This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Newer old school method

     Here is a nice photo that's been all over all the news services.  An Iranian worker riding his bicycle to his job at one of their infamous nuclear power plants.   I thought it presented an interesting dichotomy between the traditional and the new.

     In a similar line of thought, almost.   There has been a discussion kicked around a couple of forums and blogs about tires and tire pressure lately.  The old school thinking of course is that skinny is fast, and you pump them up until they are ready to blow.  A couple of studies have proven that wrong in the past few years.  Bicycle Quarterly, through their blog and Jan Heine, began a discussion about tire width and speed and that expanded into inflation and arguments which infected a Rivendell forum and the whole thing got wacky and waxed electronic before it was all over.
   I have a lot of respect for Jan Heine and Bicycle Quarterly, unlike me, they don't have unqualified opinions.  They turn those rocks over and over and examine and document every angle and create some very reliable facts.  This whole idea that, within a specific range, a wider tire will be faster on some surfaces makes a lot of sense.   The extra rubber and softer inflation absorbs vibration and that is why I, intuitively, switched to 25mm tires on my road bike many years ago.  I was living in a rural area where the roads were chip sealed on a regular basis and the 25mm tires were a lot faster over that irregular pavement, and a lot more comfortable.  So I get this, a 40mm won't be faster than the 25, but will probably be better than a 35 for some uses.  It makes sense.  Somewhere in there Jan made the comment that to totally optimize your tire performance, the tire while ridden should be compressed 15%.   This means the rear should have more air pressure than the front since there is more weight there.
         Are  we going to sit around and think of all this?  Hell no there's an app for that!  In fact there are a few.  No more walking into the garage and squeezing the tire with your crude thumb and forefinger.   Your phone will tell you what to do, that is if you let it.  I'm not that crazy.  I do accept the premise, I trust the science, but I looked at a calculator and just cannot accept the numbers.
Here is the one offered up by "Bike Tinker."  I trust that these guys have turned this over and inside out, but seriously, 45 lbs difference between the front and rear?!!?!?!?    I'd feel like I was pushing a bucket of sand down the road.  The theory I like, and I believe the front should be less, but I'm thinking 10-15 lbs difference might be a good idea.   I doubt that I will ever get anywhere near the numbers produced by these gadgets.  I ain't buying no phone app.  I'll hold out until they have it refined, after all, they haven't even considered barometric pressure.  I'll just have to stay old school 'til they get this worked out.   I'll be checking once a week like normal, trusting my thumb and forefinger to SWAG it everyday.   I am going to roll happily on tires inflated to an unqualified opinion.

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