How Fucking Cool Is Carbon?

Carbon’s some pretty strong stuff. It’s amazing how many folks don’t understand just how tough carbon fiber really is. The assemblage of thousands of fibers intertwined…there’s something almost poetic about it, isn’t there? You take a thousand small pieces, band them together, and they can carry the mightiest to the top of the mountains. Its tensile strength is enough to take direct impacts from a hammer—believe me, I’ve tried it—and to top it all off, it’s damn sexy.

 

But it’s no match for a garage door.

 

Just a flesh wound.

 

We are all strong enough for our intended purpose. We can all be crushed when we are used in way we are not designed to. Our bikes are extensions of ourselves, and if you’ve ever gone over the bars, you know that well enough. Aluminum is rigid, unyielding, but agile. Steel flexes and gives, yet keeps you connected to the trail in ways other materials can’t. Titanium is damn good, and it knows it’s good. And there’s carbon, the jack of all trades. Each material has its given purpose, its supporters and detractors.

Each one can be broken.

The trick is to know when it’s time to re-weave each strand, and when it’s time to call it a total loss. And when it’s a total loss, you have to know what to do next. Warranty? Rebuild? Switch to a new material? On-off switches…man, don’t you wish we all had one built into just about everything?

It’s winter, and Denver’s covered in snow and ice. The air is damn cold and I haven’t ridden a bike in a while. I’ve got me a new steel frame (a Kona Unit) sitting in my basement begging to be built. It’s a time to think about new possibilities and to mourn those possibilities that, really, were never all that possible. And during this time, this cold winter, I can’t help but think about the strands of carbon holding so many of my parts together. Overlapping permanently. Not much as many, but really something as one.

The point?

None.

Ride a bike. Drink a beer. Go fuck yourself. It’s winter, and life is good.

Happy 2013, all you bastards in the DC world. 2012′s been fun. Thanks for being a part of it all.

 

Here’s to the trail ahead. Hope it’s a smooth one for all of us…

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About D2

I am a writer and a photographer. I never killed a man in Reno, but I once rode a bike through a casino in Vegas. Bikes are cool, huevos rancheros are for breakfast, whiskey is for dinner. Denver, Colorado, USA

50 thoughts on “How Fucking Cool Is Carbon?

  1. really? YOU drove into a garage?

    Fuck man there are 12,000 ways to get a new ride outta that.

    renters insurance.

    Sux hard but the best time of the year to do it, if there is one.

  2. That is most definitely NOT my bike. I don’t even have a garage! That was a bike that was taken into the last bike shop I worked at. Happened sometime last summer. Just stumbled across the photo.

  3. This new format sucks ass and the writing borders on belligerent shit.
    Sorry if I am offending anyone, but if you guys look at the comments (like none) you have totally alienated everyone other than yourself.
    Maybe this is intentional, but is frustrating to pull up the site and see crap content when there used to be great content.
    Cheers.

  4. I drove my Ti hardtail into a garage. It took the roof rack off and took the garage down; the bike was fine.

  5. @Leif: We have had very little negative feedback on the site re-design so you aren’t offending anybody. I welcome your opinion. All we wanted to accomplish was a little modernization and to allow stuff to not get knocked off the bottom of the page as fast. Cause let’s face it, you guys don’t like to scroll down
    not quite sure what exactly makes it “belligerent shit” —–> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2y8Sx4B2Sk

    Sorry you think the content sucks, homey. I am still just doing the same old song of dance of sharing my thoughts and travels with you guys.

    I’m down to hear feedback, and I actually pay attention to it. So instead of just saying it sucks, how about some particulars? Personally, i’m pretty happy to see the negative spew of the comments be gone. That shit was the same tired old broken record for years and it’s the number one critique of the site when I meet readers.
    It was totally by accident, but I sure am glad it happened.

  6. Hi Dirty Biker,

    I’ve walked away from this site since the Caveman train wreck but I logged in on a whim & yeah, I support what Leif said.

    I work in IT & User Experience is my bread & butter & sadly, this interpretation of the site is sadly lacking.

    We’ve had this conversation before but frankly, this site has become Localist, I feel that the ‘Western as Fuck’ attitude has a lot to do with it.

    DB, I like what you post but I’m not going to be around to read much of it anymore.

