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As a follow-on to last week's single-sided discussion, here's a clearer illustration of the fact that most companies are working within relatively tight constraints, cassette-wise, subject to their strengths and preferences. As we look at ten, eleven, twelve, and even thirteen speed cassettes, we can see that every cassette of a given cog count falls more or less in a line. More range = larger average steps; More cogs = smaller average steps. That makes sense: the average step in a cassette should be pretty close to the range divided by the number of cogs.  The average doesn't tell the whole story,...

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I really didn't want to make the trip to Grants this weekend for La Mosca Bicicleta.  The start was early and the drive long enough to force a drive-camp-ride trip.  The finish was at 10,420' and twenty miles from the start.  And they wanted us to wear honest-to-goodness numbers. For a number of reasons, I largely stopped racing bicycles several years back. My racing career, such as it is, began with EFTA and NORBA races in mid-'90s New England through a budget- and time-constrained college career and on to the discovery of 24-hour racing in UK and back to the States for more...

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If you don’t know Titanium in the metal, you are in for a pleasant surprise. You may think it looks like other metals, which it does. From a distance. But up close it has a color all of its own. In the same way black and white film is not truly monochromatic, Titanium is truly not silver. It has a gorgeous understated luster with hints of bronze; more like a sepia tone than a daguerreotype. To have and To Hold It encourages you to touch it. And here is the second surprise: for even in quite cold conditions it has...

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Maybe it's the time spent poring over mountain bike magazines during the ano-crazy 1990s, but I'm really taken by the oil slick (or, to date myself, ti-dye) anodizing that's making its way from the BMX world into the less-trendy mountain, gravel, and road scenes.  Named for the range of hues you might see in an oily puddle, the gold-green-blue-purple fades are most commonly seen on titanium.   We made these. We'll send you some if you want. More ambitious manufacturers can achieve a similar effect by coating an aluminum or steel part with titanium nitride via physical vapor deposition or chemical vapor deposition (much like those gold drill...

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Remember your emotions when you rode a bike for the first time? Without stabilisers or a grown-up's hand to steady the way? Your first steep hill: the deep satisfaction of getting up; the exhilaration hurtling back down? Do you still get a thrill stepping off life's treadmill and into your saddle? Do you look forward to taking in the sights and scents that pass you by; then, later, enjoy re-living those moments with friends?   If you recognise these feelings, the chances are you see life as a gift to be grasped, enjoyed and shared. Not something that merely happens...

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