uncle Dave standards
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Uncle Dave: We need some standards here!

Words Dave Tolnai
Date Dec 5, 2017

Dearest Uncle Dave,

This is not a rant or question about new standards – but it is a comment on standards. Why can’t we pick a unit of measure and be done with it? The bike industry is a mix of imperial (boo) and metric (yeah) standards and it’s annoying the inner enginerd in me.

•Bike Hex wrenches and bolts – all metric – wohoo

•Boost spacing – metric (stupid but metric) – 110 & 148mm

•Super Boost – metric (and effin annoying if it goes past Pivot) – 157mm

•Axle size – 9mm, 10mm, 15mm, 20mm

•Head tube – 1 1/8” or 1.5”

•Wheel Size – 26”, 27.5” or 29” (I’m not getting in to the fact that a 700c rim measures 622mm ISO or the “French” 700 A/B/C/D sizing systems – google Sheldon Brown’s explanation if you want to get confused)

•Travel – ok this goes either-way – 5.5” or 140mm (depending on the brand), but Forks have turned over a metric leaf

•Rotor size – goes both ways…sometimes – ok fine, rotors are “unit-curious”

•Tire width – 2.35”, 2.5”, 3”, etc.

•Shock size – ok this is stupid. They are both metric and imperial…

◦190mm x 51mm is equal to 7.48”x2”

◦215.9mm x 63.5mm is equal to 8.5”x2.5”

◦And conversely; 205mm x 65mm is 8.07”x2.559”

◦Point is – both versions are metric and imperial…and the actual eye to eye spacing is what has changed, not the unit of measure. Calling it “metric” is not accurate.

◦The real win here is trunnion mount – which saves room inside the front triangle and allows for future electronic application to be mounted on top (or not, I dunno).

I get it, Americans and the British cannot handle the Metric system…and they may cry a bit - but let’s face it, degrees Fahrenheit or MPH or HP aren’t typically discussed in bike design (resisting the urge to make an e-bike comment….resisting….). It would be nice to standardize within the industry and use calculators or the google to satisfy personal preference.

In conclusion – pick a unit of measure and be a dick about it.

Yours Nerdily,

Captain Pocket Protector

Dear Crapface:

Have you ever worked with a guy who continually told the same joke over and over and over again? It’s usually something along the lines of “Working hard, or hardly working?” followed by a self-congratulatory laugh and shake-of-the-head because he's just so dang impressed by his own wit. I have worked with such a person, and it’s the worst. Eventually they start telling you your own stories that you told them a few months previously.

There’s also the kind of person who comes in to work spouting catch phrases that he witnessed on television the night before*. I actually think this is the greatest tangential benefit of the age of streaming: We’re no longer watching the same thing at the same time so the resident work clown no longer has this move in their repertoire. Unfortunately, they usually compensate by telling you more of your own stories back to you, or dropping spoilers to shows you haven’t gotten around to watching yet.

Of course, there is humour that exists precisely because of the repetition. The fact that everybody says it under a given circumstance is the joke. The more it is used and the further it is stretched, the funnier it gets. To a point. Eventually your mom starts saying it, marking 6 months past the date that everybody else should have moved on. “Looks like a session” being a key example and candidate for both of these things.

But, for the most part, humour relies on originality. It’s not funny when you keep saying the same joke. And it’s less funny when it wasn’t even your joke to begin with. The closer your repetitions are, and the higher the skill level of the original joke teller, the worse things become. I remember sitting through a stand-up set of a now-disgraced comedian and the guys beside us were REPEATING THE FUCKING PUNCHLINES OF THE JOKES TO ONE ANOTHER MOMENTS AFTER IT HAPPENED! It’s like…what the fuck? The famous person that we all bought tickets to see just said that joke. He did a good job of it, which is why all of these people around you are laughing. The point here is not for everybody to participate.

So. Can we all agree that the “…and be a dick about it” jokes need to stop? We all know where it came from and it’s not nearly as funny when you do it.


Uncle Dave

*I distinctly remember reading about a guy who got fired for quoting Austin Powers at work, but I can’t find a link anywhere and I’m sick of searching.

Uncle Dave's Music Club

I spent some time this week imagining a world where the most popular country music wasn't just a dude with a twang singin' about trucks and beer over an adult contemporary alternative rock song.  I have two solid examples of the great things that happen when outsiders embrace country and do something a little bit different. I want this to be an entire genre.

Iceage, because Scandinavians do most things better than we do.

Brakes, because things are better when Brits do what they first heard in America. Sorry. This one gets cut off before the end.

