Monday, May 15, 2017

What Neurosis You Running?

Wondering what's going on in New York City these days?  Well head on over to the Bike Forecast where you can learn all about what this guy thinks about bike lanes:


Spoiler alert: he does not like them because his logic is as fuzzy as his mutton chops.

Anyway, this past Friday I operated a bicycle with those curved-type handlebars they use in the Tour de France over a variety of road surfaces:


I even ventured onto the secret mountain bike trails I can't tell you about because it's a secret:


As you can see, the deer was nonplussed:


The bike I usually choose for these sorts of rides is my Milwaukee, now in summer mode with no fenders and plumpish tires:


Note the fetching tool roll, by the way:


(A tool roll for a rolling tool.)

Indeed, between the Cambium, the chubby Paselas, and the rubbery bar tape I bought on a whim and ended up really liking I daresay I was almost too comfortable:


It goes against all reasoning that a bicycle without any misshapen crabon or cutting-edge decoupling devices could still offer such a pleasant ride, but the scranus knows what the scranus knows.

Also noteworthy is that somehow I managed to arrive at the appropriate tire pressure with a minimum of fuss, which is not the way it's supposed to work.  In fact, based on what you read in cycling magazines and websites it seems as though inflating your tire should an incredibly delicate process that lies somewhere between baking cream puffs and defusing a bomb in terms of sheer meticulousness required:



When you sit on a bike, your tyres compress. If they compress too much, they’ll writhe and squirm on the rims, making the bike harder to control, increasing rolling resistance and putting you at risk of pinch punctures. If they doesn’t compress enough, the ride will be harsh and there will be so little rubber on the road that grip will be reduced.

Somewhere in between those extremes, there must be an ideal compromise. How do you find it?

I dunno, inflate your tires until they're not squirmy anymore?  Am I missing something?  Apparently so:

Engineer Frank Berto, who investigated this issue for Bicycling magazine back in the late 1980s, came up with a formula based on the weight on each tyre (link is external); he reckoned that the happy medium involved a tyre being compressed 15 percent of its height.

As a recreational and touring rider, Berto was probably more interested in comfort than speed, so this idea is controversial, because Berto recommends lower tyre pressures than most of us use.

Comfort more interesting than speed?  Silly recreational riders!  Don't they know putting up with unnecessary suffering is what makes you a "real" cyclist?  Always add at least 10psi for some gratuitous scranial pain, otherwise your Rapha-esque riding smirk might soften around the edges.

Anyway, here's the chart:



And here's how to determine "wheel load:"

To determine the right pressure, you’ll need to measure the load on each wheel. Put a bathroom scale under one wheel and enough wooden blocks, books or old magazines under the other to level the bike. Lean very lightly against a wall to steady yourself and sit in your normal position on the bike. Get someone else to read the scale for you. Repeat the process with the scale under the other wheel.

Though if you're really so concerned with finding the optimal tire pressure that you're willing to try the above, there's an even better method: find a dark room, lock your bike inside of it, and don't open it again until you've gotten a freaking life.

Plus, it's only a matter of time before some Fred cracks his skull open on the toilet while trying to weigh his bike in the bathroom.

And of course you'll need an accurate gauge:

To set your tyre pressure right you’ll need a pressure gauge. Track pumps usually have one built in, but they’re often not very accurate, especially if the pump is a bit old and has been kicked around the workshop floor.

Though the truth is that if you always use the same pump the gauge only needs to be relative to itself.  I haven't even looked at the numbers on my pump gauge in years, I just know generally which angle the needle should be pointing depending on which tires I'm inflating.

Then again I clearly don't know how to ride bicycles.


43 comments:

dancesonpedals said...

SCRANUS!!!!!

Seattle lone wolf said...

First loser!

Bill said...

Another scranus!

wishiwasmerckx said...

Missed the podium because I read the whole darn thing!

Anonymous said...

5rd?

N/A said...

It's great to see the Milwaukee in summer trim again.

Joe said...

Tire pressure? BUT WHAT ABOUT OUR AERO TUCK FORM? How on earth are we supposed to ride a bicycle if not in the most optimal tuck position?

