Shocktober

I’m getting hungry — peel me a grape.

I hate to do this to anyone who’s already “enjoying” more seasonal weather, but it’s either this or politics.

Yes, that is me, riding a Marin Nicasio locked and loaded with racks and sacks. In late October. Wearing shorts, a short-sleeved jersey, and sunscreen. Ice in the water bottles. Blue in the sky.

The world is a cold, cruel place.

Well, not here. Here it’s just cruel.*

* OK, if it helps dull the pain, I was actually working, just like you.** This is a still from some video to support my review of the Marin Nicasio, coming to a copy of Adventure Cyclist near you in February 2018.

** Well, if you can call riding around like a bum during business hours “working,” anyway.

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38 Responses to “Shocktober”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    Loaded Touring de Parking Lot?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      That’s in the High Desert neighborhood, over by the Michial Emery trailhead. I was thinking about shooting over on Tramway, but The Boo was being fussy and I didn’t want to leave him unsupervised for too long. Little bugger has more voices in his head than I do lately. Only his aren’t marketable.

  2. Hurben Says:

    Look it that, a lean mean cycling machine..

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Oh, yeah. I’m in training for the starring role in “Batman: The Dark Knight Retires,” in which Bruce Wayne sells the Batmobile, buys a touring bicycle and poots around during the daylight hours just to see what things look like in the sunshine.

    • JD Dallager Says:

      So, Hurben: Enough whining and whimpering about the weather, impending growing darkness, etc. from us northern hemisphere weenies.

      What’s Spring and Summer looking like your way? Plans? Travels? Epic bike adventures?

      Vegemite? 🙂

  3. khal spencer Says:

    What the heck is the gear train on that bike? Looks like a “Compact Plus Cassette Granny” in the picture.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      It’s bargain-basement Shimano, their Claris group. Eight-speed like the old Shimano 600 STI, but with the capacity to handle a 32-tooth cog instead of maxing out at 28T. In this case we’re talking a compact FSA crank (50/34) with an 11-32 SunRace cassette.

      Claris is turning up on a lot of affordable bikes like the Nicasio. It’s not bad stuff. The finish obviously isn’t up to Ultegra or even 105 standards, especially where the brifters are concerned, but it works.

      The Claris brifter

      The Claris brifter, with its cutesy but largely unnecessary gear indicator.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Took a look at the Claris link you so kindly provided. Interesting that they offer both brifters and rapid fires for Claris. Did Shimano get our message to make road and mountain shifters compatible again? Let me go back to the Shimano site and do a little digging.

        • Pat O'Brien Says:

          From what I could glean from Shimano’s website, the option for rapid fire or brifter shifters is only for the Tiagra and below road groups. The Sora and Claris information doesn’t give any chainring or cassette information. The lowest gear you can get with Tiagra is 30×34 if you select a triple crankset.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Ok. Well, with a 28.7 gear inch low gear, folks better keep those panniers loaded with goose down rather than six packs and groceries. My fast commuter has one wheelset with that gearing but I wouldn’t load up and ride to Buffalo on it.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          Well, to be fair, the Nicasio isn’t intended to be a pure tourist like the Salsa Marrakesh. This ‘ere is one of your go-most-anywhere, do-most-anything dealie-whompuses.

          The right person could tour on it, most definitely. And since it retails for $750, that person could swap out that compact double for a Sugino triple or one of Grant’s fabled Silver wide-low doubles.

          As is it’s big fun to ride. It’d be a fine commuter, errand bike, gravel-grinder, weekend workout machine, etc. Did I mention it only costs $750?

  4. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    No apology needed! I’ll be posting similar photos from Sicily in a few months if all goes well. I’m always struck by the difference in Italians and Americans when it comes to bike components. Yankees seem to want the top-of-the-line even if it’s attached to a less than high-end frame while Italians want the best frame they can get and then build up their bike with what they can afford, knowing the stuff will be worn-out and replaced anyway. These days especially, the lower-end stuff works amazingly well and spending the big cash gets you only a nicer finish and more exotic (expensive) materials.

  5. Pat O'Brien Says:

    I’m starting to think that a 3×9 LX drivetrain with bar end shifters (friction for the front derailleur) is the ultimate for my tired ass.

    • khal spencer Says:

      Kinda like this?
      http://labikes.blogspot.com/2011/10/is-it-touring-bike-or-monstercross-bike.html

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Y’know what else works like a charm? 3×9 Deore with Silver ratcheting shifters. Set you back about a hunnerd-fiddy smacks. Got that combo on one Soma Saga and the Sam Hillborne. 8-speed Ultegra bar-cons are a hair cheaper and index. Those I have on a couple-three-bikes.

    • larryatcycleitalia Says:

      My 3 X 9 Campagnolo ergopower bikes continue to be my favorites. An improvement on their old 8-speed but I think it’s superior also to 10 and 11. But I’m long past being anyone’s target consumer unless you count AARP!!!

      • David Rees Says:

        Larry do you still like the Campy Potenza group set?

