summer fettling

campagnolo ultra-torque bearings

when mrs washingmachinepost and i purchased our very own dwelling place, it seemed prudent to acquaint myself with the various functional aspects of contemporary housing. features such as plumbing, wiring, joinery etc., all struck me as facets of house ownership that could potentially lessen the bank balance were any of them likely to malfunction in any particular way. to this end, i purchased a copy of a book published by the sunday times, which clearly explained most of the above, accompanied by detailed instructions on how to remedy any potential problems that might occur.

thus, wiring in extra plug sockets, changing washers on bathroom taps, adding a shower unit to the bathroom and fitting new doors to the sitting room were all covered in exacting detail, illustrated in a manner that should have led to an exercise in simplicity. unfortunately, as one whose limits of diy tend to stop at creating a pile of newspapers on the floor, though i could comprehend the processes, there still seemed too many variables that would result in disaster. i'm ashamed to say that i have not once enacted any of the included instructions, and it's only a matter of months until we complete payment of our mortgage.

in the interim, thankfully, number one son has qualified as a rather excellent electrician, and now runs his own business. i'm glad to say that he'd be rather offended if his dad attempted even to wire a plug without asking, and he's fitted a number of modern luxuries to the croft without having been asked. and since electricians require to be handy with a variety of tools, and friends with many other tradesmen, i'm happy to say that the sunday times book is unlikely to be troubled in the foreseeable future.

conversely, i do happen to be rather a decent bicycle mechanic, even though i do say so myself. granted, electronics and hydraulics are perhaps a bit beyond the pale, but i am more than confident when it comes to fettling most other aspects of bicycle maintenance. and that, in a nutshell, seems to be the main difference between my aptitude for cycle fettling and a total lack of the same when it comes to more domestic chores.

i believe that i may have demonstrated the former quite comprehensively during the endless tirade accompanying the search for that irritating click on my ritchey logic. when last i bored everyone to tears with an aspect of velocipedinal life that surely affects us all from time to time, i had though the problem might have been one of the pedals. this, it transpires, was well wide of the mark. switching to different pedals made no difference whatsoever, so suspicion transferred its focus to the cassette lockring, a component that had given similar trouble many years ago.

i did find this to be looser than it should have been, and felt sure that tightening it had solved my woes. however, a ride on saturday proved that to be a disappointing falsehood.

desperation, it seems, is a hard taskmaster, forcing me, without mercy, to dismantle the hirth coupling holding my campagnolo record chainset together, remove the cranks, clean out the bearing cups, regrease them and replace the entire assembly once again. and while i was in the vicinity, i also replaced the cartridge headset bearings, the lower race of which was stuck in the headtube and disintegrated during removal. the sunday morning bike ride proved that one of those two fettling procedures had proved efficacious, though i'd be fibbing if i said i could identify which one.

i cannot deny that the headset bearings should have been replaced sometime ago, but in mitigation, i had been unable to find them in stock when first i thought about ordering. however, on dismantling these two critical bearing sets during my summer fettling, it was plain to see that both had fared less than well in our hebridean climate. though motor cars tend to have set service intervals, and books in which to record the often necessary 'full service history', periodic maintenance of bicycles seems to be either non-existent, or only invoked when something goes wrong.

i am, metaphorically at least, hanging my head in shame, for i'm more than well aware that i ought to have checked pedals, bottom bracket, headset and cassette lockring at far more frequent intervals than has been the case. i do replace my chain just a tad more often than really necessary, but i can offer no excuses as to why it took an irritating click to have me finally take care of business.

so, even though i plainly do not practice what i preach, i am now preaching to my reader to advise that, before autumn and subsequently winter arrive far sooner than anyone expects, it might be prudent to service your bicycle(s) either by your own hands, if you have the skills and experience, or hope that your local bike shop isn't backed up so far that you can achieve a service before winter. the modern bicycle is an incredibly resilient machine and will often continue to function well even in the face of meteorological or mechanical adversity, but that doesn't mean you should let it happen. we're often guilty of spending large sums of money on our bicycles, yet seem eternally reticent to maintain them in 'as new' condition.

i'm pretty sure it's time to change that state of affairs.

monday 24 august 2020

twmp ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................

powered by 100 climbs

100 climbs espresso cups

though there are countless words in the english language with more than a single meaning, and no doubt as many in other languages, when it comes to beverages, one would hope that a single definition would suffice. thus, when standing in the queue at starbucks, costa, caffé nero, debbie's etc., there would be no need for translation and no possibility of mistaken identity. should i ask for a soya latte with an apricot flapjack, when the tray is handed over and they've asked me if i'd like a loyalty card, i'd expect to have a soya latte and an apricot flapjack.

