I’m so tired

The Soma Shikoro, named for the neck guard on a samurai’s helmet.

The Nobilette finally has some “new” rubber.

I call it “new,” but these 700×33 Soma Shikoros have been laying doggo in the garage for the better part of quite some time. I only just now got around to clamping ’em onto a pair of hoops.

They’re a pretty skinny 33mm. At 60/65 psi I make ’em more like 31mm. But they have a nice round profile, are armored from bead to bead to fend off the nasties, and went on smoove like butta.

As you can see I’ve already had them in the soft stuff, and they performed adequately, but then “soft,” like “new” and “33mm,” is relative. We’ve had an unusual amount of rain and the trails are nicely packed (where they’re not rutted all to shitaree).

You can get the Shikoro in 700×23, 28, 33, 38 and 42, steel or Kevlar bead, and in a 700×48 tubeless edition.

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33 Responses to “I’m so tired”

  1. SAO' Says:

    Need a pair in 16” and 20”. There’s a new bike racer in town, 6 years old and 40 lbs of twisted steel and sex appeal. First day turning a pedal in anger, she comes home with $6 in ice cream bucks. (Thanks to the good people at Old Town’s Walrus Ice Cream, long time supporters of the local racing scene.)

  2. khal spencer Says:

    I have a pair of Vittoria Open Pros in 700-23. I no longer subscribe to “skinnier is better” perhaps because my own midsection gives that the lie. But I need to use them up so I can buy some wider rubber to go with this WideBody….

    p.s. Are the usual suspects still on for the Fanta Se Century?

    • larryatcycleitalia Says:

      Vittoria’s 23’s are on the fat side and still get mounted on my bikes, though when I buy ’em on sale these days it’s 25’s. I have a tough time believing any tires with “poly bead breakers” and unspecified TPI numbers compare with Vittoria cotton tires in ride quality though they’re certainly going to be more durable. I found this out awhile back with a Challenge tire I liked – bought what I thought was the same thing, but turned to be “improved” with something that sounds similar – and rode like crap! Never again! Vittoria (or Veloflex) for me and Michelin for the wife – but there are no thorns and no broken glass on the roads here in Italy….

      • khal spencer Says:

        I still think Vittoria Open Pros (or whatever the equivalent is now) are the gold standard for ride quality. Nowadays, I try to get them on sale in the 25 mm size.

        Plus, those are the only tires I can mount without swearing and breaking plastic tire levers on a pair of Shimano paired spoke WH-535 wheels. I wasn’t planning on buying those wheels, but I broke a hub on a stupid-light set of wheels while on a trip up to Colorado and found them, used, for a song in a bike shop up in Boulder, so they saved the trip.

        Teachable moment: when on a trip, either bring a spare set of wheels or bring a robust set you can fix on the fly.

        • larryatcycleitalia Says:

          I dunno why some of these tires are so f—ing damn hard to mount. If I can’t mount it with my hands, I don’t want it.
          Your last paragraph is something we used to really stress on our tours – but more than once someone showed up with something worn-out, flimsy or stupid light and they’d pay the price (yours truly did as well) with repair, replacement (if our spare set would work) or hauling them off to a bike shop. Cycling still seems to be bipolar – either the rider goes off with something I’d ride farther than I was willing to walk only with a fully-equipped follow car or on something totally bomb-proof with a spare everything attached, just-in-case.

          • khal spencer Says:

            The WH-535’s in either the Dura Ace or Ultegra form are impossibly tight fits on virtually any tire. A buddy of mine at work has a set too and had to research what tires would mount on them. I used my “pre stretched” Vittorias taken off another set of hoops. I would never recommend them and to be honest, the only reason I use them is because I have them!

            Increasingly, I prefer old fashioned 32×3 cross wheels. Easy to work on, more comfortable. I’m past my fascination with high tech stuff.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        The Somas are made by Panaracer, and I’ve always liked Panaracer. Easy to mount for the most part, and while I’ve heard some complaints about fragile sidewalls, I’ve never had any issues with them.

        As regards ride quality, I’ve given up all hope there. The roads in Colorado and New Mexico are so goddamn bad and the thorns so prevalent that I look for puncture resistance first and foremost.

        • khal spencer Says:

          I had several pairs of Paselas that rode really nice and I’d buy some more. Only trouble I ever had with them was when I mounted a set of 700-32’s on the Co Motion Primera tandem wheels and one immediately showed so much bead that I was sure it would blow itself off the rim. That settled that and they came right off of the big bike. Right now the CoMo is shod with 700-35 Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires in honor of our goatheads. On my Salsa La Cruz when it was a commuter they were heavy and LARGE but reliable under all conditions. On the tandem with its extra mass, they are not noticeable.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Andy and I will be riding. Our smarter halves will be there too, not riding though. My tandem riding buddies had to cancel due to a medical problem. So, only 8 for dinner Sunday evening if Shannon comes. But she will be just off a trip so may not make itt according to Patrick. See you Sunday, Khal. Let you know when we get there.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Meena gets in, Southwest Airlines willing and the creek don’t rise, at 4 on Saturday so I will try to do packet pickup on the way back from Albuquerque. probably a good place to meet Sunday morning is at the flagpoles in the main parking lot at Santa Fe Community College. Its a sprawling campus and there will be lots there.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I’ve managed to throw my back out again, but am trying to ride and stretch my way back to what passes for normalcy.

        I actually feel better on the bike than I do off it, though I haven’t done any serious distance in the past few days (managed 25 miles today without screeching like a banshee). Assuming I get better rather than worser, I don’t expect to be particularly speedy on the half-century.

