it would be hard to dispute that a considerable amount of pennies are spent in the direction of carbon fibre these days, probably in similar manner to the rapid spread of microsoft windows in the early days of personal computing. in short, many too many bought windows because pretty much everyone else was doing the same. a self-fulfilling prophecy, if you will. thus, when carbon is touted by many as the ultimate frame material, few of us are in any position to disagree. and as a corollary to such wholesale choice of material, the marketing machine has then succeeded in persuading most of us that those skimpy slivers of nano-tubing developed at enormous cost for the stars of the three major tours and the occasional classic, are our personal ideal.

[Always a fund read. The truth is, a good bike can be made from most anything.]

Smoked Out: Bill Strickland

Bill Strickland:

But the sport demands obsession – at least at the level in which I like to write about it. And that makes it impenetrable. And much of what we love about it stems from that impenetrability. You show up for a ride, and right away you get dropped, or you can’t figure out why everyone swings off to the right sometimes and the left sometimes, or how everyone knows to shift all at once without having to talk about it, or how they all just automatically swoop out wide at the same spot before a corner – a hundred thousand little impenetrable acts in a single ride. Maybe you stick through that, then you confront the true, profound impenetrability at the core: When the shit gets tough, all becomes inscrutable.

[Some of the best cycling writing comes from this dude. And some of the best bikes come from the folks that hang out here. It’s a place where magic is born.]