Anonymous said...

scranus nose

bieks said...

Yeah, except Bicycle Quarterly figured out years ago that lower pressures are actually faster too. They did say higher pressure feels faster, so if you have the need to feel your speed, rock yer nuts off.

Buffalo Bill said...

Obviously, the best way to measure #whatpressureyourunning is in bars.
PSI and kPa is for those jaded fools who prefer precision to accuracy.
And if you start specifying your pressure in atmospheres, you are obviously using the wrong gauge.

Visegripmikey said...

So, slightly off topic, but if it has a bicycle frame, is it a bicycle? Or is the word "bicycle" synonymous with environmentally friendly, economic building, life saving apparatus, therefore this is a bicycle?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgjwjFLOIlc

wle said...

hey pressure chart guy, i stand up to ride sometimes, throwing off the 'tire load distribution', so sue me! i also liked that "get out of my yard" mutton choppy guy, well, not really.,,

JLRB said...

Under pressure

Grump said...

I gave up trying to figure out tire pressure when I admitted to myself that I could never master differential calculus......PS...Did anyone on the trail stop to ask you if your bike weighed 30 to 40 pounds...(since it was made of solid iron)????

Ric said...

Didn't Chubby Paselas play for the Mets?

Il Pirata es Mort said...

If Fred was wearing his helment while measuring his "load" in the bathroom he wouldn't have cracked his skull on the bowl.

McFly said...

I do the Pinch Test before every ride.

I pinch her on the ass and if she giggles we stay inside and I don't ride my bike.

82medici said...

Dear visegripmonkey,

It is a useful transportation mechanism, but no, it is not a bicycle, if for no other reason than it doesn't have two wheels. (that is where the "bi" in bicycle comes from.) In addition, at about 1:40 the narration indicates that this transportation tool is "cheaper than buying a bicycle", indicating that the promoters do not consider it to be one.

82medici said...

Wildcat, etc etc

What kind of rubbery bar tape did you find? My numb hands are always looking for a break.

bummedgiroparticipant said...

Some moto cop decided to stop on the side of the road right after a sweeping right hander and just as we were ramping up the speed for the climb a guy in front of me nicked the moto cop, lost control, hit some other guy, who then hit me and made me hit the deck . . . otherwise I would have podiumed (podiod?).

BamaPhred said...

Moron Magnethead and his pecksniffian elitism reeks, of just about everything. Queuing up ZZ Top Tres Hombres and blasting him out of memory.

Anonymous said...

In case you haven't noticed bicycle magazines ran out of new and somewhat relevant topics about...when they started publishing them. Now it's product placement (you really do need a $10,000 bike or a $300 pair of shoes) and articles about tire pressure and how to shop at a convenience store. If they want to research something I have an idea: what weapon, openly carried on your bike, will deter people from fucking with you? A Bowie knife, a machete, a large handgun, an assualt rifle or an RPG? I'm thinking RPG but I'll be waiting for Bicycle's scientific research before I make an investment.

BeerDrivenCyclist said...

23st. I have had my fingers calibrated and certified. No gauge now required. This is how the pro mechanics do it.

1904 Cadardi said...

Wildcat, if you're not performing a multivariate analysis of each and every aspect of your beikcycling adventures then clearly you don't know anything about riding bikes.

My method? Well since you asked: before the Saturday Fred ride pump up the tires till the needle on my 35 year old Silca points sort of towards the top of the gauge somewhere. Reinflate next Saturday. It seems so simple I must be doing it wrong.

DB said...

McFly for COD.
Had my Milwaukee out for a ride this weekend, too.

Bob-Billy said...

I like my tires squishy, so I only read articles that agree with my viewpoint. Everything else is fake news. If my bike gets a little squirmy, that's just Jesus slapping my peepee for being too hedonistic.

JLRB said...

Whitehouse refuses to say whether or not rubbery tape exists

JB said...

I halved my weight for the tire load (close enough), went up to my tire size, and got 90 psi. That is the same as I figured out (a little under 100) using the Goldilocks method. Accurate but stupid. Idiots.

