My New Design Needs You

01.21.2008 | 12:43 pm

If you read my blog using an RSS feed, you may not have yet noticed, but as of Friday afternoon, Fat Cyclist has a new design. Check it out, if you’d be so kind.

If, on the other hand, you were looking at the site Friday afternoon or evening, you probably noticed all kinds of weirdness happening here for a few hours. That was me screwing around and breaking stuff.

Anyway, I owe a big "Thanks!" to a couple of guys I work with in my day job: Taylor for doing an awesome new design, and Jason for making the design work in WordPress. Thanks, guys!

I Need More Pictures
Right now, the image you see in the banner is the best picture that’s ever been taken of me (clicking picture pops to larger version):


As you can see in this picture (note that the liquid latex is literally exploding out of my flattened front tire and my unfortunate center of gravity), my day is about to get much, much worse here.

It’s a cool picture, but I don’t want to have it as the banner photo in my blog forever (it’s just too painful).

Which is where you come in.

If you’ve got a great cycling-related photo — one that works even if you’re looking at a wide-but-short view of it — email a link to the photo to me. It needs to be at least 760 pixels wide and 190 pixels tall, but don’t worry about cropping, sizing, or otherwise formatting the photo.

Please note: send me a link to the photo. Do not send me the photo itself — my inbox will fill up way too fast. If you don’t have a place on the web to put your photos, you might want to try, which is free and works really well.

And now, for a bunch of miscellaneous things flopping around in my head right now.

Fight Cancer, Win a Bike
About a week ago, I pointed out that you can win a chance at winning a Marin Hamilton 29er townie / mountain bike, simply by making a donation to the Lance Armstrong Foundation and forwarding the confirmation to me.

A bunch of you have sent in your raffle entries, which I hugely appreciate.

If you haven’t donated yet, though, you still have time. You’ll be doing something good and important, and you’ll have a much better chance at winning a bike than  you would in most raffles. Click here for more information, OK?

Deep Breath
Tomorrow, finalists for the Bloggies awards are announced. I confess to being nervous and hopeful. Provided I am a finalist, expect me to harangue you nonstop for your vote for the next ten days or so.

My Favorite PowerPoint Slide, Ever
I already mentioned in today’s entry that a couple of the people I work with spent their own time to help me out with the great new blog design you see here today.

There are other reasons I like where I work. And one of them is the PowerPoint Slide you see below, which the VP of Sales in my company actually included as part of his presentation in a company-wide meeting last week. Click the image below to see a larger version, so you can read the graphs:


Puzzling Question
I received an interesting question from Scott yesterday, who mistakenly thought I might be able to provide a reasonable, lucid, and possibly even correct answer. It is as follows:

Suppose you have 2 bikes with the same gear ratio (say an 85), but the gearing is different (53×17 vs 48×15). Will the 53×17 be a harder gear to turn than the 48×15?  This is an ongoing discussion between a couple different cyclists in my neighborhood.

I personally have no idea what the answer is. Anyone got an actual answer?

PS: BotchedExperiment had a copy of the followup photo after my spill.

Fatty's double drop rock wreck-kinetic energy expended

That’s Dug, by the way, running over to see if I’m still alive.


  1. Comment by Tyson | 01.21.2008 | 1:38 pm

    The mechanical advantage you get from you bike is the equal to the #Front Teeth DIVIDED BY the # of back teeth:

    53:17 = 3.11 (so you get 3.11 tire rotations per petal turn)

    48:15 = 3.20 (so you get 3.2 tire rotations per petal turn)

    So the first one is slower (and more powerful) than the second.

    And also, Alex seems pretty cool :)

  2. Comment by matt | 01.21.2008 | 1:46 pm

    “Suppose you have 2 bikes with the same gear ratio”

    But you don’t in your example, as shown in Comment 1.
    if they WERE the same then there should be no noticable difference.


  3. Comment by Tyson | 01.21.2008 | 1:47 pm

    And I, for one, really like the picture your using for your banner right now. Its “extreme”. ;)

  4. Comment by Steve Nordstrom | 01.21.2008 | 1:50 pm

    The b&w shot and font of the “Fat”, combined with the impending doom make the banner feel like a “Life comes at you fast” insurance commercial. But those commercials are funny, dangit.

