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gray rocks

If somebody comes up to you and says something like, “How do I make this pony fly to the moon?”, the question you need to ask is, “What problem are you trying to solve?” You’ll find out that they really need to collect gray rocks. Why they thought they had to fly to the moon, and use a pony to do it, only they know. People do get confused like this.

– Max Kanat-Alexander

(via: Bruce Eckel’s MindView Inc.)

20 June 2010, 23:49 ::

competitive cyclist bike fit calculator

Your Measurements

Gender M
Inseam 92 cm
Trunk 64.5 cm
Forearm 36 cm
Arm 67 cm
Thigh 63 cm
Lower Leg 59 cm
Sternal Notch 155.5 cm
Total Body Height 186 cm

The Competitive Fit

The Eddy Fit

The French Fit

Seat tube range c-c 59.6 - 60.1 60.8 - 61.3 62.5 - 63.0
Seat tube range c-t 61.4 - 61.9 62.6 - 63.1 64.3 - 64.8
Top tube length 55.5 - 55.9 55.5 - 55.9 56.7 - 57.1
Stem Length 11.6 - 12.2 10.5 - 11.1 10.7 - 11.3
BB-Saddle Position 84.4 - 86.4 83.6 - 85.6 81.9 - 83.9
Saddle-Handlebar 55.1 - 55.7 55.9 - 56.5 57.6 - 58.2
Saddle Setback 6.8 - 7.2 8.0 - 8.4 7.5 - 7.9
  About this fit About this fit About this fit

Explanation of Fit Calculator Output Values

  1. Seat Tube Range C-C
    Your new bike's seat tube height should fall within this range. "Center-to-Center" signifies the length of the seat tube as measured from the center of the bottom bracket spindle to the midpoint of where the seat tube intersects the top tube. The seat tube height is most important as it relates to your head tube. If your seat tube is too short, your head tube will almost certainly be too short. This results in too low of a handlebar position placing an inordinate amount of stress on your neck and back. For this very reason, if you feel as though you could go with either of two sizes, going with the bigger frame is normally advisable. Please keep in mind that many frames come with a sloping or "compact" frame geometry in which the C-C seat tube measurement is artificially short. In the case of compact frames, you should primarily focus on the top tube measurement.

  2. Seat Tube Range C-T
    "Center-to-Top" signifies the length of the seat tube as measured from the center of the bottom bracket spindle to the top of the seat tube where it intersects the top tube. Colnago is the one brand we sell that sizes their bikes according to C-T instead of C-C, so pay close attention to this measurement range if your primary interest is in a Colnago.

  3. Top Tube Range
    This measurement is along the top tube, from the midpoint at the seat tube to the midpoint at the head tube. No single piece of frame geometry has a greater impact on comfort than your top tube. If you plan on paying attention to one measurement and one measurement only, make it this one. Keep in mind that we do not measure the actual top tube on bikes with compact frame geometry. Rather, we use an "Effective Top Tube" measurement - an imaginary line drawn parallel to the ground along the length of the top tube.

  4. Stem Length
    This measurement indicates your ideal stem length. It takes into account that your stem will be flipped to its flatter angle (e.g. 80° for Deda, 84° for Ritchey).

  5. BB-Saddle Position
    This measurement is along the seat tube, from the center of the bottom bracket spindle to the top of the saddle. It is an ideal starting point for saddle height. Given the varying differences of cleat and pedal heights, and given the varying differences in the thickness of saddles, the BB-Saddle position has a broad range of 2cm.

  6. Saddle-Handlebar
    This measurement ties together your choice of stem length with your saddle setback. It is measured from the nose of the saddle to the near edge of your handlebar. Keeping within this range will assure that you don't accidently push the weight balance of your bike either too far forward or backward.

  7. Saddle Setback
    This measurement is primarily a function of your femur length. The longer your femurs, the further your saddle needs to be behind the bottom bracket in order to allow you to produce power. If you sit too far forward (or too far back) you can over-emphasize certain muscles and joints, which robs you of power and can potentially cause you injury. Saddle setback is measured by dropping a plumb bob from the nose of your saddle and measuring how far behind the center of the bottom bracket it falls. This is not to be confused with the setback measurement of your frame, which is a measurement taken by dropping a plumb bob from the center of your seat tube/top tube interface, and measuring how far behind the center of the bottom bracket it falls.

