WYWH_copy.original copy.jpg
Beggars Would Ride

Embracing The Singularity

Words Mike Ferrentino
Date Nov 17, 2021
Reading time

“AI not only stands poised to hack humans and outperform them in what were hitherto uniquely human skills, it also enjoys uniquely non-human abilities, which makes the difference between an AI and a human worker one of kind rather than merely of degree. Two particularly important non-human abilities that AI possesses are connectivity and updateability.” ~Yuval Noah Harari

Push the button for the dropper post. Nothing.

Push the big button for the shifter. Nothing. Push the little button for the shifter. Nothing.

Push the little button on the battery on the seatpost. Green light pulses. Push the little button on the battery on the rear derailleur. Green light pulses. Repeat the process with the little buttons on the shifter and dropper. Read the instructions.

Shifter unit: “The color of the LED indicates the ride time remaining. Green: 6-26 months. Red: 1-6 months. Flashing red: <1 month.”

Seatpost: “The color of the LED indicates the ride time remaining. Green: 15-60 hours. Red: 6-15 hours. Flashing red: <6 hours.”

“Begin the pairing session at the seatpost. Press and hold the button on the seatpost until the LED blinks slowly, then release. Press and hold the button on the controller until the until the green light blinks quickly, then release. To end the pairing session, press and release the button on the seatpost.”

LEDs flash green. Pair the devices. Push the button. Nothing. A strange, unfamiliar, strangled scream of rage erupts from somewhere deep in the throat. Somewhere beyond primal. This is the monkeys at the obelisk in that scene from 2001; A Space Odyssey. This is not the first time you have felt this blinding rage. It is boiling hot; a molten fulmination of ignorance, suspicion, frustration, and incompetence. It comes from somewhere very deep inside your animal self, and is exactly how you felt when you used to forget how to tie your shoelaces the right way, the first time your minibike lost spark on a rainy day, the first time an ATM ate your credit card, the first time you tried to make flan at high altitude, and every single time you try to pair your phone with the absolutely shitty Bluetooth interface in your six-year old car. It is exactly how your mother feels every time she tries to use Google maps, or attach a photo to an email.

odysseymonkey.jpeg

Okay, sure, this image is actually about when the monkeys get the heavy knowledge laid on them by the monolith and suddenly figure out the use of tools, thematically speaking. Buuut, I prefer to think of it as primate brain losing its shit when confronted with technology beyond its understanding. Like trying to get electronic shifters to work. Photo blatantly stolen from the internet, courtesy of MGM/Everett Collection...

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic ~ Arthur C. Clarke

Maybe so, Mister Clarke. But when the batteries are dead, or the control unit got submerged, or the app is glitchy, any sufficiently advanced technology is suddenly indistinguishable from shit. Where’s the magic now, Arthur?! Now my bike is expensive and heavy and doesn’t shift and won’t talk to my phone anymore. My phone. My life. My constant, highly evolved, indistinguishable from magic sidekick that I can’t do a single fucking thing without it being somehow part of the process. Including, it would seem, riding my bike.

This gurgle of choked fury, it’s not a new sensation. About four years ago, a cyclocross bike with disc brakes and fully internal cable routing – the early kind where you had to somehow fish the cables through little holes in cavernous frame tubes, where the finished bike would rattle maddeningly until you stuffed the downtube full of foam pipe insulation – ate almost an entire day in the process of being built and resulted in a screwdriver being thrown with such violence that it stuck in the sheetrock of the workshop wall. There’s still a brake fluid stain on the concrete floor from that day in hell.

huretpower.jpeg

I know, I should try to stay relevant here, but there was a time in the cold dawn of mountain biking when brave souls actually did try to use Huret Duopar derailleurs to shift with. They could wrap a huge range of gears. But they were also, in the words of one sage old guru "about as fragile as your grandmother's favorite crystal..."


When did this start, what might have caused it? A tiny lightbulb feebly illuminates a dusty corner of my brain.

I have a friend named Tom. A soft spoken and thoughtful giant of a man, he has been working on motorcycles since the late 1960s. Factory trained in the repair of everything from Harleys to Hondas, he has worked on dirt bikes, street bikes, two-strokes, four strokes, air cooled single cylinder pit bikes, water cooled six- cylinder street behemoths, and has wrenched his way through the transition from magneto ignitions with breaker points to fully electronic ignitions with switchable maps, from carburetors to fuel injection, from oil filled Girling shocks and brass swingarm bushings to nitrogen charged linkage suspensions. He is a very good mechanic.