  5. Comment by e* | 01.21.2008 | 1:50 pm

    I am new here, but I gather that you hurt yourself a lot.

    What happened .01 seconds after this picture was taken?

    How many bones did you break?

  6. Comment by Tyson | 01.21.2008 | 1:50 pm

    Yes Matt’s right too- the ratio is the number you get when you divide them. The number you question asker had was the product, not the ratio.

    I’ll stop commenting now.

  7. Comment by fatty | 01.21.2008 | 1:55 pm

    e – i landed right on my face and arms, cutting and bruising them up. surprisingly, i didn’t break any bones, and i continued the ride — about another 4-5 hours worth, if i remember. i didn’t have much fun, though.

    matt / tyson – your answers make sense. you should teach math.

  8. Comment by Bryan (not that one) | 01.21.2008 | 1:59 pm

    I like the name/date/time line for each comment to be above the comment text itself. That way you know who’s “speaking” as you’re reading it.

  9. Comment by cheapie | 01.21.2008 | 2:03 pm

    sniff. sniff.

    i’m getting nostalgic looking at that pic cuz that looks like it was taken when fatty was truly a fatty.

  10. Comment by fatty | 01.21.2008 | 2:04 pm

    bryan (not that one) – that’s an excellent point. i think i’ll make that change. thanks!

  11. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 01.21.2008 | 2:13 pm

    This is essentially a physics problem and BIG MIKE in OZ probably knows the answer cold.

    Here’s my cold answer:

    Although it may seem paradoxical, gear inches aren’t really a measure of how “hard” it is to pedal a given gear. I can think of at least 5 factors that could make identical gear inches seem easier or harder to pedal: crank arm length, wheel diameter, terrain, bike weight and bike set-up.

    Longer crank arm means a given gear will seem easier to pedal.
    Larger wheel diameter will roll over obstacles making it seem easier to pedal.
    Smoother terrain will make a gear seem easier to pedal (do if you’re trying to compare a road bike’s gearing to a mt. bike’s gearing, forget it).
    Bike weight.
    Bike set-up (stiff, rigid bike compared to a squishy full suspension bike, road tires compared to downhill tires, etc.).
    Gain ratio is a measurement that takes into account crank arm length in addition to wheel size, chainring and cog sizes (see and is more a measurement of how “hard” it is to pedal a gear than is gear inches.

    If two similar bikes have identical gain ratios and are on smooth terrain, they will be the same “difficulty” to pedal.

    Now the original question was essentially, ‘if you have a little chainring up front, does that increase the length of the lever arm represented by the crank arm?’ I believe the answer is no. The length of the “lever arm” of the crank arm is fixed because the attachment to the pedal and the attachment to the chainrings via the crank spider are fixed.

    This question could be answered by empirically determining the amount of torque (pretty sure this isn’t really the term I want to use) required to rotate the crank arm for each of the different gearing combinations that total a given number of gear inches. I’m pretty sure that as long as the crank arms are the same length, the amount of work required to move the pedals around in a circle will be the same for two different gear combinations that equal a given number of gear inches.

    Think about a singlespeed bike with biopace or oval chainrings. During one part of the pedal stroke, the gear seems easier to pedal, but on the other part of the stroke the gear seems harder to pedal, so on average, the same amount of work is done for an oval vs. a round chainring.

    Now if you imagine an oval cog in the back with a round chainring, you get the same result.

    So, if you have a small chainring in front, to equal a given number of gear inches, you have to have a small cog in back, so the “weight” you’re moving with the lever winds up being the same. Remember that the length of the lever is fixed, so the effort is the same.

    Even if it was slightly easier to pedal a small chainring/small cog combination there are two other reasons not to take it to an extreme: slipping and drivetrain wear. If you go below about a 15 on a mt bike I understand you’ll start to get chain slippage, and smaller cogs distribute the force of the chain across fewer teeth and therefore increase wear on the chain and the cog.

    Warning: the above was a shoot-from-the-hip response and may be woefully inaccurate.

