Wednesday, March 05, 2008

These are the people in your neighborhood...

I enjoy reading the weekly e-mail newsletter from www.roadbikerider.com. But, these guys are a bit extreme in their bias against gear that was marketed post 1985.

In their recent newsletter, they tear apart "low spoke count" wheels as dangerous and unreliable. Their main safety argument revolves around some photos of someone hitting the deck in a race, presumably because his low spoke count wheel failed. There is no context to the photos, we don't know how old the wheels were, who last repaired them, who last tensioned them, whether they were run over by the family minivan before the race, etc.

I generally use what they consider to be "low spoke count wheels" in training, racing, and even cyclocross. I do not, however, necessarily advocate them opposed to traditional 32-spoke wheels. It is really a personal preference, and many of their arguments against non-traditional wheels are reasonable. I do take issue with them exploiting this one crash as a reason to avoid non-traditional wheels. For example, the only wheel that ever totally failed on me while riding was a traditionally spoked wheel whose rim just unraveled on a climb. Does that mean traditional wheels are dangerous? Of course not.

Then again, I'm pretty sure that one of these guys complained a few weeks ago that carbon forks are too dangerous to ride.

Wouldn't lawyers and consumer advocates be all over this stuff if it really was as dangerous as these guys claim? I don't know, maybe we should ask Ralph:

2 comments:

Don said...

Brilliant! That is one of the finest pieces of blogging in 2008.

I’m not sure which is more horrifying, Ralph’s performance on Sesame Street or Ralph’s possible performance as our next Commander and Chief.

ds said...

Thanks Don.

I think I have to vote for Ralph's choice of eyewear in the video as hands down more horrifying than the other two options you provided.

-Dave