New Outside Column!

In my latest Outside column I lay bare the conspiracy that’s transforming bicycles into non-serviceable plastic blobs:

If you don’t like that it’s a “member exclusive,” rest assured it’ll emerge from behind the paywall eventually…just like the last one did!

Hey, sooner or later all that stale content winds up on the curb for the taking.

Meanwhile, I don’t just espouse the retrogrouch lifestyle in “print,” I actually live it by riding lugged steel bicycles:

[Image: Terry Barentsen]

And using inner tubes that experience pinch flats:

And then patching those inner tubes because the patch on my already-patched spare was bad:

I even service old-timey non-cartridge bottom brackets!

Actually, it was just a little loose and needed some adjustment, but I figured I might as well pull it apart and see what was going on in there while I was at it:

Cartridge bottom brackets are certainly convenient, but they do isolate you even further from the spindle, which one of the more satisfying bicycle components in that it is both robust yet elegant:

If I ever have people in my employ I will dress them down while tapping a bottom bracket spindle end-over-end on the surface of my desk.

Also, in yet another example of the over-the-topitude of the Campagnolo C-Record group I’ve come to appreciate, the bottom bracket uses fourteen ball bearings on either side:

By way of comparison, a Dura Ace bottom bracket would have only had eleven, which, I mean, how could you even go back to that after experiencing the exhilarating smoothness of fourteen?!?!


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