  12. Comment by will | 01.21.2008 | 2:17 pm

    I quite like the current photo. And it should certainly be a photo with you in it.

    Why not plan a couple of rides with friends with the sole goal of creating a good photo for the banner (could be fun)?

  13. Comment by Clydesteve | 01.21.2008 | 2:54 pm

    Warning: the above was a shoot-from-the-hip response and may be woefully inaccurate.

    Well it was long, anyway! But correct. If however, it is assumed that rear wheel outer diameters and crank lengths of the two bikes are the same, then the gearing ratios tell the whole story.

    Gear-inches is just a way of comparing when rear wheel diameters differ, because the rear wheel is another gear in the drive train. It is particularly useful when comparing regular MTBs to 29rs, or road bikes with 650C vs 700C or 27″ rear tires. Sheldon Brown’s innovation of “gain ratio” goes on to recognize that crank length is is also a variable from bike to bike.

  14. Comment by Clydesteve | 01.21.2008 | 2:56 pm

    Why not plan a couple of rides with friends with the sole goal of creating a good photo for the banner (could be fun)?

    Yeah, Elden! You could pose the core group in one of those pinwheels from above pose, and have Kellene shoot it!


  15. Comment by Stephen | 01.21.2008 | 3:03 pm

    The conventional wisdom I’ve heard before (including from a former British olympian who rides at my local velodrome) is that having the biggest gear on front and back is best, for a given gear inch number. The idea is you want the chain to deflect as little as possible between links as it goes around the gear, because that leads to friction.

  16. Comment by blinddrew | 01.21.2008 | 3:06 pm

    two things:
    1, surely a cyclist as universally popular as you fatty can get one of your professional biker friends to pose for a suitably daring photo and then get another of your friends to photoshop it to a professional standard such that we mere mortals would never know? ;¬)
    2, On the gearing front, just to iterate on the comments above, if all other factors are equal and the ratios are genuinely comparable then the work done over a time frame will be (nigh on) identical, hence the power output required will be the same.
    I say “nigh on” because technically a smaller cog combination will be lighter and, although the reduced linear inertia of the bike will be offset on rough terrain, the reduced rotational inertia will be fractionally smaller. This may in turn be offset to an extent by the inefficiencies of forcing a chain through a tighter radius.
    We’re talking sparrow’s farts difference.
    And now i’ll get my coat!…

  17. Comment by El Animal | 01.21.2008 | 3:12 pm

    Check this website out

  18. Comment by UltraRob | 01.21.2008 | 3:20 pm

    I really like the new design. I also like the header picture. I think you should keep it until you have a Fat Cyclist weekend where we all get to come ride with you somewhere warm this spring. Then you can have you sister come along and take cool pictures.

    Thanks for the inclusion in the blogroll. That’s how I new you had a new design. Now I just need someone to come up with a new design for my site.

  19. Comment by | 01.21.2008 | 3:44 pm

    - Dang, Will beat me to it.
    - I have to share quickly, just had the BEST homemade fish tacos with Cholula.
    - Fatty: What about the picture of you sitting on “the invisible couch” with Kellene?
    _ Fatty: I have a pict of me on a girls 16″, it’s WICKED light weight!

  20. Comment by eunicesara | 01.21.2008 | 3:52 pm

    My neighbor just melted my plumbing – I have no more water to my kitchen sink.
    Oh, bikes.
    I LIKE the new picture. Please don’t change it for anything less honest.
    I don’t understand all those numbers. That’s why I went to law school.
    Thank you for putting the commenters’ info on top again. It seems to make the comments more intimate, less like citations. But why did not the most creative urchin have a hand in the design? Perhaps a goat-eating banner?

  21. Comment by Anonymous | 01.21.2008 | 4:06 pm

    why not a rotating picture thing? Or what about a monthly photo contest?
    Truth be told, I like what’s up there now.
    Site looks great!

  22. Comment by Road Rage | 01.21.2008 | 4:19 pm

    Botched – Were you been abducted by Al Maviva?

    Fatty – Maybe the end result pic could alternate at the top with the one that’s there now?