Tom is terrified of adjusting his derailleur. To him, limit screws and cable tension are some sort of necromancy. The only thing that confounds him as much as adjusting the rear derailleur on his very old Santa Cruz is trying to stop the howling of the cantilever front brakes on his very old Bridgestone beater. I try to reason with him that Dia-Compe 986s and Ritchey Logic forks were a bad combo 30 years ago when they were new, and that he shouldn’t take the howling personally. His timeless giant face takes on a look of infinite sadness, and he says with mournful grace and a touch of confusion; “But how is that any different than this rear derailleur? It’s all nuance and feel. Where’s the precision? The exactitude? The clearly stated parameters?”

AXS-App-Phot.original.jpg

Total poach here, from Pete's long term review a year ago of SRAM AXS, photo By AJ Barlas. Looks like everything is hunky dory in this shot. If it was my picture, there'd be a bald man holding the phone, crying, hands shaking as he tries to figure out what he's broken now...

We are here, now, in “the internet of things.” A strange and fantastic time where our appliances can all communicate with each other. Where we can speak a command and lights turn on, or off, or music begins to play, or the music changes volume or another artist can be selected. Where our refrigerators can tell Alexa that it’s time to buy some more of that really tasty extra sharp Vermont Cheddar. And so much of this happens so seamlessly, so reliably, that it really might as well be magic. Behind the magic curtain, there’s a dance of ones and zeroes, and that dance is choreographed with precision and logic. Everything is defined by Tom’s clearly stated parameters and precision and exactitude. But should some of those ones and zeroes fall out of line… we are immediately dropped into the dark ages.

When I am standing mute in front of a bike with my phone in my hand, as some glitchy firmware hesitates while trying to pair with an app of questionable version provenance on a device that may or may not be in need of a system update, I try to keep Tom’s derailleur frustration in my conscious thinking. This helps prevent the red mist from descending and blinding me, or at least slows the descent somewhat. There are screwdrivers. There are walls. This is not over yet.

HDG.jpeg

Henri Desgrange; father of the Tour De France, media mogul, notorious hardass, and hater of derailleurs.

But really, is this new way of doing things any more vexing than the old one? Or is it just my unfamiliarity with it? We all viewed hydraulic disc brakes with massive suspicion, in spite of the fact that even in their infancy they were SO MUCH BETTER in every measurable way than the shitty rim brakes they replaced. Easier to set up. Easier to maintain. More powerful. More reliable. The only thing they had going against them was that mechanics were more used to the arcane voodoo required to make shitty rim brakes work with some semblance of predictability than they were with the behaviors of hydraulic systems. Henri Desgrange feared that derailleurs would ruin the Tour De France, in 1903, after a test the previous year when Marthe Hesse used a three-speed bike to cover 200km faster than Edouard Fischer: “I applaud this test, but I still feel that variable gears are only for people over 45. Isn’t it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailleur? We are getting soft. Come on fellows. Let’s say that the test was a fine demonstration – for our grandparents! As for me, give me a fixed gear!”

One, Henri Desgrange was a sadistic old hardass. He didn’t allow derailleurs into the Tour De France until 1937. Two, we cling to the old knowledge, the old ways. We fear change.

I can’t accurately layer the shim stacks in my forks and shocks to deliver custom magic suspension. I can’t reprogram the ECU in my car or my dirt bike. But then again, I don’t really have to do any of that stuff. Suspension as it comes on bikes nowadays is pretty damn good. My van just turned 140,000 miles and the only things I’ve done to it in that entire time was change the oil, feed it an air filter and a set of brake pads all round, and replace a failed fuel pump sensor. Haven’t even looked at the spark plugs. I had a Volkswagen bus for a while as a teenager. Air-cooled Volkswagen ownership is a commitment. You get real familiar with them. Proponents would boast about how easy it was to drop the motor and reinstall it, but that ignored the harsh truth that you had to drop the motor with regularity. I don’t really know what the motor in my van looks like.

Progress isn’t necessarily bad.

