Wednesday, July 23

Tour de Droopy

I'm not a roadie.  No disrespect to roadies intended.  If anything, the absence of me from their ranks probably brings them up a peg or two... or many more.  I just don't enjoy enough of the experience to actively participate in this particular hobby.  Sure, I ride to work on what some call a "tarck bike" and sometimes extend those rides in search of fitness (and wayward tools at the side of the road)...

and of course I get paid to ride a bike cycling machine on roads in order to deliver various goods and perform certain services.

But intentional road riding.  Ewwwww.  These bikes with these bars:

Silly macaroni noodles.  No idea how it all started.  Too indifferent to find out why they exist at all.  I just know that when I ride in the drops, my neck hurts, I'm looking out over the tops of my protective lenses, I get numb in certain zones and I'm generally miserable.  The only problem being that if I want to go down a serious hill in a serious manner, that's where I need to put my hands.

And if you want to go down in a real hurry, you do something even more stupid.

or as shown in this year's Tour of France, something even stupider.

There are many ways to get down the hill fast.  Want to descend like those superheroes on TV (or on borrowed live internet feeds)?  Watch and learn...

Tuck like a pro... not to be confused with this:

If you have an attention span as small as mine (if you've read this far, yours surpasses mine by days), here's the breakdown of the three methods that are preferable to sitting straight up like a brick wall (AKA: Being marginally comfortable on a road bike).

Not to be confused with the Human Toolbag.
Here's the thing I don't understand.  The current UCI weight limit requires that all bikes weigh at least 6.8kg (14.99lb).  This rule has been around for almost one and a half decades.... since a time long ago when riders and mechanics were doing absurd things to drop weight on the bikes in order to make great bike race.  The rule was put in place to keep the riders safe from self-created death traps going down a mountain at 60MPH (sorry, something something KPH).  Currently, the rule is quite stupid, and much ado has been made about modifying it.

In the meantime, mechanics are sticking weights on the bikes to have them make the minimum weight requirement.

They stick and/or hide them anywhere they can.  Totally useless, dead fucking weight. Well, I guess riders like former Grand Tour sprinter, Tom Steels, would have something a little more effective than a half-empty bidon to toss at offending sprinters who go off-line.

Why, oh why... on these climbing heavy days when riders are also descending some sick, sick, sick winding roads down the side of a mountain, are they not using proper drooper posts?

I'm not talking about this abomination that Nibali has used this year.

According to the tech experts at various cycling news sites, this post had all of 1cm of adjustment.  ONE.

This technology has come a long way in the two years since Basso rode a similar post with 5mm of adjustable goodness. 


Not really.

Riders have been hanging it off the back of the saddle or draping themselves all over the bars risking life and limb for decades.  As a matter of fact, the riders even staged a sit-in back in 1998 demanding that the UCI allow dropper posts, even though they hadn't been really invented yet.

The UCI kept a lid on the story, said the whole thing was over raiding the teams hotels and buses looking for PEDs.  Next thing you know (years later), Marco Pantani is found in a room, dead from an "overdose," and no one is complaining about anything anymore.

Tell me droopers (not dopers) have no place in road bike cycling, and I'll remind you of the dozens of advances in technology that "had no place" that are currently just accepted as norm.

Tell me droopers are pointless on a road bike cycle, and I'll ask you if you ever tried one.

You haven't.  Go sit in a corner.

Sloped top tube, drooped post, sitting on the saddle in comfort (not with cramping calves or a saddle in your sternum) with your COG as low as possible.  Weight better distributed over the tires for maximum traction.  Ripping around turns.  It makes sense to me.

But I'm not a roadie.

Not that it's a bad thing.

Maybe in a few years, someone will do it.  I hope.  It would be nice to be right about something... just once.

This message was (not) brought to you by Thomson Bike Products.


Rob said...

Apparently the Big S is coming out with a "gravel" bike with a are totally getting a Cease and Desist letter in the mail...

Nigel said...

Enjoyed me coffee whilst reading. I'm going to drop a post now.

John Parker said...

Just sayen but have you ever seen both Mr. Dillen and Vincenzo Nibali at the same party?