  23. Comment by Terry | 01.21.2008 | 4:37 pm

    Note to the guy with the long answer: no one reads long answers because (you guessed it) they are too long.

  24. Comment by fatty | 01.21.2008 | 4:49 pm

    road rage – yep, that’s the idea; change the image in the banner on a frequent basis. sometimes me; sometimes the core team, sometimes a photo by a reader. keep it new and interesting.

  25. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 01.21.2008 | 4:50 pm

    Terry, thanks for the input, in the future, whenever I’m partaking in recreational activities, I’ll consider how you feel about them.

  26. Comment by Patrick from Astoria | 01.21.2008 | 5:00 pm

    1. Keep the current photo. It looks terrific, fits the vibe here perfectly, and it’s impossible to tell from the cropped/fitted version used in the frame what kind of mayhem and orthopedic trauma is about to ensue.

    2. Provided you actually compare two identical ratios, there’s no significant difference. The chain may prefer the bigger gears instead of being wrapped tighter around the smaller rear cog, but that’s an academic issue (angle of rotation for each link and such). Reminds me of the guy I hear about who had two chainwheels – one on the unorthodox left side of the BB, and one on the more normal right – and two rear cogs, all naturally locked together: one side was geared at like 52/13, the other at 48/12 (read as 4 to 1 for each side). When asked about this setup, he said one side was for going uphill, and one was for coming down.

  27. Comment by Jill | 01.21.2008 | 5:01 pm

    I love the new design. I’m sure you’ll be innundated with photos, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Seriously. It’s great.

    Although if I ever took a fall like that, I can’t be certain that I’d ever want to get back on a bicycle. Props for that.

  28. Comment by randomhigh | 01.21.2008 | 5:30 pm

    I like the new digs! at first I thought I typed in the wrong address and actually re-typed it again… took me several moments to realize you re-designed it :)

    I like the current photo (it looked like you were just jumping down, not having an argument with gravity until you posted the full photo… ouch…) and the layout (having all the tabs at the top of the page makes it easier to find old posts…). Maybe you can also add a link to lance armstrong’s foundation in your banner under “contact” or something?

  29. Comment by The Neil | 01.21.2008 | 5:46 pm

    It was my understanding that there would be no math involved.

  30. Comment by Al Maviva | 01.21.2008 | 5:59 pm


    The oval chainring phenomenon you have noted has been discussed in depth on the wattage group on Google, where all the power luminaries – riders & physicist/medical training people have gone over it. Oval chainrings probably do help the rider produce a little more power, but it’s hard to measure since the oval section causes the power to be pulsed, making it hard to measure with the sampling style of most power meters. The increased power is generally chalked up, by the experts, to increased footspeed. The foot picks up a bit of momentum through the portion of the chainring that is effectively “smaller” than the mean effective number of teeth, and that when the foot hits the portion of the pedalstroke with the maximum effective number of teeth it is moving faster, with a bit more momentum. That’s the theory anyhow, if I understand it correctly.

    As for chainring size – a lot of track racers swear by using a smaller chainring where maximum power is needed, as in for accelleration. A 46 or 44 may show up in such cases, coupled to a small cog. In applications where maximum torque is needed – 4000m individual pursuit, for instance – they will often run a 53 or larger ring.

    Sounds like an old wives’ tale, but here’s the weird thing. Doing stomps & accellerations with a powertap, my friends and I have discovered that the surest way to post peak power numbers is with small ring sprints. Peak 5 second and 10 second power is maybe 5% higher than doing the same drills with the larger ring. Yet doing them with the larger ring yields torque figures that are similarly high, albeit with correspondingly lower power figures.

    What that means, I haven’t a clue, other than to suspect that the crank arm is a lever, and perhaps the chainring’s distance from the fulcrum – the center of the bottom bracket – is a relevant consideration. Either that, or my friends and I are all hallucinating.

    And postulating long answers to difficult technical questions, in a manner that drives Terry stark raving nuts, even though he isn’t able to read more than a couple phrases, or perhaps a sentence before losing interest.

  31. Comment by bikemike | 01.21.2008 | 6:04 pm

    i say pictures of certain food type items should also be included in the banner.
    i.e. (your famous) mashed potatoes, key lime pie, vegemite,etc. and so on.

    you can’t ride without food but you can eat without a bike. so they say.