bealach na ba

the basis of the majority of designer coffees, is the espresso. get that right, and the others, assuming the milk or cream to be at the correct temperature, and frothed like candy floss, will naturally follow. and that, boys and girls, is where the dichotomy engendered by the word 'espresso' comes into play. the epitome of the darned near perfect espresso could be sampled annually at the rouleur classic, where rocket espresso owner, andrew meo, would dispense free samples that brought tears to your thighs and made your kneecaps crinkle.

sadly, that turns out to be the summit of everest, as espressi go. everything else is pretty much downhill all the way to those who figure that a double-espresso means twice as much coffee as a single-espresso. in my experience, the majority resemble little more than small, strong coffees, but certainly not approaching what andrew would call an espresso.

hardknott pass

a local bookshop implemented a café upstairs a few years ago, an enterprise which has proved highly popular with residents and visitor alike. the coffee machine currently installed dispenses most of its concoctions by means of presets, from which, it transpires, the espresso that forms the basis of a flat white bore an uncanny resemblance to that poured from a rocket espresso machine. thus, until lockdown, once a week, on a thursday afternoon, i'd pop down and order a small cup of rocket fuel; resuscitation after a long week in front of an imac screen.

disappointingly, the effectiveness of that flat white button appears to have faded just a tad, as my recent visits will attest.

100 climbs espresso cup

there is, however, one other not inconsiderable variable: the barista. even though, in the case of the local hostelry, there is only a single button allied to a preset, it does seem to depend greatly on who makes the coffee, despite the end result being but a few millilitres that barely fill half an espresso cup. consider, therefore, the non-automatic coffee machine, where the skills of the barista are still a major part of the equation. one can only imagine the variation over the course of a day, with different operators serving an untold number of espressi.

so, does it really matter? well, yes, very much so. there is really very little point in my tricking out the ritchey logic with a campagnolo record groupset and bora wto wheels, then settling for a less than pristine espresso. italiana has to be unarguably contiguous. do you honestly think that, as the professionals sit prior to the grand départ, sipping one or two espressos, that they'd settle for a tiny amount of 'just' coffee? if there's a long hot stage in the sun to be completed apace, an andrew meo standard espresso is undoubtedly what is called for.

winnats pass

and, assuming there is just such a minute, nuclear level beverage on offer, there's the not inconsequential consideration of in what to drink it. in the office kitchen cupboard are two espresso cups, one sporting rainbow bands, the other, the logo of a well-known british cycling apparel purveyor. but to bring such a desirable receptacle just a tad closer to an ascent you may have conquered, the inimitable simon warren has released the first three espresso cups related to his 100 climbs series of books. these bear the names of winnats pass, hardknott pass, and scotland's bealach-na-ba.

these must-have items arrive complete with saucers, are fashioned from restaurant quality porcelain and are dishwasher safe. according to simon, "They're all made to order, with one week turnaround. There's a discount available if you order six." each individual espresso cup and saucer retails direct from the 100 climbs website for £12.50. order six and they'll cost you only £65.

it would probably be foolish of me to state that you need all three.

100 climbs espresso cups

sunday 23 august 2020

twmp ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................

out of sight and out of mind

steel wire

as i write, the sun is almost splitting the skies, and it's warm enough to sit in the back garden in shorts and a t-shirt (not that i'm going to, obviously). as the sun moves over towards the west, the office tends to heat up to the point of forcing us to leave early, when we'd obviously prefer to remain indoors, working our fingers to the bone. however, this is the calm following the storm; on thursday, other than the early morning ferry, all others were cancelled due to winds gusting in excess of 70kph. overnight, the windspeed had allegedly reached 100kph, not entirely unheard of at this time of year, but not particularly common either.

it's the attempt to cheat the latter that has allegedly led the world's road bike manufacturers to indulge in intensive studies to encapsulate any form of cable wihtin the bicycle frame. though there have been bicycles for many years guilty of routing at least the rear brake cable within the top tube, it was the advent of electronic gear-shifting that persuaded a collaboration between component and frame purveyors to look at a cosmetic and pragmatic alternative to cable-ties around the downtube.