    Take care out there,
    Hurben

  7. @Leif @Hurben +1

    I also walked away after the caveman debacle, but find myself coming back in the hope of finding some of the old magic. Sadly I have been disappointed.
    Open it up, loosen it up, get with where the world is, keep i sharp, keep it topical and keep the narrow-minded rednecks in check.
    I know nothing about site design, but for some reason this doesn’t work for me.
    I was still the only one representing DC on the Desert Dash though.

  8. I say this because I genuinely do want the feedback, not because I’m being snarky.

    It sounds like you all simply want us to get rid of the edgy, in-your-face, often-bombastic posts…you know, the ones that differentiate us from every other cycling site out there. Yes? You want us to be more like Vital or Pinkbike, or BikeSnob?

    Also, I’m still at a loss for figuring out what was belligerent about this post, a post that was essentially a happy new year to you folks.

  9. D2,
    I didn’t get that impression from Leif or Hurben and it’s certainly not what I meant.
    Keep it edgy, bombastic, in your face etc, but also let it be a little more enlightened, a little more cosmopolitan, cheeky, sharp, call it what you want to. To me it’s about acknowledging diversity and celebrating it, not denying or ridiculing it. If DC is to grow, it needs more people to feel welcome on the site.
    I don’t even know Pinkbike or Vital, but I am a fan of BSNYC. Why? Sharp stuff, sharp comments and a robust free-for all in the comments section. You don’t get snob entering the comments fray (mostly).
    What doesn’t work is when a poster attempts to insult commenters and then hides behind his mates. It doesn’t work on DC and it sure doesn’t work anywhere else.
    Why am I taking the trouble to comment? Because I’ve been a DC loyalist for years and it burns my arse to see it slide into oblivion.
    OK, I’ll say it. Maybe the site needs to mature (flames/flames) ? Only so much silly shit (which we all love at times) but also some more thoughtful stuff. Fun, wild, hectic, all that, but not shooting up trees kind of crap.

    I say this because I care about DC.

  10. DC – I love you just the way you are. It’s ass freezing cold up here at 9k feet today. Time to strap on the skate skis and experience the mountains in a slightly different way.

  11. Off topic a little…I ride an Ibis Hakkalugi. It rides great for a carbon bike. Its my only bike except for a 77 Peugeot ss. Any thoughts on a surly cross check with a rohloff as a mostly do it all bike. I like steel and the low/no maintenance of an igh. Thanks!
    Chris

  12. I never read the site, but I comment all the time. Panties in a bunch over a couple of caveman posts?
    Hurben and leif, could you send me the links to your blogs? I’m sure they are amazing@!

  13. Awe, that’s cute. The bitchy old dudes who brought nothing but negativity to the site are pissed at a little change and the pussies are all butthurt about somebody shooting a tree. Good riddance.
    Keep up the good work, boys. The site looks fine.

  14. A thought or 2, with the redesign i click my link and see the scrolling banner thing but not the new articles/posts so until I figured that out I thought the site wasn’t being updated.

    I have been a reader for longer than most but not as long as many. Yesterday I contemplated removing the link from my banner bar but couldn’t bring myself to do it, too much of a habit. I think you have a great core of writers now but was getting tired of those that thought since they had posting rights the DC world revolved around them….

    Still interesting, I’m gonna try the 100 miler with a beer every 10, maybe ramp it up starting with a 50 miler with a beer/shot every 5. Sort of a hash run without all the gay hazing crapola. Anyone in Flag want to try this this summer??

    I’m done with the western as fuck thing too but roll it if you like….I was partial to the DC jersey on Mt Ventoux shot in the banner, a handsome man there.

    I hope this was somewhat constructive
    Happy New Year to All

  15. Here’s my 2 cents of constructive criticism (more like $5, I didn’t mean for it to be so long):

    As far as the content goes, I understand that you guys want to be edgy and different. That’s fine, you have been since I started reading 7 years ago. Just understand that a lot of people that come to a cycling-themed website don’t want to hear about childish antics with guns or gasoline engines. Childish antics while drunk on bikes? Thumbs up.

    As for the new design, I get that you’re trying to modernize it. It just feels very fragmented, and disconnected from its roots.

    The gray boxes everywhere breaks everything up and makes it hard to read. Yellow, black, and burgundy have been the DC branding colors for a long time, so it would be nice to see them better represented in the new design.

