If At First You Don’t Succeed, Ti, Ti Again

Today I put on special clothes and rode one of those bikes with the curly-type handlebars like in the Tour de France:

Although with it’s archaic rim brakes, level top tube, and metal rims with a redundant amount of spokes, it bears little resemblance to the bikes they actually use in the Tour de France nowadays:

That’s the new Pinarello Dogma F, by the way, which I got an email about from a PR person. I assume the “F” is either for “Fast” or “Funky Tube Shapes”…though in keeping with road bike nomenclature the latter would be better expressed as “FTST,” or “Funky Tube Shape Technology.” Anyway, here’s another picture of the bike underneath somebody:

This of course is the bike that will be ridden by the IGNEOUS Grenadines in the very Touring of France I just mentioned, and here are the stats:

  • 265g (complete disc frame kit in size 53)
  • +12% stiffness on the bottom bracket
  • +3.2% more aerodynamic (Dogma F rim vs. Dogma F12 rim)
  • +4.8% more aerodynamic (Dogma F disc vs. Dogma F12 disc)
  • +1.3W saved at 40 KM/h. 2.6W saved at 50 KM/h
  • 11 frame sizes, 16 handlebar sizes and 2 setback options on the seatpost allowing for 352 combinations 

I have to idea what those percentages are in comparison to, but I’m sure if you tried to compare it to my Litespeed you’d break your calculator attempting to quantify the vast chasm in performance between my primitive hunk of metal and this wavy thing that looks like you’re looking at it through one of those highway heat mirages.

Anyway, the email also said they have test bikes, so naturally I requested one. While we’re on the subject of percentages, I’d estimate my chances of actually receiving one at roughly .000003%. And that’s fine with me, since my Litespeed is equipped with the very finest shifting Vicenza has to offer…20 years ago:

And somehow I manage to make do with a mere ten (10) cogs, which means there are occasionally moments at which I’m not pedaling at an optimum cadence and therefore am hemorrhaging watts:

As I stood there lamenting this state of affairs, a tear rolling down my cheek and getting lost somewhere deep in my facial hair where it ultimately joined some potato chip crumbs from three days ago, a reader rolled up on me astride this formidable machine:

Though modified with an electric motor and various upgraded components, the basis for the machine is this:

That strikes me as a damn good deal for a cargo bike–though here’s what happened when I sat on the rear platform:

Just kidding!

No, he flipped it up like that so I could get a closer look at the drivetrain. It’s an impressive conveyance, and I very much enjoyed discussing both it and how much I suck at mountain biking–even if I did win a singlespeed mountain bike race recently:

And yes, the only reason I won the singlespeed race was that I was the only rider in my field, but hey, a win’s a win.

By the same token, I also can’t lose if I don’t show up, which means that just as long as I don’t enter any more races this season I’ll have a perfect record and go undefeated.

Now that’s a winning strategy.

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