  32. Comment by | 01.21.2008 | 6:05 pm

    OW! I have to say, I love the sealant (liquid latex) on the rock. Seriously though, that looks like it hurt like heck in no uncertain terms.

  33. Comment by je | 01.21.2008 | 6:21 pm

    I think the model in the Lew-Parlee ad would make a great addition to you banner.

    She could look apathetically at your logo if she gets flopped.

  34. Comment by Dudley | 01.21.2008 | 6:41 pm


    Why were you going down that slope? Was it to impress the guys or was everyone wacked out enough to try it? Smart to not hurt the bike though!

  35. Comment by Steve Nordstrom | 01.21.2008 | 7:35 pm


    One thing about the site. You might consider making the names of the those commenting a little bigger, or bolded or something. It’s nice to be able to see who’s writing what. That’s not because I like to see my name up there or anything, but because alot of your readers regularly comment, and that would make it easier to track them in the comments section. Like the new logo, though!

  36. Comment by bradk | 01.21.2008 | 7:52 pm

    Bro, I love the new design. Wordpress is the bomb. I have some compromising pics but not sure you’d want to use them. Botched needs to get out on a ride in a bad way.

  37. Comment by Scoops | 01.21.2008 | 8:04 pm

    If took a pearler like that and it was on film, I’d want it up there for all times. Use it to enhance your already “substantial” street cred amongst the mountain boys, and refer to it on a regular basis.
    Now there is the undeniable attraction of the youtube film an accident crew and have other bike rock “interface” images scroll through.

  38. Comment by JB | 01.21.2008 | 8:54 pm

    Aarh Fatty. I too have felt the pain reflected in your pic. I was on a MTB trip in Ireland and decided a side trip over the bars was an option. To this day my right thigh is not 100%. It’s a great pic and I’m voting you should stick with it.

  39. Comment by Paul | 01.21.2008 | 10:02 pm

    I like that pic for your header. And Dug is only running because the rules are if you fall & die the first one to reach you gets to claim your bike.

  40. Comment by Little1 | 01.21.2008 | 10:40 pm

    Huh? it’s easier if your stronger! there that is an actual answer!

    Jislaikit! that is one hectic gravitational experimentation. but it looks awesome in the banner, I hear you though, on the not so sure if you want a constant reminder. Look forward to checking out the winning pics. (i like the idea of the odd goat eating banner hee hee!)

    Thanks for putting the names on the top of the comment definately easier to track who’s commented… especially to check the regulars.

  41. Comment by Little1 | 01.21.2008 | 10:43 pm

    uh… i don’t speak computer please help… the “archives” / “blogroll” / “top posts” links aren’t working for me? when my cursor is over them the following shows in the bottom left of the window – javascript:void(0)

  42. Comment by Bren | 01.21.2008 | 11:12 pm

    ‘n’th’d on the current pic. Gotta keep that. Even if you do a rotating banner thing, you gotta keep that in the mix.

    Love the new design…this light floaty blog part on top of the dark background is killer. I’m a sucker for dropshadows anyway. :-)

  43. Comment by will | 01.22.2008 | 12:18 am

    Another Idea:

    Why not use photos in the Team Fatty group at FLICKR featuring people wearing Fat Cyclist Jersey’s?

    Here’s me, pink and proud

  44. Comment by buckythedonkey | 01.22.2008 | 12:26 am

    Ugh! I wince every time I see that picture, although you would have scored extra points had you landed on the bush. A big hand to Botched for keeping his finger on the shutter release. ;-)

    That photo will take some beating – you’re going to need something spectacular to replace it.

    Little1, what browser are you running?

