense of several others. But if you care about that one problem and are willing to put up with the others, rock on. It's all better than driving!

Ham said...

Very apposite actually. As my 9 rear end sprockets became useless when my chain snapped on the way in to work today. And I thought "Hmmm how about a single speed conversion, then?"

No way do I lose spd, though.

Funny how you just can't stop pedalling, even when you know nothing can happen.

Unknown said...

Hey Citizen,

I really like your blog and would like to know your email to ask you a question.


cafiend said...

Thanks for the compliment, Kris. If the question is relevant to the blog's subject matter, perhaps posting it as a comment would lead to a post devoted to answering it.