    My suggestions:
    - Go back to a full yellow background with burgundy or black text and eliminate all the gray boxes. Use shades of burgundy in the menu bar instead of gray.
    - Wrap the main post and comments divs into one div with thick burgundy or black side borders to maintain continuity. The comments are the logical extension of the post, so they should come directly afterward. Keep the horizontal borders to a minimum.
    - Move the add comment section to the top of the comments, or the sidebar. When threads get really long, most people don’t want to scroll all the way to the bottom just to leave their thoughts.
    - Put the related posts and about the author in the sidebar. They are both extraneous information and should be positioned as such.
    - Combine all the sponsors into their own box, it’s redundant for each to have their own.
    - Increase the font size and decrease “white space”. Right now it looks like there’s less content than there should be because the font is so small.
    - Get rid of the second banner image, it’s just taking up space. The main banner (which looks great) would stand out a lot more.
    - Institute some sort of pre-process error-checking for required fields that incorporates a popup or something where if you forget to fill in a required field, you still retain that entire long-ass comment you just typed.

    I like the layout overall, it just needs some tweaks for usability.

  16. I’ve also noticed that a lot of good content is only posted on the FB page. Maybe try posting it here, even if it’s just a “caption this” or “hot girl on bike” and posting the dc.com link to FB.

    Also, I don’t think your Lightbox/Colorbox plugin is working. If I click on an image in a post, it just takes me to the image page instead of creating a popup/overlay.

  17. Alright,
    My 2 cents worth on the site re-design. Don’t like it. Been following and reading for many years now from here near Paris, France. Always have enjoyed the reading, the pix, the content and the comments, even the old eye-candy from way back when. However, today when I check (daily) I just seem to feel a bit lost and disoriented. I’m not finding my happiness here like I used to. I did give it a while to sink in and for me to get used to the new design and format, but if I were asked to give my conclusion at this point, would definitely say not happy. Hope yopu can turn things around and continue the heretofore good work you’ve always done.
    Rubber side down,
    David

  18. @El Gecko – now that’s what I’m talking about! Thanks! Most of what you wrote looks identical to our to-do list as well. I don’t speak code, so i am gonna have to trust you on some of that formatting stuff. I reckon most of this will eventually happen. With all of us having careers, families, and hangovers it will just take a little time to get it all done. The “yellow page” as we call it, is definitely a work in progress.
    We just want it to be a rad place to come and bullshit about bikes and have it be a little different than the current boring industry circle jerk we are inundated with on a regular basis…so we are going to keep working towards that.
    Sorry you guys thought that Cave’s stuff was sub par…but seeing as they were some of the most popular posts of the year, A LOT of people thought otherwise.

  19. What’s wrong with Caveman? Way to call out those two readers on their masculinity because they think your site sucks, Dirty. Ha ha, they probably don’t have blogs like you. You are way cooler than them. Honestly though, I don’t like the new style either. But I where panties and don’t have a blog. I still an DC loyal and like Caveman’s posts, though. Why are (dirty)cyclists so sensitive.

  20. Are you talking about me or the guy who made his screen name similar to mine?
    If you meant me: I don’t think there is any hyper sensitivity happening…just trying to fill everybody in on what’s going on. I think Cave’s shit was hilarious but don’t mind if other people disagree. Some people like strawberry, some people like vanilla, some like it with whip cream and a cherry…different flavors for different people.
    We ain’t roll models we are just doing our thing and sharing it with ya’ll.

  21. @dirty – No problem, I’ve been working through similar design & coding issues with our website at work. Designing for clarity and usability is fresh on my mind. If you guys need any help along the way, just let me know.

  22. Interesting that dirty cyclist made his screen name similar to yours. I really thought it was you. Sorry about that. When I thought it was you, I was like “what a douche”, but now I think dirty cyclist just lacks creativity and “what a douche”. I still stick to my statement. I am DC loyal and I like Caveman’s posts.

  23. more good content, I usually like what I see here

    less drama, it would be boring if we all liked and did the same stuff. Ride and let ride.

    as for the layout I prefer light background and dark text, I must be getting too old, or too intoxicated to (or both) to read white on gray.

    Thanks,
    As you were.
    Buck

  24. Just went from 2004 alloy Stumpy FSR to 2012 carbon Epic expert 29er. Got 9 good years out of the Stumpy, but on first ride on new rig was absolutely blown away at how much faster with less effort the carbon 29er is and how “quiet” the carbon is.