  45. Comment by Born 4 Lycra | 01.22.2008 | 2:24 am

    I love it when we get technical. I don’t understand it necessarily but I love it. Occasionaly I learn something too. Keep up the good work everybody long and short.
    Now how’s this for coincidence. I have bored you previously with the fact i gotta new bike. When I picked it up saturday morning I was told a guy came in earlier with his wife to buy it and was obviously unable too. Anyhow went out with my wife Sal today to watch stage 1 of the TDU. Sitting under a Bundaberg Rum brolly in the middle of nowhere waiting for the race to go by sipping a nice cold Semillon Chardonnay one local bike rider out of many that went by stopped to chat. After a while he mentions he picks up his new bike this week an Orbea Orca with Ultegra. Sal says this lump (affectionate I know) bought an Orbea on saturday. He says in Euskatle livery she says yes and the connection is made. Small World.

  46. Comment by TP | 01.22.2008 | 2:55 am

    BotchedExperiment already explained the gain ratios. If the gain ratio is the same, then the gear is equally har or easy to pedal.

    But if we dig deep enough, there actually is a difference between the gears: with smaller cog and chainring the chain has to make a sharper turn when going around. When the chain goes aroung a cog or CR each link in the chain folda and during that folding energy is wasted to friction.

    So, smaller cog and CR is mechanically harder to pedal. But then again a large cog and CR weigh more. And a small cog and CR wears out the drive train faster.

    So… f**k if I know!

  47. Comment by Little1 | 01.22.2008 | 3:15 am

    Comment by buckythedonkey | 01.22.2008 | 12:26 am
    Little1, what browser are you running?

    “Windows Internet Explorer”, but I am running from work off a network, so there might be some stupid ass proxy/squid guard or something? However this also happens when at home working of vodafone wireless 3G? go figure.

    (yes i am blonde, yes i do work in government… but fear not the few braincells i have know that i must ride bikes!)

  48. Comment by Bluenoser | 01.22.2008 | 3:38 am

    Ask Sheldon Brown, I believe they had this gear ratio thing hashed out long ago. Has something to do with a chain going around a larger cog in the back being more efficient.

    As for the pic Fatty. I now see why you have to travel/ride with lots of friends. That way at least one of them can get up off of their knees wipe the tears from their eyes and help you.


  49. Comment by buckythedonkey | 01.22.2008 | 3:39 am

    Little1: IE version (under Help click About Internet Explorer)? Unless you’re running a VPN when using your 3G card, you can probably point the finger at IE.

    I have no probs with the dropdown menus running:

    Windows XP/Firefox
    Mac OSX/Safari 3.latest

    Fatty, whatever you’re using to power this blog should have some stated Minimum Requirements browser-wise. Can you publish them please?

  50. Comment by buckythedonkey | 01.22.2008 | 3:44 am

    The Sheldon Brown article in question is here:

    Scroll down to the paragraph entitles “Big or Small” for the pros and cons of big or small sprocketry.

  51. Comment by Uncadan8 | 01.22.2008 | 4:02 am

    I read Botched Experiment’s whole post. You’re welcome, Botched. And now my brain hurts. Good stuff.

  52. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 01.22.2008 | 4:19 am


    Be warned, here comes another long answer.


    I love the current banner shot. If you’re concerened about the nasty outcome you could Photoshop the front wheel around straight so that it looks like you’re just the most extreme downhiller ever.


    Your product/quotient definitions are spot on. Sadly, in this situation the “x” has a cycling context which roughly translates “53×17″ to “using a 53 chainring in combination with a 17 rear sprocket”. It’s just a form of shorthand. You were thinking pure mathematics, but this blog is pure cycling.


    Thanks for the intro (your physics is pretty good for a biologist)… As for the gearing question, I have been having this exact discussion with several very accomplished track cyclists (5 masters world titles between them). The discussion surrounds a 94.5 inch gear for the flying 200m at my upcoming state championships. The gear is available to me using either 42×12 or 49×14. One of the riders is a member of the club based at the University of Queensland and the club is partly sponsored by the Science Faculty’s school of Exercise Physiology.

    Here’s the outcome… With all other variables (ref. list by Dr Botched) controlled (unchanging) the better gear to ride is


    The Engineering and Physics gurus have done all kinds of tests on a myriad of very expensive equipment (think about an SRM equivalent worth $400,000 among other things). The result is that the larger sprockets return a fractionally lower power loss through the drive train. It is assumed that this is due to less internal friction as the chain links don’t have to bend as far each time the chain flexs to go around a sprocket. The jury is still out on the big picture matter however, because the miniscule gains through drivetrain friction by the bigger sprocket combo are offset to some extent by the extra weight of the bigger sprockets and longer chain.

