We received the SimpleOnes, and Spencer is working (with me and Mark) on the parts kits for them. The plan is to offer set-but-flexible kits with either Albatross bars or Drop/Moustache H’bars, and on top of that, at two different price levels: CheapSkate and Fancier. We’ll have more details next week, but for now it’s shaping up thusly:
CheapSkate: Single speed cheap but fine crank. Floridian-built wheels touched up here by Emil (trained by Rich). Maybe some other cheap but fine stuff.
Fancier: Rich-built wheels, 40/32 double crank with chainguard.
These are really nicely made and nice-looking frames. There are details about them that will please anybody, details that we hesitate to point out because in pointing them out it comes across as us not loving the equivalent details on their predecessors…and there is some truth in that, but even their predecessors were fine. These are extra, though.
And they’re still inexpensive. Not Surley inexpensive, but Rivendell inexpensive. They’re made for us in Taiwan by the same shop that makes Sams and Bettys.
On the same page is a thing Vince did with his bike. Not condoned, but still: GO, Vince!
On April 2 we hosted Gary Taubes at the Walnut Creek Library. He’s a science writer and health policy researcher, and has written two rockem-sockem books about what we eat and what it does. He spoke for about 70 minutes, answered questions after that, and we filmed it. Click here for the video.
In the pre-released RR43 that we/I nearly immediately recalled due to something I don’t want to talk about, but no huge deal, no shame, no embarassment, no French faux pas, nothing like that….it was more of a loose lips thing….anyway, in that issue—-which ought to be mailed by June 2 if Dave’s and my meeting goes well today—there was an article about the troubles that come from having a guy accompany a woman as she shops for a bike. How the guys tend to interfere and tick off the salespeople, and how frustrating it can be when the guys, in general, are the mouth and filter for the perfectly adult and competent women.
I believe all that stuff, because we’ve seen it here, and back when I worked Normal Retail I’d see it all the time, too. But what I wasn’t accounting for in the RR43 piece, and which I shoulda known or realized, is that not all salespeople in bike shops are fine fair objective friendly robots. Some steer customers the wrong way. I should have noted that, because we see the results all the time, but maybe I was giving the shop guys too much credit, maybe as an anti chest-thumping gesture here.
Fortunately, I got this letter, which speaks to the stuff I didn’t:
(Dear Rivendell, or whatever):
I agree with you that most of the time that husbands/boyfriends/malecyclingcompanions accompanying a woman to a bike store can be very counterproductive unless he is well acquainted with her riding and is unusually restrained in not interfering with the salesman/customer interaction. Having said that I can’t tell you how often I wished I’d accompanied one of my cycling companions to the store. Here are three cases in my small bike group alone. These cyclists share the following: a. Women in their late 40’s to late 50’s b. Decades of recreational cycling experience c. Ride long distances (50-100 miles) at a moderate, conversational, pace. d. Don’t like hills but go up them none the less. Here is what happened to them: A. Cheryl wanted a titanium bicycle. Our only advice to her was to get a triple chain wheel because she likes to climb hills slowly. She tells the salesman for Merlin that she wants a bike with a triple chain wheel and he sells her a bike with a double telling her the lighter weight of the bike will make up for it. She only weighs 110 lbs to begin with so weight is not her problem going up hills, she just likes to take them slowly. We, the bike group, convert her over to a triple at some expense. She horrifies the sales clerk by insisting that he put a kickstand on the bike and to also transfer her rubber block pedals to the Merlin. B. Connie is slightly more than overweight but can still ride long distances. She tells the clerk that no matter what, she wants to use her present tires (28mm Roll-y Pol-ys that I gave her) on the new bike. She chooses the color and the clerk at Perform**** chooses everything else: a racing bike with low handlebars, narrow clearances, skinny tires, double chain ring. After one ride, she spends a bunch more money getting the handlebars up (steering tube extension+adjustable stem), converting double to triple chain wheel, and we were barely able to squeeze the Roll-y Pol-ys into place. She had gone into the store for a new brifter; if we knew she was going to buy a bike we could have at least briefed her on how to explain to the clerk what kind of riding she did. C. Elizabeth was sent to Perform**** to buy some bike shorts. She came back with a racing bike. We were able to get the handlebars up nearer the saddle height but she only ever went on one ride before she gave up riding for the summer. I don’t know what went on in that store but I am absolutely certain not one of those women told the salesman that they intended to race their bikes. They each told the clerks what sort of riding they did and every clerk must have assumed that these women were lying to them, they really did intend to race. I don’t want to accompany friends to buy a bicycle even though I’m asked. I much rather talk to them about the riding they do and steer them towards some choices I think they’ll like; but even well reasoned advice can all be torpedoed by one bad sales clerk. All I can do is steer them away from stores that have a 100% track record of selling bikes that do not fit the customer, did not fit their riding needs, that they absolutely hate and that require expensive modifications. I send them to Baer Wheels in Columbus, Ohio. He’s not one of your dealers but it’s where your bikes end up for parts and repairs. Michael Kahrl Ohio
Good letter, Michael. There may or may not be a “Letter of the week” prize. The thing is, we don’t want to encourage creative letter-writing in an attempt to win a prize, and we most especially don’t want to bum out letter writers who expect to win and don’t. So we’ll make the prize, in this case, piddly. But a prize will be forthcoming. Too bad about those stories in bike shops. Baer Wheels sounds good. Our bikes never need repair, though. G
If you have heard that a Reader 43 sneak peak was up here, you heard right.