the very first bicycle i reviewed featuring shimano di2, had the battery bolted on the seat tube, and those flimsy wires were, as mentioned above, simply cable-tied to the frame. the latter had me overly concerned that i'd be soon making one of those "you'll laugh when i tell you..." phone calls to the distributor. further development introduced a shaped battery that would snugly fit inside the seatpost, aiding and abetting each and every attempt to move the cables indoors too.

the very fact that manufacturers were making their frames with internal cable routing provision, led to the removal of cable stops and a determined necessity to move mechanical cabling inside too. the specialized crux elite that sits in the bikeshed has all its cables hidden from view, including routing the front hydraulic disc cable down the inside of the fork leg.

this has arguably been taken to its current logical conclusion in specialized's s-works tarmac, where images would have you scanning with a magnifying glass to find even the hint of a cable. even the stem and handlebars have been engineered to hide the wires from view. and this is where a practical requirement has been niftily side-swiped by the marketing department and reconstituted as aerodynamics. to quote from their website 'Aero is everything - we've been preaching it for years and it's still the driving force for the new Tarmac.' it's all very well making statements like it's '45 seconds faster over 40km than the Tarmac SL6', but will it make that much difference to you and me?


what it will do, however, more specifically for those of us still in thrall to mechanical groupsets, is make it at least twice as hard to change cables when things start to get sticky. in the 1990s, i owned a colnago superissimo which routed the rear brake cable through the top tube. aside from the faff of trying to change the cable, it took less time than you'd hope for friction to intervene, providing an excellent opportunity for left-hand isometric exercises.'s dave arthur, a man with far greater experience than i when it comes to reviewing bicycles told me "An issue I've noticed in mechanical groupsets, is harder shifting. So that's clearly compromised."

dave had originally mentioned on twitter, "How long before external cables are a thing of the past? Or do you hate this new trend?" and i believe that he hit the nail on the head when referring to it as a trend. a bit like the current tendency to have the seat stays meet the seat-tube at the half way point, which, as far as i know, pays more heed to aesthetics than engineering principles. i feel sorry for the world's bicycle mechanics who now have an added level of marketing induced trial and tribulation with which to cope. moving the fragile electronic cables inboard does make a lot of sense, but i'm far more in favour of leaving mechanical and hydraulic cables free to blow in the wind.

as the eminent richard sachs once said 'these people are not in the business of making bicycles. they're in the business of making money"

and i fear i would be failing in my duties as a professional cynic if i left without mentioning another trend; that of aero frames. this has led to what were once round tubes, having gained a more box-like profile and downtubes becoming flattened to offer a more svelte profile into the wind. one does wonder why boeing and airbus industries haven't cottoned on to such aerodynamic efficiency? however, i do consider myself something of an expert when it comes to riding in the wind, so it may come as something of a surprise to learn that strong winds don't always arrive from the front, never mind a single direction.

based on practical experience riding with campagnolo's 35mm bora wheels, a galeforce crosswind can give those a hefty and often unexpected sideways shove. though i'm no aerodynamics expert, i'd be willing to bet that those same crosswinds would do likewise to a wide, flat aero downtube. what price specialized's 45 second advantage then? these much-vaunted developments may conceivably offer advantages to the professional classes, where, in certain circumstances, every second counts, but until the uci sanctions a road race that continues in one direction into a mild headwind for its entirety, i think we might be looking at the emperor's new clothes.

now, about nuclear fusion...

saturday 22 august 2020

twmp ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................

how are you feeling mr porter?

rapha + mr porter

"Riding A Bike Didn't Help Me, But The People I Met Riding Did." leone cerrone

though it won't be happening this year - the coronavirus has seen to that - at the time of each year's islay jazz festival, i hire myself a motor car from islay car hire in the village of bridgend. i ride my bike the five kilometres from bowmore, and scott is kind enough to let me leave it in his garage, while i reluctantly drive off in one of his cars. unlike flutes and harmonicas, drumsets and assoiated hardware are hardly what might be termed 'portable', hence the need for a hire car.

rapha + mr porter

you'll laugh when i tell you that i'm usually able to return the vehicle without even attempting to re-fill the petrol tank, having covered such a short distance. the fuel gauge has rarely moved a millimetre. once parked and having informed scott that i have safely returned one of his prides and joys, the relief of being able to clip in and ride the five kilometres back to bowmore could almost be bottled and sold in bridgend village shop. the same sense of joy occurs on the occasional friday afternoon, when i play hooky and ride to debbie's.