    Mikey: Here is some awesome new footage of Phoenix FI circa ’91:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfWq4aCREF0

  25. My spousal unit drove my old fullie into the carport roof one time… and she liked to come in hot. The bike landed about two-thirds of the way down the driveway. Luckily, the fork took the brunt of it, and once replaced, I was rolling as before.

    @Hack— thanks, bro, nice vid. I forwarded it to my F1 homies.

  26. This article was not belligerent.
    I have been a reader for several years.
    I don’t have a blog.
    I do like that there is a posse of people that are drunkcyclist.
    You have created a great community.

    That is part of what I miss.
    Were are the Merry Pranksters that comment, argue and are totally full of shit half the time and make me laugh the other half.

    That is part of the headache and magic.

  27. @Leif,

    I respectfully disagree with your reference to the merry pranksters….I think the best thing about the new format is a lot more people have come out to comment…not the same tired three.

    I just got a Yeti SB66 Carbon. How fucking cool indeed.

  28. At the endlessly repeated risk of over-commenting. I too upgraded my MTB to a carbon 29er (Scott Scale) this year that thing is a fucking rocket.

  29. ok, as a long time entity round here, and good friend of a couple of those who facilitate this train wreck, I am not a fan of this new format either. the old format worked, was linear, easy to navigate and consistent. the new format is like a moving target. But I still love you like brothers.

  30. Format is hell on these old-assed bifocaled eyes. You whippersnappers don’t know how lucky you are.

    Crabon good for jumbo jets and racing-type thingies. For going out into this halfassed excuse for a snowstorm I’ve been glowering at all morning, steel, fixed gear and studded tires is the shiznit.

    Chris, if you ain’t been scared off yet, I’ve been riding the same Crosscheck deraillered and fixed, probably five different builds for like eight years and it’s never let me down. Currently fixed at 65 gear inches with floofy tires, rack, fenders and flatbar. But I look at those long, purty dropouts and I think how they seem made for such as a Rohloff. Couldn’t think of a more perfect or versatile combination.

  31. New layout? Meh. Was cornfused for about a minute, then I figured it out. Life moved on, I kept breathing, it was all okay.

    Can’t say as I’ve ever stopped going to a favored site due to layout change, as long as it doesn’t have those stupid drop down menu windows that keep moving sideways with each selection made, but featuring a super narrow path from one to the next, which if you miss with the mouse, you need to start all over again. Whoever came up with that, needs to be between Cavey and the next tree he decides to defile with buck shot…..

    Content? Fine by me, but I’m easy that way.

    Carbon? Bane of the bike industry, the shit needs to die. If I hear one more person wax orgasmic about how their whole ride changed when they bought carbon widget X, and they can’t imagine life without it, I think I may smack them.

    Let’s not forget the environmental impacts of carbon. Non recyclable, immune to decomposition, landfill fodder laced with more chemicals “known to cause cancer in the state of California” than you can shake a stick at. Gee, great shit, that.

    Titanium, steel, two wheels and I’m a happy man.

  32. Dirty, D2 etc; the format doesn’t bother me as much as others. It’s okay the small font and reverted colors is a little hard on the eyes, but whatever. I would like to see that all of the facebook stuff links here. A) it will drive traffic here and B) it feels so disjointed. It feels as if there are two drunkcyclist websites and communities not one.

    For Chris who posted about a Rohloff hub on a Surly Crosscheck. You might run into a few issues if you are thinking about the 14spd
    A) Spacing the Surly is a 130mm rear end and the Rohloff I believe is a 135mm x 10mm or a 142mm x 10mm. You can gap it out but Surly might void any warranty on that.
    B) Not sure if the Rohloff comes with anything other than a twist grip shifting. Or if it is STI/Thumb index shifter compatible.
    C) I could be 100% wrong on all of this since I have only toyed with the idea of a Rohloff hub in the last couple of months and trying to put together a commuter for my girl.

    The CrossCheck is one of my favorite frames ever built. I have sold a few in my day and I love seeing the guys I sold the bikes to still riding them and loving them.

  33. Content –

    The caveman stunts with the shotgun and the strava sabotage came dangerously close to shark jumping. It seemed like grown man attention whoring. I know you don’t want to be like the majority of bland bike blogs, but you also don’t want to go off the deep end into full-on troll material either.

    The “Western As Fuck” sloganeering is kind of corny. I also live in the Mountain Time Zone, but I don’t feel the need to brand myself with silly slogans.