But one of the things in it was expected to—-I expected it to——be resolved by now, and it turns out it may go on another
year. So the one story in question should not be public right now. Being that way may increase my stress manyfold even more, and at the risk of seeming selfish, I am removing the link from here, and I think I’m just dropping all mention. It is a huge stress in my life, and I don’t need to make it any worse.
I have reasons to be optimistic, but am by nature a pessimist. Over and out, and more good, normal, happy things later.
Reminder…if you order $42 or more of anything and request either a poem book or a children’s book, you’ll get one. THey’re Dover Thrift editions, brand new, and thin, cheap, light, packable and chock full of good stuff. One of them has these two poems in it, which I include here as teasers:
Richard Cory by Edwin Robinson
Whenever Richard Cory went down town, We people on the pavement looked at him: He was a gentleman from sole to crown, Clean-favoured and imperially slim.
And he was always quietly arrayed, And he was always human when he talked; But still he fluttered pulses when he said, “Good Morning!” and he glittered when he walked.
And he was rich, yes, richer than a king, And admirably schooled in every grace: In fine — we thought that he was everything To make us wish that we were in his place.
So on we worked and waited for the light, And went without the meat and cursed the bread, And Richard Cory, one calm summer night, And put a bullet through his head.
You may remember a Simon and Garfunkle song of the same name. I like the fluttered pulses line especially. Here’s another Edwin Robinson poem. He died in the 1930s, but won three Pulitzers, presumably for poetry, before that happened…so even though I’d never heard of him, some people had and have.
Miniver Cheevy by Edwin Robinson
Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn,
Grew lean while he assailed the seasons;
He wept that he was ever born,
And he had reasons.
Miniver loved the days of old
When swords were bright and steeds were prancing;
The vision of a warrior bold
Would set him dancing.
Miniver sighed for what was not,
And dreamed, and rested from his labors;
He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot,
And Priam’s neighbors.
Minever mourned the ripe renown
That made so many a name so fragrant;
He mourned Romance, now on the town,
And Art, a vagrant.
Minever loved the Medici,
Albeit he had never seen one;
He would have sinned incessantly
Could he have been one.
Miniver cursed the commonplace
And eyed a khaki suit with loathing;
He missed the medival grace
Of iron clothing.
Miniver scorned the gold he sought,
But sore annoyed was he without it;
Miniver thought, and thought, and thought,
And thought about it.
Miniver Cheevy, born too late,
Scratched his head and kept on thinking;
Miniver coughed, and called it fate,
And kept on drinking.
I like the short last lines, and every verse. You don’t expect the second-to-last verse to keep on with the “thought.” It’s funny how you can be humming along with a poem, then you come to a reference you don’t quite get, and it feels like getting booted out. According to Wikipedia, Priam was the King of Troy during the Trojan War, in Greek mythological.
Miniver Cheevy seems to be a thoughtful, introspective hobo losing his battle with the bottle, and when you figure that out at the end, it makes you re-read the poem again and all the other verses seem even more interesting. I like that he saw some grace in iron clothing, something I don’t get, and find it interesting that he didn’t like khaki. For a hobo, you’d think he’d be thrilled with khaki.
Anyway, these thin-light poetry books come free but you have to ask, because why waste them on poetry-phobes? There are children’s books, too—-some poems, some mazes, some connect-the-dots. Something for everybody except grown-ups who hate poetry!
A few nights ago I had dinner with with Aimee, Jody, and Eben Weiss (BSNYC). Super nice guy. I ate goat. Good goat! At Marlow & Sons, in Brooklyn.
In about a month we’ll have SimpleOne frames. They’re our one-speed Homerish frames—-meaning clearance for 40mm tires (plus), but with cantilever braze-ons, and lots of things for racks and fenders.
They’ll be dark green. Mark’s green, sort of, since he picked it out (that’s credit, not blame—they look good, like Valvoline).
Wheels are 700c. Our design, lugs, bb shell, fork, and dropouts. There’s the headbadge, larger than life so you can see the detail.