this acquired information has led me frequently to inform anyone within earshot that 'cycling cures everything', though medically speaking i might be on somewhat shaky ground. however, i believe i could make a particularly good case for proselytising that the act of riding a bicycle will quite frequently raise the spirits of anyone with the gumption to plant their posterior on a saddle in the first place. of course, that particular contention may only apply to those with the brightness of mind to opt for a bicycle ride in the first place.

rapha + mr porter

however, this is not only the vague proclamation of a completely unqualified cycling obsessive. following trials in yorkshire, whereby health professionals were able to prescribe cycling to those with long-term health problems, in november 2019, cycling uk's jenny box, head of development, said, "Cycling UK has always known cycling can help people with both their physical and mental wellbeing - and we've now got the evidence." one recipient of the cycling prescription who had developed depression and anxiety, responded "you might feel a little bit low, feel a bit tired, a bit drained but (after the bike ride) you'd leave it feeling invigorated and energetic."

it's the latter aspect of the benefits of cycling that has led rapha to partner with style icons 'mr porter' and produce a range of items in support of the latter's 'health in mind' fundraising initiative, also in collaboration with 'movember'. the net profits realised from the sale of these garments will be donated to 'health in mind'. and to coincide with the release of the distinctive green clothing, mr porter has produced a video with leone cerrone, a man who works at savile row's 'richard james'.

in the video, cerrone explains how poor mental health and suicidal feelings were minimised by the personal uptake of both cycling and running. however, as intimated in the opening quote, it was the people he met through those activities who helped him through the dark days.

rapha + mr porter

though i'm hardly in a position to speak for every instance across the nation, it's been my experience that the majority of cyclists are non-judgmental when it comes to accepting new members to the fold, offering something akin to a family connection even to those they've never met before. though i'm a very poor example, having never experienced a dark day in my life, my involvement with cycling, tenuous though it is, has provided me with a peer group i'd otherwise never have had.

a bonus i wasn't expecting.

though lance would have it that it's 'all about the bike', there's a great deal more to it than that. and while i doubt there are many with no interest in cycling who'd be reading this in the first place, should that be the case, if ever the world looks less inviting than you think it ought to be, particularly during the current covid-19 crisis, push yourself to get out on the bike; for a while at least, things will look so much less threatening, and you never know who you might meet, heading in the same direction.

the rapha + mr porter collection comprises three jerseys sporting variations on the 'health in mind' signature green colour. each jersey is priced at £135 with profits donated to the charity.

watch the movie | buy the jerseys

friday 21 august 2020

twmp ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................

outside is free (for the first 30 minutes)

nextbike glasgow

i have been tireless in my castigation of the annual attempt to get bums on saddles, otherwise known as national bike week. sadly, it seems that it takes a pandemic of global proportions to make bike riding attractive to the great unwashed. no matter the pushing and prodding exercised by british cycling and cycling uk, the expending of effort demanded by cycling is apparently seen as too great, particularly when the weather is less than pristine.

there are schoolchildren and adults in the far flung corners of the african continent, fizzing with excitement at the thought of being provided with a buffalo bicycle from world bicycle relief to get to school or work. in the uk and many other western countries, having to do either by bicycle appears to be viewed as a punishing imposition, so there's every likelihood that the problem is very much an attitude of mind. change that, and there's an outside possibility things might change for the better.

it has often been suggested that the missing link could well be a lack of incentive. mrs washingmachinepost, as previously advised, is a childminder, a vocation she has practised for nigh on twenty-years. whenever a child appears reluctant to do as they're told, she offers an incentive appropriate to the situation. granted, for those under five years old, the realisation that they're being gently manipulated for their own good, is one that's more than likely to pass them by. however, being denied the opportunity to watch a second episode of 'paw patrol' unless lunch is eaten, apparently works a treat.

much as i don't want to appear as a fanboy for the town of portland oregon, but on my visit to chris king components some ten years ago, during bike to work month, all those who rode into work would be given credit that eventually transformed into a few extra days annual holiday. for many, that's the sort of incentive they're looking for. all we seem to get is a single bike to work day, about which the population at large are mostly ignorant.

the uk government has recently announced a £10 million investment in 'green distilling', designed to encourage the nation's distillers to abandon many of their errant contributions to global warming, in favour of more ecologically sound practices. with the corporate world very much in favour of financial incentives, however minimal (divide £10 million amongst a large number of distilleries and the individual benefits will most likely be less than desired) this is the ideal means of pushing the right buttons. for cyclists, those £50 bike repair vouchers were snapped up with great alacrity; an incentive to get that all but forgotten bike in the shed, back on the road, even when the final bill is likely to be greater than £50.