Having exhausted attempts to get my phone to talk to my seatpost, I retrace my steps. When did this start, what might have caused it? A tiny lightbulb feebly illuminates a dusty corner of my brain. This bike, I had just swapped the brakes, as we foreigners are sometimes prone to doing. I had then adjusted the angle of the brake levers. A closer inspection revealed that the brake lever clamp on each side of the bars was resting against the shifter pods in just such a way as to ever so slightly impose on the pushing of the buttons. Loosen shifter clamps, rotate a hair, retighten. Push button, post drops. Push button, derailleur moves. Magic! (Idiot!)

Related Stories

Trending on NSMB

Comments

cxfahrer
+7 Kos Cam McRae Mike Ferrentino Pete Roggeman Cr4w Timer Beau Miller
cxfahrer  - Nov. 16, 2021, 10:50 p.m.

Well said!

Technically speaking MTBs still are in the era of air cooled Volkswagens. Simple to keep running, but there is a lot of work, and if you adjust that special screw a bit too much, the third cylinder blows.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+9 Geof Harries Mike Ferrentino Cr4w Metacomet Pete Roggeman Martin Beau Miller Mammal goose8
Andrew Major  - Nov. 16, 2021, 11:07 p.m.

Oh, hello. Tell me more about your battery powered shifting.

Reply

mikeferrentino
+4 Cr4w Pete Roggeman Martin Beau Miller
Mike Ferrentino  - Nov. 17, 2021, 7:50 a.m.

That kid was so clueless that he ran an American Classic seatpost... Lookit him leaning on it with impunity. He's lucky it didn't snap right there in that photo and gouge an artery. He regrets to this day selling the Campy BMX cranks he used to run on that bike. There's probably some sort of evolutionary graph of his poor decisions that can be traced all the way from his first pair of Vigorelli trail shorts all the way up to his incorrectly positioned brake levers jamming up his AXS shifters...

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Mike Ferrentino
Andrew Major  - Nov. 17, 2021, 9:51 a.m.

Acting the perch for photo posing is probably the most work that post was getting anyways? In the days before droppers, I used to run mine lowered on trails anyways since it was always stand-o'clock on the single speed.

Do you still have the Vigorelli trail shorts? Just sew in a little pocket big enough to carry a spare coin battery and yesterday's garments are the future of MTB-wear!

Reply

Fasta_Pasta
+6 Cam McRae Mike Ferrentino Pete Roggeman Martin Cr4w Timer
Scott Jamieson  - Nov. 17, 2021, 4:22 a.m.

You know, I love what you do on the site.

I mean, I look at you, and I just laugh and laugh.

Reply

mikeferrentino
+4 Martin taprider goose8 Scott Jamieson
Mike Ferrentino  - Nov. 17, 2021, 7:51 a.m.

Looking in the mirror, it's a coin toss most days whether to laugh or cry...

Reply

kos
+2 Cam McRae Pete Roggeman
Kos  - Nov. 17, 2021, 5:56 a.m.

Nicely said. I get irritated enough trying to keep my phone and laptop charged......

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
+4 Martin Beau Miller Timer Vincent Edwards
Cam McRae  - Nov. 17, 2021, 6:50 a.m.

These keep getting better! Thanks Mike!

Reply

Vikb
+3 Mike Ferrentino taprider Timer
Vik Banerjee  - Nov. 17, 2021, 7:20 a.m.

This comment has been removed.

rigidjunkie
+10 slimchances57 Tremeer023 Andrew Major Mike Ferrentino Pete Roggeman Martin kcy4130 Beau Miller imnotdanny ManInSteel
Allen Lloyd  - Nov. 17, 2021, 7:33 a.m.

I used to live in a nice apartment with the scariest basement I have ever visited.  BUT the washer and drier were down there so weekly I would climb down the stairs and do my laundry.  The washer broke one year and I called an appliance guy. He walked in saw the washer nodded his head and smiled.  I asked, why are you so happy?  He explained this model of washer had a small part that wore out after 10ish years.  It takes 5 minutes to replace and the washer will go for another 10ish years without skipping a beat. When I moved out we learned that the stairs lacked the structural integrity to support the washer or dryer so we had to leave them.  I still miss that washer.

Yesterday I was washing some bedding and our current washer got stuck in a hell cycle.  It would count down to 1 minute remaining and just as it was about to finish it would add 13 minutes and refill with water.  After the second time I looked at it and said "Ohhh F no you stupid F'er you are done!" Two minutes later I pressed the right buttons in the right order to get the dam thing to actually stop.  