The Traditions of Road Riding and Our Three Styles of Fit

When we look at the bikes we sell we recognize that most of them descend from the traditions of road racing and long distance riding. There are also bikes for time trialing, cyclocross, and other cycling "disciplines" and each of these has its own traditions and optimal fit options. Very few of us actually race and many of us don't ride as long as we might like, but the bikes we sell can all be fit to suit your preferred riding.

We see three basic styles of road riding fit, each designed to meet clear goals and expectations. We believe that a bicycle that fits your riding style is the one that creates the best experience. We need first to determine what style of fit (or combination of styles) matches you best before we go about achieving a precise, personal fit for you.

The three styles of fit work with the sometimes complementary and sometimes competing objectives of comfort, speed, efficiency, and power. Creating a great fit involves creating priorities among these objectives and knowing yourself. All bikes should fit comfortably, but this priority can be weighed against other objectives. Every choice we make about fit and the bike we choose (frame, fork, model, material, size, parts, etc.) has consequences for our cycling experience. We can explain either by e-mail or telephone how different choices will change your experience and what the advantages and relative compromises will likely be.

For example, the more aerodynamic and "aggressive" Competitive Fit emphasizes speed and efficiency but favors those who can adjust to positions that others will find difficult to maintain over long days in the saddle. In other words, the Competitive Fit may for some become uncomfortable over longer distances or it may not suit those for whom the priority of greater comfort actually increases speed. The slightly more relaxed Eddy Fit adds comfort but compromises some aerodynamic and power efficiency in order to gain endurance and ease. The exceptionally comfortable French Fit understands speed as a feature of comfort and puts power and efficiency in terms of longer endurance goals.

Each of the three styles of fit can be achieved on the same model bicycle, though perhaps not the same size or parts set up. Knowing how you want to ride will help determine what you want to ride.

  1. The Competitive Fit.
    It's called the Competitive Fit because it's our signature fit. We've found that this is the look and the feel that most of our customers expect out of their new bike. This is the most "aggressive" fit and suits those with an interest in racing, fast club riding, as well as those with a greater measure of body flexibility to work within the racer's comfort zones. Most modern road bikes, like the majority we offer at Competitive Cyclist, are usually pictured in sales catalogues with the Competitive Fit. But this doesn't mean that you should ride a bike that looks or fits like this.

    Wanna look like a pro? This is the fit. It features a low, aerodynamic bar position that places slightly more weight on the hands than on the pedals and saddle, a close knee to pedal spindle ratio that emphasizes power and efficiency, and it puts the rider low in the handlebar drops. Typically the frame chosen will be the smallest that is appropriate. In fact, since the heyday of mountain bikes in the 1990s and more recent studies of professionals looking for an aerodynamic advantage, the Competitive Fit has become most bike shop's conventional wisdom.

    After all, who doesn't want to look and ride like a pro? This fit is easy to sell but may not work for you since it actually best suits those who are willing to accept its clear emphasis on speed over comfort. For most of us, the pure Competitive Fit is too extreme even if it is still viable for young riders and racers, for those who love shorter, faster rides, and for those who just find this comfortable. Expect to be rather low even on the tops of the bars where you will spend the majority of your cruising time on the brake hoods, expect too to be lifting your neck slightly to see ahead of you with a rather "short and deep" reach into the bars as you push back on the saddle to stretch out.

    The Competitive Fit creates a more compact body position with the chest low and the back as flat as is necessary to get down into the drops. The saddle to handlebar drop is sometimes as much 10cm or more.

  2. The Eddy Fit.
    Lots of folks find the Competitive Fit to be ideal. But for those who find its aerodynamic emphasis to be overly aggressive and uncomfortable, the Eddy Fit is almost certain to be ideal for you. It's a position that reminds us of the way Eddy Merckx looked on his bike in the early 1970s, and it dates from well before Eddy's time and continued in the pro peloton well into the 1980s.

    There is nothing "dated" about this style of riding. We all know that Eddy, Bernard, and Guiseppe were all very, very fast riders! Bike design has not, in fact, changed that radically since their time---only the look, the fashion, and the style of riding. The Eddy Fit is simply no longer the "fashion" among pros who keep pressing the envelope of comfort to create more efficiency and power.

    The Eddy Fit emphasizes less saddle to bar drop. You will notice less exposed seat post on traditional frames and a lower saddle to bar ratio on all fits, including compact designs. Typically it requires a size up of about 2-3cm in frame size from what is today usually offered by in current aero professional look of today. But make no mistake about it, this fit will get you down the road with speed, efficiency, and power.