but, if, like me, the incentive to ride a bike was the bike itself, the independence offered, and the sheer joy of travelling for miles by means of your own efforts, you do occasionally have to wonder why so many prospective cyclists have to be taunted by another episode of 'paw patrol'? to return to my current favourite saying, 'what is wrong with these people?'. however, not everyone is born with our superior intellect, perspective and appreciation for the finer things in life; some people really do need to be led to water, then paid to drink.

glasgow, one of scotland's two major cities, appears to have recognised the benefits to be had from a bit of subtle persuasion. the toss of a coin might be required to decide whether edinburgh or glasgow is a more favourable cycling city, but the latter has had the impressive foresight to extend the free half-hour available with their nextbike hire scheme until spring next year. at present, casual users are provided with 30 minutes free on each hire, while subscribers gain an entire sixty minutes, with no limit of how often this can be taken advantage.

the extension of this scheme until march 2021 has been funded by the scottish government through their sustainable travel initiative. i believe it has been said there's no such thing as a free bike, but short of handing those out to all and sundry, any incentive to place bums on saddles is to be warmly welcomed.

for at least thirty minutes.

glasgow's nextbike

thursday 20 august 2020

twmp ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................

nice of you to ask

press and journal survey

there's a distinct air of potential enthusiasm surrounding the velocipedinal world these days, particularly as relates to everyday commuting and perambulating. we've all read the stories in the press and watched the news reports concerning the early stories from european capital cities, with mayors and councils proclaiming no return to life as it was before lockdown. sadly, many of those proclamations have been found to be a tad vacuous, though not always the fault of those responsible for issuing the above mentioned proclamations.

yet, even as inner-city pollution levels return to or exceed levels experienced earlier this year, the enthusiasm remains. not all the 'pop-up' cycle lanes have disappeared, and there's a possibility that some may even become permanent, despite predictable protests from the motoring public. the government's £50 bicycle repair vouchers found themselves popular enough to crash the application server, presumably meaning there are many out there with bicycles they wish to have repaired in order to join the velocipedinal throng.

and considering few bike shops nowadays can service a bicycle for as little as £50, we can but also assume that the selfsame applicants are also willing to invest a smidgeon of their own money in moving around by bicycle.

however, over many years, i have featured statistics produced by both government and the cycle industry, relating to the number of cyclists on the road, the numbers allegedly intent on so doing, how many would be willing to sign-up if only the government would implement procedures a, b and c. over the same number of years, i have patiently enquired of the pelotonese, wo amongst us has been asked our opinion on matters of cycling, whether for commuting reasons or those of leisure. throughout that period, i have yet to hear from anyone who can tick that box.

though recent events have proved, if nothing else, that boris's government in westminster is scarcely past 'making stuff up', the cycling world hardly constitutes a large enough lobby to be taken serious notice of at cabinet level. where would be the point of inventing statistics to show that 75% of all respondents were 45% certain that 68% of the time they rode to work for 100% of the month, they were 35% unsure that 92% of all motorists thought they should still pay road tax. we can only assume that, even in the face of substantial lobbying on behalf of the car industry, the greenness and ecological aura that surrounds the act of cycling (even if partially propelled by electricity) is one that government is keen to adopt.

however, for the first time, i have come across a serious attempt to garner the collective opinion of both cyclists and potential cyclists, even if somewhat localised to north-east scotland. the press and journal newspaper (circulation 39,500), regularly the subject of well-intentioned derision when i attended art college within its marketing reach, is actively polling the opinions of the above [in the 1970s, when a glasgow-based football manager was appointed manager of aberdeen football club, the press and journal legitimised his selection by informing its readership, that said manager recalled when his grandmother had visited stonehaven - a few miles south of aberdeen - on holiday]

according to their invitation, in order "To gauge the potential for cycling in Aberdeen city & Shire, Moray and the Highlands", they would like to ask current cyclists why they cycle, how they would encourage more people to cycle, and what support cyclists need (from their council). but far from restricting their information gathering to current cyclists, the p&j continued "Or are you someone who is interested in taking up cycling but faces obstacles?. in which case, the survey asks what those obstacles might be, and what help would be needed?