Experiences like this (and the cost) keep me from trying electric anything on my bikes.

Reply

craw
+1 Andrew Major
Cr4w  - Nov. 17, 2021, 9:54 a.m.

My mom still has the dishwasher and washer and dryer she installed during a renovation in 1989. They all work perfectly fine. The dishwasher in my brand new condo broke down a day after its 4 year warranty expired and it was simpler and cheaper to replace it than to repair it.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+4 Cr4w imnotdanny Mammal ManInSteel
Andrew Major  - Nov. 17, 2021, 10:04 a.m.

I'd been limping along the old-but-fancy front loading washer/dryer set in my apartment for years. The good folks at Ilac were just up the street and it was a lower rate if I'd dolly them up there rather than requiring a house call. But, finally, either some component of the computer went in the washer or the thing achieved sentience and just refused to work anymore (while blinking annoyingly), and there was no solution other than to put it down. 

I agonized over replacement options as they were either really expensive but had okay reviews or they were expensive, carried a risk of flooding my unit, and had a life expectancy of months rather than years. Not much of a choice. 

Back to Ilac, and they managed to source a new Kenmore stacking unit - with a top-loading washer - that looks like something straight out of the '70s or '80s. No LED lights whatsoever. No digital display. Turn the dial and then pull to start. The dryer is just a timer you set and a push-to-start button. It's a brilliant throwback to a simpler time. It doesn't eat my Merino stuff any more than my old setup and it's more effective at getting stuff clean than the front loader was. Added bonus, I can leave the lid open AND navigate the narrow hallway so it never gets groady. 

It's experiences like that which have me searching for simpler low-tech solutions for everything never mind avoiding adding them to my life. I know I sound like a Luddite but wireless digital thermostats I can adjust from my phone just don't seem like a winning solution to any problem I have.

Reply

craw
+6 Ryan Walters Andrew Major imnotdanny Mammal ManInSteel Luix
Cr4w  - Nov. 17, 2021, 10:41 a.m.

Connecting your whole domestic world to the internet seems like a bad idea. I'm always surprised by home many people have Google Home or Alexa. You can't use Facebook and invite these IOT products into your home then complain about big data. Why do I need internet-enabled door locks? Is using a key so onerous?

Reply

tashi
+1 DanL
tashi  - Nov. 17, 2021, 12:43 p.m.

This is a total derailment but although using a Key is easy I never knew until I moved into my current house how fantastic NOT carrying a key is.

Mechanical combo locks on all the exterior door now, it’s a beautiful thing.

Reply

DanL
0
DanL  - Nov. 17, 2021, 2:41 p.m.

I almost added this to the list of things to carry in a pack. Not having a key has been a huge thing for me. Locks only deter honest people anyways - especially in North America where most walls are made from plywood.

Reply

Timer
0
Timer  - Nov. 17, 2021, 12:44 p.m.

I agree. Apart from the many interesting ways such systems can fail or be sabotaged on a grand scale, it not just enables but invites a kind of total surveillance that the KGB or Stasi would have murdered for.

Reply

Timer
0
Timer  - Nov. 17, 2021, 12:44 p.m.

This comment has been removed.

roil
+6 Andrew Major kcy4130 taprider Ryan Walters ManInSteel utopic
roil  - Nov. 17, 2021, 8:36 a.m.

"Progress isn’t necessarily bad."

It just depends on how you define progress. Do you want active suspension that turns a rock garden into a parking lot? You'll be faster but is that a better experience?

The current crop of electronic derailleurs, seat posts, and suspension offer marginal gains at best with a significant price increase. It just feels like a marketing tactic to offer yet another tier of a product. It's undoubtedly more expensive for SRAM or Shimano to set up production for 4+ different drivetrains tiers than to simply manufacture their top-tier drivetrain and sell the single-tier at a lower price but higher volume. The same can be said of Fox and RS's suspension offerings. 

The bike industry is about making money and that's fine. Let's just call a spade a spade.

Reply

andy-eunson
+4 ManInSteel Velocipedestrian Mike Ferrentino roil
Andy Eunson  - Nov. 17, 2021, 7:12 p.m.

