the setback post


When reviewing an Italian bike or component, the following words are strictly forbidden:

  • flair
  • heritage
  • passion
  • pedigree
  • stallion
  • steed
  • style
  • thoroughbred

When reviewing a German or Swiss bike or component, the following words are verb-oten:

  • efficiency
  • precision
  • wurst
  • genocide

Let’s do this.

High water mark

It’s always good to have a benchmark for the truly terrible. The standard against which that which is most egregious can be measured.

Don’t bother with the opening credits, they’re very long indeed. Skip to 1:30.


Those aren’t douche chills you’re experiencing. That’s a douche ice age.


U-S-A! U-S-A!

I’m not one for childish anti-Americanism, (hey, I love your music and your cultural exports!) but there are some words best left to the British. Whenever an American says “wanker”, I get the same cringe-itch you get when a parent abbreviates “you” to “u” in a text for no goddamn reason at all.


America does lots of things well, but please, leave the wanking to us.

Big ideas


O rly.


Yep, didn’t think so.


You’d be surprised.


Oh, right. That explains the brakes, and mudguards and the adjustable height seatpost.shit5

Apparently, Grant Petersen once shot a guy in chinos just to watch him die. Apparently.




Don’t worry, they won’t.

Quill stems


Rickets are better. They allow you much easier, faster skeletal deformity, and treatability (curing the dang disease) is a huge, HUGE deal in comfort. Healthy children are part of the heedless system that now dominates the medical world in First-world countries, but the benefits are mainly for the pharmaceutical companies, not real people. Once you know of your condition, and IF you can get it there with modern medicine, then it’s fine. But it is really hard to get it there, given that most children are sized small and come with limbs that are necessarily too short to lengthen them more than about an inch and three quarters. That’s not enough.

By which I mean to say, anyone that spends $228 on a quill stem is a fucking idiot.

This week in bullshit

bullshitPhoto: Token

Translation: we don’t have a fucking clue what holds a wheel together, we’re just marketing guys.


One tae watch.

Technical support 101

Know your demographic.

fsa faq1


Fuck this guy


A new #gnarrative

Bike Park WalesBikePark Wales

Regular readers* may have deduced by now that I don’t generally get much gnarlier than humiliating myself in the odd ’cross race, but since the career-related Great Leap Forward, all that is changing. Henceforth TSP will be all about the shred. It’s going to be wall to wall wheel size discussions, sick edits and freeride flicks.

[*Do I have any that aren't related to me or masquerading as my friends? Not sure.]

To get things under way, Saturday was spent at BikePark Wales, attempting to follow much quicker riders with actual talent down trails sculpted for the express purpose of making buttock-clenching fast-fast. I learned that:

  • motorway service station Costa is heinously expensive
  • egg and bacon McMuffins, whilst delicious, are terrible pre-ride food. Also blah blah evil corporate overlords etc.
  • Doddy is a tall, tall man who rides long, long bikes
  • I look hilarious in mtb kit, especially when I try to mitigate the effect with token Rapha

I was riding one of these:

norco fluid 7.2Fluid 7.2 – Photo:Norco

…which did a fine job of not breaking as I ploughed through, over, and occasionally, between obstacles. I’m fairly certain I’d have died on a hardtail.

Naturally, the next stage is curating a range of utterly bullshit-based opinions about the merits of 27.5″ wheels and the correct orientation of flat-brimmed caps.

Let the broviation commence.