while it's nice that those opinions are sought in the first place (and it would be nice if other newspapers/councils followed the example set by the press and journal), i'm pretty sure that if we all questioned ourselves about our own immersion in the world of cycling, few of us sat at home, eagerly awaiting action from our local councils to make our aspirations a concrete reality. i think most of us bought a bicycle, clambered aboard and got on with it. that's not to deny that better and improved facilities wouldn't go amiss, but i doubt a lack of the latter actually occurred to many of us.

but just to bring everything back to earth with a bump, the last two questions. 'should cyclists be insured'? and 'should cyclists be required to wear helmets?'. there seems no requirement to prove any propensity for cycling, meaning that the last two questions could ostensibly be skewed, should dedicated motorists choose to take part.

the conspiracy theory once again, proving without a shadow of a doubt that the lingering aroma of a persecution complex is never far away.

wednesday 19 august 2020

twmp ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................


mathieu van der poel - zwift - canyon

gcn, the most recent entrant to the world of televised cycle racing, is currently without a desktop viewer. so while i often find myself in complete agreement with those who feel less than well-served by eurosport, i am loathe to watch delights such as il lombardia and the dauphiné on a screen as small as that sported by an ipod touch. thus, my lack of experience with the channel means i have no way of knowing whether advertisements are broadcast during live, or on demand coverage. i tend to think that they do; the rent has to come from somewhere.

however, the 'home of cycling' has rarely been shy of inserting adverts with unfailing frequency and often at the most inopportune of moments, a practice that itv4 has often followed, though perhaps with less gusto. having watched the latter two over the weekend to view lombardia and the dauphiné, i have become acquainted with at least a smidgeon of the advertising on display, particularly that shown on behalf of online cycling purveyors, zwift.

their current tv campaign, featuring the man of the moment, mathieu van der poel, was recently promoted by the inestimable ian cleverly in the pages of rouleur magazine. i recall e-mailing ian on reading the article to congratulate him on a fine piece of writing, one that had retained my interest, despite personal misgivings over the whole indoor cycling trend. but it appears that my enthusiasms had me overlook an included oddity that made itself known during one of those ad breaks on one channel or another at the weekend.

please, bear with me while i state the glaringly obvious. though there are one or two examples of bicycles specifically created for the punishment that is indoor cycling, in the majority of cases, incumbents are more likely to fasten their own bicycles to a device known as a smart indoor trainer. this once involved sliding the rear wheel in between two clamps, the tyre running on a free-moving roller, with friction applied either by air, oil, or magnetic resistence, but more recent developments have outlawed the rear wheel entirely. technology now has the cassette installed on the turbo trainer.

taken to its logical conclusion, given that the on-screen presence (or avatar) can be modelled in pretty much any fashion whatsoever, there is no need for a state-of-the-art, carbon-fibre bicycle at all. pretty much any old banger would suffice, as long as the saddle's comfortable. there may not be any real need to employ the services of clipless pedals, or brake lever mounted gear changing. after all, weight and/or frame construction confers no sporting advantage, whether on the flat or ascents.

so it verges on self-deprecating humour to view a profile of an energetic mathieu van der poel, sprinting out of the saddle, his carbon-fibre canyon resting on a deep carbon-rimmed front wheel. to add insult to injury, that wheel is home to an hydraulic disc brake. you can see the incongruity can you not? for those who have difficulty following my train of thought, let me use campagnolo's most recent range of carbon wheels as an example. affixed to my ritchey logic is a bora wto wheelset, on which the initials wto refers to wind tunnel optimised.

now, unless mathieu rides zwift with the windows and the door open, i can see little need for an aerodynamically designed front wheel. a bog standard, raleigh parts and accessories, alloy front wheel would have served every bit as well. i do accept the argument that, since van der poel probably has little else in the garage apart from canyon bikes and carbon wheels, where, in the shakesperean sense, is his motive to employ cheaper alternatives?

however, conspiracy theory takes a different view.

cycling manufacturers spend substantial amounts of money to have professional teams ride their bicycles. there is a well tried and tested reason behind this, one that is fully explained on page one of the marketing manual. assuming you bear unfettered admiration for the skill, power, bike-handling and personality of mathieu van der poel, there's an evens chance you'll aspire to ride a canyon road bike. if that part of the equation works, there's a high probability that portraying the professionals on zwift, kitted out in pro level apparel, aboard bicycles featuring top quality (if unnecessary) componentry, will lend an air of detached normality and encourage the great unwashed to do likewise.

and, like the sheep that we are, we'll probably fall for it.

tuesday 18 august 2020

twmp ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................