    A few differences from the Competitive Fit in addition to a taller front end and less saddle/bar drop is a less craned neck and easier forward-looking position, slightly less weight on the hands and more on the saddle and pedals, and a knee position that usually moves a bit behind the spindle (rather than a knee-over-the-spindle position, thus adding a bit of power). Bikes set up for the Eddy Fit change their look only subtly in comparison to the Competitive Fit though the results are dramatic in terms of greater comfort. This fit is easier on the neck and shoulders but no less suited for racing or fast solo or club riding.

    We adjust this fit by "sizing up" the frame and adjusting the stem lengths to create proper balance, proportion, and to maximize the frame's potential. This position lets you into the drops with less stress on the neck and back and so encourages you to go low into the bars for longer periods. The Eddy Fit typically features a saddle/bar drop of only a few centimeters.

  3. The French Fit.
    This fit is so named because of its legacy in the traditions of endurance road riding such as brevet rides and randonneuring. However, the French Fit isn't merely about touring, riding long, or even sitting more upright. It is about getting the most out of a bike that fits larger and provides much more comfort to the neck, back, and saddle position.

    While the Competitive Fit generally puts you on the smallest appropriate frame and the Eddy Fit sizes up a bit or raises the bars, the French Fit puts you on the largest appropriate frame. While this bucks some current conventional wisdom - and is, in fact, the least commonly used position of the three we espouse - it is still the position advocated by some of cycling's wisest and most experienced designers, who also happened to be riders who like to go fast and far with an ideal amount of comfort.

    This fit features a taller front end (with a larger frame and/or head tube extension and stem), handlebar to saddle drops that are much closer to level, and favors riders who are looking to ease stress on the neck and back, ride as long and as far as they like, and are not concerned with the looking like an aggressive professional. In comparison to the Eddy Fit, the rider has even more weight rearward and a slightly more upright position such that "hands in the drops position" is close to the Competitive Fit's "hands on the hoods position." Some may say that this was not how modern race bikes were "meant" to fit but we have learned that the French Fit's size up tradition works great on the most modern bikes.

    By increasing the frame size we raise the bars without radical riser stems and still create balance and proportion with respect to the important knee-to-pedal dynamic. It is important to remember that as frames get larger the top tube effectively shortens. This means that the longer top tube on a larger frame is appropriate because as the bars come "up" and the ratio of saddle to bar drop lessens, the rider achieves a "reach" from the saddle to the handlebars that is just right!

    We recommend this fit for riders who really want to be comfortable and fast over longer distances. Please note that the French Fit disregards all emphasis on stand over height (standing with the bike between your legs and your shoes flat on the ground) because the French Fit school believes that this measurement has little actual value regarding fit. An ideal compromise for those who can't shed their concern regarding stand over height is the choice of a "sized up" compact design to achieve a higher relative handlebar position.

    Nevertheless, a French Fit can work with traditional, non-sloping frames as well. As an example, a person who might ride a 55cm or 56cm frame to achieve the Competitive Fit, might ride as much as a 59cm or 60cm in the French Fit. While bikes in the French Fit are not the racer's fashion they tend to look elegant, well proportioned, and ride like a dream.

Our Three Styles of Fit are dynamic and flexible programs that are molded to suit your needs and expectations. Elements of one style can be worked into another precisely because there is more than one perfect fit for everyone.

Our promise is to listen carefully to you, work closely with you to provide the confidence and expertise you should expect from a professional bicycle shop, and create an outcome that exceeds your expectations---we want you to have a bike that rides even better than you had dreamt it would. We are happy to discuss our fit philosophy and work out the specifics and details with you.

Buying a great bike starts with great products---and we are committed to brands that have long proven their value and quality. But having the right bike also means buying the one that best suits your riding goals. We work with people using all the resources of our experience, not just fixed formulas or dogmatic notions. If you know what works for you, we are happy to oblige. If you seek our professional advice, we are here to help.

Our aim is to offer you the competitive prices that you deserve, the personal touch of a local bike shop, and the experience of bicycle professionals who are committed to your satisfaction.