Not that dissimilar from the auto industry. They figured it was hard to sell us more cars, so they resorted to selling us more car. The electronic wizardry in my car fucks up annually. And I’ve got a new light on my dashboard that says my AWD system has a problem. From what I can tell from the inter webs, I could be looking at a $3000 repair. On a 2017 with 52000k. I look at ebikes that way. It complicates something that should be simple. I rode my hardtail today. Uphill for over an hour. Despite what some people think, it was totally enjoyable.

Reply

craw
+16 Metacomet Pete Roggeman Martin Vik Banerjee Andrew Major taprider Mike Ferrentino Beau Miller imnotdanny Mammal goose8 Timer Andy Eunson ManInSteel Luix Vincent Edwards
Cr4w  - Nov. 17, 2021, 8:47 a.m.

I just came home from 6 days in Toronto. I returned with my computer and sat down at my desk and my bluetooth keyboard and mouse refused to pair. No idea why. It took 6 hours of phone calls, support chat, updating to the latest Mac OS and a dozen restarts to get them to talk to each other the way they used to: I sit down, power up my computer, 2 seconds later the devices work. There is no way I'm bringing this shit to my bike.

Reply

mikeferrentino
+3 Mammal Karl Fitzpatrick ManInSteel
Mike Ferrentino  - Nov. 17, 2021, 10:53 a.m.

Just reading that made me grind my teeth

Reply

kcy4130
+4 bushtrucker Cr4w taprider Timer
kcy4130  - Nov. 17, 2021, 9:58 a.m.

I've never really understood the appeal of wireless shifting/dropper. I mean batteries are tolerable on phones, cordless drills, etc. because it's so convenient not to have those things trailing a cord everywhere I walk. But my derailleur and dropper pretty much stay the same distance from controls on the handlebars. They're literally connected to each other with a frame of metal tubes, why not a cable too? What convenience does a battery offer here?

Reply

mikeferrentino
0
Mike Ferrentino  - Nov. 17, 2021, 10:52 a.m.

My pet hypothesis is that wireless shifters/droppers came about because so many of us became so deeply scarred so quickly by trying to fish cables and hoses through poorly designed internal routing ports. Removing the cables entirely became the "logical" solution. On one hand, I abhor the dependence upon batteries and bluetooth. On the other, it sure is nice to make the cables disappear. I love the simplicity of cables, but I hate the aesthetic clutter. But I hate the added ritual of charging batteries even more...

Reply

craw
+2 kcy4130 Timer
Cr4w  - Nov. 17, 2021, 10:55 a.m.

So instead of developing a better solution to internally routed cables the obvious solution was to make drivetrains even more complicated and introducing a ton of unnecessary technology. Classic SRAM logic. But look at us we created a universal derailleur hanger standard because we care about keeping things simple. SRAM doesn't make bike parts it makes plastic toys.

Reply

slimchances57
0
slimchances57  - Nov. 27, 2021, 6:55 a.m.

With SRAM, don't forget the part about "for fun and profit"

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - Nov. 30, 2021, 11:06 a.m.

An issue I have with your contention about what SRAM 'makes' is the overwhelming evidence that suggests recent SRAM derailleurs are much more durable and able to take a hit than current Shimano stuff. I'm a huge fan of Shimano shifting, but SRAM will win in the apocalypse.

The other counterpoint is that installing, setting up and removing AXS drivetrains and posts is quicker by an order of magnitude, less finicky, and it requires much less expertise compared to conventional systems.

Reply

velocipedestrian
+3 bushtrucker kcy4130 Andy Eunson
Velocipedestrian  - Nov. 17, 2021, 10:36 p.m.

No! A bicycle is a machine, why shouldn't it visibly be one? The only downside to external routing is aesthetic, but form should follow function.

Reply

Grizzle
0
Graham Mattingly  - Nov. 18, 2021, 9:16 p.m.

Seems to me like the better solution would be to semi-permanently integrate the wiring into the frame at the factory, and semi-standardize the fitments at the ends, so either Company X or Company Y's drivetrain bits could be at the other end of a lovely piece of 19th century tech that our grandmothers would recognize. But that requires sensible cooperation between frame makers and component makers, which has only ever begrudgingly happened in our industry, and only the to avoid catastrophe. Damn, when did I start to become this bitter?

Reply

Grizzle
0
Graham Mattingly  - Nov. 18, 2021, 9:16 p.m.