      • larryatcycleitalia Says:

        Potenza is fantastic! Clients who have ridden it say the same. I like it so much I’m considering trying a new Centaur (supposed to compete for OEM spec with Big-S’ 105) groupset on a bike for my own personal use!
        Back-in-the-day we said the Campagnolo groupsets all worked well, spending the extra loot just got you nicer finish and more exotic (lighter) materials but there was a period (perhaps starting a decade ago?) when this wasn’t truly the case. But based on my own tests of Potenza and our clients experience + what I’ve heard about Centaur so far I’m happy to say CAMPAGNOLO is back in a big way. Of course the truth will be in how much OEM spec they get with groupsets now ready to take on Ultegra and 105 in addition to DuraAce?

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Do people still buy Dura-Ace? Man, I abandoned that a long time ago. I still have some hubs, and a set or two of bar-cons, but otherwise that stuff shot out of my price range in the early Nineties. Ultegra was always good enough for the likes of me, and sometimes 105, too.

        Of course, I was always dragging my gear through the mud and snow come cyclocross season, so ponying up for the good stuff was like asking Elle Macpherson to go mud-wrestling.

        • larryatcycleitalia Says:

          Dude, you must not get out much. People buy Dura Ace, Super Record and the rest of the high-end groupsets for the same reason they spend piles o’loot on expensive German automobiles, anything with Apple’s name on it, overpriced vacuum cleaners, etc. Sadly, bikes in the USA are valued mostly for the groupset attached to them rather than the quality of the frame/fork, which seems to be considered little more than a bracket to hold the bits together. How often do you hear someone in the biz describe their “Ultegra” or “105” bike like that was the model name?
          The “you are what you buy” culture seems alive and well in the USA from what I see.
          My wife’s cheapo smart-phone got a lot of oohs and aahs recently as it was confused with the latest I-thing…but as soon as she explained it was a generic Chinese Android gizmo, it was back to ho-hum.

        • Pat O'Brien Says:

          Bling for bikes baby. I’ve been satisfied with 105 and XT except for 3 bikes with Ultegra and Veloce as OEM.

        • JD Dallager Says:

          Me? I was an Ultegra guy when I was still road cycling.

          Now, as a rad/shreddin’/Red Bull (pick none of the three!) kinda MTB’er, I go with the SLX.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          Hah. I definitely don’t get out much. Not nearly as much as I’d like to, anyway. And almost never on Dura-Ace anything, unless I’m riding the Soma Double Cross with the D-A hubs and Ultegra/XT everything else.

          I’m having trouble getting excited about Apple’s latest and greatest, too. This MacBook Pro has been having the vapors, sick headaches and various other issues ever since I “upgraded” it to macOS Sierra, and I can’t say as if I’m rarin’ to plunk down $699 for the iPhone 8, which is getting flogged by its cheaper predecessor and the hideously expensive iPhone X.

          The iPhone SE is dated, but I like the size, especially the size of the tab ($349).

          I know, I know — they’re not just phones, they’re pocket computers. But still, damn.

        • khal spencer Says:

          I only bought Dura-Ace once and that was when Nashbar had a fire sale. No way I would buy it full freight. But that stuff works really fine on the CAAD-5

  6. khal spencer Says:

    Speaking of low gears.
    http://labikes.blogspot.com/2014/01/low-gears.html

  7. larry brown Says:

    Yep that’s a real old guys bicycle, I want one.

  8. ryansubike Says:

    After a week of pouring rain earlier this month we have had gorgeous late October weather here in Seattle, I did two clear blue sky rides this week, one day was 65 degrees and today was 60. It’s like stealing

  9. Herb Clevenger Says:

    Here in Michigan it’s cold, overcast and wet. As it should be as November rolls around. But damn….I would love just a few more sunny days with temps at 60. The colors are peaked but the overcast days steal the impact from hardwoods. I’m not one who has adopted winter riding on fat bikes. Or any bike for that matter. Absence makes the heart grow fonder so it’s xc skis, snowshoes and navel contemplation come winter. For those of you who hate snow, send it here! But no wind trainers please. I’d almost rather have a root canal than “ride” indoors.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      XC skis and snowshoes (and running, for the insane) make a nice change from pushing the pedals around come wintertime. I’ve gotten back into running at least twice a week, with some light weight training, just to keep the old bones from crumbling into powder.

      And yeah, the indoor Tour de Nowhere is the last resort. I still have my old Cateye CS-1000, but I can’t remember the last time I unfolded it and put it to work.

    • larryatcycleitalia Says:

      Trainer? AAAGGHHHHH! I’ve still got about 6 weeks until we head west to sponge off the in-laws in SoCal for the holidays, but I fear I’ll be forced to sweat inside a few times before that just so my fat a__ remembers what it’s like to sit on a bike saddle.
      The 32 mm Panaracer Gravel Kings are now mounted on the bike (measuring out to about the same as the 27 mm Challenge Parigi-Roubaix – go figure) but the only use they might see until next year is indoor…AAAGHHHHHHHHH!
      But by mid-January I should be able to post a few of those “Weather is here, wish you were beautiful” cycling photos from Sicily

  10. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Riding indoors is something I avoid. Took a spin class a few years ago while visiting relatives in Kentucky. Not for me, especially on fixed gear spin trainers. But I am retired and live in SE Arizona, so no need to ride indoors. But I loved camping and fishing in the UP when I was a teen. A beautiful place.

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