Crapface, to go along with the pleasure of being torn apart on the internet, you win a cool Hydro Flask 64 oz. Insulated Growler.  It only comes in imperial sizes so you'll be screwed once beer starts being poured in metric quantities but until then, enjoy the beer. Send us an email to claim your prize.

Hydro Flask 64 oz. Citron
Hydro Flask 64 oz. Black
Hydro Flask 64 oz. Pacific
Hydro Flask 64 oz. Mint

Send your questions into askuncledave@nsmb.com. With luck the prize will be as substantial as the abuse. 

Trending on NSMB


+4 Cr4w Pete Roggeman Cooper Quinn AlanB
Luix  - Dec. 5, 2017, 4:09 a.m.

Relevant XKCD comic:




It's funny because it's true!


+1 Luix
Cooper Quinn  - Dec. 5, 2017, 8:51 a.m.

There's always a relevant XKCD.


Luix  - Dec. 5, 2017, 5:40 p.m.

Amen brother!


ZigaK  - Dec. 7, 2017, 8:42 a.m.

You forgot the mouseover text: Fortunately, the charging one has been solved now that we've all standardized on mini-USB. Or is it micro-USB? Shit.

There's also this: https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/927:_Standards and this: http://xkcdsucks.blogspot.si/2011/07/comic-927-alternative-title-was-things.html


Pete Roggeman  - Dec. 5, 2017, 7:37 a.m.

Nasty Uncle Dave is back! One 'Crapface' was harmed in the making of this column, but I think we can all agree that when Uncle Dave lets that grouchy edge into his voice, we sit up just a bit straighter (figuratively speaking).

Crapface, send me a note - we'll get you that nice growler sent out right away.


+2 Mammal Luix
Perry Schebel  - Dec. 5, 2017, 9:55 a.m.

grumpy daves are the best daves.


Cooper Quinn  - Dec. 5, 2017, 2:05 p.m.

This suggests there's another kind of [NSMB.com] Dave?


Perry Schebel  - Dec. 5, 2017, 2:19 p.m.

good point.


Dave Smith  - Dec. 5, 2017, 3:25 p.m.

blurry foreground object status awarded.


Morgan Taylor  - Dec. 5, 2017, 9:15 p.m.

That was me in "Shit Mountain Bikers Say"...


+2 Pete Roggeman Mammal
Morgan Taylor  - Dec. 5, 2017, 8:05 a.m.

After a decade of having a Blackberry, my mom just got her first iPhone. In addition to teaching her how to use it, I also had to teach her the now-universal phrase "new phone who dis", which she's been happy to use.


+1 Morgan Taylor
Pete Roggeman  - Dec. 5, 2017, 8:10 a.m.

Every now and then, the exception to the rule is so much better than the worst of the transgressions. That is one of them.


+5 Pete Roggeman Niels Mammal Endur-Bro Luix
[user profile deleted]  - Dec. 5, 2017, 8:18 a.m.

This comment has been removed.

+2 AJ Barlas Mammal
Pete Roggeman  - Dec. 5, 2017, 8:32 a.m.

James, if you phrase it just right and submit it as a question, maybe Uncle Dave will grace you with his opinion - he is an engineer after all (just ask him).


+4 Pete Roggeman Cooper Quinn Luix rvoi
Dave Tolnai  - Dec. 5, 2017, 9:02 a.m.

In my defense, I usually only point out that I'm an Engineer when I'm in the process of making fun of engineers.


+2 Mammal ZigaK
Pete Roggeman  - Dec. 5, 2017, 10:59 a.m.

While true, that is also mundane, and so engineer-y.


Andrew Hewitson  - Dec. 5, 2017, 2:19 p.m.

The term I'm an engineer should only be used while hammering something in place with a 2 by 4 while using copious amounts of duct tape.


Dory69  - Dec. 13, 2017, 10:40 p.m.



fartymarty  - Dec. 6, 2017, 2:11 a.m.

I'm an Engineer and a chartered one at that...  because I design buildings does it mean I am qualified to comment on bike design - NO IT DOESN'T.

However having spend 27 years riding mountain bikes does though.

PS Great Rant - I'm also a fan of Angry Dave.


themanro  - Dec. 6, 2017, 2:41 p.m.

That was very good


natbrown  - Dec. 6, 2017, 9:14 p.m.

I didn't get fired for quoting Austin Powers, it was because I shagged a coworker and it turned ugly. I just happen to quote Austin Powers a lot.


fartymarty  - Dec. 6, 2017, 11:30 p.m.

The first video reminded me of "The Gun Club - Fire of Love".


also bits of Nick Cave


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