        Herself probably won’t make dinner on Sunday. She’ll have been gone for two weeks and her to-do list must be starting to look like a Russian novel.

        • Pat O'Brien Says:

          Great backs ache alike. Damn if I didn’t pull a muscle back there washing the car. Taking Andy out for his first ride at altitude (4600-5200 feet) on Friday, so hopefully the back is functional by then.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          Yard work was my downfall. A couple of those weeds just plain didn’t want to come out. Worthy adversaries, is what. I won every battle, but they won the war.

          • JD Dallager Says:

            Our community fire mitigation committee (average age 74 this season) will be using chain saws, plain saws, elbow grease, etc. this Friday to remove trees/branches/etc. in our common areas. Then haul them away (that’s the real work). Some big down and dead tress from a major windstorm too. We’ll be the down….and hopefully not dead…..by Friday PM.

            Advil futures are my investment tip for you all!! 🙂

          • Patrick O'Grady Says:

            That sawyer work is heavy lifting. When we lived outside Weirdcliffe, Hal and I used to truck up into the hills and cut firewood for our stoves.

            I was never comfortable with a chainsaw, but Hal had beaucoup experience, having heated with wood for years and cut plenty trail for a cross-country-ski area. I watched, tried to learn, and avoided sawing off any of my own bits.

            Eventually I started buying wood down in Cañon City and Hal went to either a pellet stove or a gas model, I forget which. Much easier on the lower back.

        • Pat O'Brien Says:

          I left the dinner reservations at 10 folks in case Herself changes her mind, or if your ACA buddies decide to join us or both.

        • khal spencer Says:

          Don’t expect me to set a torrid pace, at any rate. I’ve had a hard time getting bike time in since we moved to Fanta Se and I am still toiling away in BombTowne.

          • Pat O'Brien Says:

            I got a feeling that we will be even slower. Andy is coming from sea level to 7100 feet in two days. Who knows how the ride will shake out? In any case, it is a ride not a race, and I am just happy to be there.

            I need to figure out where to pick up packets. We will get them Saturday afternoon after hotel check in. Staying at the Fairfield Inn on Cerrillos road.

  3. psobrien Says:

    Riding the Nobilette in the dirt? Say it ain’t so.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Short stretches only, Paddy me boyo. Connectors that spare me some unpleasant pieces of pavement, for the most part.

      When I first got the Nobilette I treated it as a cyclocross bike, until I decided while riding a rocky stretch of Palmer Park that it was just too damn’ pretty to ding up doing stupid shit. Now it’s 99 percent a road bike.

      The Steelmans and Voodoos already have plenty of dings, scratches and scrapes, so those are my go-to trail tools these days.

      • larryatcycleitalia Says:

        I put this stuff on our full carbon Favaloro bikes (and a couple of my own steel frames) to guard against damage from junk flying up off the road.

        Yardwork? AHGGGGHHH! My back hurts just thinking about it. Have fun at the bike ride or whatever they call ’em nowadays, can’t believe it’s not called a FONDO of some flavor!!

        • khal spencer Says:

          Oh, indeed, there is a Gran Fondo version of the Santa Fe Century that runs at the same time on the same course. It costs a lot more to register and in return, you get to see how fast you are by an Official(tm) Clock rather than looking at your bike computer and seeing how fast you are.

          Last year I was riding into the finish with a fellow SOB (Santa Fe Seniors on Bikes) and some millennial with a Fondo number pinned to his jersey was trying to shave seconds, so he shot between us in a tight curve to the finish, almost landing the three of us horizontal. From his reaction, he never learned panache or good manners and so I shot him a long list of expletives as he sprinted for his near-Spartacus moment.. Had a talk, to no particular result, with one of the Fondo managers, about reminding folks that Fondo is not a synonym for F-up.

          Go figure.

          • larryatcycleitalia Says:

            But suggest this fellow get a real racing license, pin on a real number and get out there to see how he REALLY stacks up and you’ll get a long list of excuses. We used to be annoyed by squids like this back in the day’s we go out on the motos for a cruise around the Malibu hills. These morons would go blowing past, and then we’d hear later how they “beat” the local hotshot. We’d ask if the hotshot knew where the finish line was and then ask them why not show up next Sunday at the racetrack so we can race for real? You already know the answer. Have fun and here’s to hoping none of the Fondo squids take you out.

          • khal spencer Says:

            Never heard squid used in bicycling lingo, but if the cleat fits…

          • larryatcycleitalia Says:

            Squid is an old moto term from back-in-the-day. The same kind of a-holes who might show up at the race, but instead of lining up with their moto and actually racing, they’d just barrel around the paddock and try to look cool. You know the type. Squids.

          • Patrick O'Grady Says:

            I dunno if cycling has an equivalent of “squid.” There’s “Fred,” but that to me that evokes a new rider who lacks knowledge and skills rather than an actual hazard. I’ve heard noobs who couldn’t ride a straight line called “squirrels,” or “triathletes,” which is fightin’ words for sure.

            And there’s always “poseur.” It practically goes without saying that we’d reach out to the Frogs for this one.

  4. khal spencer Says:

    Santa Fe Century Packet Pickup is at the Santa Fe Brewing Co. Info here.



    5:00pm – 7:00pm
    Riders pick up their ride kits at Santa Fe Brewing Company.
    35 Fire Place
    Santa Fe, NM 87508
    Onsite Registration is open.
    Vintage Bicycle Pageant

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