Seems to me like the better solution would be to semi-permanently integrate the wiring into the frame at the factory, and semi-standardize the fitments at the ends, so either Company X or Company Y's drivetrain bits could be at the other end of a lovely piece of 19th century tech that our grandmothers would recognize. But that requires sensible cooperation between frame makers and component makers, which has only ever begrudgingly happened in our industry, and only the to avoid catastrophe. Damn, when did I start to become this bitter?

Reply

martin
+9 bushtrucker Mike Ferrentino taprider Ryan Walters Mammal Znarf ManInSteel Velocipedestrian Vincent Edwards
Martin  - Nov. 17, 2021, 9:59 a.m.

A few years ago, my parents gave me their electric coffee grinder and electric espresso machine because they were tired of the noise and the hassle. I had been using a stovetop coffee maker for 10 years and was totally happy, but since I now had those fancy electric machines, I started to get more and more into coffee. The only thing was that the coffee maker's circuit board had to be replaced (again), and the grinder needed a small part replaced. No big deal. 

So I started using the machines, but the coffee wasn't really good compared to my trusty stovetop and cheap grinder. So I went to a workshop on how to make good espresso and got the right tips to make it happen. Then after some time, one plastic part of the grinder broke, so I opened the damn thing and fixed it. I was pretty satisfied to have replaced the plastic motor gear, but a few months later, another plastic part broke. I replaced it. Then another part broke... Then my parents told me they had another identical grinder that the company had sent them and they didn't need it. So I used this one until it broke, then made a working one with parts of both. Then the good one broke down again and it needed half it's worth in parts, which were not all available.

I looked online and got myself a nice 250$ manual grinder entirely made of metal with great bearings, awesome machining and nothing to break. No more awful grinder motor noises in the morning, even better coffee than before, and the satisfying feel of grinding my own coffee with my own human hands and muscles. Each coffee feels different through the burrs, so I learn even more about the beans than before. Using a less technologically advanced tool brings another dimension to this interest of mine...

What I'm saying is that I love the fact that a bicycle is a whole mechanical object that I completely know how to build, use, tune and repair. It might have taken a few decades to get there, but now I know how it works and what causes what, I can feel how the shifter feels, how the chain shifts, how my dropper might be due for fresh grease when I sit down on it, etc. I am not interested by electronics on my bike and bluetooth pairing shit. I use a cycle computer to see how far I've been and what time it is, but that's it. For me, the experience of riding a mechanical bicycle in the forest includes making sure everything is mechanically working perfectly  before the ride to make sure that we will both be able to have the best time possible in the forest. If I wanted to play with electronics I'd get an ebike or e-motorcycle, but that's not the same.

Reply

mikeferrentino
+5 slimchances57 bushtrucker Mammal goose8 Vincent Edwards
Mike Ferrentino  - Nov. 17, 2021, 10:49 a.m.

I'm in the same boat about my bikes, Martin. This was a test bike, and it was basically doing my head in trying to figure out why it wouldn't do the things it was supposed to. Even though, it turns out, the bluetooth stuff was fine and what was actually going wrong was my own mechanical square-pegging. But still, personally, I am not really ready for the Internet Of Things. It's here, all around me, but I choose to participate as marginally as possible for as long as I can.

Reply

martin
+7 Cam McRae Mammal goose8 andyf ManInSteel Vincent Edwards Beau Miller
Martin  - Nov. 17, 2021, 10:08 a.m.

Hey by the way Mike, I loved this piece! I feel that your way to tell stories and the vibe that this creates makes us feel like sharing stories here too, which enriches the "community" feeling that I find on NSMB. This is not something that we could really do with magazines, so in this case we could say that technology has brought a positive dimension to a community and human exchanges! Cheers!

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - Nov. 30, 2021, 11:07 a.m.

Well said Martin!

Reply

Shroomyk
+6 slimchances57 Mike Ferrentino taprider roil kcy4130 Andy Eunson
Shroomyk  - Nov. 17, 2021, 10:20 a.m.

So just how do I set up my AXS seatpost from my landline?

Reply

taprider
+2 ManInSteel Beau Miller
taprider  - Nov. 17, 2021, 10:51 a.m.

Thanks Mike

another great story

Reply

andyf
+3 Andrew Major goose8 Timer
andyf  - Nov. 17, 2021, 12:08 p.m.

