Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday News And Views

And the answer is.....
Canti Or Disc? 

This week I posted up on the question of whether "gravel bikes" should or should not have disc brakes. You can catch that post here if you missed it the first time. 

That post has garnered a lot of hits here on the site, so I figured a bit of follow up was in order here. The first result was seen in the comments section for that post where it seems that the majority voted for "no disc brakes" on their gravel bikes.

The other thing to note here is that this may or may not be a reflection of what cyclo cross bikes should have. However; here is something to chew on regarding both cyclo cross and gravel road going rigs. Until someone, (and my guess is that "someone" will end up being SRAM first), comes up with a reasonable hydraulically actuated brake in a drop bar specific brake/shift lever similar to what is in use now, the disc brake thing on drop bar bikes will be mostly a sideshow. This does not include "converter boxes", which are a kludge and add extra weight and costs. No- the lever will necessarily have to be self contained, or it will be a no-go.

And there are other details to mull over here as well. rotor size, rear spacing, (which looks to be going to 135OD), weight, and other details that would need to get sorted before the disc brake thing for these bikes would make more sense.You know- it reminds me of the disc vs canti mountain bike days of the late 90's/early 00's. Except this is with skinnier tires, which by the way, is something else that will affect the outcome greatly here as well.

This year's model.
Project Black was the other big draw this week. The post where I listed the spec and all of the images were heavily checked out here. Curious that.

I mean, I post a lot of bike's images here, and a few of them I'll post full spec on, but the Vassago Jabberwocky has brought more attention than any of the previous rigs save maybe the Fargo, my BMC Orange Crush, and the OS Bikes Blackbuck.

I can see why the mentioned trio of bikes gets interest. The Fargo- because it is a drop bar mountain bike/adventure rig. The Blackbuck because of the swoopy stays and rarity. The BMC Orange Crush- again for the rarity and the "monster-cross" and gravel bike possibilities perhaps. But the Vassago?

Someone help me out here and tell me what it is that is so fascinating about this steel hard tail. I am flattered that it draws so many hits, but frankly, I don't get it. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with the Jabberwocky, but I don't see anything inherently unique about it either, besides the marketing hype behind the "Wet Cat" geometry, which is not that big a deal, really.

Ride Free.
Pro Road Cycling is in a mess right now. Most of you are aware of what has been going on. Without delving into the details, I wanted to point up something I thought was kind of a stroke of genius, (and is close to my heart), with regard to maybe getting this situation righted.

Greg Lemond wrote a missive on his Facebook page yesterday which was quickly circulated around the Internet. You can read it, and the back ground of the issues here.

Leaving much of that behind, what I want to focus on is what Mr. Lemond wrote near to the end of his rant. I quote him here:

"If people really want to clean the sport of cycling up all you have to do is put your money where your mouth is.
Don't buy a USA Cycling license. Give up racing for a year, just long enough to put the UCI and USA cycling out of business. We can then start from scratch and let the real lovers in cycling direct where and how the sport of cycling will go."

First off, I wouldn't say that you should "give up racing for a year", because you don't have to. I do agree with the rest of this, which I think is brilliant if riders would do this en masse. Do I think this will happen? No. But it should. 

And if it does, there are a ton of "underground" events waiting for the racers. And hey- why not start up your own racing leagues. They did it in Wisconsin with a mountain bike series that flourished for years. can be done. It should be done. 

The UCI is tainted, if not downright corrupt and they- in my humble opinion- had to know what the heck was going on with regard to doping in the peloton. I like what Team Sky is doing- rooting out all past and present dopers. (They sacked Bobby Julich just the other day.) The UCI should do something similar with regard to those who turned their heads to look the other way, or were complicit in some way with what went on in road cycling. Clean house. Do it now. Lance Armstrong isn't the problem. He's just the highest profile rider involved. Caught up in something that the UCI was responsible to stop, to prevent, and to police more vigilantly. They failed. They should accept responsibility and do the right thing.

That's my take. Nuff said.... 

3GR: Yep! It is getting colder. Yep! It is darker in the AM. Big deal. 3GR is still going to happen, so if you want to ride, show up at Gateway Park, 8:30am, and we'll ride the route. Thanks to all you who gave it a shot and I hope more of you will try it out. We're having fun- you could be too. 

And that's a wrap. Ride a bicycle this weekend. Take care! 


Roasta said...

Maybe people are searching more for Vassago info as the old website still seems to be down/outdated with the new ownership. Other than that it is a neat black looking bike and I think people like the model names for the cult/funky following they get.

Steve said...

IDK about everyone else,GT,but the Black Bike got my extra attention because I sold mine (Mean Green :p) earlier this year to finance an Xtracycle build....and I've missed it since watching the dude drive off with it (I got a more than fair price,mind you). Nothing extraoridnarily special about it,but having hand picked the parts,it fit me like a well worn-in glove,like no other SS before it,nor-I fear-to come.

The DC

Webbies said...

First: I personally love disks for gravel and cross. I am riding a Ti Vaya. In cross I like the fact that I can just drive a bike into a corner and I KNOW I can slow down last minute. It's also good in wet/muddy conditions. Check out some of the cycling dirt interviews with guys running disks (Tim Johnson, Ryan Trebon, J-Powers) most of those guys are really loving disks.

Second: I have a Vassago Optimus Ti. I think a lot of people like the post simply because it's a bike you don't see everyday.

Rob said...

I think there is something to be said for a simple, steel, rigid, SS. Built with nice parts, it makes for a great trail rig with minimal maintenance. That's the appeal to me, and apparently I'm not alone!

Isolation Helmet said...

I have the Jabberwocky with the ODIS fork and it is a great ride. I have tried other forks on the bike and this is the best one. The bike is very stable and I seem to be able to clear many obsticles with ease. A very capable machine.