19 June 2010, 10:11 ::


I should check this older documentary out:

“If I convict a pirate, the pirate will not put money in my pocket. He will still continue to spend my money that I pay the government as tax. The government will have to feed him, the government will have to clothe him, and take care of him while in prison. (…) Copyright is not about stopping people from using your work, but getting them to use your work legally and giving you money for what they’ve done with your work”

Mayo Ayilaran, from the Copyright Society of Nigeria

3 June 2010, 11:25 ::

Surly Pacer

2005 Surly Pacer complete bike
Black 60cm (C-T Seat Tube) size
w/ full Shimano 105 Group

Additional Larger Photos

Steel Tig Welded Frame and Lugged Brazed Steel Fork
59cm C-C Top Tube
59cm C-C Seat Tube (60cm C-T Seat Tube)

Full Shimano 105 Group (Black)
175mm Shimano Hollowtech Cranks
(minor wear on white text logo on crankarm)
Triple Chainring Front (52-42-30)
12-25, 9 Speed Cassette Rear (12-13-14-15-17-18-20-23-25 )
Shimano 105 Flight Deck Brake/Shifters

Soma Silver Stem (100mm length) and matching
Soma Silver Seatpost (27.2mm diam.)
Cane Creek S-3 Headset
Ritchey Pro Biomax Handlebars (44cm width)
Cinelli Cork Grip and Velox Handlebar Plugs (both Black)
Specialized Avatar 143 Gel Saddle (Body Geometry design with cutout to assure blood flow to sensitive arteries)
Cateye Micro CC-MC100W Wireless Cycle Computer installed

SORRY… No Pedals so check your Local Bike Shop.
I reccommend the MKS Sylvan and most Time clipless models

Ritchey Certified Masterbuilt Aero Wheelset (Black)
24 Spoke Radial Laced Front
28 Spoke 2 Cross Laced Rear (with OCR Low Dish design)
Aero Spokes and Ritchey Aero Rims, Hubs, Skewers front and rear

Hutchison Basic Excel 700×28c Tires (Black)
Functional. These are the only portion of the package
that might need to be replaced.

4130 Steel Tig Welded Frame
“Fatties Fit Fine” rear triangle (and fork)
Allows up to 28c tires with fender
or up to 32c tires without fender

Lugged Brazed Steel Fork
Classic construction technique (combines style and strength)
1-1/8” Threadless steerer tube (simple and strong allows convenient modern stem/headset options)
100mm of steerer tube available for stem height adjustment (spacers included)

Single Fender Eyelets on Fork and Rear Frame Dropout
Dual Water Bottle Mounts
Pump Peg (to mount a classic, high-volume frame pump under the top tube)

The Surly Pacer is also popular and ideal for 650B wheel conversions
Frame and fork accommodate short or medium/long reach brakes
130mm spacing for modern 9/10/11 speed rear hubs

http://www.surlybikes.com/uploads/downloads/SURLYPacer.pdf (PDF includes frame geometry details and more)”

Current Year Surly Pacer Complete at Universal Cycles for comparison

10 April 2010, 10:55 ::

hardly quotidian

“If you can’t take a joke, you probably are one.” – Anonymous via Scott Rankin

“If they can’t beat your ass, and they don’t pay your bills, why do you care what they think?” – Chris Rock’s Mom

22 September 2009, 19:19 ::

Coffee Cup Poker

I bought a cup of tea at a vending machine at the Erie PA Airport and received a hand of poker as part of a gimmick on the packaging. Three Aces one 10 and a hole card on the bottom of the cup… a Joker.

If I had time between connections you would be reading a haiku and I would be eating a much better sandwich.

7 September 2009, 15:05 ::

poor furry turtle


Spotted by Ces

3 September 2009, 09:32 ::

brakeless trials at pinkbike.com

Remember that old pink performer with the white spoke wheels? I do. But that had brakes and these guys don’t.

P.S. Greg: I hate when all these videos chunk up at crucial moments (skate vids, bike vids etc.) but I don’t know what exactly to do about it. There are lots of things that affect the transmission, buffering and playback so start with minimizing the shit running on your machine and browser and if that doesn’t help, you’re at the mercy of Flash video and the server that’s hucking files and packets your way.

The objects that are hosted on my page could be janky as well, so I try to post a link the original content – which might have some small chance of being better. Try digging it up at another video hosting site if all else fails… or BY THE DVD. Wah wahhhhh.

19 July 2009, 15:12 :: Comment [1474]


I actually went for a real ride today on my bicycle and it was nice. Not overly mountainous or even hilly, a few nice climbs on a great, beautiful route on a perfect day and somewhere between 40-60 miles.

A few body issues post-ride but hey… no need to complain when I get to experience the miracle of a really fun bike ride on myday off. It was awesome. Thanks Dave and Brian.

10 May 2009, 22:49 :: Comment

brakeless trials


"Who took my brakes off? That's dangerous man"

8 May 2009, 15:31 :: Comment

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