Basket Case – Bike Snob NYC

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Technical Q&A With Lennard Zinn

Pricey Lennard,

I have not too long ago switched from a 172.5mm crank to a 173mm crank for added energy and leverage:

Ought to I count on knee issues? Ought to I alter my gearing to account for the size discrepancy? Will I expertise pedal strike extra continuously?

–Fred F. Frederickson

The above is clearly a joke, since everyone knows the solutions to these questions are: Sure; Sure; and Sure. The truth is, I believe we will all agree it must be unlawful to vary your crank size and not using a medical prescription. Give it some thought: half a millimeter, as soon as per pedal stroke…in the event you trip 100 miles per week, after a 12 months, you’ve flexed every knee a further 2,000 kilometers! It’s actually not attainable to overstate the hazard of this.

Truly, that’s the Silver crank on my A. Homer Hilsen, which I eliminated with the intention to carry out some backside bracket upkeep, and I assume the rounded-up size is their manner of trolling the kinds of people that obsess over crank size. I additionally spent an excellent period of time on its stablemate, the Platypus, this previous weekend, which sports activities 175mm cranks, although I’m considering of happening to 174.5s so I can “spin” higher:

Whereas empty at this specific second, I make frequent use of the basket, and suppose it’s probably the most handy technique to carry issues by bike. Certainly, until you’re a terminal weight weenie, there’s actually no draw back to having a basket in your bike–until you occur to clip a fence publish with it, as I did:

As you possibly can see, the impression rendered all of it askew:

This occurred very early in my trip, and whereas it didn’t rub or in any manner have an effect on the bike’s dealing with I couldn’t bear to take a look at it, and since I didn’t have a wrench on me to repair it I very almost rotated to restore it at residence, or just swap bikes. However as a substitute I gently twisted it again right into a place that didn’t wreak an excessive amount of havoc with my aesthetic sensibilities and pedaled on, just for my transmission to devour this stick shortly afterward:

It was in there fairly good:

But I managed to get it out, and I didn’t even need to cease once more…till I began bleeding:

See, I’m of the behavior of “choking up” on the bars in order that my entrance finger is forward of the brake lever clamp, and apparently I managed to gouge it on that silly attain adjustment screw–which didn’t even have to be there anyway since I preserve the lever all the way in which out. Why this hadn’t occurred to me sooner I don’t know, and I’ve since eliminated each the screws, however at this level I figured I had nothing left to lose. So I did one thing I’d by no means carried out earlier than, which is take the Platypus onto the Trails Behind The Mall, the place it felt significantly better than I anticipated.

Nonetheless, by far one of the best half was the sheer smugness of driving via on a basket bike because the “actual” mountain bikers rode across the car parking zone doing their pre-ride rituals. I imply, yeah, they in all probability rode off of tall issues and stuff like that, whereas I rode slowly and stored each wheels on the bottom, however they nonetheless look fairly humorous testing their suspension and air strain of their hockey shirts and Bettlejuice helmets:

See what I imply?

Then, once I emerged be-jorted and bloody-digited from the woods into the mall behind which the Trails Behind The Mall are, I locked the platypus as much as an empty plant show in entrance of a big residence enchancment retailer:

And bought this kind adjustable wrench:

Hex keys get all the eye relating to bikes, however it’s all the time good to have a brief adjustable wrench.

First, I twisted the little diving board rack assist thingy again into form:

Then I snugged up the bolts, all of which was made simpler by the offset head angle. Certainly, so happy was I that as a substitute of strolling proper again in and getting my a refund I made it a everlasting a part of the Platypus’s onboard toolkit:

Each device has a narrative.

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