    The power getting to the ground is fractionally better but it has to accelerate a tiny bit of extra mass. It’s a chicken and egg type question.

    So with all other matters being equal, the real answer is, use what you’ve got. If you have the resources to experiment use both combinations back to back and see what feels better for you. Personally, I go for the bigger sprocket combo because it means the power I put down gets shared over more teeth so the sprockets and chain wear a little less – an important factor when you’ve got treetrunks for legs and a limited budget.

  53. Comment by Mike Roadie | 01.22.2008 | 5:05 am

    Just drop the two bikes equally from the highest distance you can find. The one that survives and is still rideable will provide the best power/easiest spinn. Give the other one to your ex-girlfriend!

  54. Comment by Derek | 01.22.2008 | 5:39 am

    Like the new design, but you should investigate lightbox plugins for wordpress. That would allow people to click for larger versions of pictures, without popping into new windows and disrupting the flow of the reader.

  55. Comment by Bitter (formerly known as Lissee) | 01.22.2008 | 7:09 am

    So what you’re really saying is that the next time I’m in Utah, you want a free portrait session in payment for the “free” entertainment and sense of community you’ve provided me over the past few years….

    Hmmmm, I’m game for that. :) lol

  56. Comment by DougG | 01.22.2008 | 8:10 am

    Ow..that must of left a mark!

  57. Comment by Rick S. | 01.22.2008 | 8:33 am

    That pic is perfect. It would be hard to beat (but it might be cool to post a pic of some food. Something with mayo?)

  58. Comment by Ethan | 01.22.2008 | 8:56 am

    Re: the Gear Ratio question:

    I tend to think that they would be the same. But then this begs the question: If 36X18 is the same as 32X16, then….why don’t single-speeders run 24×12???

    I ride 32×16 on my SS. But if one were to simply use a 24T front and 12T rear, wouldn’t that be the same thing? Lighter, too? I would assume.

    There would of course be the issue of chainline, but if you use a multi-gear rear hub with spacers, then there’s plenty of room. It would just look silly with the four (or five) crank arms sticking out with nothing attached to them.

    Can anyone tell me why this would or wouldn’t work?

  59. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 01.22.2008 | 9:09 am

    Ethan, I haven’t tried a gear like that, but I’ve read somewhere that using a really small cog dramatically increases the chance of your chain slipping when under a lot of tension, as when climbing/sprinting/overcoming obstacles.

    Also, as has been mentioned in several posts above, the smaller the cog the more friction and wear on the drivetrain.

    Having said that, it wouldn’t surprise me if we start to see more of the type of “compact ss gearing” that you’re describing.

  60. Comment by TIMK | 01.22.2008 | 9:10 am

    Since you are already using Flickr, I recommend incorporating the FAlbum plugin for WordPress. It’s pretty easy to set up and has great results for bringing Flickr photos to your site. See for an example.
    As far as the banner, I love it as is but can understand the desire to mix it up a bit.
    No comment on the math problem.

  61. Comment by BurkeInTheOzarks | 01.22.2008 | 9:15 am

    Little1, you’re problem most likely stems from not having the Java Runtime Environment installed on your PC. You can download it HREF=””>HERE

  62. Comment by BurkeInTheOzarks | 01.22.2008 | 9:19 am

    Well, the hyperlink failed miserably. Just copy and paste the address…

    On the subject of pictures, I agree that it’s hard to beat the one you have. However, I can see a looping, custom Flash animation created by a certain junior Fatty being a good substitute!

  63. Comment by SyracuseStu | 01.22.2008 | 9:43 am

    I’m not that smart, so it surprises me no one has caught on to the largest variable = wheel size and tires. (Or if they have I have completely missed and and therefore reinforced the fact that I’m not that smart!).