    Overall, it is starting to feel like you are trying too hard.

    Formatting -

    The gray-on-gray comments are hard to read.

  34. Virgil,

    Rohloff lists the OLD as 135. Surly specs their OLD as 132.5, thus accomodating road or mountain hubs. And with the Crosscheck having the forgiving forgivingness of steel, ther should be no problems a’tall, a’tall.

    The shifter is non, indexed. Indexing occurs within the hub.

    Should one desire to mount the shifter on a drop bar, someone (Problem Solvers?) offers a barend adaptor for flatbar shifters.

    Surly also recently introduce acouple of frames (Troll, Ogre) that incorporate Rohloff-specific brazeons. Still, if my ship ever comes in you will see me rocking a Crosscheck, a Rholoff and a big ol’ shit-eating grin.

    hopethishelps

  35. My amigo, who weighs about 170 and has had 2 carbon frames fail beneath him, (one was a road bike on a descent) probably doesn’t share the love.
    I have spectated here for several years and still come back, seen lots of changes, but recognize it’s just leisure pursuit and just don’t worry enough to get fired up about the changes. Personally, format and aesthetics don’t matter to much to me. Sometimes I’m annoyed by posts or comments, but never offended. In the past I have made a few negative comments, but then realized that: A- nobody cares what I think. B- negativity is, well, negative.
    Remember here folks, we’re talking about bikes. Billions of people ride bikes, we’re not that special.
    One rule, one law: Don’t Be A Jackass!

  36. re. the format: overall it doesn’t bother me. It’s a nice update, I suppose. I find the ticker somewhat distracting. I kinda makes me think nothing new is being posted, until I scroll down. Can it go off to the sidebar? I’d like to see the recent comments in a sidebar nearer the top. Especially if there isn’t a new post, it’s nice to see if there are new comments without scrolling down to the bottom of the page. The comment boxes can be gray (or burgundy), but the text in them should be white to improve the contrast. It seems like comment traffic is way down, but that may just be the holidays. The content is fine. It should be about shenanigans and adventures on bikes. Bombastic is fine, just know that you will never make everyone happy, Some more, non-western-as-fuck posters?

    re. carbon: overpriced. There are certainly bits I like, it’s good for forks and handlebars, but a full plack-stic bike will be out of my price range for a long time. I’d like to see more people on bikes, and not have people priced out of the sport.

  37. @jefe: What kind of posters would you like to see? When I was pitching those earlier in the year, the one I chose was the clear frontrunner after a vote. There were other, non-western-as-fuck options.

    Thematically, what would you like to see? Hot girl/no hot girl? Bike/no bike? Booze/no booze? Action shot/non-action shot? Torque chart/no torque chart? Etc…

    I’m definitely not opposed to another poster or other products, but keep in mind they’re pricey for us up front! So we gotta be sure folks are interested…

  38. I guess that’s not quite what I mean (I blame driving for 12hrs…) Western as Fuck is fine as long as it doesn’t regionalize the site. The hang on the wall posters are great. I meant front-page posters/writers on the site (you, dirty, caveman…) It seemed like there was a push to get posters from other regions for a while. Some were successful, and some not, and the ones that are still around aren’t very active. It just seems like there is more to DC. There are bike shenanigans happening all over the place. As much as I envy those in the Rockies and intermountain west and your singletrack (and love the posts and the pics), there are a bunch of cool cycling events happening in the midwest. Gravel grinders are starting to blow up. Maybe some coverage of those types of events. Not to replace any of the stuff that you or the other front pagers are doing, but to broaden the coverage of some of the oddball events out there.

  39. @hack— true enough. Those cars were just beastly in those days. And guys had to take their hand off the wheel to shift.

  40. Whatever with the new design. Didn’t take but a second or three to reorient. As I’ve mentioned before, I really miss the days of BJ’s link dumps and other oddities that showed up back in the day. When you narrowed the focus down to bike only stuff, a lot of interesting things were suddenly gone. I hate bike reviews and discussions of the subtleties of differences between carbon, steel, 29, 26, single, 1x, 2x; all that shit is everywhere in bike media and not what folks who come here are looking for. I miss the ease of looking at those lovely Euro gals too, but understand.

  41. Hey guys…thanks for the replies! I might just go with the surly cc and ride it fixed. Its flat here in Oklahoma so I dont need all those gears anyway. Happy New Year!!

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