We’ve been taking deposits, and still are. The frames come with headset and bb. They are currently in the system at a price we plugged in before we even got a quote.A dumb thing to do, sure, but there it is. Now, if you’ve got one on order, you’ll get it for that price. Actually, we’ll bump the price up but give you a credit for the difference.
And if you don’t have one on order at that price, but WANTone, and wish you were one of the lucky earliests, you can get the same deal thru May 12 at noon California time, at which point the price will climb to $1050, which is easily what it should’ve been all along.
These new SimpleOnes are really, really nice frames. Four sizes only, because we had mins of 30 per size, and we know from painful experience that in the world of fixie-onesy frames, smaller than 56 and larger than 62 don’t sell. So we’l have 30 each of 56, 58. 60, and 62cm. They come with headset and bottom bracket (Tange 107mm)
At noon on the 12th, they’ll cost $1050. Certainly don’t feel bad about that price. Take a look around. There are plenty of lesser frames that sell for three times as much.
SimpleOne Sizing 56-58-60-62
If you know your PBH, go PBH minus 23 to 25. If you know your SH (saddle height) is correct, and you can measure it correctly (center of crank to top of saddle), you can go by PBH minus 15 to 17. If this lands you on two sizes, consider the tires and handlebar you aim to use. If you’ll ride skinnies (700x35 or smaller), you can ride the bigger, no prob. If you’ll ride Albatross Handlebars, you can go smaller, since they rise up some. If your PBH is 82, you’l can ride a 56, but not with fatties.If it’s 92, you can ride a 62, but not with drops. At least, by our normal standards.Kvestions? Call 800 345 3918.
We’re happy to usher you through the process of pickinim, and will likely be able to put together a complete bike for as little as $1800, depending on the particulars. The first things to sort out are (1) Handlebar style; (2) TIre size; (3) Gearing; Wheel particulars. We’ll have a few wheel options—cheap bolt-ons, fancier q/r style. The details are being settled these weeks, but yes we’ll have good wheel options. The spacing is 120mm, by the way. To Order
Call 800 345 3918 and put down half the frame price ($450 thru May 12). That’ll lock in the price. Think about your parts, and we’ll deal with that soon enough.
I’m sitting here in hotel in Cambridge watching cnn, and…does it strike anybody else as odd that the anchors jump the gun on Obama’s announcement? I’d just as soon have not even known what the topic was. Speculation is fun. OK, so Obama didn’t come on stage until too late, but holy cow, man. KIND of a cheap cut in line, I’d say. No? Come on. I bet the networks get in a race. One newperson spills the beans, and then they all do. Hey. Forget you…(as in Cee Lo Green). ——- I’m back east—-mainly on business, and some personal stuff, too. Boston and NYC. I don’t like to travel, but I want to maybe see the Brooklyn Bridge, and maybe even ride a lap in the world famous Central Park; although I’m jammed for time, so may not get to. In a couple of days, maybe by Tuesday night, we’ll have another post up here. I don’t want to write a travel-log. I’ll do what I have to do, and may tell you about it later. OK! The Cork Ideas: We’ll have the winners in two weeks. Are there prizes? Have to research what we said. I think it was something like ‘one of whatever your idea was.’ The Bikeoo contest is over. We definitely never listed any prizes for that, but remember—-nobody here is a judge. There were tons of good ones. Haiku seems to be the people’s poetry. We’ll post them and figure out prizes. The Reader, hoo-boy, is nearly finished, as it has been for months now. THis time, really. It’ll cost $5 including freight in paper. Let me rephrase that. A paper Reader will cost $5, including freight. Online it’ll be free. For the love of Buddha, we no longer send it out free to members…although we get maybe two calls week about that. Now the member benefits are more substantial, and there’s no pressure to publish four a year. Apparently we have a complete index of old RR stories. Apparently I didn’t know. I’m a parent of one of the people who put it together, and Dave will post a link to it tomorrow right here. G
It is the last day of National Poetry Month, but I didn’t get word of that till mid-April, and things take time and all, but here’s what’s up.
As long as stock lasts, for any order over $42—-and only upon request—-we’ll include a free brand new book of poems. Assorted poets—-Poe, Byron, Dickenson, and mixed poets. They’re thin cheap great Dover books, so we can afford to do this.
Dover is a neat publisher. Its Thrift Editions are super cheap, but what bargains, considering the content. They’re good for bike riders, because they pack easily. They’re good time-killers anytime.
And if you have young children, we also have some connect-the-dot and hidden picture coloring books.
But we most definitely don’t want to include a free book if you aren’t into it (and no shame there), so you’ll have to specify, either on the phone or in the comments section of your online order, that you want a book. Say either Poetry or Childrens. And then it’s a grab bag. There are no part numbers. If we forget, tough potatoes. But we’ll try not to forget.
These are neat & fun books. Free with any order over $42, but you have to ask and specify which kind. Poetry or Childrens. Thanks.