the setback post

Month: December, 2013

Winter riding: at ’cross purposes

Incurable half-wheeler, excellent photographer and all round extremely average friend Jack Luke led me astray on a ’cross ride recently. Jack’s the sort of masochist that shoots sports on medium format, but because I am worth but mere snapshots, he only brought his DSLR this time. All photos in this post are his.

There was mud:

CdF mud

There were leaves:

There were moody rides into the distance:

There may have been a dog:


There was bleak Scottishness:


There was singletrack:

And there was an ironic, but still very cold, river crossing:

The moral of the story is: I may know Jack, but neither does he.


Achieving Balance

Rumour had it recently that H Plus Son, maker of some of my favourite rims, had updated the grey version of their excellent all-rounder, the Archetype. The new finish is a darker grey, slightly more in keeping with traditional hard anodised rims, as well as with their beautiful (albeit rather weighty) TB-14.

Unless I’m mistaken, this rather lovely Genesis Equilibrium from Fitzrovia Bicycles is sporting the new Archetype, built on what I deduce to be 6800 hubs.

Aesthetically, only the lack of a [see blog name] is letting this ensemble down, but I forgive them because it is nevertheless a fine looking machine.


Trek’s new CX bike

This picture of what appears to be a Trek cyclocross prototype has been doing the rounds for the last day, which pleases me because I like having things about which to curmudge:


Photo: Megan Pura Porteous on Instagram, via BikeRumor, now deleted

On paper this has the potential to be a very, very nice bicycle. It appears to be a sort of carbon Crockett/Domane mashup (Dockett? Crackett?) sporting Shimano’s not-yet-available R785 Di2/hydraulic disc setup and more significantly, it has a Domane-style IsoSpeed doodad to decouple the seat tube from whatever it is Trek deems it necessary it be decoupled from. It’s technology proven by Spartacus himself:

…along with middle aged blokes everywhere who definitely, definitely intend to ride de cobblesh [sic] at some point.

So all that is excellent and fabulous and what, I hear you (my one reader, hi Mum!) ask is the problem? The problem is that naturally, being a high end Trek, this is going to have a BB90 bottom bracket and it’s hard to think of a system less suited to the rigours of cyclocross.

Never mind jet-washing, if you so much as perspire too enthusiastically near a BB90 setup you’ll need a new set of bearings. This is not a great problem in and of itself; after all, none of the current crop of press fit BBs are exactly famed for their longevity, but BB90 has the singularly Trekky disadvantages of being totally proprietary (third party bearing choices are pretty limited) and also rather vulnerable to the ingress of water and dirt. It’s a system that leans heavily on the not-so-fine tolerances of a moulded carbon bearing seat:


Photo: Bikerumor

…with predictably mixed results.

Of course, the real reason you shouldn’t buy this bike is because, like, it’s a Trek. But that’s just silly, isn’t it?

Hubris: White Industries Tracker

White Industries Tracker

I seem to have three of these.


Because shiny.