Tuesday, November 17

One night in Bangkok

My friend Mike Stanley passed by my house the other day. I knew him back when he was just the guy running the Wake and Bake Racing Team, but now he's up to his neck in the bike industry rep'ing for Niner. He was passing through my town, and I insisted he stop by for some grubbery and an old fashion BS session. As intrigued as I am by bicycles in general I also find the bicycle industry rather fascinating, and I had yet to have a long conversation with him since he started his new job on the "inside".

He had a few demo bikes on the back of his truck, and lurking inside was the not to be ridden or touched for more than five seconds at a time carbon Niner. Attached to the front of said carbon Niner was the carbon fork I've been staring at all year.

I'm not sure that this fork is in my future anymore since I've vowed to keep my bike purchases a little more based on need as opposed to want. Even though Pete-unh spews forth some hate on this fork I think it's just so he can keep his status as a curmudgeonly Canadian.

The bike had the new Thomson seatpost clamp (another want over need type purchase I planned), and I tried to snap a photo of it, but I suck, and my photoshop abilities are even worse, so here's what you get:

Speaking of clamps, one of the demo bikes had a pink Salsa clamp on it, and being logically attracted to pink parts I asked Mike about it. "Wanna trade?" he asked.


I was also stoked to see that there was a fine Cane Creek headset installed up front. Amazing how many standards there are in the headset world nowadays. Don't know what you need for your new bike? Use the Cane Creek Headset Fit Finder to figure it out.

Is there anything to this tapered madness?

I remember when 1 1/8 headsets came out prepared to take over the world, and I thought threadless was a scary concept. Now there's just enough headset options that "What headset do I need for my 29'er?" is a weekly topic of discussion on the MTBR 29'er forum.

Back at Interbike Niner only had a mock up of their head badge on the new carbon frame. I have now seen the final version, and all I can say is "Seriously?".

At least make the cast bottle opener headbadge an option for the single speed folk. What single speeder worth his salt buys a frame without a bottle opener snuck into the design in some cunning manner?

After I poked and prodded the frame completely Mike and I went to lunch. One might wonder what a Ti guy like me would be doing poking around at some frame from a manufacturer other than one from my frame sponsor. One might start thinking up some conspiracy theory... maybe Niner is trying to nab me away in some extended multi year contract like Specialized did with Contador. Am I swapping teams? Giving up the magic metal? Leaving the people of MOOTS high and dry with no star athlete for 2010? No, I'm just a bike geek and I like to look at bikes. Nothing more than that. Our play date was just a play date, and lunch was just lunch.

I like Mike, and I love hearing stories from the bike industry side of things (even when they are told by grumpy Canadianicans). I've always been fascinated by "the industry", and one day I hope to retire to a job somewhere inside it's warm belly... like maybe head floor sweeper at Industry Nine , or coffee maker at Cane Creek, or perhaps seatpost shaft polisher at MOOTS?? The bike world is my oyster, and even though I don't like oysters I feel comforted by the fact that the bike world is a slimy creature hidden within a hard to penetrate shell that offers very little reward for a lot of effort and will more than likely leave me with a bad taste in my mouth.

"Aye, this is my oyster."


Spankye said...

Funny you mention that...we're posting a Barista position later today.

Anonymous said...


Only if everyone knew;)