    Try this experiment…take your road bike and your mountain bike and choose equivalent gears. Say a 39×16 on the road bike and a 32×12 on the mountain bike (make sure it’s a 26-inch wheel). Crank it up to say 20 mph. Which is harder to ride? Gear inches are the same. But the friction of big tire to ground makes a big difference in the effort necessary to roll it. As a control…Fatty…take you Waltworks 29-er and swap between an offroad tire and a road tire. My guess is you’ll still perceive a difference in effort. Hmmm…as a control to the control…run both tires at the same pressure.

    Or…how about making it even easier. Get your road bike out and pick equivalent gears in both the big and small ring, such as a 52×16 and a 39×12.

    How about a study. How many of us could find a 5 mile portion of road and time trial it using only comparable gears. I’ll volunteer to collect and report the data!

  64. Comment by Mocougfan | 01.22.2008 | 9:50 am


    First, I dig the new look. Very cool. I agree with most of what has been said already.
    1- I like the names up top as well. Bigger is better. I look for your comments, Al’s, Botched, and others.
    2- I like both pics. Before and After. I’d put both in your header.
    3- It would be cool if you could link to somewhere that we could go to see pics of other riders, etc.
    4- Botched and Al….I have no idea what your talking about. Feel free to call me stupid.

  65. Comment by Clydesteve | 01.22.2008 | 10:21 am

    I was going to make another nerdy comment about gear ratios and such, but I bored myself and erased the post.

    Fatty, I really, really like the currect pic. But I will try to remember to send you something if I take an interesting shot. Somewhere I have a ground-level shot of a pelo entering a hard off-camber turn in a crit, with one rider bouncing up over a poorly place water meter cover…

    BTW, What is the appropriate format that will work for an HREF on the new site software?

  66. Comment by Clydesteve | 01.22.2008 | 10:24 am

    Thw weather for the Portland, OR LIVESTRONG Challenge was moved up to late June this year. Probably in response to the absolutlely wretched weather we had last year.

    So I might flog that a bit earlier this year…. But not until after the bloggies.


  67. Comment by blinddrew | 01.22.2008 | 10:42 am

    Whilst i still have my anorak on…
    Just to add a comment to the whole drive-chain-wear-on-small-cogs debate, thing to remember is that this is only relevant on single speeders – sticking a derailleur in the way adds far more friction than either of the drive cogs will.
    Love the comment about the guy with two chainwheels!

  68. Comment by Marrock | 01.22.2008 | 11:10 am

    So were you alive when Dug got there or not?

  69. Comment by Travis | 01.22.2008 | 6:37 pm

    I like the current photo, shows the spirit of the site. Also like the way your friend kept taking photos in your time of need! Wish mine would do the same, I don’t have any after shots.. only the before ones!

  70. Comment by Pazhi | 01.23.2008 | 2:41 am

    The new design is OK except one little thing.
    In XP/Opera 9.25 the two scroll-down menus (Blogroll and Top Posts) are rolled down having style of a normal link, so it is really difficult to read the first paragraphs.
    It seems like the nested li tags are causing it.

    BTW: The W3C validator ( was less than satisfied too.

  71. Comment by Judi | 01.23.2008 | 6:21 pm

    Fatty – love the new look of the blog. Why doesn’t the blogroll work?

  72. Comment by Matt | 01.24.2008 | 11:26 am

    Here is a good site for calculating gear ratios:

  73. Comment by Si | 03.11.2008 | 9:41 am

    Whoa, that’s a seriously bad stack. Reminds me of one I had in the Lake District (UK) where I was bombing downhill went round a corner and there was what I can only describe as a 2 foot by 3 foot rut in the track where water had eaten the track away…cue impromptu superman impression head first onto large ominous looking boulder handily placed after the corner, some metres away. Fortunately, like you I’m an extremely tough guy and able to take such punishment* and I was able to continue. What was more fortunate though was that I had bought my first bike helmet two weeks previous which definetly saved my brain from splattering all over the trail.

    Like the site, looks really good. Have you noticed that if you click in the white space to the right underneath the ad’s you get taken to the home page? Seem’s a little unusual and I think I spotted in your page where the problem is…just wondered if you’d spotted it.

    Keep up the excellent blogging.

    * This may or may not be factually accurate.

  74. Trackback by Soma. | 11.4.2008 | 1:20 am




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