This is exactly the sort of forecast you want to see this time of year:
Ideally, what you’re looking at is that rain cleaning up all this goddamn snow, and then the ground freezing up over the weekend so you can ride in the woods. That’s nature’s spin cycle! And even more timely was the arrival of this, which I received this morning:
No, that’s not a wheel system from Easton, that’s these babies from Classic Cycle!
Remember how I had all this play in my rear wheel because I suck at doing bikes?
Well this is a 1986 XT hub with 130mm spacing…
…and an updated freehub that will take 8-11 speed cassettes!
The rims are Araya:
And the valves are Schrader like the Great Lobster On High intended:
There are a number of features that make these an upgrade to the wheels they’re replacing, shown here with a flat René Herse tire (it was fun while it lasted, but I don’t think I can get away with boutique tires in New York City in winter):
Not only do these “new” wheel have four more spokes each, and nicer hubs:
But the shifting should be much smoother than it was with this:
I mean it shifts just fine, but the bike could use a little refinement to match its elegant appearance:
Exuberant yet haggard, it looks like a bicycle as played by Joaquin Phoenix.
Anyway, I haven’t actually been out on the new wheels yet, but I’m looking forward to it.
In other news of how out of it I am, I’m probably the last person in the cycling world to find out there’s going to be a Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame (though I’m not sure you can say I’m part of the cycling world, which would explain a lot):
I mean yeah, Stevil mentioned it to me awhile back, but I thought he was joking.
As a bike blogger who’s gone well past my expiration date I’m the last person who should be telling anyone what to do, and I’m all for celebrating bikes and the riding of them, but…isn’t it a little soon? I have tires older that the whole gravel thing–and I’m still riding them! If you bought a Clif Bar for the first edition of the Dirty Kanza that you never opened, it would still be safe to eat today. I mean sure, the discipline’s been around long enough that you can buy a Mongoose for it from Walmart:
But it’s been twelve (12) years since Mongoose released the Cachet and there’s still no Urban Fixed-Gear Hall of Fame!
You know why that is? It’s because the quaint hipsters of yore had something called “humility!”
Actually, wait, that’s not true at all. They just moved onto gravel, which is now opening a Hall of Fame for itself.