Sooner or later, someone will hack the AXS firmware to enable remote control of your riding buddy's dropper.

Reply

craw
+3 goose8 Luix Beau Miller
Cr4w  - Nov. 17, 2021, 12:10 p.m.

Someone please manufacture a mini-EMP I can use to disable AXS and ebikes.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+7 Spencer Nelson Timer andyf DanL Karl Fitzpatrick ManInSteel Beau Miller
Andrew Major  - Nov. 17, 2021, 12:26 p.m.

I’ve been on that program since 2019

No hacking needed. Two of your friends on a ride with AXS droppers? Just swap their remotes when they aren’t looking and hilarity ensues. Takes a T-25 and T-minus 25-seconds to pull it off.

Reply

DanL
+1 Beau Miller
DanL  - Nov. 17, 2021, 8:43 p.m.

Same thing with Gemini lights and their bluetooth bar switches which bind to any gemini lights in a radius. Oh the hilarity when heading into a corner at night to have your lights turned off.

Reply

Timmigrant
+3 Andrew Major DanL Beau Miller
Tim Coleman  - Nov. 18, 2021, 12:49 p.m.

Note to self, when riding with Andrew, watch my bike like a hawk.

Reply

lamar454
+6 slimchances57 Cam McRae roil Mike Ferrentino Andy Eunson Beau Miller
Peter Appleton  - Nov. 17, 2021, 4:24 p.m.

A serious and well written synopsis of technology that solves issues that most of us don't need to worry about or actually care about. Most of the latest technology in MTB has served to do one thing and that is consume more......

i'm in the industry and make a living from it however i certainly will not be pushing anybody to buy anything unnecessarily, especially something that works off of batteries.  except for one National DH championship i've never had a cable in a derailleur blow up. in less than 1 year i've watched a dozen people ride home in ridiculous gears because they battery operated derailleur died.  nuff said

good to have you here Mike

Reply

stinhambo
+1 Beau Miller
Steven Hambleton  - Nov. 17, 2021, 8:11 p.m.

Yeah I stick to hardtails for that reason - fewer moving parts to worry about. Introducing electronics seems to be an answer to a question few people are asking.

Electrics in a commuter bike makes a lot more sense to me.

Reply

RAHrider
+2 Cr4w Beau Miller
Reed Holden  - Nov. 17, 2021, 9:47 p.m.

Couldn't agree more with most of the sentiment above.

With regards to bikes, I only recently got into any sort of suspension in the past 5 years. In the past 2 years I have steadily moved backwards through the progression with my most recent bike once again having no suspension and only one gear. That being said, I won't be going back to rim brakes, nor will I give up my dropper posts. It's hard to draw a line and say one advancement is good (droppers and seatposts) while others are not (electronic shifting?). This all being said, I do not foresee batteries making their way onto my bike anytime soon.

On the topic of washing machines - I picked up a top of the line Miele about 4 years ago. I have saved enough in detergent and dry cleaning to pay for the difference in cost between this one and a cheaper machine. It uses proprietary detergent and does some sort of scientific magic to clean clothes. I use 27mL of detergent per load. The machine has removed stains that had been in clothes for a decade! It's F%$#^&g magic. Screw the old school washers, this is next level cleaning.

On the topic of coffee, a hand grind and an aeropress makes a fine cup, but nothing beats a high quality grinder and an italian  espresso machine! My setup has been making coffee for me daily for 6 years and works as well as the day I bought it. That grinder your parents gave you was a lemon; but it helped spark a love of coffee - so that's something.

Reply

lacykemp
+3 Cam McRae Mike Ferrentino Beau Miller
Lacy Kemp  - Nov. 19, 2021, 9:32 a.m.

This is why I still drive a manual and have a car with zero bells and whistles. Less shit to break and figure out. I'd still roll up the windows if I could. So yeah, stay off my lawn!

Reply

OLDF150
+3 Mike Ferrentino Cam McRae Beau Miller
Kerry Williams  - Nov. 19, 2021, 11:50 a.m.

NSMB and Mike Ferrentino, aging like a fine wine.  Just wanted to thank you for this, and all the wonderful comments that followed the article. MMM, coffee, bikes, and working washing machines.  Isn't life grand?

Reply

Please log in to leave a comment.