Wednesday, August 3, 2011

SRAM S40 Wheels Are Garbage

I'd like to write a long-winded review. It'd be hard, though, because despite having had the luxury of two brand new sets, SRAM's S40 wheels fail after one ride, every time. They are the worst wheels ever.

The first set, the non-drive side spokes began popping one by one, until the mechanic at Helen's Cycles finally shook his head and said he'd make SRAM send me a replacement. That took a month.

The second set lasted one Saturday. When I got home and found my tire low, I parked my bike. Two hours later... PING. Another non-drive side spoke.

Bike mechanics all tell me that SRAM uses cheap, low-grade parts, and that they're inexpensive gruppos because of it. Three of the best bike mechanics in LA have also told me that these wheels use very cheap and hard-to-find spokes — I know this because they didn't have the spokes. So not only do the spokes break, but they're near impossible to replace.

In case you missed the title here, SRAM's wheels are crap. Get ye some Mavics.

Third warranty replacement set arrived! With a crack at the valve hole. Good stuff!

Drier Than A Dead Dingo's Donger

That's an Australian expression. (Polished, ain't they?)

Tuesdays with Wilson

Monday night: "Hey, want to ride to the top of Mount Wilson from your house tomorrow morning? It's about 100 miles round trip. Only the first 50 miles are uphill, the rest is easy."

"Okay, but I have to be at work by 2."

Mission accomplished. It was a scorcher, especially fully exposed up at elevation.

At least I wasn't wearing all black. I learned that lesson here.

Reda (new Colnago C59) and Hime hydrate at the bottom. Black?

Matt and Ethan hydrate at the top. Black?

Radiation, solar and otherwise.

How I saw/felt the sky needles after 50 miles uphill.

Not that smoggy, you can see downtown LA in the distance if you click the pic. Seriously, it's a good pic, click it twice.

Too many towers to count. My brain got hot.

One is a sock; the other is a tan line. Don't click unless you have a fetish.

Last time I climbed Wilson with a guy on a C59 was much hotter. Black, Jack?

Wheelbuilding for Dummy

Dura-Ace daddy long-legs.
Custom, hand-built wheels are way classier than anything else on the road. If anyone else had my exact taste, they'd recognize this.

So for no good reason, I decided to rebuild one of my custom wheels. The reason being: I was proud of my first build, and was showing off my wheels to my mechanic buddies, Jose and Scott.

Oh, the ego, how quickly it leaks helium. They quickly noted I'd laced it backward a couple of years ago (with the spokes oriented or pulling the wrong way). Being very nitpicky about my bikes (and ego), I immediately set about relacing the whole wheel with new spokes, reoriented the right way and everything.

Naturally, when built, it made no difference. The wheel works exactly as before, which is to say perfectly. These are the ways I waste my days obsessing over trivialities. On top of it all, when I showed off my newly built wheel, Jose noticed that I'd crossed spokes over the valve hole, which doesn't affect anything, but is considered a sign of an amateur builder. Basically, he again gave me the "nice try."

It's a learning process. It's all a learning process. If only I would learn that.

Freshly rolled kabobs, courtesy of Maestro at I Martin.

Torqued nipples litter my garage. (Is that Rapha calling?)

Mavic Open Pro rims. So PRO.

D-A hubs. Nothing but the best for the worst.

The first step of gettin' laced.

Falkor the Love Dragon from The Neverending Story

That's my dog.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Where's the Beef?

One of my favorite moments from the Tour de France this year. Alberto Contador, on a solo breakaway ahead of the field, takes the time to give one of the roadside idiots a black eye.

Then again, Contador probably weighs 130 pounds, so this might've felt more like a swipe from a de-clawed cat.

Friday, February 25, 2011

You are what you eat, junkie.

I can't really watch Adam Richman's show—Man Vs Food—where he challenges himself to eat ungodly amounts of unhealthy food. I'm guessing the show is just for shock value, kind of like Jackass for gluttony. Frankly, it's grotesque to watch someone eat so much they're uncomfortably sweating and regurgitating; it stuffs the pleasure right out of food.

It's been three years since he started doing the show, and every time I pass through the Travel Channel, he's looking more and more like a fat heroin junkie. (The photos below don't at all illustrate how terrible he looks; they're just what I could find on the interwebs.) I'm concerned. If he doesn't die before next season, he should look into eating a salad or smoothie. No one should age that badly in three years.

Before. (Get it? Man V donut.)
The scarf that you wish covered your chins.

Still bummed...

Still bummed that I didn't get The Red Bulletin job at Red Bull. Not that I'm a big consumer of energy drinks, but Red Bull just does some fantastic stuff—in the literal sense of fantasy. Check out the mini velodrome.

Plus anything that works against Monster or Rockstar energy drinks (and associated bros with flame tattoos) is great to me.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Jalama Burgers

Phil loves Amurc'n food.
My friend Philipp came all the way from Indonesia to surf with me in California. Which is an idiotic thing to do. Indonesia has the best waves on the planet.

Naturally, the water in Southern California was cold and flat due to La Nina.

Cold, small waves with Point Conception in the background.

At 4 am we left for Jalama, which is just north of Point Conception, below which is considered Southern California. Above Conception, you can catch north swells which are blocked by the point. (Point Conception's a real dick cock-blocker for SoCal surfers.)

After surfing, while we enjoyed a couple of life expectancy-shaving Jalama burgers, a local told us some shark stories. A guy had recently been sawed in half by a great white just a few miles north at Vandenburg Air Force Base. I was glad to get the story after surfing.

They say Southern California is full of pussies.

Phil is pretty funny. He doesn't give a fuck.

Why is there a monkey in a cage on the side of a river? It's Indonesia, that's why.