The Truth, The Hole Truth, And Nothing But The Truth

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m Voltron-ing some parts for a new bike, and as part of this process I stole the cranks off my Artisanal Singlespeed early this morning, replaced them with the ones pictured below, and then scampered off into the park for a quick shakedown ride:

You know when you dig out a component you haven’t used in several years and can’t remember if you set it aside because there was something wrong with it? Well, I really hope that’s not what happened here. In any case, the crank seemed fine on my little park romp, but I’ll keep checking it, and if there is in fact a problem I’ve got still more serviceable cranks in reserve. As for why I’d downgrade such a fine bicycle by fitting it with an inferior crank, I just think the XT cranks with which this bike was previously adorned will be a really good fit for the new bike, and the parameters of this project (using as much old stuff as possible) forbid me from buying new parts beyond the stuff I simply don’t have. Also, even an Artisanal Singlespeed is still a singlespeed, and the Bicycle Code Of Component Ethics dictates that singlespeeds get the scraps, that’s just the way it works.

Speaking of components, are you squandering precious watts by not using Cartoonishly Oversized Derailleur Pulleys (CODPs)?

Well, I think the answer is “yes,” but I couldn’t actually manage to read far enough to find out:

Total chain friction can be viewed as the sum of the friction created by all of the links’ engagements/disengagements as the chain snakes through the front chainring, derailleur pulleys, and rear cog. Tension, link articulation angle, link articulation rate, and lateral deflection (aka cross chaining) are directly proportional to the total friction losses of a chain.

Though I do find it fascinating that CODPs are one of the few areas where Wattage Weenies and Grant Petersen overlap:

Love: Unbeknowngst to everybody outside of RBW but well-known here, I like big rear derailers pulleys (13t and 15t). I like how they look more and that they wrap more chain than the standard 11t pulleys, so don’t need as long of a cage. It could be partly an optical illusion, the bigger wheel making the same length cage look shorter, but the original purpose was to wrap more chan, and it’s a smart way to do that. But now the pros are starting to retrofit their own derailers with them not to max chain wrap, but because a bigger pulley turns with less friction—it’s a longer lever, and so it has to do that. I don’t care about that, but if it comes free with a better look and more wrap, and if that racing-concern feature leads to more or maybe all rear derailers getting the pizza pulleys, I’m all for it.

Yes, he likes big pulleys an he cannot lie, and I’d totally use an Altus on my new bike if I didn’t already have several perfectly good derailleurs with regular-sized pulleys.

Finally, over the past months I’ve written very positively about the Osloh Lane Jean, even collecting affiliate revenue in doing so:

[The jeans, when new.]

My enthusiasm for these jeans has been–and remains–sincere. At the same time, I strive for honesty in my product reviews, and it’s in that spirit I share with you the current state of the seat:

In addition to the typical saddle marks, that is in fact a hole through which I am poking my grease-stained finger:

Now, I should point out that since receiving these jeans back in October of last year I’ve worn these jeans a lot. And when I say “a lot” I mean it. In fact, when I pointed out the hole to my wife she fixed me with a look and replied, “You wear those jeans all the time.” Furthermore, I don’t just wear them a lot; I ride in them a lot–like several hours at a time, all winter long, on a variety of saddles including the Brooks Cambium, which has a textured surface. So one could argue that the appearance of a hole after five months is to be expected.

At the same time, I do wonder if the pocket design contributed to the hole, since the jeans are somewhat “overbuilt” in several areas, and the construction of the rear pocket could have resulted in a “stress riser” of sorts. (Though, to their credit, the reptilian-seamed crotch–which also houses the “chamois”–remains faded yet intact, which is impressive, because the inner thigh is another place where pants typically wear out when subject to lots of saddle time.) I do continue to feel that the chamois (of which I was skeptical at first) does really set these jeans apart, and is a big part of why I never hesitate to wear these on long rides. I also continue to appreciate certain other features, such as the snap to cinch up the drive-side cuff, and the voluminous front pockets that allow me to carry my wallet, keys, phone, and even a mini-pump without compromising comfort and mobility. (And my keys haven’t even managed to wear through the pocket lining, which is something that happens on all my other jeans sooner or later.)

Anyway, knowing all that, you can decide if these are worth the money, or if you’d rather just spend $40 on “regular” pants and toss them when the crotch blows out. As for these, I plan to keep them in service by patching the hole one way or another, then “jorting” them for the spring. And the cycle of life continues…

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