Monday, October 28, 2013

Some cheese with that whine?

Whiny beeotch warning. Stop here if you want happy fun time.

Lame rides happen. My commute home from school today sucked. And it's a long commute. So as it sucked from the start, I had 20 miles to ponder why it sucked. Which, of course, doesn't really help to improve a sucky ride. But whatever.

Here's a stack-ranked list of why it sucked:

1. I was tired. I slept like crap last night. So that makes me tired and grumpy.

2. There was a monster, MONSTER headwind today. Dig it:

3) OMG -- look at all the crap on the back of this bike:

It's hard to appreciate from this picture how turdy and heavy that is. In the yellow bag are papers, books, clothes and a U-lock. In the saddle bag thing are tools, another lock, and other stuff that isn't really heavy, but still. God. Too much on the bike. And recall: the old Rawland is mid-trail, which makes rear loads just turd the bike into a turdy oblivion of crap handling and heavy-feeling sluggery.

Click for big to view hackery
It's made worse by the hackery I have to go through to push the rack further back behind the axle so the rack doesn't get all jammed up on disc brake. Which brings me to...

4) Cable disc brakes are a waste of time, space, and money. Sorry: but they suck. I've set these up per the Avid BB7-Road specs. I've tried normal pads, sintered pads, "organic" pads (whatever the f that means), and they just suck.

So for once: I had the proper tires at the right pressure to go bombing around the trails off the FLT and the ridiculous brakes just make me grumpier. Go hydro or go good canti's or go home. Well, I guess you can go good caliper-brakes too -- but that's a different use case, so you can go home too. Screw v-brakes too.

For the record, I really want to try the TRP HY-RD brakes on this bike. The TRP brakes use a cable to actuate a hydro unit at the brake. Duh. How simple/smart is that? Kent turned me on to it. Sign me the f up.

5) New music. I'm an annoyingly stubborn creature of strict, near-obsessive routine when it comes to what I listen to when I ride. It's about 85% Bad Religion, 5% This American Life, 3% Bjork, 3% Wayne Krantz, 1% Beastie Boys, ~3% other stuff. Today, I loaded up a chunk of new music and with a full nights sleep, tailwind, good load distribution, and decent brakes, I probably would've loved the music. But in this context, it bugged me.


Fred Blasdel said...

I've already heard a few "grab a fistful of nothing" horror stories about the HYRDs, though they seem to be better with the newer brifters that pull more cable.

The Shimano CX-75s I bet on come with way better pads than the Avids and the build quality is much improved, but they still suffer a lot of the same problems. Plus there's a recall now, they're being replaced with a new CX-77 over some pad retraction problem.

I don't know why the hell everybody keeps getting the leverage ratio wrong, it's ridiculous.

I haven't heard anything bad about the TRP Spyres yet except that the stock pads suck, but they use the Shimano format so you can replace them with the best-of-breed G03Ti

The SRAM hydros haven't gotten any negative press yet, but with a decade of lemon after lemon in the MTB market I don't trust a thing they say, especially not for $800.

The Shimano hydros should be amazing, and I'll be switching to their new 'Freeza' rotors, but having to invest in the whole roboshifting drivetrain on a roughstuff bike is hard to go for.

amidnightrider said...

Keep a jar of Midol handy for days like this. 8>)

Traditional Bike Club Curmudgeon said...

Let me second the whine about the wind.

The Centennial Trail downriver from Deep Creek bridge looked like The Yellow Brick Road from all the downed pine needles.

'Twas a bitch!

John Speare said...

Ha! Midnight: I had to google midol to understand that joke.

Fred: I've been suspecting that you are watching and interrogating the hydro drop bar brake scene. stay in touch on this. I'm still trying to find a way to rationalize your chinese carbon 650b rims on my next mnt bike...

Curmudgeon: there's a guy that skates that sweeps the paved portion of the FLT. I was thinking about him yesterday as I saw what the recent winds have done to his handiwork.

Hank Greer said...

1% Beastie Boys? you mean 4% other stuff.

Look at the bright side. At least it wasn't an earworm of, "Feelings. Nothing more than feelings.... Feee-eeelings. Whoa-whoa-whoa, feeeelings...."

John Speare said...

Cut me some slack Hank. I came of age in the early-mid 90's. You have to expect some of that stuff to stick.

Ken said...

Could be worse.

Stine said...

you are still a badass. I stopped riding weeks ago-- already to wiped from school, and with all these teenage germ bags around me, I've been on the edge of every cold/flu/whatever in town.

Feeling a little jealous of your EPIC! journey.

Oh, and that wind? That's just another reason we left Seattle...

Michelle in Oly said...

Ahem. I distinctly remember having a discussion with you - ok, more of a one-sided rant, really - about how much and how epically mechanical disc brakes suck ass, and you saying that the Avids "make sense to me," and "worked all right."

ASS. THEY SUCK AAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSS. The shimanos on my free bike are livable, but the Avid BB-5s (oh, brother!) are going to meet the rubber end of my therapy mallet whenever I get around to it.

Glad to see you've come to reason on this matter. Sniff.

mechBgon said...

A cable-actuated hydro is the worst of all worlds insofar as tech goes. You get the idiosyncrasies of hydraulics, plus the imperfect transmission of a cable system.

For myself, the drawbacks of a cable-operated disc were less of an evil than the quirks of my hydraulic discs, so I ended up ditching hydro for some BB7s (on my XC bike).

We had a Moots demo bike come through with a prototype Shimano Ultegra Di2 hydro disc setup. Interestingly enough, at least a couple people preferred the road BB7s on another Moots we'd done. My top suggestions for road cable discs would be (1) lube the cables with something slick and flowy like Rock & Roll Gold or Slick Honey, and (2) make sure to mill the ends of the housings perfectly flat so they're not introducing any unnecessary sponginess into the system.