Anonymous said...

McFly has his priorities straight!

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Cop car hits bicyclist while heading to assault in Brooklyn.

A cyclist salmoning at 2AM got hit by a police SUV with lights flashing. Did the cops continue to their appointed assault (Daily Snooze headline) or did they call it a night after hitting the cyclist?

@82medici, you didn't ask me but I really like the Zevlin rubbery bar tape. Put some Fizik bar gel underneath for the Ne Plus Ultra in cushy bars. The Lizard Skin and Zipp foam/rubbery bar tapes don't last if you pull the tape tightly when you wrap your bars with that. The Zevlin holds up great. The Nix Frix Shun version of the Zevlin is hot stuff too!

leroy said...

Wait a minute.

"Wheel load"?

We're supposed to be checking "wheel load"?

My dog better have a good explanation for why he made a chalk annotation on the back of my shorts to "Check Wide Load."

babs is upset about soft wood (giggle chort) said...

Take, for example, the 20% tariff Trump placed on Canadian softwood lumber, a fight that previous administrations lost time and time again. Paul Frazer, a former Canadian ambassador, told Business Insider that restarting it was emotional — and a point of pride — for Canadians.

"It's the oldest chestnut and the nastiest one from the Canadian perspective," he said. "For the Canadians, it's more than an economic issue, it's wrapped up in what is fair and what is right and wrong."

So Canadians are starting to feel negatively about their neighbors to the south.

"The trade matters such as softwood contributes and will continue to contribute to that opinion," Frazer said.

Trump should not be allowed to carelessly and unnecessarily fray relationships across the globe. Think about what that would mean if something dangerous were to happen in the world and the US had squandered its goodwill chasing nonsense grievances in the paranoid mind of an ignorant ideologue.

The longer this goes on, the more vulnerable we all become.

Freddy Murcks said...

I successfully rode my mountain-going bikecycle this weekend. I squeezed the tyres (I am using the British spelling in honor of foppish twits everywhere) and judged the pressure to be just about right. Later, after I hit a rock and 'burped' some sealant from my rear tyre, which resulted in some air loss, I added a few squirts of air with my portable air pumping pump, squeezed the tyre again, and finished the ride in relative comfort and tyre pressure security. The foppish twits would lead you to believe that it's a wonder that my Chevy Cavalier attitude didn't result in my death and the deaths of those around unfortunate to be around me.

Die free said...

Obi-Scranus says "Use the SCRANUS..."

Go figure, I wouldn't have guessed it

Anonymous said...

You can joke all you want about obsessive attention to tire pressure…
…because, it’s a good joke. Just ride.

Mark said...

I put a mark with a felt pen on the glass of my pump's gauge at about 100psi.

Mark said...

Mark my words, I just pump it up to the mark, every so often.

ken e. said...

the name of my new boris cover band:

FUZY CHOP
WORM HOLE


babble on said...

Oh Cum ON! Everyone knows Canadian Beavers Prefer HARD Wood.

McFly - Good plan!! Tho clearly you know that a guy (and a gal!!) should be doing both rides daily. For health and wellness, 'n'all. Just let her know how a daily sexing sustains a youthful vitality and is proven to actually slow the aging process and before you know it, she'll be on you like a beaver on wood.

Mr Medici? I love the squishy tape, but it won't do a thing to prevent numbness in your hands. That is the result of a pinched nerve. Take the numb hand off the handlebars for a moment and place it on the small of your back, et voila!! Numbness gone. Preventing the numbness in the first place requires attention to your posture as you ride, and/or an adjustment your bike fit.

That is all. :) xo

Dooth said...

Anti-bike journalists are ugly and out of shape.

McFly said...

.............daily.......bi/tri-weekly at best.........

JLRB said...

I prefer a sweaty backpack to the rackable portage devices. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Snob... are we going to hear from you about the exciting events surrounding the Swiss Team at the Tour of California?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2017/05/21/swiss-cycling-team-staff-banned-from-tour-of-california-for-dumping-septic-tank-waste-along-highway/?utm_term=.b629d039beea